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  #121  
Old 11-27-2011, 02:42 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

I said: OTOH - since the defender is facing their own destruction at the hands of the aggressor in a war they did not start or want - then they should justifiably be given considerable latitude to decide what is necessary to defend themselves and stop the aggression.

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Both sides may see it as existential, even when it is not. Both sides may see the other as aggressor. To simply determine that one side is doesn't create conditions that allow for violence to cease. You are simply demanding that others agree with you about the rights and wrongs. Sure, if everyone agrees with you all violence stops.
This seems very muddled to me. All wars are started by a party who believes violence is completely justified to get what they want. This is as true on the playground as it was in Europe in 1939. That's why the world has established strict rules about that - and occasionally even enforces them when someone other than Jews are being attacked. But the rule is - when it's being enforced - is one does not initiate the use of violence against another party to get what they want. Period.

To facilitate such peace-promoting rules the world created tribunals available to handle complaints and settle them in lieu of going to war. Every member of the UN agrees to those rules as conditions of membership. Apparently Arabs attacking Israel are immune from such agreements.

I worked as a playground "keeper of the peace" back in the sixties. When you have a bunch of kids running around and getting into mischief you can not make exceptions. "Johnny gave me the finger" is not justification for punching Johnny. When the kids understand they will be kicked off the playground for a period of time for any infraction of the violence rules - things get a lot more peaceful. If they think I will make exceptions because I believe that some violence is "justified" suddenly every bully is sure I'll accept his justification for violence and is willing to risk it.

Added: I suggest that if you ever ran a playground using what you wrote above as a guideline it would be a pretty bloody place with a lot of peaceful non-aggressive kids getting beat up.

Quote:
We are talking about a squabble over land. Without an agreement as to who gets the land, you can't insist that there's no defensive purpose.
But there was an agreement. UNSC 181 (The Partition Plan). It was voted by 2/3 majority of all UN member states. The states voting "No" were:

Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen.

The Jews chose to accept the small state they were given. The Arabs chose to start a war of aggression against Israel. That was absolutely not a squabble over land. Saying so is disingenuous at least. It is actually an attempt to demonize Israel for defending itself against aggression. Israel was not squabbling over anything. It was a violent military attack on Israel, a soon-to-be sovereign state and UN member - first by Palestinian Arab militias supported by Arab weapons and advisers starting in Nov 1947 - and then in 1948 by five Arab states' armies in some cases led by British officers. Don't you think if the Arabs had no intention of abiding by the resolution they should have resigned their membership before the vote. Over 63 years that war has morphed and taken advantage of different political realities but the same war continues today with the same aggressors and the same defenders and for the exact same justification - Arab rejection of any Jewish state in the ME.

Those five Arab states should have been expelled from the UN IMO and placed under a renewed UN Mandate until they were ready to be around other kids on the playground. That did not happen because no-one wanted to deal with the crazy Arabs one-on-one like Britain and France had done, especially since "they were just attacking Jews". Also, there were potentially huge financial rewards for "understanding" the Arabs's desire the expel the Jews from the ME - oil and influence with the powers that controlled the Suez.

And so we now have Iran, about to get nukes and threatening along with Hisb'allah, Hamas, the PA, the Egyptian Arab Spring, etc. to wipe Israel off the map. It's the world we created by our own weakness in failing to enforce the playground rules we made. Ironically this was done by a world hoping to end war as a means of dispute resolution. We reap what we sow.
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Last edited by Ray in Seattle; 11-27-2011 at 03:37 PM..
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  #122  
Old 11-27-2011, 03:01 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
The comparison to the US's settlement makes some sense to me here. Native Americans see the encroachment of white settlers as ending up with the loss of their land and often war. They thus respond to additional encroachment -- perhaps by settlers who have no aggressive intentions, but merely want farmland, with violence. As a result, war results and the Native Americans lose and end up with more of their land claimed. Even the US/colonial gov't may not have wanted this -- perhaps they said the land in question was off-limits to the settlers. Do you really react to this by just saying that the Native Americans are unsympathetic aggressors? That any war was their own fault? That seems to me quite similar to what you are saying here.
If there was a UN then and the UN took a 2/3 vote and the Indian's had a right to lobby the member states and the Indians supporter states had a vote and they agreed to go by the vote and the vote was a suggestion that the land be split up according to zones of majority population and that no-one would be forced to move and that no-one would be forced to sell their land and that no-one would have their land taken from them - then yes, if they attacked the settlers I would say the Indians were unsympathetic aggressors and that any war was their own fault.
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  #123  
Old 11-27-2011, 03:03 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

Quote:
A general comment: Way too many people here have never tried to actually reason out the difference between defense and aggression in just war theory. They are both violent but are opposites in a moral sense. One is morally unjustified - the other is completely justified. Do some reading.
Yeah, you know what, I don't care. I don't go in for a lot of philosophizing about who's the aggressor and who's more honorable and so forth. The only thing I'm interested in is seeing the Palestinians and Israelis both having secure and independent states.

