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Passions in Poetry

"For God's sake, rescue them!"

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Balladeer
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150 posted 01-14-2009 10:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, when Hamas says their ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel and death to the Jews, I don't really care how right they say  they are.

As far as global warming being the rule, anyone watching the weather reports these days?
Stephanos
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151 posted 01-14-2009 10:28 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob, Mike is right.  Though I sympathize with your peacemaking heart (I'm not patronizing here in the least), I think sooner or later one comes to a crux, and a fork in the road.  I believe that Israel, generally speaking, is acting defensively (though certainly not perfect), while the Palestinian leaders are acting in a genocidal pattern.

I hate to seem a fatalist, but I don't think we'll see any semblance of peace in the Mid-East until the very end of the age.  For me, it's been foretold.  Don't misunderstand me, I still think we're obligated to try and do whatever may help.  

Stephen
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152 posted 01-15-2009 08:44 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
But isn't it being a bit narrow-minded to refuse to read something unless it contains a particular piece of information?


I’m sorry it seems that way, but I’m really just tired and overworked and don’t have much time for conspiracy theories that paint the U.S. out to be the monster in the closet. It goes against my nature and the nature of every Patriot in my family who's served this country.

Our government makes plenty of mistakes, but to say that the U.S. conspires to empower those who want nothing more than to cross over into our beloved homeland to take us out by the thousands is propagating fear and aiding the enemy with more widespread damage than a localized suicide bomber. It also assumes the position that the U.S. has the power to handpick every nation’s leaders. Such does nothing to create a climate for peace and gives merit to the harsh labels  that hurt to the core of our belief in freedom. I denounce that mentality on those grounds, and I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m soap-boxing, here, but I’m passionate about hope for all in this world to experience the Fear-Free Freedom they deserve as human beings.

quote:
I often read articles expressing a totally different viewpoint than mine, and haven't yet asked anyone to screen them before I do to make sure they contain certain facts, those I happen to think important or agree with. If one doesn't read both sides of an issue then don't you run the risk of having a viewpoint that's terribly skewed?


I know I pointed out that we’ve all got work to do for the sake of peace, because I do read and listen to what’s called the news. I’ve found with my extensive reading (call it the librarian in me) that if I don’t read with discernible eyes and look for the facts, that’s it’s very easy to fall prey to the terrorist fear factor that America is against. Anyone can take what we say and do and organize it to read very objectively that we’re Hamas members disguised as PiPsters. It’s called creative writing.

I apologize if I’m wrong, but your posts seem to be more one sided in that both sides of your coin were spent casting blame on the U.S and Israel, and not one penny for Hamas’ responsibility was laid on the table. That’s terribly skewed, to me, and I’m calling your bluff and raising you a currently reduced in value American dollar that if Hamas stays in power the future of the Palestinian people will also be terribly skewed, which goes against the “fair and free” objective they deserve and was insisted upon by the U.S. If I lose my dollar, oh well, it’s still worth a mint to me to get to spend it however I dang well please.

But here’s a fact list for you:

quote:
Hamas is described as a terrorist organization by Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan, and the United States, and is banned in Jordan. Australia and the United Kingdom list only the military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, as a terrorist organization. The United States and the European Union have both implemented restrictive measures against Hamas on an international level.
wiki

Now, until we get on that list in the place of Hamas, I’m going to expend my energy in supporting this great country and our friends, instead of supporting conspiracy theories, even if it’s damn hard in these times to do so. It takes a lot of guts to denounce fear, and I can only do so if I believe with all my heart we’re holding each other up, whether our Govs. lets us down or not. I pray that the Palestinian people find their feet in the same manner, which would get my head chopped off by Hamas for calling upon any Captain of Life, other than their own.    

(I say “we” collectively, which I’m only guessing you’re American, and if I’m wrong I’m not sorry, of course, lol, I’m just as equally thankful for your courtesy, no matter, unless you really are a member of Hamas disguised as a PiPster.)

