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empiremaker03
Apr 15th, 2003, 02:49 PM
Might As Well Get To Know It
by Charley Reese

Now that our president has embedded us in the Middle East for an indefinite future, you might as well start trying to educate yourself about the area and its conflicts. As one can say about so many problems in this world, it all began with the British Empire.

When you look at a map of the Middle East, you are looking at a map drawn by two Europeans by the names of Sykes and Picot. This map represents the betrayal of the Arabs and the Kurds. Before this map was drawn, the area had been part of the Ottoman Empire. (That's Turkey, for those of you who hate history and geography.)

The British, with their usual perfidy, had promised everything to everybody. Help us overthrow the Turks, they said to the Arabs, and you can have an independent Arab nation afterward. Help us overthrow the Turks, they said to the Kurds, and you will get an independent Kurdistan. And for some reason historians still argue about, they also promised European Zionists that they (the Brits) would establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. They betrayed them, too, because what they did was establish the Palestine mandate — or, in plain language, British occupation of Palestine.

Britain and France divided the Middle East between themselves, and this basic fact set off the conflicts we are still dealing with. The problem with establishing a Jewish state was that Arabs already occupied the area chosen. While they initially had no quarrel with Jews who wanted to immigrate to Palestine (the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has nothing to do with religion and never has), as soon as they figured out that European Jews were not coming to be Palestinians but to take their land away from them, the Arabs revolted. The British crushed this.

It wasn't too long, however, before Jews became impatient with British occupation and so, to drive out the British, did what Palestinians are doing today — used terror. Two of the premier Jewish terrorists — Menachem Begin, who led the Irgun, and Yitzhak Shamir, who led the Stern Gang — would later become prime ministers of Israel. It is the political parties these terrorists started that rule Israel today. Begin is famous for blowing up the King David Hotel, Shamir for reputedly ordering the assassination of Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte, who had been sent on a peace mission by the United Nations. Both of their groups joined forces to commit one of the most infamous massacres in history at the little village of Deir Yassin, where more than 200 men, women and children were slaughtered. Much of modern terrorist methods were pioneered by Begin. You should read his book "The Revolt."

Sometime in 1947, the British had had enough of Palestine and announced they were going to end the mandate the following year and dump the problem in the lap of the United Nations. The Zionists fiercely lobbied both Harry Truman and Joe Stalin. The deal was to get a vote to partition Palestine. The Jews would immediately proclaim the state of Israel, and, as preplanned, the United States and the Soviet Union would instantly recognize it. This was the first instance of the United States using a combination of threats and bribery to round up votes at the United Nations.

Jews and Palestinians were already fighting, and in the course of that fighting, the better-organized Zionists decided to expand beyond the boundaries set by the partition resolution and to do a little ethnic cleansing, since Arabs still outnumbered Jewish residents 2-1. Despite some volunteers coming in from other Arab countries, the Zionists had accomplished both goals by the cease-fire in 1948. In a 1967 war, the Zionists took the rest of Palestine, and Palestinians, who stubbornly insist on self-determination (once, but no longer, an American value), are fighting them the best way they can.

With the United States loading the Israelis down with both modern arms and billions of dollars, however, the Palestinians are having a hard time. This issue has made the United States hated in the region and the king of hypocrites because we have vetoed 35 U.N. resolutions to prevent the international community from giving any justice or help to the Palestinians.

Now, our president has included Palestinian organizations that are not international terrorists (Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah) on our list of enemies. Originally, they were just aiming their attacks at Israel, but I suppose this might change since George Bush has become the puppet of the Israeli government.

Hang on to your hats, folks. You're in for a violent next 50 years or so.

http://reese.king-online.com/Reese_20030409/index.php
© 2003 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

rand
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:01 PM
Might As Well Get To Know It
by Charley Reese

Now that our president has embedded us in the Middle East for an indefinite future, you might as well start trying to educate yourself about the area and its conflicts. As one can say about so many problems in this world, it all began with the British Empire.

When you look at a map of the Middle East, you are looking at a map drawn by two Europeans by the names of Sykes and Picot. This map represents the betrayal of the Arabs and the Kurds. Before this map was drawn, the area had been part of the Ottoman Empire. (That's Turkey, for those of you who hate history and geography.)

