Sunday, January 01, 2006

Two views of Gaza

Juan Cole predicts:

The Israeli-Palestinian struggle will continue in staccatto fashion, because the Israeli government remains expansionist and land-hungry. Because the Sharon government refused to negotiate with real live Palestinians over the Gaza withdrawal no framework for peace was erected. Israeli troops will go back into Gaza from time to time. Israel will settle thousands of colonists on Palestinian land in the west and will blame Palestinians as irrational and bigotted for objecting. The subtle forms of ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem will continue or accelerate. Fifteen percent of Palestinian children will continue to suffer from malnutrition, a result of the poverty that derives from having been put since 1967 in a large Israeli jail.

Bassem Eid, the founder and director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group  (an organization committed to denounce "Israeli human rights abuses")  comes to a somewhat different conclusion. In a paper written in late July, 2005 entitled Can Palestinians manage the Gaza disengagement?, Eid identified a number of problems facing the Gazans. While he criticized the Israelis for not providing any planning basis to prepare for the withdrawal -- "Up to now there has been no clear information given out to Palestinians regarding the actual process of disengagement, and no guidance as to what life in Gaza will be like afterward" -- he does not ignore internal conflicts within Gaza itself.

in the absence of viable PA dominance is based solely on the will of the Islamist organizations - Hamas and Islamic Jihad. If the PA's current reluctance to reform continues, its ability to enforce law and order at the Palestinian street level may diminish and clashes might take place between armed groups. ... the worry is that the PA will not succeed in building a well-functioning authority ... chaos will prevail in Gaza ... It is generally believed that PA President Mahmoud Abbas will be unable to carry out necessary reforms and rebuild the security services without the support of the European Union and the United States.

Around 45,000 Palestinians presently work in Israel, 30,000 of them illegally. The disengagement plan will sharply cut this number ... another serious blow to the PA after years of failure to reduce economic dependency on Israel. This is due to the Palestinian leadership's lack of an economic strategy focused on developing sources of employment. ... The PA's economic leadership has mainly devoted its efforts to organizing monopolies controlling, among other things, gasoline, flour, sugar, cigarettes, cement and steel. These monopolies made money for the PA and those affiliated with it. In addition, the PA's economic leadership devoted great efforts to please donor states with projects that were not always properly planned. The PA preferred projects creating symbols of sovereignty and prestige, such as the airport, a power plant and a port in Gaza, as opposed to creating labour opportunities through long-term projects to increase trade and employment. ...

The PA also must decide what to do with the land that will return to Palestinian control. ... However, the PA must control possible looting and deal with squatters claiming they have a right to evacuated land. Although the PA insists the post-disengagement process will be transparent regarding the redistribution of land, there are concerns that land will be distributed to reward loyalty to the PA. ... If the image of corruption is not curbed, support for Hamas and other extremist parties will rise, even among the more secular Palestinians, since they have a cleaner image. ... Internal violence will also prevent Gazans from living normal lives after the disengagement.

The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group has also released a year end statistical survey of violence in Gaza, concluding that "the percent of Palestinian fatalities caused by Palestinian gunfire rose from 5% last year to a staggering 51% this year. This data reveals that Palestinians are more often killed by fellow Palestinians than by IDF soldiers or other Israelis." The data reproduced below, has both good and bad news. Fewer Palestinians, in absolute numbers, were dying from gunfire since the Israeli withdrawal, but the number of Palestinians shot by Palestinians has also doubled in absolute number..

 

Year Palestinians killed by Palestinian gunfire Total Palestinians killed by gunfire Percentage

2000

26

321

8%

2001

38

476

8%

2002

37

1117

3%

2003

24

638

4%

2004

44

819

5%

2005

98 192 51%

But there are worrying signs that Palestinian on Palestinian violence may increase. As a Pajamas Media roundup of events in Gaza notes:

According to the Dead Pool citing a Palestinian Authority press release, "senior members of the Palestinian Authority's ruling Fatah Party are paying armed men to disrupt Jan. 25 parliamentary elections after failing to persuade Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to postpone the balloting, political officials said Sunday." That report is corroborated in a picture caption carried by ABC News. Iris Blog, citing the Jerusalem Post notes that "at least 45 Hamas and Fatah fugitives have returned to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah terminal since it was handed over to the Palestinian Authority four months ago", but notes " this last line is an error--the terminal was transferred four weeks ago."

Commentary

I think Bassem Eid's analysis is far better than Juan Cole's. Eid blames Israel for many of Gaza's troubles but acknowledges that many problems also stem from the dysfunctional nature of Palestinian politics. The weakness in Eid's analysis is that he cannot identify any indigenous evolutionary solution to the problem he describes. His paper hopes for a deus ex machina rescue from possible chaos.  "It is generally believed that PA President Mahmoud Abbas will be unable to carry out necessary reforms and rebuild the security services without the support of the European Union and the United States" which is tantamount to a plea for intervention without an acceptance of its necessity. But at least Eid, in recognizing that terrorist behavior will make Arabs its principal victims, is much further along than the Western Left, which has intervened far more deeply in the Middle East than anyone would care to admit.

