The conflict isn’t about land, per se. It’s about an ideology that hates Jews. When the Jews of the 7th century, and others, didn’t accept Muhammad as the prophet of Islam, he became angry and eventually started killing those who rejected him. 1400 years of Islam’s history show us that the followers of Islam have warred against non-Muslim nations whenever they could. The Quran teaches that Muslims are to strive until all is for Allah; many are actively working to make that happen, as we see with ISIS. If you read the Quran, you’ll see that it is full of Jew-hatred. So no matter what peace deals are made, there will always be that hatred. How do you live in peace with those who want you dead?
Its time. This is a discussion that needs to be had out in the open.
I want to hear what BOTH SIDES have to say about Israel, Palestine, and all of the other players in the region have to say about the current conflict, Israel’s right to exists as a Jewish State in the region, Palestine’s right to exist in the region, Hamas’ role in the region, and anything else everyone can come up with related to this ongoing, complicated, issue.
To get it going, I’ve found a couple great links for people to read up on the history of the region.
This is from wikipedia but I still think it does a good and unbiased job of explaining the controversial history of the region. This link is related to Palestine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine
From what I can gather, it seems that the territory which is currently known as the State of Israel has long been disputed. Many different nations have controlled the area through out history. The region has been controlled by numerous different peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Sunni Arab Caliphates, the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mameluks, Ottomans, the British and modern Israelis and Palestinians.
The two major players in this conflict today are Israel and Palestine. The two were meant to find an agreement after the signing of the Olso Accords. The Olso Accords granted the Palestine Liberation Organization (now referred to as “Fatah”) the right to govern themselves, however full control would not be transferred over until their were certain agreements met by both sides. This right is referred to as Palestinian National Authority. Palestinian National Authority (controlled by PLO at the time) was meant to govern parts of the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank for a 5 year period. The PLO and Israel agreed to the Olso Accords, which were eventually meant to solve these issues: the borders of Israel and Palestine, the Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, the question of Israel’s military presence in and control over Palestine after the recognition of the Palestinian state by Israel, and the Palestinian right of return. This agreement was signed in 1993, and none of the above have been agreed upon, with the exception of granting most of the Gaza strip to Palestinian National Authority.
Currently, Israel controls the most of the disputed territory, with exception of the entire Gaza Strip. Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005 to give complete control over the Gaza Strip to what is referred to as Palestinian National Authority (controlled by the PLO). To make things even more complicated, the Gaza Strip is now controlled by the the Fatah (PLO)’s political rival: Hamas. Hams is a designated terrorist organization. Hamas fully controls the Gaza Strip because the two groups could not agree to govern together, they fought violently for control of the region and Hamas won power over the region in 2005.
To make it even more complicated, Israel seized back the West Bank from Jordan in1967, where many Palestinians live. This happened some 35 years before they signed the Olso Accords. Israel has given Palestinians the right to live there, however Palestinians are angered by the supposed inequality and discrimination placed on the Palestinians living in the West Bank. You can read about that HERE: http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/12/18/israelwest-bank-separate-and-unequal On top of that, Palestinians argue that Israel should not be in the West Bank at all. Israel did start to pull out many of the Israeli’s living in the West Bank, however in recent years they’ve been building settlements and subsidizing Israeli’s that wish to move to the West Bank which creates a lot of controversy. Many argue that this is Israel’s way of claiming the area for themselves and violating the Olso Agreement. Many Israeli’s argue that Hamas is the current leader of Palestine, and therefore they cannot allow Hamas to control the West Bank. Hamas already controls all of Gaza, and regularly sends rockets into Israel and sends suicide bombers into Israel.
Question to consider, which I am assuming is disputed by both sides: Why hasn’t an agreement been met yet? Is it due to the violence? The political instability of the Palestinians? Why is Israel not willing to give Palestine full control over the West Bank? Why is Israel trying to encourage their citizens to move into the West Bank? I would like to hear what both sides say about this.
From what I have been reading, Israel refuses to grant Palestine full control over the land because Palestinians in Gaza are now governed by the extremist group Hamas, which does not acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a state in the region at all. They want the entire region, including Jerusalem, to be a part of Palestine and controlled by Hamas. Israel fears that if they grant them full control of the land, they are putting themselves in serious danger.
The current fighting, seems to all have started from a kidnapping. Hamas had 3 Israeli teenagers kidnapped and murdered. Israel went searching for them in Gaza, which started the violence. Now, over 1,000 rockets have been fired into Israel, Israel has fired back killing hundreds of Palestinians. Hamas has sent suicide bombers, and more rockets. It seems there is not end to the violence.
What do you think about the conflict? Who do you think should control the region now known as Israel? Why?
Do you think Israel is right to kill Palestinians? Do you think Palestinians are right to try to kill Israeli’s with suicide bombers and thousands of rockets?
Do you think Palestinians and Israelis will/should allow each other to exist as a recognized state in the region together?
Is there more to the story? Its such a complicated issue I’d love to hear more opinions and insight.
By James L. Riggs
@luchadora41 @twocents although I do agree Israel is facing some serious threats in the region, Israel is not an innocent victim. The problem with Israel is they make the same mistake the USA is making at this very moment. They use targeted strikes to kill bad people, but these targeted strikes also kill a lot of innocent people. The USA does the same thing with our drone program. People applaud President Obama for removing troops from the ground in the Iraq and Afghanistan and instead using drones, however this is a mistake. When you have boots on the ground you are able to kill individuals rather than groups of people. A gun is a lot more direct than a drone strike.
Another important aspect of this is that Hamas, and many terrorist groups are aware that Israel will use targeted strikes to kill high ranking Islamic Extremists. So they place their high level people in communities, often near schools. This not only acts as hopefully a deterrent, they hope that Israel will not run the risk of killing innocent civilians and children, but if they do there are innocent lives lost that are used to make Israel look like the bad guy. Israel moves its innocent people out of harms way, while Hamas uses them as human shields.
