Achieving Peace in the Middle East

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by KnightWriter, Sep 23, 2002.

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  1. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    With yesterday's bombing by yet another Palestinian suicide terrorist, the fragile peace is now in question. I don't have doubts that Syria is behind it to disrupt the process.

    I hope Abbas cracks down on these terror groups, but he is in the most uncomfortable position possible.

    At least Sharon has made the gesture to remove all Israeli settlements from the Gaza strip.

    //sigh

    This is why peace is so difficult.

    You have certain Palestinians that will never be satisfied until Israel is wiped off the map. Certain Israeli settlers feel that way as well, but they don't instigate suicide terrorism. The settlers do eventually obey the will of the Israeli government when made to leave their homes, although sometimes after much voiciferous opposition.

    And of course, you have the occasional settler nut. The kind that shot Rabin.

    However, much of the blame if this falls apart will once again rest on the shoulders of the terrorists who will stop at nothing to prevent a deal and continue their fight.
  2. DarthArsenal6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2001
    star 5
    ^ Just like our old friends the real IRA
    if you know what i mean DM ;)
  3. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Even so, for an ex-General you'd have thought Sharon had worked out by now that saying 'no more bombs or the deal's off' is strategically unwise on two counts:

    1. The initiative is passed to the terrorists.
    2. The moderate leader is undermined, in this case Abbas.

    Yes the bombing are heinous, so were quite a few in N.Ireland yet, there, the only way forward was by giving the extremists the finger and continuing forward.

    Maybe Sharon's line is intended as public rhetoric only, but I suspect the terrorists must be celebrating a success.

    JB
  4. DarthArsenal6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2001
    star 5
    Extremist Ben you mean from either side right ?
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Pretty much.

    On the Palestinian side there is Hamas and others, who proclaim a desire to drive the Israelis into the sea to reclaim land they see as stolen. Ok, they may have a point in regard to 1948, but how is doing unto others as your predecessors 40 years ago were done by going to improve things? (This also applies to the Israelis to a degree.)

    On the Israeli side there are the Greater (Biblical) Israel nuts. Sorry but there is no other description for them, they seriously believe they have a prior 5,000 year claim on the land? How much of a mess would the world be in if everyone got in on this one? It's ludicrous.

    Loking at the N.Ireland situation there has been steady progress, to the point where Sinn Fein are now starting to appear unreasonable in the wake of grudging but given Unionist concessions on the army precence and police. At present there is a revolt against the IRA within republicanism! Yet the whole time each side has been trying to get its own way whilst British & Irish govts have kept it on track as best they can, despite bombings and killings and punishment beatings by both catholic and protestant paramiltaries.

    Middle East differences? Not much bar scale. The treatment each side gives to the other is more severe, for example to match Israeli action in the West Bank the pre-partition 1920s would have to be the best match. (Was as ineffective too.) Similarly, for all its intent, the IRA learned killing civilians by design was counter-productive. There was a minimum of rationality in N.Ireland that is near totally absent from the Middle East Israeli-Palestinian: It's like 2 people who can't die shooting each other, even though they know the utcome because they see no other option and if anyone were to ask them why they don't stop shooting, say A & B, each would look at the other and say: you first. Then, if one did stop, a second person on one side, C, would shoot A thus A shoots B for C's shooting of him and then calls in D to shoot C because he's been shot again by B and so it resumes in a crazy merry-go-round.

    Why? Best guess: Too much violence coupled with so many broken promises, on both sides, have annihilated any faith there is a way out. Or each side is still indulging itself with the illusion there is an easy out:

    Israel: The bombings will stop and we will have security.

    Palestinian: The Isrealis will stop harassing us and allow us to live freely.

    Reality: Ain't gonna to happen! Yes, the Israeli troops could probably behave better, but they will withdraw in phases and only after being convinced they are not needed; (although Jewish settlers seem to have the personal arsenal of a small army anyway,) yes, the bombings might stop but that doesn't mean you'll ever have total security, it only takes 1 nutcase after all.