Quote:
When dealing with any state that uses threats of aggression and actual aggression to get its way - taking defensive war to contain them off the table would be stupid.
I'm not suggesting the US should do anything, I'm just asking if the same logic applies to US with regard to Iran as it does to the Palestinians with regard to Israel.
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  #124  
Old 11-27-2011, 03:13 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
Yeah, you know what, I don't care. I don't go in for a lot of philosophizing about who's the aggressor and who's more honorable and so forth. The only thing I'm interested in is seeing the Palestinians and Israelis both having secure and independent states.
Since you don't want to think too deeply about these difficult things I'll put it simply for you. As long as the Palestinians are willing to use violence to prevent Israel from living in peace in their own state - they will probably not have a state of their own to launch attacks against Israel. If you want the Palestinians to have their own state than you should be insisting that they actually give up their goal of destroying Israel - and sincerely teach their population to accept the Jewish state of Israel as their neighbors in peace. That's the only think that's standing in their way.

Quote:
I'm not suggesting the US should do anything, I'm just asking if the same logic applies to US with regard to Iran as it does to the Palestinians with regard to Israel.
I'm not sure what you're asking. But threats against a sovereign peaceful state that that use force only in its self defense - if those threats create a reasonable risk against that peaceful state and the lives of its citizens - may justifiably be answered with preemptive violence in some cases.

Threats of violence and war against peaceful states and peoples are very serious offenses against humanity IMO. They should be considered as such by anyone who sincerely believes that a peaceful world is better than a violent one. I guess those who think Arabs should be given a pass on those onerous rules might disagree.
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Last edited by Ray in Seattle; 11-27-2011 at 03:22 PM..
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  #125  
Old 11-27-2011, 03:18 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I think the American Indian analogy is instructive. The problem for Israel is that such conquests are no longer tolerated. Back when land was taken from Native Americans, or land was conquered in war from Mexico, there were no institutions of world peace to prevent the injustices. Bad timing for Israel, however. They tried to pull off a 19th century conquest towards the end of the 20th century. Israel is an anachronism.
Your efforts at portraying Israel as a conqueror of innocent Arabs' lands is getting old. See my last reply to Stephanie for details.
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Last edited by Ray in Seattle; 11-27-2011 at 03:20 PM..
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  #126  
Old 11-27-2011, 03:44 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle View Post
Your efforts at portraying Israel as a conqueror of innocent Arabs' lands is getting old. See my last reply to Stephanie for details.
Ray, I dropped this discussion because I realized that there was no movement forward. Since then a couple of other people have engaged and have presented their arguments. You don't seem to have moved a bit, and haven't been able to acknowledge anybody else's point of view. In your mind the good and evil players are set in stone. You've said repeatedly that you like to come here to have your beliefs challenged. Are you really doing your best to be receptive to what others are saying? If so, it doesn't come across.
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  #127  
Old 11-27-2011, 03:52 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I think the American Indian analogy is instructive. The problem for Israel is that such conquests are no longer tolerated.
I think when you say something like this, though, people read you as saying Israel shouldn't exist, and I don't believe that's your point. Personally, as I've said before, I think it's pointless and not too different than Ray's argument about the Palestinian cause being immoral, to insist that the problem is that the Zionists had no right to go to what is now Israel or that Israel should never had been created. I don't agree with that claim but more importantly, arguing over it certainly doesn't help resolve the existing conflict, where the people who are there are there and Israel exists.

What I'm trying to point out is that the Palestinians had reasons for their reaction to the events through the establishment of Israel and subsequent war. And, clearly, to the continued occupation and ongoing settlements. And the ongoing settlements are clearly going to be understood as aggressive. Indeed, they are, as they are claiming land.
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  #128  
Old 11-27-2011, 03:53 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Ray, I dropped this discussion because I realized that there was no movement forward. Since then a couple of other people have engaged and have presented their arguments. You don't seem to have moved a bit, and haven't been able to acknowledge anybody else's point of view. In your mind the good and evil players are set in stone. You've said repeatedly that you like to come here to have your beliefs challenged. Are you really doing your best to be receptive to what others are saying? If so, it doesn't come across.
Yes, the difference is I justify my position logically and in detail. I do that to give the opposition a detailed target to shoot at - to refute me.

The arguments rebutting me are basically just repetitions of the same positions with almost no supporting detail and with little or no logical justification. The Arab/Israel conflict is nothing at all like the US / Native American conflict, for example - yet is is used as an "instructive" example - with much agreement from others - to show that Israel is set on "conquering" Arab lands. I am trying hard to be open to other views but they have little logical substance or evidence to support them I'm afraid. Have you considered the possibility they may be wrong? I haven't seen any movement from the other side in my direction either. Why have you failed to mention that?
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  #129  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:01 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
What I'm trying to point out is that the Palestinians had reasons for their reaction to the events through the establishment of Israel and subsequent war. And, clearly, to the continued occupation and ongoing settlements. And the ongoing settlements are clearly going to be understood as aggressive. Indeed, they are, as they are claiming land.
I would point out that the occupation and settlements is a completely different situation from Israel's 1948 defensive war. Conflating them is not morally justified. The occupation was / is clearly defensive and is non-violent except when Arabs "resist". There was no occupation until Arabs attacked Israel from that territory. Israel has repeatedly shown its willingness to end the occupation according to UNSC 242 which Israel and the Arab states signed but the Arab states and Palestinians refuse to honor. The same with Oslo.

