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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

[OTP: January 2014] What your favorite drink says about your politics, in one chart

Rum appears to be the most biparitsan drink. Both Bacardi and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum fall right in the middle of the political spectrum.

Bitter Mouse Posted: January 01, 2014 at 06:54 PM | 2907 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1501. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4639732)
In my experience, most conservative whites (whites in general really) seem willing to extend "honorary whiteness" to east asians.


Historically this is true of pretty much everyone but black people. The original "dirty, swarthy immigrants invading America and taking our culture" were the Germans. You can Google up a hilarious diatribe by Ben Franklin on the creeping dangers of swarthy Germans in America. At some point all of the Italians, Jews and Irish went through the same process. Dirty hordes to perfectly white white people, thank you very much. It's no shock that non-Muslim Asians would be getting the same treatment. The only permanent underclass in America to date has been black people.
   1502. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4639739)
You can do the same thing the other way around. Rerun the 1988 Election with 2012's electorate. Dukakis wins, and wins easily. That has keep some would-be Karl Roves up nights.

Which is my point. A candidate that captures the minority vote, and a Democrat is much more likely to do that, can lose the white vote by 10 to 20 points and still win the election and as the minority vote gets larger and larger they can lose the white by greater and greater margins.
   1503. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4639740)
You want to say "there were anti-Semitic elements in Arab Palestine before 1948, thus the last 60 years of history is irrelevant to the situation today.

Not only do I not want to say that, I don't say that. The last 60 years of history has exacerbated a problem that long pre-dates the last 60 years. As with all these issues, I'm comfortable with that messiness and ambiguity. Would that you guys also were.

2. There is no reason to think that, in an alternate universe where the state of Israel was not forcibly established at the cost of displacing indigenous people of the region, that the region would not have had a similar historical reproachment with Jewish peoples than say, England or France.

Oh, sure there is. It's a far more factional and tribal region than England or France, far quicker to define another faction or subfaction as the "other" and act accordingly.(*) Sunni and Shia and the other various strains of political/religious Islam have not had a historical rapprochement with each other.

(*) As we see in Syria, where you literally can't tell who the players are without a scorecard and where yesterday's friend becomes tomorrow's enemy quicker than you guys scream "racist" (in this case within two or three hours of the conversation's start, though the time stamp will confirm).
   1504. AuntBea Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4639745)
Does either author give you the willies?


What does this mean? I have no idea who they are, nor did I read the paper. Just pointing out that the source is biased.
   1505. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4639747)
The only permanent underclass in America to date has been black people.

And the Dutch! Those damn dirty Dutch.
   1506. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4639752)
The quickened pace of voter suppression laws in red states indicates they are aware of the problem.


Yes, but it's not likely to be as effective as they think, which hasn't stopped them from doubling down:

1: They've been drinking the koolaid- both their own and the Dem's flavor- Dems have been screaming about how asking for ID will affect blacks and hispanics [but not whites]- the GOP denies that, while in the backrooms are gleefully backslapping each other- yes some blacks and hispanics are getting dis-enfranchised- but so are some whites, white who vote R too, yes their may be a disproportionate effect, but not as much as Dem operatives claims, or GOP operatives secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) wish for
2: It's really gotten under the skin of the targeted communities, many of whom have their own little bubble universe alternative media- which media is as anti-GOP as the Faux News Talk Radio media is pro GOP- and as the Teapers should realize- getting pissed off at someone is a great way to motivate people to register and vote
   1507. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4639753)

So yeah, I have plenty of faith in Bibi, Bennett, and Livni in looking out for Israel vis-a-vis Iran. You are the one who seems bizarrely critical of Israel and its democratically-elected leaders for taking an "aggressive stance" toward the repressive mullahs.


This wasn't to me -- but I'm not an Israeli... so Bibi looking out for Israel, true or not, is an Israeli problem.

Ultimately, it still comes down to the fact that "looking out for Israel" is NOT the primary foreign policy goal of the US... Looking out for the US is. As allies, I would expect that generally speaking -- our best interests collectively intertwine. However, that's not always going to be the case - and I do not think it is with Iran.

Iran is an ascending regional power. We've done them the great favor of eliminating one of their primary power checks in the region. They also have their issues with Russia (or at minimum, former Soviet republics that still have ties to Moscow). While Iran certainly dabbles in terrorist sponsorship - it also needs to be noted that Iran, to the exclusion of every other Muslim nation (except Iraq, I guess) is majority Shia, while Al Qaeda is Sunni... and that's an important distinction.

I'm very sorry the risk to Israel increases because of it... but it is in long-term best US interest to improve and eventually, certainly on conditions, certainly carefully -- normalize relations with Iran.
   1508. GregD Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4639755)
Nah. Corporations are mainly concerned with covering their asses from the feds and state governments in case they catch the attention of the Eye of Sauron. That and innoculating themselves from employee lawsuits. Most hiring decisions are based around three considerations; 1. Could hiring (or not hiring) X person cost me my job, or otherwise cause me real trouble? 2. Does this hire allow me to benefit a friend or earn/repay a favor? 3. Do I like this person and get along with them? There are relatively few "true believers" of AA in corporate America.
I am plenty cynical about corps but this doesn't fit the experiences of people I believe completely. On hiring, yes corporations are careful not to have quotas. But I know people well in law firms and accounting firms who get asked very pointed questions about their diversity practices (not goals) by major clients, and the bigger the client the more questions they get. This isn't because of regulation; these aren't government contracts. This is service firms responding to demands of private clients. And those clients are responding to other market forces--fear of bad publicity, for sure, also the desire to project a "global" "multicultural" image as their profits are made in non-white countries. I don't think those pressures are going away. Private colleges similarly are now more firmly committed to affirmative action than public ones. For any number of reasons, affirmative action no longer exists solely because of legislation (though I suspect it would not exist at all or would have been later in coming were it not for the initial legislation, and I share people's wariness about the class dynamics of who benefits from these types of corporate diversity policies, which are obviously never going to be forces for helping people move from deeply disadvantaged backgrounds into the middle classes.)
   1509. JE (Jason) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4639757)
Not only do I not want to say that, I don't say that. The last 60 years of history has exacerbated a problem that long pre-dates the last 60 years. As with all these issues, I'm comfortable with that messiness and ambiguity.

I'm not sure if anyone has raised this yet, but the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who way too many Palestinians honor even today, was not only a notorious anti-Semite but supporter of Hitler's Final Solution:
The Mufti’s Final Solution

Scholars have long studied how actively engaged al-Husseini was in the implementation of the Holocaust. There is no question that he supported the aims of the Nazis in perpetrating genocide and believed perversely that all Arabs should join that cause. He declared on German radio on March 1, 1944: "Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you" (qtd. in Norman Stillman, "Jews of the Arab World between European Colonialism, Zionism, and Arab Nationalism" in Judaism and Islam: Boundaries, Communications, and Interaction: Essays in Honor of William M. Brinner).

