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Passions in Poetry

Israel/Palestine

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Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


25 posted 05-18-2002 07:48 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Anymore than you can explain a Japanese woman throwing her baby and then herself off a cliff while running from American troops.

It's on film.

I think it can be explained if we understand the conditions.  Fear of losing one's 'humanity' to the hordes of the other, sacrificing one's life for the betterment of 'us' is not the sole province of soldiers. Speaking of soldiers, didn't Baldwin advocate a Kamikaze attack in "Pearl Harbor" as a noble thing?

With that said, I agree. Game theory is a tool, it's not a solution -- and the metaphor does seem to fall apart when the 'win' situation involves the extirpation of your opponent (I don't know enough about the theory itself to comment on it directly).

Amazingly enough, I think the model we should be using is not the 'peacekeeping' efforts of Somalia, Indonesia, or even Yugoslavia, it is Korea.

Don't laugh yet.

The fundamental difference between the partition of Germany and partition of Korea is that a war was fought here. Should we create countries (not solely America's decision but nevertheless the US was a participant) and then let them fight it out?

We have a responsibility, the West in general has a responsibility, to follow through when we make decisions for other people.

We made the decision fifty years ago by recognizing Israel.  

Brad

PS Tim said somewhere that the things we say here don't matter (in the political/legal/religious world). I think that's a good thing. It allows us to explore different ideas and, perhaps at some point actually come up with something different. I know if I were in a position of political responsibility, I would be far more hesitant to pursue some of these things.  
Phaedrus
Member
since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


26 posted 05-18-2002 08:10 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


Game Theory - A theory attempting to explain the drives and motivations which guide human beings in their interactions with others.

I believe game theory does have it’s place in helping to understand the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I’m not convinced however that the situation as it stands is reflected in the ‘tit for tat’ model highlighted in the article. The key words are ‘as it stands’ if both parties could start again with a clean slate and adhere to the rules that form the basis of the ‘tit for tat’ computer model then peace would be assured. However such a fresh start instigated without the intervention of a third party seems highly unlikely, even with such intervention the potential for success would be slim, relying as it does on both sides desisting from any aggressive action.

Could the west force Israel into negotiations using arms sanctions?

It could try, however if such restrictions reduced the defence capability of Israel there is the very real possibility that surrounding Arab states would seek to monopolise and instigate an all out assault on Israel. If you don't believe that likely you need only reference the Yom Kippur war of 1973 when Egypt and Syria backed by Iraq and Jordan and financed by Saudi Arabia attacked Israel on two fronts. Israel managed to repel the advances but the consequences if they had not or do not in the future have serious ramifications. Israel is deemed to be an unconfirmed nuclear power, estimates place the number of Israeli nuclear munitions somewhere approaching 100. Tie that to the often-quoted statement that the Israelis would do anything including die to protect the state of Israel and I think you’ll agree that the consequences of an escalated conflict should not be underestimated.

Can’t we just threaten Sharon and Israel with sanctions?

We could, but according to military strategists the west needs a friendly Israel more than Israel needs us, there is some logic in the statement. Arab nations (not generally held as pro-western) hold 99.5% of the territory that we call the Middle East. Israel (very friendly to the west) holds the other 0.5%. That 0.5% is highly regarded as a military foothold in the region that the west would not wish to jeopardise.

Even without the strategic importance the political implications are a whole can of worms in their own right. Every western nation contains high numbers of highly active and highly influential Jewish communities, any perceived aggressive move towards the State of Israel would be met by intense lobbying and political uproar that could undermine the governments (or heads of governments) of the countries involved. I think the term generally used is ‘Political Suicide’, any head of government who took such steps would be either foolhardy or ill advised (Blair should be odds on in that case).

Can we send a peacekeeping force to police the situation?

We could, but doing that isn’t a step anyone would take lightly and definitely not without the express agreement and co-operation of both parties involved (see above for reasons why).

What’s likely to happen?

Unfortunately the short answer is not much, the west will posture in public while applying gentle pressure to both parties in an attempt to broker a workable solution, the Palestinian extremists will carry on suicide bombing and the Israeli extremists will demand military retaliation. The sad thing is that I get the feeling that most western leaders believe that the situation as it stands is preferable to what it could be in the worse case scenario regardless of what we think it should be.


Thanks for the chance to read and reply

[This message has been edited by Phaedrus (05-18-2002 08:12 PM).]

coyote
Senior Member
since 03-17-2001
Posts 1090


27 posted 05-19-2002 11:51 AM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

Brad,
I couldn't agree with you more that what we say or think here has very little impact, and as you said it's probably a good thing people like us don't. lol  

But hey, it's still a way for "comp-geeks" to at least pretend that we have a life and can understand what's going on in it.  

