Re: What could possibly go wrong?

1

Good lord. Obviously the Turks are pissed about this whole situation, which is bad news for Israel in any case, but things don't seem to be heading in a good direction for anyone.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 3:30 PM
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That Peter Beinart editorial in the NYRB was really good. I feel more generous now to older people who refuse to believe that Israel is an all-powerful colonizing hegemon. Because in their lifetime, there have been long stretches when Israel was not in fact an all-powerful colonizing hegemon. It's literally true in their experience! It's not just their perception!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 3:35 PM
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I ought to read that Beinart piece. I've been meaning to, but haven't gotten around to it yet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 3:40 PM
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Prediction: The US will not take the side of their NATO allies!

(I know, I am like a fucking Tireisias, here.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 3:45 PM
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Can we have Ari's solace kitten back?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 3:52 PM
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4: For this I voted for the Muslim? Feh.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 3:53 PM
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Can we have Ari's solace kitten back?

Best I can do.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:09 PM
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Apo is mean like a snake.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:11 PM
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I was hoping for a cleaner kitten.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:14 PM
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I just read the Beinart piece. (Here, in case anyone else hasn't read it.) It's good.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:16 PM
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Pirates are fun!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:22 PM
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I just read it too, and was glad to. I do have to say, I know a huge number of young American Orthodox Jews, and in my experience, the community is far more divided than Beinart wants to emphasize here, and there are a number of very serious debates going on about the humanitarian crisis in Israel. But what he claims to want, a nuanced, more sensitive Zionism, does seem to exist, at least among the modern Orthodox. I have fewer relationships, but some, among the ultra-Orthodox, and their stance seems to be far less nuanced, at least in part because of the alienation from the media and from other communities.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:25 PM
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He does seem to be oversimplifying a bit; there are also quite a few young, secular, liberal Jews who continue to support the Jewish establishment the same way their parents do. He's trying to reach a particular audience, though, and I think the way he frames the issue comes from that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:31 PM
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He also randomly quotes ari at the beginning, which, I mean, come on.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:31 PM
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I think it's the other Ari.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:34 PM
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I was wondering about that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:36 PM
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What's a world wide economic crash without a global war?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:36 PM
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Now I'm depressed. I'm going to I Can Has Cheezburger?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:38 PM
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And poisoned oceans!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:39 PM
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20

And Duke's lacrosse team just won their first national championship.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:41 PM
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I know Beinart says his family is Orthodox, but I do find that non-Orthodox Jews tend to lump modern with ultra-Orthodox rather lamentably. There are certainly young modern Orthodox who make disgusted noises whenever Palestinians or gay people come up (it's the same noise) but they're in a very small minority among my students.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:41 PM
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I've never lived near an ocean and rarely visited one, so I can't really visualize that. On the other hand, I've spent too much time studying IR to not be able to visualize how quickly things can get out of hand.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:42 PM
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And no more masturbating to Louise Bourgeois.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:52 PM
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I don't know any Orthodox Jews personally, but aren't your students basically the elite (smartest, most well-off) among American modern Orthodox of their generation, AWB? I suspect your sample is less broad than Beinart's.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:59 PM
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23: mcmc is way ahead of you, perv.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 4:59 PM
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Damn! That's what I get for taking the time to rub one last one out.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:02 PM
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Beinart's conclusions about Orthodox views are based mostly on public opinion data, so they probably are pretty broad-based, but at least the way he presents them he doesn't distinguish between modern and ultra-Orthodox. It would be interesting to see if the surveys themselves do. His personal contacts with Orthodox Jews are probably with people at least as elite as any of AWB's students.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:02 PM
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I didn't realize mcmc's was a death announcement. "nmm2" looks like a combination of "mmmm" and "nom nom".


Posted by: Cryptic need | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:02 PM
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I suspect that when Beinart speaks of "the Orthodox world" he doesn't intend to include the modern Orthodox at all.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:03 PM
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Do people actually call themselves "ultra-Orthodox"? It sounds kind of like the word "extremist" to me. How do "ultra-Orthodox Jews" really describe themselves?


Posted by: Cryptic neds | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:03 PM
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How do "ultra-Orthodox Jews" really describe themselves?

"Jews."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:04 PM
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More seriously, they would generally use the name of their specific movement.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:04 PM
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30: I think "haredim."


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:05 PM
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I suspect that when Beinart speaks of "the Orthodox world" he doesn't intend to include the modern Orthodox at all.

I'm pretty sure he does.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:05 PM
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13: Yes, without getting all "two Jews, three opinions" here, I've certainly seen a much broader range of positions than Beinart is focusing on. Implied, but not really elucidated by his article is the phenomenon of young, secular US Jews who do believe in Israel right-or-wrong and thus resolve the contradiction by marching quickly to the right, buying in to the whole talk-radio ideology. Most of the siblings and even parents I hear my young Jewish friends complain about fit that model more closely than any of the ones Beinart writes about.

It was interesting to note as well that he never mentions kibbutzes or any organized socialist tendency in Israel, even historically, except for noting that Labor has basically lost the plot. I feel like this article, written even five years ago, would have at least name-checked that aspect of Israel's history to draw in a few fence-sitting progressives. But apparently that's all gone out the window. (Not surprising given the stories I've heard about contemporary life on a kibbutz. Creee-py!)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:05 PM
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The term "haredi" is widely used in Israel, but I don't think it gets used much in the US.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:06 PM
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It was interesting to note as well that he never mentions kibbutzes or any organized socialist tendency in Israel, even historically, except for noting that Labor has basically lost the plot.

Indeed, he specifically associates the rise of a more critical Zionism in Israel with increasing individualism, which I found interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:07 PM
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Haredi in NYC applies to a group I think of as not belonging to Chasidism, but I may have that wrong. 24 is true, also, and I mostly deal with English majors, who differentiate themselves. They all follow the law, but they seem to have different attitudes toward those who don't.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:11 PM
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Also, on the "some of my best friends" tip: It should be noted that the furthest right of my friends who are Jews are slightly to the left of most people on Unfogged. The furthest left of them are insurrectionary anarchists. So I'm not claiming a representative sample of native informants or anything.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:11 PM
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Haredi in NYC applies to a group I think of as not belonging to Chasidism, but I may have that wrong.

That sounds plausible. The traditional term for non-Chasidic but ultra-Orthodox is "Misnagedim," but it's entirely possible that it's being replaced by "Haredi," given the use of the latter in Israel.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:15 PM
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41

Um, whoa. I didn't originally grasp that the situation had already escalated to violence. Nine people killed by Israeli soldiers.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:19 PM
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42

I know Israelis with a pretty wide spectrum of political opinions, but the distribution as a whole is skewed way to the right of that of my other acquaintances. This bothers me a bit; for the most part, nearly everyone I know who is reasonably intelligent and well-educated ends up somewhere in the left end of the political spectrum, even if not all that far to the left. But some highly intelligent, thoughtful, apparently decent Israelis I know feel comfortable expressing the opinion that it would be correct, or at least an option worth considering, for Israel to attack Iran with nuclear weapons, and I can't reconcile my generally positive opinion of them with their comfort with such opinions. I tend to think that something about the Israeli political discourse must be deeply poisonous, to have this effect on people.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:20 PM
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43

Horrible, horrible. I'm more than Becks-style, but it feels like our government has crossed the point from being simply stupid and bloody-minded to being absolutely fucking insane. This clusterfuck makes no sense, even (to my mind) from the viewpoint of the most right-wing Israeli. And that is even taking into account the fact that there were probably not-so-innocent violent people on the flotilla. Unless, of course, blind blood and vengeance is the only consideration for those leading our nation at the moment. Or colossal incompetence. Luckily, I've drunk enough tonight to be blithe about it.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:23 PM
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something about the Israeli political discourse

It's a nation based on a religion. That never turns out well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:24 PM
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42: Israeli public opinion has shifted massively to the right in recent years. There's still a well-established left, but it's been increasingly sidelined and is no longer very influential. Beinart talks about this a bit.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:24 PM
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It's a nation based on a religion.

It's really not, though. It's a secular nation-state that has become increasingly dominated by religious fanatics.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:26 PM
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"nation" s/b "state"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:26 PM
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Maybe "secular" is too strong (religion has always played some role), but still, the guiding force behind Zionism has always been nationalism rather than religion.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:27 PM
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It's a nation based on a religion. That never turns out well.

The people I have in mind are all fairly secular and mostly atheists -- they're scientists, for fuck's sake -- so it's hard to see how the religious angle would enter into it. And of course we have a pretty sick political discourse in the US, but you don't find smart people recycling the opinions of Glenn Beck. It seems like you do find smart Israelis expressing shockingly right-wing opinions. Which makes me wonder if those opinions are actually at the milder end of the Israeli public discourse; given some of the eliminationist rhetoric Beinart's article mentions, I guess it's likely.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:29 PM
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50

I'd like to say more, but I really should go to sleep. If the thread's still alive tomorrow, perhaps. Yuck, yuck. My only hope is that this will awake enough international pressure on Israel for something fundamental to change in the current fucked-up situation.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:31 PM
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51

Well, okay. But the notion of "holy land" is doing a lot of malign work over there, on both sides.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:32 PM
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Beinart:

These American Zionists are largely the product of a particular era. Many were shaped by the terrifying days leading up to the Six-Day War, when it appeared that Israel might be overrun, and by the bitter aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, when much of the world seemed to turn against the Jewish state.

I am one of those oldsters from the 50s, 60s, 70s. Not only this but all the hijackings and terrorism of the 70s. And the Arab leaders, Qaddafi, Assad, Nasser, Saddam, Hussein of Jordan. Arafat. All supported by the Soviets.

And the Holocaist was still a living memory, and directly or indirectly, in the media constantly.

I don't talk about I/P much. I know people of Palestinian extraction, and I feel sad for them. But I also will never stop believing the the next pogrom, Holocaust, culturcide & extermination is just one act of trust, one extended hand away.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:33 PM
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But the notion of "holy land" is doing a lot of malign work over there, on both sides.

Agreed, but it's not doing anywhere near all the work.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:34 PM
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you don't find smart people recycling the opinions of Glenn Beck

Yes, you do.