According to the testimony of Adolf Eichmann’s chief deputy Dieter Wisliceny (who was hanged for war crimes) the Mufti played a role in encouraging the Final Solution and was a close friend and advisor to Eichmann in the Holocaust’s implementation across Europe. Wisliceny testified further that al-Husseini had a close association with Heinrich Himmler and visited the gas chambers at Auschwitz, where he exhorted the staff to be even more dedicated in its important work.

To assist the practical slaughter of Jews and Christians, al-Husseini built an army of Muslim volunteer units for the Waffen-SS (the combat units of the dread SS) to operate for the Nazi cause in the Balkans. While the appeal for volunteers from among Muslims always struggled to meet the demands for new recruits, al-Husseini was able to organize three divisions of Bosnian Muslims who were then trained as elements of the Waffen-SS. The largest radical Muslim unit was the 13th Waffen-SS Handzar ("Dagger") division that boasted over 21,000 men. They were joined by the Bosnian 23rd Waffen-SS Kama Division and the Albanian Skanderbeg 21st Waffen-SS Division. The Muslim Waffen-SS forces fought across the Balkans against Communist partisans and then assisted in the genocide of Yugoslavian Jews and in the persecution and slaughter of Gypsies and Christian Serbs in 1944 and 1945. The brutality extended to Catholics as well, for the Muslim Waffen-SS cut a path of destruction across the Balkans that encompassed a large number of Catholic parishes, churches, and shrines and resulted in the deaths of thousands of Catholics. By the end of the war, al-Husseini’s fanatical soldiers had killed over 90 percent of the Jews in Bosnia.
   1510. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4639760)
2. There is no reason to think that, in an alternate universe where the state of Israel was not forcibly established at the cost of displacing indigenous people of the region, that the region would not have had a similar historical reproachment with Jewish peoples than say, England or France.


Well there is at least one reason, the rise of political Islam, the jihadis, has been a pretty damn unpleasant experience for any non-muslim living in those countries, but that's really anti-"infidelism" not targeted anti-semitism.
   1511. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4639764)
I'm not sure if anyone has raised this yet, but the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who way too many Palestinians honor even today, was not only a notorious anti-Semite but supporter of Hitler's Final Solution:


We'll add him to the list with Hank Ford and half the British royal family, then.
   1512. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4639767)
My apologies for the exaggeration in 1503 -- I made my first post at 10:54 and wasn't called a "racist" until 2:09. So it was a little more than three hours.
   1513. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4639772)
Well there is at least one reason, the rise of political Islam, the jihadis, has been a pretty damn unpleasant experience for any non-muslim living in those countries, but that's really anti-"infidelism" not targeted anti-semitism.


Yes, but you answer your own caveat. Militant Islamism is a different animal with a different set of behaviors to break. The conversation so far was contained, I think, to the Israeli/Palestinian problem. Islamists have a special hatred for Jews *because* of the Israeli/Palestinian problem. Without it, Jews are just another infidel.
   1514. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4639774)
My apologies for the exaggeration in 1503 -- I made my first post at 10:54 and wasn't called a "racist" until 2:09. So it was a little more than three hours.


You made an argument that is based on racist reasoning about "inherit evils" of Arabs. I called the argument racist, because it is. I have not said anything about you, accept that you have made a racist argument in this debate.
   1515. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4639775)
You made an argument that is based on racist reasoning about "inherit evils" of Arabs. I called the argument racist, because it is.

Why is "inherit [sic] evils" in quotes? I never used any such language.
   1516. JE (Jason) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4639776)
We'll add him to the list with Hank Ford and half the British royal family, then.

Do you really not understand the difference between a cranky anti-Semite who also runs a car company and the spiritual leader of Arab Muslims who explicitly endorses the extermination of Jews in Europe while actively attempting to implement a Middle Eastern version of genocide?
   1517. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 15, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4639777)
I'm very sorry the risk to Israel increases because of it... but it is in long-term best US interest to improve and eventually, certainly on conditions, certainly carefully -- normalize relations with Iran.


The ball's in their court, it's been in their court for decades and it hasn't moved- we had better "relations" with Moscow throughout the Cold War than we've had with that clerical regime in Teheran, we've probably had more productive dialogue with that weird monarchy thing in North Korea- and the Norks are batshit crazy - the Iranians are not crazy, but the regime, the people with real power in that regime, look at the US the way rightwing settlers in illegal West Bank settlements(those settlements illegal by Israel law) look at the Palestinians*. Until that changes there is going to be no normalization.

*They look at us the way Miami's Cuban community looks at the Castro regime.
   1518. Srul Itza Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4639781)
1. We bugged out of Iraq without securing a "status of forces" agreement. Now the country -- save for the Kurdish/Turkmen region in the north -- is in Iran's Shi'a orbit, resulting in no small part in al-Qaeda returning with a vengeance.


What is being proposed as the alternative -- a permanent US Occupation of Iraq, with never-ending IED and US casualties? The surge did not magically make all the insurgents go away and usher in 100 years of peace. It tamped it down in one area, for a while.

And anyone who thought that Iraq would not end up in Iran's orbit is, and was, a moron. Shi'ites are the largest group in Iraq. Many of their leaders had received education in, and been sheltered in, Iran during the Saddam years. One of the bases for my opposition to this adventure was that it was accelerating the inevitable movement of Iraq into the Iranian orbit. Anyone who could count, could see that.

The fact that Al-Qaeda came back is as much a result of the Syrian as anything since that created a place for Al-Qaeda to operate from, and to receive assistance from Sunni opponents of Assad. And this was also entirely predictable. Really, it is just Afghanistan 80's style blow back all over again -- you have a revolt, and the most vicious and effective fighters come from the more radical groups.

I suppose that if we had immediately intervened militarily in Syria when the uprising happened, we might have played a role in having the "moderates" prevail. But aside from John McCain and Jason, there was no constituency in this country for getting involved for the third (or fourth, depending on how you count Libya) time in the 21st Century in a Mid East War. And even if we had become involved, that would not have guaranteed that the radicals would not have eventually made their way in, since there were already some there.

   1519. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4639782)
The ball's in their court, it's been in their court for decades and it hasn't moved- we had better "relations" with Moscow throughout the Cold War than we've had with that clerical regime in Teheran


I dunno, did we ever trade the Russians weapons for hostages?
   1520. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4639783)
Do you really not understand the difference between a cranky anti-Semite who also runs a car company and the spiritual leader of Arab Muslims who explicitly endorses the extermination of Jews in Europe while actively attempting to implement a Middle Eastern version of genocide?


One just buys politicians, the other buys populaces?

Do I win a prize?
   1521. Srul Itza Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4639784)
Or will you join the chorus of condemnation, even more loud than what we witnessed in 1981 after the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor?


A chorus that had no real effect on Israel in the long run.
   1522. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4639785)
The ball's in their court, it's been in their court for decades and it hasn't moved- we had better "relations" with Moscow throughout the Cold War than we've had with that clerical regime in Teheran



I dunno, did we ever trade the Russians weapons for hostages?


That never happened.