So you can see how many innocents Israel has killed here is a timeline of the recent bombings and attacks:
Whether its justified or not, I think both the USA and Israel should take a different approach. Every time they kill innocent civilians and children, not matter how many of those times they killed a high ranking extremist, they create 100 new soldiers for these extremist groups. I would argue that no only is it immoral to kill innocents, its also just giving the enemy more power, more people to support them, and more people that are willing to die for their cause to fight against Israel or the USA.
@coffeeaddict @ luchadora41 Its official, Israel is launching a ground troop attack on the Gaza strip.
Credit Tel Aviv University scholar, Shlomo Zand, for his 2008 book: “When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?” Forget the myths most Jewish children are taught. Biblical nonsense comprising core Zionist beliefs about Jews:
– expelled by the ancient Romans;
– the exodus from Egypt;
– wandering the earth rootless;
– enslaved, oppressed, and tormented for centuries; and
– the notion that God bestowed a “Greater Israel” for Jews alone – the idea of “A land without people for a people without land.”
Zand’s view (shared by others) is that the Romans didn’t expel whole nations, just small numbers from their conquered territories. Most Jews remained, converted to Islam when Arabs took over, and became progenitors of today’s Palestinians.
According to Israeli journalist Tom Segev:
“There never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion, and the exile never happened – hence there was no return.” So, if ancient Judaeans weren’t expelled en masse, how were Jews scattered globally – the so-called Jewish Diaspora?
Zand believes that some emigrated voluntarily. Many more converted to Judaism. “Contrary to popular belief, Judaism was an evangelical religion that actively sought new adherents during its formative period.”
Thus, if Judaism is a “religion,” not a “people,” how can a “Jewish state” be justified? It’s not an ancient idea, according to Zand, but a late 19th century Zionist invention, “an intellectual conspiracy of sorts. It’s all fiction and myth….an excuse (to justify) the State of Israel” and vilify Palestinian self-determination as a plot to destroy it.
Segev explained that “Zand did not invent (this) thesis; 30 years before (Israel’s) Declaration of Independence, it was espoused by David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi (Israel’s second president), and others.”
Zand wrote his book for a purpose – to debunk accepted myths, Zionists who advance them, and promote the idea that Israel should be a democratic state for all its people, not just for Jews alone. Why not if Jews and Palestinians share common roots! – http://www.globalresearch.ca/a-short-history-of-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict-past-is-prologue/12223
@thehistoryguy thanks for you input. In your las paragraph you said that one of the reason’s Zand wrote his book is that idea that “Israel should be a democratic state for all its people, not just Jews alone.”
Isn’t that what it is now? Palestinians live in Israeli territory. Christians live there. Muslims live there. Jews live there. All different religions and people are aloud to live in Israel.
It seems to be that Palestinians, specifically Hamas, does not want Israel to exist, and does not want Jewish people living on the “Holy Land.”
For discussion purposes, lets say Zand’s argument is right. There was no expel of Jews from Israel and therefore there was no return. Does that really matter? They occupy the land now, they live there now. Do we really expect to expel 7.9 million people from their homes? Or do you really wish to give Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, which imposes Shariah law in the Gaza strip, control of the Jerusalem? Do you think Hamas will allow Christians and Jews to live in Israel and have the freedom to practice their own religion? Or have the freedoms they currently enjoy in Israel now? While the millions of people that make the pilgrimage to Israel every year still be allowed to return to visit the sacred and historical land?
I think not.
Israel should control the land. They should remain there forever. Israel is the only player in this that allows people the freedom to live how they want. They allow Muslims, Christians, and Jews to do as they please. They allow all religions to visit the holy sites. They have freedom.
Robert, I had to read through what you posted to mete out a little of something that made sense to me.
By your reasoning, if I understand it right, is that the Jewish people are not a valid people because that is not who they are, it’s their religion. You quoted Tom Segev:
“There never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion,……….” OK.
Then following yours and Mr. Segev’s reasoning, there never was a muslim people, only a muslim religion………
So what are we talking about? We have a war between two groups of people who never existed.
I am failing to see the relevancy of any of this. We have a war between to groups of human beings, whether you believe they exist or not.
Shouldn’t the issues on this subject be who fired the first shot, which leader declared war first, who has been our ally and who has made it a point to protest us and burn our flag?
If Russia attacked England, who has been our ally since forever, shouldn’t we as a just people come to England’s defense and follow that up with information gathering which shows what the attack was about and who actually started it all. If we found England was at fault we should help negotiate a peace. If England persists and does not want peace, then we are out. Our first priority should be to defend those who have been our allies.
Two Cents, I don’t know how one of your discussions got so “Twilight Zone”, but this has got to be a first. Let’s hope it’s the last.
Sorry guys, I just posted an interesting link from Global Research that addressed this from a different perspective. I provided the link so you could go read it for yourself. It was my error for not making it clear that this was not my personal opinion. I will endeavor to make this point clear in the future. Here I was just trying to offer what Mr. Riggs was seeking which was a different perspective on this conflict between Israel and Hamas. I enjoy reading and hearing different opinions on such serious issues. Now it’s time for a “Twilight Zone” marathon. I really love that Rod Serling fellow.
@thehistoryguy thanks for providing a different perspective. It seems to me that Palestinians and the pro Palestinian media are saying that the civilian casualties are the reason some people are siding with Palestine.
This article: http://www.mintpressnews.com/what-the-medias-getting-wrong-about-israel-and-palestine-and-why-it-matters/193607/
claims that one Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every three days for the last 13 years.