In the meantime it is disputed whether Israel can build settlements there. It is stateless, it was established in the San Remo conference ratified in 1922 as a future home for the Jews - and Israel does control it. In any case aggression is an act of violence. Building homes for families is not violent. There would be no settlements if the Arabs and Palestinians had accepted peace in 1967 - or 1948, or 1956 or 1973, or 2000 or 2006, etc.
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Last edited by Ray in Seattle; 11-27-2011 at 04:25 PM..
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  #130  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:06 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle View Post
Yes, the difference is I justify my position logically and in detail. I do that to give the opposition a detailed target to shoot at - to refute me.

The arguments rebutting me are basically just repetitions of the same positions with almost no supporting detail and with little or no logical justification. The Arab/Israel conflict is nothing at all like the US / Native American conflict, for example - yet is is used as an "instructive" example - with much agreement from others - to show that Israel is set on "conquering" Arab lands. I am trying hard to be open to other views but they have little logical substance or evidence to support them I'm afraid. Have you considered the possibility they may be wrong? I haven't seen any movement from the other side in my direction either. Why have you failed to mention that?
I will guess that people aren't responding to some of the level of detail you provide because it isn't necessarily relevant. You haven't responded to others' arguments either.

I don't think there's much movement to be had in one direction or the other when the initial assumptions are so different. That's why I dropped the conversation. Remember there was a disagreement about what you considered to be "aggressor" and whether that role/definition may change over time?

As I said initially, I consider myself more of an observer since I don't fall for one side or the other completely. But in general I don't tend to see these situations as the good player versus the evil player, with very few exceptions.

You are the commenter who stated repeatedly that you wanted to challenge your beliefs. That's why I'm mentioning this to you and not to other commenters. I thought you would be interested. But perhaps, in this instance you're just interested in being right or winning the argument like many others are. In that case, don't take my comment personally.
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  #131  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:13 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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You haven't responded to others' arguments either.
It's my sense that I have spent a huge amount of time in the last few days examining my position for flaws and consistency with the primary moral principles that I set forth and responding to others' arguments in detail. But if I have not responded to some argument - or have done so inadequately - please show me where. I will correct that immediately.

Also, where I have responded, show me a substantial argument in disagreement against my position. I will take another look and try hard to see what you see. Like in the last few days - where do you think I have failed (the most egregious example) to see the value of an argument in opposition to my views. Give me another chance at it.
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Last edited by Ray in Seattle; 11-27-2011 at 04:20 PM..
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  #132  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:29 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle View Post
It's my sense that I have spent a huge amount of time in the last few days examining my position for flaws and consistency with the primary moral principles that I set forth and responding to others' arguments in detail. But if I have not responded to some argument - or have done so inadequately - please show me where. I will correct that immediately.

Also, where I have responded, show me a substantial argument in disagreement against my position. I will take another look and try hard to see what you see. Like in the last few days - where do you think I have failed (the most egregious example) to see the value of an argument in opposition to my views. Give me another chance at it.
This is not about me giving you a chance. I think it would be more helpful to you to re-examine your own and others' arguments and see if you can find where the main areas of agreement and disagreement are. Then see if those disagreements are due to a difference in principle or having access to different sets of information.

My impression is that the definition of who the aggressor is and how that concept may change or evolve overtime are the starting problems. Interpretation of facts may further compound the differences.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to review all the comments to look for examples, and I truly believe it would be more helpful for you to find them.
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  #133  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:39 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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This is not about me giving you a chance. I think it would be more helpful to you to re-examine your own and others' arguments and see if you can find where the main areas of agreement and disagreement are. Then see if those disagreements are due to a difference in principle or having access to different sets of information.

My impression is that the definition of who the aggressor is and how that concept may change or evolve overtime are the starting problems. Interpretation of facts may further compound the differences.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to review all the comments to look for examples, and I truly believe it would be more helpful for you to find them.
Well, thanks, but I won't argue with myself. It is my opponents' responsibility to point out whatever flaws they see. I mean to really make a good logical case for their position. We all have access to the same source materials and I'm very willing to change my opinion in the face of a good argument and evidence. Until then, I guess those following this thread but not participating are free to decide who has supported their views and who has not.

BTW I am not interested in "winning". I only want to be able to say I argued fairly and honestly and with valid facts and evidence. If anyone thinks I haven't I will very seriously consider their criticism.
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  #134  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:49 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

With respect to Ray's argument about targeting civilians, I brought up the effects on civilians of certain aspects of modern, highly-technical warfare.

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Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle View Post
The Geneva Conventions have this pretty well worked out it seems to me. No matter what kind of weapon is used, the criteria is that the probability of killing civilians (and destroying civilian infrastructure) must be weighed against the justifiable military necessity of the action in any particular circumstance.
Doesn't really address the hard questions. How do you decide if there's a justifiable military necessity? Especially when you could accomplish the same goal with less civilian death but more risk to troops (and thus perhaps an effect on the overall military goal). Unless you are more rigorous than I've noticed you being here -- you seem willing to justify anything that the "side" you choose does -- you basically can argue that your own killing of civilians is totally acceptable.

Just from the ethics of war question, that's a problem. It's the problem that people who are simply committed to non-violence will point out against those who try to defend a just war or warfare according to rules POV will point to, and they have a point, which is why I think you have to be careful that you aren't simply refusing to take seriously the types of problems that your own country will face while condemning much more harshly the types of actions that a country like the US would never need to resort to.

