Friday, December 29, 2006
Glenn Reynolds describes the relationship between the United States and the Palestinian Arabs exactly, I think:
ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION, I've suggested that the United States should not be trying to serve as an "honest broker" for a peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians on the grounds that the Palestinians are our enemies, and thus we can't and shouldn't be neutral about them.
That we -- meaning the American public -- now know that Yasser Arafat was the actual "mastermind" of the murder of American diplomats is but the last bad fact in a very long list. As I have written before, the Palestinian Arabs have been our enemies, or the enemy of our allies, for almost 100 years. Never mind their war against Israel or their repeated terrorism against Western targets. The Palestinian Arabs sided with the Ottomon Turks against our allies -- the United Kingdom, France, and Australia -- during World War I. The Palestinian Arabs worked with the Nazis during World War II. They sided with the Soviets during the Cold War, Iraq during the Gulf War, and the Palestinian "street" acted for all the world as though it supported Al Qaeda after September 11. Of course, Palestinian Arabs supported Saddam in 2003, and probably still do support him on the eve of his execution.
The truth is, the Palestinian Arabs have had many opportunities to support the United States, and had they seized those opportunities they might have a moral case that the United States should be even-handed in its dealings in the region. But they didn't take the chances they had, and instead supported our enemies. Why should any American ever care about the Palestinian Arabs, except perhaps in the most cynical sense? Sure, if we have to suck up to them as part of a broader strategy to coerce and cajole Arab states to help us in the war on Al Qaeda or to contain Iran, fine, but let's not confuse ourselves that it's the moral thing to do. The State Department's persistent covering up of the depredations of the Palestinians certainly goes a long way to explain why conservatives do not trust Foggy Bottom.
While the State Department makes excuses, the American public doesn't easily forget that Palestinians were dancing in the streets and handing out candies in celebration of the September 11 attacks.
That and, of course, the evil Jewish mind control is always at work.
Moonbattery has up a useful supplementary piece, which might be of interest.
Israel Getting the Shaft From USA?
For those so inclined, see yesterday’s comments at the Belmont Club on the matter of Arafat, Fatah, Hamas, and State.
While only one man’s opinion, the rafters should be raised on the blogs until an answer explaining Arafat’s leverage over American and Israeli foreign policy is forthcoming. The success of the GOT might be at stake.
Lest I overlook the obvious in the confusion of linking, Wretchard’s masterful essay is well worth the trip to the BC, with or without comments.
The Blogosphere at War
The historical context means nothing. Historically Germany has been our enemy. I mean, hell we fought two World Wars with them. We have left far more bodies behind in German occupied territories in the last century then all of the losses to Arab for all of history combined. So? The world moves on. The US does a good job not doing the hundred year historical finger pointing that the rest of the world seems to be so damn fond of. I see no reason to buck this trend.
As far as the current context is concerned, the Palestinians are not enemies. They are unsympathetic by-standers at best. We have never had a Palestinian terrorist attack in the US. Hell, we have not even had an attempted Palestinian terrorist attack in the US. In the Palestinian territories Westerns are generally left alone and when criminal groups do snag them, the government goes into overdrive to get them back (and almost always does). In fact, it is stated policy of all major Palestinian terrorist/resistance/whatever organizations to avoid harming Americans because they would much rather have us twisting Israel’s arm and filming Israel soldiers shooting at Palestinians then pissing us off.
As far as dancing in the streets with Americans get killed, yes it is an asshole thing to do. That said, it is pretty easy to see it from their perspective. We help prop up Israel with economic and military aid. Israel has been occupying their land and preventing any sort of normal trade for over 30 years. It shouldn’t come as a big shock that they are happy when they see an ally of their occupier get kicked in the balls.
Now, was Israel justified in their initial occupation? Sure. Did Israel make the most grievous mistake of their nation’s short existence when they decided that they would rather settle their occupied territories rather then build a Germany or Japan like the US? Hell yes. Does that make a lick of a difference now? No. Like I said, I don’t believe in dredging up history to justify current abuses by either side.
Israel is now locked with Palestine. Israel rightly asserts that whenever they try and loosen up they get Palestinians launching rockets at them and suicide bombing. Palestine rightly asserts that Israel settled their land, spent over 30 years occupying them, and made no effort to rebuild them into an ally and instead have created a prison state. Both sides are correct in that they are being abused by the other.
The only question is what the way forward is. To that, I have no answer. Perhaps a Palestinian Gandhi or Martin Luther King could settle the matter. It is a shame the Palestinians are not able to peacefully resist Israeli occupation with the same zeal that they harness when they blow themselves up on a bus with women and children. Democracies are pushovers to non-violent resistance. Gandhi defeated one of the greatest empires this world has ever seen without firing a shot because the British empire was a democracy.. Palestine could do the same to Israel. Armed resistance has just Palestine a prison state hell hole.
Shut up and kill them all already!!! This whole thing could be over in five minutes if we so chose. People wringing their hands over the "humanitarian" aspects of exterminating muslims are like surgeons hesitating about using anti-bacterial soap on their hands before an operation. If you don't think exterminating vermin is justified if that is what it takes to save your life (be you a person or a civilization) then you're probably right....
