Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Everthing old is new again

 

     Silly me. I actually took the bait, flopped my fingers on the keyboard, and wrote a new column about the Israeli-Palestinian situation, when all I had to do was dig back into the archives and pluck out a completely-serviceable old one. Here is a column from ... well, I'll let you guess. Read it, see if there is a comma that is no longer relevant, alas. At the end I'll give you the date, as a sad coda. 
 

     Whatever your motive, attacking nations is usually bad for you. 
     Dangerous even when you're a big powerful country attacking a 
weaker nation, like Nazi Germany when it invaded Poland in 1939. 
     The Germans had high hopes, rolling across the border. But it did 
not end well for them.
     Even a nation acting on high moral principles, such as the United 
States was supposedly doing five years ago when it invaded Iraq, 
will run into trouble. The war is now universally viewed as folly 
that cost the lives of 4,100 American soldiers and --get ready for 
a statistic you don't read much -- some 100,000 Iraqi civilians.
     As bad an idea as it is for nations, it's an even worse idea for 
non-nations. Were I to decide to wage war on America -- say by 
firing homemade rockets from my back deck into the surrounding 
neighborhood -- retribution would be swift. The local police force 
would no doubt surround the house -- a more powerful force, by the 
way, than myself and my paltry homemade rockets. Even, dare I say 
it, a disproportionate force . . .
     You see where I'm going with this. While nobody wants to see 
civilians die, at some point -- and that point seems to be now, at 
long last -- the world is going to realize that by constantly 
firing missiles into Israel, Hamas is calling hell down upon itself 
and its people. The rocket attacks were not fighting for their new 
nation, but forestalling it. A dispassionate observer would note 
that what Hamas is vowing now after Israel's deadly reply -- to 
visit more destruction upon it -- is exactly what they were vowing 
before. Peace will come the day Palestinians decide they would 
rather build a real, limited nation today than die on the altar of 
a theoretical, unlimited future idyll. That day, alas, tarries.
         — first published in the Sun-Times, Dec. 29, 2008 
 
 

6 comments:

  1. Again, you blame Hamas for Israel's aggression. Hamas is the democratically elected leadership of the Palestinian people and they have ever right to resist the occupation. You want them to just surrender and accept things as they are, but they and the Palestinian people never will. They will fight on until victory. Morally, they are just as justified as the heroic fighters of the3 Warsaw Ghetto were in fighting the Nazi occupiers. Victory to Palestine. Solidarity with Palestine. Jewish people, yes, Zionism No!

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    1. Hamas was not the democratically elected government of Gaza, Hamas won a few seats, Fatah won the rest, But Hamas threw the Fatah winners off a roof and took over. Then they started lobbing missiles into Israel and destroying the infrastructure and running industries that American Philanthropists bought from the Israeli owners and GAVE to the Palestinians. Hamas destroyed those as well, causing the people to be dependent on Hamas. Look up Gaza Green Houses, look up Hamas Fatah infighting. Israel was set to help the Palestinians rebuild their territories the way the U.S. Rebuilt Japan after WWII. Israel doesn't Gaza back, they want to live side by side and hve a trading partner.

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  2. Were you to start firing rockets from your back deck, you would be an asshole, but your situation would not be entirely analogous to Palestine's.

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  3. Israel handed over Gaza with homes, with running business' (with intact bomb shelters) and with millions of dollars of aid, as well as delivering water and electricity. within a week, Hamas started shooting missiles at Israel. Hamas doesn't want peace, if there is peace, there is no need for Hamas.

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    1. But at the same time, Israel is settling the West Bank in clear violation of the 4th Geneva Convention - nobody has perfectly clean hands here. And what happens when these missiles start carrying micronized anthrax or somesuch? The history of assymetric warfare doesn't favor the occupying nation, regardless of their justifications (and I believe Israel is justified in the occupation, but not the settlements). And looking at the long-term demographics of the United States, Israel would be unwise to count on the same level of support as a permanent thing (though you look at Florida's power over our Cuba policy and start to wonder...) Everyone knows the basic outline of a 2-state solution: the '67 borders with some land swaps and demilitarized zones and a symbolic number of Palestinian returnees - it's time to impose it before technology overtakes us.

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Thanks for commenting. As soon as I vet your remarks, they'll be posted, assuming they aren't, you know, mean and crazy.