fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 09:22 am
Agreed blatham - Of particular concern to me are the people in those territories that moved there from North America for the sole purpose of building up those settlements in an attempt to prevent any agreement for the return of those lands. The Israeli government should, IMO, forcibly remove those "settlers" and tear down the developments that have been built in the occupied territories.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 09:28 am
We are (though quickly adding, not in any intimate physical sense) as one.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 11:28 am
I don't care if ye gets intimate with one another, BL, just don't do in my thread . . .

heeheeheeheeheeheeheeheehee . . . .
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 11:39 am
tantor, Here's the 'latest' report on Al Qaeda and their ability to still get funds even when the world community is trying to control it.
http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/central/12/17/un.alqaeda/index.html

c.i.
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 03:43 pm
Settlements should be dismantled, but now is a wrong timing. This will be a tantamount to a bonus for terror. Settlements problem should be solved in course of negotiations that should be resumed when the Arab side stops terror attacks on Israeli citizens and soldiers.
Innocent Palestinians killed in course of the Israeli military operations pertain to collateral damage, and IDF makes every effort possible to minimize it. Israeli civilians were killed by the Palestinian terrorists deliberately. A month ago a terrorist shot from blank range two kids, four and five years old. He was aiming them and only them. Later he killed their mother. And this is not the only instance of deliberate murder of civilians committed by the Muslim terrorists.
This has nothing to do with partisan war. Russian, Serbian, French resistance fighters fought Wehrmacht and Waffen SS in WWII, but they never tried to infiltrate Germany and to attack civilians.
[/i][/size][/color]
Unilateral actions of good will may well work in Europe or North America. In the Middle East they are being interpreted as signs of weakness and/or cowardice, and they give to the enemy hope to win the war. The current terror war was triggered by the unilateral and unconditioned withdrawal of IDF from Lebanon. Palestinians wrongly concluded that they use the "recipe" of Hizballah for promotion of their own agenda: to apply pressure on Israelis by means of continuous terror. That was the main reason for rejection of PM Barak's proposals by Arafat in Camp David. He was sure that he could achieve much more by means of terror, maybe even collapse of Israel.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 06:22 pm
steissd

You said..."Unilateral actions of good will may well work in Europe or North America. In the Middle East they are being interpreted as signs of weakness and/or cowardice, and they give to the enemy hope to win the war."

That argument doesn't work for me, because it is the same argument which commonly gets advanced as the reason why unilateral action between any two countries is a bad idea.

That it was Arafat's decision which thwarted Camp David is not a given.

http://www.nybooks.com/archives/search?author_name=&title=Camp+David&reviewed_author=&reviewed_item=&form=&year=
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 06:45 pm
blatham, Thanks for the 'balance.' All to often, somebody has an agenda to promote only 'their' side of the argument - as we are all won't to do. c.i.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 08:04 pm
ci

The link there is to a number of very thoughtful pieces written by folks who were involved in Camp David. And yes, different viewpoints are represented.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 08:33 pm
Great link, blatham. I copied it into the Political Links topic.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 08:43 pm
blatham, It was my perception from reading your link that Chairman Arafat didn't contribute anything during the Camp David meetings, and also didn't do anything to stop the violence. The only thing I'm not sure of is whether Arafat has any power and/or influence over his own people. If he doesn't make known what it would take to negotiate peace with the Israelis, and doesn't do anything to stop the violence, it seems like a lot of wasted time and energy for one side to do all the talking. At what point are the Palestinians willing to negotiate a peace agreement? I've come to the conclusion a long time ago that Arafat cannot be trusted. Maybe, he just doesn't have the power to do anything regarding this crisis. c.i.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 09:45 pm
God...I was hoping no one would grill me on the contents here. I only very partially read the first item linked, and less of the contrasting viewpoint...and it was quite a while ago. But I posted the link because these were people close to the process and, though the pieces are quite extended, they are the best references I have bumped into on the Camp David failure. Sorry I can't be more helpful...you'll all just have to spend a few hours reading.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 09:49 pm
In my opinion Arafat is no hero of Palestine and most likely has lined his pockets with the 30 pieces of silver of a Judas, but as long as he is perceived as the whipping boy of Israel he will maintain a great deal of influence among many of the arab people. He currently has very little influence with the power brokers of the Arab world other than a symbolic one, he will be neither supported nor denied. For Israel to continue to target Arafat is to continue to empower him.
0 Replies
 
Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2002 10:21 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
tantor, Here's the 'latest' report on Al Qaeda and their ability to still get funds even when the world community is trying to control it.


