Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 14, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

IRAN'S ROLE....Kenny Baer writes about the latest explosion of violence in the Middle East:

The kidnapping of Corporal Gilad Shalit by Hamas was alarming enough, and the unprovoked, premeditated attack by Hezbollah over the northern border only deepened that feeling rapidly and uneasily. Considering that both attacks were green-lighted by Iran, what becomes clear is that Iran is asserting itself as a regional player and making it clear to the world as the UN Security Council debates its future that there is a real price to messing with them. That is, this whole situation is much bigger than the Israelis and their terrorist antagonists.

Is this becoming the conventional wisdom about what's going on? That both attacks were not merely carried out by Iranian allies, but actually masterminded by the Iranians as warning shots across the American bow? David Ignatius seems to endorse this view as well:

That's the new part of this crisis that Iranian-backed radicals deliberately opened another front in a war that, in their minds, stretches from Gaza to Iraq.

....In the Lebanon crisis we have a terrifying glimpse of the future: Iran and its radical allies are pushing toward war. That's the chilling reality behind this week's events. On Tuesday the Iranians spurned an American offer of talks on their nuclear program; on Wednesday their Hezbollah proxy committed what Israel rightly called "an act of war." The radicals want to lure America and Israel deeper into the killing ground, confident that they have the staying power to prevail. We should not play their game.

Most of the other commentary I've read suggests that Iran (and Syria) were probably aware of the planned attacks but didn't engineer them. I'm not sure which to believe at this point, but I'll keep reading.

UPDATE: I see that Matt Yglesias is wondering the same thing. Matt is suspicious, noting that "a lot of people have been agitating for the United States to commence more active efforts to overthrow the Syrian and Iranian governments for some time now. Then some stuff happened and miraculously and without real evidence that stuff's occurence is suddenly the reason we need to implement the very same policy that was being pushed for previously. I'd like to see some proof."

For obvious reasons this is a compelling argument, and it's exactly what I'd think if I were reading this stuff from Charles Krauthammer or William Kristol. But Baer and Ignatius don't strike me as mouthpieces for either PNAC or the White House.

UPDATE 2: A "knowledgable colleague" tells Laura Rozen: "The Israelis claim this is all planned by Iran and Syria via Hamas and Hezbollah. And the fact is that both groups have said that they were not responding to the recent killing of civilians in Gaza but that their elaborate kidnapping plots were in the works for months, which the Israelis claim dates to a summit between Assad and Ahmadinejad in Damascus in January. This might be a little too neat but expect the drumbeat against Tehran's terrorism sponsoring to escalate as the nuke issue heats up..."

Kevin Drum 1:18 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (266)

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Comments

I've been thinking a lot about Bush's talking up of diplomacy. I no longer take anything at face value with these people. And since an air strike against N. Korea or Iran could be spun to help out the GOP in November, I'm wondering if his sudden love of diplomacy isn't a Rove scheme to get people to think the president is for diplomacy but was forced to "do it".

Regardless, this seems to now be the White House Fox News talking point.

Posted by: gq on July 14, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

It's a long way from the triumphalism of a few months ago.

Obviously "Freedom's on the March" has been consigned to the memory hole, along with the retreat of radical Islam.

Now we're back too "They're evil and powerful and we are in danger".

It's all making me dizzy.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 14, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

But Baer and Ignatius don't strike me as mouthpieces for either PNAC or the White House.

I think the fact that both Baer and Ignatius are liberal democracts means we should trust they are right about Iran and Syria being behind the current war against Israel. I hope that other liberal Democrats agree also rather than engage in partisan bickering. The American government need to unite behind a preemptive military attack of Syria and Iran so that the terrorist infrastructure of these two countries are destroyed before the war spreads.

Posted by: Al on July 14, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

let's get real here
Israel imposed a lockout of Hamas and then reinvaded Gaza. Hezbollah sees this an excellent chance to acquire even more stroke with the street by tweaking the Israeli army on its northern border.
Why the Israeli army took such heavy casulties is hard to fathom given that no new weapon systems appear to have been used. I'm sure that Hezbollah was stunned by its "success".

Posted by: wisedup on July 14, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

No matter what the exact story is it seems clear to me that all those involved have lost their mind

Electorial politics is, I`m sure, just a small part of what is going on

Scary for all of us here onboard Gaia

"A country which proposes to make use of modern war as an instrument of policy must possess a highly centralized, all-powerful executive, hence the absurdity of talking about the defense of democracy by force of arms. A democracy which makes or effectively prepares for modern scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic." - Aldous Huxley

Posted by: daCascadian on July 14, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

And warning shots across the bow can easily translate into Republican votes.

Posted by: Ross Best on July 14, 2006 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

Two words: War Porn. The Press is at it again. This is their entertainment. Would Mrs. Ignatius please get this guy laid and save everyone the trouble?

Posted by: enozinho on July 14, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

All I can say is, thank god we invaded Iraq so the burgeoning democracy there can serve as a model for the rest of the area.

(because I know it often travels poorly by post - that was sarcasm)

Posted by: heavy on July 14, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hi Kevin,

The source for the Iran/Syria stuff seems to be Walid Jumblat, leader of the main Druze faction and friend of Israel - although he used to be a friend of Syria...

In fact, Jumblatt is the man I described as "The next Chalabi" last February. Ignatius was singing Jumblat's praises - to the delight of the Militant Right - even back then.

Regards, Cernig @ Newshog

Posted by: Cernig on July 14, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

A child doesn't take a crap in Gaza without first getting permission from the Mullahs. If the Mullahs ask the child will hold it for days until he vomits or poop on command and fling it at Israeli patrols. Messages are sent back and forth in code from Gaza by carrier pigeons so fast Israel has never seen one, let alone intercepted one. The greatest technology in the world will not help Israel observe the communications.

It's high time for Israel to punish the mullahs for orchestrating poop throwers, rock throwers, tunnel diggers, knife wielders, and rocket builders. The Intifada is a highly structured organization following plans written in Farsi by Arafat and the Mullahs. Cut it off at the head and the individual elements will flail around aimlessly. Palestinians will likely start hating Simon Cowell and throwing rocks at the ocean.

And while Israel is at it they should blow up the nuclear facilities too.

Posted by: American Hawk on July 14, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

I've heard -- somewhere, can't remember where (it's no fun getting old) -- that the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers (which, ostensibly, started the Israel's incursion into Lebanon) were on Lebanon's territory when they were snatched.

If that is, indeed, true, then the whole "Iran angle" is, probably, just a smoke screen to keep us from asking "WTF were they doing there, and with whose blessing?"

If, OTOH, it's a blatant lie (always a possibility, given the general "climate" ), then I'd like to have some more direct (other than "pundits", that is) sources. For both sides/rumours, actually.

Posted by: libra on July 14, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

AH,

Did you eat some moldy bread?

Posted by: Foundation of Mud on July 14, 2006 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Kevin, *I* clearly know what to believe.

"Taking out" Syria and/or Iran would only be playing directly into the hands of the jihadists and bad state actors.

Invading Iraq and being unable to secure it served as an inspiration to our foes in the region, who thrive on the chaos of war.

More war = more chaos = more opportunities for our enemies.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

"I've heard -- somewhere, can't remember where (it's no fun getting old)"

Thanks for the smile. I know exactly what you're talking about.

Posted by: nepeta on July 14, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

Kenny Baer sure has been bit bad by the 1% doctrine.
The kidnapping of an Israeli soldier is "alarming"??
WTF? each side wants to kill as many of the other as possible. This does, however, point up the futility of attempting to "scare/harass/coerce/blockade" the other side into giving in. If you have nothing, you have nothing to give up or to loose.

Posted by: wisedup on July 14, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

OK! I'm going to say that there might be a elephant in the room(With my real name and E-mail)!I know that no one should do this but Fuck It! Are Kenny Baer and/or David Ignatius Jewish?........Let the hate mail and comments commence(I would advise you not to come to my house)

Posted by: R.L. on July 14, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

So all of this started over the kidnapping of one Israeli soldier, albeit in a rather unusual way. I know I'm not going to trust the media on this one. (I didn't on the first one either. I'm back to angrily clicking off talking heads and other so-called media people.) Ignatius says that although Iran and Syria supply Hezbollah with arms and money, no one really knows how much 'control' they have over the group. This feels like a set-up for an attack on Iran to me.

Posted by: nepeta on July 14, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

This does, however, point up the futility of attempting to "scare/harass/coerce/blockade" the other side into giving in...

Shock and Awe, baby.

Scare the other side into backing down.

Of course, it never works - just look at the 911 attacks.

And yet, somehow it is supposed to work on the 'Them' that 'We" are fighting.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 14, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

R.L.:

That was an unnecessary and counterproductive comment.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

It's getting past the "Who started it?" point very quickly. Maybe Syria leaves Lebanon to their own devices. If they don't, well I know where I can find about 130,000 American troops (as of now, more to come) close by. Every nation involved might already be on automatic at this point.

Posted by: Mo MacArbie on July 14, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

their elaborate kidnapping plots were in the works for months, which the Israelis claim dates to a summit between Assad and Ahmadinejad in Damascus in January.

Larry Kudlow told me that Hugo Chavez was at that meeting as well; Castro was too sick to travel, so he sent his brother in his place.

Posted by: Dwight on July 14, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

I have a colleague with family in Beirut, which is now cut off by land, sea, and air. NPR is talking about Israeli attacks on "Hezbollah positions in the southern suburbs" -- that's a densely populated area, and innocent civilians are dying.

I have another colleague who often visits an important customer in Haifa; he was actually talking about another trip today when I told him that Haifa had been hit by a rocket. Lebanon cannot afford for this to go on, nor can Israel, nor can we. It's time to de-escalate in a hurry. This macho crap has to stop.

Posted by: Joe Buck on July 14, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

There's no question that Iran is in the catbird's seat here.

Gee, I wonder who put them there?

We preach democracy in the region while invading a major country. The surrounding countries -- feeling threatened by the invasion to be sure -- have elections and empower militant, hardcore anti-Israeli candidates and parties.

What other result could anyone have possibly expected?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1......I know and I know the answer to my question! It's just that this is never talked about and is a taboo subject! Witness the Neocons!

Posted by: R.L. on July 14, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Dwight, excellent comment...

Posted by: nepeta on July 14, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

R.L.:

Witness Russ Feingold.

Kindly drop the subject.

It's an extremely distateful form of pure argument ad hominem.

Witness Peace Now. Witness the Israeli paper Haaertz.

Not every Jewish person is a god-blessed Likudnik.

Quite often the reverse.

Now please -- let it go.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

distateful = distasteful

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

What gets me is realizing that there is a sizable contingent in this country that welcomes the prospect of massive bloodshed and warfare, as a sign of the "end times". These people have every inclination to support this new war's continuation and exacerbation, to create a self-fulfilling prophecy of armageddon.

Not that I personally think it will actually get that far (damn well better not - I just finished putting in a garden this year, and the zucchini isn't ready yet), but it's bad enough just knowing that it's going to get a helluva lot worse before it gets better, thanks to our dipshit president and his numerous enablers.

Posted by: Irony Man on July 14, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

and funny!!!

Posted by: nepeta on July 14, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Irony Man:

Word

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK


Wow, I actually agree with American Hawk. Yes, Israel should take out Iran's nuclear facilities, because Bush sure ain't gonna do it. As we all know, Bush doesn't actually give a damn about WMDs in the hands of terrorists. Trust me, folks - Bush isn't gonna lift a finger to truly protect the American people.

And look how wonderfully Bush's Iraq experiment has gone - Iraq's shining example of democracy is going to bring stability in the region, right? We've got Iran on the brink of a bomb and not giving a crap about what the world thinks, both Iran and Syria are stronger than ever, allied against Israel, and our ever steadfast ally on the war against Al Quaeda, Pakistan, is linking the Kashmir dispute with the deadly attack on the trains in Mumbai. Bravo.

Posted by: Andy on July 14, 2006 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

for floopmeister, right on

only those who have no balls could imagine that shock and awe would be effective --"scares me so it'll scare them"

Posted by: wisedup on July 14, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

As much as I'm sure your zuchinni will be excellent, in three weeks I'll be a parent for the first time. I'm watching the news and thinking the same thing.

The only thing we can be is optimistic - realistically so.

As much as people want Armageddon to arrive, I can't help thinking that history is circular in motion. People are desperate to reach the End, the Justification of it all - yet events just keep slipping out of their hands.

Whatever happens, there'll be another morning after 'Armageddon'.

And that's what most frightens the fundamentalist mindset.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 14, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

Andy:

Israel shouldn't lay a finger on Iran.

To think otherwise is to engage in warmongering pure and simple, and lays waste to your otherwise laudable anti-Bush, anti-Iraq invasion sentiments.

It is neither possible nor moral nor justified by the circumstances.

Iran hasn't even withdrawn from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Nobody knows for sure whether Iran is even aiming to build nukes. Certainly enriching uranium is congruent with a goal of an indigenous nuclear power industry.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

congratulations -- I hope that all goes well. The seasons keep changing but your first born is one of life's great markers.
What really frightens the fundamentalist is that he may not be as important as he thinks he is.

Posted by: wisedup on July 14, 2006 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

As much as people want Armageddon to arrive

Any endtimers are welcome to come to my neighborhood. Two guys were killed a block away tonight. And a 16-year-old girl was killed in the alley behind my house two days ago. Is Armageddon Aramaic for Summer?

Posted by: enozinho on July 14, 2006 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Let me add my congratulations, floop.

I dunno if it's arrogance ... or emptiness ... that drives people to take part in some Grand Historical Telos instead of valuing the life they've been given for what it is.

We do know that one great system of world organization collapsed -- Soviet Communism -- because its telic vision of history was unsustainable.

Religious flavors won't give up the ghost quite so easily, I'm afraid ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

enozinho:

Do you live in California?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

Bob:

Yeah, West L.A.

Posted by: enozinho on July 14, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

Cf. Billmon's comments on this. Of course blaming it all on Iran & Syria distracts from Israel's racist colonial settler society, doesn't it? Did Iran & Syria force Israel to ethnically cleanse c. 500,000 Palestinains in 1948, or invade Lebanon (and carry out horrific atrocites) in both 1979 and 1981?

Posted by: Dick fitzgerald on July 14, 2006 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks floop, for the vote of confidence in our zucchini. (I confess that I shouldn't claim it as mine, as my wife has put in more work on it than I have, but I nevertheless like to bask in her glory.)

And congrats to you too for your upcoming parenthood. This world needs all the good people we can muster. And good zucchini too.

Posted by: Irony Man on July 14, 2006 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

Remember the scene from "Brazil"? The one where Tuttle plugs the enviro suits of the Central Services workers into the sewage.
Does that remind you of anything?

Posted by: jay boilswater on July 14, 2006 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

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I have a colleague with family in Beirut, which is now cut off by land, sea, and air. NPR is talking about Israeli attacks on "Hezbollah positions in the southern suburbs" -- that's a densely populated area, and innocent civilians are dying.

I have another colleague who often visits an important customer in Haifa; he was actually talking about another trip today when I told him that Haifa had been hit by a rocket. Lebanon cannot afford for this to go on, nor can Israel, nor can we. It's time to de-escalate in a hurry. This macho crap has to stop.

Posted by: john walker on July 14, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the thoughts, all. My partner just finished work tonight and started her maternity leave - I think a glass of champagne with dinner is in order.

Bob, I also think the fundamentalist mindset is all about resisting/rejecting uncertainty, in whatever form it arrives. Uncertainty scares them.

With that in mind, how do they deal with the uncertainty of having kids? No, don't answer that.... I grew up with Seventh Day Adventist parents...

Here's to uncertainty, then.

Mister Order he runs at a very good pace,
But Old Mother Chaos is winning the race...

BTW, Irony Man - all the good zucchini we can muster?

Wow - I just had an image of hardbitten vegetables saddling up and moving out across the prairie...

;)

Posted by: floopmeister on July 14, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

Syria and Iran are the red headed stephchild for many a neocon and "national security" dem article

Posted by: jr on July 14, 2006 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

jr:

GWORHSC

Global War on Redheaded Stepchildren

Has a kinda ring to it, don't it :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 3:15 AM | PERMALINK

You know what really gets me about all of this? Whenever Palestinian militants targeted civilians for their attacks they were accused of barbarism because they were attacking helpless and innocent civilians instead of Israeli military personnel. However, when they attack or in this case take prisoner (or kidnapped and becomes a hostage, after all in practical terms it amounts to the same thing, the only difference between the two is depending on which side of the argument you are on) one soldier Israel retaliates with significant collateral damage, then two more are captured and a few more killed in the process of that capture and we see what we have now. Yet whenever Israel bombs suspected militants it is acceptable, they can target them for assassination without issue, and they can take prisoner/kidnap militants and as of late elected officials and this is not an issue. Yet when these events occur and the obvious retaliation comes from the Palestinian side of things then it is further proof of their barbarity and determination to obliterate Israel. Which when you consider the massive lopsidedness of military/force capabilities between the two sides is absolute insanity it is so disconnected from reality as a possibility. Whatever their intent the blunt reality is that Israel has top of the line American military weaponry, training, intelligence assets and even a massive nuclear arsenal despite their never signing the NPT and having developed that nuclear capability illegally.