But some highly intelligent, thoughtful, apparently decent Israelis Americans I know feel felt comfortable expressing the opinion that it would be correct, or at least an option worth considering, for Israel to attack Iran the U.S. to have attacked Afghanistan with nuclear weapons.

And also for us to torture people, and hold them forever without charges or trial, and also assassinate anyone at any time on the say-so of the U.S. president.

These are not fringe opinions, much as I would like them to be so. They are not even, in my experience, fringe opinions among otherwise rather thoughtful and caring human beings.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:36 PM
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Ian Welsh on Israel's "Three Endgames" An echo of Beinart, to an extent

I think he thinks expulsion, ethnic cleaning is the most probable.

Over at Ian's they are seriously discussing a Turkish-Israel war.

Sean-Paul Kelly discusses domestic considerations in Turkey.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:43 PM
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54 is, for better and worse, correct.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:47 PM
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54: I feel pretty comfortable saying that anyone who sincerely believes Glenn Beck is worth listening to is a moron, but you do have a point. I'm not saying that appalling opinions aren't expressed all the time in American public discourse. If you like, replace "smart people" with "elite academics" and you'll end up with a more restricted claim that reflects my experience. There is a real difference between the opinions I encounter from Israelis and from people from pretty much anywhere else in the world.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:48 PM
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52 is also correct in my opinion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:48 PM
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I agree with teo here. Zionism is just another word for Jewish national identity. At one point there was a competing Yiddish speaking non Zionist Jewish national identity, but that got wiped out in WWII. In any case, the dominant versions of Zionism in the early period tended to be liberal or socialist, and thus either indifferent or hostile to religion, particularly in its traditionalist form. That changed slowly over the Cold War period, and more rapidly since then. An overlap between religion and national identity isn't particularly unusual, think of the Arabs, Russians, or Poles. The difference in this case is the degree to which religious and ethnic origin coincide. But the true specificity of Zionism and Jewish national identity is the trauma of the Holocaust.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:55 PM
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I get a sense that a lot of the doggedly nasty shit perpetrated and advocated by the Israeli right and its supporters is driven partly by religious considerations and partly by Holocaust trauma and older trauma-based Zionist considerations, but that to a large extent, at this point, people who want to defend Israel's worst actions are simply acting out of a cruel nationalism that they allow themselves because of some combination of the aforementioned factors. It's the ethnocentrism that's doing the work.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:57 PM
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57: One of my friends in Israel, a journalist and pretty lefty, told me that he personally was quite good to the Arabs, "because I let my cleaning lady take home any fruit that falls down in my backyard." I was sort of gobsmacked by this comment, until I came to the conclusion that all journalists everywhere must be blinkered twits.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 5:59 PM
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I came to the conclusion that all journalists everywhere must be blinkered twits.

With apologies to the journalists commenting and/or lurking here, this has largely been my experience.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:01 PM
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Ah, the third rail of Internet discourse. (And of our household discourse as well, where we sometimes have to just drop the subject. My wife is driving in from out-of-town tonight so we haven't had the opportunity to sample each others views on this episode.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:06 PM
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55: The problem I see with the "Trail of Tears" scenario presented by Welsh and discussed by his commenters coming to pass in the real world is that it couldn't be accomplished without a truly massive loss of life, both Palestinian and Israeli (and no doubt including a lot of international activists as well). If Israeli politics were pushed far enough to the right that a complete ethnic cleansing scenario was imminent, (a) lots of internationals would flock in (a1) Israel would have to lock down all its borders completely (b) Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah would all see a huge surge in recruitment and support (well, except maybe Fatah) and militancy (c) a significant proportion of the Palestinian population would dig in their heels and agree to fight to the death (d) extra-territorial attacks would increase dramatically (e) the rest of the Arab and Muslim world would experience a gigantic surge in anti-Israel/anti-US activism (e1) that would probably topple several moderate governments (f) a sizable chunk of Israel's unconditional support in the US would dry up as boycott and divestment campaigns took hold (g) thus any big ethnic cleansing campaign would have to be essentially a series of massacres with the wounded, infants and aged pretty much the only people available to be "cleansed" non-lethally. Which is probably what some of the ultras on the Israeli side are hoping for, but it seems unlikely that it would actually come to pass, solely through democratic means.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:09 PM
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Zionism is just another word for Jewish national identity.

I wouldn't go that far. Zionism is one type of Jewish national identity, and the overwhelmingly dominant one over the past fifty years, but I think there is at least the potential for alternative identities to emerge, especially with the move away from Zionism among young American Jews that Beinart describes.

At one point there was a competing Yiddish speaking non Zionist Jewish national identity, but that got wiped out in WWII.

Not just by WWII/the Holocaust, though; increasing assimilation in the US and the USSR played a role, as did Zionism itself.

In any case, the dominant versions of Zionism in the early period tended to be liberal or socialist, and thus either indifferent or hostile to religion, particularly in its traditionalist form. That changed slowly over the Cold War period, and more rapidly since then. An overlap between religion and national identity isn't particularly unusual, think of the Arabs, Russians, or Poles.

I do agree with this completely.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:09 PM
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64: All this could be avoided if they just follow the recent Asian colonialists and buy a ton of land to put Israel in Uganda.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:14 PM
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I think that antisemitism and then the Holocaust created two basic political reactions. The first is an embrace of universal rights and multiculturalism. The second is ethnonationalism with a vengeance. One is quite appealing, the other very ugly, but both are quite understandable. Or at least they are for me. For the most part I don't identify as Jewish, but the Holocaust and antisemitism are the exception, and when confronted with serious antisemitism I experience it deep down as a physical threat. On the other hand to a lesser extent this is also true of all forms of racism.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:15 PM
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But the true specificity of Zionism and Jewish national identity is the trauma of the Holocaust.

Fucking "trauma?" Like a stubbed toe?

The lesson of the Holocaust is that there were no "German" Jews as far as the non-Jewish Germans were concerned. Or "Polish" Jews. Or "French" Jews.

Of course there were decent people in all those countries, but not enough to save the lives.

Another important lesson is that it is exactly those nations were Jews felt the most accepted, tolerated, assimilated that turned on them most viciously and murderously. When and where Jews feel safe they are in greatest danger. IYKWIM.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:15 PM
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66: It's not like they didn't try.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:16 PM
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69: Also tried Manchuria, I think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:18 PM
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65.1 That's not a national identity in the full sense, more a subnational ethnic one.

65.2 The full blown Yiddish language national identity was almost exclusively present in the Pale and first generation emigrants from the Pale.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:22 PM
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68: Fucking "trauma?" Like a stubbed toe?

Bob illustrates why it's the third rail. Fortunately, no one here will rise to the bait.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:22 PM
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64:The solid Leftist lkine:"So bad, so sad, but for the sake of the moral high ground, the Jews must consent to be exterminated. We promise to visit the memorials annually."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:24 PM
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Fortunately, no one here will rise to the bait.

Trolling is only 99% perspiration, Stormcrow. Give it time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:26 PM
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And 1% pastry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:27 PM
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That's not a national identity in the full sense, more a subnational ethnic one.

I don't really see the difference between "national" and "ethnic" there, but it's not a major issue in any case.

The full blown Yiddish language national identity was almost exclusively present in the Pale and first generation emigrants from the Pale.

Right. Within the Pale it was wiped out by the Nazis, and the emigrants' children, wherever they went, were generally assimilated sufficiently to kill off most traces of it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:27 PM
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75: Just like my Beef Wellington when I didn't read the cookbook carefully.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:30 PM
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73: My point in 64 was not that there's some huge ideological blockage preventing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Quite the contrary, many people in the US and Israel would be just fine with it. Rather, I was trying to enumerate some of the practical difficulties with such a strategy. Namely that most of the rest of the people in the world (and some in the US and Israel to be sure) would not be okay with a Rwanda-scale genocide of the Palestinians, which, I argue, is what the Welsh "Trail of Tears" scenario would inevitably degenerate into. Unless Israeli scientist can develop transporter technology within the next few decades, of course.

As you know Bob (see, we're in alternate history territory here), my preference is for a no-state solution to the Israel-Palestine issue. An interzone where everyone agreed to live without recourse to the blandishments of superpowers and the comforting lies of religious ideologies. I don't think there's much chance of that, since anarchism in Israel is proportionately maybe a quarter as strong as it is in Minnesota, and I don't see a revolution happening here any time soon, more's the pity.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:32 PM
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Young American Jews I've known that have felt comfortable expressing creepy right-wing views have tended toward the type that finds in politics an excuse for being an immature asshole. The right wing Israelis I've known, however, have seemed sincere and avid fascists.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:32 PM
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73: Another important lesson is that it is exactly those nations were Jews felt the most accepted, tolerated, assimilated that turned on them most viciously and murderously. When and where Jews feel safe they are in greatest danger.

Ah yes, nations such as the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Denmark and the US.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:43 PM
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80: But it's only the hard-earned wisdom of that fatalistic aphorism that rationally explains why one would want to live surrounded by countries one believes want to exterminate oneself.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:45 PM
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78.2: If the Minnesota anarchists do start a revolution, please let me know ahead of time so I can warn some relatives to seek shelter in Iowa.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:50 PM
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82 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 6:52 PM
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Nice to volunteer your relatives for first-up-against-the-wall treatment, Moby. Ever think they'd man the barricades? Underneath the Minnesota Nice, the beach!

God I'm miserable about Gaza. A good day to not mosey over to my in-laws' pool.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:01 PM
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80:I do not trust the US. I do not think Jews are safe in the US


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:01 PM
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Eh, we get by.

(sorry, that would be "comfortable in the U.S.")


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:03 PM
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so I can warn some relatives to seek shelter in Iowa Wisconsin.

Fixed that for you.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:06 PM
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85: Still leaves five countries.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:07 PM
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87: Thanks. That is an improvement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:12 PM
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In any case, the idea is that a Jewish nuclear state, belligerent, cruel, and brutal even outlaw, or maybe especially outlaw, protects Jews all around the world.

If Sarah Palin or some black muslim President too close to finance and the oil industry started rounding up American Jews, say after Turkey defended itself and Usrael defended right back and Turkey asked for NATO assistance and Israel looked doomed and American jews started protesting the War against Israel and there was a fear of terrorist acts and the Patriot Act came into play....