    That said each side seems capable of granting faith to the other but will or can not hold it beyond the first test. So the Israelis cite a provocation and bulldoze a home, Palestinians' faith is bust, the Israelis are hit with a suicide bomber and their faith in Abbas goes up in smoke. What does this tell the hardliners? Keep the Palestinians under a steel fist, it's all they understand; keep killing the Israelis, it's all they understand. Why? They killed us, they destroyed our home for the sins of another. It's surely idiotic to blame the entire Israeli population for the acts of a few soldiers who carried out a less-than-great order, equally the notion that Abbas has suicide bombers at his beck and call is nuts. He doesn't command that kind of insane devotion. But, this is only obvious when not being blinded by vengeance, which lends itself very easily to general, collective judgements to punish all of a group for the sins of a few.

    No idea how to solve it, but may as well attempt a good diagnosis.

    JB
  6. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Well, I don't wanna say I told you so, but I told you so.

    Democracy will spread in the mid-east. All people want democracy.
  7. MajorMajorMajorMajor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2001
    star 2
    More along those same lines...

    Lebanon, Syria, positive developments

    On Monday February 28th, as Israel summoned foreign ambassadors to present what it said was evidence that Syrian-backed Hizbullah militants were behind the Tel Aviv bombing, thousands of Lebanese staged anti-Syrian protests in the streets of Beirut?defying an official ban. As Lebanese parliamentarians debated a motion of no confidence in the country's pro-Syrian administration, the prime minister, Omar Karami, interrupted the proceedings to announce that his government was resigning, to avoid becoming ?an obstacle to the good of the country?. This surprise announcement was not the only sign in the past few days that the pressure on Syria and its allies is beginning to bear fruit: at the weekend, Iraqi officials said that the Syrian regime had handed over to them a fugitive half-brother of Saddam Hussein.

    ...Despite their deep disagreements over Iraq, Presidents George Bush and Jacques Chirac are agreed that the Syrian occupation of Lebanon must end. They were the prime movers behind UN Security Council Resolution 1559, passed last September, which orders all foreign troops out of Lebanon. Anti-Syrian sentiment among the Lebanese had been hardening even before the murder of Hariri, who had turned against Syria and had looked set to make a comeback as prime minister in Lebanon?s forthcoming elections. Whether or not Syria connived in his killing, it has led to a further intensifying of the international and domestic pressure to pull out its soldiers

    ...Many Lebanese have launched what they are calling a ?peaceful intifada? to push the Syrians out. Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the country's Druze minority, cheered the downfall of the pro-Syrian government, saying the ?people have won?. Other opposition leaders said that protests would continue until Syria withdrew its troops. Lebanon?s own armed forces, though present on the streets during Monday?s demonstration, notably made little effort to enforce the ban on protests, though some demonstrators were turned back at checkpoints.

    Besides demanding the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, the UN?s resolution calls for the disarming of all private militias in the country. In fact, Hizbullah is the only such militia still under arms. From its southern Lebanese base, the group, which is backed by Iran as well as Syria, occasionally launches attacks on northern Israel.

    ...Israel would probably seek a tacit nod from America before launching any fresh attack. In an interview in Italy?s La Repubblica on Monday, Syria?s President Bashir Assad said he fears America itself is also gearing up for an attack on his country. A few days earlier, Mr Assad had told Turkey?s Hurriyet that he wanted direct talks with the Bush administration to ease tensions between the two countries.

    Perhaps in an attempt to stave off either a direct American attack or American-backed Israeli reprisals, the Syrian regime appears to have assisted in the Iraqi forces? arrest over the weekend of Saddam?s half-brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti, who is suspected of having directed the Iraqi insurgency from Syria. Some reports said the Syrians arrested Mr Sabawi and handed him over to the Iraqis, others that he was detained inside Iraq, along with a group of insurgents. Mr Assad?s government was recently presented by the Iraqis with a list of insurgents, suspected of hiding in Syria, that they want handed over. If the fear of American-backed military action is now forcing Mr Assad to be more helpful, the Iraqis? attempts to round up the ringleaders of the insurgency should receive a welcome boost.
  8. DarthArsenal6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2001
    star 5
    Just saying Ben
    Didn't want to see this agruement on sided :)

    anyway.....