50 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

"The Coming Palestinian Civil War"
"The ostensible purpose of the fence is to wall out Palestinian suicide-terrorists.
Its further purpose is, by securing a Fortress Israel behind its walls, to evaporate the Palestinian fantasy of obliterating Israel.
What sustains Arafat, the PLA, Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and all other Palestinian terrorist groups, is the hope, the dream, of someday destroying The Zionist Entity, of "pushing Israel into the sea" and establishing a Palestinian State from the Jordan to the Mediterranean free of the hated Jews.

What Sharon understands is that this hope is the only common bond that binds all these terrorist groups into a "Palestinian" identity.
Destroy the hope and you destroy the bond.
Kill the hope and the terrorists will start killing each other.
Outside the fence and bereft of their destruction-of-Israel dream, suicide-terrorists will be blowing up fellow Palestinians in bloody internecine power struggles.
Such a civil war bloodbath is the only way to purge the Palestinians not only of the terrorists among them, but of the mentality of terrorism that infects them all."

1/02/2006 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger Sophia Phoster said...

For a brief period during the late 90's Israeli and other non-Arab capital and organizational skills poured into the PA controlled areas of the West Bank and Gaza (less so). Enterprising Palestinians quickly took advantage of these inflows and a spate of Palestinian owned factories and service businesses sprang up almost overnight.

For a year or two PA GDP was growing at something like 8-10% per quarter. The standard of living for the thousands of Palestinians involved in this economic boom improved dramatically.

This spectre of Palestinian prosperity horrified Arafat and the Islamists and was, I believe, the real cause of the Second Infitada. It was after all these new Palestinian factories, garages, bakeries, and stores that were the first targets of Fatah and Hamas firebombs.

Few things are as obvious as how the Islamists with the enthusiastic cooperation of the Western left manipulate the Palestinians with just enough in handouts to sustain the breeding level of unemployable young males. Shame on the Arabs who migrate to the PA for the free housing and welfare checks, and shame on the Arabs who stay there knowing that the only cash crop they will ever harvest is their children.

1/02/2006 02:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

And, of course, shame on the Western Enablers.

1/02/2006 02:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Evanston from two threads back:

Mika is right, Islam is not a monolith.
In fact, ever since Karbala poured blood on the split between Sunni and Shia, they have had 2 major factions of so-called believers. Understand, too, that many (if not most) muslims are casual believers.
I am not defending Islam, it is a truly satanic religion (read Mohammed's biography if you want a nice history of lies, betrayal, violence, robbery, and rape all in the name of God) but for most muslims it is part of the cultural landscape and provides structure and some level of decency/justice for day-to-day living.
The Palestinians (or orphaned Jordanian/Egyptians, if you will) have been sold the dream of killing the jew and taking his stuff for all their short history. It's their identity, and they have no ideological problem with the expansion of the "caliphate" but that is an abstract dream when they have pressing daily needs.

As I mentioned earlier today, now that Sharon has them bottled up you will see far more internal violence than attacks against the Israelis.
Eventually the most ruthless group will "win" and will settle for statehood (not officially, but in practice) as dividing the spoils takes precedence over taking on Israel.
The Arab states have learned that fighting Israel is a losing and humiliating proposition.
As Heather points out, the unifying principle for Palestinians will be MONEY, which talks while the other stuff walks.
No doubt we'll hear Islamofascist rhetoric from the Palestinians long after its passe elsewhere else -- they always seem to choose the way of the loser.
But they are gradually getting check-mated, if Syria goes democratic in any form/fashion then the Palestinians will have alienated all of the surrounding states.
If you haven't been to the middle east, you don't understand how the Palestinians are viewed. The average Abdul may be sympathetic to them collectively, but they are not liked personally.
The violent free-for-all among Palestinian splinter groups/parties to divide the spoils is the key point of current events.
The Iranians, Jordanians, Syrians, Egyptians and Israelis will secretly back all sorts of groups so my advice for "peace activists" is to get the heck out of there because the real violence will be Palestinian vs Palestinian in a fashion that best resembles 1980s Beirut.

1/02/2006 04:05:00 AM  
Blogger Barry Meislin said...

Juan Cole. What a kidder!

1/02/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, someone should tell Mr Cole that airports and ports are neded for "Trade" and that building them should promote "growth".
Power plants are also required for Industry, employment and growth.
If the Gaza and PA were not self sufficent, or even close, how could they function as a "State"
If they cannot manage an airport, port and power plant successfullt, how could they possibily manage a "State"?

Support from US and the EU implies more MONEY for Mr Abbas and his Gang. Money for nothin'. IMO

Close All the Israeli borders tighter than a drum, import Phillipinos as laborers, and let the Palistinians have their 'State'.