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:15 PM
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||

The real reason we can't have UK-style nationalized healthcare? People will just wing themselves down hills willy-nilly.

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:16 PM
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I think you should expand 90 to 900 pages, slap the name "Tom Clancy" on it, and rake in the dough, bob.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:17 PM
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"Uzrael" hah sorry it's "Uzriel". I can spell, I just can't type.

The one thing Beinart and a lot of other foreign policy analysts get wrong is looking at the Middle East from a superpower perspective.

I see the period 1965-1975 as the time when the dictators saw themselves losing power and influence to the Saudis and other oilarchies. The Saudis basically said we have a better plan, involving finance and oil, to get Jerusalem back to the faithful, It will take a long time, but no army or even nukes will stop us. The Palestinians may not be the winners as Israel disappears.

So the old nationalists took one last stab at relevance, and failed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:24 PM
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I think it is awesome that bob thinks BHO is a seekrit mooslim!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:24 PM
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"Uzrael" hah sorry it's "Uzriel"

It's Azrael, and it's hungry.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:28 PM
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94: he knows, oud. Bob knows aaaaaalllll.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:30 PM
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I always thought Azrael was a lame replacement for Batman. Since when does Batman need to be edgier? He's fucking Batman!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:32 PM
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80: Anecdotal but hopefully of interest: I've found that at least some U.S. big city Jews (and I'm talking about secularized, lefty sorts, not Orthodox) actually were raised with an "it could happen at any time" narrative here in the U.S. This was not at all true for me, and though I grew up in places where ostensibly there was more cause for concern. I was never given to believe I was under siege and in fact never experienced anything I perceived as anti-Semitism. The Never Forget narrative I eventually got in Sunday school, but in but not in a way that seemed to lead into hypervigilant nationalism.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:32 PM
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96: Bob knows (B)aaaaa'aaaalllllll.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:33 PM
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The Never Forget narrative I eventually got in Sunday school, but in but not in a way that seemed to lead into hypervigilant nationalism.

Now, hypernationalist vigilantism, we'll talk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:34 PM
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94:It was obviously a hypothetical Black Muslim President too close to finance and the oil industry.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:34 PM
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94: like, duh!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:35 PM
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Kobe!: You call that hypernationalist?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:36 PM
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97: Because the '90s, that's why.*

* Explanation possibly stolen from Chris Sims at the Invincible Super-Blog.

As for the topic at hand, I have occasionally wondered how a third party blessed with perfect ignorance of the past would adjudicate the Israeli-Palestinian situation, because I sure as hell don't know how to do it.


Posted by:
Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:39 PM
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101: Because of all the muslims holding elective office in the U.S.? Of course, obviously hypothetical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:40 PM
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104.last: I've often thought we should keep a isolated population that is educated in everything but history and human culture. Then we could use them as neutral judges and as the set-up for porn plots. ("Tell me of this thing you outlanders call 'orgasm.'")


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:46 PM
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Batman used to be Gargamel's sidekick?! Will that be in the prequel to Batman Begins?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:47 PM
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106: "I can recite the names of every order of mammal but I do not know this thing you call 'love'."

(To quote Beavis: "And then I take off my pants ... reeeeeeaaal sloooooooow.")


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:54 PM
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I love that kitten in 7. It looks like it would say "you should have seen the other cat" if it were old enough to talk.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 7:55 PM
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OT Quiche, aka heart attack pie - turn a stick of butter and a couple tablespoons of duck fat into crust, fill with a pint of heavy cream and five x-large eggs, plus cheese, add other flavorings if desired. What's the cholesterol in that?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 8:29 PM
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because I sure as hell don't know how to do it.

Everyone knows how to do it, more or less. The Palestinians cede right of return and some extra-Green Line territory in exchange for some nominally comparable but probably shitty intra-Green Line territory. I don't think the general dimensions of negotiation have changed in quite some time.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 8:42 PM
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If that counts as "knowing how to do it," I know how to have sex with Rachel Weisz.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 8:46 PM
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111: I think that's "what," rather than "how."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 8:47 PM
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They came within in an inch back at Taba. Jerusalem was basically settled; the Israelis were formally proposing 92% of the WB with partial compensation in the Negev, the Palestinians 98% with full compensation including the ceded E. Jerusalem areas and having some of the land swap be near the WB. Informally both sides were looking to settle on 95-96% with full compensation including bits near the WB. On the refugees the Israelis were offering no right of return = 20,000 (informally 50K) the Palestinians full right of return = 400K (informally 100K). Barak rejected the proposals of his own negotiating team, i.e. the informal stuff and its not at all clear that Arafat was on board with the informal proposals of his team, but still, the deal was there.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 8:49 PM
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110: Tell me if it turned out well -- I'm lying on my couch glutted on roast duck and wild mushroom risotto, so I have duck fat to play with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 8:51 PM
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I'm using a pretty neutral tasting duck fat from the farmers market ($10 per 1.75lb - not much more than non-organic domestic butter). Duck fat you get from roasting will have a pronounced flavour, use it where you want that taste. I used the stuff from the duck breast I made last weekend just as a bread topping - layer it on, sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper and yum. Think rillettes minus the meat. It's also good with certain cold cuts (roast beef, duck, turkey)


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 9:09 PM
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Excellent. I have a lot of duck fat in the freezer that I need to use up before I move in August.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 9:29 PM
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98: I got "it could happen at any time" with my first solid food and was raised on it thereafter.

I see no particular reason to keep looking over my shoulder at the moment but I don't see any reason why it couldn't happen again. The lesson was learned back then and the various psych experiments since haven't made me feel any more secure.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 10:00 PM
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The fun of I/P threads is that even if you're not around to participate, it's guaranteed that some commenter will have staked out some wacky position and said batshit crazy things, so you can still be entertained afterwards. Then you realize that that commenter was likely just trolling, and that's no fun at all.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 10:04 PM
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Then you realize that that commenter was likely just trolling, and that's no fun at all.

Compared to other types of threads, however, there is a much higher probability that people saying crazy shit are not actually trolling.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 10:05 PM
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True. The likelihood of actual craziness as a payoff keeps them enticing. Not so much this one, but I could be wrong.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 10:09 PM
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This one's been pretty tame so far.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 10:09 PM
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Is now the time for my Pittsburgh Pirates Plan? My thinking is that the management of the Pirates has as much chance as anybody at creating a peaceful Middle East, but a much lower chance that anybody at building a team that can win a baseball game. So, a bit of shuffling and everyone gains.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 10:20 PM
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Of course, It Can Happen Here. Some people might argue that It Already Has, just with a slightly different group of Semites.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 10:36 PM
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Obsidian Wings has video of the first IDF boarder.

The video shows the very first soldier boarding the Mavi Marnara being attacked and thrown off the deck, almost immediately.

As soon as the first commando was assaulted, someone was going to get shot. And the folks who assaulted that commando knew that. You don't throw a man thirty feet off a deck (aka, try to kill him) and expect his compatriots not to not to react.

Of course, the commenters attack von and say everything everywhere is always Israel's fault, including rockets from Gaza and suicide bombers, but there was this comment:

If a SWAT team were to knock down my door tonight and storm into my apartment, and I were to grab one of them and throw them off the balcony, I would expect to get shot. The SWAT team may have been completely unjustified in breaking down my door, and I may rightly be furious about it, but that does not justify my use of violence. So I ultimately blame the activists.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 10:47 PM
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On Israel's shores, with G-d on their side, I wonder who knows how many have died?
With that knock on the door, knock on the door, here they come to take one more, one more.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:01 PM
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If a SWAT team were to knock down my door tonight and storm into my apartment, and I were to grab one of them and throw them off the balcony, I would expect to get shot. The SWAT team may have been completely unjustified in breaking down my door, and I may rightly be furious about it, but that does not justify my use of violence. So I ultimately blame the activists.

What if it were a Cuban commando team storming aboard a ship filled with right wing Cuban American activists? Stepping back from blog rule violations, this is the kind of shit that even the most boneheaded officer should have foreseen as a possibility and either come up with a way of dealing with it without opening fire or used another method altogether to block the ships.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:06 PM
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66, 69, 70: Previous discussion of possible locations.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:08 PM
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I knew we had discussed it before. Thanks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:11 PM
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125: expect his compatriots not to not to react

Because, you see, the Israeli soldiers are Real Men, who know about blood, and honor, and the filthy, emasculated 'activists' are not real men, and do not understand how a Real Man would react in that situation. Instead they behave like foolish women, slapping ineffectually at an attacker without realizing that a Real Man is going to come back with his fists and his guns and avenge the insult to his honor. I'm sure the complete tape reveals the Israeli soldiers speaking consolingly to the activists: "Baby, you know I love you, why do you want to make me so angry? I'm sorry, but I just love you so much and I can't abide it when you backtalk and act up."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:17 PM
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Jesus Christ, all the comment threads on this are tiresome. You don't expect to attack a man with guns and not get shot? Well, yes, but you don't expect to board a ship in international waters while armed and not meet with resistance. Well, yes, but you don't expect to intentionally provoke a jumpy military running a blockade without encountering a military response. Well, yes, but you don't run a blockade and starve a million people without expecting people to test the blockade. How many more steps can we keep going with this? Maybe we should just flip a coin.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:21 PM
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By 'run a blockade' I mean enact one, not, you know, run one. Fucking ambiguity of language.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:24 PM
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I don't really see the difference between "national" and "ethnic" there, but it's not a major issue in any case

The Yiddish speaking Jewish nationalists tended to see themselves as Poles or Russians only in practical terms - that was the state they had to deal with. They wanted formal group legal status with extensive political autonomy, and the only reason they didn't push for full nation state status was the practical problem of being a territorially dispersed minority. They had no interest in being part of the larger national society on an individual level as members of that society. The closest American version of this that I can think of is the black nationalist movement. The sort of thing I imagine you are envisaging is the standard African American group identity.

