Ryanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 16 Posted (12 years 2 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1253 times:
I just wanted to bring to everybody's attention the true extent of the Israel-Palestinian problem as a motivator in the September 11th attacks.
What we need to make totally clear is that although many arabs are opposed to Israeli aggression in the area, in the context of the Al Qaeda organisation who perpetrated the attacks, the Israel issue is of marginal importance.
In Osama Bin Laden's 1998 ' fatwa against America, Israel ranks last - after America's 'occupation' of Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and the continuing attacks against Iraq - among the three causes he gives for his war against America. His first big atrocity, the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania coincided with a time of unusual optimism in the Israel-Palestine peace process, well before the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada . He has shown scant interest in the Palestinians and they, to their credit have shown scant interest in him.
This war is primarily because of his resentment at 'infidels' being based on holy soil (Saudi Arabia). Sharon could kill every last Palestinian and Bin Laden wouldn't care.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
Dufo From Slovenia, joined May 1999, 778 posts, RR: 4 Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1209 times:
In the late 1940s the Zionists took over Palestine and drove out 700,000 people from their homes through widespread acts of terrorism. Among those events was the sadistic massacre of 254 Palestinian mostly old men, women and children at Deir Yassin. It was an especially vicious, cold-blooded massacre characterized by Jews cutting apart the bellies of pregnant women. 1 After the bloodletting, the murderers then purposely publicized the event so as to make the people flee in panic from their homes and businesses from which they still haven't been allowed to return.
(copied from one site)
I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12956 posts, RR: 79 Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1160 times:
Leftseat86, if Saddam had been finished off in 1991, there would be no US/UK troops in Saudi.
Apart from not giving in to terrorism, there is the fact that Bin-laden formed his network in 1989, two years before the Gulf-War.
Anyway, do you want Saddam to get the oilfields? Drive a car? Need to heat your home? Got a job? Those could very soon change if Saddam held the oilfields.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12956 posts, RR: 79 Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1153 times:
We'll have to see about Saddam, if the Anthrax strains in the US can be shown to have originated from his WMD programme, then something has to be done.
But that would require tens of thousands of troops, and lots of heavy armour, it would take months to assemble, and support from other Arab states is unlikely this time.
Many people in the West want a quiet life, fair enough, but don't want their goverments and armed forces to preserve it.
Remember the reaction when photos of charred Iraqi tank crews were published? That was a factor in letting two Republican Guard divisions escape from Allied air attack, and US and UK tanks, when the war was stopped. They then played a major part in suppressing the post-war uprising in Iraq. Bush Snr. encouraged the uprising, then left them out to dry.
Guess what? You hit a tank, and the crew get burned.
'Oh it's terrible' many said, 'those poor retreating Iraqi troops'. Those same 'poor' troops had been murdering and looting their way through Kuwait not long before.
So that's why Saddam is still a problem, and a possible danger.
Bove From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1145 times:
Dufo...its all very well and good to tell only one side of the story to show how sadistic those bad bad Zionists were, conveniently forgetting mention of Arab atrocities, Palestinian support for Hitler and the Nazi reich, the subsequent behavior of Arab nations toward Israel in the post-WWII period, Palestinian terrorism in Europe and elsewhere in the 1970's and 1980's---the Palestinians are really going to have to accept some responsibility for themselves and their actions one of these days. I don't mean to whitewash over mistakes Israel and the early Zionists have made---I only suggest that until a balanced approach is taken reflecting the history and perspectives of BOTH sides will we have traction on resoving this conflict.
Unfortunately a majority of the Palestinian population, the Arab states, and their sympathizers around the world don't seem able to grasp Israel's fundamental right to exist and that Israel isn't going anywhere. If and only if such a sea change occurs can we speak of peace in the region. But looking at the outrage that was the Durban conference, for one example, its clear to me this is far from reality
Really if the issue were that clear-cut this problem would have gone away long ago, don't you think so people?
An by the way, Israel is a modern democratic country with liberal guiding principles---the West has no right to "impose" a solution upon her whatsoever and its only right to support the only island democracy in a sea of dictatorships, despots, and corrupt monarchs (most of which have their guns trained on Israel I might add).