1/02/2006 06:01:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

several points...

Mr coles blog doesnt allow posters to post, good ole JC must approve every post...

here was mine..

JC: 6. The Israeli-Palestinian struggle will continue in staccatto fashion, because the Israeli government remains expansionist and land-hungry.


interesting point, so withdrawl form gaza & 2x the area of the west bank is expansionist?


JC:Because the Sharon government refused to negotiate with real live Palestinians over the Gaza withdrawal no framework for peace was erected.

the palestinians want self determination, they got it, why blame israel for palestinian mismanagement?

JC: Israeli troops will go back into Gaza from time to time.

yes, since the withdrawl there have been almost 300 rocket attacks... would any nation permit this?


jc: Israel will settle thousands of colonists on Palestinian land in the west and will blame Palestinians as irrational and bigotted for objecting.

Why are israelis "colonists? read the UN resolution, it states that the west bank are disputed territories, do not israelis have a right to live in Jerusalem, Hebron etc? If you go bank 100 yrs, you will find that the VAST MAJORITY OF PALESTINIANS did not existin these land and had migrated there looking for jobs... are they not "colonists" also?

JC: The subtle forms of ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem will continue or accelerate.

subtle? ok, since the arab world has overtly completely cleansed the 21 1/2 nations of all jews, why should jerusalem, a JEWISH CITY, that as had a majority JEWISH population SINCE 1880 not be allowed to grow?, last time i checked christians and moslems still control their mosques and churches and the temple mount, a JEWISH SITE (2800 yrs OLD) still does not allow JEWS any control whatsso ever..

JC: Fifteen percent of Palestinian children will continue to suffer from malnutrition, a result of the poverty that derives from having been put since 1967 in a large Israeli jail.

Since the palestinians have received more money per person than the marshal plan, maybe the reason for this is the swiss bank accounts, the brand new benzes, the billions spent on weapons and bomb making not the war in 1967 that israel did not start....

maybe it time to tell the palestinians, grow up, stop playing war, and start BUILDING a country...

remember those greenhouses GIVEN to the palestinians? 380 MILLION a yr in sellable produce? they coould FEED themselves if they wished... but they dont...

the other point about palestinian deaths by gun fire... most of the palestinian deaths by israels are the DIRECT result of palestinian ATTACKS, small but important point, if you removed this number, you will find that palestinian armed struggle against palestinian is very large and certainly not new...

1/02/2006 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

I continue to be stupid, but maybe someone can correct me.

If HAMAS is dedicated by charter and religion to the idea that Israel sits on a muslim waqf, and they therefore refuse (via the perfect and immutable document) to be reigned in, and then win elections as well...

Why

even

discuss

the

possibility

of

peace (besides Islamic peace)?

Silly me, this makes Juan Cole a PERFECT FOOL

There is not yet even the basis for discussion for real peace. If one side is by religion compelled to seek the other side's NON-EXISTANCE what possible difference can it make whether the second side is expansionist or not?

1/02/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Juan Cole has argued that recent Western intervention in the Middle East was doomed to failure because the upstart Western nations were entering an area whose culture had endured for millennia.
That is all nonsense, of course, but if Cole believes his own analysis why do the Palestinians need "a framework for peace"? With the Israelis gone they can simply revert to their millennia-long experience with civilization.
The real problem is that it looks like that is just what they are doing.

1/02/2006 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Wretchard--

Thanks for this post. It puts things into perspective; it is the kind of behavior that you would expect from a modern criminal street gang: trying to monopolize flour and sugar, for goodness sakes, and shooting each other in the process! Of course they need international help to get this statelet off the ground. Let's hope none of that help comes from the U.S.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year. Thanks again for writing this blog.

1/02/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

The problem with the Palestinians is that they have wasted the last 40+ years.

1/02/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Dangit Rat you took my comment. Exactly: what kind of "state" is it that depends for literally everything state-like on outside powers? The Islamic world should be ashamed of this basic posture, but since it has virtually no spur to introspection, it isn't. It should look at China, a real victim of the post-colonial variety - probably the only one.

Why can't the Arabs in Iraq and Palestine be persuaded not to own AK47s? Eh? Couldn't they be satisfied with Glocs and shotguns like any civilized country?

1/02/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

The Fence, as Doug alluded to, has many properties.

1. Since a Fence can stop the mighty Palestinian ‘Freedom Fighters’ are they not a weak horse. Are they not Barbarians at the Gate?
2. The Fence forced the Palestinian State to act like a State. They wanted it, they got it – but they cannot parasitically suck Israel dry.
3. The Gaza pullback demonstrates the strong and vibrant leadership of the Palestinian people. It forces the Arab world into the conflict in a direct manner – check out the action at the Gaza/Egypt border. If the barbarians want to kill, let them kill themselves.
4. The Palestinians will not be able to adapt economically. They need to trade manual labor for money. Israel will no longer permit that. The problems associated with open borders with barbarians are no longer ‘worth it’. Israel will seek other sources of labor.
5. The Palestinian State is now visible in all its glory – to the Palestinians, Lefty Israelis, the Arab World, the Eurotrash, and America.