If it had, I assume that the administration that facilitated this would have fallen...
   1523. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4639787)
Do you really not understand the difference between a cranky anti-Semite who also runs a car company and the spiritual leader of Arab Muslims who explicitly endorses the extermination of Jews in Europe while actively attempting to implement a Middle Eastern version of genocide?


Well, you're right. Ford probably wielded much more actual power in the world.
   1524. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4639789)
The Iraq War was a disaster, but the strongman/mullah/petro-king repressive balance of power in the Middle East prior to 2003 was also a disaster and likely immoral. The "stability" in the Middle East was unnatural, premodern, contrary to civilized standards, and was never going to last. A factional conflagration was inevitable.
   1525. Srul Itza Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4639792)
While Iran certainly dabbles in terrorist sponsorship - it also needs to be noted that Iran, to the exclusion of every other Muslim nation (except Iraq, I guess) is majority Shia, while Al Qaeda is Sunni... and that's an important distinction.


Are you suggesting that the people being blown up by Iranian proxies feel so much better about it than those blown up by Al Qaeda, because Iran only "dabbles"?

   1526. Srul Itza Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4639794)
it is in long-term best US interest to improve and eventually, certainly on conditions, certainly carefully -- normalize relations with Iran.


Normalization with this regime is unlikely, since they are going to throw up a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on a regular basis.

Theocrats, who are certain that their every move is sanctioned directly by God, play by a different rule book than Commissars and Autocrats. There will need to be regime change in Iran for that happen, and that is at least a generation or more away.
   1527. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4639799)
Are you suggesting that the people being blown up by Iranian proxies feel so much better about it than those blown up by Al Qaeda, because Iran only "dabbles"?


Doubtful. But then again, people being blown up by drones probably don't feel much better just because the US is all righteous and holy in their "global war on terror" either. I suspect that most people who are being blown up, or even those who know people who have been blown up, don't dig too much into the crosstabs of the justifications of the blower-uppers.

Outside of that little world, though, has Iran "dabbled" in the blowing up of people *other than* the proxy war with Israel? Because I can't think of a lot of notable Iranian sponsored "terror attacks" other than the volleys in the proxy war with Israel. And in that case, they are a far more obvious case for relationships with the rest of the world than the Sunni states that sponsor al Q.
   1528. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4639802)
Normalization with this regime is unlikely, since they are going to throw up a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on a regular basis.

The more relations are normalized, the less likely they are to throw out an Ahmadinejad.
   1529. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4639803)
We'll add [The Grand Mufti] to the list with Hank Ford and half the British royal family, then.


Do you really not understand the difference between a cranky anti-Semite who also runs a car company and the spiritual leader of Arab Muslims who explicitly endorses the extermination of Jews in Europe while actively attempting to implement a Middle Eastern version of genocide?

Without minimizing the thoroughly nasty effects of all the Fords and the Lindberghs and Lavals in the western world, the answer to your question is: I don't think they do.

   1530. spike Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4639810)
What is being proposed as the alternative -- a permanent US Occupation of Iraq, with never-ending IED and US casualties?


Nothing is being proposed in the alternative - bitterly ironically, this the "we were stabbed in the back" argument to let those who initiated the whole mad enterprise off the hook and shift the blame to another group.
   1531. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4639813)
Outside of that little world, though, has Iran "dabbled" in the blowing up of people *other than* the proxy war with Israel? Because I can't think of a lot of notable Iranian sponsored "terror attacks" other than the volleys in the proxy war with Israel.

Yes, of course. Their proxies are at war in Syria, Iraq, and (kind of) Lebanon. They've been at hotter war in Lebanon at earlier times, and the state itself was at war with Iraq throughout the 1980s.

   1532. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4639814)
Are you suggesting that the people being blown up by Iranian proxies feel so much better about it than those blown up by Al Qaeda, because Iran only "dabbles"?


No - I am not... I'm simply saying that we always do, always have, and probably always will make decisions regarding degree, regarding other parameters/concerns, and the usual set of geopolitical concerns.

We can go back to the Contras -- I doubt the nuns blown up in cafes by Contra bombs feel any better that they were being funded in the holy and righteous fight against communism.

To be clear - I'm also not trying to slice and dice Muslims into "good" Muslims (i.e. ,Shia) and "bad" Muslims -- I'm simply saying that most acts of terrorism that are costing US lives are being perpetrated by terrorist organizations of the Sunni variety. I'm just saying that sometimes you are better off picking the least bad option... and if we are in a place where the Islamic world is undergoing a contentious period that is fraught with violence, well -- rather than doing diplomatic, military, etc battle with the entire Islamic world, we very much ought to consider peeling off a nation like Iran which very much has its own beef with Sunni Islam... I mean, Iran has experienced incidents of Islamic terrorism, too.

Also to be clear - I'm not suggesting we join forces with Iran or something like that.... Just that this business of black and white, our side vs the other side doesn't work.
   1533. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4639815)
Yes, of course. Their proxies are at war in Syria, Iraq, and (kind of) Lebanon. They've been at hotter war in Lebanon at earlier times, and the state itself was at war with Iraq throughout the 1980s.


They have proxies engaged in most of the regional conflicts, yes. That's not the same as Sunni terrorism. How many Shite bombings have occurred OUTSIDE of the region? That's the question. Iran obviously engages in the regional conflicts in the Middle East, as it feels best serves its interests as a regional power. What they don't do, that I can think of, is bomb night clubs in Bali or trains in Madrid.
   1534. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4639817)
Yes, of course. Their proxies are at war in Syria, Iraq, and (kind of) Lebanon. They've been at hotter war in Lebanon at earlier times, and the state itself was at war with Iraq throughout the 1980s.


Indeed - in fact, their proxies in Iraq right now are basically dealing what is being sold in the US media at least as an 'Al Qaeda takeover' of Sunni cities like Fallujah.

Whether because they were too stupid to comprehend the fact that Islamic extremism doesn't come in a monolithic flavor or planned on taking out BOTH Iran and Iraq from outset -- we're reaping more of what the neocons sowed.

In effect, along that old silk road route -- the choice has already been made for us which side of the equation we're going to end up on... Smarter, better thinkers might have considered the implications of our misadventure in Iraq and what it meant for Iran - they either didn't, or, were duplicitous in sharing their grand designs with us.

If we want regional stability -- as an ultimate goal and one that I hope all sides agree with -- then guess what, folks... Iran is the probably the best bet for it in SW Asia. As depressing as that sounds, dominoes were set in motion by the very people most loudly arguing for more bellicose policies towards Iran. I didn't vote for them. I opposed their every move. But they got their way, and we're now trying to pick up the pieces.
   1535. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4639820)


They have proxies engaged in most of the regional conflicts, yes. That's not the same as Sunni terrorism. How many Shite bombings have occurred OUTSIDE of the region? That's the question. Iran obviously engages in the regional conflicts in the Middle East, as it feels best serves its interests as a regional power. What they don't do, that I can think of, is bomb night clubs in Bali or trains in Madrid.


Precisely.