The point that I think people are ignoring is that Israel does not have a choice. Hamas places their most valuable targets where the innocent civilians are. They do use them as shields.
This is why I think boots on the ground is a better option than firing rockets. Boots on the ground is much more targeted and precise. They can shoot down individuals rather than bomb entire buildings The problem with this is that now Israel has to risk its own people.
@coffeeaddict I would not want to live in the Middle East. It has long been a region of instability due to ethnic and religious conflict. A history of Zionism and the desire to reestablish the Jewish people in Palestine has been the source of conflict from the beginning. From the Jewish perspective you have the following, “The Legitimacy of Zionist Settlement in International Discourse: World opinion concerning Jewish settlement has undergone a significant shift. From the first part of the twentieth century through independence, international commissions and an interested public expected research from a wide variety of disciplines, including biblical scholarship, archaeology, theology, history and social sciences, to adjudicate competing Jewish and Arab claims to Palestine. Based on this work, the international community affirmed, through the Mandate, the legal and moral right of the Jews to “re-constitute” themselves as a modern people in Palestine, and to “re-turn” and “re-claim” the land. The “re” suggests, of course, “again,” and the language used is evidence of widespread acknowledgement of the Jewish past and its enduring significance through the continuity of the Jewish people. This assumption that Jews have a deep and vital historical connection to the land was inherent in the literature of the social sciences and humanities and essential to legitimating the right of Jews to reconstitute themselves as a people and to resettle in Palestine.” https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/isdf/text/troen.html
The Palestinian side is expressed here, “1947: THE UN PARTITION PLAN On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations — under heavy pressure from the United States Government — adopted Resolution 181, which recommended dividing Palestine into two nations, one Palestinian and one Jewish. (General Assembly resolutions have the legal status of recommendations. Only the Security Council is empowered to pass legally binding resolutions.) When UN Resolution 181 was passed, there were 1,237,332 Arabs and 608,225 Jews in Palestine. Though the Jewish people made up only 33 percent of the total population — and owned only 6.59 percent of the land — the UN Resolution recommended giving the Jewish state 54 percent of the territory. The Palestinian Arabs, having already rejected the UN’s right to partition their land, now rejected the Resolution as unjust. They demanded instead the independence that the British and French had promised them after World War One. Zionist leaders were also unsatisfied with partition, though they accepted the Resolution as justification for declaring the Jewish state. “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And forever.” –Menachem Begin “No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of the Land Of Israel. [A] Jewish state in part [of Palestine] is not an end, but a beginning . . . Establishing a [small] state …. will serve as a very potent lever in our historical effort to redeem the whole country.” — David Ben-Gurion” http://www.palestineinformation.org/history.htm
My personal view is that we cannot impose peace upon the region, be it Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc. unless we are willing to invade and leave a substantial number of troops to enforce our version of peace. Unfortunately, we are viewed with suspicion by the Islamic groups in the region due to our longstanding support of Israel and our prior interventions that promoted our agenda at their expense. This makes it difficult for us to be accepted as an ‘honest broker’ between the parties involved. I don’t envy the folks in Washington who have to find a rational path to support Israel without screwing over the Palestinians. If we were discussing ideology we might have a chance. Tragically, when religious belief is involved it is very difficult to find compromise or accommodation. Israel believes it has their God-given right to exist as a nation in this “Holy Land.” The Arabs/Muslims are opposed to this intrusion which they view as an occupation by an outside force with no legitimate claim. The will of Allah versus the will of YHWH. In a perfect world we would have the secular state of Israel with Constitutional protections for every citizen with no distinction made for religious belief. We don’t live in a perfect world which is why I feel comfortable in predicting continued strife in the Middle East until the oil runs out or we achieve energy independence. This will end our support for Arab nations like Saudi Arabia that are the money and motivation behind extreme fundamentalist Islamic groups that attack those who are not of the same faith-based worldview. Once the petrodollars stop supporting these oppressive regimes, the citizens of these countries can fight it out to decide their future. We will be free to support Israel without the fear of having our oil imports stopped. This is why I support alternative energy sources like solar, wind, biofuels, nuclear, etc. The sooner we break our dependency on oil from the Middle East the better. Until then we will remain mired in these bitter sectarian conflicts.
Robert, I do love to hear any opposing view, any opposing view that is intelligent, thoughtful, and most of all one that involves commonsense, the information from Tom Segev, had none of that.
I do apologize for assuming that you shared Mr. Segev’s point of view. I will try to be more aware of making an assumption like that in the future.
I have not been receiving my notices, I ran across this by accident.
The short and the long of this discussion for me is that we have a country who has been our ally for a long time and we are doing the sum total of nothing to back them. Most of the media seems to ignore that the Hamas attacked Israel not the other way around. The liberals want to verbally criticize and berate Israel not because they are in the wrong but because they are Jews and not Muslims.
Although it was not worded this way, I heard one liberal criticize Israel for defending themselves. Have we gone nuts in this country? Don’t we have a sense of loyalty, honor, or even an understanding of someone defending their country, no matter what country it is?