For me, I want no pennies from the fruits of American enterprise and labor flowing into the barbaric land of Bar Bar Me Me Mine Mine Kill Kill Blah Blah…

Let Juan Cole go East, GO EAST YOUNG MAN… You can help. I no longer want to.

1/02/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"maybe it time to tell the palestinians, grow up, stop playing war, and start BUILDING a country..."


Actually, after over 50 years of this nonsense, it would be nice to see someone show some gonads and tell Israel to send this Jihadi bastard child whence it came from.

1/02/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Juan Cole's rhetoric is a laugh-a-minute, e.g. "expansionist and land-hungry", "ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem", etc. Cole is wasting his time pretending to be an academic. He should get a job with Al Jazeera. Such employment would be a better match to his peculiar talents.

1/02/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

It may be wishful thinking, but it appears to me that the Yurps are finally starting to see the light vis-a-vis Ye Olde Palestinians, too. That not only is Europe withdrawing its moral support, but that funding is drying up.

It was fun for Europe to play anti-Semitic games and encourage the Palestinians, all the while loudly proclaiming their "humanitarian efforts". But once Muslim jihadists started blowing up planes, trains and automobiles in Madrid, London and Paris the oh-so-civilized Europeans came face-to-face with the fact that they needed Israel's expertise in dealing with these lunatics far more than they needed any transient touchy-feely warm&fuzzies gained in supporting the underdog.

The increasing need for self-preservation among Europeans is even trumping their hysterical anti-Americanism, with its subsequent determination to do the exact opposite of whatever America's policies are; i.e., if America supports Israel then France, by golly, is gonna support the dreadful Palestinians, even to the point of filming a make-believe child-death and trumpeting it around the world.

Now, if we can just convince the UN to pull out and leave the Pal's to their own suicidal devices, that would be a final domino to topple. Of course, if we killed the UN off at the same time, that would simultaneously take care of another huge problem.

1/02/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

The weakness in Eid's analysis is that he cannot identify any indigenous evolutionary solution to the problem he describes. His paper hopes for a deus ex machina rescue from possible chaos.

There is one evolutionary solution that is being actively kept at bay by the international community. It is the evolutionary solution of extinction.

Our artificial support for an otherwise abortive society ensures the creation of unnatural, and evolutionarily unsound, pathologies. It is time to take off the training wheels, and let the Palestinians compete in the adult world of natural selection.

Real cost has long been removed from the Palestinian equation, but the bill must be paid, eventually. It does the Palestinians no favors to keep the juice running.

1/02/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Wm. Tyroler said...

the Western Left ... has intervened far more deeply in the Middle East than anyone would care to admit -- a very, if often overlooked point. The various comments above all make, one way or another, a persuasive case why the Palestinians are not going to end up with their own state.

Wretchard's observation concisely explains why: the Western Left has abetted Palestinian intransigence rather than flexibility. A timely illustration:

The British press carries reports today of the fury and exasperation of British officials who rescued Kate Burton and her parents from their Palestinian kidnappers only to find that she refused to co-operate with them and would not be debriefed, thus potentially putting other innocent people in danger from similar activities. ...

This is what is so distressing about what has happened to Britain. Nice people now turn out to have monstrous views. Decency itself has been kidnapped and brainwashed and turned into a diabolical mirror image of itself. The moment you meet one of these liberal, tolerant, well-educated, well-spoken, well-mannered, internationalist-minded folk for whom the third world is a synonym for global injustice, you know that they are going to despise or hate Israel and bestow their compassion on the promoters of genocide. One constantly meets such people who have compassion for the vulnerable and want to do good in the world: pillars of the community, admirable and delightful in every way — except that they side with people who happen to have a murderous hatred of Israel and the Jews.

1/02/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This is apropos the last thread, but I thought Belmonters would be interested to read this essay from the New Criterion: After the Suicide (from Realclearpolitics.com).

Our colleges and universities have been preaching the creed of multiculturalism for the last few decades. Politicians, pundits, and the so-called cultural elite have assiduously absorbed the catechism, which they accept less as an argument about the way the world should be as an affirmation of the essential virtue of their own feelings. We are now beginning to reap the fruit of that liberal experiment with multiculturalism. The chief existential symptom is moral paralysis, expressed, for example, in the inability to discriminate effectively between good and evil.

1/02/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I think all sides of the Western political spectrum have intervened heavily in the Middle East, the Left not the least of all. The Left needs these sites of pilgrimage; it has since the Spanish Civil War, a place to make their new generation. And so Palestine is their ersatz Spain. But it's a Spain without a Hitler, unless they are represented by his victims, even though it has a Stalin as represented by his heirs. What the Palestinian struggle desperately needs is a new George Orwell to give it mental clarity; but perhaps even more it needs a national leader who will give the Palestinians not simply a state but the soul to inhabit it with. And to achieve that requires a second declaration of independence, not just from Israel but from the shallows of the Marxist soul.