So now we are at this point and instead of considering the notion that what has happened is a result of the increasing tensions started with the murder of the beachgoers by an Israeli shell several weeks ago is now somehow a master plan drawn up, ordered and executed by Syria and Iran. While I am well aware of the history of Iran and Syria financing these groups throughout the 80s and 90s I also remember that their operational controls over these groups is limited and has been deteriorating over the past several years and not as some would have us believe growing stronger. There is also the blunt reality that the whole world outside of America itself is well aware of how toothless a ground military force the American military is these days. Therefore there is little threat of an occupation following a decapitation of a regime threat posed thanks to the Iraq invasion drawing off the human, financial and military assets needed to be able to do such a thing, not to mention the international credibility/moral authority/trust.

Then one needs to take into consideration the intense attempts to expand the so called global war on terrorism to Syria and Iran ever since Iraq was targeted and "won" in May 2003 by many American Hawks, most of the neocon variety but not totally. There has been a great deal of effort made over the last few years to lay the groundwork for such in no small part by citing the Iranian/Syrian connections to the terrorist groups attacking Israel over the last few decades. For that matter, doesn't anyone else remember that one of the rationales initially for invading Iraq was that by doing so it would help solve the Israeli/Palestinian issue? As in the road to peace in the Middle East is through Baghdad? Well we have seen just how well that worked out in practice. Instead of increasing the chances for peace it had the exact opposite effect by both destabilizing further an unstable region and by also gutting the perception *AND* the reality of American military power to do such things unilaterally, and given the current global climate even within other democracies of distrust and disbelief of America's foreign policies and claims of threats thanks to the Iraq debacle diplomatically along with every other aspect the chances of any serious coalition needed by America forming to do these things now is next to nil.

Finally, I would add one additional point which tends to be overlooked when this issue of Israel and the Palestinians is concerned. Whenever we hear Israel claim they are attacking only militants and are not causing that much collateral damage we have no independent verification. Israel for many years has done its level best to prevent independent reporting from within the Occupied Territories. Since when is it acceptable to trust the claims of any occupying power in these circumstances with such claims without verification, especially when that power goes out of its way to prevent such from being possible in the first place???

One of the main things that caused my opinion of this issue to turn negative against Israel occurred in the 90s when I started seeing this pervasive refusal to allow independent observers to act as a buffer/peacekeeping force or even simply to provide a non-involved source of information about what is really happening on both sides via journalists and NGOs that are not affiliated/sympathetic to either side of this dispute. When a democracy hides things to that degree it is rarely, if ever, out of innocent motivations. When that democracy wants all to recognize its rights and needs to act in this manner yet blocks all means of independent verification of things like civilian collateral deaths from their military actions, whether their intelligence on militants targeted and assassinated was actually strong, whether there is collective punishment occurring on a regular basis (i.e. destroying homes of family members of militants, even those that have disowned said militants) and so on then one must not take what said democracy is saying at face value.

Not because of some racist attitude but because the actions themselves make it impossible to find out anything except one side, and in this case the side occupying the lands and with all the military and financial might in its corner. This is why I now distrust what Israel claims when it comes to their actions,, it is not because I think Jews are some sort of lesser beings or some other such idiocy but because the Israeli government is controlling the information and the ability to discover details on the ground that would either confirm or refute their claims. Given they clearly have motive to spin things to their best advantage like anyone else in a similar situation regardless of nationality it is simply reasonable critical thought to be doing so.

Therefore since too much of the American media takes what the Israeli government claims at face value instead of independently investigating their claims and reporting any discrepancies/differences the environment is well tilled for those that see Israel as a de facto extension of America and therefore deserving of the same degree of protections as America itself by the American government. This will include Israel's enemies and the threat posed by them being seen in that same light as well, and given that Iran in particular has been going out of its way to use harsh and genocidal rhetoric about Israel when combined with the historical connections between Hamas/Hezbollah and Iran it becomes easy to fall into the belief that Iran in particular and Syria (thanks to the Lebanon aspect of this matter) as well are the real movers in this and not local factions on the ground outside the control of the governments involved. So I would say a skeptical eye needs to be maintained here, especially since this would work to the political advantage of the GOP for the midterms since they want to campaign on national security instead of their corruption, rubber stamping Bushco in the Congress to the point of allowing seriously questionable practices both legal and apparently according to Hamdan illegal as well as spending taxpayer dollars like it was going out of style and racking up massive debt and deficits for the future to have to pay for, which will be painful for most Americans in services cut and/or tax increases.. This is a very dangerous situation as it is and expanding it by attacking Syria and/or Iran, by Israel and/or America has the potential to make the current instability of that region look like it was actually sitting on bedrock.

These are very dangerous times and the need now is for reasoned rational thought and not more and more heated rhetoric and aspersions casting. If America/Israel believes Iran/Syria are directly involved they need to do more than claim it they need to be showing it, both publicly as much as possible and privately to other allied governments and then have them come out and say they have been convinced. Right now the way things have been handled is only making matters worse and more explosive IMHO and given the potential for things to escalate in that region to potentially engulf the rest of the planet this cannot be overreacted to nor moving so quickly as to back oneself into a corner from which there is no other option left (be it only politically to save face or because all other options were already dismissed and now cannot be offered because of that dismissal). To date Bushco is making things worse, not better, period. I only hope things do not blow up into a regional war, the Gods and Goddesses of all the Faiths on this planet only know if even them where that would leave the world at the end of it. Somehow though I doubt it would be a terribly good/healthy/stable place.

Posted by: Scotian on July 14, 2006 at 3:34 AM | PERMALINK

floopmeister:

Congradulations to you and your partner on your incipient parenthood. May you enjoy the next 20 years raising and teaching your child your excellent beliefs and good sense. May you and yours prosper and may the world around us all allow for your child to live in a world where life is more than cowering in fear of the next great war/disaster threatening the world. Good luck and be well, both you and your partner.

Posted by: Scotian on July 14, 2006 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

Where is the proof? Everyone everywhere, including the right-wing nut jobs, is saying "Iran is behind this."

Speculation, wishful thinking, perhaps. But I'd like some real proof before we start taking actual sides in this thing.

Posted by: SteveAudio on July 14, 2006 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

Could anyone imagine a more complete clusterfuck than this?

Iraq turning into ethnic cleansing, neighborhood by neightborhood, lining guys up and shooting them if their name is Ali (Shiite) or Omar (Sunni), just when the Israelis and Palestinians are playing their version of the World Cup, taking or not taking prisoners, bombing power plants or launching overgrown dangerous fireworks (Gaza) and escalating by taking more prisoners, bombing bridges and airports.

Let's hear it for bringing democracy to the middle east. You're doing a heckuva job, Georgie.

Posted by: bad Jim on July 14, 2006 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK

You want proof? I sent the document forgery section home for a vacation. Folks are usually willing to believe the worst about Hamas and Hezbollah without asking.

I'll level with you. This action is simply meant to alienate Hezbollah within the Lebanese government. Throw in a little black ops (the Haifa missiles, the Rafiq Hariri assasination, various pieces of evidence pointing back to Syria) and the chips fall in our favor. It all weakens Hezbollah and Syria and helps out our friends in the Lebanese government. And while you're studying this reality, judiciously, as you will . . . Hezbollah and Syria will somehow manage to trip up again. Remarkable. This time next year our chosen man, Saad Hariri, might even be President. Any effects on Syria and Iran are largely frosting on the cake.

As for Gaza, the Palestinians are ungovernable and we'll do our best to keep it so for the forseeable future. The current crop of politicians can be assassinated, sidelined, arrested, tied to foreign governments at will. It's quite fun. The media will believe anything of the dreaded Hamas politicians.

Posted by: AmericanHawk2.0 on July 14, 2006 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, if you belive this then you are still as gullible as when you supported the Iraq war. Haven't you learnt anything in the last couple of years ?

Israel runs out solutions and goes nuts. Washington is trying everything it can to go to war with Iran. Israel says, well if it gets you on our side, we'll blame Iran. A bunch of clueless beltway pundits agree with them to sound like they have some sort of understaning of the situation. And you believe them ?

Israel's got a motive to blame Iran. The US has too. They both lie all the time and you still take them at face value ? Wake up

Posted by: still working it out on July 14, 2006 at 4:59 AM | PERMALINK

Ignatius = Jew.

Thats why he is spouting the BS big time.

Posted by: yidspotter on July 14, 2006 at 5:05 AM | PERMALINK

Quite sadly, al Qaeda may have succeeded in its desperation tactic of doing absolutely anything to undermine the new Iraqi government by inciting a Sunni vs Shia civil war. It is rather too bad that al Qaeda has been aided and abetted, not to mention given aid and comfort, by the likes of The New York Times and many of the bloggers here, but it is obvious that among some factions hatred of George Bush overpowers any vestige of patriotis or even hope of national (maybe personal!) survival.

We Christian right people are going to continue supporting Israel, because it is a rare democracy in the Middle East and we won't even give up on Iraq just yet because it was one of the boldest and best-intentioned acts of intervention that any nation has ever done. Not only that, but when WMD's do turn up in a nasty way being used against the West (any day now) all the lefties are goint to be outed as the idiots they are.

Saddam lied rather convincingly about whether he had WMD's or not. Iran is not lying. THAT TRUMPS ANYTHING BITTER THING YOU CAN SAY ABOUT GEORGE BUSH.

So, what is the great Bush-hating party going to do about Iran, other than express how much they hate Israel? Are you going to be like the protestors I passed outside the Caterpillar dealership last week, who are still carrying on about the Israeli bulldozer running over the young American lady who was more eager to die for the Palestinians than the U.S.A.?

I have predicted that George Bush would not react in a "cowboy" way against Iran. He will save that for after the next 9/11. So will President McCain, whom it is increasingly clear is going to pick up Bush's burden in Iraq and carry it on to an honorable conclusion.

For that matter, if Hillary somehow beats McCain (about the same chance we have of seeing Barbaro win another horse race) she will carry the Iraq forward at least until another 9/11 and then she will attack Iran. Bet your bippy on that one. The good thing about Hillary is that the U.S.A. will be able to go back to Clinton rules of warfare where absolutely tactic is OK to prevent U.S. casualties (like our airplanes dropping all bombs from 10,000 feet) no matter how many civilian casualties produce. Just like the 78-day air war against Yugoslavia, the MSM will never print anything negative about a Clinton war on anyone.

Heck, I might even be tempted to vote for Hillary over John if Israel can not or will not take care of this Iran mess all by itself. The former Goldwater Girl might be just the leader for this awful but increasingly unavoidable job.

Posted by: Mike Cook on July 14, 2006 at 5:46 AM | PERMALINK

And don't forget the rising sectarian violence in Iraq; there was speculation before that Iran is ratcheting this up.

Posted by: bob h on July 14, 2006 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK

Just briefly:

Kevin Drum ignored what was going on in the Palestine-Israel situation for 2-3 weeks.

Every time I got on here, I made a post about this shortfall. I got 2-3 support posts.

Thank you very much, all you ignorant beings.

Posted by: notthere on July 14, 2006 at 6:15 AM | PERMALINK

If Bush truly were a Christian, he might realize the wisdom in the idea that, "You reap what you sow".

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 14, 2006 at 6:26 AM | PERMALINK

Just briefly:

Kevin Drum ignored what was going on in the Palestine-Israel situation for 2-3 weeks.

Every time I got on here, I made a post about this shortfall. I got 2-3 support posts.

Thank you very much for the support, and (sarcastically) all you ignorant beings.

Now that KD posts, you comment. Thanks for being independent and having a strong and defined view. Thanks for your support. NOT!!!!!

And that is why, now, we have so many people saying they never supported the war on Iraq. Or government intrusion into our communications.

Oh! Wait! I haven't heard any big erruption against intrusion.

Asses. Many out there!

You know, wake up! You all speak against the repubnuts but don't even see what is going on under you nose.

Posted by: notthere on July 14, 2006 at 6:27 AM | PERMALINK

Israel's got a motive to blame Iran. The US has too. They both lie all the time and you still take them at face value ? Wake up

Yeah. And while IF Stone's dictum that "All government's lie," is true of all, among the democracies, your goverment and Israel's have an special talent for this. I trust absolutely nothing coming from either source until I have tons of corroborating evidence. Both the US and Israeli governemts have for too strong a record of lying. It's sad but that's what happens when you're running disinformation all the time and to my mind it's a much higher cost than anything that is possibly gained.

Oh and Mike Cook, you're just one sordid bag of prejudice. Just wipe out all the funny little foreign people you don't understand. It's ugly in the extreme. They're Iranians. They're lying. Possibly. But I know you guys are.

Oh and why do you people always rerun with canards that have been disproven again and again and again. It's tiresome in the extreme. Look just because you were a complete dupe when it came to WMDs doensn't mean the rest of us were. I was screaming that there were no WMDs. The problem with our particular species of ape is that when the big ape with authority hoots that something is so, all too many of us too obliging apes stop trusting what they can see and following the hooter. I wouldn't brag about the fact that you're a gullible sap.

Posted by: snicker-snack on July 14, 2006 at 6:32 AM | PERMALINK

Are you going to be like the protestors I passed outside the Caterpillar dealership last week, who are still carrying on about the Israeli bulldozer running over the young American lady who was more eager to die for the Palestinians than the U.S.A.?

Hi there, you fascist,

what on earth gives you the notion that you can write murderous things like this, reveling in the crushing to death of a young woman who demonstrated peacefully for her political beliefs, and not go straight to Hell when you die?

I am a dedicated Zionist who believes in the right of Israel to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism. I also believe in the right of the parents of Rachel Corrie, should they ever encounter you, to beat you to a senseless pulp, if you ever repeated this sort of garbage within their hearing.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 14, 2006 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

notthere:

Your point is well taken. Ignoring the Israeli'bs mistreatment of the Palestinian people is to ignore the root cause of Islamoterrorism. Much was made of Saddams failure to comply with UN resolutions, but Israel has failed to comply with at least as many, most notably UN Resolution 242.

But maybe there is still hope. A new poll finds people plan to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats in 2006.

SK

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 14, 2006 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK

There is a lot of room for nuance between "greenlighting" and "masterminding".

You could ask yourself if Iran could (if it wanted to!) ever "red light" a shootout/kidnapping. Its not like the could get a consensus against putting oil money into fighting gods war because hezbollah disobayed one "order".

( "Yeah I know we have been funding you and I know we are fighting the devil here, but could you please wait a few days? Great... see you at the "fight the infidels" bbq tomorow, cheers" )

Hezbollah has plenty of reason to show why it thinks it is still around. Israel left Lebanon (more or less) and so did syria (more or less). So why is there still an armed group other than the goverment running parts of the country? If Hezbollah just was loyal to the goverment it is part of some people could live with that, hell they voted for them! But its Iranian loyaltees might bother other Lebanese. Israel seem to think it can bomb these question into the lebanese people, the candy handed out in celebration of the kidnap story suggest more bombs or a diffrend tactic would be needed :-(

Remember that the Israeli tactics of bombing roads and bridges and making sonic booms in the middle of the night are targetted at the civilian population. Suicide bombers are not stopped by a hole in the road or some sleep deprivation.

"this is the punishment you get when you vote the wrong way, we expect your goverment to negotiate on our terms today".

One thing is certain, if you ask the Israelies, Ledeen and Wolfowitz they will say hezbollah, the Iranian government, Hamas and Syria are just diffend words for the same thing. (Beelzebub, the devil and kids on your lawn, its all the same thing really... "somebody should bomb all of that unless they all get of my lawn! In my day whe didn`t fund murderous militias just over some politics, we played hoop and stick all day... Oh wait, that contra thing")

Similair analysis can be found in a European newspapers...

Posted by: dd on July 14, 2006 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

"This might be a little too neat but expect the drumbeat against Tehran's terrorism sponsoring to escalate as the nuke issue heats up..."

If memory serves me right, the attacks against Israel across the borders of Gaza and Lebanon were directed against soldiers, not civilians, which doesn't strike me as the conventional definition of "terrorism."

On the other hand, I'm genuinely curious how Israel's repeated bombing of the Beirut airport doesn't meet the definition of striking a civilian target. And, of course, most of the dead in the Israel/Lebanon clash are Lebanese civilians.

Why is blowing up civilians with a bomb not "terrorism" if you deliver it with an airplane and not a suicide belt, car or truck?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Dense...
All I can say is, thank god we invaded Iraq so the burgeoning democracy there can serve as a model for the rest of the area.

