Israel vs Hamas

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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby Jebusrocks » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:55 pm

You need to define that further. Governments take action all the time to undermine the popular support of other country's citizens, be it economic/diplomatic/etc, in order to accomplish a goal. That alone is far from state terrorism.


I did! by targeting civilians :)

You seem to repeat the term 'force into surrender'. Surrender isn't a necessary component of terrorism, be it regular terrorism or state terrorism. All that is necessary is to use violence to achieve influence political decisions. That alone is a vague definition so we'd need to pin it down.


True! Though it is the ultimate goal


I'm sorry, you're intermixing too many things here. Your first example is the actions of one government body, who is actively at a state of declared war, using military force against the territory of another established government. You'd need to show that the intended targets were purely civilian, and even then it'd likely amount to a war crime and not what we typically consider terrorism.

Your latter example, while completely unlike the former, is an actual and fairly standard example of terrorism. The use of violence by a non-government body aimed only at civilians of another country in an attempt to achieve a goal (not surrender).


Actually that is exactly what terrorism means, when the term was first coined on a military level (obivously the term existed long before that through other means, ie Reign of Terror and whatnot). You have to remember than during these times, enacting such a measure of violence without heavy military repercussions was not possible, even the best artillery required said targets to be within range. When the study of aeronautic warfare really took off in the interwar years, several studies by the Germans, French and the British yielded different results.

This is why the Spanish Civil War was considered a "testing ground" for new technologies. The destruction of Madrid made the French and the British believe that such an act of "terror" was a great method at breaking morale (the British had already been bombed by the Germans near the end of the Great War as well), whilst the Germans (who actually did the bombing) believed it yielded no results and changed their focus to dive bombing.

This is completely different from "conventional warfare" as they knew it. As the attacks brought no results on a strategic sense, it was considered an act of terror (and cowardice) as the bombing runs were specifically targeting citizens to break morale (something that was not quantifiably measured anyhow)

Like I stated, the only difference between 9/11 and the Allied bombings was that they did not have the capacity to enact more measures of violence, as they were severely limited (cuz they aren't a nation-state)

The 'terrorism' has often been misinterpreted and misused as the definition changed during the '90s, and even more so after 9/11 because NATO and their allies wanted to hide their acts of terrorism, as well as target the word specifically to attack Muslim extremists. "terrorism" in the modern definition in 2014 has all but lost its purpose.

You're assuming the goals were only to achieve this, and not to hinder production of military supplies.


Read any study done by the USAF and RAF during these times, the carpet bombing of cities was done very specifically to destroy morale. They didn't have the capacity that we have today with bombers! A bomb is accurate by a range of 2 miles at the altitude most bombers operated (because of AA fire), and thus targeting specific military supplies was impossible. Ya sure, they might hit soldiers on the streets, or a military production factory, and whatnot, but they were never the intended targets. Furthermore, cities like Dresden had no military production or supply whatsoever.


The two Atomic Bombs to certain extent was also another act of terror. There is still a lot of ongoing debate as to whether or not the Atomic bombs actually led to the surrender of the Japanese, most agreeing that it did not (it was in fact, Operation August Storm that led to Japanese surrender)

No they don't. And Western Nations rarely have, if ever have, carried out acts of terrorism.


I just stated a bunch of references that they do. The Americans are also known for bombing civilian targets in Kosovo and even in Iraq after the Gulf War (specifically water treatment facilities).

If you're not willing to look into, become knowledgeable about, and speak on IDF combat tactics in a government sanctioned military campaign then I think we should avoid throwing out grave insults like 'terrorists'. In fact, if you disagree with specific IDF tactics (which is fine) then call those acts out. As it is, nothing is 'obviously an act of terror' about the IDF's current or past campaign. At best I can agree that I think there's been an unnecessarily high civilian toll in their campaign against Hamas (intended targets).



This is another thing. TERRORISM IS NOT AN INSULT, IT IS A MILITARY STRATEGY. People have negative connotations about terrorism now (which i guess is a good thing) because the term was redefined in the Bush administration specifically to villanize Muslim extremists.