1/02/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Wretchard, and if they do as you instruct, I shall surely meet these future Buddhas in the hyperdimensional universe of Arupadhatu.

1/02/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

mika,

I ran into a fair number of these Leftist missionaries in the course of my misspent life. The first thing they discover is that, like Superman, First World currency acquires strange powers under the Third World sun. By disbursing fairly trivial amounts of money for trips to conferences, small scale projects that are mostly salary money for "documentation" and "advocacy", Western NGOs and Leftist academics can exercise a huge amount of influence in poor countries.

You'll immediately notice that these Leftist missionaries stay way clear of natives who have extensive professional experience. He does not want to talk to the guy who made it as an investment banker in New York or a mutual funds manager from Boston, however indigenous he may be. He wants to talk to people with a fair degree of natural intelligence but who are fundamentally naive. The kind of person who'll be impressed with an invitation to a Greenpeace conference in Noumea or some such place.

It doesn't always work out because if the indigene is smart enough he eventually gets to the point where he figures out that these Leftist NGOs are using his ass to make the real money. The moment of revelation may come when he stumbles on a copy of a project proposal the benefactor may have left astray, the one that shows what the Sahib makes compared to the indigenes in the proposed "documentation" or "advocacy" project.

The saddest of all sights is what I'd call the Leftist mail order groom. The Third World man who is married to a Leftist missionary so he can be wheeled around to society functions in London or San Francisco to impress "progressive" circles. It's easy to spot him. He can never wear regular clothes, like Land's End shirts or Hush Puppy shoes, however much he wants them. He's got to wear the ethnic uniform and affect the charming foreign accent long after he's lost it.

There's worse things that can happen than to die poor. What's the line from Bubba Ho-tep. Down with all guns blazing, but ... soul intact.

1/02/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Actually Doug,What sustains Arafat these days is the flames of hell licking at his mangy Sodomite butt.

1/02/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

LOL,
But the guy that wrote it back then did a pretty good job of describing the present scene.

1/02/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger david bennett said...

------------------------------------
Shame on the Arabs who migrate to the PA for the free housing and welfare checks, and shame on the Arabs who stay there knowing that the only cash crop they will ever harvest is their children.
------------------------------------

Many of the Palestinians who "emigrated" there did so because they were forced out by Kuwait and other Gulf nations. There is not really any place for these people to go. The Arab nations do not welcome them. In Lebanon they are prohibited by law from practicing a profession and almost none can get a permit to work legally. The Shiites and Christians hate them. Both have slaughtered them in the past.

So much for Arab support of the Palestinians.

As for Israel. It should not have built those setllements, they were illegal. The starjest indictment came from Commentary in the eighties and Commentary is about as pro Isreali as you can get. The complaint was that the occupation was encouraging extremists rather than moderates and not building the professionals essential to mantain a society.

The first intafada led by those native to the territories was controlled and calculated. It succeeded.

The PLO was allowed to return and it took control. It had no interest in sewage plants or economies or education. It was a "revolutionary organization." The thugs took over. Completely corrupt thugs.

Now it looks like Hamas is moving into power, at least if "democracy" is allowed. This is a truly evil organizaton. However it is less corrupt and in many ways truly disciplined. The results may be similar to the first stages of communism which managed to eliminate old styles of corruption before the new began to fully flourish, to break apart feudal economic processes, to bring about minimal education and medicine, to impose a greater equality in seriously distorted socities.

Then in a few years if something like Lenin's NEP could be put in place and not crushed there might be hope. But it is a long shot.

Hopefully I'm wrong, perhaps some other form of order will burst forth, But I suspect a place whose major export is terrorists.

1/02/2006 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Aristides,
Mark Steyn has an excellent column (or maybe it't the transcript of a speech) on the same subject. I don't have a link, but it is on his website. This morning it was the most recent item there.

1/02/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger felix said...

I think a more promising approach would be to again make Gaza part of Egypt like was pre-1967. Demilitarized, that is. The Gazans have the same religion and language, culture as the Egyptians. So, notwithstanding that everyone from the US to the Quartet to the UN wants to see the creation of a Palestinian State, I personally don't get it.

Being part of Egypt, the Gazans would be part of a real country, they could get Egyptian passports, have seats (I imagine) in the Egyptian legislature, etc. Since promoting democracy through elections in Arab countries is popular these day, I have an idea for an election in Gaza. A referrendum--non-coerced/secret ballot/with pre-election tv and radio discussions and debates: Do you want Gaza to be a part of Egypt? Yes or No. Let' see what happens.

