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  1.    #1  
    Gaza Bloody Gaza ...

    like a scar across the throat of Israel lies this patch of land, this afterthought, this ugly refuse of a bitter and irreconcilable history.

    Gaza.

    Populated by Palestinians -- many are the direct descendants of refugees driven from lands that was to become Israel.

    A tenth the area of Rhode Island, it has the amongst the highest birthrates, highest population densities, and greatest rates of poverty in the world.

    After Israel’s initial formation, this strip of land was part of Egypt. Controlled by Israel after their ‘67 war of 6 days, it has known next to no peace for decades. As part of its negotiated treaty of peace with the Egyptians, Israel sought to return Gaza back to Egypt.

    Egypt refused it.

    Stuck amongst a teaming spit of land where they were understandably feared and hated, Israel finally decided to leave after a painful, nearly 4 decade long occupation. They dismantled what were universally denounced settlements, and unilaterally left with some abruptness -- unable to negotiate a formal handover of sovereignty.

    Political power was taken by the descendants of the PLO, most of whose origins were more in the West Bank, than Gaza.

    Disliked for their corruption, their avarice, their inability to negotiate successfully with the Israelis, these secular oriented politicians became increasingly unpopular.

    Inured to facts like this, and too stupid to process their implications, junior in 2006 insisted that the Palestinians hold elections (to in effect ratify his peace process.)

    In a free and fair election a majority of Palestinians chose Hamas over the secularized PLO -- (thereby ending junior’s fantasy that his iraq war and his vision of “democracy” were transforming the middle east.)

    After 18 months of low level conflict between the two factions, Hamas finally violently drives the PLO from Gaza in June 2007.

    Seen both in the west and Israel as terrorists, Israel (with the unvoiced support of the PLO) responded by clamping down further on all the Gaza border crossing and ports, in an effort to damage Gaza’s economy and weaken Hamas’ popular support.

    During this period (for a variety of reasons) Palestinian suicide bombings within Israel taper off. Instead attacks on Israel now come increasingly from rockets launched blindly and mostly ineffectively, from Gaza.

    Violence between Hamas and Israel escalates until Israel feels compelled to enter Gaza to strike directly against the source of the attacks directed against it. After relatively brief and inconsequential skirmishing within Gaza, the two sides agree on a 6 month period of “calm” -- an unofficial truce.

    Hamas openly expects this period to bring the opening of the border crossings, the release of its prisoners from Israeli jails, and the room to consolidate their own power in Gaza. But Hamas also wants the opportunity to reequip, rearm, and train its militias -- as well as to acquire longer range and more effective missiles.

    Israel wants Hama defeated and expelled, and this remains their objective -- whatever the “calm”, pause, or truce was called. As such it was never in Israel’s interest to mitigate the siege by easing pressure at border crossings and sea ports. Israel wants to economically stress the Gazan regime to lessen its appeal and legitimacy, and similarly they resisted delivering to Hamas a significant prisoner release swap because they don’t want to enhance Hamas’s charisma and prestige.

    Cynically neither side ever intended the "truce" to genuinely change its intents toward the other.

    Hamas has never wavered from its pronounced objective of destroying both Israel and the Jews who inhabit it.

    Israel never wavered from its belief that Hamas is an organization of terrorist thugs, the manifestation of evil -- an organization they can never accept as a negotiating partner and neighbor.

    When the six month “Calm” expired Hamas was in no hurry to renew it. They felt as though they had gained very little from the first truce, and next to nothing if it was simply renewed unchanged.

    Soon after it expires Hamas begins to again missile attack southern Israel.

    Israel responds with overwhelming and disproportionately violent force. A level of force no doubt that Hamas would themselves employ, if they were able.

    Where will this all end -- how will it end -- what will the landscape of Israel, Gaza, and its environs look like in 3 and 12 months -- and what about 4 years from now, at the end of Obama’s term ???


    (I'd have more to say -- but doubtless I have already exhausted whatever patience those tolerant enough to have read this far, have ...)
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/02/2009 at 02:52 AM.
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  2. #2  
    Disproportionately violent force? Get real. Israel is being attacked by terrorists. You sure cannot expect them to respond with rubber bands. Enough hurt may cause the people to get rid of Hamas. Hamas is out for blood.
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    Disproportionately violent force? Get real. Israel is being attacked by terrorists. You sure cannot expect them to respond with rubber bands. Enough hurt may cause the people to get rid of Hamas. Hamas is out for blood.
    Ben -- its a fact that the missiles launched by Hamas are yet to cause many deaths or significant damage. They are certainly causing fewer injuries and less damage than the previous suicide bombings.