James: I try to take into consideration both sides on this issue. The history of this region has been bloody throughout history. If Israel wants to settle this issue they need to go in and wipe out Hamas and accept the fact that part of the price will be a multitude of collateral damage to the Palestinian civilians caught in the middle. They can’t take half measures otherwise this issue will continue to be a thorn in their side for as long as the Israelis and Palestinians try to live next door to each other. I can’t imagine a reasonable scenario where the Palestinians can make peace until they get leadership in that represents the people’s desire for peaceful coexistence. Hamas came into power not because they wanted to go to war with Israel but in large part due to their ability to provide public services to meet the needs of the average citizen. The former Palestinian leaders who followed Arafat were all corrupt and out of touch with the people. So no surprise that Hamas got their votes. Rhetoric doesn’t feed an empty stomach. You’d probably enjoy the writings of Ralph Peters on this subject. I’m reading his book, “Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the Twenty-First Century.” (Ralph Peters is a retired Army lieutenant colonel and former enlisted man, a controversial strategist and veteran of the intelligence world; a bestselling, prize-winning novelist; a journalist who has covered multiple conflicts and appears frequently in the broadcast media; and a lifelong traveler with experience in over seventy countries on six continents.) The Middle East will continue to be a cauldron of sectarian strife including the internecine Sunni vs. Shi’a struggle for dominance in these failed states. I believe that Sec of State Kerry’s attempts to play the “honest broker” is a waste of time. We need to step back and let the players on the ground settle this amongst themselves. We can’t impose peace on our terms to these folks because they don’t want our interference over the long-term. I’m afraid we will continue to muddle along trying to moderate these battles where the participants aren’t ready to discuss realistic peace terms. Both Democratic and Republican Administrations have tried to broker peace in the Middle East without much success. I don’t see that changing over the next 10 – 20 years. I’d like to be more optimistic but when you have such deeply entrenched interests at odds it seems highly unlikely we’ll see a peaceful resolution to the hatreds and divisions that embroil the Middle East anytime soon.
Robert, as to your last post, now THAT was intelligent, thoughtful, and abounded with common sense.
We have attempted to talk peace, although I have my doubts about Kerry being an “honest” broker. That is exactly what we should have done. Now it is between the Israeli’s and the Hamas. As you so correctly stated there has been unrest in the middle east forever and unfortunately I see no end to it any time soon.
I have the bad habit of knowing what I am speaking about, but do not translate what I mean to others, so is the case here. When I spoke about how we should back our allies, possibly I was vague about what I meant. We should try to negotiate peace, as a mediator, but if our mediation fails then it is between the two countries, however if another country steps in to help our ally’s enemies, then we should step in to help our ally, but not until that happens.
On the broader spectrum, as it pertains to Israel. We, as a people, should be supporting our ally, in our news media, in our thoughts and prayers, and when we talk to people in our daily lives we should be talking about how one of our allies is being attacked by a country who has been outspoken against us, how they have burned our flag and our presidents in effigy.
Instead, our news media talks about the awful things Israel has done, which is the sum total of defending itself. Not only do they criminalize Israel, they hold the Hamas up as heros, but who are the ones who attacked first. I see interview after interview of common people on the street who all spew venom at Israel and it’s people. They are now and have been our allies. I find all of this incredible and down heartening, that we have turned into this kind of people.
One of the main problems in this conflict was the extensive network of tunnels Hamas has built underground that go into Israel. The tunnels are used to kill and kidnap innocent Israeli citizens. the Israeli mission in Gaza is currently destroying those tunnels. Most of which were put in schools, hospitals, and homes in densley populated areas. The Israelis have no choice but to take them out.
I keep hearing people talk about how Israel has been discriminatory, it’s even in the original post on this discussion. The discrimination claims against Palestine come due to the fact that Israel has put sanctions and closed border crossings so that Hamas cannot receive concerted. Hamas claims that they want to improve their infastructure. That is a lie. They use the concrete to build these tunnels. They also use children under 15 to build these tunnels, many of which have died because it’s so dangerous building poorly designed and planned tunnels 60-80 feet underground.
Hamas is lying and they are propaganda masters. It’s really sad some people are attacking Israel’s morals. They are the only ones acting with any moral clarity. They warn the citizens of Gaza before they strike, they even set up warning fires so people know to leave the area. They just want to destroy the terror tunnels.
Mamas also receives financial aid from other countries. They’ve fired off tens of thousands of rockets at this point. All which cost at least $600,000 a price. So why do they need all this financial aid? They are using the money for rockets not to help the people. We need to make sure financial aid goes to the people not to Hamas to buy rockets. And we need to make site concrete builds roads and schools not terror tunnels.
After all of this fighting The Gaza Strip will need to be rebuilt. How can we trust the money supplies will be used appropriately?
Hmmmmm. Policy, one of these days your going to get the liberals all upset by bringing out the positive things the Israeli’s do and the negative things that the Hamas has been doing. It’s just not in good form. In order for this whole, annihilate the Jews then the Christians thing to work, it is completely necessary to show both as evil, bloodthirsty, maniacs. That’s exactly why you don’t see Isreal’s side of things on the mainstream media.
I’m not so sure I agree with us funding any part of rebuilding the Gaza Strip. If the hamas receives money from other countries, that’s out of our hands. If the hamas are receiving money to fund this war then we should give money or arms to our allies to help fund their defense.
This country has really lost it’s bearings on where our loyalties should lie. In our media we defend countries who hate us and show it by burning our flag and in hundreds of other ways, yet we belittle and name call countries who have been our allies and have supported us for a long time.
I’m just wandering how long it will be before we turn our backs on our biggest ally, Great Britain.
Interesting thread. I have been gone for a while and most of you probably rejoiced in that (I know some did). A few comments on prior posts then I will offer my opinion on the matter (short this time, I promise), and ask for feedback.
As I read your posts I too, like James, was confused as to your input into this thread. The first post was especially confusing. However, by the time of your third post I read something that I was able to understand, at least the last portion of that post. I will quote it here so others won’t have to go back to find it:
Robert: “We don’t live in a perfect world which is why I feel comfortable in predicting continued strife in the Middle East until the oil runs out or we achieve energy independence. This will end our support for Arab nations like Saudi Arabia that are the money and motivation behind extreme fundamentalist Islamic groups that attack those who are not of the same faith-based worldview. Once the petrodollars stop supporting these oppressive regimes, the citizens of these countries can fight it out to decide their future. We will be free to support Israel without the fear of having our oil imports stopped. This is why I support alternative energy sources like solar, wind, biofuels, nuclear, etc. The sooner we break our dependency on oil from the Middle East the better. Until then we will remain mired in these bitter sectarian conflicts.”