The British, with their usual perfidy, had promised everything to everybody. Help us overthrow the Turks, they said to the Arabs, and you can have an independent Arab nation afterward. Help us overthrow the Turks, they said to the Kurds, and you will get an independent Kurdistan. And for some reason historians still argue about, they also promised European Zionists that they (the Brits) would establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. They betrayed them, too, because what they did was establish the Palestine mandate — or, in plain language, British occupation of Palestine.

Britain and France divided the Middle East between themselves, and this basic fact set off the conflicts we are still dealing with. The problem with establishing a Jewish state was that Arabs already occupied the area chosen. While they initially had no quarrel with Jews who wanted to immigrate to Palestine (the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has nothing to do with religion and never has), as soon as they figured out that European Jews were not coming to be Palestinians but to take their land away from them, the Arabs revolted. The British crushed this.

It wasn't too long, however, before Jews became impatient with British occupation and so, to drive out the British, did what Palestinians are doing today — used terror. Two of the premier Jewish terrorists — Menachem Begin, who led the Irgun, and Yitzhak Shamir, who led the Stern Gang — would later become prime ministers of Israel. It is the political parties these terrorists started that rule Israel today. Begin is famous for blowing up the King David Hotel, Shamir for reputedly ordering the assassination of Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte, who had been sent on a peace mission by the United Nations. Both of their groups joined forces to commit one of the most infamous massacres in history at the little village of Deir Yassin, where more than 200 men, women and children were slaughtered. Much of modern terrorist methods were pioneered by Begin. You should read his book "The Revolt."

Sometime in 1947, the British had had enough of Palestine and announced they were going to end the mandate the following year and dump the problem in the lap of the United Nations. The Zionists fiercely lobbied both Harry Truman and Joe Stalin. The deal was to get a vote to partition Palestine. The Jews would immediately proclaim the state of Israel, and, as preplanned, the United States and the Soviet Union would instantly recognize it. This was the first instance of the United States using a combination of threats and bribery to round up votes at the United Nations.

Jews and Palestinians were already fighting, and in the course of that fighting, the better-organized Zionists decided to expand beyond the boundaries set by the partition resolution and to do a little ethnic cleansing, since Arabs still outnumbered Jewish residents 2-1. Despite some volunteers coming in from other Arab countries, the Zionists had accomplished both goals by the cease-fire in 1948. In a 1967 war, the Zionists took the rest of Palestine, and Palestinians, who stubbornly insist on self-determination (once, but no longer, an American value), are fighting them the best way they can.

With the United States loading the Israelis down with both modern arms and billions of dollars, however, the Palestinians are having a hard time. This issue has made the United States hated in the region and the king of hypocrites because we have vetoed 35 U.N. resolutions to prevent the international community from giving any justice or help to the Palestinians.

Now, our president has included Palestinian organizations that are not international terrorists (Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah) on our list of enemies. Originally, they were just aiming their attacks at Israel, but I suppose this might change since George Bush has become the puppet of the Israeli government.

Hang on to your hats, folks. You're in for a violent next 50 years or so.

http://reese.king-online.com/Reese_20030409/index.php
© 2003 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
this post is quite biased....so, what you do now is assume (by saying shamir and bigin started the terrorism) that it started around 1945.....
ahem....what (for example about the slaughtering of the jews in 1929 in hebron), you also seem to forget that if you look at a map of palestina before 1923 you'll get not only israel but also jordanie.....the brits DID give half to the jews and half to the palestinians......but then the palestinians changed the name of the state, and so now they van say again "we have no land".......sorry but that's not correct, ok I'm for an honest division of israel in two....but in this post you clearly choose one side and (deliberately?) "forget" that the two sides have their points!

empiremaker03
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:10 PM
rand--i know the other viewpoint b/c as one on this board knows I always took the side of Israel on everything but have come to the realization I may have not seen things as they should have been seen

rand
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:14 PM
rand--i know the other viewpoint b/c as one on this board knows I always took the side of Israel on everything but have come to the realization I may have not seen things as they should have been seen
it doesn't seem so....this post is clearly partial....
both sides have been wrong troughout the history, what you do now is a classic case of easy israel-bashing......maybe you used to defend them but it doesn't change a thing about this post......