With respect to the current argument, though, I'm not so interested in whether specific actions are right or wrong. Note that the actions I mentioned aren't related to the I/P violence. I'm trying to get you to understand that an approach to a conflict that insists that one side is all right and the other all wrong and insists that the resolution requires an agreement on your way of seeing it makes no sense. Even if I believe that the US's killing of civilians can be justified, it's crazy for me to demand that the families of those killed understand that and accept that the US cannot possibly be blamed. If everything is that black and white, conflicts can only be resolved by absolute war and unconditional surrender. Sure, that worked under the rare circumstances present in WW2, but it's not the norm.

Quote:
There is no military necessity for Hamas to fire rockets into Israel aimed at cities with civilians in them. Zero.
I am not sure how this response or the rest going on about your views of Israel's killing of civilians is related to what I said -- I'm trying to speak more generally. However, there are two issues being conflated here and it's worth trying to untangle them. Does anyone have the right to target civilians, including Hamas? Of course not. No one is defending Hamas. But I think you would extend this to say that the Palestinians have no "military necessity" to use force at all. The problem they have, of course, is that they cannot defend themselves or achieve their aims (whether one believes they are justified or not -- I'll stipulate that to the extent they involve destroying Israel they are not justified) by legitimate military means. Thus, they use terrorism. And I do not think terrorism is okay, however just the aims it seeks to advance. I hope we can agree that's so, no matter who the terrorists are.

But I get the sense that implicit in your POV is that they have no legitimate aims and never did, had no right to oppose the original borders of Israel or even the potential borders before they were declared. While I don't think it makes sense to go on fighting that battle your insistence that the Palestinians were nothing more than bad actors whose position has no merit at all seems to me the kind of black/white framing that others have mentioned. (I also wonder how you deal with Zionist violence against the British.)

Quote:
But ultimately, war sucks. Innocent civilians will get killed. That's why I believe there should be very severe penalties for starting them.
But when the US does, you justify the war. (And I'm not a pacifist either, but I see a conflict in your position here.)

The only way you can have this kind of hardline position that starting a war is wrong and the one at fault deserves the blame is to have some kind of outside authority (like the UN) or an unusually clearcut war.

Take a couple of US examples. First, the Revolution. On what grounds was that justified? Surely it would have been seen as not had we lost. Yet, whether one thinks it meets the just war criteria or not, it's not all that hard to sympathize with those who decided to fight, is it? Similarly, the Civil War. Here, my sympathies are all on the winning side, and I think the South started it, yet I don't see how one can deny that the South had an understanding that the war was justified, that they had a right to act as they did (I mean secession, not slavery), and that if they'd won we'd probably all agree to that now. They had a different understanding as to whether South Carolina had a right to decide if it was part of the US. The same kinds of things are clearly true -- and deeply felt -- with any longstanding fight over land, especially when they are ethnically based and can call on long histories of bad acts by one side to the other and vice versa. To insist that the answer is just not being the aggressor doesn't help because no one ever thinks they are the aggressor. Indeed, I think you've explained how in your view the US has never ever been the aggressor in any war ever. (being a little sarcastic here) That's not an uncommon view for people to have when thinking of their own country, since of course they see the reasons they felt compelled to go to war.

I'm going into all this simply because you indicated that you thought your aggressor=all bad, defender=all good framework was a more effective way of preventing and ending war than an approach where one tried to understand the POV of both sides, even when not agreeing.

Anyway, given that we have a world in which both sides are going to see the other as aggressor, what then? The Palestinians see Israel being proclaimed on land they claimed and, further, had reason to believe that Israel would claim even more land (whether you think this was a rational belief or not). Israel sees the Palestinians as having land they want and being hostile to their very existence, so a threat. Well, you seem to say we let the UN decide. So I ask -- across the board? Really? You'd give over your own sovereignity to that extent, your own right to decide whether US actions are justified? Oh, right, we have the veto. But assuming we didn't or that we were asked (along with the other countries with vetos) to give it up? Would you?

Assuming you wanted to move along those lines and eventually get to a place where there is an external source for determining rights and wrongs of conflicts, for taking away any right to fight it our when parties disagree, I think you and Wonderment are much more in agreement than you might realize.

Last edited by stephanie; 11-27-2011 at 04:51 PM..
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  #135  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:49 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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I think when you say something like this, though, people read you as saying Israel shouldn't exist, and I don't believe that's your point.
Right, that's not my point. I definitely want Israel to exist. I want Jews to flourish in the Holy Land with their language, holidays, culture, flag and institutions. I just want Palestinians to be part of Israel as full-fledged citizens. I even have no problem with the military still being called the IDF; it just has to include Palestinian citizens.

Quote:
Personally, as I've said before, I think it's pointless and not too different than Ray's argument about the Palestinian cause being immoral, to insist that the problem is that the Zionists had no right to go to what is now Israel or that Israel should never had been created. I don't agree with that claim but more importantly, arguing over it certainly doesn't help resolve the existing conflict, where the people who are there are there and Israel exists.
Agree. I am 100% disinterested in original claims or undoing 1948. There's no preventing people from continuing to debate these origin issues ad infinitum, but I'm much more interested in moving forward.
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  #136  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:52 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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My impression is that the definition of who the aggressor is and how that concept may change or evolve overtime are the starting problems. Interpretation of facts may further compound the differences.
OK that's possibly a criticism of my views. In almost every comment I have made in the last few days I have offered a clear definition for aggression, reasons why it should be prohibited in the support of peace, examples from real life about what happens if you don't, etc. I have probably written a small book on this topic in this forum over the last week.