This is a brilliant analysis and I would like to add to it. This country will go to war for two reasons, both of which can be summed up in two words. Those two words are “national security.” With the exception of our current administration and Commander-in-chief whose sole responsibility it is to secure our rights and freedoms (meaning securing them from those who want to take them from us, AKA war), this country will ALWAYS go to war to defend itself and yes, I have serious doubts that this administration will lift a finger to defend the United States.
The other reason we will go to war is to insure the free flow of oil on the international market. We will do this not only as long as the United States depends primarily on foreign oil for energy, but ALSO until the rest of the world (at least those world players with whom we trade, because our economy depends on trade) depend on oil as a source of their energy.
Robert, your point that the sooner we break our dependence on oil from the Middle East, the better – is a valid point but it goes on even after that. If the United States all of a sudden opened the country up to drilling to the extent that we produced just enough for our own consumption, and somehow illegally made it illegal to sell our oil on the international market, meaning the we were completely independent of foreign oil yet did not contribute to the supply of oil on the international market, we would still go to war to insure the free flow of oil on the international market so that our trading partners had energy to produce goods that we wish to trade for.
To be sure, if we were independent from foreign oil there would be a glut of oil on the international market such that the price of oil would fall dramatically and the power of terrorists to negatively influence that free flow would be severely diminished, thus making oil on the international market even cheaper.
I too support the concept of alternative energy sources and I believe that someday we will probably use very little oil. However I believe that day is a long way from today. Alternative energy is here as a matter of scientific fact, however, not much of that alternative energy is ready for prime time. The most-ready is nuclear but that also scares us the most. The rest is not yet feasible, either logistically or financially, or both. Weaning ourselves off oil (as much as possible because I don’t think we will ever be completely free of oil) is possible but years from now.
Obama is trying to force the conversion on us today. A forced conversion is one thing (for example we could have been forced to convert to the metric system in the 1970’s and we could have done that) however in the case of energy we are talking about technologies that haven’t yet been invented. Ironically you can pay a person to work faster but you can’t pay him to “THINK” faster. Sadly, that is exactly what we are doing (Solyndra, et al).
Then in your next post you make the following comment:
Robert: “We can’t impose peace on our terms to these folks because they don’t want our interference over the long-term.”
Generally I agree that we cannot impose peace on anyone. However, if our very existence as a country depends on those people being at “peace” then is it not our duty to impose “peace” on them? I am not suggesting that our existence hinges on Middle East peace (or that it doesn’t) but as much as we might loath imposing anything on anyone, there is a time and place for that imposition. Throughout history we, the United States, have “imposed” our will on other countries. Consider the Germans in WWI and WWII or the Japanese in WWII. We absolutely imposed our will on them because we had to in our own national security interest.
Thanks again for the good analysis and I am not being critical of what you wrote but it gives me an opportunity to throw something else in the mix to be considered.
As a separate issue you stated that you are reading the writings of Ralph Peters. I have not read his writings but when I see him offering his political analysis and comments, I tend to listen closely. While I don’t agree with everything Peters has to say I do agree with much of it. He is brilliant. This is another up-tick in the price of your stock.
I also fully support James’ statement:
James: “We should try to negotiate peace, as a mediator, but if our mediation fails then it is between the two countries, however if another country steps in to help our ally’s enemies, then we should step in to help our ally, but not until that happens.”
James is right. However there is one thing I would like to add to this:
What we, as a nation, do for the nation of Israel is far more than just being neighborly to Israel. We don’t consider them an ally just because they might have similar hobbies or similar tastes in food or movies. We consider them an ally first because they believe in freedom and so do we (in fact we place freedom above all else, at least we did at one time).
We also consider them an ally because, in addition to the last paragraph, we have a mutual interest in survivability. Since we stand on common ground ideologically, we are common enemies of those nations who disdain freedom and who want to annihilate those who cherish freedom. Where am I going with this? Good question.
If the freedom hating countries of the Middle East (Iran, the new regime in Iraq, and many others who believe in things like Sharia Law) want to destroy freedom-loving countries (like the United States) they have decided that they FIRST must destroy Israel. If they can’t destroy the United States (in their minds) until AFTER they destroy Israel, then is it not in our best interest to see that Israel is never destroyed?
Israel is our first line of defense against the annihilation efforts of countries like Iran against the United States. As long as Israel is still here and still strong, we are relatively safer against a nuclear attack from Iran and the rest of their buddies.
If Israel is our front door against attack from rogue nations in the Middle East (and most of them do hate us, behind the scenes, except they hate Israel more and therefore they tolerate us and some even call us “friend”), why do we want to open that front door and let our enemies in?
Israel is that impenetrable front door that forestalls any credible attack on the United States from the Middle East. We need to, in our own national security interest, beef up that door, not take the door of the hinges. Good tacticians see it that way, while those who hold hands and sing Kumbaya hope that their words will stall those elements of centuries-old hatred.
Let’s see here, a group of burned out hippies holding hands and singing Kumbaya against an inbound nuclear tipped ICBM launched by hate-filled fanatics – I wonder which will win?
I also like a statement made by Policy:
Policy: “One of the main problems in this conflict was the extensive network of tunnels Hamas has built underground that go into Israel. The tunnels are used to kill and kidnap innocent Israeli citizens. the Israeli mission in Gaza is currently destroying those tunnels. Most of which were put in schools, hospitals, and homes in densley populated areas. The Israelis have no choice but to take them out.”