Your welcome

(because I know it often travels poorly by post - that was sarcasm)

Even a broken clock...

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 14, 2006 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

Israel always takes advantage of things to attack infrastructure. In other words, they have a separate agenda. I stopped supporting their separate agenda years ago.

Posted by: Bob M on July 14, 2006 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

If memory serves me right, the attacks against Israel across the borders of Gaza and Lebanon were directed against soldiers, not civilians, which doesn't strike me as the conventional definition of "terrorism."

Call it an act of war then. Although I would classify blowing up Khobar Towers (Air Force), the USS Cole (Navy) and Marine Barracks in Beirut as acts of terrorism.

On the other hand, I'm genuinely curious how Israel's repeated bombing of the Beirut airport doesn't meet the definition of striking a civilian target. And, of course, most of the dead in the Israel/Lebanon clash are Lebanese civilians.

Good question. They also bombed the road connecting to Syria, which makes it sound like Israel is treating it as an act of war, and they are trying to prevent the movement of something.

Why is blowing up civilians with a bomb not "terrorism" if you deliver it with an airplane and not a suicide belt, car or truck?

They are not specifically targeting civilians. They are targeting things (runways, bridges, Hezbollah weapons,...)

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 14, 2006 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Messages are sent back and forth in code from Gaza by carrier pigeons so fast Israel has never seen one, let alone intercepted one.

That tears it. American Hawk is a parody.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Bush and like-minded ideologues are old school commie conspiracy devotees who believe that no events take place without state sponsors. So Hamas or Hizbollah cannot possibly be acting on their own? Who is the state actor? Let's blame Iran? Syria?

Without the Israeli army to keep them under the thumb, the unemployed in Gaza take out their frustrations on the Israelis. Without the Syrians around to make them act like adults, Hizzbollah acts out. It's summer. It's hot. It's not like the LA riots required a state sponsor. Who benefits from this chaos? Is there some coherent argument that Iran receives some benefit here?

How do we know that these kidnappings are not the work of Jihadis returning home after learning new tactics in Iraq?

Posted by: bakho on July 14, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Call it an act of war then.

I have no problem with that.

Although I would classify blowing up Khobar Towers (Air Force), the USS Cole (Navy) and Marine Barracks in Beirut as acts of terrorism.

How do you figure, Mike? Seriosuly -- aren't barracks and warships legitimate military targets? Or is it just an act of "terrorism" when an act of asymmetrical warfare succeeds?

Good question.

Which you do nothing to answer.

They also bombed the road connecting to Syria, which makes it sound like Israel is treating it as an act of war, and they are trying to prevent the movement of something.

Roads and bridges are legitimate military targets. Interdicting movement is a legitimate military mission. However, given that Israel has total air superiority over Lebanon, the fact that Israel can be said to be striking legitimate military targets toes not rule out the possibility that, in attacking Beirut's airport, they are not also attacking a civilian target or engaging in collective punishment of civilians. That is not an act of war, it's a war crime.

They are not specifically targeting civilians. They are targeting things (runways, bridges, Hezbollah weapons,...)

...and if a couple of dozen civilians get in the way, that's just too darn bad, eh? So you haven't answered my question, Mike -- why is blowing up civilians with a bomb not "terrorism" if you deliver it with an airplane and not a suicide belt, car or truck? Israel claims to be targeting the things you mention -- which is, of course, all we know about it -- but the fact remains that civilian casualties are strikingly disproportionate. As a supporter of Israel's right to exist and defend itself, I am concerned about the risk that the perception who is attacking military targets and who is blowing up civilians does not tilt in Israel's favor.

Maybe terrorists should just claim that they "aren't specifically targeting civilians, they are targeting things," and hey presto! By your definition, no more terrorism!

By God, Mike -- you've solved the terrorism problem! Congratulations!

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

three weeks I'll be a parent for the first time

Congratulations and best wishes, floop.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Those who are interested in the facts on the ground might want to read Michael Totten's blog entry from last April where he finds that Iran has taken over control of the Hezbollah zone of southern Lebanon. This is Iran's policy, probably to divert attention from the nuclear standoff. Also, the rocket that struck Haifa was Iranian and of longer range than the Hamas variety.

The Totten post is predicting exactly what happened, including the kidnapping.

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Even a broken clock...

Well, now the violence and anarchy in Iraq appears to be spreading to Lebanon. Swell job, there, Mike.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Ignatius and Baer are hopeless moonbats, covering up for their Islamofascist buddies. Everyone knows who the real culprit is, who Iran takes their orders from....Kos!

Posted by: Calling All Toasters on July 14, 2006 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

OK, I will assume Iran is behind all of the stuff in Gaza. What are we supposed to do about it.

Our army is tied down in Iraq trying to keep the Shiites and Sunnis from killing each other (with little or no success.) Actually we are there to protect the oil for Exxon (again with little or no success.)

North Korea is rattling sabers and we are needed there to keep the Japanese from deciding it is time to take them out. That would be sure to piss off our Chinese friends.

Who could blame the Japanese under the circumstances. Didn't the decider say that preemption is a legitmate position when there is a looming threat. The North Koreans have launched a flock of missles in Japan's general direction.

Just what is the United States supposed to do in this setting. Maybe we could hire the Russians to take out the Iranians?

Couldn't we just have a couple of days of peace? It might catch on.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 14, 2006 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Those who are interested in the facts on the ground might want to read Michael Totten's blog entry

Your first assertion does not appear to support your second.

Also, the rocket that struck Haifa was Iranian and of longer range than the Hamas variety.

Iran exports its weaponry, duh. It's good the USA is above that sort of thing, hey? Shall we compare again how many civilian casualties have been inflicted by US-made vweapons versus Hezbollah's this go-round?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

North Korea is rattling sabers and we are needed there to keep the Japanese from deciding it is time to take them out.

With all due respect, Ron, but with what army?

Japan's military is basically for terrirotial self-defense (against Godzilla, according to the movies), with the US providing most of the heavy lifting. Of course, it isn't surprising that Japan would be alarmed at the US's obvious wekaness regarding the Korean situation...

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

The speed with which this elaborate narrative appeared should be proof enough it is propaganda, it certainly will function that way. How does anyone know the details of clandestine operations in the Middle East? What assumptions do they make when they reason the puzzle pieces together?

Israeli nationalists and their American allies start from the premise that all Israels enemies, even if they are enemies of one another, form a single force. Even if there is no material connection there is at least a spiritual one, which gives us permission to assume material and political alliances. This is the substance of propaganda.

To believe in a tacit alliance between Iran, Syria, the Palestinians, Hamas, and Hezbollah, and Saddam and bin Laden requires a suspension of history. To think that they strategically coordinate is the stuff of mysticism.

Worldly nationalists know this Manichaeism is all rubbish but it is intended for softer minds.


Posted by: bellumregio on July 14, 2006 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory
RSM: Although I would classify blowing up Khobar Towers (Air Force), the USS Cole (Navy) and Marine Barracks in Beirut as acts of terrorism.

How do you figure, Mike? Seriosuly -- aren't barracks and warships legitimate military targets? Or is it just an act of "terrorism" when an act of asymmetrical warfare succeeds?

An act of terror is one whose purpose is to instill terror and fear. They were all strikes at the hearts and minds of the US. Militarily, they were mosquito bites.

RSM: Good question.

Which you do nothing to answer.

Well duh, unlike some here I don't pretend to have the answers to everything.

Roads and bridges are legitimate military targets. Interdicting movement is a legitimate military mission. However, given that Israel has total air superiority over Lebanon, the fact that Israel can be said to be striking legitimate military targets toes not rule out the possibility that, in attacking Beirut's airport, they are not also attacking a civilian target or engaging in collective punishment of civilians. That is not an act of war, it's a war crime.

Yes, you could in theory draw such a conclusion is you were inclined to think the worst of Israel. Or you could assume they are trying to prevent movement and to hit Hezbollah.

RSM: They are not specifically targeting civilians. They are targeting things (runways, bridges, Hezbollah weapons,...)

So you haven't answered my question, Mike -- why is blowing up civilians with a bomb not "terrorism" if you deliver it with an airplane and not a suicide belt, car or truck?

Terror has as its purpose...creating terror. It is meant to strike at the hearts of its enemy and create fear. Sending out 1000 envelopes dusted with baby powder and one with anthrax is an act of terror. Sawing offa head and videotaping it for distribution is an act of terror. Blowing up a bridge to remove an avenue for escape is not.

Israel claims to be targeting the things you mention -- which is, of course, all we know about it --

Lebanon has open media, so we are getting a view not just sanitized by Israel.

but the fact remains that civilian casualties are strikingly disproportionate. As a supporter of Israel's right to exist and defend itself, I am concerned about the risk that the perception who is attacking military targets and who is blowing up civilians does not tilt in Israel's favor.

I worry about it too.

Maybe terrorists should just claim that they "aren't specifically targeting civilians, they are targeting things," and hey presto! By your definition, no more terrorism!

But targeting civilians is their whole purpose. Their purpose is to kill civilians and instill terror. Saying they were targeting a bridge and accidentally knocked off a few locals would suggest they were the gang that couldn't shoot straight and undercut their whole raison d'etre.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 14, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory
Well, now the violence and anarchy in Iraq appears to be spreading to Lebanon. Swell job, there, Mike.

Are you suggesting I am a member of Hezbollah?

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 14, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

If the administration wants to go to war, they'll find a reason to go to war.

The accuracy of the intelligence - it should be clear enough by now - is completely irrelevant.

Posted by: chuck on July 14, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Wasn't it about a year ago that the Lebanese told the Syrians to take a hike and get out of their country, demonstrated for more moderation, with the Bush apologists bragging about how his "policy"(such as it was) had succeeded in bring more democracy and moderation to another ME country? Oh, and all those hot Lebanese women!

The cedar revolution, oh well, it was good while it lasted. Now they're just cannon fodder.

Posted by: haha on July 14, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

"what on earth gives you the notion that you can write murderous things like this, reveling in the crushing to death of a young woman who demonstrated peacefully for her political beliefs, and not go straight to Hell when you die?"

Here she is. Pretty entertaining over here. Not very educational but some light relief all the same.

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Blowing up a bridge to remove an avenue for escape is not.

Tell that to the people who live there and whose family members were victims of the "collateral damage".

Posted by: haha on July 14, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

I would comment on Iran and Syria telling Hamas and Hezbollah what to do, but KOS hasn't told me to say anything yet.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 14, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

An act of terror is one whose purpose is to instill terror and fear.

How about "Shock and Awe"?

Yes, you could in theory draw such a conclusion is you were inclined to think the worst of Israel. Or you could assume they are trying to prevent movement and to hit Hezbollah.

I think you're a bit mixed up there, Mike. Given that Beirut's airport is a civilian target, and that Israel's air superiority over Lebanon makes it exceedingly unlikely Hezbollah -- which, if memory serves me right, lacks an air force -- would move by air, and that more over you acknowledged it's a "good question" what legitimate military purpose the attacks on the airport serves, objectively the attack is questionable -- you don't have to be "inclined to think the worst of Israel" at all. To the contrary, it's you who has to contort yourself to excuse it by presuming, against evidence and logic, that it's justified.

Could it be that the destruction of the Beirut's civilian airport could have an act whose purpose is to instill terror and fear?

Sawing offa head and videotaping it for distribution is an act of terror. Blowing up a bridge to remove an avenue for escape is not.

I am not aware of Hezbollah sawing off the heads of the soldiers it captured. And, of course, airstrikes have the effect of creating terror and fear. Again, all we know of the purpose is what Israel claims. (Lebanon's open media has no greater insights into Israel's purpose than you or I do, so your citation of it is meaningless.) And again, is there any likely explanation of bombing Beirut's airport other than to create terror and fear in the civilian populace? If so, you have failed to provide it.

But targeting civilians is their whole purpose. Their purpose is to kill civilians and instill terror.

That's why your solution is so brilliant, Mike -- all they need to do is target things! Then civilian casualties become "collateral damage," and as we all know, that's perfectly acceptable.

And, of course, you tacitly acknowledge with your statement that targeting soldiers is not, in fact, terrorism.

Saying they were targeting a bridge and accidentally knocked off a few locals would suggest they were the gang that couldn't shoot straight and undercut their whole raison d'etre.

So are you claiming that, since Israel claims to be targeting things and not people, but there are significant numbers of civilian casualties in Lebanon, that suggests Israel is the gang that couldn't shoot straight?

And more importantly, are you really saying unintentional civilian casualites undercuts the whole raison d'etre? You might want to reconsider that statement, there, Mike.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Are you suggesting I am a member of Hezbollah?

I'm suggesting the example of Iraq isn't the positive one you'd like it to be.

It's fascinating, though, that you said Hezbollah. Why not the IDF?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

If you are so exercised about Israel destroying Beiruit airport, what do you have to say about the Lebanese government flying its civilian airliners to Jordan to avoid damage ? Maybe you don't have the facts ? The Israelis are trying to cut off resupply for Hezbollah by shutting down the airlift from Iran and Syria.

There seems to be a determination to blame Israel when, in fact, a lot of the trouble comes from their decisions to evacuate Labanon and Gaza. Did anybody read the Michael Totten piece ?

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

The Networks don't think the Iran connection is newsworthy -- just this morning, Matt Laurer purported to cover "all the angles" which included (of course) U.S. gas prices but only mention Iran "possibly entering" the conflict IF Israel attacks Syria. Let's see how quickly they explictly blame Bush for Iran cutting off oil.

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory
Israel's air superiority over Lebanon makes it exceedingly unlikely Hezbollah -- which, if memory serves me right, lacks an air force -- would move by air

Commercial air. Same as for highways and ships.

...and that more over you acknowledged it's a "good question" what legitimate military purpose the attacks on the airport serves, objectively the attack is questionable --

No, I am saying I need more data. I feel no need to rush to judgement, realizing that whatever is going on over there, we are seeing the 1% poking above the surface. You appear to be in a hurry to reach a conclusion.

It's fascinating, though, that you said Hezbollah. Why not the IDF?

Uh, because Hezbollah and Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldiers? In short, they started it.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 14, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

RSM: Are you suggesting I am a member of Hezbollah?

Let's toss you in Guantanamo for a few years just to make sure. Better safe than sorry. If there's even a one percent chance....

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Re: "...warning shots across the American bow?"

Oh, great! Just what our cowboy/caudillo government needs

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on July 14, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

How about "Shock and Awe"?

Heh. Indeed. So by Mike's own definition the US military engaged in terrorism in its "Shock and Awe" campaign.

*sigh* Always blaming America first, that Mike....

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

If you are so exercised about Israel destroying Beiruit airport, what do you have to say about the Lebanese government flying its civilian airliners to Jordan to avoid damage ?

Given that Israel bombed Beirut's civilian airport, that seems to have been a prudent move.

Again, Mike, given that Israel enjoys air superiority over Lebanon, it doesn't need to attack the civilian airport in order to "cut off resupply for Hezbollah by shutting down the airlift from Iran and Syria" (which, of course, begs the question "what airlift from Iran and Syria?).

It isn't a matter of "determination to blame Israel." Regardless of which side is doing it, attacks against military targets are justified; attacks against civilian targets are not -- especially if its "purpose is to instill terror and fear" -- right, RSM?

It seems, though, that there's a determination by RSM and Mike K to give Israel a free pass on its actions, whether because it's perceived as an ally or just "the good guy."

As Kevin posted, this conflict does seem to serve the agenda of a hawkish faction in the US government. I simply suggest that attacking civilian targets with the purpose to instill terror and fear is not in Israel's interest -- let's face it, the current situation proves that these tactics have hardly ended the violence -- and that unconditional support for Israel is not in the interest of the United States.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Mike K:

Thanks for the links to the Michael Totten blog. Very compelling. If Iran is really behind the kidnappings, I am expecting really, really bad things to come. Like nukes flying toward Tehran.
Things haven't looked this ugly in the world since the Cuban missle crisis in 1962 - and here we have the worst, most incompetent president in history in the drivers seat!

May God help us all....

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on July 14, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory and Stefan defending the terrorists yet again -- at least Peter Jennings can't blame Bush for all the Arabs' treachery anymore.

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

A child doesn't take a crap in Gaza without first getting permission from the Mullahs........

So Mr.Hawk with that conservative gem of logic. Every time you post here, do you ran it by Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Karl Rove first.

Posted by: Neo on July 14, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory and Stefan defending the terrorists yet again

Actually, I believe it was Red State Mike who said than an act "whose purpose is to instill terror and fear" is "an act of terror" -- and that therefore, the US military's Shock and Awe, whose stated and avowed purpose was to instill terror and fear in the Iraqis, was an act of terror. His definition, not mine.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

I know the Japanese don't have an Army right now, but they have a pretty capable air force equipped with advanced variants of the F15. How long do you think it would take Japan to plan and carry out an attack on North Korea's military infrastructure?