I am truly sorry for Israel that they happen to reside in a region where Shiite terrorism DOES occur -- and I'm all for sticks AND CARROTS to encourage, cajole, threaten, etc Iran into being a better neighbor... but like I said above...

You want to plant some modicum of regional stability somewhere in SW Asia/Northern Africa/Middle East? Iran might very well be the best bet for that. The Iranian regime is certainly repressive -- but is it really any more so than, say, Saudi Arabia?

Iran isn't exactly a model of stability, but wouldn't we agree it's more stable than say -- Egypt?

Iran has certainly sponsored terrorism... but have they actually been a bigger problem in that regard than say, the godfather of the Taliban (Pakistan)?

When you weigh all the factors -- find me a better option than Iran.... and no, don't say Israel because as much they certainly do outscore everyone in terms of stability, democratic traditions, open/free society, etc -- they simply fall way, way short of having any regional juice with the very nations that we wish to see stabilize, modernize, etc.

   1536. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4639823)

Theocrats, who are certain that their every move is sanctioned directly by God, play by a different rule book than Commissars and Autocrats.


As we see in the House of Representatives. But I kid.

If dealing with theocrats is a non-starter, why are we bestest buddies with Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia is much more repressive and anti-modern than Iran.
   1537. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4639825)
Well there is at least one reason, the rise of political Islam, the jihadis, has been a pretty damn unpleasant experience for any non-muslim living in those countries, but that's really anti-"infidelism" not targeted anti-semitism.

Yes, but you answer your own caveat. Militant Islamism is a different animal with a different set of behaviors to break. The conversation so far was contained, I think, to the Israeli/Palestinian problem. Islamists have a special hatred for Jews *because* of the Israeli/Palestinian problem. Without it, Jews are just another infidel.

I'm sure the Israeli's will take great comfort from the fact that the Islamists also plan to drive the Arab Christians into the sea, along with the Jews.

Seriously guys? You're basically saying: "Israel shouldn't worry about the militant Islamists surrounding them because they want to kill/exile Christians along with the Jews."

That's bat-#### crazy.
   1538. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4639833)
The Palestinian territories were no more or less anti-Semitic in 1890, or really 1940, than the world in general.

Simply not true. The Palestinians (and their extremist allies) have been on the wrong side of history for more than a century. They opposed Jewish immigration under the British Mandate, backed the Kaiser in WWI, and then enthusiastically doubled down on Hitler in WWII. They then compounded their errors by siding with the Soviet Union in the Cold War. To this day, Holocaust deniers and the most vile anti-Semitism are common in Palestinian media, education & culture.

It was the Arab states, not the Israelis, that refused to accept the UN (not the West, the UN!) partition plan for Palestine. They lost the War, and a couple more after that. That has consequences - they are not getting that land back, just as Germany is not getting back the part of its territory that is now in Poland. That said, there is room for a Palestinian state that wants to live in peace with its neighbors. The problem is that the Palestinians, their allies, and even their apologists, aim to create a state that is a way station to toward further attacks on and the military defeat of Israel. No reason for either Israel or the United States to assist that process.
   1539. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4639835)
I'm sure the Israeli's will take great comfort from the fact that the Islamists also plan to drive the Arab Christians into the sea, along with the Jews.

Seriously guys? You're basically saying: "Israel shouldn't worry about the militant Islamists surrounding them because they want to kill/exile Christians along with the Jews."


I think they're simply saying that being Uncle Leo, where the underlying source of every harm can be traced back to Hitleristic antisemitism misidentifies the problem and such, there might potentially be other solutions than ridding the earth of such a scourge.

Now, I'll grant -- there's a pretty big gulf between an undercooked burger and murderous terrorism -- but that doesn't address the fundamental point.
   1540. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4639836)
Seriously guys? You're basically saying: "Israel shouldn't worry about the militant Islamists surrounding them because they want to kill/exile Christians along with the Jews."


I haven't said a damned thing about what Israel should or shouldn't do. I tend to keep my critiques and suggestions to the US. There are three possible solutions to the mess in the Middle East. Either the three factions (Sunni, Shite, Zionist) find some common time share agreement and join the modern world, or they continue to fight until the slow burn war becomes a big burn war and one of them comes out "standing." The United States should work as hard as she can to make option A happen. If option A does not happen, the United States should make sure that the winner is not Sunni radicals.
   1541. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4639840)
Either the three factions (Sunni, Shite, Zionist) find some common time share agreement and join the modern world, or they continue to fight until the slow burn war becomes a big burn war and one of them comes out "standing." The United States should work as hard as she can to make option A happen.

Israel is firmly in the modern world. As for the other two, you might as well whistle Dixie, for all the good our other potential actions will make.

Best we can do is make attacking us so dangerous, in terms of the retaliation you will face, that the Shiites and Sunnis rather kill each other.
   1542. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4639845)
There are three possible solutions to the mess in the Middle East. Either the three factions (Sunni, Shite, Zionist) find some common time share agreement and join the modern world, or they continue to fight until the slow burn war becomes a big burn war and one of them comes out "standing." The United States should work as hard as she can to make option A happen. If option A does not happen, the United States should make sure that the winner is not Sunni radicals.

Or the messy and more ambiguous fourth -- Israel continues to defend itself, sometimes in borderline unacceptable ways, while the rest of the region undergoes its well-needed and inevitable Thirty Years War and Reformation. The United States continues to assist Israel -- a modern, developed state (*) -- minimize the blowback from the dustups in the rest of the region.

(*) It's bizarre that you would suggest that the "Zionist" "faction" has yet to join the modern world. A mistake from rushed drafting?
   1543. GregD Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4639852)
The Iranian regime is certainly repressive -- but is it really any more so than, say, Saudi Arabia?
The Iranian state is far, far less repressive than the Saudis. I'm not making a point about terrorism or the like but just narrowly that Iranians have a lot more personal day to day liberty than Saudi Arabians do
   1544. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4639854)
Simply not true. The Palestinians (and their extremist allies) have been on the wrong side of history for more than a century. They opposed Jewish immigration under the British Mandate, backed the Kaiser in WWI, and then enthusiastically doubled down on Hitler in WWII. They then compounded their errors by siding with the Soviet Union in the Cold War. To this day, Holocaust deniers and the most vile anti-Semitism are common in Palestinian media, education & culture.

It was the Arab states, not the Israelis, that refused to accept the UN (not the West, the UN!) partition plan for Palestine. They lost the War, and a couple more after that. That has consequences - they are not getting that land back, just as Germany is not getting back the part of its territory that is now in Poland. That said, there is room for a Palestinian state that wants to live in peace with its neighbors. The problem is that the Palestinians, their allies, and even their apologists, aim to create a state that is a way station to toward further attacks on and the military defeat of Israel. No reason for either Israel or the United States to assist that process.


This is the fundamental problem, though, isn't?

I don't think it's all that controversial that Versailles essentially made WWII inevitable.

What you're proposing seems to be irrevocably heading towards a place where the only solution would be a conflict that is going to cost -- in blood and treasure -- something on the scale of the second World War... I guess, with modern militaries being what they are, comfort ourselves with the fact that the blood is going to be 98% Arab (even if the "treasure" is likely to be 98% American).