So as long as you ain’t strapped for martyrdom, we’re friends, dear Jennifer. And I thank you for the exchange of thoughts.
Huan Yi
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153 posted 01-15-2009 03:14 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

“Numerous times in the past, Israel has shown itself willing to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, on conditions similar to those propounded by the Quartet, first and foremost recognition of Israel's right to exist, followed by a guarantee that there will be no further resort to violence, including terrorist attacks on civilians (and that includes firing rockets at them). As time has passed, especially since the death of Yasser Arafat, a degree of pragmatism has entered the Palestinian mind, but not the thinking of Hamas. Not only will Hamas not make peace with Israel in order to create a viable Palestinian state, they are as ready to kill Palestinian Muslims in order to gain total control of Gaza and the West Bank. . . .

When Hamas announces a temporary cease-fire (a hudna or, recently, a tahdiyya or lull), it does so, not to have an opportunity to talk peace, but to regroup and re-arm. "Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement." The only solution to the Middle East problem is war: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." . . .

“This is the only fighting force in history to boast that they have made human shields of their own people. There are films of "brave" Hamas gunmen dragging screaming children along to serve as shields, and of civilians sent onto the roofs of rocket launching sites, where, ironically, they know the Israelis will not fire on them. It is a mockery of military ethics, yet it goes barely noticed in the Western media.

Israel is not alone in fighting terrorism. Even now, this country fights al Qaeda and its affiliates in Iraq or the Taliban in Afghanistan. If we ever gave up the fight against Islamist terror in Britain, we would reap the whirlwind in bombings on land and in the air. Why then do so many of us scorn what Israel does? A combination of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran could one day bring Israel down and result in the deaths of millions of Jews. Is there any good reason why Israel should acquiesce in this? Is our grass roots anti-Semitism still so ferocious that we cannot bear the thought of a Jewish state in the Middle East, even if that state was brought into being by a majority vote of the UN?”


http://www.meforum.org/article/2048

“Is there any good reason why Israel should acquiesce in this? Is our grass roots anti-Semitism still so ferocious . . . '

I have to wonder the same things.  Nothing above about Hamas is new
Or unknown, they’re quite open, and still it is the Jews that are
Condemned as the problem.

Bob K
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154 posted 01-15-2009 06:12 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:


“Is there any good reason why Israel should acquiesce in this? Is our grass roots anti-Semitism still so ferocious . . . '

I have to wonder the same things.  Nothing above about Hamas is new
Or unknown, they’re quite open, and still it is the Jews that are
Condemned as the problem.





Dear Huan Yi,

                     To the degree the above in any way reflects a response to my above posting, I suggest that it is wrong.

     My suggestion was not that anyone should give in; it was that everybody was right, and could pretty well prove it.  I have friends and relatives in Israel and none that I know of in any of the arab and islamic countries, and I lost a large number of relatives in the Shoah.  That doesn't make the way Israel approaches the issues it has today either better or worse.

     I am unhappy at some of the historical choices taken by the arabs over the past hundred years or so in regard to the Jews.  A lot of those choices were the result of things they did themselves; some were the result of large power decisions after world war I.  They still have the issues they have to live with now in relationship with Israel, for good or ill.

     Both sides are absolutely convinced of their rightness and both sides have radical elements that are intractable, and which will sabotage any efforts toward peace that more reasonable elements would encourage.  Both sides have made a mock of the peace accords.  Each side distrusts the other for very good reasons.

     The essential question for each side is, What will I have to do differently in order to have peace in five years?  I can take responsibility for what I say I will do.

     If the discussions can be centered around that, a solution can be found.  If, instead, the discussions are centered around, What do YOU need to do differently before I will change?  one can look back and read the results of that approach from the history books.  More of the same.  I am not responsible for doing things that are conditional on your accomplishment of something first.  Who knows that I will ever be satisfied with what you do?

Sincerely, Bob Kaven    
moonbeam
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155 posted 01-19-2009 10:24 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Gosh! What a surprise!

The Israelis have had their last killing fling and decided they've done the job just in time, before their sponsor, Bush, steps down!

So Hamas are polished off are they Balladeer?
Balladeer
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156 posted 01-19-2009 11:13 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Your entry is not worthy of a comment, moonbeam.
moonbeam
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157 posted 01-19-2009 12:16 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam


quote:
Your entry is not worthy of a comment, moonbeam.

