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  1. #31
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #32
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dom View Post
    If the UK attempted to press claims to their old possessions in France the world would assume they lost their minds.
    Frankly, I regret the loss of Calais.

    And whenever I meet a Frenchie on the bus, particularly if she is pretty, I ask - no demand - she return Calais.

    For reasons I don't understand, I get a sweet smile and a patient explanation that Calais is French.

    Naturally I demur and our conversation continues over milk coffee and croissants. And we reach an agreement in principle over Calais.

    But not so with Yankees, pretty or not. Naturally I demand to know what happened to Les Darcy and to Phar Lap.

    All I get is a strange look as though I have lost my mind.

    As I am highly suggestible, I do feel I have lost my mind. Then I think I should mention Calais, then I realise that would even be worse.

    And worse still, there is no milk coffee and croissants or an agreement in principle.

    And I am, as you know, a man of principle.

  3. #33
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Here's the one thing I DO feel pretty sure about, though: The US is all up in Israel because of the religious right. Fundamentalists believe that Israel must exist for Jesus to return, and they see support of Israel as necessary for facilitating the second coming. It is FUCKED UP. Do I know what we should do? Nope (but thankfully, I suppose, I'm not in a position to be in charge.... unlike some other people who probably don't know what we should do either).
    That is actually one thing you SHOULDN'T be sure about, because it's pretty inaccurate. Israel has been #1 or #2 on the list of countries with most foreign aid from the U.S. since its inception, and the Religious Right were not a coherent political force in the United States at all until the 1970s. The main reason we've been such close friends is because there is a large and very wealthy Jewish lobby in the United States that is very pro-Israel. They are highly influential in American politics, and the influence is disproportionate to their population. I am not decrying this (many who do decry are, in fact, anti-Semites); I am just pointing out a reality. Jewish people are wealthier than average in the United States, and they are more politically active.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  4. #34
    Senior Member Dom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    I don't know enough about this topic to feel okay going on at length about it. But here are the things I have heard:

    -the state of Israel was formed after WWII as a location for displaced Jews (kind of as a reparation?). [Wikipedia seems to suggest that this was actually happening before WWII, around WWI... was this an effort merely by Zionists, or was it an effort encouraged by antisemites who wanted European Jews out?]
    During world war 1 the British empire unilaterally declared that it would attempt to find a "home" (it did not say a independent state) for the Jews. IT is widely considered by historians as an attempt to get the Jewish/Zionist suicide bombers and other freedom fighting/terrorist actions to stop as this was destabilizing a vital area during the second world war. It is also agreed that a measure of this declaration was to encourage the Americans to join the war (WWI).

    -the land was actually purchased from Palestinians; so it wasn't really like the land was STOLEN and that the Jews are OCCUPIERS. However, if this was done in a heavy-handed way by the UN, it might make sense that the Palestinians perceive the situation as theft, even if they technically were compensated.
    This I've never heard about so I'm off to have a lookise, but my instincts suggest that if this happened it was probably not as straight forward as it sounds, it was probably unilateral, compulsory and not to true market value and certainly left the evicted/sellers, with no where to go. There is a reason 4 million Palestinians live in refugee camps. I'm also pretty sure any UN action of this kind would have been vetoed and the league never had anything like this much power. As I'm unsure about this I'll say little else on it.

    -Palestinians have been the prime aggressors. To what are they responding, though? Are they just attacking to be aggressive and defend their concept of what's "theirs," or are there civil rights issues as well? I am not asking a question that I know the answer to here!
    Again I'm unsure I can qualify much, the Palestinians were not the original aggressors though, there was Zionist freedom fighting/terrorist action way before WW2 but practically nothing prior to WWI.

    -It seems that the Great Britain was involved. Are there some colonialism or post-colonialism issues here that ought to be recognized when sorting out blame?
    Britain was given a League of Nations Mandate to protect, secure and control the area after WW1. This was seen as necessary as the old ottoman empire (which Palestine had been a Provence of) was collapsing. Before being given the mandate the British attempted to prop up and defend the Sultan as dictate by part of the Versailles settlement. No other nation (including the Dominions Canada, Auz, NZ and SA) were prepared to put troops on the ground. Breaking the ottoman empire into smaller mandates was preferred. The area we know today as Syria was mandated to France as another example. Britain Proposed the two state compromise in 1947, after WW2, when it became apparent that they did not have the means to prevent general civil war between the Zionist and Arab populations. The British compromise was accepted by the Palestinians but not the Zionists and used population densities as the main means to draw the borders. Subsequent UN resolutions to suggest that the legal borders be set upon this compromise have been consistently vetoed by the US. Everything has become worse since then.