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1132 times:
Bove, what is this "right" that Israel has to exist? When I buy a car, I have the right to drive it. When I leave my house to go to work, I have the right to reenter it. On what basis does Israel claim this right to exist?
I think we should start calling a spade a spade. Israel's existence owes itself to the West's failure to counter anti-semitism, and thus being very willing to settle the Jews somewhere far and conveniently out of sight. Some people claim they have a historical right, but if every group were allowed to exercise such a claim, there would be no United States, no Canada, no Australia, etc.
Israel has no divine mandate to exist where they currently do. It was purely a political decision.
Cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 7808 posts, RR: 54 Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1125 times:
Interesting views. I think the fact that the Palestinian Authority has changed it's charter to recognise Israel speaks volumes about repenting for past violence. In return Israel was supposed to stop building settlements, not speed up construction.
This thing about Arabs (ie bin Laden) being "jealous" of the west is nonsense. For a start there are democratic countries in the middle east, such as Lebanon (MPs elected by universal suffrage, parliment elects the PM), Egypt, and even Jordan which may not be a democracy in the western sense (by no means a perfect system btw, Dubya lost by 100,000 votes lest we forget) but the King is well-liked and the system allows plenty of personal freedom. But if Arabs ARE jealous of liberal democracies, why aren't guerrillas attacking Tokyo, Singapore, Delhi, Jo'burg, Rio, Sao Paolo et al? Because none of these cities are in countries that bomb civilians, maintain counter-productive and deadly sanctions, station troops in foreign nations, back terrorist states etc. This whole 'jealousy' issue is a convenient excuse for America to abrogate all responsibility for it's government's foreign policy.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
LY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 10 Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1119 times:
Lebanon a democracy? No matter who is the official leader of Lebanon, the real one is in Damascus.
Terrorists are not attacking those places you mentioned because they have a certain set of priorities, they can only do so much. They have to at least pretend that they are fighting for some kind of a cause to free some non-existant nation, or else, they will lose most of their funding.
I don't give a damn about what the Palestinian's "Authority's" charter says. A couple of months ago, a Palestinian official, in an interview to a western TV channel, said that Jews are not safe in Israel, and that if they want peace they should get out of there. Not to mention the fact that the uprising began as Israel has offered the (by far) best conditions for the Palestinians. The only thing PM Barak did not agree to was the destruction of the State of Israel.
Arafat is affraid of a peacefull settlement. Why? Because then he will have to stop playing a holy peacemaker for the west, and a big bad terrorist for his own people. When peace comes to the west bank and Gaza, he will have to start taking care of economical and financial issues. And guess what, he has no clue as to how to do it! Gee, they didn't teach him that in terrorist school. He already demonstrated his total inability to take care of such matters. The Palestinian territory has almost no foreign investments in it. Most of the working Palestinians work in Israel. Israel is by far the largest trade partner for the Palestinians, and Arafat has no idea of how to take advantage of it.
Bove From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1119 times:
Cedarjet, you cannot deny that Bin Laden is a very late comer to this game. His M.O. is to target Americans whenever they can be found and an eleventh-hour statement from terrorists that they do what they do in the name of the Palestinian people, Iraqi civilians, etc is a red-herring designed to tug at the heartstrings of a sympathetic Arab public. His real gripe is with the Saudi royals and though I disagree with most of your statement I think we can both agree that Bin Laden's support is ultimately going to do no favors for the Palestinian cause in the international arena in the same way Arafat's aligning with Saddam Hussein in 1990 proved disastrous and forced him into a peace arrangement.
Did the PA really change its charter? My understanding is that this still had yet to be decided upon and cancelled indefinitely following the latest uprisings. In any event, the PA does not represent the majority views of Palestinians (insofar as it is even a representative body) but Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad all do---and the stated/unstated goal of these groups remains not merely a Palestinian state but the age-old dream of driving the Jews into the sea.
Cedarjet, don't try telling me that Buenos Aires has the cultural and economic pull of the USA---and to invert your argument for the sake of discussion many people around the world hate America, Bush, etc but it is only the Islamic fundamentalists creating havoc around the world (Phillipines, Chechnya, Algeria, Kashmir, etc). And embracing violence has never solved legitimate political greivances.