I'm not proposing sacrificing Israel. I'm not saying that the Arab states don't need to adjust their expectations in light of their history of being on the wrong side (though... let's not pretend they freely chose the wrong side... I mean, if you want to get out from under Western rule, don't you side with the guys fighting those western rulers?)

Hey - more "sucks to be Israel" -- but they can't operate under 20th century imperialism rules where, you fight a war - you "win territory".... Sorry... the rules don't work that way anymore.
   1545. The Good Face Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4639861)
I am plenty cynical about corps but this doesn't fit the experiences of people I believe completely. On hiring, yes corporations are careful not to have quotas. But I know people well in law firms and accounting firms who get asked very pointed questions about their diversity practices (not goals) by major clients, and the bigger the client the more questions they get. This isn't because of regulation; these aren't government contracts. This is service firms responding to demands of private clients.


They do those things for the reasons I've listed above. Due to procurement standardization, it's a lot easier to just have EVERY vendor and subcontractor agree to the various diversity requirements if there's ever any chance anybody in the supply chain drifts near a government contract. There's no downside from the perspective of the client, and little for the vendors; big vendors need to have their diversity house in order in case they ever attact attention from the powers that be, and small vendors either don't have the requirements or just don't give a crap; they'll close up shop and the principals will start a new business if things fall apart.

Also, there is the constant risk of lawsuits from disgruntled employees, ex-employees, prospective employees, and plain old race hustling extortion artists.

Like I said before, C level executives are seldom true believers in that crap, but they are HUGE believers in making sure their asses are covered. All of our current AA nonsense only sprung into being due to legal action, and if you remove the laws and causes of action that sustain it, it'll crumble and wither away.
   1546. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4639865)
(*) It's bizarre that you would suggest that the "Zionist" "faction" has yet to join the modern world. A mistake from rushed drafting?


My primary problem with the Zionists are that they are rapidly regressing to the lowest common denominator of the region. I would love to fully support a modern, democratic Israel that supports western ideals and human rights in the heart of the region. I have less interests in supporting a radically right wing, Judaic religious state that treats human beings like animals for the mortal sin of being born Palestinian.
   1547. The Good Face Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4639871)
I have less interests in supporting a radically right wing, Judaic religious state that treats human beings like animals for the mortal sin of being born Palestinian.


How about if they're radically left wing?
   1548. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4639875)
How about if they're radically left wing?


If they fail the "supports human rights" test I don't care which wing they inhabit.
   1549. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4639877)
My primary problem with the Zionists are that they are rapidly regressing to the lowest common denominator of the region.

Another big overbid and lack of proportion. The lowest common denominator of the region is al-Qaeda, or ISIS, or Hamas. Even the yahoo West Bank settlers are nothing remotely close to that.

I would love to fully support a modern, democratic Israel that supports western ideals and human rights in the heart of the region.

Israel isn't far from that, and wide swaths of the nation's citizenry are fully devoted to western ideals and human rights. Absent the bad neighbors, the whole country might well be that.

I have less interests in supporting a radically right wing, Judaic religious state that treats human beings like animals for the mortal sin of being born Palestinian.

Who wouldn't?
   1550. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4639882)
Another overbid. The lowest common denominator of the region is al-Qaeda, or ISIS, or Hamas. Even the yahoo West Bank settlers are nothing remotely close to that.


You underbid the vile nature of the radicals in the "settler" movement. There's a core of Russian-Israelis who are as evil as Hamas ever thought about being.
   1551. The Good Face Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4639885)
If they fail the "supports human rights" test I don't care which wing they inhabit.


Human rights? What are those? Do they live next door to natural rights?
   1552. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4639888)
What you're proposing seems to be irrevocably heading towards a place where the only solution would be a conflict that is going to cost -- in blood and treasure -- something on the scale of the second World War...

I'm hardly proposing that. There are better alternatives. The Palestinians could accept the peace plan they have been offered, which would have given them ~97% of the West Bank and even a slice of Jerusalem for their capital - far more than than they could hope to win on any battlefield. The Palestinians prefer to hold out for total victory, perhaps because it distracts attention from how their politicians are enriching themselves through rampant corruption.
   1553. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4639892)
They have proxies engaged in most of the regional conflicts, yes. That's not the same as Sunni terrorism. How many Shite bombings have occurred OUTSIDE of the region? That's the question. Iran obviously engages in the regional conflicts in the Middle East, as it feels best serves its interests as a regional power. What they don't do, that I can think of, is bomb night clubs in Bali or trains in Madrid.

Ahem

   1554. Lassus Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4639893)
How about if they're radically left wing?

I admit not knowing enough, so maybe Jason can identify them if Good Face won't, but who are the radically left-wing Israeli powers and what are they supporting, horrible or not?
   1555. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4639894)
Human rights? What are those? Do they live next door to natural rights?


They're the noble lie that the entirety of the western civilization that you so frequently bemoan the collapse of is built upon, so we try to ignore the failure of essentialism and work off of an existential model where they exist so long as we fight for them.
   1556. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4639896)
Simply not true. The Palestinians (and their extremist allies) have been on the wrong side of history for more than a century. They opposed Jewish immigration under the British Mandate


So, I take it you firmly support hispanic immigration into states that were formerly part of Mejico?

I mean how is/was it any different for a Palestinian in the 1920s/30s to oppose Jewish Immigration into the "British Mandate" than for people in Arizona, Texas and California to oppose Mexican immigration into those states now?
   1557. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4639897)
Ahem


I know very little about this incident. I'll trust you that it was Shia driven. I'll note that 1994 was a long time ago.
   1558. The Good Face Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4639902)
They're the noble lie that the entirety of the western civilization that you so frequently bemoan the collapse of is built upon, so we try to ignore the failure of essentialism and work off of an existential model where they exist so long as we fight for them.


Sounds like you can't differentiate them from natural rights. Guess you're just another christian after all.
   1559. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4639905)
I'm hardly proposing that. There are better alternatives. The Palestinians could accept the peace plan they have been offered, which would have given them ~97% of the West Bank and even a slice of Jerusalem for their capital - far more than than they could hope to win on any battlefield. The Palestinians prefer to hold out for total victory, perhaps because it distracts attention from how their politicians are enriching themselves through rampant corruption.


That's not my point.

Maybe I'm dehumanizing the Palestinians, too, by suggesting a fait accompli -- but I think having this discussion in 1942, we could have just as easily said there were better solutions for the Germans than lining up behind Hitler and the Nazis (and there certainly were).

We have limited to no control over what the Palestinians will accept. Not to contradict myself from earlier where I was ######## about Israeli interference in US policy, but since we're just spitballing here -- I'm just saying that "we" can only really influence what the 'west' will proffer. Obviously - "total victory" - whatever that is from the Palestinian viewpoint, isn't going to happen.

I'm simply looking for solutions that prevent the conflagration...
   1560. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4639907)
Sounds like you can't differentiate them from natural rights. Guess you're just another christian after all.