    The disproportionality of the Israeli bombing is a fact -- whether it is apropriate, effective, and strategic is something on which we can disagree -- and perhaps debate.
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  4. #4  
    Barye, I feel that your first message was extremely well written and right on. My problem is with your second message. Stating that
    The disproportionality of the Israeli bombing is a fact -- whether it is apropriate, effective, and strategic is something on which we can disagree -- and perhaps debate.
    I very much think that the disproportionality should be just by what you said, in fact, in your first post.
    Israel responds with overwhelming and disproportionately violent force. A level of force no doubt that Hamas would themselves employ, if they were able
    The operative words say here are:
    A level of force no doubt that Hamas would themselves employ, if they were able
    If they were able I believe they would nuke Israel out of existance. Does anyone disagree with that? Should Israel wait until they are able, or even give them a chance? If Egypt (their own people) wants nothing to do with them, why should the Israeli's, whom Hamas want wiped off the face of the world, accept them or help them by opening borders again. Even with the cease fire, Hamas sent over 3.000 missles indiscriminitly into Isreal. 100%, think about that, 100% of Israel victims are inocent civilians.

    Here is a cartoon that clearly explains the difference between them and the Israilies.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by RickMG View Post
    Barye, I feel that your first message was extremely well written and right on. My problem is with your second message.

    I very much think that the disproportionality should be just by what you said ...in your first post. The operative words ...are: If they were able, I believe they would nuke Israel out of existance.

    Does anyone disagree with that? Should Israel wait until they are able, or even give them a chance? If Egypt (their own people) wants nothing to do with them, why should the Israeli's, whom Hamas want wiped off the face of the world, accept them or help them by opening borders again...100% of Israel's victims are innocent civilians...
    How does this end ??

    Is it possible to bomb Gaza enough to break the will of Hamas -- to compel them to capitulate ??

    Will invading the alleys, warrens, and tunnels of Gaza with giant tanks and armoured vehicles make Hamas understand reason, will it persuade them to yield ??

    (FWIW, I am more agnostic as to means to ends than perhaps most who read me appreciate -- I've supported Hillary, bailing out car companies, cracking down on illegal migration ...)

    My focus seldom wanders far from what delivers my ultimate objectives.

    If this campaign of bombing could achieve what are its ostensible objectives: breaking Hamas, ending the missile attacks -- I would probably approve of it.

    The idiocy underlying junior's iraqi escapade was the delusion that an iron fist could substitute for a supple mind.

    What I fear is that Israel's misadventures against Hezbolah in Lebanon and now this war on Gaza illustrate that they still have not absorbed this lesson.

    If you're fighting an enemy who willing blows themself up amongst your civilians, what makes you believe that blowing them up amongst their own civilians will change their minds ??

    Its very hard to overstate the depth of shared anger arising right now against both Israel and the US amongst the wide arab populace (and against the conservative arab regimes who are allied with america).

    Americans are not being exposed to the images widely seen on arab TVs: police in their uniforms dying after a surprise attack, children broken, bloody and maimed -- pieces of flesh and body parts strewn about the sidewalks and atop the broken walls of destroyed homes...


    (translated from his native Corsican)

    BARYE's 8th corollary of statecraft:

    Obstacles to peace are not normally overcome with violence -- especially disproportionate violence directed against an unequal adversary by a modern western nation.

    BARYE's 9th corollary of statecraft:

    overwhelming force does not compensate for underwhelming intelligence, sensitivity, or sophistication.


    Tell me -- how does this end ??
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/02/2009 at 09:41 AM.
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  6. #6  
    A well written piece that seemed (pretty) objective. An AP article today shows how Israel tried to warn them with phone calls, sound bombs and pamphlets before attacks. Although every single civilian casualty is a tragedy (and the media picks up on it all the time when Israel is the culprit), Israel seems to be truly trying to avoid them. Look at what Israel is targeting. Now, what are the Palestinians targeting? Oh yeah, civilian neighborhoods. In their defense, they probably don't have the capabilities to set targets, so their only act of war is to shoot missiles into Israel and hope they kill Israelis (civilian, military it doesn't matter). When you want to kill all Jews, there is no distinction necessary.