1/02/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT,
Nice tribute to our great military:
Call To Duty (via the castle).
Hat Tip
Sisyphean Musings

1/02/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger hamint said...

This extraordinary blog should be one of the best forums for addressing Palestinian-related issues. Demonizing the Left, however, while sometimes therapudic, is not realistic or productive. The recent municipal elections in Nablus put Hamas in charge of the city council. Hamas apparently took control of about one third of the seats on the Ramallah city council (a Fatah stronghold). With the split in the Fatah vote (between the old line members and a younger group led by a convicted murderer), there is a good chance that the state-wide democratic elections later this month will produce a Hamas government or one heavily influenced by Hamas. Somewhere I read last month that the US government is beginning to evaluate how we will deal with peacefully elected Hezbollah and Hamas officials in the Lebanon and Palestine. Certainly Arik Sharon has learned how to deal with these sworn enemies of Israel; mostly with the sharp end of the stick and through present and future unilateral withdrawal from Arab territory (Debka suggests that his future plan may embrace withdrawal from 90% of the West Bank). The Ruler of Abu Dhabi has reportedly acted by committing to finance $100 million plus of housing in the Gaza. Many US commentators view the regional problem merely as a "real estate" issue. But the Palestinians will not achieive the requisite degree of sovereignty or economic stability as long as the Israelis refuse to give the Palestinians air and water rights (maybe Sharon's new ideas will eliminate the non-contiguous land (i.e., Bantustan) problem on the West Bank). It was undoubtedly much easier and more efficacious for the former South African regime to negotiate with Nelson Mandela (over the span of many years while he was in prison) than for the Israelis to deal with extremely popular non-sectarian Palestinians like Marwan Baghouti precisely (and ironically) because Mandela (head of the then newly minted ANC guerilla army) was not directly responsible (unlike Baghouti) for murdering anyone. Despite the odds, Sharon may be able, either alone or with others, to create a new dispensation for Arabs still under Israel's current dominion and control. At least Sharon's approach may serve as a "beard" for Americans enabling us to discuss more openly and more congenially the solutions that are probably needed (which will inevitably have a substantial impact on Israeli settlers; the first pied noir of this century) without being viewed as anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli. Far from it.

1/02/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Aristides said...
"Our artificial support for an otherwise abortive society ensures the creation of unnatural, and evolutionarily unsound, pathologies. It is time to take off the training wheels, and let the Palestinians compete in the adult world of natural selection.

Real cost has long been removed from the Palestinian equation, but the bill must be paid, eventually. It does the Palestinians no favors to keep the juice running."

I largely agree but wonder why the same argument isn't being made for Iraq. Is this colonial creation (Sykes-Picot:1916, Whitehall: 1921) any more viable a state than "Palestine". Why should we keep the juice running for a failed liberal experiment in social and political engineering?

1/02/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

“The Devil you know...”

In his book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” neurologist Oliver Sacks describes his experience treating a young man in his twenties who had spent his entire life learning to cope with Tourette’s Syndrome. By the time he undertook treatment with the good doctor, this man had become a professional musician, performing with a jazz group in nightclubs, and had a circle of friends who had learned more or less to accept his quirky twitches and blaspheming outbursts.

Then, after months of treatment and some evident detectible diminution of the symptoms of the syndrome, the patient stopped making progress, and indicated he didn’t want to go any further with Doctor Sacks. The doctor couldn’t understand; the treatment seamed to be working. He gently questioned to find out why the patient wanted to withdraw from the protocol that was evidently doing what had been asked for.

Doctor Sacks wrote that he finally grasped that his patient had striven to find ways to deal with the myriad problems his condition created for him, and had painstakingly nurtured relationships with people that were, on reflection, fundamentally structured around his syndrome AND his intelligent persistent copying ploys. It turned out that he was realizing he was very much afraid of losing what he had accomplished, with no concept of what life might be like in the absence of all the familiar routines, habits, and friendships.

There is a universal lesson — (Well of course, you dufus! Why else would Dr. Sacks have bothered to include the anecdote in his stinking book?!) — that seems to apply to the situation of the Palestinian Arabs. They’ve lived with their festering situation for almost four generations now. They know very well how to be victims. A world in which they might behave as responsible adults, managing their own affairs and disputes, is to them terra incognita. It will take some transcendent leadership to show them alternatives to bullying, corrupt, doctrinaire, intolerant zealotry. Until such leadership arises, it seems like the world can only hope for encapsulization of the abscess.

In this context, the U.S. attempts to depose Saddam and help establish an experimental alternative political system allowing the possibility of autonomous self-government by an Arab people, will help mark the path for Palestinians to see a way toward their own maturing reification of sovereignty.

1/02/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Stuart Fullerton: ...it is the kind of behavior that you would expect from a modern criminal street gang...

Well yes. And, it looks like they are going to become a little more modern.