In the case of Zionism you have an actual nation state. American Jewish Zionists tend either to have a full blown dual national identity, or among the much more numerous less ardent ones, the sort of affinity that is typical of the hyphenated Americans that retain a strong ethnic identity.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:29 PM
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133: I'm not really accustomed to thinking of it in those terms, but sure, I'll accept that. I was talking more about culture than ideology, and I can see how Yiddish nationalist ideology would be distinct from Zionism in that way. A nation is an ethnic group with an army and a navy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:40 PM
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A nation is an ethnic group with an army and a navy.
The saying has a fair amount of truth to it, but doesn't really apply to either of the two nations I identify with. Polish national identity flourished in the nineteenth century and American national identity isn't based on a specific ethnicity, though perhaps that's more true in the Northeastern urban centers that I'm familiar with than in much of the rest of the country.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-10 11:52 PM
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119-122: I recommend avoiding the comment thread on this over at Yglesias' place.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 12:17 AM
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(I know, I am like a fucking Tireisias, here.)

So when are you going to change back into a bloke?

What if there is no solution to the I/P problem? What if there is a critical mass in both communities who prefer to see a fight, literally to the death? Is there any state outside the region which would be prepared to intervene on behalf of sanity? The US? Russia? China? Europe? Could they do anything useful if they wanted to?(1)

(1) My guess: a. could, wouldn't; b. couldn't, wouldn't; c. could, wouldn't; d. would, couldn't.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 1:21 AM
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American national identity isn't based on a specific ethnicity

An opinion that, while laudable, is not shared by a very large number of Americans.

A nation is an ethnic group with an army and a navy.

This reminded me of the very useful observation (from I think DeLong) that "from a budget point of view, the US government is basically a very large insurance company with an army".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 2:54 AM
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What if there is no solution to the I/P problem?

This has been my belief, but I tend toward broad pessimism already.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:27 AM
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137: There isn't a solution unless it's the exhaustion of combat. See 131.

The ultimate goals of the drivers are mutually exclusive, they know that, and all the rest, including this latest scene, is theater.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:32 AM
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At the moment it does look like there is no way of I/P achieving anything by themselves.
On the other hand, perhaps my judgment is clouded from having been to too many protests lately, but I am getting the feeling that the political pendulum in Israel has perhaps reached its farthest right, and is now just starting its swing back leftwards. This hasn't manifested in policy yet, of course, but the new "National Left" movement (which is personally, I think, led by cynical powergrabbers, but whatever) and its speedy rise hold out some hope that public opinion is changing, as well as the growing numbers of Israeli protesters in Sheikh Jarrah.

Anyway, theoretically, at least, the US has enough power over Israel to force at least some sort of temporary solution. Haaretz today states that this option was lately considered but finally rejected by the US. I'm all for it.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:52 AM
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Haaretz today states that this option was lately considered but finally rejected by the US.

The problem with this is that they consider and reject this option six times before breakfast, and have done since Carter was President. If, just once, they actually did anything about it I'd be less inclined to despair.

Does the National Left have any real potential to affect the balance of political forces any time soon? I ask for real, because I know next to nothing about them. If they do, then I don't care if they are cynical power grabbers. They could have secret plans to loot the treasury and buy themselves gold plated yachts, but if they stopped the settlements and negotiated in good faith first, I'd be all for them.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 6:28 AM
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139: I don't think that is pessimism, just pattern recognition.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 6:50 AM
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A nation is an ethnic group with an army and a navy.

This confused me. Political scientists tend to be careful about the nation-vs.-state distinction (apo himself got careful about it back at 47). To give a random example, the Navajo are a nation. They do not have a state, nor a navy, nor an army, other than the US, AFAIK.

Maybe I'm being overly buggy about semantics, though.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:20 AM
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Scotland is a nation, with no navy or army, except in the sense that it shares one with the rest of the UK.

That sort of thing is pretty common, given how many large states incorporate lots of former small nations, or exist as federations of nations.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:22 AM
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||

Has Bridget Callahan ever gotten a link here? It seems to me that she should. I've thought so for a long time, but her post from Friday on animal spirit guides finally made me get off my ass about it.

|>


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:24 AM
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given how many large states incorporate lots of former small nations, or exist as federations of nations.

Usually, it is more dangerous when a large nation is spread across small states. I assume that somehow or another Israel will think of a way to make the "Kurdistan=Gaza" point, but that because of geography they probably won't be able to do anything as vivid as sending an aid ship.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:33 AM
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147: Turkey definitely wouldn't send an aid ship to Kurdistan, I think we can all agree.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:36 AM
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Turkey definitely wouldn't send an aid ship to Kurdistan, I think we can all agree.

Certainly agree with that: Kurdistan doesn't have a coast.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:39 AM
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A nation isn't so much an objective thing as an discursive/ideological claim. In Marxist terms, an ethnicity/race is a group in itself, a nation is a group for itself. Of course, in walking around reality, some members of a putative nation will experience or advocate for a national identity in this way and others won't.

The relationship between nation and state is complicated. Scotland and the Navajo do have states, they just aren't fully autonomous states. Most Koreans consider themselves part of a single nation, separate from the two states. Nations can also emerge from existing states, as much as from ethnicities. Both the US and the UK are classic examples of state-nations. People can and do maintain multiple national identities and draw different conclusions about how those identities ought to be expressed politically.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:39 AM
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Kurdistan doesn't have a coast

It will just have to be a flotilla of aid blimps, then.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:45 AM
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150: Both the US and the UK are classic examples of state-nations.

What? At the very least, I wouldn't go around Scotland, Ireland or Wales saying things like that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:49 AM
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138: Its Krugman: "The basic picture of the federal government you should have in mind is that it's essentially a huge insurance company with an army"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:49 AM
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Update to 152: Sorry, didn't notice it was "State-Nation" not "Nation-State."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:50 AM
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I think teo in 134 is confusing the difference between a nation and a state with the difference between a dialect and a language.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:50 AM
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Scotland and the Navajo do have states, they just aren't fully autonomous states.

That's a good clarification. They both have some governing apparatus in place.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:54 AM
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153: Mutual of Destruction.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:58 AM
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State Harm.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:59 AM
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Hate Farm.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:00 AM
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Allstate?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:00 AM
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Dieco.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:00 AM
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Smotherin' Health


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:02 AM
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"In the event of your claim being denied, be aware that your city may be subject to heavy bombardment."

On topic, this is thoughtful and convincing.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:04 AM
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First National Life, Liberty & Happiness "A Revolutionary New Way to Get Insurance"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:04 AM
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106: I've often thought we should keep a isolated population that is educated in everything but history and human culture. Then we could use them as neutral judges and as the set-up for porn plots. ("Tell me of this thing you outlanders call 'orgasm.'")

I thought that was Florida?

I've been looking at the Turkish navy order of battle. They're set up for defence, in a "defence...by waiting behind an island then charging the other guy in a solid block and crushing him like a bug" way. Lots of German diesel subs and MEKO mini-frigates and fast-attack boats, not much power-projection stuff (which is surprising given their No.1 fan is Greece and any conflict would be all about islands).


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:05 AM
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||
That's one hell of a sinkhole.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:08 AM
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Since when does Batman need to be edgier? He's fucking Batman!

I will avoid thinking about Gaza for a moment by noting that Adam West will be at a showing of the (one, true) Batman movie next weekend, but it conflicts with my niece's dance recital. I mean, I love the kid, but . . .

We now return you to further discussion of how much the fucking Israeli government fucking sucks so fucking much.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:15 AM
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165: Can we get comity that escalation into a big shooting war between Turkey and Israel at this point is vanishingly unlikely? Not to say that there won't be a further Turkish response, and that that response may even be disproportionate, but the likelihood of two important US allies hauling off and attacking each other without first checking to see if that would be okay with the folx back on the Potomac just seems so small as to be irrelevant. I think at worst we are looking at a couple of months of sniping and frosty relations, probably extending out to several years of strained not-full-cooperation, but a war? I don't believe it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:17 AM
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re: 156

Only post-1997, though. I think most Scots would still consider Scotland to have existed prior to then [ahem].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:30 AM
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the likelihood of two important US allies hauling off and attacking each other without first checking to see if that would be okay with the folx back on the Potomac just seems so small as to be irrelevant.

Happened in 1982, didn't it? Though the US had rather more difficulty deciding which side to be on then than it will in a putative Israel/Turkey conflict.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:33 AM
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169: Wales was invented in 1962, I think Scotland is at least 50 years older.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:35 AM
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Does 169 contradict anything in 156? My claim is that Scotland has some of the aspects of a state and all of the aspects of a nation.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:37 AM
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re: 156

Yeah, I was just pointing out that the state apparatus is fairly recent. It existed for a long time as a nation with no state status.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:41 AM
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173: Word.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:42 AM
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170: There is that, although I'd argue that the various allies in question differ significantly on several axes of support (emotional, financial, geopolitical, etc.) But then again, conflicts of this level between major US allies are rare enough that it's probably useless to try and generalize from the very few instances where it's come up. (Also, in that particular example, one party to the conflict was under the control of a military junta, while in this case we are talking about relatively democratic governments -- at least to the extent that they can't simply ignore overwhelming opposition from major power centers in their respective societies.)

Suffice it to say that, in my opinion, both Israel and Turkey have way too much to lose in terms of US support, should they decide to push things much further. As I said, it seems like the most likely outcome is a few more tit-for-tat type actions, followed by a long process of winding down tensions as international pressure (most importantly, but not exclusively) from the US is brought to bear.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:56 AM
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It's really obvious that the attack on the aid convoy was intended by the Israeli government as an act of national dick-waving. There is an established procedure for stopping ships in international waters, and it isn't a night time fast rope out of a chopper onto the upper deck. This was an extension of the swaggering machismo that had Danny Ayalon ritually humiliating the Turkish ambassador over a TV series.

This stupid macho bullshit will get more people killed, and it won't be the people responsible who suffer.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:03 AM
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Wales was invented in 1962

Between the end of the Dylan Thomas ban and Tom Jones' first LP.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:11 AM
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||

I thought the Bush administration had already killed all 47 of Al Quaida's #3 leaders, but apparently not.

|>


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:13 AM
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If she didn't want her eye shot out, she shouldn't have been protesting, surely.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:14 AM
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177: Ha! (Although How Green Was My Valley must come into it somewhere.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:15 AM
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#3 leaders

AQ's org chart has to be a mile and a half wide.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:18 AM
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It's really obvious that the attack on the aid convoy was intended by the Israeli government as an act of national dick-waving.

Has there been anything that government has done in the past few years that isn't an act of national dick-waving?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:39 AM
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I think teo in 134 is confusing the difference between a nation and a state with the difference between a dialect and a language.