You just made one   .

But anyway the point is that one hopes that Israel will not receive from the new US administration the carte blanche it has had from Bush to behave exactly as it pleases.  I have a feeling the Israelis  know damn well they will now have to justify their behaviour in a less biassed international atmosphere and are therefore preparing to be good boys.

And the point I was trying to make is that Israel has not, as you promised they would, annihilated Hamas.  Hamas are still there, and I suspect will now be politically all the stronger for the Israeli action.  Physical and military strength will follow in due course, and off the whole cycle will go again.  
Balladeer
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158 posted 01-19-2009 11:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, perhaps Israel will now be "good boys" and just smile or turn their heads when the Hamas rockets continue to hit their cities...but don't count on it, regardless of who sits in the Oval office.

[This message has been edited by Ron (01-19-2009 11:47 PM).]

threadbear
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159 posted 01-20-2009 12:29 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

A QUICK TAKE:

Palenstinian claimed body count during conflict 2,500

  Hamas claimed boy count today at news conference:  "they failed.  They only killed 48.  We will reimport weapons now that they've pulled back.  We have that right." (paraphrased)

See why you can't negotiate with terrorists?
Bob K
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160 posted 01-20-2009 04:30 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Threadbear,

          I don't follow your logic Threadbear.  This doesn't mean you couldn't be right, but I really don't follow the logic.

     You could with as much certainty say that Hamas has managed to use Israel to prop up what might be a potentially precarious Hamas political future by provoking a disproportionate response from the Israeli Right.  Each side then gets to say, "What do you expect from (fill in your own expletive to be deleted here)-heads? —See, everything we said to you about them was right.  It was all predictable."

     As much as this is a Palestinian/Israeli conflict, it remains a Palestinian/Palestinian conflict and an Israeli/Israeli conflict.  The Palestinian/Israeli conflict in some ways may actually be secondary to the religious power conflicts or perhaps simply the plain power-politics within each religious group.  Each time it appears that the National politics seem to be approaching some sort of natural winding down point, an internal quarrel within one or the other group sets it off again.

     In this, each side is almost a mirror image of the other.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
threadbear
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161 posted 01-20-2009 04:51 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

That was a simplistic post on my part, sorry.

Here's the dirt:  if two parties want peaceful negotations, then BOTH parties have to be sincere in their promises.

Israel heeded the cease-fire request, regardless of the reasoning, they've halted the killing.  Hamas is using that cease-fire to destroy the negotiations.  They said they will use this time to restock both men and supplies.  

Pictures say a thousand words:
****http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00114/84356198_114889t.jpg***

The mere fact that they are SO BLATANT about it, further inforces my premise they are totally insincere.  It is my belief that the Palestinians will not ever quit their harassement of Israel.  Their stated goal, over and over again, is NOT regaining the Gaza- they say it is the total annilihation of Israel. They said it again this weekend during the press conference.  Notice I said:  Palestinians.  They dutifully selected and elected Hamas during a democratic procedure.  They made their bed, now they are stuck with the results.

THAT is why you can't negotiate with terrorists or fanatics.  No reconcilation, no compromise, no promise keeping.
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162 posted 01-20-2009 10:48 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Threadbear,

          You have a point, especially if you are talking about two party negotiations.  But these aren't really two party negotiations, are they?

     Within both Israeli and Palestinian camps, there are at least two and sometimes more quarreling factions, funded separately (I think) and with separate goals in mind.  At the top of everybody's priority list is not, repeat NOT, making peace with the other party.  It is acquiring and/or maintaining power on its own Palestinian or Israeli side.  Sometimes, it is acquiring or maintaining power within its own party, as you might have seen between Netanyahu and Sharon, for example, which might well have had a significant role to play in setting off a recent round of uprisings when Sharon actually went to The Temple Mount Mosque, something he knew very well was guaranteed to set off riots.