How long to build an army? No, we have to take the lead in dealing with North Korea. The last time the Japanese had an army, it wasn't a good thing for anybody.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 14, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Posters advising the bombing of Iranian nuke facilities (especially by Israel!) are either insane (Al and Chickenhawk) or woefully ill-informed (in the case of the two aforementioned, it's both). First of all, Israel bombing any Muslim nation in the middle east will ignite WWIII. Now Al and Chickenhawk may think that's a good thing, but sane people do not.

Also, Iran's nuke facilities are largely underground, in a very mountainous area of the country. Since they are underground, we really don't know where they are, and bunker buster bombs require a direct hit to be effective. The CIA suspects that Iran has moved some of its enrichment facilities (not that we know they have any!) into heavily poulated areas, leaving civilians at risk in any bombing campaign. I know Al and Chickenhawk don't give a shit about brown civilians, but I don't care to see another 50,000 innocents killed by American shells.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 14, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

I call bullshit.

Show me incontrovertible proof.

Without the foul stench of Rove and Company anywhere near the custody trail of said proof.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on July 14, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Two words: War Porn. The Press is at it again. This is their entertainment. Would Mrs. Ignatius please get this guy laid and save everyone the trouble?
Posted by: enozinho on July 14, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Enozinho nails it.

BTW eno; do you have track-names for that DaftPunk show you linked last night?

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on July 14, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

well, actually, "Shock and Awe" was never used.

that was all media.

there's a relatively obscure military theorist (his name escapes me) who coined "Shock and Awe" as a theory in how to defeat an enemy with overwhelming force without actually inflicting many casualties. the theory basically involves expending massive amounts of precision ordinance on highly visible, centrally located targets for psychological effect.

"Shock and Awe" is not part of U.S. military doctrine (primarily because most senior military personnel don't think it would work) and was not implemented in the Iraq war...there were some people talking to the press (primarily not in the Pentagon actually) claiming that it would be...but in actuality it was never utilized.

so....it's basically an ignorant catchphrase perpetuated by the media (including conservatives).

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

"Thanks for the links to the Michael Totten blog. Very compelling. If Iran is really behind the kidnappings, I am expecting really, really bad things to come."

This is very, very serious. Another source of news is http://yoni.townhall.com. This is by a retired IDF officer who lives in Washington State. At the moment it is not working, either a DOS attack or server overload.

I think Iran has chosen to ramp up the tension to divert attention from the nuclear program and to intimidate Europe and the US. The problem with this strategy is the possibility of misjudgement, especially with a nutcase running things. Think Hitler and Poland. He was sure the British and French would back down once again.

"Also, Iran's nuke facilities are largely underground, in a very mountainous area of the country. Since they are underground, we really don't know where they are, and bunker buster bombs require a direct hit to be effective. "

I suspect the Israelis' intelligence on Iran is far superior to ours. The CIA has been incompetent since the Church committee gutted it in 1976. They may wait to see what we do but I don't think they will allow Iran to get a bomb.

This is as dangerous as 1962. You hit it right on the nail. I disagree about Bush but this is bigger than that right now.

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory, Ron:

well, Japan does have the 4th largest military budget in the world. although its constitution specifies that its military only exists for defensive purposes, in recent years Japan has taken a more flexible definition of "defense."

it certainly does not have the capability for an occupation of North Korea (it lacks the personnel and logistics)....its spending has centered on keeping its military technologically close to peer and integrated with the U.S. military. its aviation and naval capabilities are nothing to be sneezed at and it probably could incapacitate North Korea on its own if it had to.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Commercial air. Same as for highways and ships.

Oh, puh-lease, Mike. Like Hezbollah would board a commercial jetliner -- one of the ones Lebanon evacuated to Jordan -- and travel to....where, exactly? And if they took a smaller plane to fly troops to the south, again, Israel has air superiority over Lebanon. Nothing flies without Israel's allowing it, and the Lebanese know it. No legitimate civilian flights would occur during Israel's attack, bombing the airport or no -- it'd be suicidal. Your rationale doesn't pass the smell test.

No, I am saying I need more data.

If that's the best excuse you can come up with -- an excuse, I might add, it seems you've pulled straight from your posterior -- I'd say you do!

I feel no need to rush to judgement, realizing that whatever is going on over there, we are seeing the 1% poking above the surface. You appear to be in a hurry to reach a conclusion.

Au contraire, Mike. By advising against "rush to judgement," you're saying "dont draw the obvious conclusions." (Of course, we haven't even mentioned Israel targeting power supplies and other targets that affect the civilian populace). You are the one who seems in a hurry to give Israel a free pass on what you acknowledge appears to be an attack on a civilian target -- one whose purpose seems to be to instill terror and fear -- by concocting fanciful and fact-free justifications as why they might be excused as having a military purpose. But to you really think that so-called military excuse is credible? It sure isn't when you offer it.

As for "seeing the 1% poking above the surface," besides the rancid combination of an implict admission that the known facts are not flattering coupled with a bogus implication that unknowns exist that in fact support your speculations, you're sure quick to accept Israel's public claims at face value. What were you saying about "rush to judgement"?

Uh, because Hezbollah and Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldiers? In short, they started it.

Since they are soldiers and not civilians, the word you're looking for is "captured," Mike. But that dictates the tactics Israel uses to respond -- which did not include even the pretense of an ultimatum -- exactly how?

Mike, as a supporter of Israel, I am concerned that by overreacting to what I agree is a provocative act, Israel is playing into Hezbollah's hands. Do you imagine that Hezbollah didn't consider -- especially given the example in Gaza -- Israel's response, and judge that said response was acceptable if not desirable?

Israel states it is targeting Hezbollah, but in fact is killing a whole lotta Lebanese civilians. I suggest that this action is not in Israel's long term interest, no matter what threadbare justification they may concoct -- even if true, it simply won't be believed.

And I'm disappointed that you didn't answer my other questions, Mike. You condemned attacks "whose purpose is to instill terror and fear." How about "Shock and Awe"?

Are you claiming that, since Israel claims to be targeting things and not people, but there are significant numbers of civilian casualties in Lebanon, that suggests Israel is the gang that couldn't shoot straight?

And more importantly, are you really saying unintentional civilian casualites undercuts the whole raison d'etre?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

at least Peter Jennings can't blame Bush for all the Arabs' treachery anymore.

Whaaaat? [does double take]

Posted by: Keith G on July 14, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

How long do you think it would take Japan to plan and carry out an attack on North Korea's military infrastructure?

Pretty long time, actually, since North Korea's military infrastructure is scattered all over the country and/or armored and buried in bunkers under tons of concrete. Japan simply doesn't have the military resources to maintain any kind of a long aerial campaign -- not to mention that at the first strike Japan would retaliate against Seoul.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan, I'm still waiting for your unqualified apology for your bogus implications in the other thread.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory and Stefan defending the terrorists yet again

Charlie/Cheney/Chuckles is lying yet again...

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

ok, it was Harlan Ullman and James Wade who coined "Shock and Awe"....like I said its become a standard media meme that "Shock and Awe" was U.S. doctrine in Iraq...but that's simply not so. simply compare the original Ullman and Wade paper with say, Keegan's account of the invasion to see this.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I disagree about Bush but this is bigger than that right now.
Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Au contraire. Bush's policies (which are really the continuation of the American meddling in the region since we deposed Iran's democratically elected government and installed the Shah) are the very reason why this has escalated as far as it has.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on July 14, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

actually, I withdraw even that "qualified" apology....

it was a jibe and you know it. you even characterized it as such. i realize that the internet is conducive to misunderstanding but I have a hard time believing that you really took it literally. so in retrospect, I think you're full of shit.

its not like you don't engage in exaggerated jibes on a regular basis. it was obvious to any reasonable observer what it was.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

I don't want to stray off topic, but I agree with Stefan that the estimates stated in this thread of Japan's ability to carry out an effective strike against North Korea seem, ah, optomistic, and of course completely fail to take into account the domestic political ramifications of such an act -- not to mention North Korea's probable response if Japan fails to fully incapacitate NK's military.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

well, actually, "Shock and Awe" was never used. that was all media.

Au contraire:

www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/ 01/24/eveningnews/main537928.shtml


Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2003

The battle plan is based on a concept developed at the National Defense University. It's called "Shock and Awe" and it focuses on the psychological destruction of the enemy's will to fight rather than the physical destruction of his military forces.

"We want them to quit. We want them not to fight," says Harlan Ullman, one of the authors of the Shock and Awe concept which relies on large numbers of precision guided weapons.....

Not everybody in the Bush Administration thinks Shock and Awe will work. One senior official called it a bunch of bull, but confirmed it is the concept on which the war plan is based.

[The National Defense University, located on the grounds of Fort Lesley McNair in D.C., is an official arm of the US military and is chartered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- it's specifically for military personnel, intended to facilitate high-level training and the development of national security strategy. Air Force General Michael M. Dunn is its president.]


Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

I guess beauty (or in your case, terrorism) really is in the eye of the beholder.

Keith G.:

I noted above that the Networks have not made the Iran connection yet, but I'm sure they will find some way to blame Bush -- Peter Jennings (God rest his soul) would have already found some way to do it -- any other questions?

Nathan:

Good for you -- give 'em hell!

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK
I think Iran has chosen to ramp up the tension to divert attention from the nuclear program and to intimidate Europe and the US.

I don't think, if it is Iran, its really about diverting attention. I think its about radicalizing the region by provoking a massive Israeli response, which sets the substantive context for any US action, and makes it easier for Iran to get recruits for proxy attacks against the US in the event of a US-led attack, by casting the US presence in the region as more tightly tied to Israeli action.

I think that everyone is playing by bin Laden's playbook, and validating his dream of a grand war between Islam and the "Crusaders and Zionists". What 5 years ago was obviously ludicrous propaganda by al-Qaeda is getting closer and closer to being established fact.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 14, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

You might be right, but some of my dad's friends were killed because they failed to appreciate the ability and determination of Japanese aviation.

Anyway, what would Japan care if North Korea attacked South? They are very concerned by the missles launched in their general direction. The North Koreans have a few nukes. I don't think the Japanese are going to let the North Koreans threaten them those nukes.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 14, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

actually, I withdraw even that "qualified" apology

As I noted at the time, your "qualified" apologiy was dishonest, and your withdrawal meaningless except to cast further aspersions on your honor and veracity, as if any were necessary.

it was a jibe and you know it. you even characterized it as such.

Whether it was a jibe or not is irrelevant, but you are lying when you say I "even characterized it as such." I commented on your characterization of it as a jibe, in the context of noting -- as I am only to happy to repeat -- that jibe or not, you attributed positions to cmdicely, Cranky Observer and myself that you utterly failed to demonstrate we hold.

I'll say again: jibe or not, you attributed positions to cmdicely, Cranky Observer and myself that you utterly failed to demonstrate we hold.

There is little option but to conclude that you are a liar, Nathan, in addition to being a spectacularly ill-informed and logically-challenged debater. Ford help your clients.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory: I don't want to stray off topic, but I agree with Stefan

Thank God...after our spat on the meaning of "conservative" in the thread below I worried we'd never see eye to eye again....

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

I'm sorry, but one anonymous attribution to one "senior official" is hardly proof.

Read either the Keegan are the account by the NY Times reporter.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Anyway, what would Japan care if North Korea attacked South?

It would plunge the region into war, completely wrecking its economy by unnerving foreign investors and tanking the market. Goodbye tourism, goodbye business development, goodbye high standard of living.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory: I didn't call it you a "jibe"...you did. go read your own fricking comment.

as for Japan, note that I never ignored the threat to Seoul or the strategic ramifications.

I said that Japan could "probably incapacitate North Korea if it HAD TO"...emphasis added.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

I think that everyone is playing by bin Laden's playbook, and validating his dream of a grand war between Islam and the "Crusaders and Zionists". What 5 years ago was obviously ludicrous propaganda by al-Qaeda is getting closer and closer to being established fact.

Plus, on this side of the pond are the rapture watch folks.
Everybody has an agenda.

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on July 14, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

as for the actual topic of this thread:

1. yes, Hezbollah "captured" these soldiers. that's the correct term. (as opposed to the settler who was kidnapped and murdered..apparently by Hamas.)
2. such capture constituted an act of war by Lebanon (though for obvious reasons its best to downplay that). why? because the capture took place on sovereign Israeli territory. in other words, a quasi-official unit of the Lebanese military (Hezbollah has the only legal militia in Lebanon) invaded Israeli territory. that's an act of war.
3. why did this happen? well, most likely, this appears to be a power play by Hezbollah to take down the Lebanese government and take over. see Michael Young writing from Beirut for more on this.
4. is Iran behind this? well, Iran certainly exerts a great deal of influence behind both Hamas and Hezbollah...Iran wants to be the regional power, an Iranian proxy (Hezbollah) in control of Lebanon would certainly fit into that aspiration. does that mean that Iran has specific foreknowledge of this particular raid? nah, why would they?

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

You might be right, but some of my dad's friends were killed because they failed to appreciate the ability and determination of Japanese aviation.

Ability and determination is all well and good, but Japan has (1) very little intelligence about North Korean military capabilities and (2) no combat experience in over sixty years. The pilots who flew against America in WWII were part of a military that had already been fighting for over ten years by the time they took us on. North Korea has been spending the last fifty years obsessively preparing for another war -- Japan hasn't.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

No one even knows the nature of Irans nuclear program or where it is. How exactly will anyone establish the Mullahs are pulling the strings? Phone records? So much of this depends on the believing the Iranians are suicidal AND shrewd operators. This is just silliness. How brilliant was the WMD fiasco? Everyone was jumping around like paranoid sissies.

Out here in the fog it is hard to know what is going on. For the first time in history Israels existence is not threatened. They have been remarkably effective in eliminating conventional threats but they have not been able to stop the asymmetrical forces no matter how brutal they have been. One by one they are trying to eliminate the smaller threats. Cleaning up Hezbollah, if they can, should be on the list. Implicating Iran is just convenient and sets the political, if not military, stage for the future.

Posted by: bellumregio on July 14, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

You all might be right about Japan. They might be a bunch of pussies unwilling or unable to defend themselves, but in response I would remind you of two words: Hiroshima, Nagasaki.

The Japanese will move heaven and earth to prevent another atomic attack on their soil. Risking regional conflict would be unfortunate, but just who is going to defend North Korea? Loss of tourism, etc. would be regretable. Loss of a city would be unthinkable.

The Japanese possess one of the most technologically advanced economies on the planet. They build their F-15s under license. The don't import them.

The Japanese will not act with haste, and only if they get green lights from China and Russia, but they will act, lost tourism not withstanding. North Korea is playing a fools game. Like you they think the US is the only player in the region.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 14, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

I suspect the Israelis' intelligence on Iran is far superior to ours. The CIA has been incompetent ... I don't think they will allow Iran to get a bomb.
Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps.
Or the United States is being played by the most successful intelligence agency on the planet: The Mossad. Don't you find it a little too convinient that the "intelligence" is all geared to giving the Bush administration political cover for launching air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities?

When somethig is too good to be true, inspect it properly before purchase. Remember Iraq and the Niger Uranium forgeries.

Journalists should not let their natural admiration of Israel cloud their critical faculties when it come to acception information and "facts" from Israeli government agencies. Israel lives in the roughest space on the planet, so lying to advance the nation's interest comes as easily as breathing there.

We should be cautious.

Posted by: Nemesis on July 14, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory: I didn't call it you a "jibe"...you did. go read your own fricking comment.

You claimed, and you still claim, that your statement was a joke, and you're using the word "jibe" now. Since I used a synonym for "joke" in the context of discussing your claim that it was a joke, my use of the word is irrelevant, and your harping on the word is beyond pathetic, as is your claim that your indefensible falsehoods should be given a pass because you claim -- belatedly, as cmdicely pointed out -- it was in jest (look! Another synonym!).

The fact remains that jibe (joke, jest, whatever) or not, you attributed positions to cmdicely, Cranky Observer and myself that you utterly failed to demonstrate we hold. Indeed, in my case, you admitted you couldn't attribe the position to me -- but even now you refuse to offer the unqualified apology that your dishonesty demands.

There is little option but to conclude that you are a scurrilous liar, Nathan, in addition to being a spectacularly ill-informed and logically-challenged debater. Ford help your clients.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan sure has a lot of free time to post here for a working attorney. Ford help his "clients" indeed.

Although I'm not sure what kind of "clients" a first year dropout from an unaccredited law school would have.

Posted by: haha on July 14, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK


I'm sure they will find some way to blame Bush --
Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Yes.

Because it's his god damned fault.

His fault.

His father's fault.

For 40 years of fucking with the politics of the region. For their personal profit. Bush Crime Family.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on July 14, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory: the fact that you insist on taking that one phrase literally as an "attribution" is indicative of the fact that you are acting your age. I will play this game no more.