Not confusing, conflating. Like all generalizations, it's not going to be universally true or applicable, but I found the parallel interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:39 AM
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178: What must go through your head as a #4 leader of AQ when the boss calls you into the office?

"Hey there Mahmoud! Say, you did a bang-up job on organizing that raid last week. That took some real initiative and people-management skills."

(Ohmigod, ohmigod, please, not a promotion! I was just getting used to the company car and the new satellite phone!)

"As you know, we can't offer anyone as much compensation for their hard work as we would like, it's bad enough trying to run a project like this in the best of times, but the economy has just been so lousy. However, we'd like to recognize your contributions, so we're going to give you the Employee of the Quarter Award. The official email notification is going out tomorrow, but we wanted to let you know ahead of time. Keep up the good work!"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:41 AM
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Employee of the Quarter Award

It beats the "all-expenses paid stay on a Caribbean island" incentive award.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:47 AM
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182: I am certain that there is, but I can't think of an example right now.

There's this weird right wing thing where macho posturing substitutes for actual strength, where understanding your enemy's motivations is weakness, where pissing of people who don't agree with you just to piss them off and for no other reason is considered toughness. I really can't relate to it at all.

Incidentally, this is IMO the same thing that made Di's BFF's Husband play her his Obama assassination ringtone. He's proved how tough he is by pointlessly pissing off Di. I for one am deeply impressed and will switch allegiances immediately. If you can mildly irritate Di you're clearly A Man To Be Reckoned With. I reckon.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:49 AM
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Speaking of dubious awards, what would you do if you won a lifetime supply of Turtle Wax. Who has that kind of storage space for a can that won't be opened until 2040?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:50 AM
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Little does management know that it was Mahmoud who passed around the "jihad bingo" cards as a gag during Bin Laden's big motivational speech.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:50 AM
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There's this weird right wing thing where macho posturing substitutes for actual strength, where understanding your enemy's motivations is weakness, where pissing of people who don't agree with you just to piss them off and for no other reason is considered toughness. I really can't relate to it at all.

Well, I presume you can't relate to it because you aren't a pathetic and cowardly craven child.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:52 AM
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Who has that kind of storage space for a can that won't be opened until 2040?

Have you ever waxed your car? Once you've done that job once, it turns out that a single can of Turtle wax is, in fact, a lifetime supply.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:53 AM
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190: Actually, it's possible I never have.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:55 AM
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177: "and the Beatles' first L Poo".


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:56 AM
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189: Don't presume! Maybe I just manifest my craven childlike cowardice as god intended: By hiding under the bed. There's plenty of room down here, by the way. Y'all are invited. Bring beer.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:58 AM
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sorry, Tom Jones. Bah.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:59 AM
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193: The trick to having more room is getting one of those beds without the box spring part.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:01 AM
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I bet Moby would waterbed the terrorists.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:08 AM
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I am shocked to see that this episode did not bring out the latent humanitarianism of the Corner commentariat.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:11 AM
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Would you like to come up and see my latent humanitarianism?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:13 AM
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I bet Moby would Octopad the terrorists.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:19 AM
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There's plenty of room down here, by the way. Y'all are invited. Bring beer.

Beer makes me feel bloaty; I've always figured that's why certain dick-wavers seem to prefer it. What else are you going to do when you feel all bloated and uncomfortable? Bluster through, fellows, bluster through!

No, but there's a vicious edge to Israeli actions that indicates a shift from coward to asshole. Extreme arrogance.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:24 AM
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Beer makes me feel bloaty;

So belch or fart. I don't see the problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:27 AM
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169: Would not most Scots also say that they've been British since the Act of Union?

The conservative historian Hugh Trevor-Roper had an essay in the classic Invention of Tradition collection where he argued that Scottish culture was more or less invented whole cloth in the late 18th early 19th centuries. The unconvincing parts of this were a) the conflation of investing existing symbols or practices with new significance with cynically manufacturing them, and b) how this is different from any nationalism anywhere.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:27 AM
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Stupid work computer.
202 was me.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:28 AM
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I am shocked to see that this episode did not bring out the latent humanitarianism of the Corner commentariat.

It has, but they put the deaths in proper perspective.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:29 AM
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Al and Tipper Gore are seperating?! What the what?!

This is the final proof I needed -- hell via handbasket, right now.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:31 AM
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separating, even. SEE HOW UPSET I AM?!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:31 AM
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205: The sex tape should surface any day now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:33 AM
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207: Doubt it. Tipper made me give her the only copy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:36 AM
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I'm surprised that I'm sad about that.

Bet they weren't expecting the Clintons' marriage to outlast theirs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:36 AM
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re: 202

Oh I think it's probably true that a lot of things were either invented, or heavily re-invented in the 19th century. That applies to most of the UK, not just Scotland, but Scotland is a particularly obvious example of it.

re: Britishness, I think that ebbs and flows at different times.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:36 AM
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Bet they weren't expecting the Clintons' marriage to outlast theirs.

Living in different states may be the secret to a lasting marriage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:40 AM
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To paraphrase The Bugle: "What does it mean to be British? Well, for the English, historically, to be British has meant to be English. And for the Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish, to be British has meant to be English."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:40 AM
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I imagine Al and Tipper have their reasons. More power to 'em if that's what they want to do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:42 AM
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207. I. Do. Not. Want. to see a video of Al and Tipper Gore getting it on.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:43 AM
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So I can have your copy, then?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:45 AM
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212: The Irish haven't been included as British regardless of how Protestant they are. That's why it's the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:46 AM
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213 to 214.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:47 AM
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210:
Sure, my point was that different nationalisms can be overlapping as well as competing.

Trevor-Roper leaned heavily on the Ossian controversy to emphasize a kind of artificial creation. As you say, romantic nationalism's (re)creations were not peculiar to the Scots.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:50 AM
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216:
I thought that was because of separate islandness.

Also a comment on the Gores' marriage.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:58 AM
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216: Historically, to the English, Welsh, Scottish, Nornirish, Cornish, Manx, Jérriais, Guernésiais, Auregnais, and Sarkites, to be UKish has been to be British.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:59 AM
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216. No, it's the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" because Great Britain is the name of an island (as opposed to Petty Britain, or Brittany, originally). England, Scotland and Wales take up the land area of Great Britain, plus a few small islands; Ireland is another island entirely, somewhat to the west of Great Britain, and six counties in the north of Ireland are part of the same state as the nations of Great Britain.

The real issue is why Wales doesn't get a name check.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 11:00 AM
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The real issue is why Wales doesn't get a name check.

They can get a name check when they start allowing vowels in their language.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 11:02 AM
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I know a couple who divorced after 40 years of marriage. There was a seekrit family involved. (It was quite sad -- the wife wasn't upset about the failed marriage per se -- she was mostly pissed the husband hadn't just left her when she was 40 so that she could have had a whole other life.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 11:02 AM
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220 is true, in spite of the fact that five of the peoples listed are not part of the UK.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 11:03 AM
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142: sorry for the late response. The National Left portray themselves as Leftist Zionists. Their mainstream appeal is actually based on inciting hatred - they spout Jewish-nationalistic crap which is pretty similar to the centrist (i.e. right-wing) line, but at the same time describe the settlers as a threat to Israel. So their argument is something like "we don't want to be a Muslim nation, and the settlers - if they get their way - will end up forcing a binational state. Plus, we don't want Jewish theocracy any more than a Muslim one."
Kind of like "the dwarves are for the dwarves". But they have managed to rally a large number of supporters in the short time they've been around (we're talking less than half a year here). Their supporters are people who couldn't identify with the real (here perceived as radical) Left.
I find their manifestos pretty repulsive, but they did manage to tap into a pretty widespread resentment of the settlements. So there is a chance they will somehow shift the balance against the settlements.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 1:12 PM
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A lot of articles by Israelis about this issue seem to include the name "Gilad Shalit", which is not found in most of the American commentary.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 1:35 PM
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"Gilad Shalit" is Hebrew for "Mutombo."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 1:38 PM
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O.K. I should have googled that first. Poor guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 1:40 PM
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Gilad Shalit.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 1:41 PM
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I am strongly in the "US out of giving a fuck about the Israel/Palestine issue" camp, but unfortunately that ship seems to have sailed many years ago.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 1:48 PM
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I mean, it's as if there's two different rueful approaches to the situation. "Well, maybe we're acting like assholes, but it's all in the name of Gilad Shalit", and "Well, maybe we're acting like assholes".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 1:56 PM
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Well said, ned.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 2:12 PM
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It doesn't even seem to be so much Gilad Shalit as insisting that Hamas must back down over Gilad Shalit.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 2:23 PM
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168: Can we get comity that escalation into a big shooting war between Turkey and Israel at this point is vanishingly unlikely?

Agreed. To me a more realistic issue is that among Muslim states, Turkey has up until now been relatively moderate in its approach to Israel (they did have domestic pressure to harden that stance independent of this development). Gone now. This is a provocative roundup of the aftermath from John Cole.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 2:37 PM
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And Juan Cole of course has a lot to say, in particular near the end of the post about putting the snippets of video released by the IDF in the context of the overall action as revealed by other footage.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 2:48 PM
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Dammit is the Israeli raid just a rehash of the USS Liberty incident or what?

m, just asking


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 2:51 PM
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234: Thanks for the link, JP.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 2:59 PM
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Remember the Maine!

202 b); how does that make it less convincing? I'm more convinced.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:20 PM
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This line from John Cole is particularly good:

The Netanyahu government has shot itself in the head, and now appears to be reloading.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:29 PM
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It doesn't even seem to be so much Gilad Shalit as insisting that Hamas must back down over Gilad Shalit.

Yeah, that was what I from an Israeli spokesman on the BBC yesterday. Essentially, nothing we do in or concerning Gaza can be wrong, because Gilad Shalit. Which raises the question, how many non-Gilad Shalits are worth one Gilad Shalit? In practice, the answer is limited at least by the finite number of people who are not Gilad Shalit, but in theory there is no reason to believe it is finite.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:29 PM
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+heard


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:30 PM
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And that's why the State of Israel is off my Christmas card list.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:32 PM
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238.last: Oh dear. Doesn't anybody remember house rules any more? If you are referring to something said more than a couple of mouse clicks upthread, please to quote the thing responded to, rather than just using the comment number. This is conducive to thread continuity and participation.