Acts of terror (which some would argue has been redefined by the military as "Shock and Awe", though i don't agree with this thought) is a military operation intended to break civilian morale. Some (mostly right-leaning) argue that it is an effective military undertaking, while most (mainly military historians and virtually every study done about the subject) argue that it is not.

Also, I said I wasn't paying attention to this specific topic. I have however, studied a lot about the Six Day War, Yom Kippur, and the intifadas (even wrote a paper on the Yom Kippur)


Its far from incompetent, but it also has an insanely difficult task that you seem (from your armchair general fortress) to think is insanely easier and the line between acceptable risks and results is self-evidently black and white. Gaza is a relatively small place, it is packed with civilians and civilians structures and you're fighting militants who hide amongst them. The IDF has a job to do, the fact that they give civilians forewarning (thus betraying any element of surprise to their intended targets) is commendable even if they know some residents will not move. (The IDF can't make civilians move, but they can't stop doing their job either).


Yes, which is why what the Israelis are doing is an act of showing a measure of force to cower the enemy into submission...

The fact is, if the intended targets were indeed militants, the chances of them hitting a militant after forewarning is next to nothing. In this very specific situation, the results are very black and white. No militant will stay in a building if it has been forewarned. The only targets left in most situations are civilians! The tactic you described is the very definition of incompetence, and the IDF are not incompetent, they knew exactly what they were doing.

Having said that, the reason western powers used terrorism is because it is safe for their own men. The best option for the Israelis in solving this conflict would be to send men into the areas, but that might not yield results (as militants are often hiding under civilian attire) and more importantly, it might cost them lives. The primary reason allied bombings of Germany by the RAF was carried out was because the Soviets were begging for another Front, and the only way the British had of achieving this was attempt terror (which failed massively). The IDF has NO CHOICE really but to enact measures of terrorism as it is the ONLY way they have to combating Hamas (unless they want to undergo a huge military operation, which no country wants to do, especially Israel).

This is the other big question about terrorism. It is ineffective, we know that now (even in Palestine people are clamoring against Israel, both domestically and overs Beas).ut sometimes it is the only method, and you have to retaliate somehow. The Allies justified these actions by stating that they HAD to do something to stop the Fascists from winning the war. There are huge debates today about how the Allied bombings should be seen by the public (with veterans forcing museums to take down images and descriptions that portray them in a negative light here in Canada). You're right, it is an insanely different task, so much so that targeting of civilians might be the only way to show force.

Regardless of my thoughts on the feasibility of it for certain individuals, my answer to your question is...reasonable people. If the military told me they'd be shelling my location due to suspected military targets I would leave my area.


It is not reasonable. It is morally upright! And in doing so, they take away any logic to the operation if it was targeting specific Hamas militants, which, in my opinion, it was not. Of course the IDF wants to avoid civilian casualties, but they cannot stand idly by while Hamas kidnaps their kids and launches rockets. Denying the fact that their counterattacks were anything but targeting civilians however is being blind.

Lastly, your last assertion would imply the opposite of an act of terror. A state giving ample warning to civilians that their military will be conducting operations at their location and against militants is the opposite of what terrorists typically do. What that is, is basic decency and military protocol.


This would be true, if it accomplished the intended purpose, which it doesn't. The Israelis know this, they're not stupid.

At the end of the day, i think we disagree because we define terrorism differently which is fine ^_^. I just wanted to share my POV. I would share some articles on this with you, but unfortunately they are all blocked unless your university allows access to said materials.
Last edited by Jebusrocks on Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:13 pm

Terrorism may once have meant something else but now it is a loaded term referring to a type of warfare or crime. Bombing camapigns, ye god old shock and awe may be fairly new and may once have come under terrorism but I think nowadays, bombing camapigns and terrorism are seen as two different things
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby Jebusrocks » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:22 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Terrorism may once have meant something else but now it is a loaded term referring to a type of warfare or crime. Bombing camapigns, ye god old shock and awe may be fairly new and may once have come under terrorism but I think nowadays, bombing camapigns and terrorism are seen as two different things


Ya, and I think thats mostly my fault haha. As someone who studies history almost exclusively, I have a hard time redefining certain things that have changed in the modern world. I'm just not in agreeance with the idea that "terrorism" is necessarily a bad thing (I mean its bad, but war and violence in themselves are bad) and that we westerners have enacted horrors that make what the Muslim extremists do look like nothing. It also just feels like a term Bush and neo-conservatives invented just to propagandate an attack against Muslim extremists (I mean don't get me wrong, i have no sympathy for extremists of any sort, but still, that word meant something, now politicians use it pretty much against anyone they see as enemies)
It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:17 pm

Jebusrocks wrote:
I did! by targeting civilians :)


Civilians was not mentioned in your original definition. Your definition was :

"I define terror as an act of intimidating a country into submission by breaking its morale and support".