    The original draft, agreed to by Truman and others, for the declaration of the independence of a new Jewish state included territorial limits mostly agreed upon by both sides. When the declaration was finally made it excluded any mention of borders. Truman was placed in the position of deciding whether to recognize the new state or not (and thus commit political suicide). Effectively he recognized Israel's right to exist without agreeing to her borders or limits to the territory she could claim. Ever since then the US has steadfastly defended Israel in the security council and with what is now about $B of annual military aid.

    -Each side seems to have denied or actively deny that the other side exists or has a right to exist.
    Yeah, it wasn't always this bad but things are really a mess these days.

    -It seems that Palestinians have (I haven't looked it up right now, and I don't have time to) complained about the treatment of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers and such, and they have complained about essentially being forced into "ghettos." Again, this is just something I vaguely remember reading about.
    This is the 4 million Palestinian refugees that live in camps (or slum cities) they were displaced during the 7 days war in 1967. There was a quiet period in between with two nations existing in 1967 Israel occupied the west bank and Gaza strip and continued to do so until the 1990's since which they maintain external control and their right to move through over and do what they like in these territories but had handed over every day running of them to the Palestinian authority which is elected (and thus currently controlled by Hamas) The displaced have not been allowed to return from whence they came.

    My impression has always been (now, this is an impression that I admit may come from not having enough information) that somehow, the UN or League of Nations fucked up by imposing the state of Israel on Palestine--even if the Palestinians were technically compensated. Also, it seems to me that each side has actually hurt the other and neither is merely a victim. Terrorism is not a good way for Palestine to handle these issues, for sure... it seems that Palestine lacks appropriate leadership since they repeatedly resort to those tactics instead of real diplomacy.
    The UN nor the league imposed the state of Israel on Palestine, every attempt to agree on borders for a two state system resulted/s in being vetoed by either the US or France, Russia depending on who proposed it. Israel exists due to a unilateral declaration of independence, which was legitimized by Truman's recognition of the new state. A decent solution was made even more difficult when the two cold war super powers decided to champion one cause against the other.

    As for terror verses real diplomacy yes the Palestine's have a credibility issue. They elected Hamas who is definitely a terrorist organization. Prior to that the PLO under Yasser Arafat ran it, but sadly in a corrupt fashion. However it is very difficult to effectively govern millions of people you can barely feed, he at least managed to do that, arrange some aid form the international community (aid which has been suspended since Hamas took over) even if he was stealing part of it, he also seemed to be prepared to at least discuss a solution. His inability to restrain Hamas was often interpreted as his unwillingness to do so, the fact Hamas had a shoot out with the PLO after his death certainly demonstrates that he probably was unable to control them rather than unwilling.

    Here's the one thing I DO feel pretty sure about, though: The US is all up in Israel because of the religious right. Fundamentalists believe that Israel must exist for Jesus to return, and they see support of Israel as necessary for facilitating the second coming. It is FUCKED UP. Do I know what we should do? Nope (but thankfully, I suppose, I'm not in a position to be in charge.... unlike some other people who probably don't know what we should do either).
    I find trying to explain the way the US is involved very difficult. With no real national interest at stake; normal geo/real political interpretations fail to explain the situation. And the problems began with Truman's recognition of the border-less Israel, which was before the cold war had even kicked off properly so using the coverall cold war explanation doesn't fit either. I have to agree that some other ideological reason is the cause.

    It is incredibly sad that there seems to be no answer to these issues and I can see no hope for a future until either Hamas is gone or the international community decides that their election by the Palestine people legitimized them, I hope not as that would encourage other violent NGO's around the world.

    At this stage arguing about who's fault it is and who started wont help, but as nothing else will either it's pretty much all we can do.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dom View Post
    Because they are human beings.

    To consider action taken in 1970 as being justified as they appear similar to those taken in the 19th century is ridiculous.




    Sadly this also belongs in another century. They had a homeland, and they decided it wasn't 'complete' the justification for the seven days wars, a war of conquest; a plain and simple land grab, was the scriptural description of the territorial limits of the promised land. The lines on the map that the Zionists want are religious and bear no resemblance to any MODERN claims to land. These are nearly always rejected but are made on the case of ethnicity of the population. As I said in 1967 there was a secure Israeli state, it went to war not to create a homeland, they had that already, they conquered someone else's because they wanted more land. That seriously belongs in a different century too. A Zionist that doesn't believe in God who then wants Solomon's national borders or even the ones promised but never realised doesn't even have the flimsy recourse to religion with which to attempt to justify their greed.

    If the UK attempted to press claims to their old possessions in France the world would assume they lost their minds.
    1) Define human being. Someone who speaks and walks on two legs? This whole concept of "too big a price now" means far more will happen in the long run.

    2) Is it ridiculous? In fact, Israel has FAR more justification for doing what it does than America did for its manifest destiny.