You inability to think outside of your monkey box isn't my problem, per se.
   1561. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4639909)
I mean how is/was it any different for a Palestinian in the 1920s/30s to oppose Jewish Immigration into the "British Mandate" than for people in Arizona, Texas and California to oppose Mexican immigration into those states now?


Well, the Mexican claim to that territory is +/- 150 years dusty with age, while the Israeli claim to the Levant prior to 1948 was as recent as 90 AD.
   1562. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4639910)
I mean how is/was it any different for a Palestinian in the 1920s/30s to oppose Jewish Immigration into the "British Mandate" than for people in Arizona, Texas and California to oppose Mexican immigration into those states now?

That's the question that got me jumping in. The difference of course is the modern liberal double standard wherein the people in Arizona, Texas, and California simply accept the influx of immigrants (*), wherein the people in Palestine were perfectly justified in political action against it, including violent resistance.

(*) While the American left encourages and celebrates it with more zeal than the pre-WWII Zionists.

   1563. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4639912)
I'm simply looking for solutions that prevent the conflagration...

We've been living them for 50 years. There is no conflagration involving Israel, and none on the horizon.
   1564. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4639916)
That's the question that got me jumping in. The difference of course is the modern liberal double standard wherein the people in Arizona, Texas, and California simply accept the influx of immigrants (*), wherein the people in Palestine are perfectly justified in political action against it, including violent resistance


The rank stupidity required to equate the immigration of Mexican labor in search of menial labor jobs in American agriculture and construction sectors with the establishment by force of a nation-state that drives you out of land your family has lived on for centuries is unbelievable.
   1565. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4639920)
The rank stupidity required to equate the immigration of Mexican labor in search of menial labor jobs in American agriculture and construction sectors with the establishment by force of a nation-state that drives you out of land your family has lived on for centuries is unbelievable.

It wasn't "established by force."(*) What the hell are you talking about?

And there wasn't anything "established" until Zionism was 70 years old. In the interim, as we've seen, the Arabs forcibly and rhetorically resisted Jewish immigration.

And many of the Jewish immigrants to Palestine pre-1947 were agriculturists.

And on and on.

(*) Though it was resisted by force and a declaration of war.
   1566. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4639926)
The rank stupidity required to equate the immigration of Mexican labor in search of menial labor jobs in American agriculture and construction sectors with the establishment by force of a nation-state that drives you out of land your family has lived on for centuries is unbelievable.


And yet in the very next post he manages to top it!
   1567. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4639929)
So Israel was formed by Jews warring against the Palestinian Arabs. Good to know. I was under the impression that it was formed by the UN to succeed the British in part of the formerly British territory covering Palestine, but I guess all the history books are lying.

Anything else to clear up? Was JFK not really shot?

   1568. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4639932)
. . . with the establishment by force of a nation-state that drives you out of land your family has lived on for centuries is unbelievable.

Israel wasn't established by force - it was established by the UN in one of the rare instances of international consensus that transcended the Cold War. Of course, since the Palestinians & Arab States rejected the UN Plan, Israel had to fight for its very existence. Most of the Palestinian refugees left on their own accord, confident they'd return when the Jews were driven into the sea as their leaders promised. They lost that bet, but how are they different from the East Prussians who were uprooted from what is now Poland? They don't get to go back either.
   1569. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4639937)
It wasn't "established by force."(*) What the hell are you talking about?


So Israel was formed by Jews warring against the Palestinian Arabs.


Israel wasn't established by force - it was established by the UN in one of the rare instances of international consensus that transcended the Cold War.


The British mandate expired on May 14, 1948.

On May 14, 1948 the Jewish People's Council met in Tel Aviv and declared the state of Israel in the former mandate.

On May 15, the League of Arab States declared jurisdiction over the former mandate.

The two sides waged war over the competing claims until June 20, 1949.

To claim that the state of Israel was not established by force is utter ####### stupidity.


   1570. Srul Itza Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4639938)
Memo to Rickey:

The Jews are not going to leave Israel, and are not going to cease being Jews, just because their existence is inconvenient for you.

Get over it.
   1571. Srul Itza Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4639939)
To claim that the state of Israel was not established by force is utter ####### stupidity.


So was the United States. I guess you're ready to have us all move out and give it back to the REAL Braves.
   1572. Srul Itza Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4639940)
The two sides waged war over the competing claims until June 20, 1949 the heat death of the universe.



FTFY

   1573. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4639945)
The British mandate expired on May 14, 1948.

By virtue of a UN General Assembly resolution passed on November 30, 1947, which the Arabs did not accept. The Jews in Palestine did accept it.

On May 14, 1948 the Jewish People's Council met in Tel Aviv and declared the state of Israel in the former mandate.

Entirely legal under international law, and to be expected. The territory of the declared state was the same as in the UN partition plan.

On May 15, the League of Arab States declared jurisdiction over the former mandate.

A hostile and violent and illiberal act in contravention of the lawful vote of the UN General Assembly less than a year prior, and therefore illegal.

The two sides waged war over the competing claims until June 20, 1949.

One legal and in accord with the will of the UN; the other hostile, violent and illegal. You can probably guess which one I prefer.

And you're doing that thingie again where you write something literally accurate, but entirely shaded and loaded so as to render it horseshit. Israel defended the territory granted by international law, which the Arabs illegally claimed -- including Arab states that had nothing to do with Palestine other than ethnic affinity with the Palestinian Arabs. Those are no more "competing claims" than the US entering a "completing claim" to Quebec.

To claim that the state of Israel was not established by force is utter ####### stupidity.

No, it's completely accurate. The state of Israel was authorized by the General Assembly of the UN. It was defended by force, that is true. And Palestinian Arabs were displaced during that war, including innocent ones, that is also true. But your underlying narrative is horseshit.





   1574. spike Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4639946)
It was defended by force

No dog in this fight, but that's a distinction without a difference to all but one set of participants.
   1575. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 15, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4639951)
To claim that the state of Israel was not established by force is utter ####### stupidity.

No, in this case I don't think it's stupidity, it is sheer unadulterated dishonesty.

The two sides waged war over the competing claims until the heat death of the universe.


Nonsense, there's no chance either side will give up that soon, it'll last past the Big Crunch and clear through the next Big Bounce/Bang.
   1576. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4639954)
So was the United States.


Yes, yes it was.

I guess you're ready to have us all move out and give it back to the REAL Braves.


AHA! But we managed to wipe out 99% of the indigenous populace and now outnumber them 100:1. Fait Accompli.
Israel failed to do that when it had the chance... (actually I'm not sure Israel ever had the physical capability at the time such an operation was still politically feasible)

Israel's other problem is that try as it might, it can't simply swamp with "settlers" what's left of Palestine, the way China has swamped Tibet and Xinjiang.

   1577. OCF Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4639955)
From #1501:

Historically this is true of pretty much everyone but black people. The original "dirty, swarthy immigrants invading America and taking our culture" were the Germans. You can Google up a hilarious diatribe by Ben Franklin on the creeping dangers of swarthy Germans in America. At some point all of the Italians, Jews and Irish went through the same process. Dirty hordes to perfectly white white people, thank you very much. It's no shock that non-Muslim Asians would be getting the same treatment. The only permanent underclass in America to date has been black people.