A 'country' is not exclusively civilians.


True! Though it is the ultimate goal


Not at all. Terrorists may be zealot idiots, but they have no delusions they'll conquer foreign lands (America). Most terrorists organizations in fact merely claim their right to attack foreign lands based on past and current grievances.




Actually that is exactly what terrorism means, when the term was first coined on a military level (obivously the term existed long before that through other means, ie Reign of Terror and whatnot). You have to remember than during these times, enacting such a measure of violence without heavy military repercussions was not possible, even the best artillery required said targets to be within range. When the study of aeronautic warfare really took off in the interwar years, several studies by the Germans, French and the British yielded different results.

This is why the Spanish Civil War was considered a "testing ground" for new technologies. The destruction of Madrid made the French and the British believe that such an act of "terror" was a great method at breaking morale (the British had already been bombed by the Germans near the end of the Great War as well), whilst the Germans (who actually did the bombing) believed it yielded no results and changed their focus to dive bombing.

This is completely different from "conventional warfare" as they knew it. As the attacks brought no results on a strategic sense, it was considered an act of terror (and cowardice) as the bombing runs were specifically targeting citizens to break morale (something that was not quantifiably measured anyhow)


This recitation was a waste of time, and essentially conceded you're not relating it to the current term 'terrorism' as we know it. Any deviation from conventional warfare is not terrorism. It adds nothing to the discussion or usefulness of the term.

Like I stated, the only difference between 9/11 and the Allied bombings was that they did not have the capacity to enact more measures of violence, as they were severely limited (cuz they aren't a nation-state)


Yea. No. I'm not sure who 'they' are, but there's a severe difference between an established long-standing government/country vs. another long-standing government/country engaging in declaring warfare and subjecting themselves to the articles of warfare than terrorist groups launching paramilitary campaigns against civilians targets. I'm not sure how much clearer that distinction needs to be made.

The 'terrorism' has often been misinterpreted and misused as the definition changed during the '90s, and even more so after 9/11 because NATO and their allies wanted to hide their acts of terrorism, as well as target the word specifically to attack Muslim extremists. "terrorism" in the modern definition in 2014 has all but lost its purpose.


I'd sincerely disagree. I'd say the word has come into meaning that before was borderline trivial. In its previous context, as you seem to employ it, its attached to anything other than solider of country X shooting at soldier of country Y. Now it has a proper context and we're not wasting time.



Read any study done by the USAF and RAF during these times, the carpet bombing of cities was done very specifically to destroy morale. They didn't have the capacity that we have today with bombers! A bomb is accurate by a range of 2 miles at the altitude most bombers operated (because of AA fire), and thus targeting specific military supplies was impossible. Ya sure, they might hit soldiers on the streets, or a military production factory, and whatnot, but they were never the intended targets. Furthermore, cities like Dresden had no military production or supply whatsoever.


Thats been pretty debated and most all of the listed cities had military support.


The two Atomic Bombs to certain extent was also another act of terror. There is still a lot of ongoing debate as to whether or not the Atomic bombs actually led to the surrender of the Japanese, most agreeing that it did not (it was in fact, Operation August Storm that led to Japanese surrender)


Both cities have military support capabilities, including harbors and railways IIRC.


I just stated a bunch of references that they do. The Americans are also known for bombing civilian targets in Kosovo and even in Iraq after the Gulf War (specifically water treatment facilities).


No, they haven't. You seem to obscure facts to fit your theory.




This is another thing. TERRORISM IS NOT AN INSULT, IT IS A MILITARY STRATEGY. People have negative connotations about terrorism now (which i guess is a good thing) because the term was redefined in the Bush administration specifically to villanize Muslim extremists.