Regrettably I have been involved in enough wars to know some of the laws of armed conflict. One of those laws states that you cannot attack things like schools, churches, and hospitals, because they ARE NOT legitimate targets of war. The articles of war go on to say that if these places are then used by the opposing side to conduct war and thereby giving them an unfair advantage, they are then taken off the list of prohibited targets and placed on the list of LEGITIMATE targets.
If Israel hits one of these targets intentionally (and I believe every one of them so far has been intentional) then you can rest assured that these, due to the deliberate and cowardly actions of Hamas (which can be tried and punished as war crimes), were legally moved to the legitimate target list. Policy, you hit the nail on the head on this!
Finally, James makes a great point, which leads me into my opinion of the entire conflict and what we should do about it.
James: “This country has really lost it’s bearings on where our loyalties should lie.”
A truer statement has never been made. Ironically it is within the power of EVERY American voter to fix this problem if we could only find the drive to become informed and a good dose of patriotism is all it takes to get that ball rolling.
What should we do about this Middle East thing (I told you this would be short)?
We are a nation that desires to get along peacefully with our international neighbors. Even more than that we desire to protect forever the rights and freedoms that the American people enjoy, not only for ourselves but for our children. Those rights are given to us by our creator, see the Declaration of Independence, and guaranteed to each and every one of us by our Constitution.
What should we do? We should do whatever it takes to defend our freedom. This is not selfish because our freedom depends on the rest of the world being at peace. By saying this I am not trying to sing Kumbaya here. On the contrary, if we have the goal of peaceful existence and protection of our rights and freedoms as our loftiest national goals, then we will act in a manner that promotes peace yet protects freedom, because once again, freedom is our strongest desire.
If we act in accordance with our national goals as stated above, the rest of the world will also fall into place. In an effort to re-establish these goals (that we have forcefully and intentionally let go in the last six years) things might get bloody for a while. The Mullahs in Iran might disappear as might the thug dictators in North Korea, as will most terrorists, but if we would only place our highest priorities on ourselves first; the long run could be enjoyable. Do I think we will ever do this? No because too many Americans have already given up on their desire to be free.
Good to have you back, Mi Amigo. However, I feel I must call you out on one point. You said: “……….(short this time, I promise)…………” You liiieeed.
Kevlar: Thanks for the cogent criticism of my posts. I never expect people to agree with me on 100% of my opinions. It’s nice to get constructive criticism on my posts because it motivates me to think about my position. Sure, being human, I tend to stick to my position but I do like the food for thought and on occasion I’ll modify my thinking. I’m in the odd position of being a “liberal” on some issues, a “moderate” on some issues and a “conservative” on some issues. I have taken criticism from all sides because I don’t follow a specific political orthodoxy. I think I am an outlier, in large part, due to being a historian. My area of specialty runs from WWI through the Cold War with a specific emphasis on WWII & the Space Race. This is why I respectfully disagree with your point of the US imposing our peace upon Japan and Germany during and after WWII. You said, “Throughout history we, the United States, have “imposed” our will on other countries. Consider the Germans in WWI and WWII or the Japanese in WWII. We absolutely imposed our will on them because we had to in our own national security interest.” The key to your examples of WWI & WWII is that we were attacked and had war forced upon us despite a strong desire of the American people to remain neutral. congress declared war and we had a clear goal to achieve for the endgame of these conflicts. President Wilson was unable to get the Allies to ameliorate the terms with Germany and we wound up with the Treaty of Versailles which with its punitive terms planted the seeds of WWII. Who knows how history would have been different if Wilson and the US could have imposed our will upon the peace. WWII was an unusual situation due to the start of the Cold War shortly after the surrender of Germany and Japan. We solidified our hold upon Japan to keep the Soviets from having any influence in the country. We allowed the Emperor to be absolved of any responsibility for war crimes to gain the cooperation of the Japanese military and people. The occupation went much better than initially expected. MacArthur was able to impose American will upon Japan. Germany was a different kettle of fish due to dividing up control among the four Allied powers including Berlin. I volunteer at the National World War II Museum here in New Orleans and the museum celebrates and honors the American effort during the war. Yet I am cognizant that the price for our nation in blood was light compared to the Soviets. Stalin had Eastern Europe under his control including East Germany and there was nothing the Western Allies could do to change this. Our occupation of Germany did not allow us to impose our will upon them based on the principles of freedom, liberty and a just peace. Our treatment of West Berlin and West Germany quickly morphed into being the first major battleground of the Cold War. In 1945, 46 and 47, there was a great deal of anger, resentment and discontent among the German people about their conditions under Allied control. It was the flare up of conflict between the Western Allies and the Soviets that changed the calculus of our occupation and a return of power to the West Germans to make sure they would be firmly in our camp against Stalin and the specter of Soviet Communism.
This is a long-winded way to say we didn’t have carte blanche to impose our will even after WWII. We look at the situation with our hot wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and our wars by proxy in a plethora of other countries during the Cold War and the War on Terror and we see just how difficult it is to impose anything upon other nations and groups of adversaries. Even when we see short-term success we seem blind to how we cause severe repercussions and blowback in the future. Our interference in Iran stands out as a prime example. In 1953 we supported the overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh and put the Shah back in power. (http://origins.osu.edu/article/frenemies-iran-and-america-1900) British and American interference in the name of supporting anti-Communist strongmen like the Shah would come back to haunt us. We saw the blowback in Iran in 1979 and the consequences haunt us to this day. So I remain skeptical of claims that we can impose our will upon other nations. Unless we are committed to putting boots on the ground, accepting the cost in casualties to our troops, be willing to pay the price in higher taxes to pay for such intervention, we must rely on the soft power of our influence in the political arena. The problem we will always face is that our influence only goes so far when these countries and groups are determined to pursue what they believe to be their own best interests despite our wishes.