I don't see where anyone has addressed my views on this in any serious way. I see no offer of a better way to look at it that would make the world a more peaceful place. Saying that I "just can't look at this as black and white" is not a logical argument.

Why is that. Can't anyone here put forth a serious quality argument about these things? I'd think that having thought this out by now and having a coherent view on it would be important to anyone wishing to see less war and more peace in the world. I can also see why doing so would not be wise if helping the Palestinians eliminate the one state in the world that is a refuge for Jews was their goal.
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  #137  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:54 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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Agree. I am 100% disinterested in original claims or undoing 1948.
Right, but you see the one-state-solution as the best way to go. Do you read your own comments?
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  #138  
Old 11-27-2011, 05:03 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Lessons Learned: Iraq War Redux? (Robert Wright & Heather Hurlburt)

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This seems very muddled to me. All wars are started by a party who believes violence is completely justified to get what they want.
Well, no -- both sides in wars think that violence is justified to achieve their aims. What you keep claiming that seems clearly false is that there's generally an agreement, an understanding by all as to who "started it" and who is the "aggressor." As discussed in my prior point, that's only the case in extremely rare circumstances (where no reasonable persons could disagree) or requires an external authority. I don't think an external authority exists that has the kind of accepted force that you imagine here, such that people could not in good faith disagree. But I think my last post covers that, so no need to repeat -- we can keep the discussion there.

I will note that your continual claims that the UN is biased against Israel actually demonstrates why such authority doesn't exist. It's not hard to see unfairness in a UN result and come up with your own explanation (even a reasonable explanation) for it.

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If they think I will make exceptions because I believe that some violence is "justified" suddenly every bully is sure I'll accept his justification for violence and is willing to risk it.
Again, this is a great argument for Wonderment's position, as I understand it. No violence is justified. Let's work to a neutral international means of resolving conflict and give up all rights to resort to that violence unilaterally (or by allied groups). I don't think it's consistent with the positions you have put forth.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:04 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Right, but you see the one-state-solution as the best way to go.
Yes, definitely my view. So?
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:05 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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With respect to Ray's argument about targeting civilians, I brought up the effects on civilians of certain aspects of modern, highly-technical warfare
Thanks for the very substantial reply. I need a break before my wife starts wondering why I'm spending so much time on messages from someone named Stephanie. And I need some time to think carefully about your comment. I'll get back.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:10 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Yes, definitely my view. So?
Certainly you know the problem Israelis would have with it. You could save time just by explaining why Israel having an Arab majority that believes Jews have no right to a state in the ME would be a sensible way for Israel to preserve itself as a refuge for Jews in the world.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:11 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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If there was a UN then and the UN took a 2/3 vote and the Indian's had a right to lobby the member states and the Indians supporter states had a vote and they agreed to go by the vote and the vote was a suggestion that the land be split up according to zones of majority population and that no-one would be forced to move and that no-one would be forced to sell their land and that no-one would have their land taken from them
And then the US vetoed that? The US decided that recognition of any American Indian land was not acceptable. After all, it was a violation of its rights to defend its own borders and deal with internal conflict. Lucky for us, we still have a veto in our alternative past where the UN existed.

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then yes, if they attacked the settlers I would say the Indians were unsympathetic aggressors and that any war was their own fault.
But remember they don't have any land, because the US vetoed the proposal.

Are you willing to give up the veto if everyone else does? Are you willing to let the UN decide when the US can use violence? Again, assuming yes, I don't know what you and Wonderment are arguing about. I bet you could agree on a lot.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:17 PM
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In the meantime it is disputed whether Israel can build settlements there. It is stateless, it was established in the San Remo conference ratified in 1922 as a future home for the Jews - and Israel does control it. In any case aggression is an act of violence. Building homes for families is not violent. There would be no settlements if the Arabs and Palestinians had accepted peace in 1967 - or 1948, or 1956 or 1973, or 2000 or 2006, etc.
You are basically saying here that it's okay for Israel to go ahead and claim the land for its own, to be part of Israel. That's aggressive and it certainly supports the POV of the Palestinians (contrary to my own) that Israel is an existential threat and is an aggressor in seeking to take all the land.

Moreover, if Israel can take the land, how do you avoid Wonderment's one-state position? I don't think one-state works, personally. That's why I think the Palestinian areas need to become a state.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:19 PM
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The Arab/Israel conflict is nothing at all like the US / Native American conflict, for example - yet is is used as an "instructive" example - with much agreement from others - to show that Israel is set on "conquering" Arab lands.
Uh, that wasn't my point at all. I don't even think my American farmers or the US/colonial army in my example were bent on conquest. I think that was relatively obvious.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:31 PM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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See my last reply to Stephanie[/URL] for details.
Neither the British nor the UN had the right to dispose of Palestine. Similarly, the US Supreme Court had no right to decide the plight of Cherokee lands, even though it did so favorably to some extent. The problem was Andrew Jackson's government effectively ignored the Court's decision and set about surreptitiously dispossessing the Cherokee and other tribes of their land. The Nakbah is the Palestinian version of the Trail of Tears.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:48 PM
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Certainly you know the problem Israelis would have with it. You could save time just by explaining why Israel having an Arab majority that believes Jews have no right to a state in the ME would be a sensible way for Israel to preserve itself as a refuge for Jews in the world.
Jews don't need a refuge, in my opinion. But even stipulating that we do, the refuge would remain Israel, where we would have rights of citizenship.
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  #147  
Old 11-27-2011, 06:12 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Jews don't need a refuge, in my opinion. But even stipulating that we do, the refuge would remain Israel, where we would have rights of citizenship.
Please, I was really hoping for some serious discussion.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:12 PM
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Well, thanks, but I won't argue with myself.
Too bad you're not willing. It's a very useful exercise.