It certainly is a military strategy. I don't think my statement led the an opposite conclusion. However, it isn't considered an honorable act. If you can't understand this, then I at a loss to explain that to you. Keep trying to redefine the concept, maybe you'll romanticize the tactics eventually.

Acts of terror (which some would argue has been redefined by the military as "Shock and Awe", though i don't agree with this thought) is a military operation intended to break civilian morale.


No, it is not. Acts of terror are not intended to break 'civilian morale' Acts of terror are intended to influence political decision. For instance, the decision to be involved in a certain theater of the world. It has nothing to do with breaking the morale back home.

Some (mostly right-leaning) argue that it is an effective military undertaking, while most (mainly military historians and virtually every study done about the subject) argue that it is not.


Cool. I guess economic and diplomatic sanctions now qualify nation-states as sponsors of terrorism.

Also, I said I wasn't paying attention to this specific topic. I have however, studied a lot about the Six Day War, Yom Kippur, and the intifadas (even wrote a paper on the Yom Kippur)


Great. If you dont' want to pay attention perhaps throwing round weighted terms isn't the most responsible behavior.


I
Yes, which is why what the Israelis are doing is an act of showing a measure of force to cower the enemy into submission...


Enemy. Intended enemy. Being Hamas. Not Palestinian civilians. Making distinctions seems to trouble you.

The fact is, if the intended targets were indeed militants, the chances of them hitting a
militant after forewarning is next to nothing.


I'm not sure, linguistically, what this sentence even means. If you mean to say that a state forewarning civilians while intending to hit militants decreases the chance of hitting militants. Sure I agree. Even though...they are still killing militants. By your own statement it isnt' like the civilians, noless the miliants, have very much places to go.

In this very specific situation, the results are very black and white. No militant will stay in a building if it has been forewarned. The only targets left in most situations are civilians! The tactic you described is the very definition of incompetence, and the IDF are not incompetent, they knew exactly what they were doing.


I don't think you know what the word 'incompetence' means. If what you suggest was accurate, what the IDF would be doing would be callous, not incompetent. The warnings are not for militants, they are for civilians. Considering the militants of Hamas want to engage the IDF, I'd wager they'd stick around. Furthermore, following your logic the IDF seems to have only two options. They can either be the merciful nation and warn the innocent civilians before hand, risking losing the targets but taking the higher ground. Or they can not, and kill the militants they believe to be there and risk higher civilians tolls.


Having said that, the reason western powers used terrorism is because it is safe for their own men.


This is nonsensical. Western Powers do not have to use 'terrorism' to safeguard their own men. Western powers can, and do, engage in conventional warfare and and protect their own personnel. Western air and naval power is a fairly obvious example.

The best option for the Israelis in solving this conflict would be to send men into the areas, but that might not yield results (as militants are often hiding under civilian attire) and more importantly, it might cost them lives.


You must not be actually reading events, the IDF is and has been sending men into conflict areas.

The IDF has NO CHOICE really but to enact measures of terrorism as it is the ONLY way they have to combating Hamas (unless they want to undergo a huge military operation, which no country wants to do, especially Israel).


Again, you obviously aren't even keeping up not only on this conflict but the other you've said you've 'studied extensively'. Sure, the IDF is relying heavily on air strikes, but they've also engaged ground troops in this (and most other campaigns). Blindly ascribing these acts of conventionl warfare as 'acts of terrorism' makes the word 'terrorism' meaningless and indistinct.

This is the other big question about terrorism. It is ineffective, we know that now (even in Palestine people are clamoring against Israel, both domestically and overs Beas).ut sometimes it is the only method, and you have to retaliate somehow. The Allies justified these actions by stating that they HAD to do something to stop the Fascists from winning the war. There are huge debates today about how the Allied bombings should be seen by the public (with veterans forcing museums to take down images and descriptions that portray them in a negative light here in Canada). You're right, it is an insanely different task, so much so that targeting of civilians might be the only way to show force.


I started to deconstruct this rambling wall of text, but it just isn't worth it.


It is not reasonable. It is morally upright! And in doing so, they take away any logic to the operation if it was targeting specific Hamas militants, which, in my opinion, it was not.


You seem to jump around in a steam of consciousness. Let me get this straight, it is not reasonable for an individual human being to leave an area in which they know a military operation/strike is about to conducted?