This takes us back to the topic of discussion here which is the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. I accept the fact that while we can work to broker a deal between the warring parties but in the end it comes down to what Israel and Hamas believes to be in their best interest. Each side is confident that their cause is just and that they have no choice but to pursue the strategy they feel they must use to achieve their goals. The short-term result is bloody and ugly but we have to let this play out so the participants can work out their differences via extreme violence, suffering and death. You cannot impose a peace upon the warring parties who believe they have their god on their side and for those who ties of blood will always stand in the way of compromise to find a peace that benefits everyone.
When I scroll down to the comments section on stories about this conflict I get depressed. You rarely see rational comments because this subject triggers intense passions on both sides. There is a lot of posturing but very little genuine dialogue on this subject. There will be intense conflict in the nations around the world where self-determination has been suppressed in the name of anti-Communism, artificial stability, neo-colonialism, access to resources (especially petroleum), religion, etc. It reminds me of our old policy on wildfires. For a long time the government would aggressively attack every wildfire in the belief this was the best practice. It took the experience of seeing how this actually damaged the forest and led to conditions in the future for more severe wildfires before the government changed this policy. Now if wildfires are burning in areas that do not threaten homes and businesses, they let them burn themselves out which renews the forest. I would like to see our government do the same on these conflicts around the world. Obviously, if we believe there is a direct threat to our national security at stake, send out the fire fighting teams. I expect to have specific, clear goals explained by our government if we do intervene in foreign lands. Without clear goals, history shows we tend to get bogged down in unending conflict that harms our best interests in the long run.
Human history is chock full of violent conflict. 100 years ago the European continent was at war. I seriously doubt that the leaders of 1914 foresaw the shocking amount of bloodshed that was to come over the next four years, the uneasy peace, the gut punch of the Great Depression, the rise of Fascism, and the even greater bloodshed and loss suffered in WWII. The years of 1914 to 1945 were not good for our species in terms of suffering and loss. I hold out much more hope and optimism for the years 2014 through 2045. We need to remind ourselves that the situation around the world were much more serious in the last century. Yes, there will be difficult challenges during this century but I do see progress being made. Blood will be shed and treasure will be expended but not on the level we saw in the 20th Century. We can get together again in 2050 and see how we are doing at the halfway mark of this century.
So how about that Ebola virus? No, wait, it’s time to watch some football. I can’t take much more of this depressing news ; )
I can see how being a historian could garner you criticism from all sides although I was trying to complement you on your analysis. Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear but you can go back and reread my post and decide.
That said, your last post is interesting and more in depth than I normally get, maybe because I am not the historian, just a person who lived through some of that history. A person who studies history should have more to say about it than one who doesn’t.
When I said that we “impose our will” on other countries I didn’t mean that we get everything we want. For example we imposed our will on Afghanistan but we didn’t ask that country to fly our flag. Sure, while there we fly our flag and individually some Afghanis might as well but the country when acting in its own behalf doesn’t fly our flag, at least not above theirs. When we “impose” our will that doesn’t mean we get our way completely. I think you read too much into what I said but perhaps I was not clear.
To keep with the Afghan theme, when we were attacked on 9/11 by terrorists who planned, trained, and equipped in Afghanistan under the protection of the “government” of Afghanistan or the Taliban, we politically asked them to take action to resolve the problem. Our will was to stop the chance of us being attacked from within Afghanistan in a similar manner. Again, we POLITICALLY asked them to resolve the problem and we told them what that resolution would need to include.
You probably know more details of the demands than me but in a nutshell we wanted the Taliban to turn over key al Qaeda personnel and destroy the training camps and logistic support for the terrorists. As a matter of political discourse, the Taliban refused. They pretty much told us to go to hell. In a normal conflict the political discussion might go on for months and perhaps years. However we had just had our ass handed to us on 9/11 and we had some 3,000 dead Americans first and foremost in our minds. We weren’t prepared for to allow them time to tell us to go to hell a second and third time.
They wouldn’t comply with our simple request and believing our request was rational considering 3,000 dead Americans, we set out to “impose our will” on the Taliban. Our means of doing so would also include other all nations who were in one way or another supporting terrorism and this set the scene for the Iraq war a couple years later (under the same terms).
By the way, this “same term” thing was working as we saw Qaddafi offer up his WMD if we didn’t attack him. As soon as Bush left office it became the strategic goal of the United States to NOT pursue other nations who supported terrorism unless they were active (in other words harboring terrorists became acceptable to our newly elected leaders). We imposed our will on Iraq as well. That isn’t to say we were successful, because many Americans became discontent with the notion that freedom is worth fighting for and sadly, today we have surrendered in Iraq and we will in Afghanistan as well.
We start by asking them to comply with our wishes (politics). If they do then life goes on. If they don’t and we feel so strong about it that a resolution MUST be sought, then we rise to arms to impose our will, and yes, that ultimate will might be a negotiated peace. Nations have done this throughout history, not just the United States but back to the beginning of disagreement between two people.
I am not a historian but I would venture to guess that there has never been a war in all history that started for reasons other than one side wanted to “impose” their will on the other.
James called me out (in fun) for posting a lengthy post so this one will be short (relatively). Suffice it to say that we do impose our will on other nations from time to time and sometimes unsuccessfully.
However there is one more thing I feel compelled to say and it is in response to your statement: “You cannot impose a peace upon the warring parties who believe they have their god on their side…”
If your very survival as a nation depends on it you bet you can but you need to be ready to pay the price because it is very expensive. It is called ANNIHILATING the enemy. I have nothing against the Palestinian people themselves but if the existence of the United States of America depended on wiping out one side or the other, we just have to decide which side, it would suck to be a Palestinian because in light of what they have done, that decision, once convinced that it had to be made, would be easy to make.