     The focus there was possibly, even probably, a power struggle within various parts of the Israeli establishment that made use of the predictable Muslim counter-action to tilt the Israeli politics further toward the hard right.  You can equally easily point out similar sets of events on the Palestinian side as well.  When peace to approaches, one side or the other uses this as a strategic time to challenge the power arrangements on their side.  If they don't to it on their own, sponsor states may use these occasions to jockey for power so they may use the upset in the power balance to affect the status quo within their own organizations or states.  The Saudis are particularly good at this, because it keep the focus off the various internal problems in their government.  

     I am offering only the most flimsy of surface sketches here, but you might try looking at the history of the attempts to make peace, and notice what seems to get in the way, and from where.

     This is not any conspiracy theory; it is instead an acknowledgement that there are more than two players in what we mostly pretend is a two player situation.  The multi-player theory better explains the various twists and turns in the scenario than an over-simplified two-party scenario which doesn't factor in Israeli on Israeli assassinations or Palestinian on Palestinian assassinations.  "Terrorist" is an extremely flexible role, and can be taken on by almost anybody, certainly in the events in Palestine over the last hundred years, when it has been applied to almost everybody ever involved, including the British, The Jews (Remember the Bombing of The King David Hotel, for example), the Muslims of various stripes, the French, The Egyptians, The Soviets and certainly We the People of the United States.

     All with some degree of accuracy.

     And the list is incomplete.

     This, once again, doesn't suggest you're wrong.  I do suggest, however, that your model of the conflict doesn't offer us any new information, or suggest a different method of dealing with the situation, only more of the same. The same hasn't work for 60 years, and the evidence for it suddenly starting to work in year 61 seems less than convincing to me.  

     Respectfully, a new way of looking at the problem might be more useful.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
  
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163 posted 01-21-2009 01:09 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Kissinger was asked once, whether there could really be a peace settlement in the Middle East.

I was imprinted permanently by his answer, and again I'm paraphrasing here (poorly, too...lol)
(If i had the time or energy, I would normally try to trace the quote and post it)

"I think the best we can hope for there, is to buy 4 or 5 years of peace... (at a time).  Wars and the threat of war, are the ways this 4 or 5 years is bought."
moonbeam
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164 posted 01-21-2009 03:41 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

"imprinted"! Threadbear in that case if you sincerely want an end to the middle east conflict you should cease to listen to yourself and listen to others like Bob who just gave a very good precis of some of the complexities and thus why the phrase "I will not negotiate with terrorists" is irrelevant and unhelpful.
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165 posted 01-22-2009 07:57 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

That’s a tall order, Moonbeam. Perhaps we should all listen to the experts who say that Negotiating with Terrorists has one clear guarantee: There are no guaranteed results.

Wanting an end to the Middle East crisis really is a bit more involved than just the wanting, no matter how deeply sincere, how actively involved in peace one is, or how clear one’s motives are for a non-violent right to exist side by side. If others' clear position is to reject anything anyone wants outside of their own beliefs, “rendering them impotent” is a tough endeavor, when their rejection seems to be an endless supply of Viagra to their war machine.

The Obama team says:  "The President-elect has repeatedly stated that he believes that Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction, and that we should not deal with them until they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and abide by past agreements," transition spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said in a written statement.” Fox

Now that Obama is President, all we can say is, "we'll see."

You’re right about the complexities, and telling people to “cease listening to themselves,” paraphrases exactly how Hamas operates in gaining its supporters, as well.
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166 posted 01-22-2009 09:40 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You’re right about the complexities, and telling people to “cease listening to themselves,” paraphrases exactly how Hamas operates in gaining its supporters, as well.

Not to mention Al Qaeda and the other terrorist groups. Well said, Regina!
Ron
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167 posted 01-22-2009 11:37 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

My sister and her husband have a very hyper Jack Russell terrier, with a bark so shrill it can cut glass. Over the course of two years, they've used doggie treats to help them train their pet to sit, lay down, roll over, shake hands, the usual array of canine tricks. Unfortunately, they've also inadvertently taught their dog to be a royal pain in the rear. If they leave a dish rag, pot holder, napkin, or anything similar, laying within reach of the dog (and when she jumps that dog has a very long reach), she will immediately snatch it for an impromptu game of keep-away. Catching a Jack Russell, of course, is right up there with exceeding the speed of light; it ain't going to happen in this universe. So my sister, desperate to get her towel or such back, has resorted to bribing the dog with a treat. It works, I guess. And it works more and more frequently, too.

