Tuesday, June 13, 2006

On a Gaza beach: what hath conspiracy theories wrought?

Conspiracy theories are widespread and exceedingly popular. They appeal to the all-too-human need to make order out of chaos, and to assign blame to a convenient and/or strategic scapegoat. They arise spontaneously, or they can be manipulated for political and propaganda reasons.

I've noted that, in my lifetime, the beginning of the extreme popularity of conspiracy theories seems to have been the JFK assassination, in which a charismatic and powerful President was blown away before our very eyes by what appeared to have been a protagonist too lowly and insignificant to have been worthy of the deed (I've written at greater length on this topic here).

But conspiracy theories have a long and illustrious history. One only has to look at the antiquity of anti-Semitism, just to give one example, to understand that. The blood libel, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion--there's no dearth of illustrations on that score. And, to be equal-opportunity about it, conspiracy theories exist on both sides. I was appalled, for example, by the "Clinton killed Vince Foster" garbage from segments of the right not so very long ago.

No, unfortunately, conspiracy theories are not the sole province of one side or another; they appeal to something deep within human nature. However, that fact shouldn't keep us from attempting, as best we can, to evaluate the truth or falsehood of conspiracy claims--because, just as not all conspiracy claims are automatically true, not all claims are automatically false, either. The situation resembles the old saying, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."

How does this all relate to the deaths on the Gaza beach, and the way they are being reported?

In evaluating such incidents, sorting out fact from fiction, and then coming to conclusions, we must rely on Arab reports vs. Israeli reports. In the present case, initial claims from the Arab side are that the deaths were a result of Israeli shells. However, the evidence from an IDF report analyzing, among other things, the content of the scrapnel, indicates non-Israeli origins for the blast.

If the IDF reports are true, this will never convince the unconvinced. Because the power of propaganda is almost immeasurably large, and (in the words of Churchill) a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.

In this case--as in all cases of investigations--one has to believe in the veracity of those issuing the report to be convinced of anything by it. If a person believes that Israel is a Nazilike state bent on the conspiratorial, racist, and evil destruction of the Palestinians, then how could an IDF report convince that person otherwise? Not possible. Even though the initial reports blaming Israel were pretty much nothing more than rumors, and the IDF report used forensics and science--which should ordinarily trump rumors--accepting the report still depends on believing that the IDF and Israel itself are not engaged in bending the truth for their own purposes.

So there's an intrinsic problem in a report from any investigation (whether it be the Warren Commission, the OJ Simpson police, or anyone else) if it comes up with a finding that goes against the conspiracy grain in which so many believe. And that fact is relied on by anyone who wishes to spread a rumor for strategic reasons.

So, is Hamas trying to exploit some tragic deaths that may indeed have been caused by Palestinian mines, in order to stir up more anti-Israel feeling, both internally and around the world? To believe this would, of course, be to believe in still another conspiracy--this one on the part of the Palestinians (or, to be more exact, on the part of some Palestinians). But the evidence that has emerged so far from the competing Arab and Israeli "narratives"--as opposed to the rumors--points in that direction. And in evaluating that evidence one must take into account previous false propaganda campaigns on the part of the Palestinians that have been effectively proven as such: the initial inflated reports on Jenin, and Mohammad al-Durah's staged footage (for an in-depth discussion of the latter, please take some time to peruse the detailed information at Second Draft).

For many years now, it's been clear that the Palestinian authorities and press are among the world's best purveyors of propaganda, and that we--and the Israelis--are quite poor at responding to it (I am not using the word "propaganda" in a solely pejorative sense here, by the way; I'm using it as I've defined it in a previous post: "information spread to influence a populace towards a certain opinion").

I'm going to quote the post of mine further on the topic of propaganda:

Propaganda, by its very nature, is of course not a reasoned and leisurely debate in which both sides are given equal time and equal measure. Neither is it an academic exercise in politically correct fairness, nor a well-intentioned effort in being kind to the other side. It is most-decidedly one-sided. But the best propaganda is truthful, especially in this day of internet fact-checking. The best propaganda understands the arguments of the other side and counters them effectively. But all propaganda does have one thing in common: a conviction that it is acceptable to use it.

By definition, an IDF report about scrapnel and shells cannot possibly have the propaganda power of photos and video of grieving children and bodies on a beach. That is a simple fact, one the Palestinians have learned to exploit, most especially with al Durah. In that affair, Israel initially claimed possible responsibility, before a number of reports (including those from German and even French media) exonerated them and indicated that the al Durah footage was suspect--and that the most likely possibility was, if the boy was killed at all, that it was at the hands of Palestinians.

That in and of itself, however, smacks of a conspiracy theory, and an especially horrific one at that. Such a chain of events seems so much more far-fetched than the idea that Israel might have killed the boy, either purposely or accidentally (and yes, there's no doubt that Israel sometimes does cause the death of innocent children as collateral damage--which is quite different from purposely targeting them).

And yet it is my contention that any fair-minded person who takes a good look at the evidence can only conclude that this far-fetched chain of events--false claims in the Durah case, and even the possibility of deliberate staging--is true. And that means that the fair-minded person comes to the conclusion that the al Durah incident did represent a conspiracy of sorts. Does that mean that the Gaza incident is the same? Not at all. But it means that, until further notice, it must be taken with a grain of salt and an open mind.

The al Durah affair, which was especially influential in Europe, could not have been effective as propaganda without the cooperation of some in the French press, in particular reporter Charles Enderlin, who was not present at the shooting but who edited the footage shot by a Palestinian stringer and who did the voiceover blaming the Israelis. This is what Enderlin had to say in his own defense about his rush to judgment, after so much criticism was mounted against him:

He insisted that he stated that the bullets were fired by the Israelis for a number of reasons: First, that he trusted the cameraman (Abu Rhama) who, he said, had made the initial claim during the broadcast, and had worked for France 2 for 17 years, and later had it confirmed by other journalists and sources, and the initial Israeli statements. He also stated that the IDF never asked his team to collaborate on an inquiry, even though they had written to the IDF spokesman proposing they do so. Second, that the idea of the IDF shooting al-Durrah corresponded with what Enderlin saw as "the reality of the situation not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank"...

Another French journalist, La Conte, responded as follows: "I find this, from a journalistic point of view, worrying." It smacks, among other things, of the somewhat Ratherian claim that the truth or falsehood of certain facts is not as important as the point of view they express. That this is not what journalism is about ought to go without saying. But perhaps it needs saying, once again.

The IDF appears to have learned from the al Durah incident. This time they've been much quicker to launch an investigation, rather than to assume that initial reports from the scene were correct and to shoulder the blame. Time and the preponderance of evidence will reveal the truth or the falsehood of the Israeli vs. the Palestinian claims on the matter.

And what has the press learned? That remains to be seen.

172 Comments:

At 5:24 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

I am sorry neo but this is pompous nonsense. You accuse those whose opinions differ from you of being the victims of slick Palestinian propaganda yet blithely include;

the evidence from an IDF report analyzing, among other things, the content of the scrapnel, indicates non-Israeli origins for the blast.

a few modifiers in there hardly disguises the gleeful way you grasp at any straw to prop up your world view.

 
At 5:29 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Much as you despise the MSM I urge you to listen to today's edition of the PM programme from the BBC.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/pm/?focuswin
Listen to the account of the munitions specialist.

It is also worth listening to the story of the Israelis being attacked by Palestinian Rockets in teh Gaza strip as to the motives forIDF attacks. The process is a cycle of violence which needs to be stopped. Not justified or explained away and all blamed on one side.

 
At 5:39 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

and even if your version of events turns out to be accurate just look at the headlines from this anti-MSM Israeli site http://www.debka.com/

Eleven Palestinians killed when two Israel Air Force rockets struck a Palestinian van heading for a N. Gaza launch site Monday noon

June 13, 2006, 9:48 PM (GMT+02:00)

The first rocket killed the three-man Islamic Jihad squad. The second, according to IDF forces, hit a group of “civilians” attempting to retrieve the new long-range Grad 122 rockets in the van. The rockets were destroyed. But meanwhile a crowd had gathered and Palestinian bystanders including two children were killed and 30 people were injured, four critically by the exploding rocket.


Second shooting attack in 48 hours on Highway 443 north of Jerusalem seriously wounds Israeli civilian



The time for military restraint is over – Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz



what a mess. And what is the neo con solution? zero tolerance to the Palestinians?

It needs some thought neo

- sorry this is all so lengthy but this had a big impact on me -

cue the shit throwing monkeys calling me a terrorist sympathiser and the palestinians untermensch

 
At 5:44 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

I want to remind all to please ignore trolls. I know it's a great temptation to feed them, but please avoid it.

 
At 5:47 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

ok then ignore me but read this from the Jerusalem Post link put up by neo

Peretz and Halutz did show signs of disagreement after they were both asked separately if they would be willing to allow an international third party to inspect the shrapnel sample taken from one of the wounded. Peretz said he would consider the possibility but later, after he had already left the briefing, Halutz was asked the same question by the foreign press and said he was confident with the IDF's internal probe and that there was no reason to cast doubt in its professionalism.

In Gaza, Human Rights Watch military expert Marc Garlasco inspected the shrapnel at the scene and saw the wounded. He concluded that the blast was caused by an Israeli shell. However, he held open the slim possibility that it was planted there by Palestinian militants, though fragment patterns did not back that.


if they are so certain why not let someone else have a look then neo?

or is a mind far too difficult a thing to change when it is so firmly decided?

 
At 5:53 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger gcotharn said...

I once skimmed a book on the Vince Foster death. It certainly did look like it might have been murder - IF the "facts" in the book were correct. I formed no opinion, but just filed the info away, as a pleasant, mindless diversion during a day at the beach.

I was reminded of the Foster book a few years later, upon reading a book about the murder of my cousin. I happened to have attended, a decade before, the entire two week trial of my cousin's husband. He was very, very guilty - even though the case was circumstantial, as the prosecution had no "smoking gun." He was sentenced to life in prison(his second felony conviction - he had previously been convicted of conspiring to kill his secretary's husband).

The book about his murder trial painted him as an innocent man. The book misrepresented, or completely lied about, maybe half a dozen tiny details about the case. As a result, the book was able to make a convincing case for his innocence.

A similar thing could've happened in the Foster book - we don't know. A similar thing could happen in any propaganda piece - including stories in the major media. Change, or skew, a tiny thing here and there, and you've got a completely different story.

Postscript: My cousin's husband was given a life sentence for murdering my cousin. The book about the case was used as part of his appeal to be paroled, after serving 19 years in the penitentiary. A three person board granted his parole. After, one parole board member told my aunt that she read the book, and didn't believe he could've really killed my cousin. She also had no awareness that he had been convicted of the second felony - for conspiracy to kill the secretary's husband. A true story. I suspect there's a lot of incompetence on parole boards across the country. We might consider paying parole board members decent salaries, and providing them with research assistants. Might be worth the investment.

 
At 6:02 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger uhuru1701 said...

neoneoconned's response seems to blame the blogger for the content of the IDF report. Why is that?

If you think Palestinians never manipulate the media, you really should check out "Pallywood," from the Second Draft website at http://www.seconddraft.org/cur_invest.php

And, aside from terrorists with an anti-Jewish anti-Israel agenda and those who support their cause, if there really is anyone left on the planet who was gullible enough to fall for the faked Al-Dura hooey, try these places in cyberspace to brush up on reality-recognition skills:

When Pictures Lie
http://jewishworldreview.com/david/gelernter091205.php3

Who caused the televised death of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura? From PalestineFacts.org
http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1991to_now_alaqsa_dura.php

Now, a just-completed, long-term journalistic investigation conducted in France concludes that the Mohammed al-Dura affair was actually a piece of Palestinian theater – similar to the dramatic Palestinian funeral processions last April after the Israeli incursion into the Jenin refugee camp. During that public spectacle, a martyred "corpse" twice fell off the stretcher, only to hop back up and retake his place in the procession. The Palestinians had claimed 3,000 deaths in Jenin – the actual toll was 52.
FROM: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31363

I have dozens more links but I'm not here to spam someone else's blog. Suffice to say, yes, the Palestinians and other assorted Jew-hating entities in this world are not above *GASP!* telling a lie.

There's already been numerous articles from numerous sources published in the mainstream media about the Gaza incident which now is squarely blamed on Palestinian terrorists who were intent on firing rockets into Israel and killing innocent people there.

That Israel is able to back this claim up with forensic evidence just gets the Israel-haters' panties in a twist.

Doesn't change the truth.

 
At 6:33 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Whatever the facts of this matter turn out to be, the larger context is not in any doubt, and overwhelmingly condemns the Palestinians. That is, in this case the IDF immediately ceased shelling areas that were used by the Palestinians to deliberately kill civilians, expressed regret for the incident even though it wasn't yet clear what or who had caused it, and launched an investigation to find that out. On the other hand, the organization that currently controls the Palestinian Authority not only quite openly tries to kill as many men, women and children as it can -- in buses, pizza parlors, weddings, etc., etc., etc. -- it positively exults in the slaughter.

That bears repetition and emphasis: Israel strives to minimize civilian casualties even as it tries to defend itself against an enemy that uses its own civilians as bodies to hide behind and among; whereas the Palestinians strive to maximize civilian casualties and openly brag about it as they threaten to slaughter more.

And that's the context in which to try to understand this particular incident.

 
At 6:34 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Ron said...

Conspiracy thoeries are to fear, uncertainty and doubt what fairy tales are to romantic love. The story one truly needs to believe in.

 
At 6:57 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

The Palestinian terrorist will do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g to attack Israel. So much for the cease fire! Ridiculous. If they will explode their brothers, sisters, and children -- they will certainly blow up neighbors and try to make it look like Israel did it. The Gitmo detainees that committed suicide? The same thing -- It was simply an attack. The MSM portrays them as the tortured and the U.S. as the torturer. [It all wings back to HATE BUSH! HATE BUSH! HATE BUSH! So Enlightening.

 
At 7:18 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Hey neo-neocon,

Speak of trolls, while researching the Ann Coulter story today, I crawled right into a troll nest. There were many comments about the coming next “American Civil War” and “splitting America in two”. it reminded me of why I have come to reject Liberalism as a political philosophy. As a hardcore Leftist I had no love for Conservatives or Christians, and admit that when I was irreconcilably pissed off I would advocate ugly things for both, but if push would have come to shove I would not have supported the destruction of America, I would have advocated the rounded up all the Conservatives and Christians as a, sort of, litmus test to spare me [and my kind]; Hey I’m Liberal, I’m open-minded, I’m reformable, I can convert to Islam or Communism. If you've never been there its a window into the Leftist mind. I’m just glad I opened my eyes.

 
At 7:55 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Originally posted this on the wrong thread.

There's been a lot of feeding them lately. I know it's tempting; they seem so very hungry.

I've been more guilty than most, and I apologize. The latest round has convinced me that attempts to engage them in constructive conversations are futile and I will desist.

The biggest problem that I have with the manipulation of events like these is that it tends to trivialize the stories that aren't fakes. I'd have a lot more sympathy for the "cause" if stuff like what appears to have happened here wasn't so prevalent.

The fakery only serves to energize the base—the rabid Israel-haters—but in my case, it alienates one who might have been tempted to listen to a position I now mostly discount as baseless and false.

 
At 8:03 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Just slightly OT, but interesting nonetheless:

A quote from Investor's Business Daily:

"Aided by surging tax receipts, President Bush may make good on his pledge to cut the deficit in half in 2006 — three years early."

The headline in the NYT?:

"Bush deficit reduction plan falls off-schedule."

I told my children long ago: "When you tell a lie, it will take a long, long time for me to trust you again, so it's always better to tell the truth, no matter how bad you think my reaction will be."

It's going to take a long, long time for me to trust the MSM again, if ever.

 
At 8:38 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Horsey said...

Speaking of Conspiracy Theories, my mother and her classmates, all women older than fifty, all college educated, were sitting in my living room talking in all seriousness about how all the Jews got emails on 9/11 warning them to stay away from the towers. I erupted in anger, because I felt as ethnic minorities in this country, our only hope is that this society remains an objective and rationalist one. To see them all, immigrants every single one of them, doctors, engineers and architects, taking this hogwash so seriously, made me so mad that I said the F word in front of my mother and all her friends.

I tried to talk to the women, I explained how it was virtually impossible to send warning emails out without having a leak of some kind. (Remember the failure of the Guy Fawkes gun powder plot.) But there is something very seductive about vast secret world-spanning conspiracies. It's almost as if the complicated world we live in is too boring for people, they want to believe there is some shitty hollywood like plot moving things in the background.

My mother nodded and finally agreed with me, but many of the other women did not.

There is not a lot you can do when you are a young brown atheist. There is too much retardation in this world to change everyone. Me and my brother just work on our parents and cousins--that is enough for one lifetime.

 
At 10:00 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

There's been a lot of feeding them lately. I know it's tempting; they seem so very hungry.

I guess this is my cue to step in and say something. I agree with the "do not feed the trolls" principle, and as such, I'll offer my apologies to anyone who thinks I've done that lately. Along those lines, though, I'd also say there are trolls and then there are trolls. I've never addressed a single comment to a certain specific individual because I think that would be a total waste of time and oxygen. They broke the needle on my TrollMeter™ the first time I revved it up. However, I did benefit from some discussion with another individual that I know sends other people's TrollMeters jumping. To a certain extent, I would even defend that individual against the troll charge. But, be that as it may, I again thank you for your patience on my account.

And you, too, Neo-neocon.

 
At 10:11 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

As to conspiracy theorists, my thought basically is that I feel sorry for the sad, pathetic, miserable little lives they lead. And that goes for both sides of the political spectrum - i.e. the Vince Foster/Ron Brown crazies as well as the current crop. I just want to slap them like Cher slapped Nicolas Cage in "Moonstruck" and shout "Snap out of it!" Probably not something you want to do with your mother, Horsey, but I can understand your frustration. How can educated people believe that drivel?