That is all. No hard feelings. Just saying.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:34 PM
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Clew may be a newcomer since that rule was last articulated. Plus, s/he may be a rebel.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:42 PM
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Remember the Maine!

Remember the Liberty!

m, dammit ;)


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:42 PM
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244: Yes, true. I thought I'd explain it. It's true I'm a little grumpy, for:

Which raises the question, how many non-Gilad Shalits are worth one Gilad Shalit?

Judging from the article teo linked in 229, more than just a few. This is a grim fucking business, to be honest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:50 PM
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238:
It depends on what you are being convinced of. Trevor-Roper seems to have been arguing that the Scots essentially tricked themselves into fake nationalism for political purposes. Rather than going on to argue that all nationalism is to some degree artificial in this way, he seems to leave Scots nationalism opposed the real and genuine nationalism of, say, the English. If the point is that nationalism is a distinctly modern sentiment/phenomenon and that the ethno-national antecedents it invokes are generally speaking innovations in ideology/consciousness rather than expressions of ancient truths, then yes, this rightly supports that.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:52 PM
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I am strongly in the "US out of giving a fuck about the Israel/Palestine issue" camp,

How? We're on the Security Council and we have a rather strong interest in keeping the conflict from spinning out of control. That means trying to reign in the Israelis while preventing anything that could push them into really lashing out. Even assuming no domestic political constraints, I'd only be in favour of relatively limited pressure in an attempt to impose a solution - e.g. cutting off aid and perhaps some form of sanctions on imports from companies that employ people living outside the proposed new borders, plus offering lots of carrots in the event they accept the plan.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 3:59 PM
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248: Cutting off aid to Israel?

I'm mildly embarrassed that I'm not up to speed on our current policies in this regard. I have no idea how such a thing would register to Israel, but my vague sense is that it would be considered extraordinary on our part.

I'm prepared to be informed that I really don't know what current policy is, and should go read up -- which I will do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:13 PM
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Apologies for the language in 247. I'm a bit too close to this topic, so the jargon, like blood it flows.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:20 PM
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247 was terrific, Jimmy, actually.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:23 PM
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Thanks.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:26 PM
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249: To put "cutting off aid to Israel" on the table would seem to make perfect sense but would indeed occasion a huge political shitstorm for the Obama White House. If you think the "Obama is a seekrit Muslim" rhetoric is crazy now, it pales in comparison to what that would bring forth -- and not just from the Teabaggers, but also from AIPAC and the ADL, who would likely become bedfellows with the Teabagging Party on the issue.

It's going to have to happen eventually, obviously. The drift of Israeli politics is getting too extreme, and too wacky, for the US to go on supporting it indefinitely without irreparable and un-finesse-able damage to its own interests. But the American political establishment isn't there yet. Give it another five or ten years of widening split between the "liberal" and "orthodox" wings of the movement -- assuming Beinart's schema from way earlier in the thread is credible (and it sort of is, albeit oversimplistic) -- and there might be room for this.

In the now-about-time, though... Turkey is a NATO ally, but they don't have a counterpart to AIPAC in Washington. Looks like being a NATO ally is about to be revealed as not having much cachet any more.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:29 PM
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widening split between the "liberal" and "orthodox" wings of the movement

"The movement" here being the Zionist movement.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:30 PM
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The US spends three billion in aid money on Israel. It's a lot of money for their size.

m, never will that allowance be cut


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:40 PM
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Looks like being a NATO ally is about to be revealed as not having much cachet any more.

9/11 pretty much revealed that, I'm afraid. It really was about the Red Army rolling through the Fulda Gap. Or Ice Station Zebra.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:45 PM
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It's going to have to happen eventually, obviously.

I'd like to believe this, but it's not at all obvious to me.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:50 PM
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256: Huh, I was under the impression that there have been NATO troops in Afghanistan for several years now.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:53 PM
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Huh, I was under the impression that there have been NATO troops in Afghanistan for several years now.

Special Forces, to be sure. But not exactly a division from each member. Even the small contributions made by some member states are controversial.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 4:56 PM
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List of participants:
http://www.isaf.nato.int/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:02 PM
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257: No, it is not obvious. On the other hand, DS remarks in passing: Give it another five or ten years

Hm, maybe. Hard to believe, but maybe. I'm not plugged in to the power structure that is AIPAC et al., and it perpetually confounds me that they have the amount of power they do, so I feel I can't possibly judge whether these groups might be defanged in future.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:03 PM
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re: 247

I've not read Trevor-Roper, but his argument [as presented there] reads like I'd disagree with it pretty strongly; even if he's right about the essentially 'invented from whole cloth' nature of some 19th c. nationalist tropes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:07 PM
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My guess is that any such moves toward sanity will have to be initiated by a Republican president, for the same, stupid only-Nixon-to-China reasons.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:09 PM
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re: 259

Britain is a NATO member and has substantial numbers of troops in Afghanistan, troops who are dying in reasonably high numbers.

But yeah, being a NATO ally counts for not much, as the US can and does shit on those allies whenever convenient [and sometimes just to prove that it can].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:11 PM
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My guess is that any such moves toward sanity will have to be initiated by a Republican president, for the same, stupid only-Nixon-to-China reasons.

President Lieberman?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:11 PM
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263: I was convinced for the longest time that the first "minority" US president could only be conservative, and most likely a Cuban-American. Or maybe Colin Powell. And that the first woman president would have to be a Margaret Thatcher type. But sometime things turn out differently . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:15 PM
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264. You noticed how many US Marines landed in the Falkland Islands, right?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:16 PM
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266: "conservative" s/b "Republican". No need to get into a fight over just how conservative Obama is.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:17 PM
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267: They're very stealthy.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:17 PM
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269: Marine ninjas.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:18 PM
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270: Racist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:19 PM
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I don't even see ninjas.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:19 PM
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The story is told that the Argentinians gave up once the Ghurkas arrived. No point in messing with those crazy fuckers.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:21 PM
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257: Well, once the original reason for a political alignment goes by the wayside, its outward shell can only persist for so long.

AIPAC's favored-lobbyist status is based on a reliable claim to be able to consolidate the Jewish vote -- along with leveraging a very substantial number of non-Jewish but "pro-Israel" voters -- as a more-or-less cohesive bloc behind Israeli interests. The more it represents not Israeli interests, but one half of a divided and no-longer-coherent Zionism along with a dwindling coterie of far-right "Christian Zionist" nutters, the less force that claim has and the less power it wields. I think in about ten years' time AIPAC will find its influence in the halls of power diminished accordingly. Maybe it will take a bit longer than that. But it will happen, in a Nixon-goes-to-China scenario or otherwise.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:22 PM
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272: No one does.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:26 PM
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275: The ninja is indeed invisible. Tragically invisible.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:31 PM
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275: But what about all the ninja sightings?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:33 PM
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You have to use special ninja-sensitive cameras.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:36 PM
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AIPAC's favored-lobbyist status is based on a reliable claim to be able to consolidate the Jewish vote -- along with leveraging a very substantial number of non-Jewish but "pro-Israel" voters

Really? I don't pretend to know for sure, but really? In all honesty (and perhaps this makes me an utter rube), I know very, very few people who vote on a pro-Israeli basis. I may well be just missing something major here. And by "I know of very few" I mean: "I thought this spoke only to a small number of single-issue voters, and it's been superceded by other issues in the minds of most voters."

My impression had been that AIPAC's power stemmed from something else, the nature of which is slightly unclear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:37 PM
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My impression had been that AIPAC's power stemmed from something else, the nature of which is slightly unclear.

Batphone to Yahweh?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:41 PM
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Doubtful.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:50 PM
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279: Really? I don't pretend to know for sure, but really?

Leverage on potential donor contributions is also an important part of the equation, it's not just the ballot box. But leveraging votes is by most informed accounts AIPAC's primary strength. (The Israel lobby goes beyond AIPAC, of course. There's a whole constellation of organizations. But they're all based on the assumption of a cohesive Zionism as their foundation.)

Viriginia Tilley's The One-State Solution has a pretty good account of all this.

You know very few people who vote on a pro-Israeli basis, is my guess, because it's decades since there was anyone non-pro-Israeli on offer for them to vote for.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:55 PM
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Oh yee of little faith.


Posted by: Tassled Laofered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:55 PM
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Batphone to Yahweh

Great band name.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 5:58 PM
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I see that my 279 is querulous, and not much in disagreement with DS's 274. I should really read everything that DS says, in full, accepting his modulations in tone, for lo, he is calming.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 6:02 PM
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285 crossed with seeing 282.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 6:07 PM
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Special Forces, to be sure. But not exactly a division from each member. Even the small contributions made by some member states are controversial.

Which might have something to do with that other war we insisted on starting soon after Afghanistan, as well as the limits of our NATO allies' military resources.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 6:09 PM
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the limits of our NATO allies' military resources.

At the end of the day this is the crux of the biscuit. All politics aside, which would be a stretch considering, most member countries have been treating their military as a jobs program as opposed to power projection. Which ain't all bad, until you need it.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 6:13 PM
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I express agreement with Natilo's 168, in any case.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 6:26 PM
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243.1 -> 289.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 6:59 PM
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243.1 -> 290.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:00 PM
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Touche. [insert appropriate accent mark there]


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:03 PM
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`


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:06 PM
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293: That's a grave mistake, Moby.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:07 PM
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Is it supposed to go the other way?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:10 PM
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Yes.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:13 PM
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293: That's a grave mistake, Moby.

One might expect it to be acutely embarrassing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:13 PM
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I would have also accepted "That's what she said."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:15 PM
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297: Zing! I was hoping someone would make the companion joke.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:16 PM
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Why does everyone always feel the need to accentuate the negative?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:17 PM
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300: Eh, we're a diacritical bunch.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:18 PM
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Better to a diacritic than to live a rube.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:19 PM
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284: I was going to say that "#3 Leader" would be a great band name. But now I won't.