    I don't have any answers. But, unfortunately it seems this world requires violence to achieve peace. What a SH**TY world to have to live in.
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    How does this end ??
    Well, I'll turn that around. How do you think it should end?

    Should the Israelis just do nothing, and live with Hamas firing almost 10 rockets a day toward Israel and not retaliate because the terrorist don't care if they die?

    Should Israel try talking to Hamas while Hamas still says Isarael must be destroyed, along with all Jewish people?

    Should Israel open it's borders when even Egypt won't? Even if Egypt did, why should Israel?

    Tell me, what do you think would happen if the people of Mexico kept firing rockets into San Diego?

    Let me tell you, the terrorist doesn't want to die like you say they do. Only the suicide bomber who has been brainwashed into thinking it's the right thing to do really is that way. You don't see the leaders doing it. Heck they go and hide in Mosques and schools. That's how big of cowards they are.

    The biggest problem with the wars of today is that we are fighting terrorists, not countries and terrorists don't care who dies and hides behind innocent civilians. They blend in.
    Last edited by RickMG; 01/02/2009 at 08:26 PM.
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  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    If this campaign of bombing could achieve what are its ostensible objectives: breaking Hamas, ending the missile attacks -- I would probably approve of it.
    I disagree . . . that you would approve, as I believe it would take either the complete or almost complete annihlation of Hamas (or better stated, the members of Hamas).

    Of course there are a plethora of reasons why annihlating Hamas would be difficult--if not impossible--for Israel alone without resorting to overwhelmingly harsh and brutal tactics.
    No problem should ever be solved twice.

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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    If you're fighting an enemy who willing blows themself up amongst your civilians, what makes you believe that blowing them up amongst their own civilians will change their minds ??
    You think they willingly blow themselves up? This is on CNN.com today. It's not in Gaza or Israel, but this is still the reason someone blows themselves up. Just read the 3rd & 4th paragraphs. These are the type of people the world is fighting.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapc...uit/index.html

    And, by the way, you better thank your lucky stars that "junior" as you call him, is fighting them over there because he's keeping them from here. I agree we shouldn't have gone into Iraq, but we did, and did so with the worlds okay. Stand behind the brave soldiers who are risking, and giving, their lives to keep us from worrying as much about ours.

    Also, since expressions and tones are hard to translate from the written word, I want you to know BARYE, this is not a personal attack but a good discussion between people. I think we're both trying to do the same thing, educate, and be educated. Great thing, freedom of speech, isn't it?
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  10.    #10  
    (I can't say much right now cause I'm working late -- but I'll try to respond in my usual unreasonable, outrageus way, tomorrow...)
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  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by RickMG View Post
    Well, I'll turn that around. How do you think it should end?

    Should the Israelis just do nothing, and live with Hamas firing almost 10 rockets a day toward Israel and not retaliate because the terrorist don't care if they die?

    Should Israel try talking to Hamas while Hamas still says Isarael must be destroyed, along with all Jewish people?

    Should Israel open it's borders when even Egypt won't? Even if Egypt did, why should Israel?

    Tell me, what do you think would happen if the people of Mexico kept firing rockets into San Diego?

    Let me tell you, the terrorist doesn't want to die like you say they do. Only the suicide bomber who has been brainwashed into thinking it's the right thing to do really is that way. You don't see the leaders doing it. Heck they go and hide in Mosques and schools. That's how big of cowards they are.

    The biggest problem with the wars of today is that we are fighting terrorists, not countries and terrorists don't care who dies and hides behind innocent civilians. They blend in.

    I think it will end badly.

    For all sides -- perhaps most especially for the Israelis since they have the most to lose.

    Would you rather the Palestinians be blowing up dirt with unguided missiles -- or Tel Aviv bistros with "missiles" guided by children, blowing up children ??

    It ends badly because the anger of common moslems will find a way to express itself not just at Israel, but at the regimes which they reasonably perceive as supine in the face of these "massacres".

    It ends badly because Hamas will likely soon overthrow Fatah from the west bank.