We are not trying hard enough to dry up the funds. We have not put the arm lock on Saudi Arabia as we should. My suggestion is for Bush to expand his order to kill terrorists to include assassinations of the Saudi millionaires who fund Bin Laden. Bragging about funding the fight against infidels may become unpopular if it leads to a bullet in your head.

Tantor
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2002 11:09 am
tantor, We all know by now that Bush is not going to do anything untoward against Saudi Arabia. Their oil is too valuable. c.i.
0 Replies
 
perception
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2002 12:04 pm
C.I.

Yes but you imply that oil is valuable to us-----we get only 12 % of our oil from the Middle East. It is valuable but to the global economy and most important to maintain a stable price for the world economy which if you must fly an airliner for business or pleasure the rise in the price of jet fuel by just a few cents could be the difference between survival and bankruptcy.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2002 12:08 pm
Well, i suppose it is not inappropriate of me to take an opportunity to answer my own questions in this thread-it has grown somewhat long in the tooth, and although I'm not "wrapping up" the thread, something i cannot do, perhaps i can freshen the discussion somewhat. (There are those who might say, throwing more fuel on the fire-let it be so.)

Is the soi-disant war on terrorism winable in any meaningful context?

Yes, i believe that this "war" can be won in a meaningful context, but not necessarily by purely military means. Unlike conventional wars as known to history, such a war as this is a unique undertaking in that the goal does not admit of clear definition. Even when combating an insurrection of the type known as guerilla warfare, it is possible to identify a target or targets for destruction or neutralization. Certainly, i do not maintain that the world has seen much success enjoyed by those who would combat such an insurrection; however, it is still possible to say, for example, that the intention of Fulgencio Batista's military was to destroy the insurrectionary cells organized by Fidel Castro, and to kill or capture him. A war on terrorism is a different beast altogether, however, in that goals cannot necessarily be so clearly defined. It would be handy to believe that we need only find Usama bin Laden, kill, or capture him and put him on trial, and that we will then be able to declare our war to have been won. It is not my belief that anything so facile would be possible. Killing bin Laden, or putting him before an international tribunal, or an American court, would likely make him more of a hero, a martyr, in the eyes of Muslims the world over, and would, far from ending such a war, more than likely help to sustain it. I am alarmed at the simplistic attitude taken by many commentators with regard to the conduct of this particular war. The Taliban gave sanctuary to Al Qaeda, and bin Laden, and, i have no doubt, supported the operations of that organization. The destruction of the Taliban's regime does not, however, mean that the Taliban no longer exists, nor do heavy blows alleged to have been dealt to Al Qaeda mean that no further terrorist attacks are likely. This brings me to the second part of the general question of this thread.

Outside of pacifying Afghanistan, is there anything constructive, anything lasting which can be accomplished?

Afghanistan knows a provisional peace for the first time in more than a generation. Muhammed Zahir Shah, the last monarch of Afghanistan, fired his prime minister, Muhammed Daud, who was also his nephew, in 1963, in an attempt to halt the drift into the Soviet orbit, and to improve relations with Pakistan. The military continued to receive equipment and aid form the Soviet Union, and, following a severe drought in 1970, the constitutional monarchy erected in 1964 began to crumble from the pressure of economic hardship. Daud overthrew the king in 1973, and then was, in his turn, overthrown. A leftist organization, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), comprised of a pro-Soviet Parcham faction and a radical Khalq faction, re-united the factions in 1976 to get rid of Daud. A successful coup d'├ętat was effected in 1978, after Daud had attempted to crack down on the PDPA. The Russian occupation followed in 1979-i have sufficient regard for the intelligence of my fellows in this forum to assume that all you know the general, tragic history of that sorrowful nation since that time. As a point has been made in this forum about sources-to make sure of names and dates, and to assure that i had the narrative correct, i consulted the Encarta Encyclopaedia cd i have with me, to save myself the trouble of searching for citations on-line; others are free to dispute what i write here based on their own sources-i trust they will have the courtesy to give those sources. My point in providing this much information is to show that Afghanistan has been in turmoil for nearly 30 years, and the Taliban takeover in 1996 was just another in a series of ethnic bids for control of the government. The Taliban identified themselves as religious students, whose studies must have included a good deal of military theory, because they used heavy weaponry quite effectively over a two year period to destroy the resistance of the government, which had had a mostly Tajik power structure, and had sought to exlude the Pushtun tribes from power. The Taliban identified themselves with the Pushtuns, the largest tribal group, which has historically provided Afghan leadership. In establishing a rigid, orthodox islamic fundamentalist government, the Taliban did not create the terrorism which eventually achieved the destruction of the WTC. They simply provided a home for these terrorists.