Went to the emergency demo in front of Sen. K/obuchar's office today. "Marching down the 'Dilly to demonstrate again/ While the men who planned the holocaust are pissed out of their brains". Actually, it would have been more exciting if we had marched through downtown (the Senator's office is on the outskirts in the bar/light industrial/fancy condos/bars district). As it was, I had a couple of nice chats with some folx I see every month or so, and many people complemented my @ist in-joke T-shirt. When I saw the first fellow wearing a life-jacket I was like "Man, do all of the crazies we attract provide ANY benefit to leftist organizing?" And then I realized when I saw several other life-jacketed demonstrators that it was a gesture of solidarity (admittedly, a silly one) with the flotilla activists.

And then Ne/l Ga/man found five dollars. Or maybe just a flier for our next big event at work. He's smaller in person.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:20 PM
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"Man, do all of the crazies we attract provide ANY benefit to leftist organizing?"

It's like computer dating or creating a public park. If you don't attract a few crazies, you've done something wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:25 PM
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Also, lawyers of Unfogged: None of us can reasonably be expected to affect the I/P situation, but some of you DO have the clout and connections to possibly help out your fellow attorney Peter Erlinder, who has been detained in Rwanda. I don't know Erlinder personally, but he has long been a staunch supporter of many good activist causes in Minnesota and elsewhere. He could really use some mainstream, non-DFH support right now.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 7:32 PM
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288: Which ain't all bad, until you need it.

Tales of European military weakness are overwrought. In fact, they have all the military they need - probably more than they need.

If they devoted more resources to the military, they'd attempt to use violence in the same sorts of stupid ways they used to - that is to say, in the same sorts of stupid ways the U.S. does today.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 8:14 PM
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The US spends three billion in aid money on Israel.

Which is obviously a substantial part of, but not necessarily essential to, US support of Israel. US efforts to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons doesn't come out of that budget. Are there existential threats to Israel that require the money? Have there been conflicts they couldn't pay for without it? Is lobbying/campaign funding/securing the Jewish voting bloc inseparable from it? These are naïve questions, of course, but I've heard that sometimes those can be effective.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 9:15 PM
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The US spends three billion in aid money on Israel.

Closer to $5 billion per year nowadays, actually.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 10:11 PM
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According to Wiki it's $2.8B plus a whole bunch of loan guarantees. Israel has a GDP of around $200B so this is significant but not crucial to Israel, which is why I think it would make a good form of pressure.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 1-10 11:28 PM
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||

For Frowner & Natilo --

"http://www.truthout.org/why-misogynists-make-great-informants59966">Why Misogynists Make Great Informants

He especially lamented all of the "young ladies" who left Common Ground as a result of Darby's domineering, aggressive style of organizing. And when those "young ladies" complained? Well, their concerns likely fell on sympathetic but ultimately unresponsive ears--everything may have been true, and after the fact everyone admits how disruptive Darby was, quick to suggest violent, ill-conceived direct-action schemes that endangered everyone he worked with. There were even claims of Darby sexually assaulting female organizers at Common Ground and in general being dismissive of women working in the organization.[2] Darby created conflict in all of the organizations he worked with, yet people were hesitant to hold him accountable because of his history and reputation as an organizer and his "dedication" to "the work."

thought you'd appreciate, in case you hadn't seen

|>


Posted by:
k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 12:32 AM
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All politics aside, which would be a stretch considering, most member countries have been treating their military as a jobs program as opposed to power projection. Which ain't all bad, until you need it.

Defence spending as a form of pork? Why, such a thing would be unheard of in the US!

In general, TLL, I think it might be time for you to shut the hell up about other nations' contributions in Afghanistan (and, for that matter, Iraq) until you reckon you can talk about them in a slightly less dismissive and insulting way.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 2:40 AM
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re: 311

Indeed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 3:27 AM
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311: Actually, I think TLL is right to be dismissive and insulting. Nations that signed on to contribute to said clusterfucks -- and, for that matter, to contribute to the false pretense of the enormous mess they created being cleaned up -- richly deserve to be dismissed and insulted. Albeit in lesser measure than the country that inaugurated the clusterfucks to begin with, and perpetuates them.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 3:39 AM
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re: 313

Dismissive and insulting for diametrically opposed reasons, no? TLL's dismissal is all about the lack of manly prowess on the part of the effete Europeans, contrasted with the massive wangs of the US, and the relative lack of random invasion and death being dealt out by much of Europe.*

* with the exception of the UK and a few others, who deserve all the opprobrium you like for backing the US in their stupid immoral wars.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 3:43 AM
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Also, on the very fucking day of the 11th September attack, NATO declared the Article 5 casus foederis and activated the alliance military command. Just because Rumsfeld and World's Stupidest Guy and Shooter Dick wanted to do it all themselves with the fucking green lantern of will doesn't mean fuck all.

You do know the NATO multinational AWACS squadron spent the winter of 2001-2002 patrolling the US's cities to relieve the AWACS that went to Afghanistan? While the entire RAF and French Air Force tanker force was busy refuelling US Navy aircraft?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 4:12 AM
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If they devoted more resources to the military, they'd attempt to use violence in the same sorts of stupid ways they used to - that is to say, in the same sorts of stupid ways the U.S. does today.

Indeed. The longer it remains a resignation issue for the President of Germany to suggest that German troops are in Afghanistan to advance the national interest, the happier I'll be. But he was right of course.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 4:46 AM
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316: The other day Caroline asked me why people fight wars, and I told her that wars were mostly fought over natural resources, drawing an analogy to her and her brother fighting over a toy.

I suppose the broader "economic interests" is a better description of the motivations for war than "natural resources."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 6:32 AM
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wars were mostly fought over natural resources

...and religion.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 6:40 AM
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To be fair, some of us Americans really do have massive wangs. I mean gigantic, breaktaking marvels that take your breath away.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 6:50 AM
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309: Yup, I had misinterpreted some numbers the other day. However, there is the aid-to-Egypt aspect that winds up serving as indirect aid to Israel too.

310: Thanks! I did already see it linked on FB. I thought it was a great piece that articulated a lot of the partially-formed thoughts I've had on that subject quite well. It's unfortunate that the left didn't take that lesson more to heart in the 1970s, when it should have been obvious just how counterproductive allowing misogynists to dominate the scene was. Oh well.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 7:24 AM
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Natilo, would you send me an email pretty please? Linked under my name here


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 7:51 AM
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Just sent you one!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 8:09 AM
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gigantic, breaktaking marvels

My gigantic wang never takes a break.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 8:12 AM
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305: Natilo, the article you linked to left a lot of questions hanging, but MPR had a follow-up piece today that seemed to clarify a few things.

No one should be in jail on what is essentially a speech charge, and Kagame has indeed used the "genocide ideology" legislation to silence both political opponents and to convince ordinary Rwandans not to raise too many questions about the violence that accompianied the RPF's rise to power at the end of the genocide. Erlinger, however, does seem pretty straight-forwardly to actually be a genocide denier in about the same terms as the Turkish government are geoncide deniers with regard to the Armenians. His going to Rwanda to defend a political candidate, despite having no standing to practice law there and despite his own claims about having been targeted by Kagame for discrediting or assassination, seems to have been a very deliberate provocation.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 8:17 AM
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Huh, that link didn't work.
Let's try this one.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 8:27 AM
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324/325: Thanks. I was just about to complain that the original article is frustrating and confusing.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 8:52 AM
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I'm not an expert on Rwanda or the Hutu/Tutsi conflicts there and in neighboring countries. However, I'm at a loss as to what is so damning about the linked article. Apparently, Erlinder's main contention is that the Rwandan genocide should be understood in its larger historical context, which includes a significant amount of violence and oppression by members of both ethnicities. Furthermore, he's contending that the charges of "promoting genocide ideology" are being used to eliminate the ruling party's political opponents without regard for whether they actually hold such views. He's not (as far as has been reported) denying the most recent genocide.

As far as all the complaints about his not being able to practice law in Minnesota, that seems pretty irrelevant here. He's definitely been a polarizing figure, based on the clients he has represented mostly, but most of the time that polarization breaks down with me on his side and people with pretty awful politics on the other side.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 9:15 AM
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324: He's not a genocide denier. He denies that Kagame is an angel in human form who didn't commit war crimes- that is, he thinks the genocide was complicated, and denies the Official State Version of the events leading up to it and the events after it.

He also is representing the wife of former president Habyarimana in a US civil trial against Kagame. Publicly saying things Kagame told you not to say is a good way to get arrested in Rwanda.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 9:19 AM
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To be clear, "illegal views on the country's genocide" include any views that vary at all from the official story. This includes the views of almost everyone who has studied the issue in any detail, because the official story is that one side was evil with no redeeming features and the other side was good with no shadows or flaws.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 9:23 AM
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If you want to "get" Erlinder on anything, it would be that he sometimes allows the line between his own public persona and the cases he takes on to get a little blurry. But not for money. As "celebrity" lawyers go, he's worth a hundred Cochrans or Dershowitzes.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 9:27 AM
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Sigh. I'm not interested in "getting" Erlinger on anything, just pointing out that his public position here is at best deeply misguided.

E. Messily, I hope it's clear from my comment that I'm not defending Kagame or his speech policies. I don't know if Agathe Habyarimana was involved in organizing the genocide, as some have alleged, but everyone deserve legal defense. I also don't know anything about the particular political candidate he was going to defend.

Erlinger, however, is a genocide denier. He's not claiming that the killings didn't happen, but he is claiming that they were not a targeted genocide, just the sort of massacres that happen in the course of a civil war. This is a) entirely wrong, b) deeply insulting to the survivors, c) understandably inflamatory in the context of post-genocide Rwanda, above and beyond Kagame's official ideology.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 10:14 AM
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331- do you have any sources or quotes that point toward this interpretation of Erlinger's position? I know that is what the Rwandan government says he thinks, but I've never seen anything he wrote or any quotes from him that said anything that could be construed as "the killings were not a genocide".


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 10:50 AM
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whoops. Erlinder.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 10:51 AM
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Sorry, Erlinder it is.

From the article I linked to:
"Erlinder has consistently said he believes the massacres were not part of a plot to wipe out Tutsi civilians -- but were rather the final, three-month chapter following a civil war that lasted years."

That's a paraphrase rather than a quote and there's a similar paraphrase from his wife in the other article, so the articles might be mischaracterizing him. I also recognize that this is part of a legal defense, so probably belongs in a different category from normal political speech. It's just a position I find utterly contemptible.