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It is my opponents' responsibility to point out whatever flaws they see. I mean to really make a good logical case for their position.
We've disagreed about this before. You have an idea about what others are supposed to do and how they are supposed to respond to you, following your expectations and rules.

"A good logical case" is being made in each an every comment in response to yours. You just don't see it that way, because your assumptions about what's logical or valid are different from theirs.

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We all have access to the same source materials and I'm very willing to change my opinion in the face of a good argument and evidence. Until then, I guess those following this thread but not participating are free to decide who has supported their views and who has not.
You mean, the jury sitting in front of their computers following this thread closely to see how Ray is doing?

Unlikely, don't you think?

When there's a large volume of source materials, it's impossible to cite every piece of information. That's why people try to make a case based on a few general agreed upon facts that give a general idea of what the problem is and how it has played historically. If no matter what, you see Israel as doing no wrong because of some assumption that they are not responsible at all, then there's no room for debate. Your mind is made up and will not change. Unless you review your initial assumption, there's no room for discussion.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the discussion with those who are more interested in continuing. I found the process of the discussion itself interesting.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:29 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Again, this is a great argument for Wonderment's position, as I understand it. No violence is justified. Let's work to a neutral international means of resolving conflict and give up all rights to resort to that violence unilaterally (or by allied groups). I don't think it's consistent with the positions you have put forth.
Stephanie, You should know by now that when I say no violence is justified, I mean no non-defensive violence. I've fully explained that several times now. If some bully was beating up a kid and the kid defended himself from getting a worse beating I would not kick the kid off the playground. If it was not clear who was doing the beating up and who was doing the defending I'd have to send them both off the playground.
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  #150  
Old 11-27-2011, 06:36 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Stephanie, You should know by now that when I say no violence is justified, I mean no non-defensive violence. I've fully explained that several times now.
If you have an arbiter, you don't need defensive violence. It's like self-help. If someone does wrong, you ask the arbiter to address it.

If you aren't satisfied with this solution (and I am not, under current conditions, which is why I'm happy we have a veto), then I don't think you can claim that we have a real arbiter that resolves any question of rights such that no one can ever in good faith disagree.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:00 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Please, I was really hoping for some serious discussion.
That comment is just trash talk, Ray. Are you getting desperate to have the last word? If so, you win.
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  #152  
Old 11-27-2011, 07:27 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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That comment is just trash talk, Ray. Are you getting desperate to have the last word? If so, you win.
It seems you are trying to get out of justifying your position. You can feign indignation or you can answer my request to explain how that could possibly work for Israel to have an Arab majority state. If you can.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:52 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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If you have an arbiter, you don't need defensive violence. It's like self-help. If someone does wrong, you ask the arbiter to address it.
So if Palestinians fire rockets into Ashkelon your answer is to get an arbiter to address it? Certainly you're joking.

Arbiters are for settling disagreements without violence. Once one side attacks the other, especially if international bodies like the UN are not willing to step in to protect the defender and severely punish the aggressor - then you have to allow the defending party to defend themselves. Surely you must see that. At least Article 51 guarantees that right of self defense.

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If you aren't satisfied with this solution (and I am not, under current conditions, which is why I'm happy we have a veto), then I don't think you can claim that we have a real arbiter that resolves any question of rights such that no one can ever in good faith disagree.
Did I claim that? In fact I claimed that the UN has failed in its role to be a real arbiter of those questions. And that's a tragedy IMO.

And if I can not offer any evidence to satisfy you that the Palestinians are the aggressors in this conflict and the Israelis are the defenders - which seems to be the theme of your argument - then how can you possibly object to any Israeli actions in the war including unilateral annexation of whatever parts of the WB it desires to help secure its defense against future Arab attacks? Are you not implicitly giving Israel the right to do whatever it wishes? Or, is it only difficult to decide about aggressors and defenders when the Palestinians fire rockets at Israel civilians. But it becomes clear Israeli aggression when they defend themselves and attempt to stop the rocket fire?

Maybe I just don't understand your point.
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  #154  
Old 11-27-2011, 08:19 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Arbiters are for settling disagreements without violence.
Not in your analogy. You compared it to the schoolyard, where the teacher was there to settle disputes and one could not claim "he started it" as a justification for punching someone. I don't think we are there yet re international affairs (I'm skeptical about our ability to get there, although I think we should try), but we are talking about your own claims here.

So if in '47 the future Israelis and the Palestinians have an argument over who has the right to the land in question, you say they ask the UN to decide and abide by it. I don't see why the same principles don't apply to all the rest -- Palestinian land claims? disputes over the occupied territories? Get the UN to decide (and clarify what language re the '67 borders means while they are at it). Israel is attacked, rather than attack back, it should ask the UN to address the problem. So on. If the Palestinians are subject to UN authority, at the very inception of the UN and without their own agreement to that authority, note, why shouldn't we apply the same to Israel's responses.

My point is not that I expect Israel to do this or blame them for fighting back. It's that you are not being consistent.