Stefan, Ron:

well, Japan's pilots actually get flying time second only to the U.S. and Israel (the advantage of having the 4th largest military budget in the world). on the other hand, they wouldn't act without getting the green light from us, and it would almost certainly be a coordinated action with the U.S. military. considering the threat to Seoul, I don't see it happening, short of a crisis so dire that we would be compelled to act as well. we're nowhere near that point. the ME (and don't ignore India-Pakistan) is far more of a present threat.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

haha, no more than Stefan et al.

there are these wonderful things called conference calls...split-screen doc review etc....

but you see, I'm intelligent enough to not take your jibe literally...

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

You all might be right about Japan. They might be a bunch of pussies unwilling or unable to defend themselves

Ron, as I've indicated above, it's unseemly to attribute positions to people that they have not indicated they hold. No one is questioning Japan's desire or capability to defend itself (although I'll note, again, that Japan relies on the US to do a lot of the heavy lifting), merely its ability to decapitate North Korea militarily, and the fact that the military and political consequences of a unilateral preemptive strike make the prospect unlikely.

I'll throw in the fact that since the US is obligated to defend Japan, a nuclear strike by North korea would invite a massive retaliation in kind by the US, North Korea knows it, and claims that NK -- or any other nation state, for that matter -- are crazy enough to do it anyway rely far more on assertion than evidence.

But seriously, Ron, let's leave the dishonest paraphrasing to the trolls, shall we?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan, sitting in your one-room apartment and talking on a 900 line doesn't really qualify as a "conference call". Nice try.

Posted by: haha on July 14, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

the fact that you insist on taking that one phrase literally as an "attribution"

Nathan, your protestations that your dishonesty should be given a free pass because it was in jest is a dog that just won't hunt, and all the hair-splitting over words can't disguise the fact that you implied that cmdicely, Cranky Observer and myself hold views that you utterly failed to demonstrate we hold. (See, Nathan, my advantage is that I don't need to rely on a particular word to demonstrate your dishonesty, rendering your hair-splitting impotent.)

The fact that you insist on defending your suggestion leaves little option but to conclude that you are a scurrilous liar utterly bereft of honor, Nathan, in addition to being a spectacularly ill-informed and logically-challenged debater. Ford help your clients.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Forget about the mechanics behind this: Israel is now America's mini-me, provoked into a panic by every little thing, and throlwing its weight around in ways guaranteed to create more enemies and more trouble for years to come.

The childishness would be pathetic if it weren't so destructive. And blaming Iran (deserved or not) is a handy way to avoid responsibility for the few things we should be able to control ourselves.

Posted by: Kenji on July 14, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK


MIKE K: Here she [Rachel Corrie] is. Pretty entertaining over here. Not very educational but some light relief all the same.

Exactly what is pretty entertaining about watching a young American woman who was committed to peace speak out in favor of it shortly before she was killed? How is it that this provides you with light relief? Would it been more entertaining...would your relief have been greater had you been able to actually watch the bulldozer run her down? Please make this video more educational by telling us all whether you are an ordinary sadist or a true ghoul..?


Posted by: jayarbee on July 14, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

ABSOLUTELY must see video of bullshit boy dealing
with the Middle East crisis over at onegoodmove:

http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2006/07/pig_man.html

Reminds me of his guitar strumming during Katrina...

Poor dolt... he is so dumb that if a reporter asked him what group of terrorists bombed Lebanon's airport he'd probably say bin Laden's.

He is...
So hopelessly hopelessly overwhelmed.

It is no longer tragicomic...

Posted by: koreyel on July 14, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji:

Ever since the first Gulf War, Israel has showed TREMENDOUS restraint. This is what they get for it.

Gregory:

And, as I pointed out in that thread, Nathan did nothing wrong.

OBF:

Of course, it's not the "fault" of Hezbollah for firing over 700+ rockets at Israeli towns so far? Last I checked, innocent Arabs lived in Haifa too.

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Exactly what is pretty entertaining about watching a young American woman who was committed to peace speak out in favor of it shortly before she was killed? How is it that this provides you with light relief?"

It's basically watching evolution at work outside the classroom. Not only was it entertaining, it was quite educational as well.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 14, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory

I will grant you that for 60 years the Japanese have thrived under the protection of the United States. Unfortunately right now the United States might not be available to protect Japan.

Why? We are tied down in the middle east--especially Iraq.

I am sorry if my language sounded troll like. It was certainly not directed at you or anyone in particular. It reflected my general impression that some in this thread are pretty casual about the Japanese having an independent point of view. The loss of tourism trumping the fear of another Hiroshima/Nagasaki, please.

As an aside I really think the term "troll" is thrown around with excessive but dismissive glee around here.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 14, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

as I pointed out in that thread, Nathan did nothing wrong.

Frankly, Charlie, Nathan should have taken your enthusiasm as evidence of how wrong he was, and been appropriately embarrassed.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

I absolutely agree with cmdicely that this is a sucker-punch to Israel the same way Iraq is a sucker-punch to us.

And it is precisely the agenda of al Qaeda -- once considered the paranoid rantings of a marginal suicide cult and now driving events in the greater Middle East.

It's all about them "Zionists and Crusaders."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or is the timing of this whole "Mid East crisis" all too convenient for Bush? Would anyone really be all that surpised if all the rash of recent kidnapping of Israeli soldiers were nothing more than a scheme cooked up by Rove and executed by the CIA to distract us from BushCo's plummeting poll numbers, tanking economy, disaster in Iraq, soaring oil prices, etc...

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on July 14, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian,

Thanks for the thoughtful and articulate post.

Posted by: thump on July 14, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately right now the United States might not be available to protect Japan.

With respect, Ron, our naval and air forces retain considerable ability to project power. In fact, I hope that the Aegis defense system, designed to protect ships against missile strikes, may be effective against short-range NK missiles.

Why? We are tied down in the middle east--especially Iraq.

I agree that Bush's strageic blunder limits our options. I just disagree that our ability to defend Japan is very much limited.

I am sorry if my language sounded troll like. It was certainly not directed at you or anyone in particular. It reflected my general impression that some in this thread are pretty casual about the Japanese having an independent point of view.

It isn't so much a matter of language as tactics, Ron. Your "general impression" doesn't justify creating straw men by assigning positions that have not been stated. Speaking of which, I further suggest that your indentification of a "general impression that some in this thread are pretty casual about the Japanese having an independent point of view" begs a citation. Who is questioning Japan having an "independent point of view"? I see no more evidence of that position than of Japan's so-called unwillingness to defend itself.

I won't use the word "troll," although I would maintain that some posters here have established a sufficient reputation that their opinions deserve nothing but gleeful dismissal. But seriously, Ron, let's leave the false paraphrasing to the intellectually dishonest Bush apologists, shall we?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, but not a sucker punch to the Israeli arms industry or the Kidama party. Operation "bat shit crazy" is working perfectly.

Posted by: AmericanHawk2.0 on July 14, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

While human activities rapidly degrade and destroy the capacity of the Earth to support life, humans will focus their time and energy on fighting bloody and destructive wars with each other. This is what the 21st century has in store. Civilization as we know it will not survive to see the 22nd century.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Well, there's a NYT news analysis piece just up that makes our point:

The big winners here are the radical groups. Egypt and Jordan -- the two Arab countries with treaties with Israel -- are being ostracized by the press and vehemently criticized by their own people. The more this shit carries on, the harder it is to take a moderate position.

Iran, and to a lesser extent, Syria, benefit from this politically. The regimes who've been scabrous against Irsael are considered heroic in the street.

Strategically I'm still not sure if there's a connection. But most certainly, Israel's disproportionate reaction has played into the hands of Islamist radicals across the region.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ron:

I'm flabbergasted to find myself agreeing with Gregory. Neither our naval nor our aviation assets are tied up in Iraq. (We'd be hard-stretched to occupy NK...but that's a different question...) Defending Japan is not an issue.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers wrote: As an aside I really think the term "troll" is thrown around with excessive but dismissive glee around here.

A "troll" is someone who "trolls" for attention by posting intentionally inflammatory, obnoxious and offensive comments -- as a fisherman "trolls" for fish by dragging a baited hook through the water.

A person who posts views or opinions that they actually sincerely hold, out of the same motivation to self-expression that inspires any of us to post our views and opinions on a public "bulletin board" like this one, is not really a "troll" no matter what the content of their comments.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Even if the person who posts views or opinions that they actually sincerely hold are deemed "inflammatory, obnoxious and offensive comments"?

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Here she is. Pretty entertaining over here. Not very educational but some light relief all the same.

Thanks for proving what a afucking asshole you are, Mike K. I suspected it all along, and now you've removed any doubt. I appreciate that.

What did she say that you find so amusing? That Israeli troops were crushing Palestinian water supply, destroying what little crops they could grow, and sytematically executing seemingly innocent men? At least she had the courage to do something about what she saw as wrong. While you hide in your spiderhole and trumpet the supposed triumphs of an inept and morally bankrupt President. And ridicule the actions of someone who tried to make a difference. You are beneath contempt. I genuinely feel sorry for you.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 14, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

Honestly, Secular, I don't think you (and a number of other regulars) have always been quite fair to our debating opponents here.

Plus, you tend to spit out boilerplate insults: "Bush-bootlicking mental slave" which are push-button regurgitations every bit as much (maybe more) as what you happen to be responding to.

Other than that, I consider you an intelligent ally who brings a lot of good information to the discussion.

I agree with Ron that we do tend to throw "troll" around too quickly here -- though like Potter Stewart on pornography, I think we all know it when we see it.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hey...just walked into a colleague's office to find a pile of clothes on the floor...and no colleague!

Similar disappearances are being reported up and down the block!

Should I phone someone?

Posted by: Wonderin on July 14, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm flabbergasted to find myself agreeing with Gregory.

Well, whaddaya know. Occasionaly you can be right.

It's a pity your honesty and honor don't measure up.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan

You are correct, but what happens if we find ourselves sucked into a wider war in the middle east while North Korea is acting up? I would bet that there are some folks in Toyoko wondering whether this administration can be trusted to walk and chew gum at the same time.

I will try to write in a less inflamatory manner, but watching the news this morning has been very upsetting. I kind of wonder if some of the recent events haven't been coordinated.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 14, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

wonderin:

When the Rapture comes -- can I have your car? :)

Freedom Fighter:

I know you were trying to be cute -- but no, the current Mideast conflagration doesn't help Bush politically except with his hardcore base of American jihadis who really *do* consider this a clash of civilizations. Problem is, they'd be with Bush on Iraq no matter what, so it makes little difference.

Otherwise it hurts Bush on two very important levels:

1) It serves to discredit the "building democracy in the Mideast" argument. Hamas and Hezbollah, the two main antagonists, were duly enfranchised at the ballot box by their respective populations.

2) Oil hit $78 on the spot market today, mainly due to jitters about the Mideast. That'll percolate through to the pumps at peak vacation time -- an just as the election season begins to heat up.

And since we have precious little to show for our presence in Iraq -- these regional dynamics take on an even more ominous signifance to Joe and Jane Voter.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

It's a pity your honesty and honor don't measure up.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 12:47 PM |

Now that is troll like. :)

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 14, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think you (and a number of other regulars) have always been quite fair to our debating opponents here.

Bob, with all due respect, honest debate demands fairness of course, but there's no reason at all to give a free pass the serial dishonesty, straw men, regurigtated but long-debunked GOP talking points and general bullshit spewed by the dishonest Bush apologists like Charlie here, even if, like tbrosz, they could occasionally summon an honest argument.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

signifance = significance

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Now that is troll like. :)

Ron, I think this thread, not to mention the other one, establishes Nathan's dishonesty. He bizarrely attributed to myself, cmdicely and Cranky Observer positions we did not hold, and when called on it, first tried to insist that the characterization was apt, then tried to pass it off as a joke.

The honorable thing to have done would have been to admit his error, but Nathan insists on not doing so -- as you can see here, he insists it's the fault of those who don't buy his arguments.

(By contrast, you deserve credit for acknowledging, at least tacitly, that your unsupportable attributions were out of line.)

As I said, I see no reason to give such dishonesty a free pass. No one forced Nathan to debase himself as he has done, so let's call a spade a spade, shalle we?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, I have never posted a view or opinion that I don't actually sincerely hold.

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

And since we have precious little to show for our presence in Iraq -- these regional dynamics take on an even more ominous signifance to Joe and Jane Voter.

Word. Hamas and Hezbollah were obviously not intimidated out of provoking Israel. Some claimed that the US invasion of Iraq would intimidate regional actors into behaving, but such is obviously not the case.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

wonderin:

When the Rapture comes -- can I have your car? :)


Well, sure...I don't see why not. Besides, I've been coveting my neighbor's car for some time now, and he's sure to be Raptured up.

Posted by: Wonderin on July 14, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

Of course. This is a lefty blog, and smacking down right-wing talking points is one of the main attractions, certainly for myself as well.

But form is not content. When the responses to our antagonists begin to take on a formulaic quality and when the arguments become *primarily* character-based and ad hominem ... then I think one needs to sort of step back and reflect a little.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

Exactly. It worked in reverse.

Just as all the anti-warriors said it would prior to the invasion.

I dunno about you, but I'm getting a little sick of feeling like Cassandra.

It really is a rather cold compensation, given the scope of this disaster.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Bush-bootlicking mental slave"

I prefer to think of myself as The Burning Bush from which all enlightnment is available. Ask and ye shall receive.

Stefan, we attempted to compress the rapidity of our bombing of Baghdad into such a tight bundle that it would absolutely convince the Iraqis they'd be wasting their time fighting us. Yes, it was to break their psychological will to fight. That is the purpose of war, after all, since war is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will. (Clausewitz). So to the extent that you feel war is terrorism, so was shock and awe. But no more.

We also took extraordinary pains to avoid collateral damage, avoiding hitting sites that had potential for 20 or more civilian casualties if we hit them (according to book, Cobra II, and another whose name escapes me). We also dropped endless leaflets informing them of the futility of resistance.

Shock and Awe was a flop. With all the press preceeding it, it was like going to see The Sixth Sense knowing Bruce Willis is a ghost. So guess what? We ended up hitting the targets with civilians nearby after all, as they were valuable to the more traditional sense of destroying the enemy's ability to fight. I'm sure that ultimately caused more terror in the populace than bombing empty palaces and other symbols of the state.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 14, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Here she is. Pretty entertaining over here. Not very educational but some light relief all the same.

Thanks for proving what a afucking asshole you are, Mike K. I suspected it all along, and now you've removed any doubt. I appreciate that."

You're welcome. To be attacked by juvenile delinquents, especially of the jihadist type, is a compliment.

"What did she say that you find so amusing?"

I liked the expression on her face as sher burned the American flag in her support of jihad. I posted the interview. Can't you speak English ?

"That Israeli troops were crushing Palestinian water supply, destroying what little crops they could grow, and sytematically executing seemingly innocent men? "

No, actually they were closing a tunnel like the one used by the Hamas jihadists to kidnap the Israeli corporal. The Palestinians showed how concerned with growing crops they are when they destroyed the big greenhouses left for them in Gaza. They could have produced a whole industry of growing fresh vegetables. The only thing the Palestinians grow is suicide bombers.

"At least she had the courage to do something about what she saw as wrong. While you hide in your spiderhole and trumpet the supposed triumphs of an inept and morally bankrupt President. And ridicule the actions of someone who tried to make a difference. You are beneath contempt. I genuinely feel sorry for you.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain?"

I don't think you do. I think you are another supporter of the mindless radical utopianism that masquerades as Islam these days. It has taken up the banner dropped by Joseph Stalin. It is now provoking severe retaliation on itself as it knows no way to live in peace with those who do not adopt its nasty and illogical beliefs. Sort of like you. Why don't you volunteer for jihad ? I'm sure there are plenty of openings now in Hamas.

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote: I don't think you (and a number of other regulars) have always been quite fair to our debating opponents here.

I'm not sure in what way I have been "unfair."

I do endeavor to distinguish between "trolls" and sincere commenters. For example, the individual who posted for a long time as "conspiracy nut" was a classic "troll" -- he posted little more than inane insults that had no real content and were obviously intended only to provoke a response and get him the attention that he craved. The individual who originally posted as "Don P" and more recently has been posting as "GOP", is another troll, though he "trolls" for a different sort of attention -- he likes to draw people into long, drawn-out, pointless, dishonest and deliberately time-wasting arguments for the sake of argument.

On the other hand, the individual who posts here as "rdw", regardless of my low opinion of what he has to say, is clearly not a "troll" -- he is clearly posting to express his actual views and opinions and his (in my view bizarre and baseless) theories about what's going on in the world, and not simply to get attention.

rmck1: you tend to spit out boilerplate insults: "Bush-bootlicking mental slave"

My characterization of certain commenters as neo-fascist brownshirt Bush-bootlicking mental slaves who are incapable of doing anything but regurgitating the turds that they gobble from Rush Limbaugh's stinking toilet bowl and the bile that they slurp from the toxic sewer that is Fox News is, indeed, boilerplate, but those words are carefully chosen, and I use them only whe I mean them, and I don't mind re-using them when I think they are applicable to a particular individual.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

It reflected my general impression that some in this thread are pretty casual about the Japanese having an independent point of view. The loss of tourism trumping the fear of another Hiroshima/Nagasaki, please.