    Democracy is spreading in the Middleeast but type is it ?
  9. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    Democracy will spread in the mid-east. All people want democracy.

    Yup.
  10. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Uh-huh.

    Is that like "all people want to be Muslim?"

    Or Christian?

    Or Jewish?

    I have to wonder about that.....

    By the way, I think the Syrians are trying to placate us with one hand while continuing to aid and abet terrorists with the other.

    Won't work with Bush in office. He'll get 'em.

    Peace,

    V-03
  11. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Democracy will spread in the mid-east. All people want democracy.

    Yup.


    See Also: Said, Edward S, Orientalism

    E_S
  12. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Well DA, maybe my last post was a bit more even.

    As to the question about democracy, unsure of what's meant by type?

    One thing I would advise is that people take the long view on democratising the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter. The countries that are just starting out on democracy are going to take time, probably a few decades to truly become democratic.

    Why? It's one thing to tell people they are free to live and participate in a democracy, it's another for them to know and feel it is true, especially when there is no experience of democracy.

    That said, the long view has to balanced with attention to the present because there is no shortage of aborted delocracies, say Weimar Germany for example.

    JB
  13. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with Iraq.

    Saudi Arabia is having elections for the first time in like 40 years (I admit they aren't perfectly fair elections, but it's at least a step in the right direction). This has happened BECAUSE of the elections in Iraq. Lebanon is really the same situation. Afghanistan is also another example of a budding democracy thanks to Bush and his policies.

    A recognized sovereign nation was invaded and it's government overthrown under false accusations of imminent threat to America, resulting in nearly 2,000 american deaths and 10,000 American wounded.

    That's a drop in a bucket when compared to other wars. I haven't personally spoken to a soldier yet that has said the sacrifice wasn't worth it. Many of them go over there and develop a love for the Iraqis and they have told me that helping those people get out from under Saddam's thumb was more than worth the sacrifice.

    Tens of thousands of Iraqi people have been murdered by invading western forces in their sweep to seize control of the nation (of which they still hold little true control).

    Again, a drop in a bucket compared to over one million that died under Saddam's tyranny.

    These same thousands your savior, George W Bush, called "necessary collateral damage".

    Unfortunately every war has innocents die. It's a sad hard fact that can't be avoided. But that doesn't mean the war hasn't been a good thing. Innocents died during World War II. Do you also think that war was unnecessary?

    From this invasion, the region has destabilized, creating more and more terroist cells now with the singlemost driving purpose: to repel the invaders out of their homeland with deadly force.

    The terrorists have been on the run for over two years now. They tried their hardest to stop the Iraqi election and they failed. They tried to stop the election in Afghanistan and they failed. They are failing in Lebanon, Saudi Arabi, and Palestine as well. Maybe instead of fearing terrorism and thinking it is mightier than the spread of democracy, you should do a self analysis of your values and facts and realize that you just might be a bit pessimistic here. ;)
  14. black_saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    Demorcey needs to be in the Middle East/Muslim world and all of Africa. Asia needs it to Especally South America Drug Dealears who are also the Problem there.
  15. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    Truly democracy is taking hold in Iraq and the people are sick and tired of the terrorists.

    Foxnews is reporting an interesting article about Ted Kennedy. However it's not necessarily the bit about Kennedy that caught my interest (although the last paragraph got a bit of a chuckle out of me), but the following quotation from the AP; "Thousands of mostly black-clad Iraqis protested Tuesday outside a medical clinic where a suicide car bomber killed 125 people a day earlier, braving the threat of another attack as they waved clenched fists, condemned foreign fighters and chanted 'No to terrorism!'"