January 2, 2006, 11:44 AM (GMT+02:00)

Listed are 5,000 automatic rifles, a million bullets, anti-air and hundreds of anti-tank missiles, mortars and 5 tons of explosives. The anti-air weapons in terrorist hands place Israeli air force counter-operations over the Gaza Strip at risk.


Shin Beit 2005 Report confirms vast scale of war materiel smuggled from Egypt to Gaza

Wretchard notes: ...The saddest of all sights is what I'd call the Leftist mail order groom. The Third World man who is married to a Leftist missionary so he can be wheeled around to society functions in London or San Francisco to impress "progressive" circles. It's easy to spot him...

Hum, there would seem be a large selection of those guys to choose from. I can picture it. Some guy with a bead skirt and "nose bone" hob nobbing with Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore.

1/02/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

What Juan Cole wrote could have been written by our own C4??? Cole is a little more restrained.

1/02/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

"Juan Cole has argued that recent Western intervention in the Middle East was doomed to failure because the upstart Western nations were entering an area whose culture had endured for millennia."

The current culture in the Middle East, and it's cold war era leaders and politicians are all relics of the cold war.

The middle east was far more liberal and progressive in the 50's.

1/02/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Do we think the Palestinians (i.e., Hamas, Hizbollah, et al) will be a little less intransigent once we have nuked Iran? Given that there is a probability that Israel may very likely be a co-nuker.

My guess is not, in that I see the Pal's as getting up in the morning and going to work to "do" terrorism in the same way that everyone else goes to a job. I don't think the current crop of Palestinians have any job skills to survive other than blowing things up, so therefore, it would appear that any schemes to empower them to morph into something civilized (in other words, "get a job") are the merest of pipe dreams.

1/02/2006 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Heh:

Hoisted on their own petard, those poor, foolish Palestinians. I mean, how evil of those joos in Israel to leave them alone to show the anarchy that will develop w/o Israel there.

It's like the ultimate dysfunctional relationship. One of the family said, "we're not going to play this game anymore" and the other one imploded.

Actually, IIRC, it was the neo-cons who helped the ball get going by declaring in favor of a Palestinian state. The Israelis were going to be bred to minority in twenty years. Of course, blood feuds and gang-land style power struggles may just be the Palestinian version of "family planning". Kind of like the Italian families in the Middle Ages who would put their idiot children into the Pope's seat so some other family would assassinate him. Here in the American South, we let alcohol and firearms work the magic of natural selection. You know, maybe its a cultural thing that we should be more tolerant of.

1/02/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Taking off the training wheels should always be the endstate of our foreign policy, Reocon. Only adults have the wisdom to survive in this world, the wisdom of cost. Dependency, by taking away perspective, creates just the type of pathologies I was talking about.

However, surely there is a difference between training wheels for a four year old, and training wheels for a 30 year old.

There comes a point when protection itself is an obstacle to progress. Once you get there, it is time to let them go.

1/02/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

...protection itself is an obstacle to progress.

Affirmative Action.

And when are we going to cease and desist the politically correct "protection" that we have been enabling the Religion of Peace to get away with here in the U.S.?

1/02/2006 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cedarfard asserts: This is a war of ideas.

I say: No Problem! Kill the ideologues.

Kill the ideological racketeering that's extorting "believers" and "unbelievers" with Allah's "protection" racket. That should quickly remove any ideas of Allah's supremacy, or supremacy of his agents. Second, make it clear to those seeking protection that there is a new syndicate of ideologues on the street. And those seeking protection better believe in Capitalism, Democracy, Liberalism, Pluralism, respect for Property Rights and the Rule of Law, should they wish to enjoy some measure of protection.

1/02/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Wretchard,

Land's End shirts and Hush Puppy shoes, regular clothes? You really weren't kidding when you write of that misspent youth. :D

1/02/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

hamint said:

Many US commentators view the regional problem merely as a "real estate" issue. But the Palestinians will not achieive the requisite degree of sovereignty or economic stability as long as the Israelis refuse to give the Palestinians air and water rights

which came 1st? israel withholding air and water rights or the arabs witholding the right of israelis to LIVE?

while we are on the subject, is not the palestinian attacks on the israeli water carrier in 1964 before the "occupation" started the attempt by the arabs to control the water rights of israel? is not the damming of the Jordan river by Lebanon withholding water rights to israel? is not Syrian pollution the sea of galiee not "fair"? and while we are at it, what right do gazan's have to any water at all? as for air rights, the arab world has all the rights they wish, as long as they dont use it to murder innocent civilians, point in case, over 300 rockets have been fired FROM gaza since israel withdrew... so why should israel give the palestinians rights to suicide bomb by airplane israeli towns & villages...

your arguement is backwards, the so called palestinians could have had a state in 1948, 1967 and 2000 & 2006, all they have to do is stop murdering... btw, murderers in the USA dont have the right to control water resources and airspace, we put those people in prison.


hamint said: (maybe Sharon's new ideas will eliminate the non-contiguous land (i.e., Bantustan) problem on the West Bank).

nice ref to south africa, but hardly accurate, if palestine is CONTIGUOUS, then ISRAEL is turned into a non-contigous country...

hamint said: It was undoubtedly much easier and more efficacious for the former South African regime to negotiate with Nelson Mandela (over the span of many years while he was in prison) than for the Israelis to deal with extremely popular non-sectarian Palestinians like Marwan Baghouti precisely (and ironically) because Mandela (head of the then newly minted ANC guerilla army) was not directly responsible (unlike Baghouti) for murdering anyone. Despite the odds, Sharon may be able, either alone or with others, to create a new dispensation for Arabs still under Israel's current dominion and control.