    It ends badly because these events will likely close the window that existed because of the transition to Obama, a window which could have provided an opening through which new genuine negotiations could have really developed. Perhaps Bill could return as a trusted mediator to use his singular focus to find compromise, a mechanism that would find enough favor with Palestinians that they would break their allegiance with Hamas.

    Peace is made with your enemies, not with your self -- not with those you choose as your negotiating partners.

    I honestly hoped that the Israelis were only bluffing with their talk of inserting their armour into Gaza.

    Madness...


    (from The Simian Sorbonne’s textbook: "Emperorship for Dummies")

    BARYE's 10th corollary of statecraft:

    What you break you own. Destroy a society, break its social cohesion -- and you become comprehensibly responsible for its restoration -- with “constituents” who hate and want to destroy you and all your works. (falsely credited to Colin Powell as the “Pottery Barn” rule -- he having plagiarized it from BARYE)


    BARYE's 11th corollary of statecraft:

    If you’re so smart to know when war will commence, you ought be smart enough to tell me when and how it will end.
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/03/2009 at 04:50 PM.
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  12.    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by DL.Cummings View Post
    I disagree . . . that you would approve, as I believe it would take either the complete or almost complete annihlation of Hamas (or better stated, the members of Hamas).

    Of course there are a plethora of reasons why annihlating Hamas would be difficult--if not impossible--for Israel alone without resorting to overwhelmingly harsh and brutal tactics.

    DL -- you disappoint me.

    If anyone would have correctly ascribed to BARYE the virtues of cynicism, selfishness, sheer cold bloodedness, it should have been you DL.

    You seem to imply that there exists within BARYE some sentimental heart, some glint of compassion, some shred of decency. That BARYE would hesitate to kill thousands of humans if it might advance his interests or cause.

    I am appalled that you think so well of me.

    My singular focus is on what works. If it could be demonstrated that these Gaza massacres were in some way promoting stability, advancing "peace" -- yes I might well support them. Really.

    Perhaps you know of the events of the Syrian city of Hama (possibly the inspiration for the Hamas' very name -- not sure).

    Say what you will of Assad -- but his regime never had to seriously wrestle with fundamentalist malcontents again.

    Unfortunately, the temptation is always there to misconstrue the lessons of Hama. To extrapolate that violence -- the unrestrained iron fist -- is a mechanism of persuasion, a shortcut to peace.

    Sadly there is always some jerk ready to pounce on the rubble and shout: "bring 'em on", to declare that we'll get him "dead or alive", that "you're with us or against us", that "we are engaged in a war on terror", in a fight to the death with an Axis of Evil... to employ what Tom Friedman has called: "the Hama rules".

    The temptation is to misapply those lessons, to not understand why advanced modern western nations cannot successfully employ such savagery.

    To really employ violence effectively you must be a true tyrant, you must have a truly black heart -- like a Stalin, like a Sadamm. (Neither the Shiites or the Kurds would have ever been a problem again for Sadamm had we not intervened.)

    Unless you are prepared to level both Gaza, the entire Arab middle east, and Iran, violence is not a solution -- its a pathway to mutual self destruction.
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/04/2009 at 12:55 AM.
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  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    Disproportionately violent force? Get real. Israel is being attacked by terrorists. You sure cannot expect them to respond with rubber bands. Enough hurt may cause the people to get rid of Hamas. Hamas is out for blood.
    Israel are acting like terrorists...
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Sagan View Post
    Israel are acting like terrorists...
    Notwithstanding your poor grammar, retaliation is not a terrorist act.
  15. #15  
    Looks like Israel couldn't starve Hammas out so now they're using the excuse of the "I fire an arrow in the air" missiles to bomb and then mop up any survivors on the ground.

    Then they can force the Palestinians to elect another representative group to negotiate peace and ignore them like they did Fatah, until the Palestinians again get frustrated at the lack of progress and lack of effort by Israel and turn to a more radical group and then Israel bombs them and then sends in a ground operation to mop up any of that group. Lather, rinse, repeat ....

    What a mistake Resolution 181 was.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    I think it will end badly.

    For all sides -- perhaps most especially for the Israelis since they have the most to lose.

    Would you rather the Palestinians be blowing up dirt with unguided missiles -- or Tel Aviv bistros with "missiles" guided by children, blowing up children ??