Muslims have gone off to "fight the good fight" for Islam in many places in the world, including Bosnia and Afghanistan, gaining combat experience, and amassing arsenals of light infantry weapons. That the Taliban provided them a haven should in no way be construed to mean that the pacification of Afghanistan has put paid to the terrorist threat, nor even done severe damage to Muslim terrorists. That is a simplistic view, and one much favored by those who cannot or will not conceive of such a "war on terrorism" in any other than conventional military terms. Winning a war against Muslim terrorism will not be accomplished by blowing fanatical Muslims to bits-this tactic, in fact, will likely only increase the number of those willing to die in such a cause. The Turkish man who attempted to kill the Pope (his name escapes me at the moment) was seeking to destroy "the leader of the Crusades." In his very informative book, The Crusades through Arab Eyes, Amin Malouf points out that to most Muslims, the Crusades have never ended. Regardless of how we may see this, for poor Muslims throughout the world, Christianity continues to attempt the destruction of Islam. Anytime a western power attacks a nation with a predominantly Muslim population, this is seen as an attack on Islam. The demagogues and recruiters of terrorists organizations exploit this to the fullest. To win such a war, we will need to "win their hearts and minds" (to borrow an hypocritical expression from the Vietnam War). As long as Israel continues to slaughter Palestinians, however anyone may feel this is justified, and the US is seen as condoning, at the very least through inaction, this slaughter, terrorists organizations will not lack for recruits to attack us. As long as the US is seen as supporting repressive regimes in Muslim nations, simply to get cheap petroleum, the hatred will continue. I do not deny that military measures are necessary-i am saying that the military options are few, and of very limited value. We can only "win" a war on terrorism by eliminating the causes of Muslim hatred of the west. Attacking the Taliban in Afghanistan has not accomplished this, attacking Iraq will not accomplish this, and ignoring the Israeli/Palestinian imbroglio will only make matters worse. Should a day ever come when the Muslim world sees the US as acting in good faith to produce a workable and just solution in Israel, and as supporting social and economic justice in the Muslim world, we may being to see the day when "victory" in such a war can soon be declared. Our current course does not seem to be headed in that direction.

I've also added this post because it seems that the questions asked at the beginning of this thread are not being answered.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2002 01:45 pm
perception, Your perception is off target. Where in my statement did I specify the US? "Their oil is too valuable" can mean only the US or the whole world. There is no 'limit' to my statement, because most people assume the US to be the world's policeman for the benefit of all. c.i.
0 Replies
 
Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2002 09:32 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
tantor, We all know by now that Bush is not going to do anything untoward against Saudi Arabia. Their oil is too valuable. c.i.


Taking over Iraq implicitly undercuts Saudi Arabia and their business relationship with us. When we cut a deal with Iraq to exclusively purchase their oil and develop their oil industry, Saudi Arabia is going to lose its American rent a cop. Saudi Arabia is a weak country just a couple hops ahead of a revolution. Their corrupt monarchy is going to feel naked with the American infidels gone.

Tantor
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2002 10:15 pm
Tantor, Your crystal ball of America's future relationship with Saudi Arabia is downright amazing. No more needs to be said, because everybody will understand, except you. c.i.
0 Replies
 
steissd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 04:53 pm
I do not think that we should be so happy if the regime in Saudi Arabia is replaced. The population there is so strongly indoctrinated with the most extreme Islamic ideology (Wahhabism) that Iranian regime may be considered a modern and democratic if compared to the possible Riyadh rulers in future. And we must take into consideration that Saudi Arabia possesses the large arsenals of modern weapons, mainly American. It also has billions of dollars earned by oil trade. Unpredictable extremist regime in Saudi Arabia may lead to the world war.
IMHO, if the revolution in the Saudi kingdom is inevitable, I would like CIA to lead it: this will bring to power predictable and favorable regime.[/i][/color]
0 Replies
 
 

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