Maybe sharon should unilaterally redraw the map of israel and draw OUT those arabs that live IN israel "proper", give them back to Palestinian control, then they could lead the "so called palestinians" into the 21st century...

hamint said: At least Sharon's approach may serve as a "beard" for Americans enabling us to discuss more openly and more congenially the solutions that are probably needed (which will inevitably have a substantial impact on Israeli settlers; the first pied noir of this century) without being viewed as anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli. Far from it.

actually there are far more "palestinian settlers" in the west bank, and the impact on them will be catastrophic once israel completes it's divorce from the insane wife it was shotgunned into marrying 30 yrs ago, the palestinian settlers will find their "settlements" barren in a short time without israeli support, thus solving the problem.

1/02/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

NahnCee said...
Do we think the Palestinians (i.e., Hamas, Hizbollah, et al) will be a little less intransigent once we have nuked Iran? Given that there is a probability that Israel may very likely be a co-nuker.

israel will not nuke iran, no need... 70% of iran is under the age of 25 and the mullahs just made all western music illegal....

give it time, the power of rock n roll and the internet is going to go along way to change iran, not to mention the defanging of syria...

the palestinians are living in a smaller and smaller world everyday, soon they will totally only be able to murder their own..

1/02/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

news update as per what Wretchard-- predicted:

Kate Burton, the British aid worker freed by her Palestinian kidnappers says she regrets endangering her parents, who were abducted with her while on a visit to the Gaza Strip last week.

Burton said most Palestinians had few opportunities for education and economic advancement. "They've got no choice, so they (the kidnappers) think that fighting in this way is the only way."

The kidnapping had made her "love the Palestinian people even more," she said, adding that the majority were peace-loving and disapproved of violence.

Asked if she would like to see her kidnappers punished, she replied: "Obviously I would, because they haven't done the right thing, and if you don't stop them they probably will go on doing it in the future."

what a moron...

let darwin reign, her genetic line will be gone from the earth in no time...

1/02/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

let darwin reign, her genetic line will be gone from the earth in no time...

While tentatively agreeing with the spirit of your argument, I must interject for the sake of precision.

It is not her genes that make Ms. Burton ill suited to survive. It is the memes she carries.

The supposed "knowledge" she wields is the culprit, the reason those like her would become extinct if not for the protection of true Western Civilization.

The effect of her genes on her mental paradigm is negligible. Anybody can be taught a fallacy. Nobody, however, is predisposed to it from birth.

1/02/2006 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Leftism in general is like that. Whenever you get in an intractable argument with one of its proponents, rest assured.

You are the integral. They are the derivative.

1/02/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Asked if she would like to see her kidnappers punished, she replied:
"Obviously I would, because they haven't done the right thing, and if you don't stop them they probably will go on doing it in the future.
"
---
You hurt the ones you love, or in her case, she'd like someone else to do it for her.
(but does she really mean it?)

1/02/2006 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Aristides-Sorry, but anybody who can't reason their way out of the suicidal memes they have gotten themselves into deserve to have their genes removed from the gene pool.

1/02/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Doug: You hurt the ones you love, or in her case, she'd like someone else to do it for her.
(but does she really mean it?)


I doubt it - particularly if she was a willing participant in the charade.

The British press carries reports today of the fury and exasperation of British officials who rescued Kate Burton and her parents from their Palestinian kidnappers only to find that she refused to co-operate with them and would not be debriefed, thus potentially putting other innocent people in danger from similar activities...

[see: Wm. Tyroler's post for links]

The reason she refused to be debriefed is that she may be forced to admit she as an active participant in a Criminal Hoax. Further, I doubt she could pass a polygraph test.

1/02/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

Leviathan or the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill.
By Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury
The First Part: Of Man; XIII: Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as Concerning their Felicity and Misery
http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~econ/ugcm/3ll3/hobbes/Leviathan.pdf
pages 77-78


Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man. For war consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting, but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known: and therefore the notion of time is to be considered in the nature of war, as it is in the nature of weather. For as the nature of foul weather lieth not in a shower or two of rain, but in an inclination thereto of many days together: so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary. All other time is peace.

Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

1/03/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Bigger Diggler said...

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=16292006

1/04/2006 02:20:00 PM  

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