Hepkat, who is talking about a divine mandate here? Although many religous Jews understandably feel the land of Israel to be their ancestral homeland, I was speaking in a strictly geo-political and pratical sense. One of the key stumbling blocks to a Palestinian state is the fact that many throughout the Arab world do not accept Israel's existence and in many cases simply pretend it isn't there--n.b. references to an imperalist occupying power rather than a state with a legitimate government, etc dotted throughout the Arab press.
How can there be peace between a future Palestinian state when a majority around the Arab world wants the Jews driven out? Also, how do you allay fears that a soverign Palestine would not be a staging ground for a larger Arab campaign to destroy Israel proper? And this is not even getting into the issues of refugee return, Jerusalem, etc.
Bove From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1117 times:
And again I have to ask...why is it that Palestinians cannot accept some responsibility for themselves and ask if the wanton terrorism that characterized most of the PLO's existence was not responsible for at least some of their current misery?
I am not talking about destitute refugees in Lebanese camps (who have had no say in the matter) but the "elite" of the PA who's influence continue even as they deny their people even the semblance of peace.
Cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 7808 posts, RR: 54 Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1110 times:
Some good points raised and I agree with some (eg Damascus calling the shots in Beirut). But nonetheless the PA did make some serious changes to it's dogma and did reduce it's territorial claims to just the post-1948 / pre-1967 borders. And got nothing in return. If the more extreme Hamas and Hezbollah represent the wishes of the Palestinian people better than the PA does, there's a bloody good reason why.
And maybe the Palestinian thing / Iraq et al ARE red herrings but the actions of the US and Israel create strong currents for these terrorists to swim in. I stand by my comments about Tokyo, Sao Paolo and Singapore. OK Argentina ain't the US but it has to a fair extent all the things some Americans claim annoys the Arabs, ie freedom. The main difference between the US and Japan is foreign policy. I don't agree that the US is singled-out cos the terrorists can only handle so many targets at once. If they can hijack four airliners and kill thousands, they sure as hell can park a car bomb in front of the Tokyo stock exchange or shoot down an SIA 747 from a boat in Singapore harbour.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 18, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1107 times:
I think it's time to face an unpopular fact; this whole Palestine/Israel issue started the very day Britain partitioned Arab occupied lands. I think the former colonial power and Israel deserve some criticism for how this was handled. While I don't agree with Muslim terrorists, I do sympathize with the fact that their land was partitioned by a colonial master, afterwhich they were forcibly driven off it. I do not condone any act of terrorism, however I understand the feelings of deep resentment many Arabs feel. Furthermore, Israel has built up a thriving, 2nd world country in large part thanks to substantial aid from the U.S. and confiscated Palestinian properties. I can only imagine this would be enough to test the tranquility of even the most pious soul.
Bove, I took issue with you because many users of this forum are especially fond of touting this perceived right of Israel to exist rhetoric. I simply wanted to point out how inaccurate such a statement is.
Bove From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1100 times:
Hepkat, you still fail to understand the gist of my argument that until Arabs accept that Israel has a right to exist as a nation there can never be peace in the region. This does not mean Israel is destined to exist with its current political boundaries and does not give carte blanche for the Israeli government to do what it likes--its just a simple statement that there must be a homeland for the Jews factored into any future political settlement for the Palestinians. If you cannot accept that there should "be" such a thing as an Israeli state, how the hell do you negotiate for peace on a governmental level?
What you fail to recognize is that the majority of Arabs and Palestinians outside the PA-elites a) pretend that Israel does not exist as a democratic nation and government with all the attendant institutions and responsibilities therein and b) feel the expressed/unexpressed goal of the current intifada is to destroy Israel and "drive the Jews into the sea". This gives false hopes to the Palestinians because the Arab armies are never coming and 5 successive attempts to accomplish Israel's destruction have ended in failure.
Of course Arafat and the PA put on a lovely dog and pony show---one message of peace for the CNN cameras, another of hatred for Al-Jazeera, the PA newspapers, and the Friday mosque sermons.