In case it need saying, the massacres most decidedly were part of a genocidal campaign to wipe Tutsi civilians, one which was centrally organized and coordinated and which has been exhaustively documented.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 11:20 AM
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the massacres most decidedly were part of a genocidal campaign to wipe Tutsi civilians, one which was centrally organized and coordinated

Not to be glib, but isn't that the point of most civil wars, to wipe out the other side completely? Which is why they tend to be so nasty, and simmer for ever.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 11:24 AM
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335: Not as far as I know. In fact, I can't offhand think of another civil war where extermination of the other side was a serious goal: I'm sure there are some, but I can't think of any.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 11:30 AM
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The War Nerd says it's because of journalists.

http://exiledonline.com/war-nerd-rules-in-the-era-of-squeamishness/all/1/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 11:55 AM
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I can't offhand think of another civil war where extermination of the other side was a serious goal: I'm sure there are some, but I can't think of any

Sudan/Darfur, East Timor, Kurdistan, Bosnia, Asia Minor (at the time of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire), arguably Haiti and some of the former Portugese colonies...


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 12:05 PM
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I'm still not coming up with incidents where the forces of one side started systematically killing all the civilians on the other side that they could get access to until they were done -- massacres and atrocities, yes, killing civilians yes, behavior suggesting that literal extermination of everyone on the other side was an explicit goal? You're going to have to give me specifics I can look up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 12:19 PM
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(Asia Minor, the Armenian genocide, I'll give you, except that I hadn't thought of that as a civil war -- I thought the Ottomans just started slaughtering Armenians.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 12:25 PM
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Genocide almost always emerges out of conditions of war. (In the case of the Holocaust, both war and genocide were always part of Hitler's plans/goals, but the actual eliminationist violence didn't kick in until the war was well under way and accelerated once it was going badly.) Most civil wars are efforts to gain control over political or economic resources. They only become efforts to physically eliminate all the members of the other side in extrememe cases.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 12:34 PM
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Sure. Certainly, genocide happens in wars -- I was mostly stuck on the idea that most civil wars were characterized by genocide. WWs I and II were both wars, obviously, but not particularly civil wars.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 12:38 PM
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Yeah, I was agreeing with you there.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 12:47 PM
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334- yeah, that quote just doesn't make much sense to me, so it seems like the reporter must have paraphrased badly. For one thing, the two alternatives given (a plot to wipe out Tutsis, or the final 3 months of a long civil war) are not mutually exclusive, and for another thing, either of those descriptions (or both of them) could be true of something that could also be described as genocide.

The quotes that I've seen from Erlinder (that I can't find this second but I'll keep looking) have been of the "there were two genocides" variety- claiming that there was a genocide carried out by Hutus against Tutsis, and then another genocide carried out by Kagame and the RPF, against civilian Hutus, and therefore everyone came out with blood on their hands.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 12:58 PM
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The two alternatives are not mutually exclusive, but it seems to me that for something to consist of genocide against Tutsis, it would necessarily involve "a plot to wipe out Tutsis". To say the massacres were not part of such a plot is to say they were not genocide.

The quote says he has "consistently said" this, and MPR itself interviewed him on the subject in 2005, so I'm not sure why a bad paraphrase is a more likely explanation than that that's what he has said (not that reporters don't paraphrase badly or otherwise get things wrong).


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 1:16 PM
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another article

I can't find any public statements by Erlinder other than things he said as the defense attorney for people accused of war crimes. I also can't find any quotes where he says anything other than "the situation was super complicated" and "Tutsis killed Hutus, too", both of which seem to me to be (a) true and (b) things that get you in big trouble in Rwanda.

The Kagame government likes to throw around accusations of "genocide denier" at anyone they find threatening or irritating. They also like to put people in prison for a real long time without trials. I hope this guy gets out of the country soon.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 1:37 PM
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338: If the Sudanese civil war is about one side wiping out the other, they're certainly take their time about it. That one's been going as long as I've been alive. Appalling repression, rapacity and destruction, yes. Same with East Timor and Kurdistan, Bosnia...

The problem is that "genocide" has become a kind of unofficial cutoff point for "we should do something." So the temptation is to apply the term to any instance where something ought to be done. There are many instances where something ought to be done that don't constitute genocide.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 1:42 PM
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It may not make sense, but it is one of the standard positions on the genocide, particularly in regard to international prosecutions. War is agreed to be nasty, but genocide is a prosecutable war crime, so if you can recast the whole thing as isolated massacres then it becomes a "these things happen" sort of situation, and it's much harder to show responisibilty by political or millitary leadership.

The problem with the "everyone had blood on their hands" narrative is that it's technically accurate, but not really true. There were some revenge massacres by RPF forces against Hutu civilians (and Kagame would rather that no one talked about them), but they weren't coordinated or anything like the scale of the genocide. There is also, if you go back farther, a long history of Tutsi political domination and occasional massacres against Hutu civilians, before the 1961 referrendum. The "two genocides" argument effectively tries to set up a moral equivalence or, in some versions, argues that the Parmehutu movement was justified in killing 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus to prevent a return of Tusti power. To suggest that all of this violence is just part of one big long ugly thing, however, is to ignore the scale of the genocidaires' crimes.

I hope it's clear that I'm not suggesting that's what you're arguing, just that the position staked articulated above is an established one.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 1:45 PM
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347: Isn't there some definition of 'genocide' that's well short of 'attempting to kill everyone in an identified demographic'? I'm sure I've seen it defined as something like 'violence intended to disrupt the social cohesion or existence of a nation or ethnicity', which would get pretty close to 'violence about which something really should be done', while including stuff well short of as what I'd colloquially think of as genocide.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 1:51 PM
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I'm pretty well up on the history, and on Kagame's government. I haven't paid much attention to Erlinder before, and can't find much other than paraphrases and descriptions of the accusations against him.

I guess I don't take defense lawyers arguments about specific cases in attempts to defend clients as indicative of their positions on larger subjects. But, you know, I'm not a lawyer. Does being the defense attorney for someone accused of genocide, and arguing that they aren't guilty, make you a genocide denier? (this is an honest question- I would have thought that it just meant you were doing your best job to defend them, but maybe it usually also counts as a public statement on the topic?)


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 1:53 PM
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Police: US lawyer held in Rwanda attempts suicide


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 1:57 PM
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Does being the defense attorney for someone accused of genocide, and arguing that they aren't guilty, make you a genocide denier?

Depends. If you're arguing that there was a genocide, but your client wasn't responsible, then no. If you're arguing that there was no genocide, then yes, it does.

Now, you can do an awful lot of defending someone without making affirmative statements about what you believe happened, so this is limited to what the lawyer themself actually says. But if a lawyer is standing up in public making statements about what they believe to be true, they're making those statements and are responsible for them, regardless of whether the statements serve the interest of a client.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 2:00 PM
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349: I'm sure I've seen it defined as something like 'violence intended to disrupt the social cohesion or existence of a nation or ethnicity'

Well, yeah, so have I... but that seems to rather have had the effect of diluting the impact of the word "genocide," whose colloquial since is much more forceful, rather than the effect of extending the term's urgency.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 2:00 PM
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348 is my understanding of the events during and leading up to the genocide. Hutu-Tutsi violence has a long history, but the genocide was well organized and very clearly intended to permanently change the population distribution within Rwanda, not just intimidate the other side, which AFAIK was the context of previous instances of interethnic violence.

That said, a good lawyer defending an accused genocidaire would do everything to obscure that distinction and exaggerate the instances of Hutu victimization at the hands of Tutsis.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 2:01 PM
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The official legal definition of genocide is the broad one, but in the colloquial sense it means a systematic attempt to exterminate a given group, though that has been blurred by the international law version and the use of 'genocide' and 'genocidal' as a way of making genuinely bad actions and actors sound even worse. Rwanda was conducted on Holocaust rules - if you were a Tutsi and fell into the hands of the Hutu, you were dead, and they maid killing, as opposed to displacement, a top priority.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 2:48 PM
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maid, made and I haven't even started the night's drinking.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 2:49 PM
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I don't know what to make of this alleged suicide attempt. I hope that he gets sent/taken out of Rwanda all quick-like too.

352.2 seems a useful guide for a non-lawyer like me.

I see from the article that Mr. Blandings linked though that Erlinder was representing Agathe Habyarimana in a suit against President Kagame in a suit alleging his responsibility for the rocket attack that killed the former Rwandan and Burundian presidents, not defending her against the charges that have recently been brought against her in France. Which ... I mean the scholars I know don't buy that interpretation (or, for that matter, that she herself ordered the attack), but no one really knows. But if you've filed a lawsuit against the President of a country not known for his respect for civil liberties, and then you go to that country to defend someone on charges that could just as easily apply to your own public statements, well it seems like playing with fire, if not, you know, spraying lighter fluid all around.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 3:05 PM
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355: Yeah, although one of the aspects of the genocide that I've yet to be able to wrap my head around is that several of the survivors that I've met/read about were able to escape by paying bribes from wherever they were to the border. From outside this scenario you'd think, "Why wouldn't they just shoot them and take all of the money?" I guess this is one of those situations where it's useful to have a culture of corruption.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 3:21 PM
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On topic, but it feels like off topic, I just got an email from my mother's (and teo's) very liberal congressman saying that the US needs to condemn *Turkey* for supporting the flotilla. Honestly, I can't take it anymore.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 3:30 PM
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359: Weiner?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 3:35 PM
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361

360: Pallone.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 3:38 PM
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359:
See how much more soothing it is to think about a genocide from 15 years ago? (OK, not really, but I had briefly forgotten the Israeli horribleness.)


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 3:39 PM
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This is really frustrating to watch.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 8:46 PM
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From this NYT article:

Israel would insist that any approach take into account three factors: Israel's security; the need to prevent any benefit to Hamas, the Islamist rulers of Gaza; and the four-year-old captivity of an Israeli soldier held by Hamas, Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit.

I'm thinking that a country that just killed nine third-country civilians isn't in the greatest moral position to be insisting that freeing one of their soldiers is a prerequisite to any change in a profoundly fucked-up policy. I guess that makes me an anti-Semite.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-10 9:52 PM
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