That is roughly what I was saying a few pages back (Post 1078, with a few follow-ups.) I specifically mentioned white Hispanics (my examples were Manu Ginobili and Ismael Valdez) as the "low-hanging fruit" for who to declare white next, but I also had some East Asians and Asian-including mixed-race players on that list.
   1578. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:26 PM (#4639958)
I'm hardly proposing that. There are better alternatives. The Palestinians could accept the peace plan they have been offered, which would have given them ~97% of the West Bank and even a slice of Jerusalem for their capital - far more than than they could hope to win on any battlefield.


How much of Jordan should they be receiving under this plan to restore their sacrosanct lands?
   1579. zenbitz Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:33 PM (#4639960)
It amazes me that people are so focused on the, relatively mild, mistreatment of Palestinians by Israel, while pretty much every Arab country has persecuted their Jewish population far worse (to the point of mass exile/expulsion). Of course, now those countries are repeating that same persecution against their Arab Christian citizens, with the same goal/result. Yet the Western world doesn't give 2 shits.


OK - without debating the facts on the ground - this isn't even the argument. The US government does not generally SUPPORT and DEFEND Arab states -- no matter what their record is on persecution. In fact, historically speaking, the US doesn't really give a rats ass about the behavior of governments it supports. It supports or overthrows/sanctions them for "realpolitik" (or neocon fantasy) reasons.

Isreal has a highly trained elite military and nuclear weapons. They should be able to take care of themselves. I think the Palestinians have bee rather poorly treated in the last 60 years. And as quoted above - certainly Isreal has killed more Arabs than the other way around. No one (OK, non crackpot division) is suggesting that the US join forces with the Arab powers to wipe Israel off the map.

I think the US should completely withdraw from the Middle East. I think we should actively pursue energy policies that are less oil dependent. I respect the right of Israli's to have a Jewish state, although I don't like it (any more or less than I like Islamic states).
   1580. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4639962)
I think the US should completely withdraw from the Middle East.


Agree, absolutely cut and run, the ONLY reason Al Qaeda and other mid-east ######## give a rats ass about us is because we are THERE.

   1581. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4639966)
The US government does not generally SUPPORT and DEFEND Arab states -- no matter what their record is on persecution.

See, Kuwait. The Saudis also seem to think we'd be there for them, too, which is probably why Iran hasn't moved in.
   1582. zenbitz Posted: January 15, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4639985)
Fair enough YC. They are supported in exchange for military bases or as enemies of my enemies. Or for cheaper oil.
   1583. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4639988)
I think the US should completely withdraw from the Middle East. I think we should actively pursue energy policies that are less oil dependent. I respect the right of Israli's to have a Jewish state, although I don't like it (any more or less than I like Islamic states).

Agree, absolutely cut and run, the ONLY reason Al Qaeda and other mid-east ######## give a rats ass about us is because we are THERE.

Very appealing in theory, but absolutely impossible to pull off.

Say we Frack, and off-shore drill until the cows come home, and achieve energy independence, and ban the export of our oil/gas. Then what?

Unless you're proposing we go full autarky, we'll deeply enmeshed in the global economy. If we allow a hostile power (Iran, Al-Qaeda-ish Sunni regime, etc.) to gain dominance over the Persian Gulf oil, it will trigger a massive global depression.

At the very least, we need to prevent any aggressive power from controlling Arabia.
   1584. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4639997)
See, Kuwait. The Saudis also seem to think we'd be there for them, too, which is probably why Iran hasn't moved in.


Except you have to go pretty far back in history to find Iranian (well, Persian) expansionist dreams... For all its faults, there's not much evidence of any sort indicating that Iran seeks some sort of lebensraum. Growth into a regional power? Influence over its neighbors? Sure... but there's zero evidence that Iran harbors any dreams of territorial expansion.

I mean, if anything -- it's the Iranians that have valid reasons to fear someone 'moving in'... The neocon strategy of boxing in Iran is well known. Iraq tried to take advantage of the revolution chaos to grab some territory. Hell - go back to WWII - the USSR and the UK invaded Iran for little more reason than Iran/then-Persia had completed a nifty railroad that would would serve as a valuable backdoor supply route between the two countries.

Ascribing some sort of expansionist dreams to Iran is nonsense.
   1585. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 10:41 PM (#4640025)
Except you have to go pretty far back in history to find Iranian (well, Persian) expansionist dreams... For all its faults, there's not much evidence of any sort indicating that Iran seeks some sort of lebensraum. Growth into a regional power? Influence over its neighbors? Sure... but there's zero evidence that Iran harbors any dreams of territorial expansion.


Iran doesn't necessarily need to expand themselves into Arabia. Their growth into a regional power could destabilize Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, and allow an Islamist regime or regimes to take over there. Taking over Saudi Arabia was bin Laden's orginal plan.

In any case, you don't plan based on the good behavior of your enemies.
   1586. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2014 at 10:41 PM (#4640026)
The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a Bi-Partisan Report On The Attack On The Benghazi Consulate. Among the findings:

1. It was preventable.
2. Warning signs were ignored.
3. The State Department should have increased security.
4. There were no protests or demonstrations before the attack.
5. The attacks were by Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, one of which was headed by a released Guantanamo detainee.


   1587. GordonShumway Posted: January 15, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4640035)
The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a Bi-Partisan Report On The Attack On The Benghazi Consulate. Among the findings:

1. It was preventable.
2. Warning signs were ignored.
3. The State Department should have increased security.
4. There were no protests or demonstrations before the attack.
5. The attacks were by Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, one of which was headed by a released Guantanamo detainee.


Stop trying to make fetch happen. It's not going to happen!

I wish that the Right would stop trying to make Benghazi happen, and focus more on President Obama's decision to get involved in Libya in the first place.

President Obama decided to wage war on behalf of rebel forces of a sovereign country, without congressional approval, which lead to the sovereign government of said country being toppled and its leader killed. This government, several years before under the GW Bush administration, gave up its nuclear program and was trying to join the larger community of nations.

I fear that this unilateral action by President Obama, without congressional approval, has terrible long-term consequences for the US. After what the president has done, why would any belligerent country give up its nuclear arms program? If Obama held back, let Libya, despite the horrible internal atrocities it committed, join the community of nations after giving up its nuclear arms programs perhaps other countries would also be persuaded to give up its nuclear arms program.

There's no way any other belligerent country is going to give up its nuclear arms program in the foreseeable future after what President Obama did in regards to Libya. Moreover, countries without nuclear capability have an even greater incentive to seek nuclear weapons.

About thirty years ago, President Reagan clandestinely sent arms and funds to a small rag-tag group of fighters on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Such decisions lead to terrible blowback about twenty years later which we're still paying the price for now. I fear the consequences from President Obama's decision to go into Libya may be much, much worse.
   1588. zonk Posted: January 15, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4640044)
Iran doesn't necessarily need to expand themselves into Arabia. Their growth into a regional power could destabilize Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, and allow an Islamist regime or regimes to take over there. Taking over Saudi Arabia was bin Laden's orginal plan.