Just to jump back in for a second, my remark about "tourism" (as an example of the potential damage to the Japanese economy) was in response to the question "Anyway, what would Japan care if North Korea attacked South?" It was therefore a comment meant to indicate that Japan could indeed have very much reason to fear North Korean aggression, and not at all the claim above that they would let their concern for tourism trump another Hiroshima. I don't see how it can be interpreted as my saying the Japanese don't have an independent point of view.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K has obviously been drinking today. He is even more incoherent, dishonest and vicious than usual.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

That is the purpose of war, after all, since war is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will. (Clausewitz). So to the extent that you feel war is terrorism, so was shock and awe. But no more.

Perhaps it's me, but I find little moral distinction between an "act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will" and your earlier definition of terrorism as an "act of terror...whose purpose is to instill terror and fear" since, after all, that terror and fear is intended to compel the victim of the terror to fulfill the terrorist's will.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

We also took extraordinary pains to avoid collateral damage, avoiding hitting sites that had potential for 20 or more civilian casualties if we hit them (according to book, Cobra II, and another whose name escapes me).

20 or less, though, too bad. So if a terrorist in Israel took extraordinary pains to avoid bombing a bus, say, or an office that had potential for 20 or more civilian casualties, would that be OK? What if, just to be safe, he confined himself to only a round dozen civilian casualties?

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

When the responses to our antagonists begin to take on a formulaic quality and when the arguments become *primarily* character-based and ad hominem ... then I think one needs to sort of step back and reflect a little.

I don't really disagree, with the caveat that it's enough to dismiss, formulaic as it may sound, a straw man argument as a straw man argument (to my vast amusement, tbrosz once huffed that I just identified one of his many straw men as such without engaging his bogus argument).

I dunno about you, but I'm getting a little sick of feeling like Cassandra.

Oh, now, Bob, I don't think there's any justification in feeling like that.

Cassandra is acknowleged now to have been right. The Bush Apoloigists will never, ever, ever admit as much.

I see Red State Mike basically admits that "Shock and Awe" was "an act whose purpose is to instill terror and fear" in civilians ("break their psychological will to fight"), and that it did in fact instill terror, dropping in a nice little straw man ("So to the extent that you feel war is terrorism") along the way.

He also admits that it was a flop. That's right, Mike -- it sure didn't break the will of the Iraqis to resist. And, of course, as has been established, Bush's Excellent adventure has hardly discouraged the foes of the United States or Israel. So that's what we get for our 2500 lives and billions of dollars!

But his admissions of Bush and Rumsfeld's incompetence is all the more reason I'm disappointed he didn't address my other questions:

Are you claiming that, since Israel claims to be targeting things and not people, but there are significant numbers of civilian casualties in Lebanon, that suggests Israel is the gang that couldn't shoot straight?

And more importantly, are you really saying unintentional civilian casualites -- which you admit we caused during S&A -- undercuts the whole raison d'etre?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Secular:

That's funny, because I have a kind of diametric view of c-nut and Wooten.

I think they're both classic trolls, to be sure. I'd call Red State Mike, Steve White and even Don P. more like sincere conservatives here to have an honest debate with political opposites.

Perpeller Head (my quasi-affectionate nickname for conspiracy nut) was a deliberate pain in the ass, to be sure. But he had two redeeming qualities: He had a sense of humor about himself and what he was doing, and he was one of the few people here of any political persuasion who would actually apologize when he was caught out on a factual error. I've give him high props for both of those things.

Take them away, and with the same general I'm-here-to-be-an-asshole orientation and you get Jay and Birkel. Ewww ...

Wooten, OTHO, *is* a perfectly sincere guy who's revealed biographical info about himself. He's not some Young Republican in Mom's basement. But he comes here with the extremely grandiose idea of strafing our entire worldview with the expressed purpose of pissing us off. There's something distastefully narcissistic about the way he praises Bush and Reagan to the skies, knowing full well how we're going to react. It'a a Marie Antionette quality that's totally obnoxious -- and he is entirely self-aware of it being so. He's also exceedingly repetitious.

So while I have more respect for him than I do for, say, Al or Frequency Kenneth -- he's still more deserving of some of the flames he gets than others.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

What about my sincerely-held views and opinions?

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Mike K has obviously been drinking today. He is even more incoherent, dishonest and vicious than usual.

Posted by: SecularAnimist "

Another brilliant debating point from our hero. Excellent !

Actually, it's a little early in the day for me. Nice of you to defend the jihadists.

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie posting as "Doug M" wrote: What about my sincerely-held views and opinions?

When you post sincerely-held views and opinions I don't consider you to be a troll, regardless of my opinion of your views and opinions.

On the other hand, when you post inane bids for attention like your "hypothetical question" yesterday about how Democratic and/or liberal commenters would have reacted if a President Gore had done the exact same things as President Bush, then you are doing nothing more than "trolling" for attention, and then I do consider you to be a troll.

I don't know why you are asking me this, though, since I have been on your "Ignore List" for a long time.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Secular:

I agree that the "hypothetical question" yesterday was inane and pointless -- and doubtless, in that instance, deserving of the troll appellation.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K wrote: Nice of you to defend the jihadists.

I haven't "defended" anyone. And you are the one defending the deliberate murder of a US citizen. You are a lying sack of shit, subhuman scum and beneath contempt.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Secular:

Mike K has a distinctly CHUDish quality sometimes, to be sure :) Also, the rhetorical questions with the disembodied question mark ? -- is a bit on the 13-year-old K3w| DoO0d side, especially for guy self-identified as an MD.

Gregory:

I have very little trouble debating with Red State Mike. Probably because I recognize that he's military, so I don't try to go at his basic premises with a hacksaw. Often, we find points of agreement and end the discussion there.

And I consider that the mark of a gentleman and not trollish at all.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist and Bob:

I don't know about no "Ignore List", but the hypothetical question I asked was sincere and (in reverse, as soon as I had typed it) was self-searching as well -- I had to admit I would probably have second thoughts about Gore lied, troops died too -- which gave me a new perspective on your side's opposition to Bush. Whether you believe it or not, it was not "pointless" to me.

Besides, it's not even accurate that sincere (non-hypothetical) posts are treated with respect around here. I first posted on that thread my sincere belief that Ralph Reed was going to win Tuesday's primary and, for my effort, got called out as a troll my two posters, as well as "ignorant neo-Confederate cracker", a "gullible rube", a "retarded Kevin Drum doppelgnger wannabe" and (my personal favorite) either "so emotionally vested in these political lampreys that truth and fact no longer mean anything" to me, or, a catch-all "just plain stupid."

Another "Doug" went so far as: "It renders everything else you say instantly vulnerable to dismissal of the 'What a dumbass this guy is' variety, and you don't want that, do you?"

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Et tu, Douglas?

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Doug M.:

My bad -- I had confused Don P -- a genuine obnoxious troll -- in my mind with you, just because of the first letter "D" and the initial.

I had meant to include you in my list of sincere conservatives along with RSM and Steve White.

Don P. is a troll and not a sincere anything.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks.

Posted by: Doug M. on July 14, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Perhaps it's me, but I find little moral distinction between an "act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will" and your earlier definition of terrorism as an "act of terror...whose purpose is to instill terror and fear" since, after all, that terror and fear is intended to compel the victim of the terror to fulfill the terrorist's will.

I will ponder on it a bit. I do find a distinction between cutting off heads of innocent civilians, and killing civilians while targeting a command center. At a minimum, using the word "terror" for both causes it to lose the ability to discriminate between the two. Next thread.

Gregory
I see Red State Mike basically admits that "Shock and Awe" was "an act whose purpose is to instill terror and fear" in civilians

RSM makes no such admission whatsoever (don't you hate it when people talk about you like you're not there?) Shock and Awe had as its purpose... to shock and to awe the populace as to our might so they'll decide not to fight. At one point, the idea of bombing a stretch of desert was bandied about, like a monstrous fireworks show.

He also admits that it was a flop.

Again, RSM makes no such *admission* since the word "admit" implies I ever defended it. It was always a stupid idea.

That's right, Mike -- it sure didn't break the will of the Iraqis to resist.

Echo, echo, echo...

And, of course, as has been established, Bush's Excellent adventure has hardly discouraged the foes of the United States or Israel.

No it has not been established. At all. Look at Libya as an example of the opposite.

Are you claiming that, since Israel claims to be targeting things and not people, but there are significant numbers of civilian casualties in Lebanon, that suggests Israel is the gang that couldn't shoot straight?

whew! Quite a statement you are trying to stick on me. I think Israel has hit exactly what they have aimed for.

Your premise that Israel somehow owns the skies and can force down commercial airliners willy-nilly and therefore need not block the airport is an opinion based on a distinct lack of understanding of air warfare and the ease with which planes avoid detection. The place to stop an airplane is on the ground. Duh. Since you base your whole presumption that Israel is bombing the airport merely for punitive measures on this entirely false concept of air control, your presumption is false.

And more importantly, are you really saying unintentional civilian casualites -- which you admit we caused during S&A (ed: there's that "admission" word again!!) -- undercuts the whole raison d'etre?

I am saying it is both a practical and an ethical tradeoff.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 14, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Doug M:

Don't get too broken-nosed about it, though. This is a lefty blog. Imagine any one of us liberal PA regulars on LGF, InstaPundit or (gods forbid) FreeRepublic.

We'd be flamed to pieces and then our posts would be deleted.

You have a Georgian perspective. The blog's main audience is Californian (from when Kevin was CalPundit) and Blue State.

The hostility you feel is in large part simply a function of the country's cultural divide. I mean, hey ... I had a girlfriend from in-country Georgia for a while.

Thing was, we *never* talked politics :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: Mike K has a distinctly CHUDish quality sometimes, to be sure

Mike K on this particular thread is gleefully celebrating the deliberate murder of Rachel Corrie, a US citizen, and posting slanderous lies that anyone who doesn't do likewise is "supporting jihadists". Mike K is exhibiting the sociopathic mental attributes of any jihadist supporter of Osama Bin Laden, or a Nazi brownshirt, or a serial killer. And his comments today are entirely consistent with his previous behavior on these threads in which he has advocated the mass murder of Arabs and/or Muslims. He is a disgrace to the human species.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1
Don't get too broken-nosed about it, though. This is a lefty blog. Imagine any one of us liberal PA regulars on LGF, InstaPundit or (gods forbid) FreeRepublic.

We'd be flamed to pieces and then our posts would be deleted.

It would be ugly, yes. I've been tempted to post there as Blue State Mike and see what happens.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 14, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Shock and Awe had as its purpose... to shock and to awe the populace as to our might so they'll decide not to fight.

But isn't that essentially the aim of terrorism -- to shock and awe the targeted population so they will eventually give in to you? As the IRA tried to do in Northern Ireland, for example, or the PLO in Israel?

I will ponder on it a bit. I do find a distinction between cutting off heads of innocent civilians, and killing civilians while targeting a command center. At a minimum, using the word "terror" for both causes it to lose the ability to discriminate between the two. Next thread.

What if we move away from the cutting of heads example, though, and consider bombing, which most terrorism consists of? What would be the distinction between (i) killing civilians while targetting a command center, as our military does, and (ii) killing civilians while targetting a military or command asset of the enemy (such as the Cole or the Marine barracks or our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania), such as the enemy does? Is it possible to draw a clear ethical line between the two?

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

More importantly, the only way for Israel to avoid civilian casualties and still interdict air travel to and from Lebanon is to destroy the runways. Would you prefer that they shot down commercial airliners?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, embassies are not a military target. They have diplomatic protection.

But yes, an attack on a military target with inadvertent civilian casualties is not an act of terrorism. Agreed.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

Remember, Nathan is someone that felt it was relevant and appropriate in a political discussion to raise the sexual history of one of his opponents and try to use that both to distract from the topic as well as to try and discredit that poster. This is of course only one of many examples of Nathan's dishonest argumentation approach. You know this as well as I do, as does Stefan and Cranky Observer along with many others here. So that he falsely attributes things to posters is simply another of his regular tactics, especially when he is in trouble within the argument itself, not to mention his absolute goalpost mobility factor.

This is why I classified him as Trolletariat, along with conspiracy nut (when he was here), GOP/DonP (although a different troll technique than most of the Trolletariat here) and a few others. I have to agree that rdw is not, although given his faith based beliefs it can be hard to tell at times, and Red State Mike is clearly not Trolletariat but someone that honestly holds the beliefs that he does, although he does occasionally have a bad habit of assuming facts not in evidence regarding the reasoning/motivations of other posters/commentators here, but then that is hardly sufficient to be classified as a troll IMHO.

In any event the smack downs you, Stefan, and Cranky gave him in the Plame/Novak thread was most enjoyable, especially since he clearly weaseled through his attempts to claim that what he said was a joke when clearly it was false implication and attribution.

Well, enjoy yourselves, I have to take off for a while.

"Scotian,

Thanks for the thoughtful and articulate post." Posted by: thump on July 14, 2006 at 12:17 PM

You are most welcome, glad to be of service.

I think that everyone is playing by bin Laden's playbook, and validating his dream of a grand war between Islam and the "Crusaders and Zionists". What 5 years ago was obviously ludicrous propaganda by al-Qaeda is getting closer and closer to being established fact. Posted by: cmdicely on July 14, 2006 at 11:10 AM

Id say this accords with my own observations of this whole idiocy. Which is truly frightening given how accessible those propaganda claims were to the public and therefore to the policy makers as well. This is why I have said before that Bushco by its actions looks like a bin Laden operative doing all possible to weaken American power, discredit American credibility, and confirm all of Osamas darkest claims regarding American intentions in the ME/Arab/Muslim worlds.

Posted by: Scotian on July 14, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote regarding Red State Mike: And I consider that the mark of a gentleman and not trollish at all.

As I'm engaging in debate with Mike on this very thread, I hope it's obviosu i don't consider him a troll, and I don't believe I referred to him as one.

RSM: I will ponder on it a bit. I do find a distinction between cutting off heads of innocent civilians, and killing civilians while targeting a command center

Nice bit of sleight of hand there, Mike. Yes, there are things the terrorists do that we, as a rule, don't (cut the heads off prisoners). And yes, legitimate military targets can be struck even if so-called "collateral damage" results. What you're being challenged on -- and I hope you do sincerely ponder -- is the wide middle ground: The US campaign that you can't quite admit was intended to terrorize Iraq's populace into submission, or Israel's delibrate destruction of a civilian target whose only obvious purpose, again, is to instill terror in the civilian populace.

At a minimum, using the word "terror" for both causes it to lose the ability to discriminate between the two.

You're getting warmer, Mike.

Frankly, Mike your denial that the purpose of "Shock and Awe" was "an act whose purpose is to instill terror and fear" in civilians -- preferring instead the tautology that its purpose was to intill "shock and awe" -- is far from convincing. (Of course, it's irrelevant that "the idea of bombing a stretch of desert was bandied about," since the actual attacks were not conducted that way.) Regardless of its effectiveness, how exactly was "Shock and Awe" not "an act whose purpose is to instill terror and fear" in civilians?

Look at Libya as an example of the opposite.

Oh, bullshit. I expect better of you, Mmike, than to offer up such a lame chestnut. Libya has been an international pariah for decades, Qadafi was directly targeted for an airstrike by Ronald Reagan, and the country has been making conciliatory overtures for some time. "Correlation equals causation" is one of the classic fallacies, and Libya -- for which there's much to suggest was motivated by reasons other than Bush's excellent adventure in Iraq -- is a perfect example.

Meanwhile, of course, Iran and North Korea are escalating tensions, not behaving in a conciliatory manner, and Israel just suffered a provocation on two fronts. Yes, it's safe to say that it's been established that none of these actors were intimidated by Bush's Folly. That dog won't hunt, Mike.

Quite a statement you are trying to stick on me.

Of course -- you said it! You said that, if groups you identify as terrorists claimed they were attacking a thing, but caused a large number of civilian casualties, they would be seen as "the gang that couldn't shoot straight." So: Israel claims to be attacking Hezbollah, or military targets, but is causing large numbers of civilian casualties. So how, exactly, does your own argument not apply to them?

I am saying it is both a practical and an ethical tradeoff.