The real problems of the world are difficult enough without people adding to it by making stuff up. (Or perhaps an even stronger "s" word than "stuff" is in order.)

 
At 10:29 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

(and yes, there's no doubt that Israel sometimes does cause the death of innocent children as collateral damage--which is quite different from purposely targeting them).

I think this is one of the biggest disconnects in the current political atmosphere. There seems to be a disturbingly large group of people who honestly seem to believe that the two cases are not "quite different". In fact, to that group, by all appearances, the two cases are indistinguishable. At first I thought it was disingenuousness on the part of the people who act like they believe that, but I've come to the conclusion that for many it's the absolute truth. That's what they really believe. I can't explain it or understand it (I'm afraid my head might explode if I try too hard to 'understand' it). But there it is. And it's quite disturbing.

 
At 11:12 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I really wanted to be the first commenter, so I could say "Uho, Neo has done it again, prepare for orc onslaught and man the walls, fellow men of the West!"

Kcom, it makes more sense if you take it as being the Left is responsible for Israel and Palestine, because the Left is richer and more powerful. Since the Left believes that they are powerful enough to dominate both, they also believe the actions of both are due to their lack of "domination> So they feel guilty about both, and therefore blame that which they have trouble cotrolling, Israel.

We still got a few hours before New Zealand comes online. Then the fury shall be plain onto scariness.

I suggest to Nyo to read this post that bookworm did, and specifically thecomments and dates. Link

 
At 12:54 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

well i hope all you smug "anti-trolls" feel pleased with yourselves. Watching you twist yourselves into knots to

1. Defend Israel no matter what

2. Say that by criticising Israel you are supporting terrorism

3. Blame the victims of violence for the violence

4. And then gleefully welcome more violence for people in places where you don't have to live.So much for the cease fire! Ridiculous. Yeah right little apple thief. Stop all this peace crap and get back to bloodshed and mayhem - well not on your street. Cant fight the war on terror there, what would the neighbours think?

5. Conspiracy thoeries are to fear, uncertainty and doubt what fairy tales are to romantic love. The story one truly needs to believe in. yeah well you are the ones saying the Palestinians deliberately blow up their neighbours, that the MSM all plot to report anti-Israeli lies.

6. Do you not think that at a time when Israel was shelling Palestinians some Palestinians might have been killed? Is that too improbable to get your head round?

7. Oh and then please don't argue with anyone who disagrees TROLLS TROLLS TROLLS! Right wing loonies write all sorts of unpleasant crap and advocate the killing of large numbers of people but that is ok.

Criticism...tut tut tut

you are a coward neo. Sat in New England pontificating about the misery of people far away from you who you know nothing about. A gleeful cheerleader for the death and misery of people on all sides

Mugged by reality

cheerleader for death. Stood with your pom pom and sickle.

yeah thanatos! come on the four horseman!

reality. You wouldn't know it if it ran up and bit you

 
At 1:09 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger strcpy said...

Conspiracy theories are not always incorrect, there have been some that were true.

However, one of the things that seperates them is if you need a miracle to occur. Even if the pass that test I wouldn't act on them, just not totally discount them.

Lets take the Foster thing. There was no positive evidence of murder and a number of things that said "not suicide". In most cases things like that aren't investigated heavily for murder (or rather, they are but without more there isn't anything you can do and you have to go with the suicide). That and the police really bungled a few things is about as far as you can go. Ultimatley that's pretty much what all the investigations said. If you assume murder (personally, I think he was, but I don't have the foggiest as to who or why - no evidence one way or another - too many good options to go with some far out reasons) you could go to Clinton as well as Gengrich or even me or you. Anything beyond the official story and you are in the "miracle" category.

There are some of the lefty ones that fit that. Say, for instance, the stuff that revolves around Pearle and associates paper on the middle east. Lots of truth there, but then they start to go off into semi anti-sematism stuff. I won't totally discount it, I just don't base much on it. However nearly all about 9/11 is, well, stupid.

Also things like secret societies that are trying (and are somewhat succesfull) have been true in the past - usually followed with thier not too natural deaths.

And, lastly, there doesn't necessarily have to be an organised conspiracy for there to be something. A bunch of people working independantly for the same goal *will* achieve some complex things. For a really great example see an ant hive - *really* complex with each member being really really simple minded and no controlling entity (in AI research it has been duplicated *extremely* accurately). Of course, the ants behavior tends to make people think that there is some psyhcic hivemind intelligence too - so it ends up being a pretty good example.

Ultimatly if it doesn't take some great leap I tend to not totally discount it - simply file it away under "Not probable". This goes for both right/left conspiracy theories. Often that kind end up being true to some extent (again, the ant analogy - that thought helped model thier behavior and is *somewhat* correct).

 
At 1:17 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

I agree with you about the rubbish around 9/11. The simplest explanation is usually the best.

But, do you really need a "miracle" to believe the IDF, unintentionally, killed some Palestinian civilians? I think not. We need to beware of the knee jerk assumption that your side can do no wrong - which is exactly what neo is doing here. LAcking the ability to recognise that violence is coming from all sides she is prepared to twist herself round to believe any argument advanced by teh IDF. Even when there is no evidence being produced.

See the Jerusalem Post link - is that some leftie paper then neo? When Israel produces its evidence for independent analysis then i will come on here and say i am wrong.

 
At 2:04 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

There are those who believe we didn't land on the moon, even though, with a not too terribly powerful telescope, you can see the artifacts we left on the surface. If you cover your eyes and plulg your ears and shout 'Na-na-na' there's not much we can do for you.

 
At 5:19 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

oh come on Douglas who is shutting their eyes round here? Me? You? Neo?

Maybe the IDF are not responsible, it is possible. So why not produce the evidence for examination. And if it turns out they are you can guarantee neo will say it is justified or blame the trolls.

 
At 6:46 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

Such a wicked lot those palis, actually quite disgusting their tactics and lies and murder. I've never advocated genocide but I've come close with these devils.

Regarding the trolls, I simply don't read them. I come here for the Posts Neo makes and the exellant commentary and insights by respondents. We all pretty much know what the trolls will say so why bother to even read them? I know the flaws in my political ideology, the weakness and strong points already.

 
At 7:39 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

yeah well this as weak a point as you are going to get. No chance you b3eing anything other than bigotted about the palestinians is there.

Such a wicked lot those palis, actually quite disgusting their tactics and lies and murder. I've never advocated genocide but I've come close with these devils.

 
At 10:35 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Conspiracy theories come in a variety of sizes and kinds, from ordinary price-fixing or kick-back schemes, for example, at one end, to the global, centuries-old sort of thing we get in fictions like The Da Vinci Code or The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Rational belief in such conspiracies -- as opposed to belief based upon bigotry, ideology, or plain old paranoid pathology -- falls off rapidly the more the supposed conspiracy is wide-spread, long-termed, or high-staked. This is why conspiracy theories about Vince Foster, 9/11, or the Kennedy assassination, for example, seem better suited to the tinfoil hat people -- because enough people would have had enough motive to have exposed such plots long before now had they existed.

On the other hand, the manufacture or faking of atrocities as part of a propaganda war seems much more at the "price-fixing" end of conspiracies -- it doesn't take many people, and it doesn't even have to hold up for very long for the propaganda effect to take hold and do its small part, after which the world's attention turns back to the travails of Brangelina, etc.

Given that, if we ask what's the likelihood that this Gaza beach incident was in fact an "atrocity" manufactured by Palestinians, I think the answer must be that it's at least plausible -- which, of course, is all that neo was asserting in her post. Israel, after all, has a track record of reasonably objective self-investigations -- it established the commission which examined the Sabra and Shatila massacre, for example, and which laid "indirect responsibility" on Israel. Palestinians, on the other hand, have the opposite track record -- time after time they try to exaggerate death tolls involving themselves (e.g., notoriously, Jenin). So given that, I think it's fair to say at this point that the rational presumption should be in favor of Israel's innocence in this incident, at least, and in favor of the possibility of Palestinian guilt -- though that may change, in any direction.

 
At 11:13 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger al fin said...

A good conspiracy theory is like a good work of fiction. You must get your reader to suspend his sense of skepticism and disbelief, in order to swallow the plot. For some, like arab muslims and inveterate lefties, the sense of disbelief is finely selective. Belief of guilt precedes interpretation and presentation of evidence. The overwhelming and monstrous belief of guilt precedes all possible wrongdoing, waiting with a hungry maw for something to happen. Sometimes it gets tired of waiting and makes something happen.

Evidence, Sherlock, evidence. This separates the modern from the primitive, the thinking human from the mindlocked and senile. The openness or closedness to evidence.

 
At 12:24 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

my god sally has started to make sensible points

Given that, if we ask what's the likelihood that this Gaza beach incident was in fact an "atrocity" manufactured by Palestinians, I think the answer must be that it's at least plausible

yeah it is plausible. The whole thing is a violent mess and all kinds of nonsense has taken place.

So let us see the evidence. Let the IDF release the fragments of shrapnel for analysis.

Neo has done exactly what you accuse the "indecent left" of doing; taking her preconceptions and using them as the basis for interpretation of events.

And, as i said above, even if it is true how is this mess going to be sorted out? More violence? more oppression? Or shall we push goesh that extra mile and follow him to hell?

Goesh said...
Such a wicked lot those palis, actually quite disgusting their tactics and lies and murder. I've never advocated genocide but I've come close with these devils.


The truth is that only America has th einfluence over Israel to push them into a peaceful settleent. Sitting around disbelieving Israel can ever behave badly does not help.
make

 
At 12:57 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Let me remind people reading Conneds last paragraph, how the Leftists talked about America being too "unilateral". Once the Left gains power, no nation will be free from intimidation, coercion, threats, and forcible payment of extortion money.

Israel is their alpha project you might say, their attempt to direct American power (which is not theirs) to fullfill what they see as a popular cause. Once they succede at forcing a small nation lke Israel to do what they demand, then they will enhance and polish their manipulation tactics learned, and apply them to other countries. Smaller, less well known, but just as vulnerable.

The fear is obviously that one nation or person will gain too much power, and they will abuse it. But we all know the Left has the track record of infinite abuses of power. It is after all, consistent with the philosophy. The Left came from classical liberals the same way neo-cons did, except we're like the adopted son vs the biological son. (mIchael reagan vs his brother)

What this tells me, is that the Left uses human rights to justify whatever murderers, extortion, and Big Brother tyrannical systems they feel the need to implement. Just as a classical liberal can justify any death or toppling of dictators as being necessary for the Cause, that cause being human rights.

Those are liberals, fake or true. Their beliefs justify anything and everything, in the pursuit of human rights and/or utopia. The conservatives see things differently. The military, for example, is a very conservative organization. By that, I mean that they are not going to try new things just for the heck of it. The old things that work, that is whati s valued in warfare, not new fangled gadgets. That does not mean the military in wartime will use old stuff and get themselves killed. The threat of death produces the necessity for innovation, thus conservatives only adopt new fangled things if they NEED them. That is inherently the difference. A conservative supports wars and the toppling of dictators because he sees a need. A classical liberal never needs an excuse to war or to topple dictators, because that is part of classical liberalms, to swear undying enmity to all tyrannies, past or future.

To summarize it in a snappy conclusion, conservatives are less prone to power hungry corruption because conservatives inherently are resistant to new technologies, wars, an tactics that would give them that power in the first place. Liberals are hungry for the power to change the world, therefore any edge or advantage will be seized upon.

It does not mean liberals are not set in their ways, and also does not mean conservatives will never accept change. As you see now, the military in 2005 was accepting new technologies faster than the civilian world. Because wars fuel the human need to survive, and a gadget will give you that edge to survive, conservatives are all for it. Infact, conservatives are more for it than liberals would be, because conservatives have more energy to pour into new endeavours simply because they spend most of their lives being used to the familiar. The liberals, being what they are, try to seize upon any advantage, no matter how frivolous. This wastes their energy and time. For conservatives, that is not the case, therefore the zealotry when conservatives adopt a "new fangled thing" (like Iraq War or what not) is in fact, more zealous and fanatically than even the most zealous and fanatical liberal would be (the liberals that wanted to topple Saddam that is).

So this is why people should be scared of people like Conned getting control of the power of the US, and not scared about Bush being in control of that power.

 
At 1:08 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

sometimes i really do wonder who the trolls are. What the hell is all the above saying? One sentence summary. Go on try it.
Just for me :-)

 
At 2:04 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

The only independent analysis of the beach atrocity concludes that the blast was the result of an Israeli 155mm Howitzer shell of the type being used at that very time by IDF against targets in Gaza.

It is worth noting amonst all the anti Palestinian ranting here, that this sort of nonsense is the preserve only of the US.

If Palestinian propaganda is so good, yet so implausible, how can the great majority of the world's people have an entirely different view of the conflict to the US populace?

IMO Israelis in the main won't be believing the IDF in this case. Israelis in the main wouldn't be reading the sort of extremist zionist garbage that uhuru is linking to. Now, THAT is propaganda in the neonazi class.

Sally, you make these assertions about the valour of the IDF despite decades of evidence to the contrary. When will you wake up to the reality?

BTW Hamas had nothing to do with either the last suicide bombing or the rockets (nor did they celebrate it). Maybe if they'd been given support by the west they'd be able to improve the security situation.

 
At 2:13 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

neo-neocon said...
I want to remind all to please ignore trolls. I know it's a great temptation to feed them, but please avoid it.

6:44 PM, June 13, 2006


The marriage guidance counsellor shows her true colours. Cut and paste a few ideas from smarter propagandists and refuse to engage the sceptical.

Cowardly craven fraud neo. 'Mugged by reality' indeed. More like finding racism palatable and struggling to rationalise it. Pathetic.

Brown shirts!

 
At 2:19 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

As I recall, the shelling of the beach was supposedly done by Israeli naval vessels. None of the vessels in the Israeli navy possesses a 155 mm gun. The largest is 76 mm.

The crater made by a 155 mm round is significantly larger than anything in evidence in the initial video of the beach event.

 
At 2:29 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Who are you talking to, stumb?

 
At 2:30 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I'm only saying what independent analysts (with far more knowledge than you or me) have concluded, as reported on the ABC and SBS this morning.

 
At 2:30 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Anyone who'll listen.

Facts are d*** distressing, sometimes.

 
At 3:48 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

So, the ridiculous zionist conspiracy theories regarding Mohammad al-Durah's death have become fact now?

 
At 4:20 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

oh well the Germans were v lucky to beat the poles - thats the world cup not ww2 - and I have updated the profile. Blog to follow if I can find some time. i.e. you can only do so much while you are meant to be working.

and remember confud, tempting as it may seem please do not feed the trolls. especially the really really mad one.

 
At 4:29 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

:-)

May your blog attract intelligent trolls only.

 
At 5:06 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

"We still got a few hours before New Zealand comes online. Then the fury shall be plain onto scariness."

Y, it is all right dear. It is only a little nightmare. NZ is right here. Would you like a nice warm milk dearie?

Of course, everything that the IDF says is right!!It always is!! There now. Does that make you feel better?

Would you like me to read you some of GWB’s stories? You always like them. Nice and sweet and comforting stories. How about “St George and the Big Bad Arab”, or “St George captures Alladin”. That’s your favourite, isn’t it!!! Come on then, snuggle up and we will read it together.

On the substantive matter - neoneocon has it pretty right, that for some the conspiracy theories are a nice comforter, a palliative for those who are unable to accept the official line.

Her foray into the realms of "anti-semitism" makes emotive play out of any attempt to criticise political beliefs and actions, in the same way as "anti-american" is used to vilify those who criticise her nation.

But truly, the big problem here -the very big problem - is not what you or I might think but the veracity of what we are told and what we hear.

I am not going off into a great tirade (sorry Y, but your troll is not going to work). There is no future in it. For those who believe everything the Israeli government says is absolute fact you have your comforter. For myself, the whole matter is inconclusive. There is no independant review. There is only one word against another from people with vested interests and a very long history on both sides of being very free with their interpretation of what constitutes "truth".


Oh, BTW. In NZ a "comforter" is called a "dummy".

 
At 5:24 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh, BTW. In NZ a "comforter" is called a "dummy".


Well, actually no. It may be called a rug or a blanket but I think you may be confused with a pacifier.

Which reminds me of Shihad. There's a silly story.

 
At 5:50 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

Confude!! Didja HAVTA!!???!! It was SUCH a good line!!

Yeah, upsetting the American market with a name that sounds like "Jihad" was a bit much. Loved the sarcasm implied by the name change too. Very a propos the current debate.

And for those who don't know the background to our little private joke, Shihad (rhymes with jihad)are a NZ pop-group - a good one by all accounts - who changed their name to "Pacifier" after 9/11 so that there would be no confusion in the US market. They returned to NZ a couple years back and are Shihad once again.

 
At 6:54 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

I've just looked at the BBC and CNN films regarding the Gaza beach, are there any better video or pictures showing the actual impact area?

 
At 7:08 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Well, there MIGHT have been, had there been, you know, an actual impact...

 
At 7:26 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

I used the term "impact" advisedly.

Neo-neocon presents a fairly well-balanced view of the dilemma presented in any incident where two sides have been locked in war or kampf for way too long.

My final opinion will be formed when the dust settles, so to speak.

 
At 7:43 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I am not going off into a great tirade (sorry Y, but your troll is not going to work).

Confud's in the New Zealand area as well, you're not special just cause you're from New Zealand and I don't limit my comments just to you, probligo.

The video is very carefully rehearsed and setup in order to maximize the propaganda impact. Did you see the Hamas video of the screaming daughter on the beach? Why the heck was Hamas right there filming anyways?