In regard to using Korea as a model, I would submit the following url for your examination: www.teachvietnam.org/teachers/  guide/pdf/module6_apdx.pdf

It's a rather lengthy, history oriented, analysis of The Nam, (we were also using Korea as a model there), but contains much truth in relation to contemporary U.S. "intervention" anywhere.

Phaedrus,
Thanks for your input also. I have enjoyed your intricate perspective here. I tend to oversimplify and expound from a gut level, which is essential to soldiering but hardly conducive to diplomacy.

coyote  

[This message has been edited by coyote (05-19-2002 11:57 AM).]

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


28 posted 05-19-2002 06:39 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Definitely will take a longer look but I have to tell you, I'm already suspicious. Any website that introduces itself with

"This website will help create generations of enlightened historians and informed citizens."

generally sets my warning bells off.

Brad

coyote
Senior Member
since 03-17-2001
Posts 1090


29 posted 05-20-2002 12:30 AM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

What can I say, Brad.
It's for high school teachers? Do ya know how hard it is to try teaching teenagers?
They could use all the inspiration they can get.lol  

I don't believe the intended to be motivational propaganda either, but I promise the actual material isn't as lame as the intro.

The particular .pdf info I am referring to, is taken from Stanley Karnow's book on Vietnam if you've read it, this is a "condensed" for teaching version.

coyote  


[This message has been edited by coyote (05-20-2002 08:47 AM).]

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


30 posted 05-20-2002 08:04 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Checked it out (a bit), it's better than the introduction, that's for sure.

Essentially, the question, I think, still revolves around the legitimacy of the South Vietnamese government, the right of a people to self-determination, and how all of these play into superpower politics.

The mistake in Vietnam (not a mistake in Korea) was to accept a government that the people themselves didn't.  

It also matters that the previous occupation of one country was France and the other was Japan.

In the case of Israel/Palestine, I think the parallel involves more the Japan/Korea relationship rather than the France/Vietnam relationship.

coyote
Senior Member
since 03-17-2001
Posts 1090


31 posted 05-21-2002 01:39 AM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

Speaking in war terms:
Japan did "occupy" Vietnam during World War II, just as they did Korea. It was then handed over to the French because the Allies perceived (wrongly) that France would be a key player in not only the post-war restoration of Europe, but the world.

Just like a motel room, I believe the significance of previous occupancy fades when we consider the full scale support for North Korea that was given by the Chinese, and subsequent lack of it in Vietnam, due to a "nationalistic" Vietnamese dislike for them. It was this clear concept of Democracy vs Communism which cemented support for the South Korean government, and eventually eroded support in South Vietnam.

In Korea we knew both our enemy and our friends, in Vietnam we did not, and tried to apply the Korean model with disastrous results.

Although technically nobody won in Korea, after a few years of fighting, lines were drawn, and both sides have remained in a precarious balance of power imposed by our third party presence. SK may have developed economically from the stalemate, but in my view, the situation is still a ticking time bomb, every bit as volatile as the Middle-East.

In Vietnam, the Communists did win, after 10 years of U.S. support that never militarily equalled the Korean commitment to success. And the resulting devastation to Vietnam itself is still being felt socially and economically today. Communism it seems, hasn't been any better than war for business.

Speaking in peace terms:
The I/P crisis would really not be healed by Korean modeled intervention. We would be perceived once again by most Arab nations as infidels protecting Israel, and by the Israelis as interfering with their sovereignty. The highly interpretive success of "The War on Terror" would be compromised and by all probability, we gain nothing from it but more terrorism at home.   
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


32 posted 05-21-2002 02:39 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Uh, not quite. Japan annexed Korea in 1910. It invaded Vietnam in 1941. I think there's a huge difference in the relationship as a result.

That's one of the reasons I think it's possible to look at it as a model (but you're right, we certainly can't copy it).

The French took over Vietnam in the nineteenth century.

Ahhh, shoot, gotta go to work, more later.


Curious if you've read Cummings on Korea? I don't agree with his basic thesis but I'd love to hear your take on it (perhaps in another thread?).
coyote
Senior Member
since 03-17-2001
Posts 1090


33 posted 05-21-2002 08:41 AM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

I must admit I don't know Korean history very well.
No I haven't read it, but would like to.