Rewarding bad behavior just reinforces bad behavior. That's true of dogs, and it's equally true of terrorists.
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168 posted 01-22-2009 01:17 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Agreed, Ron.

      It's a pretty good principle.

      Unfortunately, it works with whatever the variety of "terrorist" is trying to provoke the non-symmetrical response.  They all feel perfectly justified in what they do, and they all have apologists.  All the apologists feel they're making perfect sense as well.  That's because they are, at least to their particular audience.

     This is one of the reasons that conflict can be self-perpetuating.  Everybody feels that they're right, and everybody who agrees with them is willing to cheer them on.  On each side.  The longer the conflict goes on, the more grudges pile up for ugly behavior on either side.  Each side feels absolutely justified.

     This is a model for a number of conflicts we talk about repeatedly in these pages. Over and over, we list the flaws and faults of those who disagree with us, without seeming to notice that they're able to do the same with us.  Their quibbles with us may be different than ours with them, but at least some of them in areas like Choice/Abortion, or Left/Right, or Palestinian/Israeli have something to them.  None of the people here I disagree with are idiots or fools, nor am I an idiot or a fool.

     So what are the areas in these conflicts that we can come to some agreement on in a mutually respectful way?


moonbeam
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169 posted 01-22-2009 01:47 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam


quote:
That's a tall order, Moonbeam. Perhaps we should all listen to the experts who say that Negotiating with Terrorists has one clear guarantee: There are no guaranteed results.


Exactly so Regina.  

Unlike what the Israelis have just done and the British did for years till they knew better, where there ARE guaranteed results:

lots of (usually innocent) people die.  
quote:

You're right about the complexities, and telling people to "cease listening to themselves," paraphrases exactly how Hamas operates in gaining its supporters, as well.

You're right again Regina.  But look at who specifically I was telling to stop listening to himself, not just anyone, but Jeff.  Who by his own admission was "imprinted" with a particular view from listening to a particular quote.  Of course people who have a broad balanced and educated view should listen to themselves, but you and Balladeer are absolutely right, once someone or some organisation or religious group gets its mental claws into you and starts to imprint or brainwash you (as with Hamas and in Jeff's case, Kissinger) that's when you need to try to question your "own" judgement and listen to others.

[This message has been edited by moonbeam (01-22-2009 02:29 PM).]

Huan Yi
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170 posted 01-22-2009 01:51 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

President Thomas Whitmore: “What do you want us to do? “
Captured Alien: “Die.”


.
moonbeam
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171 posted 01-22-2009 02:05 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
My sister and her husband have a very hyper Jack Russell terrier, with a bark so shrill it can cut glass. Over the course of two years, they've used doggie treats to help them train their pet to sit, lay down, roll over, shake hands, the usual array of canine tricks. Unfortunately, they've also inadvertently taught their dog to be a royal pain in the rear. If they leave a dish rag, pot holder, napkin, or anything similar, laying within reach of the dog (and when she jumps that dog has a very long reach), she will immediately snatch it for an impromptu game of keep-away. Catching a Jack Russell, of course, is right up there with exceeding the speed of light; it ain't going to happen in this universe. So my sister, desperate to get her towel or such back, has resorted to bribing the dog with a treat. It works, I guess. And it works more and more frequently, too.

Rewarding bad behavior just reinforces bad behavior. That's true of dogs, and it's equally true of terrorists.

I don't see that this does anything than state the self evident.  And, as no-one here has suggested "rewarding" terrorists, I don't see it advances the discussion either.  

If however you are suggesting, as Margaret Thatcher ineffectually tried to suggest, that it is a "reward" to a "terrorist" group to even talk to an "executive arm" of that group then I think you are wrong.  It's far more of a reward NOT to talk to them, to ban them from TV (remember Gerry Adams), to kill their killers and the innocents who get caught up in it.  That's the true reward to terrorists Ron, when we get provoked into the same killing that they do, when we honour them with combatant status.  That's the sort of behaviour that buys them martyr status and more power.  That is what the killers want.