Also, you can believe what you want, the IDF designates their targets. It lays them out fairly plainly. It is Hamas.

Of course the IDF wants to avoid civilian casualties, but they cannot stand idly by while Hamas kidnaps their kids and launches rockets.


What? Slow down before the contrdictions reach critical mass. Here you say the IDF wants to avoid civilian casualties. Two sentences above you say you don't believe Hamas is the intended targets of the IDF (implying that civilians are). Which one is it?



This would be true, if it accomplished the intended purpose, which it doesn't. The Israelis know this, they're not stupid.


No, it is irrelevant if it accomplishes its intended purpose. In fact, the fact that it doesn't accomplish its purpose tells you alot. You're right the IDF aren't idiots. What you can draw from that is that if they were more concerned about killing the militants than abiding by rules of war they'd just launch the attacks and not warn the populace.

At the end of the day, i think we disagree because we define terrorism differently which is fine ^_^. I just wanted to share my POV. I would share some articles on this with you, but unfortunately they are all blocked unless your university allows access to said materials.


I belong to no university, and you're right we seem to define terrorism entirely different. You seem to cling to some antiquated and largely useless form of the word which can be applied ambiguously to any use of force. What value you think this adds to the word in modern political discourse, I am at a loss.
Last edited by Shikanosuke on Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:38 pm

I think to call the Israeli forces terrorists is to really not understand what terrorism really is.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:14 am

Hmm. Lot to respond to here.

Shikanosuke wrote:There seems to be alot of 'he said she said'. Israel says the suspect who Shin Bet gave to them has confessed they had received instructions from Hamas leadership. Whether or not that confession is credible or not I'm not sure. But I'm fairly reluctant to act as if Hamas and this 'rogue' clan are truly separate. We know the clan funds Hamas. We know Hamas and the clan have a heavily-interlinked past, and likely present and future. I also believe Hamas was looking for a provocation. They'd been preparing, and the Unity government doesn't likely favor their tactics and cause. Furthermore, Hamas didn't come out of the gates condemning it. They praised it.

In addition to that, does it matter if two rogue clan agents perpetrated this? If we're to assume Hamas is in control of the area and they can't control/protect their territory from marauding bands of thugs/terrorists who will kidnap and execute Israelis then I think Hamas should expect the IDF to come knocking.


Well, you may or may not be surprised to hear that I agree with you on most of this. I do not approve of Hamas. I've made that quite clear. I think they're vultures. But in this case they happen to be vultures who bear a markedly lesser degree of guilt in the crime of killing these three teens. Praising a crime is not equivalent to actually doing it - otherwise a lot of troubled young women who write love letters to serial killers in prison would be facing multiple murder charges. That doesn't make the young women any less troubled, but they're not murderers.

Does it matter if the Qawasmehs are responsible rather than Hamas? I would imagine it does. If you're doing an honest police investigation (which is what the IDF ought to have been doing in this case), then you go after the actual suspects, rather than after members of the civilian populace who had nothing to do with the actual crime. If you're just using your police powers to bully the civilian populace, well, that's another matter.

Jebusrocks wrote:I still don't know why countries like Israel believe that acts of "terror" is an effective method of subduing a nation


Shikanosuke wrote:I think we have different definitions of 'terror' concerning the IDF tactics.


Jebusrocks wrote:I define terror as an act of intimidating a country into submission by breaking its morale and support. One of the biggest methods of "terrorism" was targeting civilians, attempting to break their morale and thus force a country to surrender.


Shikanosuke wrote:You need to define that further. Governments take action all the time to undermine the popular support of other country's citizens, be it economic/diplomatic/etc, in order to accomplish a goal. That alone is far from state terrorism.


Jebusrocks wrote:I did! by targeting civilians


Shikanosuke wrote:Civilians was not mentioned in your original definition.