    3) You know *nothing*. 1967 was NOT an Israeli offensive. 1967 was 6 nations trying to destroy Israel in one strike, and then getting crushed. In return, Israel took land as a punitive repayment. Whether it was greed or not, would you rather that land go to people that try to kill Israelis day in and day out? And don't say that's nonsense--they *elected* Hamas, with FULL knowledge of their history.

    4) What?
    I am an ENTJ. I hate political correctness but love smart people ^_^

  6. #36
    Senior Member Dom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IlyaK1986 View Post
    1) Define human being. Someone who speaks and walks on two legs? This whole concept of "too big a price now" means far more will happen in the long run.
    They are human beings, as in homo sapiens and therefore just allowing their wholesale destruction would be nothing more than allowing and condoning an Islamic holocaust. Maybe that would be what it would take to bring peace to the region that sure as hell doesn't make it right. They may appear to ahve little value to the world, but then crammed into the refugee camps and devoid of money and any hope of economic growth it is hardly supprising that they are not able to contrbute much.

    2) Is it ridiculous? In fact, Israel has FAR more justification for doing what it does than America did for its manifest destiny.
    No I find both justifications utterly lacking accept in terms on national aggrandizement, prestige and power. Exactly the kinds of justifications the west left behind as civilized behavior many decades ago.

    3) You know *nothing*. 1967 was NOT an Israeli offensive. 1967 was 6 nations trying to destroy Israel in one strike, and then getting crushed. In return, Israel took land as a punitive repayment. Whether it was greed or not, would you rather that land go to people that try to kill Israelis day in and day out? And don't say that's nonsense--they *elected* Hamas, with FULL knowledge of their history.
    Yes, I know that the surrounding nations all went to war with Israel in 1967, I know they got beat, and Israel took what she wanted in punitive measure. I find it amusing that it does become difficult to claim God wasn't on their side when you see how outnumbered they were. However, the taking of this land was in line with earlier claims and certainly did not help to make Israel any more popular with her neighbors. Also it is hard to see how Israel would have won it if it had not been for the military aid she was receiving from the US. Also it is Israel that made the first move with their pre-emptive strike on Egyptian air force, so lets not be too hasty to say the Arabs started it? Calls for united action are only calls, sadly the Israeli's gave them a reason to combine... maybe that is what they wanted anyway... In fact Nasser had warned that ""If Israel embarks on an aggression against Syria or Egypt, the battle against Israel will be a general one and not confined to one spot on the Syrian or Egyptian borders." I personally consider an attack made before a DoW to be an act of aggression.

    They elected Hamas while Hamas had control of their streets having fought for them against the PLO and they turned to what we consider an evil group in desperation. I think their choice was utterly self defeating and they are paying a price for it. People do stupid things when they are desperate.

    And as for how violent the Palestinians are, who was it that assassinated Rabin? Oh I believe it was Israelis.... after all how dare he suggest there may be some hope of a two nation compromised negotiated settlement?

    4) What?
    Oh something you don't know about? How surprising.

  7. #37
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dom View Post
    During world war 1 the British empire unilaterally declared that it would attempt to find a "home" (it did not say a independent state) for the Jews.
    The piece of the puzzle that nobody will tell you about is that at the time, Jews were about as popular in the West as gypsies, or perhaps a raging case of the clap. They were parked on a reservation in Palestine because A) the Brits had a lot of cheap real estate there, and B) nobody else would take them. Just because the Allies liberated the death camps doesn't mean that the Allied countries were not still deeply anti-Semitic. One of the reasons that the UK was divided over the war for so long was that a lot of Brits thought Hitler had some pretty good ideas.

    So these displaced Ashkenazim moved into what had been a dusty, dreary backwater and promptly established one of the most vibrant and prosperous cultures on the Mediterranean, using sheer brilliance and determination to get the job done.

  8. #38
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    So these displaced Ashkenazim moved into what had been a dusty, dreary backwater and promptly established one of the most vibrant and prosperous cultures on the Mediterranean, using sheer brilliance and determination to get the job done.
    And billions of American dollars. I think Israel is great, but let's not be triumphalist here. That country gets very special treatment from the West and has gotten it in since Day 1.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And billions of American dollars. I think Israel is great, but let's not be triumphalist here. That country gets very special treatment from the West and has gotten it in since Day 1.
    Well, yes. Granted.

    But then, why should I be 'triumphalist'? I don't particularly identify with the Israelis. I just admire them.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And billions of American dollars. I think Israel is great, but let's not be triumphalist here. That country gets very special treatment from the West and has gotten it in since Day 1.
    Yes, just like many other countries. What's your point?

    All I know is that if it meant the end of extremism and a price only the Islamic world had to pay, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
    I am an ENTJ. I hate political correctness but love smart people ^_^

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