Well, first of all, easy for you to make that tradeoff, Mike, because it isn't your whole family being killed. But how is it a "practical and an ethical tradeoff"? And is it, in fact, practical? Again -- you said that terrorists who claim to be attacking an inanimate target that caused large number of civilian casualties would "undercut the whole raison d'etre." So how does your own statement not apply to the Israel in Lebanon and the US in Iraq?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian, I would say that your supposed Wilt Chamberlain past was fair game for Nathan (although I otherwise consider him a troll) since you yourself bragged about it.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, since Hezbollah's rockets are not aimed at military targets and neither are the suicide bombers of Hamas, it is fair to characterize them as terrorists of the first order, as opposed to attacking a military target with the intended effect of striking fear into a civilian population, which may be terrorism of the second order.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

It's often a mark of desperation when someone spoofs another poster's identity.

I did not post the following (although I dont' dispute it):

Stefan, embassies are not a military target. They have diplomatic protection.

But yes, an attack on a military target with inadvertent civilian casualties is not an act of terrorism. Agreed.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

I also did not post the following, and it does not reflect my opinion:

More importantly, the only way for Israel to avoid civilian casualties and still interdict air travel to and from Lebanon is to destroy the runways. Would you prefer that they shot down commercial airliners?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

(By the way, Israel did more than "destroy runways;" they bombed a fuel depot, resulting in a massive black plume of smoke visible for miles.)

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike: I do find a distinction between cutting off heads of innocent civilians, and killing civilians while targeting a command center.

Certainly there are several distinctions. For example, cutting off heads of innocent civilians one by one, especially when done with hand tools, is hard physical labor, thus not a very efficient way of killing large numbers of innocent civilians. However, it is very low-tech, and inexpensive, and thus it is a method readily available to those without access to expensive technology. Whereas killing innocent civilians by aerial bombardment is highly efficient at killing large numbers of innocent civilians, for those who can afford the technology required for aerial bombardments. And there are other distinctions: a person who kills innocent civilians by cutting off their heads has to "get his hands dirty", and directly deal with the victim's dying screams of pain and fear, whereas a person who kills innocent civilians by dropping bombs or launching missiles can avoid direct contact with the bloody dismemberment that the bombs or missiles cause. Thus it is psychologically easier for the aerial bomber to dismiss his victims as "collateral damage".

At a minimum, using the word "terror" for both causes it to lose the ability to discriminate between the two.

On the other hand, I don't think that is a significant distinction. Both methods of killing induce terror in the victims, and in others who are given cause to fear that they may become victims. If anything, the killing of larger numbers of innocent civilians by aerial bombardment probably induces more terror.

It really becomes tiresome after a while listening to people justify their own (or their government's) mass murder of innocents this way. It's one reason I have pretty much tuned out arguments between Israelis and Palestinians, or their advocates. All they ever seem to have to say is "our murder of innocents is justified, but yours is not".

When enough human beings reach the stage where they choose to refrain from violence even when they think that violence would be "justified", then perhaps there will be hope for the human species.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

The hostility you feel is in large part simply a function of the country's cultural divide.

With all due respect, Bob, speak for yourself. The well-deserved hostility toward Charlie/Cheney/Chuckles/Doug M is due to his relentless dishonesty.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, embassies are not a military target. They have diplomatic protection.

Very true. My language was indistinct, and I meant to include them in the "commander centers." Of course, the diplomatic protection is also only extended by the host state, and wouldn't be respected by terrorists.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

of course, the bombing of a fuel depot prevents planes from flying (since they need fuel) and is thus a method of avoiding shooting them down and causing casualties. so, it is a rather restrained tactic.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

More dishonesty on someone's part. I posted neither of these comments:

Scotian, I would say that your supposed Wilt Chamberlain past was fair game for Nathan (although I otherwise consider him a troll) since you yourself bragged about it.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmmmmmmm....wonder who really posted that? ;)

Of course, since Hezbollah's rockets are not aimed at military targets and neither are the suicide bombers of Hamas, it is fair to characterize them as terrorists of the first order, as opposed to attacking a military target with the intended effect of striking fear into a civilian population, which may be terrorism of the second order.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, the most recent action on the part of Hamas/Hezbollah was directed against uniformed soldiers, not civilians, and so was not an act of terrorism (although certainly provocative, and probably an act of war).

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Secular:

I fundamentally agree. That's why I find troll anatomies more interesting on this thread than debating the issue.

Suicide terrorism / overwhelming military response which kills civilians has always struck me as two sides of the same deeply immoral coin.

Can't really criticize one without criticizing the other -- at least in moral terms.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course, the diplomatic protection is also only extended by the host state, and wouldn't be respected by terrorists."

Which is why intentionally attacking an embassy (as opposed to the old map of Belgrade) is a terrorist act by any definition. Actually, all embassies are protected, not just by the host state.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike wrote: Look at Libya as an example of the opposite.

Read Ron Suskind's new book. He completely demolishes the myth -- which is to say the deliberately dishonest propaganda of the Bush administration -- that Libya's actions had anything whatsoever to do with a reaction to the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Although he or she ejoys the benefit of anonymity, whoever is posting under my name is tacitly admitting he or she is a dishonorable individual incapable of honest debate.

The following comment is not mine:

"Of course, the diplomatic protection is also only extended by the host state, and wouldn't be respected by terrorists."

Which is why intentionally attacking an embassy (as opposed to the old map of Belgrade) is a terrorist act by any definition. Actually, all embassies are protected, not just by the host state.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK M

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

And since the attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah were arguable attacks by state actors, Israel is arguably justified in invading and occupying Gaza and Lebanon.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Man I'm so frickin' jealous of you guys ...

Nobody's ever taken the trouble to spoof li'l ol' rmck1 ... *sniff*

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

I do, however, agree with the other Gregory.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

Obviously, the 2:38 comment is not yours either.

This is getting to be an argument for handle registration ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't you volunteer for jihad ? I'm sure there are plenty of openings now in Hamas.
Posted by: Mike K

Oh, so everyone in Palestine is a jihadist? Go fuck yourself, you worthless cocksucker.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 14, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

The dishonest poster contineus to hijack my identity, and offers rather lame arguments for defending Israel's actions.

of course, the bombing of a fuel depot prevents planes from flying (since they need fuel) and is thus a method of avoiding shooting them down and causing casualties. so, it is a rather restrained tactic.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

There is no evidence that the destruction of the fuel depots were necessary to prevent innocent air traffic. Civilian air traffic was grounded, with some of lebanon's aircraft -- as I understand it -- evacuated from the country. And, of course, again, Israel enjoys total air superiority over Lebanon.

So to the contrary -- any aircraft that did fly would presumably be terrorist in nature, and thus not only legitimate targets but ones Israel is supposedly engaging in military actions expressly to destroy. In that case, "restrained tactics" do not seem to be appropriate, and in light of the civilian casualties by Israel's non-restrained tactics elsewhere, quite out of character.

Thus, this lame explanation of Israel's attack doesn't pass the sniff test. It remains to be explained how the attack on the airport was not an attack on a civilian target intended to terrorize civilians.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

I did not post the following either:

And since the attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah were arguable attacks by state actors, Israel is arguably justified in invading and occupying Gaza and Lebanon.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:38 PM PERMALINK

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Of course I'm just a lifeless asshole who like cool stuff like bar fights with broken bottles cuz I really have neither moral integrity nor anything substantive to add to the discussion.

And besides, all the neighborhood kittens have been taken inside since my last game with the microwave.

Posted by: Gregory's Doppelganger on July 14, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

"mck1: Mike K has a distinctly CHUDish quality sometimes, to be sure

Mike K on this particular thread is gleefully celebrating the deliberate murder of Rachel Corrie, a US citizen, and posting slanderous lies that anyone who doesn't do likewise is "supporting jihadists". Mike K is exhibiting the sociopathic mental attributes of any jihadist supporter of Osama Bin Laden, or a Nazi brownshirt, or a serial killer. And his comments today are entirely consistent with his previous behavior on these threads in which he has advocated the mass murder of Arabs and/or Muslims. He is a disgrace to the human species.

Posted by: SecularAnimist"

The post originally was in response to a typically nasty one supporting the Rachel Corrie people who are jihadists. If you spend two minutes looking at their site you will see this.

You seem to think that obscenity and toilet rhetoric makes you sound more powerful. I don't have time to deal with your problems in self image. I do use humor at times to deflect the drooling juvenile responses to attempts to engage the left in serious debate. I wouldn't even attempt this at DailyKos or MyDD but it used to be possible here.

No more, I'm afraid. It does interest me how the political left has adopted the Palestinians. Were they to actually have any power over your own lives, you would feel a bit differently, I suspect. It might be a latent anti-Semitism. I don't know. I do see a touch of it at DailyKos, like the post yesterday about how nice it would be for everyone (except a few, of course) if Israel really did not exist.

Not being a psychiatrist, I can't figure out the thought process except it's a rage against parents and other authority figures. It is also significant that the average age at Yearly Kos was apparently well above 40. Some of that is economics but a lot may be a generation thing. The kids I teach seem too smart to get taken in by all this once they get a bit of the world to compare to the classroom nonsense.

The death of Rachel Corrie was an accident unless she jumped in front of the bulldozer as a jihadi act but then she should have had a bomb belt. It was by no means murder, at least by Israel. That you folks are so fixated on this case suggests an ulterior motive. That's all I was saying. Your heavy breathing rage about the incident is an interesting phenomenon, sort of like the excitement about whether Hiss was a spy or the rage of the Communists against the Allies until Hitler invaded Russia. It is an indicator of your thinking and has little or nothing to do with facts.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously, the 2:38 comment is not yours either.

The second one, this one:

And since the attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah were arguable attacks by state actors, Israel is arguably justified in invading and occupying Gaza and Lebanon.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

(Of course, I never aid Israel was not justified in taking military action; I simply question its methods and their effectiveness.)

...and this one:

I do, however, agree with the other Gregory.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'm delighted to see that someone is so despairing of posting a convincing and honest argument that they resort to these tactics.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

The reason that pacifism is a tendency of the left moreso than a tendency of the right is that liberals tend towards the insight that violence begets violence and the end of violence ultimately requires that an act of violence is answered with an act of non-violence.

People caught in a brutish mindset of reaction have trouble seeing that.

Christ mentioned turning the other cheek.

So-called Christians like Charlie masquerading as Cheney, Doug M, etc. don't seem to understand.

People like Mike K--don't know if he calls himself a Christian--just believe that violence is the way to solve problems.

Posted by: obscure on July 14, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ultimately, Israel's actions are not the issue. I believe that Bush and Iran are in cahoots, conspiring to destabilize the Middle East together so that they may mutually profit from the rising price of oil.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, the fake Gregory will reject that hypothesis, insisting that I have a tinfoil hat. But considering Reagan and G.H.W. Bush's history with Iran it makes too much sense for them not to be involved together.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist
When enough human beings reach the stage where they choose to refrain from violence even when they think that violence would be "justified", then perhaps there will be hope for the human species.

That day will never come. It takes two to have a peace, but one to have a war. There will always be Saddams waiting in the wings. We're just going to have to muddle through the best we can.

Since there's no hope...can I have your car?

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 14, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

The fake Gregory said:
"(Of course, I never aid Israel was not justified in taking military action; I simply question its methods and their effectiveness.)" and lamely attacked my actual remarks as not mine.

Actually, I believe that Israel, as an illegitimate state, should withdraw its troops, open its borders and let the Palestinians return, immediately holding real elections, recognizing that a majority-Palestinian government will result.

They should also establish a South-African style Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I think we can take this series of spoofed comments as an admission of defeat. The following are not mine:

Ultimately, Israel's actions are not the issue. I believe that Bush and Iran are in cahoots, conspiring to destabilize the Middle East together so that they may mutually profit from the rising price of oil.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, the fake Gregory will reject that hypothesis, insisting that I have a tinfoil hat. But considering Reagan and G.H.W. Bush's history with Iran it makes too much sense for them not to be involved together.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

I do find it amusing that this fake has to raise so many straw men in an attempt to distract from Israel's actions.

Posted by: Gregory (the real one) on July 14, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

The following comments are not mine, nor do they reflect my opinions.

The fake Gregory said:
"(Of course, I never aid Israel was not justified in taking military action; I simply question its methods and their effectiveness.)" and lamely attacked my actual remarks as not mine.

Actually, I believe that Israel, as an illegitimate state, should withdraw its troops, open its borders and let the Palestinians return, immediately holding real elections, recognizing that a majority-Palestinian government will result.

They should also establish a South-African style Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Aside from the dishonesty of hijacking someone's identity, it's interesting, again, that this individual is raising so many straw men. I take it, then, that the issues I and others have raised are too uncomfortable for some to deal with honestly.

Folks, I'm going to play on other threads. I trust y'all will be able to spot the fakes.

Posted by: Gregory (the real one) on July 14, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K wrote: You seem to think that obscenity and toilet rhetoric makes you sound more powerful.

No, I think that you are an ignorant, dishonest assshole who has repeatedly expressed your glee over the callous murder of an American citizen. As such I see no distinction between you and any jihadist supporter of Osama Bin Laden. You are every bit as much an enemy of America as any of Bin Laden's followers. Fortunately you are a feeble-minded, impotent twit and not able to do much harm, other than posting your loathsome excrement here.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

One last comment:

There will always be Saddams waiting in the wings.

Saddam surely has a history of aggression, Mike, but you may want to check who initiated hostilites this time around.

We're just going to have to muddle through the best we can.

Alas, there's precious little evidence that the present Administration's policies are "the best we can." If so, Ford help us.

Posted by: Gregory (the real one) on July 14, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Before I go, I should point out that I do believe that Israel is at least 90% at fault in the current situation. Hezbollah and Hamas rightfully reflect the sovereign determinations of their respective peoples to not accept the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East.

My troll has attempted to muddy the waters by making it appear that I am a conspiracy theorist.

Posted by: Gregory(the real one) on July 14, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

My last, last comment.

This was not me:

"One last comment:

There will always be Saddams waiting in the wings.

Saddam surely has a history of aggression, Mike, but you may want to check who initiated hostilites this time around.

We're just going to have to muddle through the best we can.

Alas, there's precious little evidence that the present Administration's policies are "the best we can." If so, Ford help us."

May Ford help my troll. He or she needs it.

Posted by: Gregory(the real one) on July 14, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

obscure wrote: People like Mike K--don't know if he calls himself a Christian--just believe that violence is the way to solve problems.

I don't think that Mike K "believes that violence is the way to solve problems." I think he enjoys violence just for the fun of it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K:

Okay you wanna know the bottom line for me, Mike? Israel -- or rather the international community in the horrific aftermath of WW2 and the Holocaust -- perpetrated the first wrong.

The problem isn't political Zionism. Hertzl would've taken parts of New Zealand, Uganda or perhaps even Antartica. The problem isn't "Zionism = racism." The problem is *religious* Zionism, which equates one's holy book with a retroactive land contract. If European Jews had to displace a previously settled population, doubtless they'd see it in more self-refective and equitable terms if the land in question wasn't granted by God to Moses.

Jews had been settling in Palestine since at least the latter 19th century, with very little problems with the locals. They had good relations with the Arabs who had lived there for centuries, and some of that is because Muslim culture -- at least when it's the dominant party -- feels less threatened by outsiders in its midst than civilized Christian Europe at the time.

But then after '48, Jews from ravaged Europe began pouring in by the thousands. Relations with the locals quickly deteriorated, and Jewish terrorist groups practiced ethnic cleansing in a brutal fashion. This was the beginning of the emnity between the two sides that has little to do with some abstract racial/religious hatred than it does with simply the history of that time. Prosperous Arabs had their land stolen and their livelihoods taken away. How would you or your family feel?

Now -- I agree that the Jews needed a homeland after WW2. "Never Again!" is not an empty slogan for me. But simultaneously, it's simply wrong to transplant the problems of centuries of European anti-semitism onto a population that had, before '48, always treated the Jews in their midst equitably.

The Jews who poured into Palestine were the cream of European civilization. Highly educated technical people who felt that they could "make the desert bloom" and use the land more profitably than the Arabs who had lived their way of life virtually unchanged since Biblical times. This imparted a "Manifest Destiny" quality to the settlement of Israel right at the very dawning of the anti-colonial age, when Europe was about to start relinquishing her colonies in the name of national self-determination.

America had acted out of a similar Manifest Destiny and decimated -- even genocided -- whole swaths of indigenous North Americans. Israel was attempting to get away with that 100 years and more after we did it -- right at the dawn of the age of the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Many Americans feel horrifically guilty about what we did to the Native Americans. Many Israelis -- especially on the right -- seem to be in deep denial about this central fact of the forming of their nation.

Thus it's not remotely anti-semitism (you should see me attack rabid anti-semites on this blog) that motivates my bias towards the Palestinians -- but rather a historically justified sense of fairness.

I'm Irish-American, after all. I don't need to hate the English people (I love them, actually) or support the "real IRA" to hate what the British did to my country of origin.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

That's all I was saying.

Bullshit. You were mocking the death of an innocent woman and taking delight in her passing. You can agree or disagree with her motives, but to imply she was a terrorist is despicable.