Shik, you're absolutely right about the need for a more exacting standard of what constitutes terrorism. I remember that we had a thread way back when about this very topic and we two were quite active in hashing it out. I think agga had a pretty good definition going, though:

agga wrote:(Any act) intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act


I should note that this definition does not absolve the IDF of the charge of terrorism, though. They have indeed knowingly caused death and serious bodily harm to civilians and non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating the Palestinian population. The one thing which I think might clear them of terrorism is that it it still isn't clear at all to me what their goals are other than vengeance for the three dead teenagers. They certainly aren't impressing the surrounding governments into being more friendly to them. (Quite honestly, I don't think half the governments in the reason give a rat's hindquarters about the Palestinian people. Syria might be an exception, but they've got their own problems at the moment.)

Shikanosuke wrote:
DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:They're being victimized by Middle Eastern Muslims, who want to annihilate all Jews.


This is partly true, in its vague way. They are victims of rocket attacks and other terrorist activities. Those are carried out by Muslim extremists. But lets be careful lest we label all Middle Eastern Muslims as extremists who want to annihilate all Jews. Lets also note that a small minority of Jews have little to no regard for Palestinian life, and would care less to see them all annihilated. Extremists are represented on both sides of the conflict.


True. Jewish extremists are kind of on-record as excusing or supporting genocide and war rape. I don't see any difference at all between a Jew saying these sorts of things about Muslims and a Muslim saying these sorts of things about Jews - except that the Jews saying these sorts of things tend to be given free passes in Western news media.

SunXia wrote:Well that's where we get into Nationalism and the pride people hold in their national identity!! I come from Northern Ireland, a very divided part of the UK so I know all about how nationalism can affect your everyday routine!!

Personally, I'm Irish, I may be part of the UK but I was born and bred on the island of Ireland and I have an Irish passport, I'm Irish through and through, including my ancestors!! I don't need to see an Irish flag anywhere to know what I am and hell, I don't need a United Ireland to feel this way, I just am this way and I agree that the borders aren't something that is needed for that sense of identity!!


Fair enough. But, I mean, coming at this from an American point of view, nationality is a funny thing.

Most of us are immigrants, or descendants thereof. My ancestors hail from what's now the Czech Republic (probably from Pomerania before that, and from Israel well before that), from the Scottish Lowlands, from the West Midlands and from Franconian Hesse. I can speak a smattering of German and no Czech, Yiddish or Scots Gaelic at all. But for some reason I identify quite closely with Czech food (klobása and sauerkraut especially), Czech pilsners and Czech tea. I have strong feelings about Czech politics (and a particularly strong grudge against the late Václav Havel - that guy gave us all a bad name). I've been told I look Czech. I'm 'proud', for what it's worth, of being Czech.

But I'm not Czech, however much I might 'feel' Czech. At best, I'm Czech-American.

Nationality, insofar as it's something relevant, has more to do with stories people tell themselves and each other than it has to do with borders. And as such it's not a bad thing at all. Everybody has stories, just as everybody has memories and language to express them in. Each person was taught to speak by her mother and her father; was taught (hopefully) to love other people by her mother and her father. It's natural and good for people to love their 'patria', as it's natural and good for people to love their parents.

So the question becomes: are you telling a story of liberation or of conquest? Are you telling a story of achievement or of destruction? Are you telling yourself stories to nurse old grudges, or to become a stronger person? Are you seeking validation in the past or are you seeking to correct your mistakes going forward?

Nationalism isn't necessarily a black-and-white, good-or-bad question.

People narrate themselves as belonging to families, communities, tribes, language-groups, nations. That's a good thing. That's not going to disappear. But it becomes dangerous when they start thinking of their own story as overriding everyone else's. The question is: how do you channel that narrative tendency, that sense of belonging, into constructive and positive directions?

SunXia wrote:In terms of Scotland, they are doing it democratically, the Party advocating independence has been elected by the people and thus are legitimately allowed to introduce a bill or referendum if they choose!! It may not be perceived a something that is necessarily needed but if the people vote for it then it is something they want, such is the democratic way!!


Eh. I don't believe democracy or the people's will excuses everything. To give an extreme example (not to invoke Godwin here), Nazis were also elected to the German Diet. I hope (hope hope hope) that doesn't in itself bless their electoral programme and goals as just or needed...