"The world would be a much better place without them methinks."
"Shut up and kill them all already!"
Boy, TH, with your bloodthirsty readership, you are missing a unique "business opportunity."
In the 1970s the Rhodesian Bush War was a conflict between black nationalists and the white minority government in Zimbabwe. Some white guys used to run safaris in "no-go" areas of the country during the war. On the safaris, big-game hunters from Europe, South Africa, and the United States could hunt and kill African rebels for a fee.
Perhaps you could get government approval to do a similar thing in Iraq and the West Bank. You could call the company "Tigerhawk Tours."
And to the Palestinian brothers fighting the Christian infidels in Somalia, all praise to Allah the giver of the US State Department:
How long did it take? In less than 24 hours of the taking of the capitol, the US State Department is attempting to paralyze the Ethiopian and Somali military campaign.
"What we'd like to see happen as soon as possible is arrangements take place between the Islamic Courts Union and Transitional Federal Government for a ceasefire"…
“[T]he United States was talking with the interim government in Somalia as well as with neighboring Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to urge all sides to ‘make sure that we have an open and inclusive political process.’"
"Certainly individuals and groups that supported the Council of Islamic Courts, or elements thereof, that want to be part of and want to help develop Somali society and a lasting, durable government are people who need to be included in this process"…
No doubt, the Saudis Have Spoken
“And I want two lumps of sugar with my tea and the apple-crumb crumpet looks just yummy”, said State Department spokesnon-genderspecificperson Tom (Tiny Tom) Casey.
In my view, you had it right: outside pressure.
And probably not just from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. Maybe from the British, too. The BBC has been singing the praises of the Islamic Courts pretty loudly in recent months.
There were, as I recall, reports early on of British "foreign fighters" having been apprehended. Their fate was unknown, although the proximate report of summary executions did not bode well.
My concern goes to a pattern of behavior by State, whereby, quick-time becomes the essence. This insistence on speedy ceasefires in the quest of inclusiveness has not worked well in Iraq or Israel. Nothing I have observed persuades me it will work in Somalia. In my view, victory is the only sure way to peace. And by victory, I mean a moment in time when, in Somalia, exhausted Islamicists quit the fight.
Hey DEC--why dont' YOU lead the tours? Perhaps our muslim brothers would be sophisticated enough to discern that you are one of the "good" non-muslims, thus shooting all your countrymen down around you while allowing you to live. What, don't want to go? Perhaps you are an, um, what's the word...CHICKENDOVE? Peace, love, and understanding? Cool--please go hand out bibles in Mecca. I'll be applauding your oh-so-sophisticated and "nuanced" approach to world affairs. Damn, you liberals are, while utterly ignorant of history and human nature, SO DAMN SOPHISTICATED AND SMART!!!!
I understand, Allen. But the leaders of other African nations such as Kenya don't want the violence to spill over into their countries.
Bottom line: Only Muslim extremists seem to like long wars these days.
To: TheManTheMyth. You guessed wrong. I am probably closer to being a libertarian Republican than anything. And I served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
I am a so-called "international arms dealer." I export parts and components for military aircraft. I also have a company that exports medical supplies. One operation blows up people; the other operation puts them back together. Nice balance, don't you think?
The Soviets rarely killed American citizens. They negotiated with us, they manipulated us, and sometimes they even worked together with us. But they were still our enemies.
"the Palestinians are not enemies. They are unsympathetic by-standers at best. We have never had a Palestinian terrorist attack in the US."
But they've attacked our government and people, deliberately, overseas. I guess this doesn't count? Is this why Al Qaeda got a by for so many years? Do we really need bombs at our shopping malls and bus stops to take something seriously?
"As far as dancing in the streets with Americans get killed, yes it is an asshole thing to do. That said, it is pretty easy to see it from their perspective. We help prop up Israel with economic and military aid."
That's right. They see us as enemies precisely because of that perspective. That's why one dances in celebration when someone else is injured or killed; because you are enemies.
"In fact, it is stated policy of all major Palestinian terrorist/resistance/whatever organizations to avoid harming Americans because they would much rather have us twisting Israel’s arm and filming Israel soldiers shooting at Palestinians then pissing us off."
I recall Fatah/PLO/PA saying this in the 90's, but I'd like to be directed to such a statement by Hamas. Not that I would really trust them anyway.
Also, groups like the PLF and the PFLP made habits of deliberately targeting Americans throughout the 70s and 80s.
Your comparison to Germany, while pithy, is not apt. You see, Germany was almost completely crushed in a great war. The society and regime that we opposed (i.e. the Nazis) was also crushed. Germany is no longer a genocidal, militaristic, aggressive, expansionist power. So there is no reason to continue to be enemies.
The Palestinians are, however, still martyrdom obsessed terrorists who torture and kill 'Jews and Jewish agents' wherever they can. They haven't changed. And, short of some sort of drastic disaster, they won't change.
"Perhaps a Palestinian Gandhi or Martin Luther King could settle the matter."
I remember when I was in High School reading a news story from the Gaza Strip about how a mob of Palestinians cornered some Israelis in a building. They stormed the building, killed the Israelis, and tore their bodies apart.
I don't believe there is a way forward with that kind of people. At least not without significant steps backwards, first.