rand
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:31 PM
Geez, I feel like a real stalker now :) Rand, for Mr.EmpireMaker every issue is either black or white. There are no grays for him in the world. If he supports one idea, the other is the worst evil. If he changes his mind, guess the opposite happens;)
arwenita, I feel honoured to have my personal stalker :)

empiremaker03
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:33 PM
"Israel is the only free country in a region dominated by Arab monarchies, theocracies and dictatorships. It is only the citizens of Israel—Arabs and Jews alike—who enjoy the right to express their views, to criticize their government, to form political parties, to publish private newspapers, to hold free elections. When Arab authorities deny the most basic freedoms to their own people, it is obscene for them to start claiming that Israel is violating the Palestinians' rights. All Arab citizens who are genuinely concerned with human rights should, as their very first action, seek to oust their own despotic rulers and adopt the type of free society that characterizes Israel."

"Since its founding in 1948, Israel has had to fight five wars—all in self-defense—against 22 hostile Arab dictatorships, and has been repeatedly attacked by Palestinian terrorists. Arafat is responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Israeli schoolchildren, the hijacking of airliners and the car bombings and death-squad killings of thousands of Israeli, American, Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Today he ardently sponsors such terror groups as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the al Aksa Brigade.
The land Israel is "occupying" was captured in a war initiated by its Arab neighbors. Like any victim of aggression, Israel has a moral right to control as much land as is necessary to safeguard itself against attack. The Palestinians want to annihilate Israel, while Israel wants simply to be left alone. If there is a moral failing on Israel's part, it consists of its reluctance to take stronger military measures. If it is right for America to bomb al-Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan—and it is—then it is equally justifiable for Israel to bomb the terrorist strongholds in the occupied territories."

"Only Israel has a moral right to establish a government in that area—on the grounds, not of some ethnic or religious heritage, but of a secular, rational principle. Only a state based on political and economic freedom has moral legitimacy. Contrary to what the Palestinians are seeking, there can be no "right" to establish a dictatorship.
As to the rightful owners of particular pieces of property, Israel's founders—like the homesteaders in the American West—earned ownership to the land by developing it. They arrived in a desolate, sparsely populated region and drained the swamps, irrigated the desert, grew crops and built cities. They worked unclaimed land or purchased it from the owners. They introduced industry, libraries, hospitals, art galleries, universities-and the concept of individual rights. Those Arabs who abandoned their land in order to join the military crusade against Israel forfeited all right to their property. And if there are any peaceful Arabs who were forcibly evicted from their property, they may press their claims in the courts of Israel, which, unlike the Arab autocracies, has an independent, objective judiciary—a judiciary that recognizes the principle of property rights."

there, now I posted viewpoints supporting Israel and their defense of homeland courtesy of the Ayn Rand Institute--albeit biased as well

empiremaker03
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:35 PM
Geez, I feel like a real stalker now :) Rand, for Mr.EmpireMaker every issue is either black or white. There are no grays for him in the world. If he supports one idea, the other is the worst evil. If he changes his mind, guess the opposite happens;)

just like i changed my mind about you right?

rand
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:42 PM
"Israel is the only free country in a region dominated by Arab monarchies, theocracies and dictatorships. It is only the citizens of Israel—Arabs and Jews alike—who enjoy the right to express their views, to criticize their government, to form political parties, to publish private newspapers, to hold free elections. When Arab authorities deny the most basic freedoms to their own people, it is obscene for them to start claiming that Israel is violating the Palestinians' rights. All Arab citizens who are genuinely concerned with human rights should, as their very first action, seek to oust their own despotic rulers and adopt the type of free society that characterizes Israel."

"Since its founding in 1948, Israel has had to fight five wars—all in self-defense—against 22 hostile Arab dictatorships, and has been repeatedly attacked by Palestinian terrorists. Arafat is responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Israeli schoolchildren, the hijacking of airliners and the car bombings and death-squad killings of thousands of Israeli, American, Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Today he ardently sponsors such terror groups as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the al Aksa Brigade.
The land Israel is "occupying" was captured in a war initiated by its Arab neighbors. Like any victim of aggression, Israel has a moral right to control as much land as is necessary to safeguard itself against attack. The Palestinians want to annihilate Israel, while Israel wants simply to be left alone. If there is a moral failing on Israel's part, it consists of its reluctance to take stronger military measures. If it is right for America to bomb al-Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan—and it is—then it is equally justifiable for Israel to bomb the terrorist strongholds in the occupied territories."