Scotland and England were joined in their destinies in the person of King James I of England, VI of Scotland. They've been united ever since. That's not to say that there haven't been really problematic episodes, like the whole William of Orange thing when they slaughtered Scottish Catholics and repressed the hell out of anyone who refused to swear allegiance to William's dictatorial rule. (My dad's family were recusant Lowland-Scots Quakers living in Yorkshire. That's why they came to America in the first place, in the 1690's.) But they underwent industrialisation together, wars, reforms, imperial rise and decline. Personally I think it's pretty damn arrogant of the current generation of Scots to decide of a sudden that they want to undo all of that, and cut their immediate neighbours adrift who depend on the Union for their well-being.

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:I say "Go Israel". I know they're in the right. Sure, civilians get killed.


So, let me get this straight.

American police (belonging in a 'dangerous' profession) gunning down civilians, bad. Execute. But Israeli police (living in a 'dangerous' country) gunning down civilians, good. Support.

......

One question: do you, um, think about what you write, before you write it?

I know you kind of get touchy about these sorts of things, but that might be something to, you know, consider.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:31 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:
Does it matter if the Qawasmehs are responsible rather than Hamas? I would imagine it does. If you're doing an honest police investigation (which is what the IDF ought to have been doing in this case), then you go after the actual suspects, rather than after members of the civilian populace who had nothing to do with the actual crime. If you're just using your police powers to bully the civilian populace, well, that's another matter.


Well, to answer your question I would say in this instance yes. As I said before I'm not sure treating the Qawasmehs as a separate and distinct group from Hamas is entirely warranted. Even if it is warranted, this is a Hamas-controlled environment. I would suggest that now that Hamas has claimed responsibility for orchestrating the attack committed by these Qawasmehs, it renders this issue rather moot. We've moved beyond praising them.


Shik, you're absolutely right about the need for a more exacting standard of what constitutes terrorism. I remember that we had a thread way back when about this very topic and we two were quite active in hashing it out. I think agga had a pretty good definition going, though:

agga wrote:(Any act) intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act


I should note that this definition does not absolve the IDF of the charge of terrorism, though. They have indeed knowingly caused death and serious bodily harm to civilians and non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating the Palestinian population. The one thing which I think might clear them of terrorism is that it it still isn't clear at all to me what their goals are other than vengeance for the three dead teenagers. They certainly aren't impressing the surrounding governments into being more friendly to them. (Quite honestly, I don't think half the governments in the reason give a rat's hindquarters about the Palestinian people. Syria might be an exception, but they've got their own problems at the moment.)


My problem with your analysis here is you're interchanging the word 'knowingly' and 'intending'. The IDF, in conducting military operations in a civilian rich population such as Gaza, knows it will cause civilian deaths. The same can be said of nearly any military structure (such as America, Britain, Russia, etc). The difference is that IDF is not targeting the civilian populace, as it has gone way out of its way to show. They have laid out their intended target(s): Hamas.

Does that absolve it of the backlash and speculations about proportionality and risk of success? No.



I enjoyed your comments on nationality/nationalism.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:09 pm

Shikanosuke wrote:I would suggest that now that Hamas has claimed responsibility for orchestrating the attack committed by these Qawasmehs, it renders this issue rather moot. We've moved beyond praising them.


Well, about that...

Orlando Crowcroft, The Guardian wrote:Hugh Lovatt, Israel and Palestine coordinator at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said that while al-Arouri was a significant Hamas figure – serving as the group's most prominent representative in Turkey – the former militant could have an ulterior motive for making his claim.

"Given the timing I would be very suspicious about his claim. I still don't believe Hamas as an organisation and its upper echelons sanctioned the kidnappings – something that Israeli intelligence also believes," he said.

Lovatt said that al-Arouri may be trying to claim credit for the actions of others in an attempt to demonstrate his own continued sway in the West Bank and Hamas's ability to hit Israel after failing to secure significant concessions after six weeks of violence in Gaza.

"A second, more remote possibility, is that al-Arouri is telling the truth and that he has operated on his own initiative – a development with very worrying repercussions as it would imply a serious power struggle and splintering within Hamas," he said.


It looks like Hamas's culpability in the kidnapping is still rather in dispute, in spite of al-Arouri's posturing. (They do come off as pathetic shits in all this, though, don't they?) I still think a police action targeting Hamas would have been more appropriate than what OBK ended up being, which was a generalised roughing-up and rounding-up of random members of the Palestinian populace (from which Hamas must be carefully distinguished).