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And if I can not offer any evidence to satisfy you that the Palestinians are the aggressors in this conflict and the Israelis are the defenders - which seems to be the theme of your argument
That is so far from the theme of my argument that I despair of communication. I think this black and white aggressor/defender thing is irrelevant to the issue of whether we can settle the conflict and whether Israel is in the wrong about specific items over which it could exercise more control and which are making the problem harder to resolve to its own detriment. Like the settlements.

You know, I just realized -- why is this topic in here anyway?

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how can you possibly object to any Israeli actions in the war including unilateral annexation of whatever parts of the WB it desires to help secure its defense against future Arab attacks?
Why do I object to this? (1) I don't think Israel has the right to annex the territory -- I've never denied that I think there are international rights and wrongs. I don't even object to the partition pretty obviously. I just think it's nuts to put the Palestinians in the camp of unjustified aggressor because they disputed it and defended what they saw as their land with arms. (2) In that I wish the best for Israel, I object to unilateral annexation because it prevents the best course for a peaceful resolution, builds up tension, encourages those who want to claim the whole territory, and creates a situation where you either have a one-state solution (which I think is not workable) or an Israel that is quite unlike I think Israel ever intended to be or its friends want it to be, in that it would have a significant population of second-class citizens it seems to have no intention of making citizens. And I get why not, of course, which is why annexing the territory would seem against its interests. (Santorum apparently feels differently.)

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Are you not implicitly giving Israel the right to do whatever it wishes?
How's that? Because I think countries and peoples can in good faith disagree with the UN on things does not mean that I think they have the right to do anything they want.

I will ignore your insulting last comment, although I think your consistent need to attribute inaccurate and unsupported motives suggests that you aren't as open-minded here as you like to claim.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:11 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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It seems you are trying to get out of justifying your position. You can feign indignation or you can answer my request to explain how that could possibly work for Israel to have an Arab majority state. If you can.
It seems inane to me to suggest that Jews can NOT live in an Arab majority state (not that Israel would necessarily be majority Arab under a one-state outcome). How is it different from whites living in a black-majority state?

Of course, the state must be secular and democratic, and it must promote equality of opportunity, intermarriage and other features of free societies. But Israel is off to a fine start in sustaining democracy and secularism in the region. The problem is that it's a segregated democracy within the Green Line (think Mississippi in the 1950s) and it's an illegal occupation regime in the West Bank (think South African Apartheid).
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:15 PM
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It seems inane to me to suggest that Jews can NOT live in an Arab majority state (not that Israel would necessarily be majority Arab under a one-state outcome).
Tell that to the Jews who were expelled from the Arab states in 1967. Tell that to this Jew (who loves Libya, btw): http://www.npr.org/2011/10/03/141014...t-of-synagogue

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Of course, the state must be secular and democratic,
It must also be named "Outopia".
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  #157  
Old 11-27-2011, 09:33 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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First, I did not insult you. That's why I said I maybe didn't understand your point, admitting that the fault could be mine, while stating what it seemed like you were saying - so you could correct my misunderstanding. Please don't assume insults where there are none. I thought I was avoiding that stuff pretty well.

I said," Arbiters are for settling disagreements without violence."

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Not in your analogy. You compared it to the schoolyard, where the teacher was there to settle disputes and one could not claim "he started it" as a justification for punching someone. I don't think we are there yet re international affairs (I'm skeptical about our ability to get there, although I think we should try), but we are talking about your own claims here.
Added: I'm not getting your accusation of inconsistency and how it affects my argument. Could you explain this?

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So if in '47 the future Israelis and the Palestinians have an argument over who has the right to the land in question, you say they ask the UN to decide and abide by it. I don't see why the same principles don't apply to all the rest -- Palestinian land claims? disputes over the occupied territories? Get the UN to decide (and clarify what language re the '67 borders means while they are at it).
The UN can not now say what they meant in 1967. That's not how it works. Israel signed the agreement based on what the agreement said then. The authors explained repeatedly that they did not intend for Israel to withdraw from "all the territories" and so they left that word out. That's why Israel signed it. If the UN changes the meaning now that relieves Israel from honoring the agreement. Since it took the WB and Gaza in a defensive war against Jordan, Egypt and others, that leaves Israel in control of the WB to do with as it wishes. I don't think that's what you want.

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Israel is attacked, rather than attack back, it should ask the UN to address the problem. So on.
Stephanie, what you are suggesting is impossible. When someone is attacking and killing your civilians you can not be expected to petition the UN in the next Security Council meeting hoping they will do something about it. Especially the UN that immediately pulled the UNEF troops out of Sinai the moment Nasser said they must leave in 1967. If U Thant had stalled a while it's possible the '67 war could have been averted. You must first protect your citizens. Every state has that right and responsibility.

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If the Palestinians are subject to UN authority, at the very inception of the UN and without their own agreement to that authority, note, why shouldn't we apply the same to Israel's responses.
For one thing, because the Jews and the Palestinians before the Partition vote agreed to abide by the vote and thereby become UN member states as a result of that vote. The area and it's inhabitants was completely subject to UN authority. The area was part of the Ottoman Empire which lost WWI. That's why the area was under British Mandatory control prior to the Partition vote and it's why the UN had control when the League of Nations was dissolved.