A lot of people forget when the camera is rolling, is that it is an artificial framework. You're not "seeing it" with your own eyes, the camera is setup to show only what the cameraman wants it to show. You don't need to edit or doctor anything, just set it up right.

 
At 8:23 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

You people are seriously fucking deluded.

 
At 8:27 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

Yes, Y, that video was shown on tv news last night. I saw it. It has as much credence as the findings of the IDF inquiry.

In other words...

easily faked and totally unconfirmed by independant sources.

Did you also notice that the hole had footprints in it, there was no evidence of explosive residue, and the edges to the hole had been "softened" where explosives tend to leave a rim and radiants.... It also appeared, from the very brief glimpse, to have been dug perpendicular to the sand surface. A shell would more likely have impacted at an angle to the surface and an oval hole would result from the explosion.

But why am I supplying my critique to you? Obviously your sources are far more knowledgeable than I. Why aren't you spouting all of this careful deduction yourself to prove just how devious and misleading Palestinians and the left really are and how clever and intelligent you are?

Guess that hole must have been caused by a Texas gopher that had overindulged in Mexican chilli and beans before flying to Gaza for a laze in the sun. Or perhaps it was one of those ice bombs that high altitude aircraft drop from time to time - whenever someone uses the toilet. After all, GWB was flying over sometime about then wasn't he? Oh, sorry no. It was about three days later he went over - but he still could've...

Did you note also that both sides are refusing to submit shrapnel "samples" for independant analysis.

Wake from your daily nightmare, let nursey give you a nice warm glass of milk (she might even share a titty with you if you ask nicely and say please) and then you will feel all better again.

 
At 9:44 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

This place has gotten a lot dirtier, but maybe, for the moment, we can continue to try to ignore the louts and step around the garbage.

And this is off-topic, too, but seemed worth putting down:

how is this mess going to be sorted out? conned asked, and let's just make believe it's a serious question. The answer: roughly along the lines that Israel is currently pursuing.

That is:

- with continued aggressive pursuit of the terrorists, their leaders and supplies, with as much focus as reasonable but without allowing the terrorists' use of their own people as human shields to make Israeli self-defence ineffective;

- with continued determination to erect a defensive wall between the source of the killers and themselves;

- and with continued negotiation, or at least continued willingness to negotiate, with any party willing to accept their existence as a state entity -- without which there's simply nothing to talk about, and "talk" is just a mockery.

The last component of the strategy has long been in place -- Israel, as a democracy, has been pushing itself into a peaceful settlement, in other words, and certainly doesn't need the US to push it. The first two are newer, but are already having a noticeable effect. Eventually Hamas and the Palestinians generally will either have to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state, or be reduced over time to mere internal scrapping over dregs. Their intransigence and viciousness have already cost them more than they're ever likely to recover.

This is not to say, it should be obvious, that the Israelis are always right nor the Palestinians always wrong. It is to say that the Israeli moral position is vastly superior to the Palestinian over all, and in many ways is a good example of how right makes might.

 
At 9:56 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

"This is not to say, it should be obvious, that the Israelis are always right nor the Palestinians always wrong. It is to say that the Israeli moral position is vastly superior to the Palestinian over all, and in many ways is a good example of how right makes might."

I agree with every word of that, except the sequence of the last three.

"...might makes right."

There, now it is correct.

 
At 10:53 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Israel is a sham democracy riven by racial and religious intolerance and oppression.

The wall being built in Palestine is a monument to oppression. Let them have their wall, but build it in Israel.

The Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their land without compensation.

Israel is a bankrupt state without an economy that can survive without billions of dollars in aid every year from US taxpayers.

Whilst Israel continues to occupy land outside the pre 1967 borders it has no moral or legal right to demand any recognition by the Palestinians or to expect Palestinians to give up their struggle.

Israel has reneged on every agreement thus far, has never indicated any willingness to seek a peaceful solution and arrogantly flouts international law and human decency.

Israel, without US veto would have been cast out of the UN and would not have the ability to count itself among the legitimate nations of this earth.

Israel has instigated the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocents whilst being cheered on by ultrarightist nutters in the US like you lot.

Israeli forces have often used unarmed Palestinian/Lebanese/Syrian civilians as human shields.

Israel still militarily occupies Syrian territory in breach of it's commitment under the ceasefire agreement and is expanding 'settlements' there.

Israel is accelerating settlements in the west bank despite UN resolutions and its own agreements to withdraw.

Israels actions overtly contradict US and Israeli rhetoric over their intentions.

Ultranationalist zionists and religious fanatics like you are too stupid to see it or too dishonest to admit it.

 
At 11:13 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Suffice it to say that every single statement above is false, and most are contemptible lies.

 
At 11:33 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Well, this was tiresome. Sorry I asked but I'll ask again:
Does anyone know of a video or pictures of the crater on Gaza beach?

 
At 11:36 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Senescent Wasp:

Faster, please.

 
At 11:46 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

"It is also worth listening to the story of the Israelis being attacked by Palestinian Rockets in teh Gaza strip as to the motives for IDF attacks. The process is a cycle of violence which needs to be stopped. Not justified or explained away and all blamed on one side."

This was not tiresome. No offense intended to anyone, we all have opinions with more or less validity, but frankly this was the best statement. I am not taking sides with anyone, I am pointing out the best stance in this.

I would add that whenever a military force, of any kind, fires from civilian positions, uses civilian positions for hiding movement, they are as or more responsible for civilian deaths as those firing back.

 
At 11:47 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

At 12:13 AM, June 15, 2006, Sally said...
Suffice it to say that every single statement above is false, and most are contemptible lies.


Prove it little ultranationalist butcher girl.

Brown shirts, brown shirts.

 
At 11:49 PM, June 14, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Israel still militarily occupies Syrian territory in breach of it's commitment under the ceasefire agreement and is expanding 'settlements' there.


Try this one Sally. Prove to us that this is a lie you contemptible little know-it-all.

 
At 12:08 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Zeno said...

Good post, good comments.

I appologize if I am "feeding the trolls".

But, you know, I would like to understand the logic of people like neoconned, confude and the left in general.

I mean, one thing is to feel pity for the "opressed" palestinians, even if they're "opressed" mostly by their own cynical government and religious/terrorist groups.

But something quite different is to actually cheer for terrorists/islamic utopists and hate Israel so much, in an almost pathological way, repeating tired clichés that any good fact-checking (or plain common sense) could dispell.

I have to admit I never understood such hatred for Israel, and such dumb acceptance of the worst acts of terror by the Palestinians, accepting their propaganda at face-value. Even when I was (or considered myself to be) part of the "left", I never understood it.

I think the major problem is that the media itself feeds such ignorance. Newspapers will say: "Nine people killed in Israeli air strike", implying the purposeful death of innocent people for no reason whatsoever. You have to read further until the middle of the text to find out that those were terrorists inside a van full of rockets. And on and on and on. This is repeated so that now pretty much everybody I know has a completely distorted view of the conflict. I live here in Brazil, and most people have a completely distorted, partial view of events.

And the memes keep being repeated. Despair over the "ocupation" causes terrorism? I live here in Brazil, a place where people in the "favelas" live in much worse conditions than any so-called "palestinian", receiving much less foreign help, yet there has been not a single attempt at suicide-bombing. Drug dealing, robbery, yes, but no terrorism. Ideology causes terrorism. It's so obvious even an idiot could understand it.

I wonder, is there any way to solve this? What should we do to help illuminate people with such ingrained false notions?

What I did - until a few years ago I knew very little about the conflict did was to read the most I could about it all, from different sources, left, right, Israeli, arab. After some time it becomes very clear who is telling the truth and who is not. Yet, some people will carry their theories always with them and try to adjust the facts around them...

I appologise for my terrible English.

 
At 12:21 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Zeno,
Your English is nothing to apologize for whatsoever. And your statement was as excellent as your English.

 
At 12:55 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Zeno you give yourself away when you preface "Palestinian" with "so called". Comparing living in the favellas with living under brutal military oppression is neither realistic or fair.

You're a fake. Goodbye.

 
At 1:14 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

That you interpret my views as this

But something quite different is to actually cheer for terrorists/islamic utopists and hate Israel so much, in an almost pathological way

shows you are simply working out of your own narrow bigotries.

I wrote this "It is also worth listening to the story of the Israelis being attacked by Palestinian Rockets in teh Gaza strip as to the motives for IDF attacks. The process is a cycle of violence which needs to be stopped. Not justified or explained away and all blamed on one side."
which ariel kindly quoted. Do you think this is evidence of a psychopathic anything? Or of someone tired of all the killing who would like to hear how it can be sorted out rather than who was to blame for the last lot and who will encourage the next?

It is the easiest thing in the world to advocate harsh action as the clear solution to complex problems. As a result more people are killed and injured while neo writes that it was all staged as a piee of propaganda.

Well maybe the Palestinians did do it - i doubt it given than the Israeli artillery had been shelling the area it seems most likely that it was an Israeli shell, did they not expect that the use of artillery might produce death? But even if they did there is a whole tragedy here that needs to be sorted out in a way that knee jerk support for one side or th eother will not achieve.

 
At 1:26 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Zero said....But, you know, I would like to understand the logic of people like neoconned, confude and the left in general.

Another give away. You have no reason to think that I or nncd are "on the left".

Sally or neo I reckon. Pathetic. True trolling.

And Ariel, for someone so 'nuanced(sic)' you are very easily led up the garden path by an obvious fake.

You couldn't make this stuff up.

 
At 1:42 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

the evidence from an IDF report analyzing, among other things, the content of the scrapnel, indicates non-Israeli origins for the blast.


Human Rights Watch says that the IDF has no samples of the schrapnel and refused to allow a UN fact finding mission access to Gaza.

It's a funny old world.


Just watched an ITV report on conditions in Basra Hospital. No cancer drugs since the invasion, no antibiotics for dysentry, little in the way of dressings gloves etc.

Where'd that billion bucks go then Mr Dick Halliburton Cheney.

Tax cuts for the rich but vetereans support cut.

Patriots indeed. You've been had.

 
At 1:48 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Someone has gone seriously off the deep end here.

 
At 1:52 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Speaking of off the deep end, just left the PNA History of Palestine site. To quote:

"Palestine was a part of the Arab world since ancient decades, agriculture and industry were the main vocations practiced by the primitive man such as pottery made (5500B.C) cobber tools (4000-3150B.C) Bronze and Iron tools (1200-3150B.C) (1200-320B.C)."

No mention of Judea or Samarra(sp) for example, and the all people there were always Arab doesn't seem to exactly match historical records.

 
At 2:27 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh really Ariel. "Someone" is going off the deep end about the overt racism of some of your brethren on here but you're upset about harsh words. How family values of you.

From the country that won't stop producing land mines or honour the Geneva Conventions (or any other treaty it has signed) but conducts a congressional inquiry into Janet Jackson's boob.

And in your 'reasonable' tone you commend someone who is an obvious fake and still claim to be nuanced(sic). You're more pathetic than the ones proposing genocide. Hitler's Germany survived longer because of apologists like you,

 
At 2:37 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Checkmate.

 
At 4:28 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

Ariel,

"Does anyone know of a video or pictures of the crater on Gaza beach?"

There was a video shown on tv news here. It showed a young girl running around on a beach screaming and tearing at her hair. Cut to hole in ground with sundry clothes and shoes lying about. Cut to young girl screaming beside hole in ground. Total duration probably 20 secs.

Obviously Y had seen it and thought that I might have been simple enough to have swallowed it.

I think that I must have disappointed him. What I documented was from the simple application of concentration and observation.

There was in one of our Sunday papers a photo (courtesy of Getty Images) of some sandals, one or two kid's toys (a plastic swan), and a patch of "disturbed ground". Spoiling it some-what was the patch of very hard-looking clay/soil in the right hand corner and the "red" blood spots that look like lumps rather than having soaked into soft dry sand. The biggest spoiler was the fact that one of the children's sandals was sitting on top of the other. Not a good look if there has been a nearby explosion. I have tried to
scan it, but it loses much in the process. I will email it on request, as scanned and as best I can clarify it.

Analysis of photos is quite simple. There is enough in the Getty image to make it suspect at best.

 
At 5:36 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

and in many ways is a good example of how right makes might.

Probligo sees right makes might as might makes right. Hrm, freudian complex going on here.

I appologise for my terrible English.

People had to start somewhere, and your English is pretty good in written form.

 
At 7:53 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I don't know why you think most of what I say about things is somehow intended as a theatric aside, to you probligo.

But, I don't place enough importance in your views, to try to undermine them through stealth. If I wanted to say something that I believed was wrong about you, probligo, I would do so without the theatrics and have already done on my blog.

 
At 3:18 PM, June 15, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

You deserve each other. :-)

 
At 5:57 PM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

The probligo,

Thanks for the reply. I saw a similar video of a screaming, hair-tearing girl running to a covered man lying in the sand, with some view of the debris, and of ambulances blaring to and fro. There was nothing of real substance in the video. No way to gauge anything. It was a lousy piece of reporting.

I was in my service the one who aimed and "pulled the trigger" on a 5 inch mount. I've seen the results of my handiwork, and wanted to see if the scene matched my memories. A 155 would cause a proportionally greater amount of damage, of course.

I'll continue to search the web for some primary sources.

 
At 8:01 PM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Zeno said...

Sally or neo I reckon. Pathetic. True trolling.

You´re wrong. I'm posting from South America, and I´m Zeno (not Zero). Not that it is my real name, of course. I´m a regular reader/admirer of neo`s blog, but haven`t posted before (well, only once before). I love neo´s insights, and if you don´t, too bad, it´s all your loss. You could learn something if you started to listen instead of repeating all the time the same things. Me? I´m not a neocon, I´m not a republican, i´m not even an american. I was not writing to you and conned in particular, just mentioning a common theme among people, mostly of leftist views. I don´t know if you guys are on the "left", anyway, for me such labels say very little.

Anyway, I think will follow neo`s counsel now and try to discuss only themes relevant to the theme of the post. Thanks.

 
At 12:57 AM, June 16, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

yeah well before you go back into your state of mystic purity try reading this.

The Independent

and think about the difference between disagreeing, mocking and being unpleasant. As for trolling the word is meaningless. Thrown around by those who do not wish to hear opposing views strongly expressed. If you don't like what is said miss it out. Do you think i read every word yrmdwnkr writes? No I do not life is too short. As for everybody else grow up and stop having a fit just because someone says you are talking crap.

Blogs are public spaces. They are a new form of journalism with very different techniques. Sucessful blogs encourage a range of opinions and we should be grateful to neo for doing this. If she shuts off the "trolls" then this site will become a neo-con love in and, while it may get many readers, it will fall victim to group think and become irrelevant.

 
At 2:16 AM, June 16, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

"it will fall victim to group think and become irrelevant."

I thought we were already there?

 
At 3:10 AM, June 16, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

don't think so. If you look at the range of comments supportive of neo and those against they are exactly that a range. On the extreme right are people like yrmdwknr and comrade wasp who are very different from the likes of ariel or SB. On the other side, confud is v different from probligo.

Neo is a polite version of the extreme right.

 
At 5:23 AM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

When you're on the extreme left, pretty much everybody else looks like the extreme right.

In any case, there's a nice combination of pathos, humor, and wild-eyed narcissism in the idea that it's conned and confud that keep this site "relevant". Not a combination I'd miss, though.

 
At 5:43 AM, June 16, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

If you think I am "extreme" left then that shows just how right wing you are. As for your other point yeah it is a tad arrogant to think that you make any difference to someone else's blog because, as an individual, you don't.

However no discussion that is simply a list of statements agreeing with each other is worth reading. So contradictory opinions are helpful, they improve the quality. It does not matter who does it - as long as someone does.

I suppose neo is going to move to moderated comments and you will be able to rest easy in your own insular and dangerously ill informed world. Me I enjoy arguing. I don't understand the desire to pontificate on a blog and then get grumpy when people argue that you are talking rubbish.

As I said above, if there are comments you don't like don't read them - ignore.

It what neo wants :-)

 
At 6:13 AM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I keep wanting to say fool me once... for some reason.

 
At 11:26 AM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Zeno said...

Blogs are public spaces.

Yes but I would suggest that there is (or should be) something called courtesy. This is neo`s house, so to speak, and we´re her guests.

Neo is a polite version of the extreme right.

Is her? I find her so open and moderate and kind (would love to be her patient), almost the closest to the "left" that someone in the "right" could be.
I think, of course, that Left and Right have no meaning anymore and that we are seeing a realignment of political positions worldwide. Many more people have changed after 9/11 and other events. For me it was also a very gradual change, but now I see things in a different way. Neo wrote about her "change", maybe someone in the Left should write about their "non-change", how can someone maintain the same political views of "poverty-and-occupation-causes-terrorism" after such events as 9/11 and Beslan? (for me, the real point-of-no-return - killing schoolchildren for a propaganda coup was more than I could bear).

your English is pretty good in written form.

Oh, thanks Ymar.

Did neo closed comments? Just as I managed to find courage to post. Oh damn.

 
At 12:01 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Zeno,

The comments will be opened as soon as she can put the troll-icide in place. She welcomes contrary opinions but not in the adolescent way trolls offer theirs. They stifle debate, because ultimately it is all about them and them alone.

You put it well in your "shut up and listen and you'll learn something" remark. Just look at the tantrums that were thrown when the trolls learned they would be shut out. Rather than change their bad behavior, it only increased.

Keep a watch and post when she allows comments again.

 
At 12:32 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

hmmm lets have a think


1. No such thing as left and right anymore. Ok maybe this is true. How about those who defend the interests of the rich and powerful against those who do not? Or those who favour peace against those who do not? Or those who think all arabs/muslims are evil against those who do not? Or even...bit hippyish this but what the hell - those who think we are destroying the environment v those who will drive the car for two minutes before starting their three mile walk?