Shikanosuke wrote:The difference is that IDF is not targeting the civilian populace, as it has gone way out of its way to show. They have laid out their intended target(s): Hamas.


I will admit to being sceptical, given that over 3/4 of the deaths in Gaza have been civilian, rather than Hamas militants. I am, however, quite open to correction; do you have sourcing on this claim?

Shikanosuke wrote:I enjoyed your comments on nationality/nationalism.


Thanks! It's a topic I've been thinking a lot about these past couple of years.

On the one hand, there's something truly admirable about an ethic that can cause people to care for other people they don't know, simply because they speak the same language / share the same geographical expressions / honour the same traditions. On the other hand, I can see how dangerous it can be, particularly for people who don't have a politically-recognised nation. (The Roma come to mind.) I see a lot more grey on the topic now than I do black-and-white...
Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If I live long enough... I'm going to run out of samples.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:33 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:
Shikanosuke wrote:I would suggest that now that Hamas has claimed responsibility for orchestrating the attack committed by these Qawasmehs, it renders this issue rather moot. We've moved beyond praising them.


Well, about that...

Orlando Crowcroft, The Guardian wrote:Hugh Lovatt, Israel and Palestine coordinator at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said that while al-Arouri was a significant Hamas figure – serving as the group's most prominent representative in Turkey – the former militant could have an ulterior motive for making his claim.

"Given the timing I would be very suspicious about his claim. I still don't believe Hamas as an organisation and its upper echelons sanctioned the kidnappings – something that Israeli intelligence also believes," he said.

Lovatt said that al-Arouri may be trying to claim credit for the actions of others in an attempt to demonstrate his own continued sway in the West Bank and Hamas's ability to hit Israel after failing to secure significant concessions after six weeks of violence in Gaza.

"A second, more remote possibility, is that al-Arouri is telling the truth and that he has operated on his own initiative – a development with very worrying repercussions as it would imply a serious power struggle and splintering within Hamas," he said.


It looks like Hamas's culpability in the kidnapping is still rather in dispute, in spite of al-Arouri's posturing. (They do come off as pathetic shits in all this, though, don't they?) I still think a police action targeting Hamas would have been more appropriate than what OBK ended up being, which was a generalised roughing-up and rounding-up of random members of the Palestinian populace (from which Hamas must be carefully distinguished).


True, it is in dispute and I think that is part of the problem. The two groups are interlinked, and we have no idea if this is posturing on the part of a Hamas leader trying to rile up people or one guy who is not towing the 'deny deny deny' line. And again I'd suggest that even if Hamas hasn't orchestrated the event, they still bear responsibility for it.


I will admit to being sceptical, given that over 3/4 of the deaths in Gaza have been civilian, rather than Hamas militants. I am, however, quite open to correction; do you have sourcing on this claim?


Absolutely. Gleaning a target from Israel is fairly straight forward. They designate it, announce it, and even warn the populace to leave sites related to Hamas targets (something which I've even heard Palestinian civilians admit they're aware of who Hamas members often are). What you're drawing attention to is that the results are don't heavily favor they're goal of killing the militants while minimizing civilian collateral damage. I think before we act like its easy to take out militants who hide in civilian dense areas, we should ask if that is a reasonable position (not if the choice to undertake the operation itself is reasonable).

As I said before, I don't dispute that the ratio and results of their operations aren't open to criticism. It certainly can be. I think they've stated and that they mean to kill their intended targets. Now, whether or not they not they're choosing to accomplish that goal with serious concern for the surrounding civilians and civilian infrastructure is another question.
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Re: Israel vs Hamas

Unread postby bodidley » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:21 pm

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:Nationalism is one of the worst and most terrifying things there is, and creates so many problems. Personally, I'd be okay with one world nation. Humanity united.


The problem of forcing everyone into one nation is that people from different places have different cultures, different views and different desires. In general it would mean that strangers from another country have the power to rule over a different society. One system might work well in one country while people in another country might not find it suitable. Having one world nation assumes that one governing body can make all the right calls and denies the possibility for people to experiment or learn from each others' differences.
"We can't mortgage our childrens' future on a mountain of debt," - Barack Obama
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