For the record I believe the Arab peoples in the larger region are willing to risk annihilation of the Palestinian people because the Palestinians are just tools to them. Very sad indeed. Sad that the Palestinians don’t see this but even sadder that many Americans don’t see it either and do everything possible to throw gasoline on that fire.
Your post is good and there is more in it that is worthy of comment from both an agreement and a disagreement standpoint. However, in this case brevity is key (if for no other reason than to prove to James that I can do it (LOL)).
I saw this on Facebook and had to share it with you guys. This is a Hamas children’s television show from the Gaza strip.
They are raising their children to want to kill Jews.
Wow. I thought the group that showed the most stupidity for hate was the KKK, but it would appear I was way off the mark. My mind is still reeling. How could a person with any kind of a conscience at all, brainwash little children with a kiddie show to hate, persecute, beat, maim, and kill, just because they are different.
These folks are over the top. Here’s the thing to remember on this, there is an old saying that goes:
“First They Came for the Jews”
By Pastor Niemoller
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN.
IN FACT, IT NEVER STOPPED.
We better do something to help the Jews, because we may be next.
Well said and there is no doubt in my mind that we are next.
This is why it is so difficult to understand Barry Soetoro’s position on this. A true-American third grader can figure this out but Barry can’t. We know he has more than a third grade education so maybe the other part of that sentence identifies the problem (that of not being a “true-American”).
We have never said that Islam is our enemy and we probably never will say that. However we have said time and again that terrorists are our enemy and most terrorists are fanatical muslims.
So our enemy is not Islam, our enemy is that part of Islam that wants ALL non-muslims DEAD.
If our enemy wants us dead but on their list of things to do, getting rid of Israel is FIRST, that puts everything else second.
What is it that is second AFTER wiping out Israel? Wiping out the rest of the world that’s not muslim and that includes the United States.
If step two, annihilating the United States cannot be started until step one, annihilating Israel, is complete (those who have ever had any experience with project management will recognize this as “critical-path”) then even our third grader will be able to tell you that you should endeavor to make sure that step one is never completed.
Third graders all over the country understand this. Barry and his followers DO NOT understand this. Why? I don’t know because it has been explained to them again and again but it always falls on deaf ears.
Israel is the door. There is a bear outside trying to tear down the door so they can come inside and kill us. There are many things we can do such as go out the window and shoot the bear at the door (but we choose not to do that). Sadly, all Barry and the left want to do is open the door so the bear can come in.
I hate to explain this stuff on a sub-third grade level but it has become clear that the left in this country cannot understand logic that is higher than third grade.
James you are so right that we had better help the Jews because yes, we ARE next. The ironic part about that is that you don’t have to agree at all with the Jewish religion to see the truth in this. If we can’t act correctly for the Jewish people then what say we act in our own self-interest (either way the result would be to support Israel).
Ironically, only Barack Obama can turn this bad situation around and put us on the right path again. For the sake of clarity, the ONLY way he can do that is to RESIGN immediately.
Kev, thoughtfully written, brief and to the point, well done.
I am afraid that you could have written it at a first grade level and still not reached some people. Unfortunately we are still knee-deep in kool-aid lovers who choose to believe that no matter what oblamer does it is sanctified by God himself, (oops allah himself), and that it is the right thing to do no matter what.
So with that train of thought leading the way in the liberal arena, turning our backs on the Jews and allowing them to be wiped off the face of the earth is just, “the right thing to do”.
Closing a blind eye and saying that the hamas would never come after the Christians in America is the highest form of denial. When our military has been reduced to nothing and what is left will be told to stand down and make no attempt to stop them or maybe even told to help them, I think it would almost be inevitable.
However, as a side note, there is something else to think about. How will the atheists, who hate Christians because we practice our faith (without their involvement), react when they are told they will become muslim or die.
I find the public grasp of history is sparse to say the least.
Few people recall the Turks/Ottoman Empire claimed this area for nearly 500 years before WWI.
Consider that’s about 300 years longer than the U.S.A. has existed.
Do we think we “own” our land or do we think some far older civilization has superior rights to our country.
when the jews first started moving to the land now called Israel the mostly bought the land from the local Arabs or Turks generally at inflated prices.
They would be sold “worthless”land,swamps or arid unproductive ,barren land.
That they were inventive enough to drain swamps into arid parcels and make them productive was resented by the sellers,virtually none of which were willing to do the work to duplicate the results.
I seriously suggest that before offering too many uninformed opinions on this subject it would be very wise to read “The Haj” written by Leon Uris about 1984.
Not only is it a great read but its prediction that things would only get worse and result in a terrible eruption in the Middle East in 30,40,or 50 years is being born out with uncanny accuracy.
The only people to EVER actually help the Palestinians are the jews as far as I can see.
No Arab nation has lifted a finger to help those people and they won’t help themselves for fear they may show “acceptance” of their conditions.
Read “the Haj” for yourself. Actually find out the history going back in time beyond the news cycle.
I think you will be amazed at what you find.
Gary, will check out the Haj. Unless I am mistaken this kind of sums up the situation.
Many hundreds of years ago people “A” owned the land, then people “B” came into ownership of it, then as the decades passed it changed has several more times, finally people “C” attained it by whatever manner, now after all this time people “B” want to take it back claiming it was theirs all the time.
Now if you make the land into a house and the house had been sold a number of times to different people over the years, would owner 6 of the 28 people who owned the house be able to just walk in and retake ownership? Not without a fight I would say and it’s true for the land in question. You might have owned it at one time but that doesn’t give you any rights to it now.
I wish we had a real president. One who was Pro-America, maybe we could start helping our allies.
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