2.SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2005 And Arabs? They're fine, never had a moment's problem with them, until I realized that so many of them were celebrating and advocating the death of Americans, Israelis, Jews, and other westerners, and that there is something about the culture that seems to foster and support this sort of thing. It is simply an empirical fact, and if we ignore it or cover it up, we do so, quite literally, at our own peril. so our "moderate" neo is a racist oh hum. A nice polite racist who will argue that she is not ---but says all arabs are violent etc.as i said she is polite and extremely right wing.

3. To paint the position of the left as one of non-change is simplistic. However you could also argue that it shows a certain level of consistency. Why should your attitude to terrorism change just because it happened in your country rather than someone elses?

4. Also what is to be done about all this violence? The neo-con all arabs are terrorists lets fight the arabs in a new crusade approach is childish to say the least. This is very much the position neo holds. You trawl this blog to find solutions.

5. sorry ariel but this is not true. She welcomes contrary opinions but not in the adolescent way trolls offer theirs. They stifle debate, because ultimately it is all about them and them alone.

6. Like many sites - left and right - contradictory opinions are not welcomed. Opposition=trolling is the mantra. It is meaningless as a word. Look at the posts from yrmdwnkr and others on here. Violent, rambling and often incomprehensible but right wing so ok.

7. Just look at the tantrums that were thrown when the trolls learned they would be shut out. Did you mean when i posted this evidence that neo's blatantly racist approach to the IDF killing children on a beach in Gaza was factually wrong?

8. (I love my lists) Look at the history of posts on this site and you will see that people turn up criticise neo, get nowhere, get called a troll, get bored and leave. Neo should stop throwing the teddy out of the pram and wait for this process to happen again. It leaves me with the impression that she does not like to be contradicted in her neo-con views as much as she probably didn't in her alleged period of liberalism.

9. ...and finally...if you make public pronouncements - which a blog is - then you should expect public comment. I realise many do not do this but they are cowards.

 
At 1:07 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

me agian.....slow day today..... been going through th eusual right wing blogs and it strikes me that this kind of nonsense

http://drsanity.blogspot.com/ is where neo is heading. Smug, didactic, unthinking right wing crap with a real dose of agreement or insanity in the comments section.

dull dull dull

 
At 2:13 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Zeno said...

How about those who defend the interests of the rich and powerful against those who do not? Or those who favour peace against those who do not? Or those who think all arabs/muslims are evil against those who do not

Hmm, a bit stereotypical view, isn´t it? Not everything is so black and white. Well, I´m not rich nor powerful, and I do think that capitalism has its problems, but I do put the valour of individual liberty over that of social justice or equality, so I guess I favour social inequality in a way... Being for "peace" is fine, but not at any price. England and the US could have made "peace" with Hitler. Would it be worth? And of course, not all muslims or arabs are evil, but maybe (a big maybe) islam (or at least a faction of it) is. Anyway, you can argue that there is nothing "wrong" in a culture that accepts beheadings and sucide bombings as normal facts of life, that it is just "different" and we have no way to judge it. There are others who think that not everything is relative and there is some form of human morality rules by which we can judge all societies. Maybe it´s arrogance, I don´t know. But I´d rather live in a western democracy that in any sha´ria society. But that´s just me.

 
At 2:50 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

It might be worth pointing out to the new or naive that repeating a tired litany of insults, taunts and labels -- e.g., "right-wing", or that laziest of left-wing canards, "rascist" (especially absurd when applied to culture) -- isn't really arguing and isn't very interesting. In fact, that's what's really "dull dull dull". As in, not very bright.

Oh, and that linking to a leftist British newspaper's account of an "investigation" under the controlled auspices of the Palestinians, conducted by an agent for a Soros-funded NGO with a history of anti-Israeli positions and statements is, to say the least, no more convincing than linking to Israeli and IDF spokespeople.

 
At 2:54 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

neoneoconned:

I will have to take exception with one of your posts above:

"so our "moderate" neo is a racist oh hum. A nice polite racist who will argue that she is not ---but says all arabs are violent etc.as i said she is polite and extremely right wing."

Even in the quote of neo's you cite, she says "so many of them" NOT ALL. That's YOU inferring a position not based on facts.

No one minds a contrary opinion, when based on facts, but simply baldly stating your opinion as fact and expecting other people to bow to superior intellect is what gives rise to the "troll" label. Most of the time, your comments reflect a certain willingness to engage in reasonable debate. It's why I don't believe I've ever called YOU a troll. But "racist" is a particularly nasty charge to level at anybody, and especially nasty when it's not true. Nowhere in any of neo's writings has she EVER accused ALL Arabs of being violent. The great bulk of commenters here have taken pains to avoid painting all of Islam as violent, as have most of the U.S.' government officials.

The quarrel we have is with radical, fundamentalist Islam, those who would seek to impose sharia on the entire world. I would—and do—feel the same about Christian religious fundamentalists who proselytize in the name of Jesus, and would feel the same about similar efforts from Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Animists, and Zoroastrians. That you cannot—or will not—see the distinction is what gives rise to the animus that some here feel toward you.

 
At 3:12 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Just look at the tantrums that were thrown when the trolls learned they would be shut out. Rather than change their bad behavior, it only increased.


You're arrogant in the extreme Ariel, you really are. You have no idea of my motivation or my experience. I was genuinely disgusted by neo's post and still am. You think the word 'racist' is over used but you are defending outright, overt racism here.

The treatment of the Al-Dura killing disgusts me. That the so-called "debunking" of the facts by the ultrazionist lobby has become 'fact' when it should be a cause celebre in condemning the depravity of these apologists is depressing to say the least. Nobody in the middle thinks this way. Nobody.

Paliwood my butt. Have a look at the Israel industry in the US. Budgets bigger than the average US company to lobby congress. I wonder why.

Zeno. I don't believe that you are well read at all regarding the Israeli dispute. You are just trotting out all the usual zionist catch phrases to paint Israel = good Palestinian = bad. Not a sign of well read at all. I doubt that you are even Brazilian.

I agree though that the old labels of left and right are no longer relevant. You could argue that point with the ultranationalists here for a while if you like. Good luck though. Trolldom awaits you.

As to your comment about "massive international aid" to the Palestinians (which I take to mean the dribble that Fatah received). Have a look at this. These are all verifiable figures and actually don't include the military 'gifts' that Israel gets. US Marine and USAF ordinance is regularly 'rotated' via the IDF off the books. Fact.

The crazier ones on here will deny facts regarding Israel though. According to Sally Israel is not currently occupying the Golan in breach of the ceasefire. How she figures that I don't know. Maybe you could ask her?

Anyways here's the 'aid' story. You can verify all the figures officially.

http://www.wrmea.com/html/us_aid_to_israel.htm

 
At 3:36 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

More to the point, stumbley, neo was speaking, quite explicitly, of arab culture, not of a non-existent arab "race" (which, to the extent that such a thing exists, is semitic, like that of many jews). The difference is significant, since a) a person can change his or her culture but not their race, and b) a culture can change itself. Neo's argument is in fact the same as that advanced by many reform-minded arabs themselves -- that large parts of arab culture need to change in order for arab people to take their place in a modern world.

It is a mark of the indecent left, however, to use the term "rascist" as merely an empty epithet or verbal club -- they no longer know what it means, and would be unable to recognize genuine rascism if it hit them over the head. Or if it afflicted them themselves, as it frequently does.

 
At 3:50 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Sally:

Exactly. And "ethnic cleansing" as applied to Palestinians, meaning people who voluntarily left a region of hostilities, as opposed to the deliberate massacre of entire populations, such as the Marsh Arabs, the Hutus and Tutsis, the Christians in Darfur, Jews in the Holocaust, Muslims in Serbia, etc., etc.

Misuse of terms is rampant on the moonbat left.

 
At 3:54 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

To the post before Sallys:

*yawn*

Sally,

Exactly.

Remember the "Phil Donahue Show"?
I saw a segment where he was interviewing Bill Cosby. You could see Cosby slowly come to a boil as Phil went on about black this and black that. Cosby, without using the word racist, made it quite clear that that was what Phil was being. Donahue was of course the archetypal "White Liberal" of that time.

 
At 3:57 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.un.org/unrwa/refugees/whois.html

 
At 4:00 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.antiwar.com/hacohen/h123002.html

 
At 4:14 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.antiwar.com/hacohen/h011303.html
January 13, 2003

Ethnic Cleansing: Some Common Reactions

My previous column – "Ethnic Cleansing: Past, Present and Future" – attracted more reactions than any other. Some of them were supportive and encouraging, for which I am grateful. Many were outraged and even offensive, for which I am even more grateful: not just for enriching my English vocabulary in certain semantic fields (I have been called everything from "anti-Semitic renegade" to "stupid dump ass"), but for reassuring me that I am not wasting my time writing for those who agree with me anyway.

Almost all the fire was aimed at my claim regarding the ethnic cleansing carried out by Israel in 1948. These copious reactions reaffirm my argument that this is still a taboo in pro-Israeli discourse. Even when protesting the present "quiet" ethnic cleansing in the Occupied Territories or warning of future Israeli intentions is tolerated, saying that Israel owes its existence as a Jewish State to ethnic cleansing is evidently beyond the pale. As I said, fighting the present strangulation of the Palestinians should be the top priority of any peace activity on the ground; but on the level of consciousness, coming to terms with the ethnic cleansing of 1948 is an inevitable precondition for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

In spite of the heated tone of many reactions, not many of them were seriously argumentative. Several readers want me to stop criticising Israel and to focus on Palestinian terrorism instead. I get this advice regularly, as if Palestinian terrorism were a never-heard-of scoop just waiting for me to discover. Sorry, friends: I am convinced that stopping the occupation, the colonisation and the dispossession of the Palestinians is the only way to end both the justified Palestinian resistance and its unjustifiable terrorist actions. Pointing a finger at the Palestinians may serve the Israeli propaganda, the settlements and the gigantic American aid to Israel; but all these make my life in Tel-Aviv neither safer nor more moral.

One reader claims that I "imply that the Palestinian Arabs who fled or were driven out […] are in the same boat as the Jews of Nazi Germany were". I did not imply that at all. The expulsion of the Palestinians took place within what can be termed a civil war (a war crime), whereas Hitler’s war on the Jews was an unprovoked genocide of defenceless civil populations (a crime against humanity). I used the Nazi case just to show that the way from mass-deportation to mass-murder is a dangerously short one, and that every Jew, including those calling for "transfer", should be aware of that.

Another reader claimed that Palestinian nationalism was quite young, and that there was no Palestinian people prior to the twentieth century. Though this is true – Palestinian nationalism is even younger than the relatively young Jewish nationalism (a.k.a. Zionism), and is to some extent a reaction to it – I fail to see why this justifies an ethnic cleansing. Are human rights applicable to nationalists only?

Pavlovian Reaction

One issue, however, was repeated in many reactions: the so-called ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Arab countries. This seems to be the Pavlovian pro-Israeli reply whenever the ethnic cleansing of 1948 is mentioned. It can be traced back to official Israeli State propaganda as early as the 1950s. I say Pavlovian, because it is invoked instinctively and irrationally, just like the saliva of Pavlov’s dog.

The argument of my article was that Israel carried out an ethnic cleansing in 1948, and that it may be prone to repeat it. As a reply, I am told that the Arab countries carried out an ethnic cleansing. What does this have to do with my argument? The assertion that Arab countries may be guilty of a similar crime does not make Israel’s crime any better; it definitely does not disprove that Israel is prone to repeat it. Again, the rhetorical trick here is the same as asking me to talk about Palestinian terrorism: whenever Israel is criticised, simply change the subject and talk about Arab or Palestinian faults instead (luckily for Israel, there are always enough of them). This is demagoguery, not a fair debate.

However, irrelevant as it is to the argument of my previous column, the analogy between the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 and the exodus of Jews from Arab countries is worth relating to in its own right.

'Arab Ethnic Cleansing'?

First let us recall the chronology. The ethnic cleansing of 600.000 to 720.000 Palestinians from Israel preceded the Jewish exodus from Arab countries. The exodus of some 125.000 Iraqi Jews to Israel started in 1949; that of about 165.000 North-African Jews took place as late as 1955-1957. It is therefore somewhat awkward to claim that Israel had deported its Arabs because of the exodus of Arab Jews that occurred years later. There is no doubt, however, that the establishment of the State of Israel played a major role in the deplorable deterioration of living conditions for Jews in many Arab countries.

Whereas Jews had been living in the Arab and Muslim world for more than a millennium, for better and for worse but under generally more favourable terms than under Christianity (and with nothing even slightly comparable to the atrocities of the Crusaders or the Holocaust), Israel’s ethnic cleansing coincided with the Jewish State’s birth. And not by chance: the 600.000 Jews living in Palestine in 1948 could not have achieved a solid majority in the areas they occupied without getting rid of a similar number of Arabs. Unlike the Arab countries, that can show a long tradition of coexistence with Jews (notwithstanding discrimination though), and for which getting rid of the Jews had no demographic significance whatsoever, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was both historically and demographically the constitutive event of the Jewish State.

Moreover: even though Jews were indeed harassed (by the people and/or regimes) in Arab countries following the 1948 war, blaming the Arabs of ethnic cleansing is shamefully cynical when it is imputed by the very Zionists who demanded "let my people go", or by the same Israel that did all it could to force those very countries to let their Jews leave. The global Zionist pressure on each and every country, from the Soviet Union to Syria, to let its Jewish citizens go, was part of Israel’s efforts to consolidate its Jewish majority; that is why Israel always urged Western countries not to let those Jewish immigrants in, lest they fail to make Aliya.

So oriental Jews were pushed out of Arab countries as a result of the conflict with Israel, and at the same time pulled by Israel, to consolidate its Jewish majority, and by Zionism, that regarded the Jewish state as the only proper place for Jews to live in. It is a major case of hypocrisy to compare those Jewish immigrants to Palestinians who fled or were driven out of Israel to other countries during a war, people for whom Palestine was their only homeland and who found themselves against their will as refugees in foreign and hostile Arab states, people who were willing but not allowed to return home, and whose property was dispossessed by Israel.

Furthermore, this hypocrisy is symptomatic of the way the Israeli establishment treated the oriental Jewish immigrants. They were lured to come to Israel by promises of equality and welfare. They were zionistically indoctrinated to see Israel as their new homeland, in spite of their systematic discrimination compared to Jewish immigrants from European countries. Those who refused this zionisation were outcasts; those who did become Zionist and consider themselves as people returning home from a long exile, now have to take the insult of being described as foreign refugees, just like Palestinians in Kuwait.

The cynicism of the Israeli establishment reached its highest peak when Israel raised the claim that the property of the Palestinian refugees, confiscated by Israel after 1948, was "balanced" by Jewish property left behind in Arab countries. This is a further development of the same manipulative analogy, in which the oriental immigrants are assigned the role of wretched pawns. The masses of oriental Jews, who lost their home and property as a direct result of the establishment of Israel, and then came to Israel and were housed here in poor slums hired to them by the State, never got any compensation for their lost property; Now they hear that the State that they see as their homeland considers them to be mere refugees, and that their lost property is bargained off by this State against some Palestinian property it confiscated, of which they themselves have not seen a cent.

The State of Israel produces a lot of propaganda which is refuted by the slightest critical analysis. The analogy drawn between the Palestinian refugees of 1948 and the Jews from Arab countries is an especially repulsive example of this. It reveals not only how absurd Israel’s propaganda can be, but how humiliating, scornful and dangerous it is for many Israelis. A State that has been unable to grant its own citizens a day of peace in more than 50 years cannot be expected to treat them any better in its propaganda. Supporting Israel’s propaganda and war machines is definitely not the right way to help both peoples of Israel/Palestine to peaceful coexistence.

– Ran HaCohen

 
At 4:18 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.zmag.org/content/Mideast/pilger_june19.cfm

 
At 5:00 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...


Did neo closed comments? Just as I managed to find courage to post. Oh damn.


She only did it for the first two posts, since some people have a tendency to see new posts without comments as a way for them to grandstand, thereby luring them to do mega multiple posts. This way, if people want to say something, they have to scroll down to the old threads and talk there.

She said that she was doing something, so I suppose comments for new posts will be off until she has a chance to implement her 'Final Solution'.

"so our "moderate" neo is a racist oh hum. A nice polite racist who will argue that she is not ---but says all arabs are violent etc.as i said she is polite and extremely right wing."

Hey stumb, I thought that came from Confud. Are you telling me that Conned wrote that!?

 
At 5:04 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.deiryassin.org/mas.html

 
At 5:06 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2255902.stm

 
At 5:08 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/350/355/april-war/qana/

 
At 5:10 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Ymarsk,

Yes, unfortunately it did. I have gotten a good look at troll behavior now. Even one I might respect, goes petulant. The inability to get the citation correct invalidated the argument, and the egregious conflation of race and culture just made it worse.

 
At 5:18 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Well that was ambiguous. Yes, it came from neoneconned.

 
At 5:25 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Ok lets focus in on one issue. My accusation that neo is racist.

Definition:

When you describe all of a particular ethnic group as having particular , usually inferior, characteristics.

For example,

all mexicans are lazy

is a long standing racist assumption in the USA. Or

all Irish are stupid is one still quite common in Britain.

The source of the laziness or stupidity can be ascribed to genetic or cultural factors but has pretty much the same consequence; a blanket assumption that explains what happens to that group. If mexicans are unemployed or low paid it is because they are lazy, or if the Irish do badly in the English education system it is because they are stupid. racist statements are used to explain inequalities.

so we come to neo...

