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Wind on the Nile
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5746

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gurgletrousers, as I remember from your posts, I'm a bit younger than you, but still born just 4 years after WW2 was over. Believe me, I've seen many of the despicable and disturbingly graphic German films taken during the war. Without a doubt, a tragedy unequaled in modern times, and unquestionably heartrending in its magnitude. No people should have to endure such brutality and hate.

Nevertheless, I question the continual replay of that time to the exclusion of today's history and its current trials. I guess I needed to highlight that, because many in the world, particularly in the Middle East today didn't live the European experience. So many younger folks in the Middle East share a decidedly different view of the present, and we can't toss that because of times long past.

Israeli sovereignty isn't really in question on the world picture, but their handling of the Palestinian situation definitely is. While I doubt that all the wishes of Arab world can be a reality, Israeli compromise is needed, at least in their relations with Palestinians.
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martyall



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 12:11 am    Post subject: Re: Wind on the Nile Reply with quote

windoggie wrote:
They better rig small, because its gonna blow.


Yeah right, I hope that it will not destroy the nature in Nile. Very Happy
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2587

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gurgle, Don't apologise..........having lived in post war Europe I know exactly where you are coming from.........SWChandler............I think you are well intentioned.........but, on this topic, you are out of your depth.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GURGLETROUSERS wrote:
I can't help sympathising with the Jews.


It's not just sympathy. I can't comprehend the way the media treats them, as though THEY were the aggressors, as though "Palestine" was a actual country rather than a band of people led by terrorists, as though the Palestinians didn't demand not only land for themselves but Israel's land as well, as though Israel didn't already appease them with the Gaza Strip, etc. And why the hell anyone but religious zealots hate Jews so damned much has never been clear to me.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5746

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well mrgybe, putting your feelings concerning Obama aside, what do you believe should be done to permanently resolve the differences between the Israelis and Palestinians and why?

I'm sure that someone having lived in post war Europe as you have has a much better grasp of the whole thing and how to realistically deal with it. Given Europe's long colorful history in the Middle East and with its peoples, I kind of wish they could muster up the courage and determination to set things straight for all parties. Surely, Americans half way around the world can't really understand or appreciate the realities and the dynamics of Europe and the Middle East.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2587

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea how to solve the problem..........neither, I suspect, do you. I am not Jewish, have never visited Israel and have only the most superficial understanding of the challenges that have faced the Jewish people over centuries, and those which face them now. That's why I choose not to condemn the actions of the Israeli leadership, but rather, to give them the benefit of the doubt based upon the little that I do know. It is clear that I am not alone in my lack of in-depth understanding of this complex issue.

I do, however, know something about diplomacy. The President's demands were unrealistic and naive and have hardened positions rather than the reverse. He either received poor advice or exercised poor judgment in making them.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5746

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess that Neville Chamberlain thought he was being diplomatic.


No doubt, we will mostly likely have a differing opinions concerning Obama and his ongoing presidency. While I'm not always happy with Obama's leadership decisions, I'll hang with my earlier comments concerning his stance in his meeting with Netanyahu.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5087

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT—looking critically at Israel’s behavior, and making changes in that behavior a condition for US support is not appeasement. Nor is it an insult to Netanyahu; the Israel right has dissed Obama repeatedly even before his election. See this article before Netanyahu was elected:

Quote:
Hawkish Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu , already a critic of U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, said he would allow the settlements to expand to accommodate "natural growth," though that is ruled out in the internationally backed "road map" peace plan that serves as the basis for negotiations.


I seriously doubt that Obama's comments to Netanyahu were either naïveté or a reaction to criticism. Unlike his predecessor, Obama is not highly reactive, hence the nickname "no-drama Obama". I think Obama intended to send a message to Israel that we cannot afford unlimited military expenses in the Middle East, especially if Israel is unwilling to work towards a Palestinian state. Sending that message after Obama had successfully authorized a raid that killed Bin Laden gave Obama substantial political cover against the standard attack of Republicans on Democratic presidents that they are weak on military issues. Indeed, I would not be surprised if this were part of a rethinking of military strategy away from large armed forces towards smaller raiding forces.

There are two things to think about in the Middle East and the U.S. Policy towards the countries there. First is the cost to the United States of securing oil security, particularly with traditional armed forces. The second is how do we deal with the problems of polarization and the growth of radical Islam. I would argue that the polarization and ascendency of radicals in the Islam world stems in substantial part from United States’ mistakes of the past.