    That's so awesome. These people are basically giving the finger to the terrosts and saying GET OUT at the risk of being murdered themselves. Such bravery is something they should be proud of and the rest of the world should be standing right alongside with them. I know America is. ;)
  16. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Truly democracy is taking hold in Iraq and the people are sick and tired of the terrorists.

    Maybe. I hope so, but it'll take years for it to truly take hold, not just months.
  17. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Decades, even.

    This is not an area of the world with a democratic tradition, and things take time.

    Peace,

    V-03
  18. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Well, the Lebanese middle class is ostensibly strong enough again to return to running Lebanon, without Syria's aid; and Egyptians are protesting against Hosni Mubarak after his 24 unchallenged years as President.

    Hands up who wants to credit Mr Bush and Iraq for this? I'm ready with a history and political smackdown for anyone who wants to engage in their own little "false hoc" world! [face_devil]

    E_S
  19. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    Posted by E_S in the Kyrgyzstan thread:
    I vote for the conservative party here, I don't like the Democrats int he US, but unlike most here I have a good and not superficial knowledge of MidEast politics. So bear that in mind when I say: George W Bush had no effect, what-so-*******-ever ont he reforms int he Middle East. None. Nothing. IF you knew a little about Lebanese politics, you wouldn't blame the move against Syria on the Iraqi elections/Afghanistan etc. Nor would you falsely attribute any reforms in the area to the US' plan in Iraq. If, however, your knowledge was lacking, you would happily link the two. Happily. Blissfully, as in "ignorance is bliss" happily.

    Now, if people can do a little research and stop using false hoc correlations to insist the Iraqi elections influenced these things (which is as vapid a remark as it is inaccurate), I can stop being in a position to make leftys agree, which is not cool at all.


    Ok, I'm going to try really hard to be civil with you E_S despite your rude behavior in this last statement that you made. Here's the thing, you are basically telling anyone who says that Bush has had a hand in bringing democracy to the middle east, no matter how small a hand he may have had, that they are morons and that you are super smart and know what you are talking about and that everyone else should just shutup. Your argument would hold WAY more credibility if you at least TRIED to show us why we are wrong. Basically what you have done is needlessly flamed a bunch of people without really contributing to the debate.

    Now I'm going to politely ask you to please share your supposed knowledge with us. Show us WHY Bush hasn't had ANY positive influence on the middle east's push toward democracy. If you can provide a good evidence to support your case I will gladly listen and reevaluate my position. So far all you've done is flame and it's not worth even listening to you.
  20. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Because, Vezner, I am tired of being implicitly insulted on a matter for which I spent 4 years at University becoming qualified to analyse but people who simply say "After the Iraqi election, therefore, because of the Iraqi election."

    In other words, post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    I'm not going to deal with Egypt yet, because it would involve a long and complicated history of the EMB and frankly I'm tired after today's rally.

    So I'll move onto the Lebanon.

    The notion that Mr Bush brought "democracy" to the Middle East, with Lebanon as an example, is silly. I'm sorry, but it is. Anyone who knows anything about the Lebanon will know it is a democracy.

    So, a wee bit of history on Lebanese politics. Oh, for the sake of disclosure, my professor was Dr Andrew Vincent, who was a diplomat in the Lebanon during the Civil War. So I trust his views on Lebanese politics and no, I haven't seen him since 2003 so I haven't asked him about the Iraq "connection."

    Lebanon was, until the civil war, the most modern and prosperous MidEast state, described as being the Paris of the Arab world. The business and political hierarchy was dominated by Maronites, and a certain number of seats in the national assembly were guaranteed to Maronites. Under the al Mithaq al Watani, an informal pact, the President was to be a Maronite, the Prime Minister and Speaker of the Assembly a Sunni. Most importantly for the purpose of discussion, the Christian Maronited were guaranteed seats at a 6:5 ratio.

    A contentious mix, perhaps.