Is it racism to speak truth about a general trend among a group? If someone were to say, for example, that Ethiopians and Kenyans are overrespresented among distance runners--in fact, are probably the best runners, as a group, in the world--is that racist? It's just a fact. Does it mean that all Ethiopians and Kenyans are good runners? No. Does it mean that the running propensities of Ethiopians and Kenyans are innate and hardwired? Not necessarily. It's simply an observation borne out by facts--these groups are overrepresented among distance runners.

So it is for the Palestinians. There is a nihilistic strain among Palestinians, and in many other Arab cultures, that is quite powerful. Are nihilists overrepresented in Arab culture? Yes. Are all Arabs nihilists? Of course not. Are all nihilists Arabs? Absolutely not
from the same post on racism as above.

sophisticated this. are all arabs nihilists no. Sounds quite reasonable. Are nihilists over-represented yes?

hmmm

so are "lazy people over represented in mexican culture"

or "stupid people over represented in Irish culture" racist statements....well yes. Even in Nazi Germany there was the concept of a good Jew, unlike those evil ones that Hitler goes on about. For Nazis said not are all Jews are evil, it is that evil people are over represented in the Jews.

Then when the question is asked of neo "why do bad things happen to the palestinians" her answer is nihilists (are) overrepresented in Arab culture they are violent etc. and it is there own fault.

it is a racist answer. Sophisticated yes, subtle yes, but its basic explanation is that palestinians are in some way different/inferior.

 
At 5:44 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"but its basic explanation is that palestinians are in some way different/inferior."

What we call in logic a "false syllogism".

The statement, "nihilists are over-represented in Arab culture" means just that. There seems to be a preponderance of nihilists in Arab culture. It is not an indictment of Arabs as a whole, or a statement that Arabs are inferior, or a statement that ALL Arabs are nihilists. You are implying that you know the thought process behind a statement based on your opinion of the statement, rather than what the statement actually means.

African-Americans are over-represented in the NBA, i.e., as a percentage, there are more African-American professional basketball players than caucasians. Is that a racist statement? No. Just fact. There are more African-Americans on the executive staff of Black Entertainment Television than whites. Is that racist? No. Just fact.

Don't confuse fact with opinion.

 
At 6:01 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

i can see how you are trying to argue that the logic is wrong but if you read neo's original post you can see the following

until I realized that so many of them were celebrating and advocating the death of Americans, Israelis, Jews, and other westerners, and that there is something about the culture that seems to foster and support this sort of thing. It is simply an empirical fact, and if we ignore it or cover it up, we do so, quite literally, at our own peril.

neo is saying that arab culture has a flaw which makes it more violent.

hmmm "dont confuse fact with opinion"

interesting point that maybe you should address to neo as she is the one claiming that nihilism is over represented in arab culture and uses this to expalin the situation of the palestinians.

neo makes great play of claiming to deal with fact but is interesting to see which "facts" she grasps at.

The IDF didn't kill people on Gaza beach

Arabs are more likely to be nihilists


...as for your other point is it not possible the reason that black people are over-represented in sports is that traditional routes of success in commerce, corporations, education, military etc. have been limited for black people so a culture of ambition through sport has emerged. racism can be subtle and produce strange effects.

 
At 6:07 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

oh and i am sure this evidence of IDF guilt will be ignored as this really is a left wing paper - unlike The Independent - any sensible critique of it?

 
At 6:19 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

Errr... you're saying racism is a subset of inductive reasoning? Did I catch your explanation correctly, conned?

 
At 6:25 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

hmmmmm well no. I am saying that you can logically infer racism from statements made by neo-con. Read through the whole thing.

 
At 6:58 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Let's see if we can try to be clear rather than confused or conned:

Is there a difference between "culture" and "race"? Hmm?

If we're speaking of culture, not race, is it possible to speak of general cultural characteristics that the preponderance (as opposed to all) of the people within that culture display? How about American culture? How about Texan culture? Hmm?

If we're speaking of general cultural characteristics, is it possible that some are better than others? And that it's therefore possible that some cultures are better than others?
Or can we do no better than a general cultural relativism, so that any cultural beliefs, practices and characteristics have the same value as any other? Would that also apply to any American cultural characteristics? Any Texan? Hmm?

What then is wrong with generalizations about "ethnicities", such as "all Mexicans are lazy" or "all Irish are stupid" (or "all Americans are arrogant" or "all Texans are swaggerers")? These are wrong precisely because they wrongly treat culture or ethnicity as though they were essential characteristics, in the same way that race is genetic. But culture is NOT essential, it's imprinted -- an individual can overcome the limitations imposed by culture, and culture itself can change, in a way that essentialist characteristics such as a genetic code cannot (discounting Darwinian adaptation over generations). In fact, it's just this possibility of change that inspires cultural critiques, including self-critiques, arab and others.

And all of this escapes the simple-minded categories and "concepts" of the left, which can only save themselves from permanent, essentialist, race-like cultural stereotypes by floundering in a hopeless cultural relativism. No wonder they can only think to chant "rascist" at anyone who points out their dilemma.

 
At 7:06 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh, and that linking to a leftist British newspaper's account of an "investigation" under the controlled auspices of the Palestinians, conducted by an agent for a Soros-funded NGO with a history of anti-Israeli positions and statements is, to say the least, no more convincing than linking to Israeli and IDF spokespeople.


So....now HRW is a leftist antiIsraeli organization. This is way beyond a joke now. Mind you, coming from a country where a Republican vice presidential candidate called football a "socialist game' it shouldn't be surprizing.

 
At 8:16 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Essentially you've reduced all observations regarding differences with regard to race, ethnic group, nationality, or culture as racism. You are right, it is very subtle.

I would agree with the pejoratives regarding basic human characteristics, although you confused the "Mexicans are lazy" with nationality. It is applied to a specific ethnic group, the mestizo, the group that largely comprises illegal immigrants in the US. Mexican soap operas seem to mirror this racism, or mirror the racism in Mexico itself.

The ICERD uses the following definition: "Any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise, on equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, or any other field of public life".

Obviously, the operant phrase is "the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing". This definiton, interestingly, allows positive distinctions unless used to restrict as did the California racial quota system in college admissions where Asian-Americans, as a group, out excelled all other groups, even though they suffer as much or more racism and economic restrictions as any other group. Perhaps there is a cultural reason?

Jews, at the turn of the 20th Century, for example, seldom entered the sports arena, where as Italians and Irish did. All three groups suffered intense racism, although the Irish were suffering less by the time the Italians and slavic Jews arrived (1910s-1920s)Perhaps there was a cultural reason?

The defintion above does allow for making distinctions, negative or positive, if the purpose or effect does not meet "the nullifying or impairing". The problem is of course did that particular distinction have that "effect". "Purpose", on an idividual basis, is of course mind -reading and left to the bias of the observer of the one making the distinction,

Essentially, you called her observation racist because it didn't fit your bias. It would be better to show that it was not a qualifiable characteristic of that culture. A quantifiable test could be devised, but in today's climate of making any "distinction equals racism", I doubt that any academic is doing it.

(Interestingly, alcoholism is actually a statistical racial characteristic, predominately European but obviously not limited to Europeans. As my poor Native Americans can attest. Shame. Genetic studies are so interesting.)

By that definition, remarks made here regarding Americans could be construed as racist depending on purpose or effect. I'll keep my bias to myself.

Also, neglecting cultural differences for strictly economic is highly eurocentric. Specific cultures are not intrinsic characteristics of any people and are highly modifiable. I would be careful extending "racism" to the process of making distinctions.

Personally, I would prefer more terminology used so that racism would more strictly follow Webster's as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race". The Brittanica adds "culture" to the above also.Notice that in this definition "race makes culture" is racist. Neo's comments would not fall under this defiition either.

The inclusion of national origin in the first definition is a remnant of 18th and 19th century racial thought ( the British race, the Italian race, etc.) and really should be dropped from racism. New terminology should be developed to account for this. Notice, also, that culture was not included in this definition if it can be distiguished from ethnic.

 
At 8:25 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Please insert "were denied admission even though" after "Asian-Americans" in the 4th paragraph. I must have had the cursor in the wrong spot during editing.

 
At 8:52 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

As an illustration of the use of racism as ideology.
Taxonimists break down mankind into anywhere from 15 to 35 different groups, if I remember correctly. They use skeletal characteristics, muscle type and insertion points, skull shape, hair, blood types, etc. Besides the Hottentot and Sanid unusual genetalia, I remember that statistically the European groups males had wider hips than the Central African males.

Many years later, a kinesiologist responded to a question regarding the preponderance of white males versus blacks in upper level powerlifting. He commented that there was a larger pool of the right skeletal characteristic (wide hips) in white males than black males. You know what he was called don't you?

 
At 8:58 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

People can just use my first syllable of my name. Ymar, instead of Ymar+***

I didn't see it as ambiguous Ariel, since you said it did (come from conned) in your first place.

I do have to remind people, that people with bad logic trying to tell you that their logic is good by using their bad logic, is in a cycle of logical violence.

 
At 9:04 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

I should turn off the touchpad "click" function. Insert "reading back in the 70's" after "I remember". Should make more sense.

 
At 9:06 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Ymar,

You have added an additional characteristic for "trolls". Cycle of logical violence.

 
At 9:28 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

You're not using your mobile to write comments here are you? Cause I got a mobile that can hook up to my wireless router, but using that to write is way too slow using touchpad/mini keyboard.

 
At 9:30 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Hey, who was it that said German was the largest "ethnic" group in the US?

Bravo, US 2000 census reported German as the largest ancestry group in America. At 15% it overwhelmed all other groups, the next was Irish at 11%, then African and English at 9%.

No comments regarding WWII, please.

 
At 9:34 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Ymar,

Nope, home ethernet cable network. I'm just sloppy on the touchpad, as well as a very slow writer.

 
At 9:37 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Could be stumb or doug. There's always mary. Or was sally. The regulars. At the speed I read the comments these days because of the intersecting people posting, I don't even read the names most times.

 
At 9:54 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/southafrica/story/0,,1704038,00.html

Sharon recruited into his government men who openly called for wholesale ethnic cleansing that would more than match apartheid's forced removals. Among them was the tourism minister, Rehavam Ze'evi, who advocated the "transfer" of Arabs out of Israel and the occupied territories. Even the Israeli press called him a racist. Ze'evi was shot dead in 2001 by Palestinians who said his policies made him a legitimate target.

But Ze'evi's views did not die with him. An influential member of the Likud central committee, Uzi Cohen, said Israel and its western allies should demand that a part of Jordan be carved off as a Palestinian state and that Arabs in the occupied territories should be given 20 years to "leave voluntarily". "In case they don't leave, plans would have to be drawn up to expel them by force," Cohen told Israel radio. "Many people support the idea but few are willing to speak about it publicly." Cohen is among 70 Israeli MPs who have backed a bill to establish a national memorial day for Ze'evi and an institute to perpetuate his ideas.

In 2001, Sharon appointed Uzi Landau as his security minister, a position from which he openly advocated that Palestinians should be forced to move to Jordan because they were in the way of Israeli expansion in the West Bank. "For many of us, it's as though they [the Palestinians] are encroaching on our very right to be there [in the occupied territories]," he said.

Sharon rarely objected to the expression of such views, and when he did it was not because they were racist or immoral. The prime minister told Likud party members who pressed him to expel Palestinians that he could not do so because the "international situation wouldn't be conducive".

"We've always had the fanatics talking of greater Israel," says Krausz, the Holocaust survivor in Johannesburg. "There are blokes who say it says in the Bible this land is ours, God gave it to us. It's fascism."

 
At 10:28 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1703245,00.html

The US state department's annual human rights report - not a document known for being hostile to Israel - concluded that there is "institutionalised legal and societal discrimination against Israel's Christian, Muslim and Druze citizens". "The government," it says, "does not provide Israeli Arabs, who constitute 20% of the population, with the same quality of education, housing, employment and social services as Jews."

 
At 3:06 AM, June 17, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

The 'German as largest ethnic contingent in America' was posted by HMS Conqueror in the 'more things change...' thread.

You know, before WWI there were many towns in the Eastern US where German was spoken more than English.

 
At 11:49 AM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Germany had a great military system, but their political diplomacy left a lot to be desired. They actually tried to get an alliance with Britain by arming up their naval fleet, because they believed this would convince the British that a strong ally like Germany would be beneficial. Instead, the British declared war on Germany in WWI, when they allied with the French instead of with the Germans. Bismarck's careful political strategy was totally messed up by the monarchs and the Junkers.

If Germany had allied with the US, and prevented the US-Britain alliance or made an Axis of US-Britain-Germany, then a lot of things would have changed, and I believe for the better. Instead of having to fight Stalin with the French and the Brits, we would have fought Stalin with the German war machine on our side. France would have surrendered just as easily, instead of engaging in two world wars, one hot and one cold, we would have ended things in WWII, the threat of fascism and communism. All the leading spiritual leaders of Nazism, would hve had to flee Germany or be executed, because with the help of the United States in WWI, Germany's economy would be going full steam ahead by 1935.

The Communist party was strong in France, so France was more of a natural ally to Stalin and the Soviets than Germany.

German culture has a lot of order in it, discipline, being punctual, and other virtues. The socialist government of the West and the communist populace of the East, somehow combined to make a total that was less than the sum of its parts.

Germany is a broken nation and a broken people. No threat to the US, but also not a very useful comrade in arms either.

 
At 4:57 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Germany is a broken nation and a broken people. No threat to the US, but also not a very useful comrade in arms either.


you are an ill informed buffoon

 
At 5:42 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Ariel - a few notes on racism...

I still maintain that neo is a racist and do so even though this is the one accusation neo-cons dismiss as meaningless and an easy 'leftist' comment.

So how can i sustain this?

Firstly Racism is a cultural thing. The physical and genetic differences between human beings are extremly minor. There is a strong case to argue that human beings have a common ancestor as recently as 70 000 years ago. What physical differences that do exist are interpreted in cultural terms as being very important e.g. skin colour. There are differences, there is variation. And as you rightly said about the weight lifting stuff;

"He commented that there was a larger pool of the right skeletal characteristic (wide hips) in white males than black males. You know what he was called don't you?"

yup i do know because you hear this casual use of racism a lot. However does it really matter that one group are better at weightlifting? Not really. And, a complex but related issue, has the existence of clearly distinct populations in which all members have a clear advantage over another group been shown? no.

So we come to neo and the Palestinians. Interesting this as the Palestinians are genetically very similair to the Israelis. Try this argument for a bit of background Also the two groups are so vague as to make claims about two clearly separate people on biological grounds pretty difficult. So we are looking at cultural differences. Many in teh US perceive Israelis as culturally similair and Palestinians as very different.

So. to neo. I argue she is racist because she interprets the behaviour of the Palestinians as being in some way inferior. That they are merely a violent bunch with a high degree of nihilism. Any violence that occurs to them has to be their own fault. To the extent that attacks upon them, such as the one on the beach in Gaza have to be seen as the fault of the Palestinians.

Neo can only interpret the behaviour of the Palestinians as the actions of an inferior group with lower standards and morals.

Yes she is not Hitler. But racism is a continuum from mild bigotry to the kind of nonsense that drove apartheid. It is also worth saying that you can find racism among many groups including muslims. You only have to read the ravings of AQ supporters to come across anti-semitic crap that Himler would have been proud of.

But it is worth considering the following

1. Does she consider that all muslims are basically the same and likely to support violence?

2. Does she consider Arab/Palestinian culture as inferior to American?

3. Does she believe in the existence of a global muslim plot to control the world which many muslims at least tacitly support?

4. Is she willing to blame anything bad that happens to Arabs-Muslims-Palestinians as being a consequence of their own propensity to violence?

I would argue that she does. Neo does not do debate because these are arguments she would simply dismiss as leftist accusations, straw men, trolling etc. But they do reflect the attitude underlying her posts.

As for many of the people who write on this blog, well they simply view muslims as demons to be destryed yet receive no criticism from neo. In fact she is exceedingly tolerant of racist comments even the ones inciting the use of violence.

Why does this matter?

Beause increaasingly in neo-con debate we can see the rehabilitation of simplistic and racist assumptions about non-USA nations and ethnic groups. The assumption of USA = good everybody else = weak or bad is dumb and flows through many neo-con idseas about the world.

...and finally congrats to the USA team for a brave and determined performance against the Italians and an incompetent referee. Might have only drawn when they deserved to win but v impressive.

 
At 7:05 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

I argue she [neo] is racist because she interprets the behaviour of the Palestinians as being in some way inferior.

Mildly humorous, no? You have to give the writer some credit for the amazingly dogged determination to avoid facing the implications of the distinction betweeen the concept of "race" (an inherently flawed concept, but one that pertains to genetically based differentiation of any sort of characterisitcs) and "culture" (which is a perfectly valid and useful concept pertaining to learned differentiation of characteristics).

As the above quote makes clear, leftists would like to be able to say that any criticism of certain cultures as such is not simply "like" rascism or "as bad as" rascism -- it just is rascism. (Though it's hardly necessary to add that this doesn't apply to any attempt to criticize American culture, for example, or Texan culture, or Israeli culture.) And they like this because it simply borrows the long-discredited history of actual rascism to make their case for them -- they can simply paste the label "rascist" over any attempt to criticize the culture of the favored groups, and be done with the difficulty of further argument. This despite the fact that such criticism is often enough levelled by people within those very cultures, and is often seen as a welcome source of cultural change.

The downside of this intellectual laziness, however, is that they're stuck with a frequently awkward cultural relativism, which forbids them from making any sort of objective appraisal of any sort of behavior, practice, belief or tradition as long as it can be labelled "cultural". And which itself then becomes just another sad, historical nail in the coffin of the left.