On oil security, the costs of securing oil security in the Middle East have been estimated as high as $7.3 trillion over the last three decades since Carter established protecting oil security as US policy. That’s $225 billion a year. Divide that by the amount of petroleum imported and you begin to see the hidden costs of the carbon based economy. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/04/study-middle-east-oil-scecurity-cost-us-78-trillion-over-last-three-decades/1

In addition to those costs are direct military subsidies to Israel at $3 billion a year. There is a well-oiled lobbying effort, at least somewhat aligned with the traditional right-wing organizations like the Heritage Foundation, that works hard to keep these funds flowing.

Along with most American’s, I applauded Israel’s quick victory over the Egypt and its Arab allies in the 1967 war, and I support Israel’s right to self defense. But I have known Israeli ex-pats who left the country because of the militarization of the society that such self defense efforts have led to. The questions that need to be asked are how much aggression is warranted to defend Israel, how well are current policies working, and what are the unintended consequences?

Terrorism has been going on in Israel for decades, and illustrates the difficulty of thinking of non-state terrorism in traditional military terms. Unlike the Third Reich, which was a systematically organized genocide, carried out by the State, terrorism occurs outside of formal State sanction, and is tolerated by the populace. In the case of Hamas, there is active financial support from other countries, particularly Iran. The question that I think we should ask is whether it makes sense to see if a Palestinian State can be established that would provide a traditional State to State venue for negotiating legitimate grievances—which exist on both sides. Neither Israel’s refusal to deal with the election of Hamas or begin peace talks, nor the Palestinian populace’s refusal to acknowledge the security of Israel as a country, serve their people. Both play well politically to the radical fringes.

The role of Iran illustrates the consequences of past US policy efforts, and the difficulty of navigating in the treacherous tribal world of the Middle East. Our efforts to support the Shah in Iran during the 1979 revolution did not work out so well. Khomeini established an Islam republic, and the chaos that ensued emboldened Iraq to seize territory, and the long war that broke out killed and wounded millions. More recently, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq weakened the Ba’th and Taliban, Iran’s strongest rivals in the region, and strengthened the hand of Iran. Before the invasion of Iraq many middle east analysts considered Iran a much greater threat to world stability than Iraq; I think recent history has proved that to be true.

Even worse results have come out of Afghanistan, like Iraq the location of a proxy war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The United States efforts to support rebels in Afghanistan with money, training and weapons, created the warriors who became Al Qaeda. President Jimmy Carter authorized covert aid to the rebels in July 1979. (There is a very interesting article on the Soviet decision to back the Afghanistan government here: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB57/soviet.html)

So once the rebels have thrown out the Russians, they formed Al Qaeda in 1989. Armed rebels just seem to be hard to control. But the larger issue is the de-stabilizing effect of war. In Iraq and Iran, large segments of the middle and professional classes have left. I had a friend who was an ex-pat Iranian, a well-educated member of the national wrestling team. When he went to visit his parents who still live in Iran he was struck by the repressive nature of the country, and would not consider going back. So violence chases the middle class and entrepeneurs out of the country--eliminating both economic activities and moderating political forces. This in turn makes it easier to manipulate the poorly educated, and intimidate political opponents. All unintended consequences of the mischief, sometimes well intentioned, that attended US policy.

No easy answers here, a region with deep tribal and religious differences. Some of this is tribalism, made worse by the boundaries left after colonialism and World War II. But we've seen the situation get worse as we embraced a primarily military strategy, and united the different segments of the society in seeing the United States presence in their country as the symbol of everything that was wrong. So the questions remain, can we kill terrorists faster than the means we use create new terrorists? Is the Israeli approach really so laudable?
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4016

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/05/20/video-netanyahu-lectures-obama-on-why-israels-1967-borders-are-indefensible/

Watch a real world leader teach obama how to be a leader of men. Netanyahu is my hero.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4016

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
Israel is not really interested in democracy--it gave them Hamas. And how exagerated the conceit to think that it is Israel and the United States who will determine the outcome of the Arab spring! No easy answers here, including from the Republican playbook.


The arab spring? Are you kidding me? Mac, why don't you go wear your dungarees with Lara Loga and see how the "arab spring" works out for you. Your head will be on a pike dude.
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