Furthermore....your statement that you think its high time people start criticizing the British is like saying its high time somebody started hating America for its decadent culture---its been done. And in any case, what possible good can come from dwelling on the past rather than moving toward a future settlement?
Bove From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 20, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1093 times:
Japan and Singapore have been able to focus 100% of their energies in the post-WWII period on economic development precisely because of U.S. military and security guarantees---this is particularly true for Japan.
If Japan doesn't recognize this, why are they sending support ships to the US Battle fleets in the Indian Ocean? And who's to say Japan's insidious foreign policy of buying votes in crucial bodies such as the International Whaling Commission, etc is any more moral or just?
Security guarantees obviously mean nothing if words are not substantiated by actions and this is precisely why the US went to war in Vietnam to name just one example (an often misunderstood reason IMHO). Maintaining the credibility of US security guarantees is a far more important consideration than the potential backlash from international terrorist outfits and the occasional loss of innocent life that results. Unfortunately this is the flip side of the coin of maintaining such an an outward and agressive posture in the world but without it the international system we know today would not exist. A low profile for the superpower simply can't be a reality.
And Cedarjet, show me one Islamic country today that isn't a total failure economically. This isn't racism or stereotyping but an important consideration behind the clash of civilizations that characterizes the Arab World and its relations with the West. That part of the world has been in decline since the dying days of the Ottoman Empire and bears the brunt of what is currently wrong with "globalization". I wouldn't call it jealousy since Arabs have a culture and heritage all their own, but I do think this significant nonetheless.
As for the Palestinians, "they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity".
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 21, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1094 times:
I never meant that we should return to the past, rather that the guilty parties start accepting responsibility.
To me, it makes better sense to say that Arabs should accept the fact that Israel already exists. I readily agree that this unwillingness on their part is a huge factor why there is still no peace in the region. I think it's rather naive of them to believe that Israel is going anywhere at this point. But this is quite different from saying Israel has a right to exist where they do. The fact is, the land was partitioned over 50 years ago, in what many might say an unfair manner. The Israelis have since then built up quite a nice setup for themselves. They aren't going anywhere. Arabs should learn to get over this fact and instead try to concentrate on co-existing and how to adddress the issue, if any, of Palestinian reparation.
I also think that we in the West should exercise a more even handed approach to foreign policy in that region. Israel being the only true democracy aside, we are far too biased in favor of the Israelis.
Trvlr From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4430 posts, RR: 22 Reply 23, posted (12 years 2 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1071 times:
Hepkat/Cedarjet et al: Here's my view, truncated yes, but it'll have to do for now.
I, for one, partly agree with the notion much of the Arab and Muslim world must come to the terms with the fact that Israel exists, and will not be going anywhere. Also, I think that it is perfectly acceptable to criticize Britain for partitioning its sector of the Middle East the way it did, because frankly they should have known it would have caused problems. But, I think the question that most are forgetting, but must be asked is this: "How could it have been done any better?" For a minute look at the dynamics of the situation in 1948 Palestine: The Jews are there. So are the Arabs. They both hate each other, and when the British leave, as they inevitably have to, there are going to be some potentially bloody problems, ie civil war sponsored by extremists, mostly on the Arab/Muslim side in the form of 3rd entities, but also from militant Jews who pretty much think vice versa of what the Muslim extremists think. So what do the British do? They partition the land, some for the Jews, and some for the Arabs. Obviously, the Zionist movement catalyzed the eventuality of this occurence, but I am confident that it would have happened anyway if Britain had not been inherently pressured so much by the Zionists. The partitioning of Palestine was by no means a perfect compromise, in fact it was a horrible solution, but, at the time, it was the best solution. The same thing goes for that other religiously partitioned debacle of a former colony...India.
Knowing this, I therefore conclude that the statement that Israel had/has no right to exist because of the partitioning of Palestine is exactly akin to saying that East and West Pakistan (now Pakistan and Bangladesh), and for that matter, India and Trans-Jordan itself. Britain partitioned it, it exists, it has a right to exist.