 
At 8:03 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

ok then sally

1. It is spelled RACISM

2. As you yourself say race is an inherently flawed concept and what we ae discussing are CULTURAL differences. For example religion, language etc. I draw your attention to the genetic similarity fo "Israelis" and "Palestinians". So why the big fuss about one or the other - depending on perspective. It is the culture. People like you despise the Palestinian culture and blame anything that becomes of them as a result of this, flawed, culture. Even when that might be an Israeli attack.

3. To borrow from the history of racism we can see that a large part of the process is to demonize a particular group. These usually follow predictable patterns. They are all

violent and aggressive
stupid
evil
sexually dangerous
plotting against the rest of us
unloved by god
etboringcetera

This is exactly what neo is doing in her treatment of the Palestinians. Her racist kneejerk reaction to all events around Israel is to laud the Israelis and demonize the Palestinians - hence i accuse her of being a racist.

Neo argues that whatever evil befalls the Palestinians is a result of them being Palestinian.

Read the list of points of accusation I made of neo and see if you can defend her. I am willing to be proved wrong - but given the nature of much of her writing i think you will find it difficult.

4. As for cultural relativism I am afraid I am forced to admit the left has a real problem here.

On the one hand we are arguing for such things as a doctrine of Internationl Human Rights. Universal laws on freedom of thought and action, economic liberty etc.

On the other we argue for toleration of all cultures.


So when we come across things such as female circumcision or the death penalty life gets philosophically complex.

However this is in the end relative. It is a matter of compromise because, and I don't think you are going to like this bit, objective definitions of good and bad human behaviour are culturally specific. For example the possession of hand guns is seen as normal by many Americans but as extremely deviant in European society. The use of pornographic images in mainstream media is seen as normal in many western societies but as highly offensive in many muslim societies.

 
At 8:05 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

oh sorry one bit I forgot.

How would you objectively give a description of what is a "good" society as against a "bad" one and avoid the whole relativist accusation?

 
At 10:06 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Good point about the spelling, and my bad.

But that's conned's last good point, or even honest one. In particular, his point 3 -- "Neo argues that whatever evil befalls the Palestinians is a result of them being Palestinian", or that she sees Palestinians as "sexually dangerous", et-wacko-cetera -- is so ridiculously false and over the top that it's not even a simple lie any more, it's the "Big Lie", in which the liar hopes that at least the more naive and credulous among his audience will be unable to believe that anyone would just make anything so preposterous. But of course, that technique is just the ordinary bread and butter of trolls anyway -- and because of which, it's wearing thin.

This also stands, yet again, as a good illustration of why it's pointless to argue with trolls as though you really expected to find even a minimally honest opponent. Thus, his apparent concession regarding the problems of cultural relativism in point 4 -- which is immediately contradicted and withdrawn (trolls have no concern with logic or consistency after all) -- is held out as merely a lure or bait. Trying to enlighten him regarding his final "question" would be as hopeless as trying to rub the black off coal or the white off chalk.

 
At 10:12 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

you are an ill informed buffoon

That's what they called George Washington when he went out to war for glory.

Watching Conned trying to argue that culturalism is racism and culture is race and race is culture, is sort of like watching two retarded mud wrestlers trying to win without getting dirty.

 
At 10:13 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

the evidence from an IDF report analyzing, among other things, the content of the scrapnel, indicates non-Israeli origins for the blast.

The point is that the IDF itself analyzing whether the IDF was the source of the blast, makes the IDF both defendant and judge -- which is quite absurd.

For better credibility, the investigation should have been done by an independent entity, such as a judge. Presumably, Israel has an independent judiciary. A judge could have been entrusted with the investigation.

A few years ago, some French troops were accused of having committed atrocities in the country of Ivory Coast where they were stationed. The matter was investigated by a French judge, not by the French military (even though the army wanted to investigate it internally). That is how these things ought to be handled, if they are to have any credibility.

 
At 10:17 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Btw, Bookworm has already written about what ethics should be about.

Link

 
At 10:19 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

And one bit I forgot:

Notice that while conned does see that the differences at issue here are cultural not racial (while bizarrely implying that it's someone else [who?] who's missing that), he's still trying to avoid the implications of that distinction, and hence the deliberate falsity of trying to burden any critique of culture with the sordid history of racism. I've said already what those implications are, and so I'll leave re-stating them again as an exercise. Or test.

 
At 10:23 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

For better credibility, the investigation should have been done by an independent entity, such as a judge. Presumably, Israel has an independent judiciary. A judge could have been entrusted with the investigation.

I'm sure Israel would do that, when Hamas puts on trial terroists with their "independent judiciary".

It would be absurd to give criminals protection when criminals do not obey the law, but it seems in the Arab Jewish wars, absurdity is a norm.

We know the French are corrupt and will backstab anyone for money and fame. It don't even matter if the French does it any other way, it will still be the same Francophile result.

All of Americans who don't like French culture, by the way, are racists. Why?

So when we come across things such as female circumcision or the death penalty life gets philosophically complex. Conned

Because it is a good solution for people who feel that things are getting too philosophically complex.

 
At 11:45 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

oh sally give up banging on about "trolls" and either argue or admit defeat

 
At 11:47 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

oh and yrmdwnkr

We know the French are corrupt and will backstab anyone for money and fame

is as dumb as your comment about the germans...and as ill informed.

 
At 11:59 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It is either fight to the death on enemy chosen territory, enveloped by enemy stratagems, or retreat.

Such are the tactics of aggression based expansionist powers.

 
At 12:06 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

And another thing....

You know, the more you contemplate this, the more it becomes apparent that the attempt on the part of segments of the left to conflate race, ethnicity, and culture is in itself a real form of racism, since it tries to say that ethnic or cultural characteristics have the same sort of depersonalized immutability that racial characteristics were supposed to have. Thus, they claim that such and such a group can no more help their behavioral or cultural characteristics than anybody can help their genetic characteristics, which of course implicitly condemns groups with cultural features that are harmful to themselves and/or others, in exactly the same hopeless and vicious way that actual racists condemned what they thought of as racial groups. But since they can't bring themselves to make that ugly implication of their own folly explicit, they can only hope that scattering the label "racism" about will block any further thought.

What's both ironic and dangerous about that is an unconsidered and unintended consequence of such loose usage: some people, it's true, will be frightened away by the "racist" label, and think of other things -- but some will see that the practices and behaviors hiding behind that label remain no less real and no less objectionable, and will learn to simply shrug at the accusation of "racist". Like so much of the indecent left's attempts to manipulate minds by manipulating language, this too ends up backfiring on them.

 
At 2:31 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Sally,
do you ever actually argue a point? 99% of what you post on here is demonizing the opposition by invention and invective. I don't recall you ever actually responding to a substantive argument with anything but your very dull "indecent left" routine.

If you want to be thought of as a lightweight like wasp or goesh or brad, keep going. In the end though hyperbole without any substance is counterproductive.

 
At 3:17 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

...sally if you read what i wrote and think carefully you will see that this

Thus, they claim that such and such a group can no more help their behavioral or cultural characteristics than anybody can help their genetic characteristics, which of course implicitly condemns groups with cultural features that are harmful to themselves and/or others, in exactly the same hopeless and vicious way that actual racists condemned what they thought of as racial groups.

is nonsense. I am saying that neo is a racist because she condems all members of a cultural group - in this case the palestinians. In fact i argue she does something a little more sophisticated than that but I can't be arsed to go through it again as you cannot get it together to respond with anything better than

This also stands, yet again, as a good illustration of why it's pointless to argue with trolls as though you really expected to find even a minimally honest opponent. Thus, his apparent concession regarding the problems of cultural relativism in point 4 -- which is immediately contradicted and withdrawn (trolls have no concern with logic or consistency after all)

iwas pointing out the problem and suggesting a router out. I was dealing with complexity. try it :-)

 
At 3:56 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

If you don't want to argue with trolls, then stop. What's so difficult about exerting enough will to stop?

 
At 4:09 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Dean just took some people to the woodshack. Read to find out which.

Woodshacked

 
At 5:50 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

I had written:

For better credibility, the investigation should have been done by an independent entity, such as a judge. Presumably, Israel has an independent judiciary. A judge could have been entrusted with the investigation.

ymarsakar replied to the above:

I'm sure Israel would do that, when Hamas puts on trial terroists with their "independent judiciary".

That's an interesting reply, ymarsakar. You seem to be setting up an equation between Hamas and Israel then -- that Israel should behave in the same way that Hamas does.

Since, according to you, Hamas presumably protects criminals, then, it follows from your argument, Israel should also do likewise.

In which case, if the explosion was really caused by Israel, it follows from your argument, then, that you would think that Israel ought to protect those who launched the bomb/missile. Which would, of course, lead to the IDF denying that it was launched by the IDF, had the IDF really done so.

Thanks for undermining your own position so effectively! :-)

 
At 6:05 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

ymarskar wrote:

We know the French are corrupt and will backstab anyone for money and fame. It don't even matter if the French does it any other way, it will still be the same Francophile result.

All of Americans who don't like French culture, by the way, are racists. Why?


After the Abramoff, Enron and countless other corruption scandals recently in the USA, not to speak of the fact that so many senators and congressmen are in the pockets of special interest money, for an American (I presume you are one) to self-righteously say "we know the French are corrupt" is more than a little odd. (Note: I'm not generalizing this to all Americans, most of whom I'm sure are good and decent people; I'm just referring to our troll friend ymarsakar here.)

It is because of attitudes like yours, ymarsakar, that the US's image is declining so rapidly internationally.

I quote from the Pew Global Attitudes Project report from 2005:

"When the publics of the 16 nations covered by the survey were asked to give favorability ratings of five major leading nations ­ -- the United States, Germany, China, Japan, and France -- ­ the U.S. fared the worst of the group. In just six of the 16 countries surveyed does the United States attract a favorability rating of 50% or above. (By contrast, China receives that level of favorability rating from 11 countries, while Japan, Germany and France each receive that high of a mark from 13 countries.)"

-- Source: Pew Global Attitudes Project
http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=801

 
At 7:06 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

France's corruption is institutionalized for a degree of reasons. Their Oil for Food and selling Saddam weapons were engineered by Chirac, over a period of decades, solely for personal profit.

They needed this personal profit, for yes personal reasons, but also primarily because their social welfare system was going into the red. They even went so far as to try to cut down on the benefits, and got the student riots in Paris recently, that was how bad their financial situation became after we destroyed their assets in the oil for Food scheme.

Link

There's polls, and then there are polls. Look up the above one.

The reason why people don't like America isn't because of people like me, it is because America acts like the IRS and nobody likes the IRS, not even the IRS. The IRS functions as an anti-corruption sword of damocles, no one is immune. Not France, not the UN, not tyrants, not terroists, not pirates nor criminals. The US is enemy to all those who would seek to oppress and cheat and disobey the laws of humanity, and because the US is impartial in applying this standard, we make no friends amongst our targets. If the US just subjugated our enemies to our standards of honesty, decency, and transparency, then our friends would hail us as an ally and impartial witness, simply because they are benefiting. However, the United States tends to get into everyone's business on an equal audit basis, and this means not even the friends of the IRS are immune from being audited and put in jail if they try to cheat out of their taxes and obligations.

Our allies don't like us because they'd prefer to be in control, our enemies don't like us because we're too powerful for them to put their boot on and oppress us with terror tactics, and neutral people don't like us because everyone else, ally or foe, has told them that America is not good.

This doesn't mean you're going to get rid of the IRS, however. And it doesn't mean that America will give nations like France or anyone else a pass if they practice corruption, exploitation, or anything else the US finds deplorable. Now there are priorities, like all bureacracies, and that means some criminals have some time of freedom while other criminals are caught in the act.

You seem to be setting up an equation between Hamas and Israel then --

Hamas is the government now, before I might not have said something like that. But th way to fight an asymmetrical war is to bring it into symmetry.

that Israel should behave in the same way that Hamas does.

Since, according to you, Hamas presumably protects criminals, then, it follows from your argument, Israel should also do likewise.


It doesn't matter what I favor, since like I said, Hamas should do what Israel does. If they both do different things, that means asymmetry becomes in existence. I did not say that Israel should behave as Hamas does, I said that Hamas should act as Israel has, and then Israel will be able to give you what you personally demand. If you want legitimacy, then force Hamas to give that legitimacy by fair trial and judges.

By admitting that Hamas does not use judges and is in itself a criminal organization, you have just rendered the equation in a manner that says, Israel acts correctly because their opposition are criminals.

There's two ways of looking at it. Either Israel does it themselves, and decides trial by judge or trial by military judgement. Or, Israel and Hamas does it themselves, through dual judgements using independent analysis techniques. People who want legitimacy should favor the dual process. People who just want Israel to do things, because they believe Hamas is a criminal organization, would focus on Israel because as we all know, Israel is just special and different.

Israel does not target civilians, Hamas does. Israel obeys the rules of war, the government of Hamas does not. Israel has no interest in having their people killed to produce propaganda, Hamas does.

This is asymmetrical warfare, charles, and it is the basis for any arguments i make. The basis for your arguments is that you believe that Israel caused the deaths of civilians on purpose and then covered it up by blaming the Palestinians.

Your position has no legitimacy, therefore you are reduced to demanding legitimacy from the one source that can provide it, the Israelis themselves. The Hamas cannot provide it to you, because they don't do trials by jury or judges, they do executions on demand and fatwah.

Your argument is not the same as mine, therefore when I talk about your argument, I am undermining your argument, not mine.

As for America, a last conclusive note. Nobody likes peacekeepers. And this is what the IRS does, they take no sides, which means everyone is their enemy more or less. Every side is a peacekeeper's enemy, more or less.

 
At 8:09 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, ends our special report from the planet Xeta.

Now it's back to the central commentary position. Richie?

 
At 9:10 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Can we kill them tomorrow? If we can kill them tomorrow, don't tell me we're being weak by not killing them today.

 
At 9:25 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Ymarsakar wrote:

The reason why people don't like America isn't because of people like me, it is because America acts like the IRS and nobody likes the IRS, not even the IRS.

There's a flaw in your reasoning. The USA has been acting (assuming your perspective and using your vocabulary for the moment) as the "IRS" at least since the 1950s. However, notice that no one country has any right, under international law, to unilaterally take upon itself that role: that role properly belongs to the UN, which is why military intervention in another country is legal only when sanctioned by the UN). But be that as it may, the US has in fact been acting unilaterally like a self-appointed "IRS" for a long time now. Now the point is, the sharp decline in the USA's image in other countries is, however, something very recent. Your theory that it's the "IRS"-like behavior of the US which is causing this decline in its image cannot, therefore, be accurate, because the US has been behaving this way for a very long time now. Why the sudden, recent decline (see below)?

The New York Times reports:

June 14, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/14/world/14pew.html

Global Image of the U.S. Is Worsening, Survey Finds

By BRIAN KNOWLTON

WASHINGTON, June 13 — [T]he global image of America has slipped further, even among people in some countries closely allied with the United States, a new opinion poll has found.

Favorable views of the United States dropped sharply over the past year in Spain, where only 23 percent said they had a positive opinion, down from 41 percent last year, according to the survey. It was done in 15 nations, including the United States, this spring by the Washington-based Pew Research Center.

Other countries where positive views [of the US] dropped significantly include India (56 percent, down from 71 percent).
[..]

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/14/world/14pew.html

 
At 11:45 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

However, notice that no one country has any right, under international law, to unilaterally take upon itself that role: that role properly belongs to the UN

I don't recall casting a vote for my representative in the UN. Do You? Does anyone? Since when did "rights" come from dictators, bureacrats, and elitist aristocrats anyway? The UN is a kind of retro-liberal function of 20th century nuclear annihilation. Or the possibility of thus. It is not representative of anyone, it has no legitimacy in terms of personal liberties, and it sure as heck ain't got a right to wipe their own arse without the funding of the nations they are parasitic upon.

We can argue about what belongs to whom, but the UN ain't one of the land owners here, they don't get a vote because I don't get to vote in my reps in there.

Your theory that it's the "IRS"-like behavior of the US which is causing this decline in its image cannot, therefore, be accurate, because the US has been behaving this way for a very long time now.

Any organization run by humans is not going to act the "same" every few decades. Therefore Carter let the pro-American and progressive Shah to be overthrown in Iran, because that was Carter's IRS auditing powers of bankruptcy. A lot of things like this happen, because the humans in the bureacracy change, so the breaucratic policies change as well. But over all, the goal of the IRS and the US has not changed fundamentally that much.

It makes little sense for people to like America less now that the IRS is punishing the rich dictators and tyrants instead of in the past when America punished babies and women through starving them through Oil and Food, while Saddam still gets the oil money through kickbacks. Little logic there.

In essence, people are afraid of the US because now they understand the US is no paper tiger. No one is safe now from the IRS, so their dread and fear and need to destroy and corrupt the IRS now becomes more prioritized than say when the IRS was sleeping at the wheel. When the US reaches its arms across half the world and smites two so called "sovereign nations", then everyone else has to start wondering "why can't we do the same thing just as effortlessly, why do we have to struggle to just maintain 15,000 fighting forces?". That is what they ask, and their answer becomes "they can't do it because they are weak, like a red belt vs a ninth level black belt, it just ain't fair". This is why they are less "favorable" towards the US, which is sort of like another way of asking "do you think the US can and will kick your nation's arse and take away your toys". Of course they're going to fill in "unfavorable" after seeing the might of the dragon unleashed, the furious tiger and the whatever nature symbols are available to be used. People in the US are "unfavorable" towards Congress and government because they are confiscating people's home without breaking a sweat. Does this mean people were against confiscating other people's private property through Emminent Domain before, just because they weren't worried about the government doing so? No, by all means, not. They weren't worried because the Constitution prevented the government from confiscating people's homes, so people were favorable and not in fear of their homes being taken away. However, once the government acquires this power and does it so effortlessly, then people are not in favor of such things. This illustrates the basic philosophy.