And Bin Laden -- leader of the Sunni terrorist organization and son of a prominent Saudi family has exactly what on earth to do with Shiite Iran? Is it the beards?
   1589. Morty Causa Posted: January 15, 2014 at 11:29 PM (#4640046)
   1590. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4640067)
(1588) They're both extremist, Islamist movements that have a desire to dominate the Persian Gulf littoral. As the Sunni-Shiite civil war develops, it is imperative that no extremist, Islamist regime be allowed to dominate the region. The war is highly likely to destabilize existing regimes and encouraging extremism. We need to guard against any one hostile regime getting too strong.
   1591. Lassus Posted: January 16, 2014 at 12:20 AM (#4640068)
Brian Schweitzer starts his campaign by trashing Obama and Hillary. That should work.
A former Democratic governor who is exploring a possible presidential campaign as the “anti-Hillary,” now says he can’t think of a single nice thing to say about President Barack Obama.

As former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer explores a possible 2016 campaign for the White House, he has largely targeted his focus on being the “anti-Hillary." That stance certainly makes sense, as any potential rival to Hillary Clinton would face a steep climb against her expected candidacy.

But Schweitzer has recently unveiled a new fold to his potential presidential run, as an anti-Obama candidate.


   1592. Lassus Posted: January 16, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4640070)
The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a Bi-Partisan Report On The Attack On The Benghazi Consulate. Among the findings:

1. It was preventable.
2. Warning signs were ignored.
3. The State Department should have increased security.
4. There were no protests or demonstrations before the attack.
5. The attacks were by Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, one of which was headed by a released Guantanamo detainee.

I suppose I'm gullible, but at this point I give more weight to journalists on the ground doing work in the area than a bipartisan government committee gleaning its data from admittedly miserable intelligence. "The intelligence in the area absolutely sucks, here is definitely what happened according to intelligence reports." Uh, ok.

Now, of course, if Clapper wants to stand by the bipartisan report, he can stand by:
The report found no evidence of the kind of political coverup that Republicans have long alleged.


   1593. GordonShumway Posted: January 16, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4640071)
Schweitzer doesn't have any good options here.

If the country does reasonably well in the next two years then the establishment Dem candidate's most likely going to win the primary - either HRC or someone else more closely connected to the DLC.

If the country does badly he might beat the establishment candidates in the Dem primary, but he'll most likely lose the general election.

Schweitzer can't win on his own steam - he either needs the establishment Dem candidates to self-immolate in the primary in the first scenario or have the Rep candidate self-immolate in the second scenario. Basically, he need a "legitimate rape" moment to happen, which I wouldn't bet on - presidential candidates are generally a lot smarter, more experienced, and more polished than lower-level candidates.

   1594. Tilden Katz Posted: January 16, 2014 at 12:35 AM (#4640072)
I am a big fan of Schweitzer's, but I'm really not sure what he's thinking here. Even if Hilary doesn't run, it would be tough for a candidate from Montana to win (especially coming from a left-populist angle...he won't have the money to make it). If she does run, running too hard against her would eliminate any chance he has of being VP, even though he's probably the best fit for the Dems in that spot.

That being said, I'm glad there's finally a prominent Democrat willing to attack Obama from the left.
   1595. tshipman Posted: January 16, 2014 at 01:52 AM (#4640090)
I think Schweitzer is a ####### moron. Really can't think of a single thing, Brian? Enjoy visiting Iowa. You won't be around by the California primary so I won't have to worry about not voting for you. I hate voting for Blue Dogs anyways. Go wave your gun in some campaign ads and feel like a big man.

1. It was preventable.
2. Warning signs were ignored.


I hate these reports because they're always backward looking. Was Benghazi preventable? I'm sure. But it's only because it happened that people think that there was something to prevent. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of potential attacks a year on US embassies/assets.
   1596. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:13 AM (#4640099)
Anything else to clear up? Was JFK not really shot?


He was, but it was ARod who shot him.
   1597. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 16, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4640128)
Their growth into a regional power could destabilize Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, and allow an Islamist regime or regimes to take over there.


Of course more likely likely is ...

Bombing Iran and yet more war in the region could destabilize Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, and allow an Islamist regime or regimes to take over there.

Guess what, you can't run the US based on what might possibly happen, maybe, so we better go to war. That is a terrible way to run a nation. Wars are destabilizing for whole regions. If you want a stable region minimize wars. Or would you like a list of wars that grew, spilled out and destabilized places the war was never intended to touch?
   1598. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4640129)
To assume that Iran will bomb Israel is indeed foolish; similarly, to assume that a presumed threat of nuclear annihilation is by itself an effective deterrent.


Deterrence, for all its faults, is what basically the entire post WWII nuclear policy is based on. If you don't think it a wise plan you have many more people to talk to than just me,because it is established doctrine and actually has worked so far.

They only care what the United States and Great Britain and France would or would not do before an Iranian nuclear strike takes place.


Which is fine, but what I was complaining about was your initial hysterical statement. Now that you have clarified it by acknowledging that it is not certain Iran would nuke Israel upon getting the bomb then we can have a more rational discussion. And by the way what Israeli's care about is certainly important for them, but US policy should be based on what people in the whole region care about and on the best interests of the US and to a much lesser degree our allies in the region (in addition to all the usual humanitarian concerns that should count for more than they do).

You are the one who seems bizarrely critical of Israel and its democratically-elected leaders for taking an "aggressive stance" toward the repressive mullahs.


Where exactly was I "bizarrely critical"? I am not fond of many Israeli policies, but I have spent much more time being critical of your hysteria than their policies.
   1599. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4640130)
I am a big fan of Schweitzer's, but I'm really not sure what he's thinking here.


I admit it is a puzzle. On some level you have to differentiate yourself, but Obama is popular with the base, HRC is popular with the base. The policies they have worked on are popular with the base. Attacking the way he did is not useful.

Now attacking specific points is perfectly valid of course, but if you don't like anything the current administration has done then you are probably part of a really tiny slice of the Primary/Caucus going populace. It doesn't even seem like good positioning for 2020 or 2024.

The only way it works is if HRC does not run, but waits long enough that not many other folks run. He gambit now gets him enough press that his name recognition is helped and he goes in with one of the higher profiles against a Joe Biden candidacy. That seems a little two multi-dimensional chess for me, but maybe.
   1600. zonk Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4640134)
I mentioned the Schweitzer swipe a few pages back, and my criticisms were the same --

The big problem with Schweitzer, especially now that he's decided to go after Obama from a populist left -- that's not going to win him the Democratic primary base. He's barely acceptable on most social issues. He was the blogosphere candidate for 2016 up to this point - and he seems to still be determined to win a 'shadow primary' that he's pretty much got in the bag. He needs to burnish his social progressive credentials and his cultural progressive credentials.

Winning all the OWS and libertarian liberal votes isn't going to make him any sort of contender...
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