So, what were those who wanted to see the Jews out of Palestine to do now that they couldn't initiate civil war between the Arabs there and the Jews? Well, they just plain invaded the Jewish area. In my opinion, the invasion of Palestine was pretty much the only feasibly avoidable action that directly spawned the half-century of state-to-occupied area-to-state Muslim/Jewish conflict in the Middle East. After the 1948 war, both sides of the conflict could easily claim and even justify their actions, given the misgivings of the opposite side.
Addressing a few other points:
The Palestinian Leadership: I used to have a little bit of respect for Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, standing up for the Palestinians' cause and promoting it to the world. After the tenure of Ehud Barak as Israel's PM, that all changed. Barak and US President Clinton offered the most generous peace package to the Palestinians had ever been and probably would ever will be faced with. It gave them control over a state, which included Gaza, 95% of the West Bank, 50% of Jerusalem, the works. Plus, it even intended to address the problem of allowing Palestinians displaced by the many Arab-Israeli wars to come back to Israel. It was what what the average Palestinian wanted and deserved, it was what Israel deserved, it was what America wanted, it was what pretty much the rest of the non-extremist Muslim/Jewish world wanted. So, with this golden opportunity set before them, what did the Palestinian Authority do? They rejected it. They categorically denied Barak's attempts at giving the Palestinians their own state, which would pave the way for making complete peace in the future. They rejected peace. Now, I can't really find any reason to justify popular Palestinian aggression against Israel. It may be a harsh statment, but still, the fact remains: the Palestinian leadership, which the majority of Palestinians support, rejected their best hope for peace. It took no idiot to figure out that if the Palestinian Authority rejected this offer, thought too generous by a large number of Israelis, that Israel would shift to a more conservative position on the conflict. Unfortunately, it may be years before another opportunity such as this presents itself to either side. I can't say that I don't put most of the blame on the Palestinians' side.
American involvement in the Middle East: Yes, America supports Israel. What's wrong with that? It supports the Palestinians too. That's why it's the main 3rd entity in the peace process. It was the United States that played a major part in drafting the aforementioned peace proposal. George Bush, for god's sake, has even stated that he backs a Palestinian state. The United States recognizes Israel; it recognizes every other country in the Middle East. And all of these countries with governments, policies, and social cultures many times worse than Israel's! The US also gives billions of dollars of aid each year to Middle Eastern countries, and was the leader in the fight against Saddam Hussein, which was supported by most of the Arab/Muslim world. Only Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Tunisia, and the PLO didn't support the effort to let Kuwait stay the 19th province of Iraq (source: Kuwait Information Office). In regards to American stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia (Osama's main gripe): I don't think the United States would be overly hesitant to go into Iraq again and depose Saddam Hussein if it recieved widespread political and military support from Europe and the Middle East. I already wrote something on wider American foreign policy; you'll find it in the "Why People Hate America" thread.
PANYNJ From Bahamas, joined Sep 2001, 213 posts, RR: 0 Reply 25, posted (12 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 1052 times:
The US position is clear. The US basically supports any country that is a democracy. Yes, Syria, Saudi, and Pakistan will be asked to join our coalition and fight terror, but they are not our true friends. We will have no special and strong bond with them as we do with France, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, and Japan. For this reason, Israel will always have an "edge" over the Arabs because of its democratic system, tolerance for other religions, and its republic structure.
Nixon didn't like the Jews. Bush's family was rumored to be equally anti-semitic, but Israel has widespread US support not because of campaign dollars (you see tobacco protected in such a manor?), but because of democracy.
In this regard it's quite simple really.
Now as Bove said, the US is not giving Israel blank check to extend settlements and take Palestinian land. There is overisght and pressure on the Israeli government, but had the PLO kick-started peace and not intifadah last year, such a conservative government's such as Sharon, would not have taken power.
Also, not to promote Israeli nationalism or pride, but Hepkat, you reffered to Israel as a "second world nation". I firmly believe that Israel is now a first world nation with an advanced telecomunications and technological economy that rivals much of western Europe and exceeds several in Sourthernand Northern Europe. Israel's economic indicators (wages, GDP, poverty level, etc...) place it firmly beside Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Demark and ahead of Portugal, Korea, Czech Republic, and Finland!
Source: NYTimes and Hypo und Vereins Bank (HVB).