The US is not confiscating people's property, we are in fact auditing their property and determining what is fair and what is illegal. The US is not a world government, the US is just an enforcement agency and bureacracy, like the IRS. We are not voted in, but then neither is the UN. People don't like this because... well, because.

Other countries where positive views [of the US] dropped significantly include India (56 percent, down from 71 percent).

The NYT doesn't give you the link to Pew's results on India, the new results.

What Pew says is this.

III: Opinions of U.S. Policies

A continuing source of resentment toward the U.S. is the view that America pays little if any attention to the interests of other countries in making international policy decisions. Americans, as might be expected, do not subscribe to this view. Two-thirds of the U.S. public says the United States pays either a great deal (28%) or a fair amount (39%) of attention to the interests of other nations.

Majorities in only three other countries now share that opinion; India, where 63% say the U.S. pays a great deal or a fair amount of attention to their country's interests, Indonesia (59%), and China (53%). In line with the general upsurge of positive feelings toward the U.S. in both India and Indonesia, these percentages are up sharply from past Pew Global Attitudes surveys.


So basically, if countries don't practice corruption and exploitation, they see the IRS as a necessary enforcement agency. So they tend to see no problems with the US's policy. France, on the other hand, has boat loads of corruption and huge percentage of people who believe US policy does not consider French immunity. China is weird in that they do exploit people, so they must consider the US a weak little step-child that actually considers other weaker nation's concerns.

An interesting stat is what people in different countries believe most influences American policy. Go to Influences on U.S. Policy "the graph"

France says 70 to 23 that Saddam's removal did not make the world safer. Obviously that is true, for the French, since Saddam's removal cut France's asset production down, which made it unsafe for Paris given the riots.

 
At 11:46 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

The IRS functions as an anti-corruption sword of damocles,

yrmdwnkr you probably dont realise how funny this comment is. Especially as you say the USA is some big international policeman.

however wikipedia is there to help you
"The Sword of Damocles is a frequently used allusion to this tale, epitomizing the insecurity of those with great power due to the possibility of that power being taken away suddenly, or, more generally, any feeling of impending doom."

as ever your ill informed buffoonery is most welcome.

p.s. is there anything that you do actually know about?

 
At 11:53 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I see the latest results now though, through the pdfl ink. I wonder what they changed about the collection policy. They only did India first in 2005.

 
At 11:54 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I know that impending doom is what people feel whenever they hear the IRS knocking on their doors.

 
At 11:58 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Yme


I don't recall casting a vote for my representative in the UN. Do You? Does anyone? Since when did "rights" come from dictators, bureacrats, and elitist aristocrats anyway? The UN is a kind of retro-liberal function of 20th century nuclear annihilation. Or the possibility of thus. It is not representative of anyone, it has no legitimacy in terms of personal liberties, and it sure as heck ain't got a right to wipe their own arse without the funding of the nations they are parasitic upon.



Damn, I knew I shouldn't have read his post. Oh well.

Ymar you voted for your president and congress didn't you? If yes, then you have entrusted them to nominate your representatives at the UN. If not, you have no right to complain at all, about a body of which your country is a constituent part.

If you want the UN reformed then perhaps you need to start asking your own government and politicians why they've been blocking meaningful reform for decades.

 
At 12:02 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ymar,

are you seriously suggesting that Indonesia, China and India are less corrupt than France?

Jeeeeezusswept.

 
At 12:06 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

swept? and confud, I have asked you before; please do not feed the trolls. I know he is very hungry but resist the temptation. Arguing with those who oppose is bad for you...ask neo.

 
At 12:08 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ymar,

NB France 25

Indonesia 96

India 71

China 59

http://ww1.transparency.org/pressreleases_archive/2002/2002.08.28.cpi.en.html

 
At 12:41 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Ymarsakar wrote:

>> Other countries where positive views [of
>> the US] dropped significantly include
>> India (56 percent, down from 71 percent).

> The NYT doesn't give you the link to
> Pew's results on India, the new results.

Here's the link to the new (2006) Pew Global Opinion Project report, from where the New York Times gets the above information.

http://pewresearch.org/reports/?ReportID=27

From the report:

Pew Global Attitudes Project Report
America's Image Slips
June 13, 2006

The United States' global image has slipped again, even as Americans and publics of U.S. allies express common concerns over Iran's nuclear program and the Hamas Party's victory in Palestinian elections. The war in Iraq is a continuing drag on opinions of the U.S., not only in predominantly Muslim countries but in Europe and Asia as well. And despite growing worries over Iran's nuclear ambitions, America's presence in Iraq is cited at least as often as Iran - and in many countries much more often - as a danger to world peace.

The latest survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, conducted among nearly 17,000 people in the United States and 14 other nations from March 31-May 14, finds:

* Positive views of the United States have declined sharply in Spain (from 41% to 23%), India (71% to 56%), and Turkey (23% to 12%). Even in Indonesia, where U.S. tsunami aid helped lift America's image in 2005, favorable opinions of the U.S. have fallen (from 38% to 30%).

* Support for the U.S.-led war on terror, with few exceptions, is either flat or has declined; confidence in President Bush has fallen ever lower in Europe; and majorities in most countries believe that the U.S. will not achieve its objectives in Iraq.

[..]

Read the full report here.

 
At 1:04 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

neoneoconned said...
swept? and confud, I have asked you before; please do not feed the trolls. I know he is very hungry but resist the temptation. Arguing with those who oppose is bad for you...ask neo.

1:06 AM, June 19, 2006


Yeah sorry about that. OCD probably. Or it could be the weather. Better ask Sally, she's the resident shrink isn't she?

 
At 1:05 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

I wrote:

>> However, notice that no one country
>> has any right, under international
>> law, to unilaterally take upon itself
>> that role: that role properly belongs
>> to the UN.

Ymarskar replied:

> We can argue about what belongs to
> whom, but the UN ain't one of the land
> owners here, they don't get a vote
> because I don't get to vote in my reps
> in there.

Think of it from the point of view of a country like, say, India.

An Indian citizen doesn't (obviously) vote in US elections.

However, (s)he votes in Indian elections, and the elected Indian government sends an Indian representative to the UN. Thus, an Indian citizen has some say in UN decisions (or at least, in the General Assembly's decisions, because the Security Council, of course, is made up of an exclusive club of only five or six countries). Likewise, the citizens of every country (at least, countries that democratically elect their governments, such as India or France or the USA) have some say in UN decisions.

Now, for an Indian citizen, it is obviously desirable that the UN, rather than the US, be the "world's IRS and enforcer", as you call it; since the Indian citizen has no say in US policy, and in fact US policy is (theoretically) not accountable to anyone but US citizens who elect the US government, there is absolutely no logic for the US to take on this role.

It is infinitely more democratic for the UN to perform this role, because every country in the world has a say in the UN's policies, and citizens of every country which democratically elects its government (such as India, France and USA) have some say in US policy.

What you're advocating is a "might is right" policy: just because the US has a powerful military, it should (unilaterally) act as the global policeman and enforcer, unilaterally deciding which country to attack and when, violate international law at will, etc, etc.

The problem is that (apart from being profoundly undemocratic for the reasons pointed out, because US foreign policy is obviously not accountable to the rest of the world's citizens), such a policy leads to sheer anarchy and total breakdown of world order. Pursued to its logical conclusion, it leads to a state of affairs in which every nation can take it upon itself to act unilaterally (just like you advocate the US as doing) to protect what it sees as its own interests. So, there's going to be nothing to stop, say, India from unilaterally bombing Pakistan (which it may see as a legitimate security threat) or for Pakistan to do the same to India. Pursued to its logical end, such a state of affairs also sets off uncontrolled arms races throughout the planet. In short, you end up with utter chaos. Unless, of course, you have a Pax Americana, a global superpower subjugating every other country by sheer military might.

So, this scenario ultimately either leads to utter global chaos and breakdown, or to a global dictatorship in which the US rules all other countries by force. The former scenario is undesirable for obvious reasons. I would argue that the latter situation, too, is undesirable for patriotic, freedom-loving, US citizens, because a government that gets used to ruling by force externally, always sooner or later turns that force internally to repress its own citizens.

So, in the interest not only of non-US citizens but also in the interest of US citizens, I would argue, multilateralism via international institutions is the only civilized alternative. The UN is not an ideal body (in fact too often it is forced to go along with the US and its allies), but it is better than nothing. The alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

 
At 1:28 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Charlemagne,

you are absolutely going to be branded a troll if you continue to use facts, logic and suggesting solutions that don't involve explosives.

As I've been reminded on several occasions it is neo's blog and she has deemed such things inappropriate and worse, psychologically unsound. Challenging the party line is for the insane only.

Now, get a grip.

 
At 12:59 PM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

An Indian citizen doesn't (obviously) vote in US elections.

However, (s)he votes in Indian elections, and the elected Indian government sends an Indian representative to the UN. Thus, an Indian citizen has some say in UN decisions (or at least, in the General Assembly's decisions, because the Security Council, of course, is made up of an exclusive club of only five or six countries).


Without checks and balances, this doesn't matter. No UN Bureacrat ever lost a job because his policies hurt the people of Congo, India, or any other citizen of a UN body member. You're saying the humans in the UN are going to naturally look out for the interests of the people, when they work for the leader of that nation, a lot of times which holds absolute totalitarian power over the people, eh? Where's the check and balances that the US system has to ensure that elected representatives don't use their power to screw the system? Where's the check and balances in nations like Syria, North Korea, and Egypt that says the citizen's interests are protected in the UN? There are no guarantees, what is more important to note, is that the UN doesn't even pretend to offer a guarantee that it will look out for the interests of the constituency of their member bodies.

Now, for an Indian citizen, it is obviously desirable that the UN, rather than the US, be the "world's IRS and enforcer", as you call it;

That is neither obvious nor desirable. You lack justification for this belief, let alone saying this is a belief held honestly and justifiably by Indians. Why would Indians believe the UN would function appropriately as a world government?

and in fact US policy is (theoretically) not accountable to anyone but US citizens who elect the US government, there is absolutely no logic for the US to take on this role.

Here we have the differences spelled out between government by decree and secret police, which is the UN, compared to the US system which is of free trade and individuals being empowered to make deals.

While the UN governmental-bureacracy makes deals for the people of the world without checks upon their power, without being voted in, and without many other liberal democratic traditions like I don't know, one nation one vote or one people one vote. China and India has like 2/5ths of the world population, if not more combined. Yet China has a veto and India does not. This means the UN represents Indians, eh? No, I believe not.

As for the US system, it is about individual transactions and deals. Two nations, two people, talk to each other and agree amicably on a deal. The government stays out of these deals, usually.

That is why India gets more representation and fairness by dealing one on one with the US< rather than having the UN represent them. Simply because the US recognizes India's power and population and legitimacy, while the UN recognizes India as just another 3rd world country without a veto power.

So your argument should be reversed. India should deal with the US 1 to 1 because the US can represent India's interests in true proportion to India's needs and rights, than the UN has and could.

Again, Indians have a say in their government. Their government determines the agreement, whether status of forces or another kind, that is existent between the government and people of India and the government and people of the United States.


It is infinitely more democratic for the UN to perform this role, because every country in the world has a say in the UN's policies


It is not more democratic when 500,000,000 people have 5 votes compared to the 50 votes 50,000,000 people have. One person, one vote, one time. That is the basis of democracy, regardless of what kind or variation. Describing the UN as democratic redefines democracy, which is not justified by the reasoning or lack of it. Again check and balances, no taxation without representation. If you have 5 representatives to their 50, and your pop is greater than theirs, then it isn't fair to say that you have "real representation".

it should (unilaterally) act as the global policeman and enforcer,

I don't say whether it should or should not, I only state that this is the system that exists at the moment. Take it or go to another planet. You can input another IRS system and another IRS head if you can prove you're as powerful, as broad reaching, as effective in terms of enforcement, as the former IRS agency. Obviously you can have America's veto in the UN, if you pay for America's dues with your own money. We pay around 30 to 40% of the total UN budget. In a company, that is a hefty percentage of the interests. Not enough to be controlling, but then again, the UN is controlled by nobody, except perhaps the bureacrats like Kofi Annan and his "appointees".

If you don't want the US Navy patrolling the seas and preventing piracy from taking 50% of your sea borne transport, then you can pay for your own Navy of course. As you know, when the US Navy is not allowed in Chinese and Indonesian waters, Somali and Indonesian pirates have a great and bountiful harvest.

The problem is that (apart from being profoundly undemocratic for the reasons pointed out, because US foreign policy is obviously not accountable to the rest of the world's citizens), such a policy leads to sheer anarchy and total breakdown of world order.

The world order looks pretty good from the perspective of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and North Korea. Iran after all violated international law by going onto the sovereign territory of the United States and taking our embassy staff hostage, and then doing nothing to ensure their release. The instability and anarchy you speak of, does not exist in this world, because the enemies of the United States who have committed crimes against the US, have rebuffed US interests and deals like Turkey, are still relatively unharmed. The US can and could destroy every nation's ability to trade simply by authorizing Full Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. So if you believe our land forces have put a stretch upon the power, and that this is the reason the US is restricted from toppling governments, then I have to say you're not seeing the full picture. We can argue about whether the ground grunts of the US are stretched, but obviously the US Navy and carriers and air force are not stretched, so if the US is creatign such anarchy and destruction as you envision, then we have to ask why there is no such destruction from UScarriers and submarines.

it leads to a state of affairs in which every nation can take it upon itself to act unilaterally (just like you advocate the US as doing)

Again, if they want the capacity to project power and be able to tell people what to do, then they are welcome to spend 500 billion on defense like the US does. You get what you pay for after all. Americans are tired of subsidizing the world's defense, so yes we'd prefer someone else spend their blood and treasure (like China) ensuring peace and stability in the world, free of economic and military corruption.

The US finds it far more advantageous to deal with people and nations honestly, rather than telling them what to do. It takes too much resources to Empire build, we'd rather spend those resources on a mobile army rather than occupationary stationary garrison force.

So, there's going to be nothing to stop, say, India from unilaterally bombing Pakistan (which it may see as a legitimate security threat) or for Pakistan to do the same to India.

So why didn't they exchange nukes because of Kashmir? Did the UN stop them? Did the US? So what made them stop, if what you say is true that nothing is stopping them from launching bombs and nukes?

Pursued to its logical end, such a state of affairs also sets off uncontrolled arms races throughout the planet.

Like I said, anyone can spend money on defense, but they won't and they aren't. So your theory of a world wide arms race, doesn't cut it. France could be spending mroe on defense to match the US, since they wanted a EU balancing force to the US and NATO, but they aren't. So your theory isn't accurate even in predicting current events.

The alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

In conclusion, the alternative I see is the world as it is currently. Now it could be better, but it is not the pre-apocalypse state of affairs that you described, however.

 
At 3:33 PM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Ymarsakar wrote:

> You're saying the humans in the
> UN are going to naturally look
> out for the interests of the people,
> when they work for the leader of
> that nation, a lot of times which
> holds absolute totalitarian power
> over the people, eh?

Please re-read carefully what I had written in my original post. I had written (notice the italicized part):

"Likewise, the citizens of every country (at least, countries that democratically elect their governments, such as India or France or the USA) have some say in UN decisions."

> No UN Bureacrat ever lost a job
> because his policies hurt the
> people of Congo, India, or any
> other citizen of a UN body member.

Bureaucrats do not set policies. Bureaucrats execute or implement policies. Policy decisions at the UN are made not by the bureaucracy, but are made by the UN Secretary-General, who is elected, or voted on (through resolutions) by bodies within the UN such as the General Assembly, which consists of representatives of member countries.

The UN, of course, is greatly undemocratic because certain powerful countries have veto power, and can thus thwart the general will of the memeber countries. Obviously, it can be made much more democratic. Nevertheless, as I said before, the UN is a good start.

> Why would Indians believe the
> UN would function appropriately
> as a world government?

I never said that the UN is perfect. What I said was that, compared to a scenario in which the USA effectively functions as a world government, a scenario in which the UN functions as a world government is much more democratic for, say, a citizen of India. Why? Because an Indian citizen has at least some say in policy decisions at UN (through the representative sent to the General Assembly by the Indian government which the Indian citizen democratically elected) whereas the Indian citizen has absolutely no say in policy decisions made by the US government. This should be obvious.

>I don't say whether it should
> or should not, I only state
> that this is the system that
> exists at the moment. Take it
> or go to another planet. You
> can input another IRS system
> and another IRS head if you
> can prove you're as powerful,
> as broad reaching, as effective
> in terms of enforcement, as
> the former IRS agency.

As I said, you're making the "might is right" argument here.

> Obviously you can have America's
> veto in the UN, if you pay for
> America's dues with your own
> money. We pay around 30 to 40%
> of the total UN budget. In a
> company, that is a hefty
> percentage of the interests.

By the same logic, then, in the USA, the wealthy (who pay a higher share of the total taxes collected by the government) should have veto power over legislation in the US Congress and the US Senate? After all, the wealthy in the US pay for a large share of the US budget, through their taxes. Thanks for making your viewpoint about democracy quite clear.

The point is that national or international policy-making bodies are not companies, and should not be run like ones.

> Not enough to be controlling,
> but then again, the UN is
> controlled by nobody, except
> perhaps the bureacrats like Kofi
> Annan and his "appointees".

The UN Secretary General is not a "bureaucrat" for the same reason that George W. Bush is not a "bureaucrat" -- they are elected. The Secretary-General's position is an elected one.