You pressure people to mentally accept compromise not by giving them what they want, nor by removing all possibility of getting what they want, but by a subtle blend of threat and hope.
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172 posted 01-22-2009 02:27 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Georgia plantation master: "What do you want me to do?"
Slave: "Die."
rwood
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173 posted 01-22-2009 05:34 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
Unlike what the Israelis have just done and the British did for years till they knew better, where there ARE guaranteed results:

lots of (usually innocent) people die.  


And I don’t like that as much as the next person who appreciates life. I think all countries have gone there and done that and nobody wants the T-shirts, but the initial spark for our beginnings (in reference to the British) was “taxes without representation,” not terrorism, which some may liken the terms as one and the same, but sometimes we really do learn a hard lesson when we’re not quite prepared to back-up our reasoning for War—Canada handed our arses to us in 1812 and didn’t give a crap about conquest, and therefore we struggled until 1815 when some hero named Andrew Jackson helped us find our tails. There wasn’t much of a White House left for anyone to occupy, since it was burnt down, but the results are: We re-evaluated our position along with everybody else.

Hamas doesn’t need any provocation to back-up their lethal legacy. They are Agents Provocateurs and s'ennuyé automatiquement (automatically self-annoyed.) Which may sound better than terrorist but the road behind them and ahead of them is that which is aptly named:

Hamas: “Islamic Resistance Movement” =Terrorist, in about every language.
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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174 posted 01-22-2009 07:14 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear rwood,

          The Battle of New Orleans took place after peace was declared between Britain and the US.  I'm fond of Jackson, too, by the way; but he was not a nice man.

     Taxation without Representation was indeed one of the things that set off the American Revolution.  

     But you shouldn't overlook a number of stupid British over-reactions to local protests which created enormous propaganda victories for the radicals in the American Colonies.  Military over-reactions are what terrorists want, exactly for that reason.  The Boston Massacre comes to mind immediately.

     Hamas is not, repeat is not, the same as the American Revolution.  But Hamas is not, repeat is not, so stupid that it cannot learn lessons from the American Revolution.  They can get the same radicalizing effects among their population if they can make the Israelis over-react as massively as the British did in our population more than 200 years ago.  

     They have been more than successful.

     There are at least two civil wars going on over there in Israel/Palestine, one on each side of the border.  Israelis on the right and the left usually manage to keep their conflict below the shooting level, though as the assassination of Begin shows forcefully enough, this is far from the rule and more of a fond hope.

     The Palestinians are the same, except more actively and with many more factions.  Each side is thrilled to keep the focus on folks from the other religion; it helps them pursue their own internal power struggles all the better.  As any observation of the situation of the situation over the past 60 years will show, they are more interested in  fighting or provoking a fight with each other than they are in making peace, even though the fight threatens to destroy both of them.  Better that than some other party win out in the parochial power struggles on each side.

     There are no shortage of bystanders willing to keep the conflict moving for one sort of political gain or another in their respective homelands.

     Yes, there are terrorists in Israel and in Palestine.

     Yes, it's in everybody's interest to keep the situation going at this sort of medium boil because it keeps the whole middle east from going off like a powder keg when the various governments are recognized by their populations for the sort of folks they actually are.  

     The terrorists stop showing up when they stop serving the national interests of one group or another.  For the Turks, T.E. Lawrence's guys were terrorists.  There were terrorists on both side in Northern Ireland and for the most part just about everyplace else.  Bin Ladin worked for us for a long time; he was our Terrorist against the Russians.  We had our Terrorists in Central America during the Reagan administration, which was were the money from the Iran/Contra transactions went, if you remember.  We funded the Contras.  They killed all sorts of people, including nuns, and you can bet we're funding them someplace now as well.  Once the smoke clears, maybe we can find out where.

     The question is what to do about it.

Sincerely yours, Bob Kaven

    

 
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