    It ends badly because the anger of common moslems will find a way to express itself not just at Israel, but at the regimes which they reasonably perceive as supine in the face of these "massacres".

    It ends badly because Hamas will likely soon overthrow Fatah from the west bank.
    Look at your reasonings for it ending badly. This really looks like Hamas screws everything up, kills everything in sight, and Israel gets the blame for reacting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Sagan View Post
    Israel are acting like terrorists...
    I think the quote should be Israel is reacting to terrorists. God help you if you can't tell the difference.
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  17. #17  
    Israel ignoring Palestinians? Why not write that as the Islamic nations of the world ignoring the Palestinians. Really now.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Looks like Israel couldn't starve Hammas out so now they're using the excuse of the "I fire an arrow in the air" missiles to bomb and then mop up any survivors on the ground.

    Then they can force the Palestinians to elect another representative group to negotiate peace and ignore them like they did Fatah, until the Palestinians again get frustrated at the lack of progress and lack of effort by Israel and turn to a more radical group and then Israel bombs them and then sends in a ground operation to mop up any of that group. Lather, rinse, repeat ....

    What a mistake Resolution 181 was.
    Why shouldn't Israel want to ignore them? Give Israel the chance to ignore them, they shouldn't be Israel's concern anymore than they should be our concern. If the Palestinians (and the majority would) just get rid of their prejudices (a few people here as well) they could live in complete harmony even within Israel.

    As Golda Meir said:
    We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.
    Last edited by RickMG; 01/04/2009 at 01:26 AM.
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  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by RickMG View Post
    Why shouldn't Israel want to ignore them? Give Israel the chance to ignore them, they shouldn't be Israel's concern anymore than they should be our concern. If the Palestinians (and the majority would) just get rid of their prejudices (a few people here as well) they could live in complete harmony even within Israel.
    I don't believe being unable to accept watching another family live on the farm/orchard that's been in your family for hundreds of generations is a "prejudice".
  20.    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by RickMG View Post
    ...If the Palestinians (and the majority would) just get rid of their prejudices ...they could live in complete harmony even within Israel.

    As Golda Meir said:

    Quote:
    We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.

    Beautiful thoughts, wonderfully written -- I'm familiar with quote.

    And after the '67 war, after Israel had captured Gaza, the west bank, east Jerulselem, the Sinai, the Golan Heights -- there was talk of embracing their new arab "citizens", educating them, allowing them to prosper, enjoy free speech, freedom. The hope was that they would eventually learn to embrace and appreciate Israel, its tolerance, its modernity.

    Except that they were not to become citizens, not to be able to vote, not to be allowed to employ their demographic "baby" bombs to eventually undo the Jewishness of Israel.

    Understandable -- perhaps. Acceptable to the Palestinians ?? mostly not.

    They would have become permanent and second class guests -- within a culturally discordant, hostile mileu.

    Irrespective of the idealistic sentiments and motivations of people like Meir, Dayan etc., subsequent leaders like Begin and Sharon poisoned the well of trust between these communities even further -- likely irreversibly.

    Their aggressively dishonest and illegal settler policies sowed the seeds of everything that's followed -- despite the occaisional glipses of sunlight through these decades of gloom.

    There have been real if fleeting oppurtunities for peace -- most recently when an aging Arafat was trying to find a way to arrive at a treaty that would get enough to satisfy his radical base -- and yet be agreeable to the Israelis.

    Bill Clinton thought that they were within a couple of weeks of finding that compromise, and asked to be appointed temporary envoy to complete the negotiations as junior's appointed mediator.

    junior of course, knew better.

    Arafat died soon thereafter -- replaced initially by feckless unpopular seculiarists, and later by Hamas -- who will likely settle for nothing less than Israel's demise, no matter what they might agree to.

    Tell me RickMG -- how does "this" end -- how do the Israelis even get out of Gaza declaring victory ??


    (from the textbook: "Emperorship for Dummies", used with the permission of the author)

    BARYE's 12th corollary of statecraft:

    Before commencing upon a mission with a high probability to fail or end badly, a modern power should in advance enounciate incredibly modest easily achievable objectives, so that it can always exit abruptly -- irrespective of the circumstances -- while still being able to credibly declare victory...
    Last edited by BARYE; 02/21/2009 at 07:29 PM.
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