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My point is not that I expect Israel to do this or blame them for fighting back. It's that you are not being consistent.
I think you are not appreciating the monumental difference between an attack against your civilians that any state must repel immediately and prevent further attacks - and a disagreement over borders or trade sanctions or whatever that can reasonably be taken up by the UN. I consistently recognize that difference which I think you missed.

It would take the UN weeks to put together a protective force once they decided to do it. In Israel's case that decision would be vetoed by China or Russia. That's why Article 51 clearly guarantees a members state's right to self defense.

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That is so far from the theme of my argument that I despair of communication. I think this black and white aggressor/defender thing is irrelevant to the issue of whether we can settle the conflict and whether Israel is in the wrong about specific items over which it could exercise more control and which are making the problem harder to resolve to its own detriment. Like the settlements. You know, I just realized -- why is this topic in here anyway?
Because I say it is central to the question of moral right and wrong in armed conflict. Others want to avoid it although they won't say why. But it's pretty clear.

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I just think it's nuts to put the Palestinians in the camp of unjustified aggressor because they disputed it and defended what they saw as their land with arms.
Herein lies your error - and an admission that you believe violence is justified if you are angry enough about something. (Which is a justification for war any time any place.) Or perhaps this is just limited to Palestinian claims against Israel and not in general. The Palestinians were not defending their land with arms. They were attacking another state because they did not like the UN decision. It was a decision that the Arab states agreed to accept when they joined the UN and Palestinian and Jewish delegates accepted when they petitioned the member states in their favor. My position is that if you join an international organization who's aim is to prevent war and agree to its charter then you abide by their decisions. Otherwise you don't join and you take your chances on your own. Both the Jews and the Pal Arabs had that choice. But you can't go along in hopes you'll win a decision and then resort to violence if you don't. I hope you can see why allowing member states to do that has essentially destroyed whatever peace-keeping authority the UN had.

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(2) In that I wish the best for Israel, I object to unilateral annexation because it prevents the best course for a peaceful resolution, builds up tension, encourages those who want to claim the whole territory, and creates a situation where you either have a one-state solution (which I think is not workable) or an Israel that is quite unlike I think Israel ever intended to be or its friends want it to be, in that it would have a significant population of second-class citizens it seems to have no intention of making citizens. And I get why not, of course, which is why annexing the territory would seem against its interests. (Santorum apparently feels differently.)
I know. I was making a rhetorical point.

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I will ignore your insulting last comment, although I think your consistent need to attribute inaccurate and unsupported motives suggests that you aren't as open-minded here as you like to claim.
You are misreading my statement. I meant no insult.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:06 PM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Tell that to the Jews who were expelled from the Arab states in 1967. Tell that to this Jew (who loves Libya, btw): http://www.npr.org/2011/10/03/141014...t-of-synagogue
One Palestine, Complete puts the lie to your counterclaim. Don't let the present geopolitics of Arab-Jewish relations constrain your imagination of what is possible in theory and practice.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:03 PM
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Yes. They can do anything they wish except violently attack Israel or it's citizens. If they violently attack Israel or it's citizens - except as an act of self defense - that is an act of aggression.
So let me get this straight, Israel can violate international laws and norms, demolition homes, arrest children, bomb cities, storm flotillas, kick out people from their homes, depopulate or flatten villages, cut down orchards, build illegal walls, grab more land and annexe it, all with the use of force and this is excused under the guise of self defense, but any act in retaliation by the Palestinians is a de facto act of aggression. Seems like a case of blaming the victims to me. And people like to pretend that Israel is nothing like a colonial power.

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The occupation is neither illegal or immoral.
That's becoming an increasingly place to, especially when one sees what the occupation actually looks like.

Israel has made it clear it won't offer the Palestinians what the are entitled to under international law, instead the are digging ever deeper into illegal activities. It's become increasingly apparent who the aggressor really is - 500,000 colonialists and counting.

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Old 11-28-2011, 08:35 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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So let me get this straight, Israel can violate international laws and norms, demolition homes, arrest children, bomb cities, storm flotillas, kick out people from their homes, depopulate or flatten villages, cut down orchards, build illegal walls, grab more land and annexe it, all with the use of force and this is excused under the guise of self defense, but any act in retaliation by the Palestinians is a de facto act of aggression. Seems like a case of blaming the victims to me. And people like to pretend that Israel is nothing like a colonial power.
From reading a good number of your comments I can appreciate the extreme hatred for the state of Israel that you and a few others here must feel. But let me explain this carefully. If the Palestinians and their Arab sponsors had ever attempted peaceful coexistence with Israel instead of a permanent commitment to the use of brutal violence (mostly directed at Jewish civilians) any time they thought they could get away with it - starting the day Israel became a state and continuing without stop over the last 63 years - if Arab policy toward Israel had ever been anything but a total war by any means possible, of Arab" honor" against the very existence of a free and democratic Jewish state on "Arab" land - all those items on your list of purported "crimes of Israel" would never have had a reason to occur. That is more than proven by the fact that during the few lulls when the Arabs have been re-arming and re-organizing their violence against Israel, Israel has refrained from any acts of retaliation. If Israel had never been attacked there never would have been an "occupation" and "Palestine" would still be W. Jordan and N. Egypt, as it was before June of 1967. Logically that more than establishes the essential defensive nature of every item on the list.

I fully understand that the logic of that is probably a bridge too far in your case but out of respect for reality I occasionally feel the need to insert some it back into these threads.
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