    After the 1967, and later 1973 Arab wars with Israel, Lebanon found itself hosting an extraordinary number of Palestinian refugees (many from the PLO), the management of whom became contentious enough to cause massive internal disputes and eventually, in 1975, all out civil war.

    The Maronites were getting, well, owned as they were fighting Sunni, Druze and Palestinian forces. In comes the "benevolent" Syria on behalf of the Maronites, and as the government didn't exist, Syria began to administer the Lebanon.

    (The irony of Syria fighting the PLO shouldn't be lost on anyone here).

    During this period, the Maronites buggered off out of Lebanon, to Australia and to America amongst many. With them went most of Lebanon's financial know how, political base, and as nature abhors a vacuum, fundamentalism grew. We should all know what became of Lebanon during the 80's, right?

    Fast forward to the early-to-mid-1990's, when the situation has stablised enough to let the Maronites go back. Lebanon starts to recover.

    Fast foward again to the present. The opposition weren't emboldened by the US actions in Iraq, they were busy reclaiming what Lebanon had been. Then, someone kills Rafiq Hariri, and we see a country divided between Maronite and Sunni lines united against a Syria they didn't ask to take over the country. It doesn't matter if you're a Maronite and so is Emile Lahoud; it matters if you're Lebanese or not.

    This was always going to happen, whether or not Mr Bush talked tough with Syria once or twice. It was the product of something started before Reagan's term; it was an inevitability that once the Lebanese, with their spitir, would do what they did for decades before it went to hell in a handbasket. To suggest they were beholden to a shaky election timetable is, in my opinion, overeager wishful thinking.

    But you asked for proof, didn't you, Vezner?

    I can't offer you proof. I can tell you we were talking about the opposition in 1998 and 1999, and when this day would come, but you'd have to take my word on that, but if you give me some time I'll dig up some journal pieces on this. Remember, I'm not at home so I don't have the material present, much less the easy access to the net I had at home.

    But, it's up to you. You can think the Lebanese sat around waiting for Mr Bush to make a move, or you can think this was an activity 10 years in the making. But I ask you this; if 9/11
  21. Jedi_Master_Jogum Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2004
    star 2
    So I thought I'd breath life into this thread. There was a shooting today that might end the cease-fire truce between the Palestinians and Israelis. The Palestinians say the 3 kids that were killed were innocently playing a game of soccer, while Israel military forces maintain that the kids were engaging in illegal border activity.

    Even if it was illegal border activity, is that really a reason to shoot teenagers? What is going on here? Why are the Israeli forces so quick to fire? I am sure someone here can help me out with these questions.


    J_M_J.
  22. Special_Fred Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    You'd be "quick to fire" too if you'd been fighting to keep suicide bombers (some of whom are teenagers) from killing your people for decades.
  23. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Even if it was illegal border activity, is that really a reason to shoot teenagers? What is going on here? Why are the Israeli forces so quick to fire?

    Maybe this would be the perfect time to find out for yourself and actually do some research.

    What if these teenagers were planting a bomb?

    What if they were playing soccer?

    You have already made a judgement, while at the same time admitting that you don't even know the facts.

    After looking over a couple of different sources, maybe you can come back to the thread, and we can discuss some of the issues you found.

  24. Jedi_Master_Jogum Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2004
    star 2
    According to Al Jazeera and AP, a palestinian man claims he saw the teenagers playing soccer. He adds that the ball was kicked toward the border fence and the teens went after it. Again from both sources, an Israeli commander maintains that the teenagers were conducting illegal border activity (smuggling of some sort). Al Jazeera reported that the boys ignored warning shots fired by the soldiers.

    I wasn't trying to make judgements in my last post; I was just trying to see if anyone knew anything more. I think it is possible that the israeli forces fired too soon, but it would appear that they were within their military protocol to do so.

    *I can't spell.
  25. LORDeron_MAULer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2003
    star 4
    concflcit in iraq and afghanistan and such...aren't they different entirely than the paletinia/israeli thing...that will require a lot of changes to be solved, if it ever is brought toa peacful conclusion
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