> The US can and could destroy every
> nation's ability to trade simply
> by authorizing Full Unrestricted
> Submarine Warfare. So if you believe
> our land forces have put a stretch
> upon the power, and that this is
> the reason the US is restricted from
> toppling governments, then I have
> to say you're not seeing the full
> picture. We can argue about whether
> the ground grunts of the US are
> stretched, but obviously the US
> Navy and carriers and air force are
> not stretched, so if the US is
> creatign such anarchy and
> destruction as you envision, then
> we have to ask why there is no
> such destruction from UScarriers
> and submarines.

The US navy did in fact mine Nicaragua's harbors (in direct violation of international law) during the eighties, when Nicaragua was ruled by the Sandinistas. For this the USA was condemned by the World Court at the Hague, and the US simply ignored the ruling of the World Court:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0CE2DA1F38F935A25756C0A962948260&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fOrganizations%2fI%2fInternational%20Court%20of%20Justice

The New York Times
May 16, 1984

Jurists Criticize U.S.
REUTERS

The International Commission of Jurists today condemned the decision by the United States not to recognize the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice on matters relating to Latin America. The United States move was announced April 6, before a ruling by the World Court last Friday that the United States should stop attempts to blockade or mine Nicaraguan ports.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0CE2DA1F38F935A25756C0A962948260&sec=&pagewanted=print

> The instability and anarchy you
> speak of, does not exist in this
> world

I would argue that Iran's deciding to pursue the nuclear option (a destabilizing factor) is itself an example of the instability being unleashed on the world as a result of US policies. How so? The US had two countries it was very hostile towards -- Iraq and North Korea. Of these, N. Korea had nuclear weapons while Iraq did not have them. The US went unilaterally after Iraq but not after N. Korea. Obviously, this made Iran (another "enemy" of the USA) believe that, if it can acquire nuclear weapons, it is less likely that the US wouldn't attack it. So, it is now going for nuclear weapons. If, instead of behaving unilaterally, the US had acted multilaterally and in accordance with international law, this instability would have been much less likely to have arisen.

> In conclusion, the alternative
> I see is the world as it is
> currently. Now it could be
> better, but it is not the
> pre-apocalypse state of affairs
> that you described, however.

Not right now, but it is likely to happen in a few years' time. Time will tell.

 
At 4:11 PM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Please re-read carefully what I had written in my original post. I had written (notice the italicized part):

So cut out the portion that had the dictators. The main gist of the sentence was whether you believed that the humans in the UN would look out for the interests of the citizens of the member nations, without the check and balances in the US system.

The mention of many of the member nations in the UN being dictators is to further prove the point that the UN does not look out for the interests of the citizens of member nations, it was not an indication that you believed the UN was only full of democratic nations. The reverse logic, if you include what I said, is that even if we assume for the sake of argument that Indians are represented by the UN, the same cannot be said for dictatorship countries.

This is a layered argument, which takes one argument at one level, then makes another argument on another. It is about the same subject, but rather than staying on one logic track, it branches out to other possibilities.

Bureaucrats do not set policies.

The UN bureacrats did not set the policy of which nations were able to deal with Saddam under the Oil for Food program, which companies had the right to make deals with an internationally sanctioned regime? It is quite apparent given the evidence, logic, and reasoning that bureacrats do set the application of policies. Unless you are suggesting of course that the representatives of France and Russia worked to set policies that would enable them to exploit Saddam and the Iraqis for their own gain, in return for being exploited by Saddam.

Those who control the details of a plan, control that plan. It matters not who set the policy into existence in the beginning, if that policy is used against the spirit of the founders. This is a false argument about metaphysics. By quoting the causality chain of who set the policy first, you are not making one dint on whether bureacrats unlawfully corrupt the spirit and purpose of those policies.

Again, India has 1.1 billion people, and yet they do not have a veto on whether someone becomes the UN Secretary-General or not. You remark on the representation India gets at the UN, but the obvious differences in representation by population belays that claim. When you talk about a vote, I do remind you that the basis of liberal democracies is one man, one vote, one time. India canvote how many times they want for a leader, but the nations with vetos can override them all the time, therefore their vote does not matter. We're not talking about the future, btw, so any reforms you seek to implace is not relevant to whether Indians and other nation-peoples get representation NOW or Before.

Nevertheless, as I said before, the UN is a good start.

A undemocratic start is not a good start. The American Revolution which acquired independence but did not remove slavery, that was a good start cause obviously we look at the current events and we understand that it was a success. The UN which disenfranchises the billion or so people in India and other countries like Japan, which pay the UN proportionally most of their funding, is not a good start. Why? Simply because, not only does the UN tax nations like Germany and Japan (the more wealthier nations) without representation, but they don't represent the great majority of the people in this world. Any redeem values people remark about the UN are figments of their imagination, hopes and desires that might exist sometime in the future, but in the current affairs what we have is things like Peacekeeping for Sex in the Congo, Blood for Oil in Iraq, and various other boondogles that instead of being investigated, are actually being covered up and ignored, delayed and rope a doped. Things are a good start when people have reasonable justifications that it will end well, or if they have confirmation through history that it did end well. Some starts were bad, and then ended up being successful like Washington's entire life perhaps, but that is not quite relevant to "good starts" as you mean it.

Too much idealism is not useful, and therefore not a good start.

What I said was that, compared to a scenario in which the USA effectively functions as a world government

But the US doesn't function as a world government even today. It can only be described as an enforcement agency that enforces specific standards upon as many people as it can reach and influence. A government requires taxation, the US taxes nobody. In point of fact, our military protection is extended to many nations via "status of forces acts" with no revenue being returned, in Germany for example our bases are actually revitalizing the local economy there. I have never heard of a government that provided benefits to citizens and paying them a reward, without that government deriving taxes from those citizens. Well, I actually I have, and it is called socialized welfare. So if you mean the US is the socialized welfare nanny of the world, then yes it is. BUt if you mean world gov as in "collects taxes and administers laws", then no.

The UN you refer to as representative is in the future, right now it is not representing anyone except the interests of the power lobbyists and the bureacrats. The US you refer to as a world government, is no such world government in today's world.

It's time to start talking about what exists today, rather than the ideas of the future.

Why? Because an Indian citizen has at least some say in policy decisions at UN (through the representative sent to the General Assembly by the Indian government which the Indian citizen democratically elected) whereas the Indian citizen has absolutely no say in policy decisions made by the US government.

Again, I repeat the argument I made before that nullies this claim of yours. Indians elect their government, and their government makes 1 to 1 individual deals with the USA. This allows the recognition of India, by America, of their economic potential and population. Which the UN does not do at this moment. Your argument that an Indian citizen at the lowest base, has more say in the policy decisions of the UN, then the policy decisions of US-Indian relations, deals, and economic evaluations is not true. If the Indian government goes into a deal with the US, it will be honored. It will not be vetoed by some guy the Indians did not elect. If the USA agrees and India agrees, then it exists. However, if India agrees with everyone in the UN except a veto holder, then India gets nothing regardless of what they vote for. I am not refering to a perfect, nominal, ideal, futuristic UN. I am talking about the UN as it exists at this moment, which is relevant to the context of this discussion as much as the current existence of the US system at this moment in time, is.

As I said, you're making the "might is right" argument here.


Again, you're free to replace the might is right argument with another version to your liking, but that is how it exists right now, at this time, in this state of reality. If you have another state of reality you'd like to push, go ahead. There is nothing inherently wrong with might is right, because no nation has been right without also being victorious. No nation, no person, nobody in the HISTORY of the human race has failed and then said "oh, I got it right so who cares". Getting it right and failing is not mutually inclusive. It is not might that matters, it is victory, might simply facilitates victory. So in essence, victory makes right, to the victor goes the spoils.

If you want to deny and characterize the world we have \ today as some other type of system, a utopia perhaps, you're free to do so. But you should refrain from advocating your arguments ad nauseam because they don't become more efficacious as timely repetitions go on.

By the same logic, then, in the USA, the wealthy (who pay a higher share of the total taxes collected by the government) should have veto power over legislation in the US Congress and the US Senate?

Again,my argument is not to argue whether the USA should or should not have a veto. My argument is that if you seek to replace the system as it exists today, you need to shell out some serious money. This is true of the US as well, if the Democrats want to win and change the way things are done, they will have to committ a SERIOUS amount of money to defense and other things. You miss the point if you try to transplant the UN veto to the American system. Like I stated, the US system has check and balances the UN does not have, obviously it would be stupid to transplant the UN's faulty and bug ridden system to one that actually works, in the USA.

So no, it is not by my logic, but rather by yours in the context of transplanting the UN's faulty veto system to the US. The President has a veto, because all citizens elect him through direct population and proportional representation. This has little or nothing to do with the UN.

Thanks for making your viewpoint about democracy quite clear.

Thanks for making a straw man out of my arguments, but you should stop doing that if you wish to continue to use logic. You do understand what logic is, correct, and what a straw man is? Just to clarify, but a straw man is something you create by using your logic, and call it as having originated from my argument, then having dashed this straw man creation of yours, you then state that you now claim victory over my argument. But in the end, my argument still stands, regardless of the illusionary sleight of handle performed.

 
At 4:14 PM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I prefer to avoid the NK Iran question, since that is too much to tackle along with the other subjects.

However I will say that the problems arise because of inconsistency. If Bush stopped using multilateral strategies in NK, then this would solve the problem of NK, perhaps permanently. This would also remove the pretext Iran has for pursuing nuclear weapons, because NK would have been the example that having nukes don't mean you are protected from the US.

The mixture of unilateral and multilateral actions, best depicted by Iraq, is a harmful hybrid titration that is not a good idea to pursue.

The detriments of the multilateral strategy with NK producing an arms race in Iran, is not I say again it is not an indication that the unilateral or enforcement policies of the USA is in itself flawed.

 
At 4:19 PM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Oh ya, for the sake of convenience and thread shortening, I copied my reply to my blog.

Link goes direct to comments

So you can use this link to post a comment there.

 
At 3:46 AM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Before this post disappears into the archives, I thought it would be good to note a follow-up on that "independent" investigation of the Gaza explosion:

Garlasco [Human Rights Watch investigator] told Klifi [head of the IDF inquiry] during the meeting that he was impressed with the IDF's system of checks and balances concerning its artillery fire in the Gaza Strip and unlike Hamas which specifically targeted civilians in its rocket attacks, the Israelis, he said, invested a great amount of resources and efforts not to harm innocent civilians.

"We do not believe the Israelis were targeting civilians." Garlasco said. "We just want to know if it was an Israeli shell that killed the Palestinians."

Lucy Mair - head of the HRW's Jerusalem office - said Klifi's team had conducted a thorough and professional investigation of the incident and made "a good assessment" when ruling out the possibility that an errant IDF shell had killed the seven Palestinians on the Gaza beach.

'We differ when it comes to other pieces of information from other sources that don't relate to the military strike such as the timing and the type of injuries," Mair explained. "While they [the IDF] made a very good presentation, we still think there are enough unanswered questions that have not been examined by Klifi's team…and that is why we believe there should be an independent investigation."

 
At 3:51 AM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

PS: Garlasco now says that he thinks the explosion "was most likely caused by unexploded Israeli ordnance left laying on the beach". (same source)

 
At 5:00 AM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

But Sally forgot to mention that the same article in the Jerusalem post whose link she posted also says:

"While Klifi's team did a "competent job" to rule out the possibility that the blast was caused by artillery fire, there were still, Garlasco said, a number of pieces of evidence that the IDF commission did not take into consideration.

"The main argument between Klifi and HRW surrounded the timeline of the blast, which the IDF said took between 16:57 and 15:10, at least 10 minutes after artillery fire in the area had stopped. HRW however disputes this claim and basing itself on Palestinian hospital documentation, claims that the explosion actually took place right around the time of the IDF artillery fire."

 
At 10:20 AM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

and basing itself on Palestinian hospital documentation, claims that the explosion actually took place right around the time of the IDF artillery fire."

For someone that says Iraq the Model is a CIA propaganda project and therefore he does not believe it, you don't seem to recognize the actual potentials and capabilities of Palestinian propaganda, Charles.

It is rather easy, and Hamas has done this before, to bribe doctors and secretaries to forge documentation to corroborate the Story Arc, especially if this is planned ahead of time. And I believe it is.

Hamas knows HRW down to its tail bones, and it also knows the Palestinian doctors, nurses, and whomevers.

While HRW investigates the check and balances of Israel's investigation, HRW and you are quite obviously ignoring the lack of check and balances in Palestinian hospitals and how prone they are to factual manipulation and mis-data representation.

Iraq saw this in fallujah as well, where hospitals in Fallujah started reporting civilian casualties, which did not exist in reality. Or if it did, the terroists were shooting people and threatening the doctors to say that it was by Americans, or the doctors would disappear.

Palestinian Princess, who lives in Palestine, supports my arguments, specifically about how Hamas are a bunch of goons, mafia types, and we all know the mafia loves threatening people to do what they wantvia extortion.

 
At 10:50 AM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Charle: But Sally forgot to mention....

No, I didn't.

I didn't quote the entire story, true, since it was easily available from the link. But I did take some pains to note that the IDF and HRW continue to differ over a number of details. One of them concerns the timing of the explosion -- but note that even in the part of the article in which these details are brought up, Garlasco, the HRW investigator, is reported as saying 'Klifi's team did a "competent job" to rule out the possibility that the blast was caused by artillery fire'.

In contrast to that, do we have any reports of any investigation by any side or any NGO of the death, injury and destruction caused by Hamas' rockets deliberately fired into Israeli civilian population centers, including schools? No. We don't. They don't exist. No NGO is interested.

 
At 10:34 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Ymarsakar wrote:

For someone that says Iraq the Model is a CIA propaganda project and therefore he does not believe it, you don't seem to recognize the actual potentials and capabilities of Palestinian propaganda, Charles.

You're setting up a strawman here, Ymarsakar. Can you show me where I said that "Iraq the Model" was a propaganda project? I never said so. What I said was that, since it has been reported and acknowledged by the US military itself that the US pays Iraqi media to write and place positive-sounding stories, it cannot be ruled out that the blog in question is one such piece of work, and that this fact should be kept in mind. In other words, I made sufficiently clear that I neither believe nor disbelieve the Iraqi blog you mentioned.

The opposite of "believing" something is not necessarily "disbelieving" it, Ymarsakar. Often, the opposite of either of this two is simply "withholding or reserving judgment". Only the naive go through the world constantly making such black/white, binary choices, such as "If you don't believe it, that means you must disbelieve it!" Or, to take another one, "If you aren't not with me, you must be against me."

As I said, only the naive go through the world in such a simplistic way.

Incidentally, I also said I look at Iraqi blogs critical of the occupation (such as the one maintained by the Iraqi woman called "Riverbend") with the exact same degree of "reserving of judgment". I specifically said that one has no way of knowing if Iraqi blogs critical of the occupation, purported to be written by ordinary Iraqis, are being put up by the insurgents.

In short, I am, and I made it amply clear that I am, what one might call an "equal-opportunity skeptic".

Furthermore, nowhere did I say that, in this particular incident, I believe the Palestinians' version of the incident, either. I merely pointed out that the same report in the Jerusalem Post that Sally posted an excerpt from, also states:

"HRW however disputes this claim and basing itself on Palestinian hospital documentation, claims that the explosion actually took place right around the time of the IDF artillery fire."

It is to be noted that I precisely did not add, in my posting, any editorial comment of my own about belief or disbelief, whether my own or other people's.

 
At 8:56 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'll rephrase that then. You believe it is a propaganda project, even if you hedged your bets in saying whether it was or was not.

The reasoning is thus. While there are 3 different paths to disbelief, belief, and refusal to believe until more information is forthcoming, you don't subscribe to any one of them concerning what you said about Iraq the Model.

You obviously don't believe it, and you use the propaganda line as a reason to disbelieve it. Yet your further comments show that you also believe that you can't determine whether it is propaganda or not, because it is 'unverifiable'. You might have used a different wording however, but the meaning would be the same.

So, if you don't believe it, and you don't disbelieve it, and you aren't waiting for more information since you admit you expect no more information, then the only reason why you would bring up the propaganda point is to discount the credibility of Iraq the Model as a justification for why I'm right, and you're wrong.

Thus, while you don't obviously subscribe to the belief, disbelief, or witholding of belief concerning whether Iraq the Model is a propaganda project, your actions lean heavily towards the disbelief line.

So when I say that you said Iraq the Model is a propaganda project, I didn't mean it in the literal sense.

I specifically said that one has no way of knowing if Iraqi blogs critical of the occupation, purported to be written by ordinary Iraqis, are being put up by the insurgents.

That was one of the reasons why I said you disbelieved it, because you said there is no way to know. If there is no way to know, then obviously you don't subscribe to the trilinear options of intellectual honesty. So I choose the most likely and consistent course of behavior and belief.

I believe Iraq the Model is the real deal and I've already considered that it is a CIA/Bush propaganda project. As I've said, the justifications were lacking in quantity as well as quality for this line of argument.

In the end, saying it is "possible" that Iraq the Model is a propaganda project without being able to prove it or even believe that it is provable, is a useless justification for why you were right about Iraqi opinions and why I was wrong to quote an Iraqi opinion.

As for the Hamas propaganda, I've already detailed the reasons and justifications for why Hamas is conducting a propaganda project with the beach incident. If you don't have any way to know one way or the other, that doesn't mean I'm stuck in the same rut.

If you want to straddle the fence, Charles, go ahead. But you might as well call for Hamas legitimizing their own investigations as calling for Israel to conduct a "more legitimate" trial ny judge.

 
At 8:59 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...


Thus, while you don't obviously subscribe to the belief, disbelief, or witholding of belief concerning whether Iraq the Model is a propaganda project, your actions lean heavily towards the disbelief line.


Correction time, it'd be "the belief line". Got switched around.

 

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