Same here, work awaits.

ttyl

coyote
NapalmsConstantlyConfused
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Senior Member
since 05-15-2001
Posts 960


34 posted 05-21-2002 02:20 PM       View Profile for NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Email NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for NapalmsConstantlyConfused

i feel compelled to interject the following:

annexation == your country is part of mine, whether you like it or not.

invasion == your country belongs to me, whether you like it or not.

considering BOTH the koreans AND the vietnamese historically loathe the japanese, the difference seems vanishingly small to me.
-Dave
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


35 posted 05-21-2002 07:59 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Fair enough, but you don't see a difference between four years and forty?

One of my favorite anecdotes is an Irish buddy of mine. He lived here (Korea) and inevitably a Korean (usually drunk) would feel it necessary to explain the injustice of the world:

K: My country was occupied by Japan for forty years, forty years!!

I: Yeah, my country was occupied for three hundred.

K: They tried to eradicate my language.

I: I speak English now.

----------------------------

There is a difference between annexation and invasion. The international community applauded the annexation of Korea, we didn't accept the invasion of Vietnam.

At the very least, the maps start looking disturbingly eternal.

Brad

PS Cummings is the guy who said we (America) started the Korean war. I just thought it might have been fun to discuss that.

[This message has been edited by Brad (05-21-2002 09:03 PM).]

coyote
Senior Member
since 03-17-2001
Posts 1090


36 posted 05-22-2002 12:51 AM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

I see what you mean, and should have further qualified the statement that Vietnam was "handed over" by saying instead, "handed back to the French following the war", which would maybe have made more sense in relation to the preceeding years of colonialism.

I also agree that there's a big difference between 4 & 40 years, but as Dave indicated, "carrion men by any other name would smell as foul".

Getting back to your original post on this thread, Brad. In your footnote about breaking your own rules, I've always made myself a rule, learned painfully from experience I might add, to never discuss either politics or religion in the pub.

Frankly, a fella could end up with a black eye.*lol*

Although Philosophy 101 is not located in a "watering hole", the subject of this thread contains both of these self-forbidden topics, and has kinda reached the exploratory limits of "tempting taboo" for me. I sense that you may be feeling the same, or at least wanting to go in a different direction with it. Which makes it alright by me if it closes. Either way I won't be coming back to it.

As a final note, I would like to say that I admire your spark laddy, and ye can draw a draft anytime with me, if you're so inclined.
We won't talk P/R, of course.

a sleepy
coyote
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


37 posted 05-22-2002 09:43 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

This is funny. I was at a pub the other night and got into a political discussion with a guy that went nowhere. No black eye because I don't think either of us took it that seriously. The discussion involved anti-Americanism and I asked why he took it so personally (both of us being Americans) and he went into a diatribe about America helping others (Look at some of the old Alley threads about America if you want to know what he said. ).

At some point, I called him a neo-isolationist. He disagreed and said he was Libertarian. I pointed out that neo-isolationism is the official line of the Libertarian party. He said that he can call himself a Libertarian and still not agree with everything the Party says.

He's right.

One problem with religion and politics in pubs isn't the subject necessarily, it's this need to have the final word. It's this need to be right. I admit, I find this approach frustrating (and not for a moment, Coyote, am I suggesting that you do this.) because it just seems that people are more interested in telling others 'How things are' and less interested in talking to others about 'How to make things better'.

My approach here is/was really nothing more than trying to get 'outside the box' as the saying goes.

Oh well.
coyote
Senior Member
since 03-17-2001
Posts 1090


38 posted 05-23-2002 07:40 PM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

Yeah, an' I'm coming back to it, when I said I wouldn't, *lol*, but it's really the time to shut up, and because I won't, I must be one of the world's worst "candidate dictators".

Any more, I just wanna stay home in my little "hobbit hole" and leave the "quest for the rings" to those who think they qualify.

"If ya can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch."

No matter what I say here or else where, it seems to get taken the wrong way anyhow. I guess 'cuz I'm not an English major, and I come from a place like Wyoming?

Sometimes, I don't see much difference between the way I'm perceived, and the way the world treats my country. They all want the benefits of support, but then gutshoot you at the first opportunity.

I can't fully focus anyhow this week. I had to put down the oldest of my two dogs, who was 14 years old. She had a stroke or heart attack or something, and the resulting brain damage would not let her regain the use of her limbs. She just lay there flailing and kicking and struggling to breath. I took her up on the hill, as I had seen my Dad do, and ended her suffering with a bullet. I curled her up in her favorite rug and buried her here with her folks and her sheep.

In philosophical terms, does that make me a monster, or just a man who loved his dog?

Whaddaya think, outside the box?
 
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