If you want to make the claim that the Israelis weren't culpable, there were plenty of other ways to do it. Yet those of us who express outrage at your despicable comments are the ones who have some sort of psychological deficiency? You're a delusional sadist, and we'd all be better off if you said "Have a nice life" rather than "Have a nice day."

Maybe your day will be brighter if you can find some kittems to drown.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 14, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Not me, of course, but y'all knew that:

Before I go, I should point out that I do believe that Israel is at least 90% at fault in the current situation. Hezbollah and Hamas rightfully reflect the sovereign determinations of their respective peoples to not accept the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East.

My troll has attempted to muddy the waters by making it appear that I am a conspiracy theorist.

Posted by: Gregory(the real one) on July 14, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

My last, last comment.

This was not me:

"One last comment:

There will always be Saddams waiting in the wings.

Saddam surely has a history of aggression, Mike, but you may want to check who initiated hostilites this time around.

We're just going to have to muddle through the best we can.

Alas, there's precious little evidence that the present Administration's policies are "the best we can." If so, Ford help us."

May Ford help my troll. He or she needs it.

Posted by: Gregory(the real one) on July 14, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, suspicion for these tiresome games might natually fall on certain individuals, and I suspect they know who they are. I call upon them to defend their names by denouncing this childish and dishonest hijacking in the strongest terms.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, it wasn't me. And I do deplore faking someone else's identity in these comments. I don't have much truck for your zionist bootlicking Gregory, but someone shouldn't be hijacking your identity.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 14, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

MeLoseBrain:

Gregory's a "Zionist bootlicker?"

Sheesh ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, MLB, how do you figure that?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

with all due respect Bob, based upon your comments above you are one too.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 14, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

MeLoseBrain:

Well, without the slightest degree of respect whatsoever, I now have cause to consider you an unhinged anti-semitic whackjob.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

MeLoseBrain:

There's no way a fair-minded person could read my above post and get the idea that I favored Israel over Palestine.

In fact, I might get attacked by Likudniks for it, because I don't realize the *qualitative difference* between military operations and suicide bombers, blah blah blah.

Of course, being attacked from both sides of an issue is a pretty good sign of the saliency of any argument :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Alright, I implore whoever is hijacking Gregory's identity to stop. Its pointless. It was untoward and wrong when it was done to me (more than once) and its untoward and wrong now. (although, it could certainly have happened to nice people...if Gregory didn't have a habit of following people around to bring up old threads...but regardless, whether its someone he pissed off or not...there's no point to it.) I'm here for substantive argumentation and this sort of childish shit..from all sides, gets in the way. Please stop it.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, your comment is well taken, and I will similarly deplore when it's happened to you. If I see it again, I'll call for it to stop.

I can't help but observe, though, that if you'd apologized without qualification as you should have, your credibility on subsequent threads -- well, at least as regards to that particular incident as opposed to whatever else you're saying -- wouldn't be an issue, now would it? I appreciate your comment, but I'm still waiting for your apology.

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Muslim culture -- at least when it's the dominant party -- feels less threatened by outsiders in its midst than civilized Christian Europe at the time.

But then after '48, Jews from ravaged Europe began pouring in by the thousands. Relations with the locals quickly deteriorated, and Jewish terrorist groups practiced ethnic cleansing in a brutal fashion."

How do you explain the anti-Jewish riots in the 1930s ? The troubles began well before the second world war.

Also, your point that Herzl would have accepted New Zealand and that Palestine had no particular relationship to the Jews is either wrong or disingenuous. That is an Islamist POV. Maybe that's not you but that's their view.

Do you think the Sudentan Germans have a right of return ? How about the East Prussians ? Those are my precedents. Those people precipitated an aggressive war and lost. As a result, they were expelled from their homelands. They did not, so far as I know, spend the next 50 years wailing and committing terrorist acts to try to force the result of the war to change.

The Palestinians lost a war of aggression and have not gone on with their lives. In fairness to them, they were betrayed by the other Arabs and more or less compelled to live in squalor but Israel was defending itself.

In 2000 Clinton pressured Ehud Barak (who also evacuated southern Lebanon and helped create the present situation there) to grant a real two state solution to Arafat. Had he accepted, Dennis Ross has said that there were millions of investment dollars ready to go to Palestine to invest and rebuild infrastructure. There were hotels already under construction anticipating a boom in tourism and economic growth.

Arafat ended that and resumed the intifada. Misery has followed. Israel did not create this situation. Arafat did it. Hamas and Hizbollah are worse, if possible.

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

MeLoseBrain:
Gregory's a "Zionist bootlicker?"

I guess I should be honored that someone has hijacked my handle, but I have disparaged neither you nor Gregory.

Mike K on the other hand...

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 14, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

Since I've been in the position of being impersonated (and probably even if I hadn't) I will reject it no matter who it happens to.

But as for your "apology" goes, you're not exactly making me favorably disposed by following me into unrelated threads to bring it up again.

Tell you what, as I noted before, it was a mistake for me to list you along with cranky and cmdicely in that jibe (in fact, I do believe that it was Jose Padilla that I was thinking of). I unreservedly apologize for that error since you seem to have found it such an affront (although seriously, considering what I'm imputed with here on a daily basis...you might want to try being a moderate/conservative on a liberal blog for a day).

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'm going to have to back Mike K. on this one.

The history of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1930's (as well as his predecessor in the 20's) is a sordid one.

On the other hand, the Stern Gang and Irgun were, at times, terrorists (although they first arose in response to Muslim provocation). Of course, they were also eventually put down by Ben Gurion.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K:

Well, bro, as I said -- those who argue a Likudnik line tend to be in deep denial about history. I wasn't talking about '67 or '73. I was talking about '48.

I'd explain the anti-Jewish riots in '30 as a function of a steadily increasing Jewish population.

How would you explain the Stern Gang?

You haven't remotely addressed my central argument -- and to defame it by calling an aspect "an Islamist POV" is a particularly nasty rhetorical fallacy. Hitler was a vegetarian -- do we condem vegetarians for being anti-semitic?

Hertzl was a secular Jew who fully realized the Jewish identity doesn't hinge on religious practices per se -- as indeed it doesn't. Ask a bunch of Jewish people if being Jewish is an ethnicity, a religion or a nationality and you'll be there all afternoon listening to the debates. It's an historical fact that Hertzl didn't advocate a Biblical homeland for the Jews -- just a place they could go to get away from European anti-semitism.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan:

Where do you get your info on the Grand Mufty of Jerusalem -- because I have a feeling there's prolly a mythology spun around it. Not saying you're wrong; just unwilling to take anything I hear about this history on blogs at face value before sniffing it thoroughly.

MeLoseBrain:

My apologies -- should have known.

If this keeps up -- as much as I support a policy of no moderation -- I think we may have to email Kevin and ask him to activate handle registration for blog comments.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

Uh, standard history texts (re: the Grand Mufti)...closely allied with the Nazis, incited anti-Jewish riots etc....grad school was awhile ago for me, but I don't recall any dispute that he was an unpleasant character that did some pretty nasty things to destroy what was previously an amicable Jewish/Arab relationship. (Although with rising Jewish population tensions were probably inevitable.)

For an interesting work by a couple UPI reporters that were present in 1948 and earlier recounting a lot of this history...see O' Jerusalem.

Posted by: Nathan on July 14, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Hertzl was a secular Jew who fully realized the Jewish identity doesn't hinge on religious practices per se -- as indeed it doesn't. Ask a bunch of Jewish people if being Jewish is an ethnicity, a religion or a nationality and you'll be there all afternoon listening to the debates. It's an historical fact that Hertzl didn't advocate a Biblical homeland for the Jews -- just a place they could go to get away from European anti-semitism.

Bob"

Have you ever heard the toast, "Next year in Jerusalem"? The Jewish religion has as much right to its symbols as the Muslims have to the animist symbol, the Kaaba. The Wailing Wall and other religious sites are theirs if they can keep them and I think they will.

I just don't buy it and think it is interesting to see the trend here to wish that Israel didn't exist. A guy named Hitler had the same thoughts about Poland.

Among other considerations, it's not going to happen. Israel can defend itself. Have you ever read the essay on Why Arabs Lose Wars ?

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan:

Okay, that sounds fair. As I say, I hold no brief for the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and now that you mention it I do seem to recall an alliance with the Nazis -- who doubtless exploited rising anti-Jewish sentiment in Palestine for entirely their own ends. I'll look into it further.

Mike K:

Again, with the rhetorical fallacies. Aren't you the one who was complaining about smear jobs on this blog just yesterday? Oh my views are so, so Hitlerian ...

I wasn't arguing Realpolitik; I was arguing my *moral* orientation on the issue. I really don't like debating it too intensely, because the Israel / Palestine debacle tends to melt down good brains on both sides, and it's a far more complex issue than either side likes to credit most of the time.

Once more: Zionism started out as a secular movement that got hijacked -- probably inevitably because of the historical sentiment about the holy land -- by highly religious Jews, who proved more motivated than the initial secularists to get the ball rolling.

What I think shouldn't have happened is hardly a Jewish homeland per se. I think a Jewish homeland was doubtless essential to provide a refuge against anti-semitism, which is a raging mental disease. The rabid anti-semites who occasionaly poke their heads up here seem to demonstrate that in spades. Plenty of anti-semitic conspiracy theories floating around for one's googling pleasure.

What I think shouldn't have happened is that the UN placed this homeland in Palestine. It made intransigence inevitable.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote: Hitler was a vegetarian -- do we condem vegetarians for being anti-semitic?

Hitler was not, in fact, a vegetarian. That is a myth. Sausage was one of his favorite foods. Hitler did suffer from digestive disorders which he attempted to self-treat from time to time through a variety of dietary approaches which on occasion included near-vegetarian diets, but he was not a vegetarian.

I know about this because I researched this spurious claim in some depth and refuted it back in the days when I spent a lot of time on animal rights & vegetarian advocacy on USENET newsgroups like talk.politics.animals.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK
I just don't buy it and think it is interesting to see the trend here to wish that Israel didn't exist. A guy named Hitler had the same thoughts about Poland.

And I guy named Lincoln had the same thoughts about the Confederate States of America, so?

Posted by: cmdicely on July 14, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Secular:

Hitler was sympatheic to some of the dietary ideas of the Liebensreform movement, a kind of German New Age set of ideas which included eurhythmics. He was a fanatical anti-smoker, for example, and gave Eva Braun all kinds of grief for a habit she had no intentions of losing.

You're doubtless correct to say that Hitler wasn't a *strict* vegetarian -- but I don't think it's true that he ate sausage with any kind of regularity after getting into his diet kick.

Of course, my point was merely to illustrate a logical fallacy. Any categorical association would have done the trick :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

"I just don't buy it and think it is interesting to see the trend here to wish that Israel didn't exist. A guy named Hitler had the same thoughts about Poland.
And I guy named Lincoln had the same thoughts about the Confederate States of America, so?

Posted by: cmdicely"

A fair comparison although Lincoln freed slaves and Hitler planned to make more. The point is that Israel exists and is a member of the UN. Remember ?

There is a whole field of alternate history, actually an interest of mine, on what might have happened if the South had won. None of it involves what would happen if Iran wins this one.

Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK
A fair comparison although Lincoln freed slaves and Hitler planned to make more.

Well, yes. See, the bad thing about Hitler wasn't that he thought another country accepted by other leaders as sovereign shouldn't exist, but that he wanted to enslave people (and murder others.)

Posted by: cmdicely on July 14, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Where do you get your info on the Grand Mufty of Jerusalem -- because I have a feeling there's prolly a mythology spun around it. Not saying you're wrong; just unwilling to take anything I hear about this history on blogs at face value before sniffing it thoroughly.

I'll back Nathan up on that -- the Grand Mufti was a Nazi sympathizer and collaborator.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

He was a fanatical anti-smoker, for example, and gave Eva Braun all kinds of grief for a habit she had no intentions of losing.

I don't know why, but this always cracks me up. One of the most evil men in history, absolute master of an empire, reduced to nitpicking his girlfriend about her smoking habit. Just goes to show there are some things even the most powerful men can't control....

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

You know what else is really amusing about how Eva dominated the man in the domestic sphere?

(I got this from Nerin T. Gunn's "Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress," an amusing little volume published in '68 that one of my housemates found in a garage sale. Lotta primary source interviews from family, friends and Hitler's inner circle of secretaries.)

Eva had two dogs, Scots terriers, who were (as is their breed's wont) extremely protective, territorial and vicious. They *hated* Blondi, Adolph's Alsatian (or in America, German Shepherd). He'd have to keep the dog in a bedroom all day long in Brechtsgarten, until after dinner, when he'd practically have to beg Eva to give her two dogs the boot so Blondi could curl up around his feet by the fire ...

Awwww ....

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 14, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

So Hitler was pussy-whipped.

My goodness, the fascinating things I learn on this blog.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 14, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

There is a whole field of alternate history, actually an interest of mine, on what might have happened if the South had won.
Posted by: Mike K on July 14, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose the US would have fought on Hitler's side.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on July 14, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the only way the U.S.A. would have fought on Hitler's side is if immigration from Britain and Ireland hadn't slightly nudged ahead of German immigration in the 19th century. For awhile it was nip and tuck as to whether English or German would be the national language. By the time of W.W.I there were still huge blocks of German speakers in the U.S.A. who were more sympathetic to the Kaiser's side of the 1914-1918 business than to the Anglo version. Woodrow Wilson's government actually hanged a pretty good number of these people through 1920, so that by Dec. 7th,1941 the America First and the German Bund folks knew when they had better shut up.

Which brings us to today. A lot of you chaps and lassies who are so virulently anti-Bush and anti-Israel that you come across as hating America even as an exemplar of any national virtue whatsoever are passing a threshold from mere frothy-mouthed vituperation into fighting words.
Depending on how events go in the next couple months, that could be a huge mistake.

If the American Civil War showed anything, it is that the first side to become "uncivil" and openly belligerent is the side that lost. The Southern Secessionists managed to lose control of all the border states, mainly because they were too arrogant, too emotional, and most of all, too early to rush to arms and push the whole disagreement into open war. In doing so, they lost a lot of critical support amongst peace-loving middle of the roaders who otherwise had little love for the morally arrogant New England type of abolitionist either.

I can see another real Civil War coming to our shores rather easily, especially if a civil war first breaks out in Mexico that is as bloody as the 1912 affair, which was hideous. Another way to get us to open war might be if Israel is the first to go nuclear, against Iran. I and my ilk will still support Israel if this should happen.

That would make our Fall election quite an emotional showdown for sure. Since already in this thread I've even had mild-mannered Brooksfoe threatening me with imaginary violence, I expect it won't take much to set things off.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail. I'd even rather see a Clinton in the White House than see American streets run with blood.

Posted by: Mike Cook on July 14, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Since I've been in the position of being impersonated (and probably even if I hadn't) I will reject it no matter who it happens to.

Same here. I'll acknowledge a distinction, without approving, with the fake tbrosz who at least used an obvously phoney email addresses, but impersonating another poster email address and all is dishonesrt, childish, and a tacit admission that you want them to stop posting since you can't muster an honest debate. On that, Nathan, we agree.

But as for your "apology" goes, you're not exactly making me favorably disposed by following me into unrelated threads to bring it up again.

So what? You owed an apology from the previous thread and didn't deliver. That the taint of your dishonesty lingered is your fault, not mine.

Tell you what, as I noted before, it was a mistake for me to list you along with cranky and cmdicely in that jibe (in fact, I do believe that it was Jose Padilla that I was thinking of). I unreservedly apologize for that error since you seem to have found it such an affront

Argh! You were doing so well until the last ten words, Nathan.

Misrepresenting someone's position is an afrfront for which an honorable person owes an apology whether one found it an affront or not. Again you're attempting to shift the blame from yourself to those who called you on your false representation.

It won't do, Nathan.

I demanded, and still demamnd, an unqualified apology, as you're well aware. Since you failed yet again, it'll be no one's fault but your own if these threads are cited as evidence of your lack of credibility.

I'll help you out, Nathan. here's what an honorable person would say: "It was a mistake for me to list you, cranky and cmdicely. I unreservedly apologize for that error."

Now. Can you do that, or not?

Posted by: Gregory on July 14, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

Nathan was the one that duplicated you when "you" said I was like Wilt Chamberlain and bragged about my history. That is the same comment Nathan made when he attacked me the first time with it last year. Just FYI.

Posted by: Scotian on July 15, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK
There will always be Saddams waiting in the wings. Red State Mike 2:55 PM
Tyrants have thrived since before the Roman Republic. That is why our Constitution uses checks and balances to prevent the overthrow of our Republic and that is why Bush and his authoritarian lickspittle followers are so dangerous. Posted by: Mike on July 15, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

...
and that is why Bush and his authoritarian lickspittle followers are so dangerous. Posted by: Mike

thanks for sharing your BDS

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 15, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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