"Only Israel has a moral right to establish a government in that area—on the grounds, not of some ethnic or religious heritage, but of a secular, rational principle. Only a state based on political and economic freedom has moral legitimacy. Contrary to what the Palestinians are seeking, there can be no "right" to establish a dictatorship.
As to the rightful owners of particular pieces of property, Israel's founders—like the homesteaders in the American West—earned ownership to the land by developing it. They arrived in a desolate, sparsely populated region and drained the swamps, irrigated the desert, grew crops and built cities. They worked unclaimed land or purchased it from the owners. They introduced industry, libraries, hospitals, art galleries, universities-and the concept of individual rights. Those Arabs who abandoned their land in order to join the military crusade against Israel forfeited all right to their property. And if there are any peaceful Arabs who were forcibly evicted from their property, they may press their claims in the courts of Israel, which, unlike the Arab autocracies, has an independent, objective judiciary—a judiciary that recognizes the principle of property rights."

there, now I posted viewpoints supporting Israel and their defense of homeland courtesy of the Ayn Rand Institute--albeit biased as well
but this one is plainly ridiculous because not even based on facts......israel a real democracy? where arabic people aren't allowed to start their own party? nah
all of the wars in self-defense? nah
two biased posts each based on lies do not make one unbiased one.....
certainly when one of them (the second one) is too obvious.....

empiremaker03
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:53 PM
rand, i think the main point from Mr. Reese is the folly of empire and the consequences from such...we are led to believe the taking over Iraq is going to produce nothing but democracy and peace throughout the world and we all should hail Mr. Bush & Co. for taking the risk to establish such...when he concludes with :"Hang on to your hats, folks. You're in for a violent next 50 years or so."; that is what I am fearful of

empiremaker03
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:55 PM
U said it...

at least u made it easy for me with your hatred of everything about me

rand
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:59 PM
rand, i think the main point from Mr. Reese is the folly of empire and the consequences from such...we are led to believe the taking over Iraq is going to produce nothing but democracy and peace throughout the world and we all should hail Mr. Bush & Co. for taking the risk to establish such...when he concludes with :"Hang on to your hats, folks. You're in for a violent next 50 years or so."; that is what I am fearful of
Look, then the only thing you have to do is point out your fear, btw, it is one that I have focused on a lot during the war.....but it's no reason to put the israeli in a complete "oppressor empire situation" like you just did.....

Iconoclast
Apr 15th, 2003, 04:54 PM
but this one is plainly ridiculous because not even based on facts......israel a real democracy? where arabic people aren't allowed to start their own party? nah
all of the wars in self-defense? nah
two biased posts each based on lies do not make one unbiased one.....
certainly when one of them (the second one) is too obvious.....
If Arabs are not allowed to start their own party, how do you explain the fact that there are Arab Palestinians in the Knesset representing exactly that - Arab parties? Right now.

I would also like to see you list as much as one war started by Israel for other purposes than self-defense, which has been the paramount challenge of the Jewish state since its inception.

Rollo
Apr 15th, 2003, 07:49 PM
Ah-but Iconoclast-correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the Arabs in the Knesset Israeli citizens, which entails recognizing the Israeli state in some way, shape or form? For most Arabs in Israel that's not a viable option.

As a US citizen I find our unquestioned support of Israel horrible. Americans were (are) clueless as to why 911 happened or why we are hated in the Arab world. Peace in the region, with an Israeli-Jewish state
and a Palestinian state, is the only way to true peace IMO.

Until a settlement this issue Europe and America will be targets of terrorism without doubt.

Even then the Osama-like people may still want to destroy us. Muslims see oppression of fellow Muslims everywhere they look, see "Western" influence as Satan, and see terrorism as an answer. It's a culture war that holds no easy answers. Europe will be targeted sooner or later even without "cowboy" George Bush. It's inevitable, just as war was inevitable in the 1930s and people chose to bury there heads in the sand.

Iconoclast
Apr 15th, 2003, 08:36 PM
Ah-but Iconoclast-correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the Arabs in the Knesset Israeli citizens, which entails recognizing the Israeli state in some way, shape or form? For most Arabs in Israel that's not a viable option.
Most Arabs in Israel recognize the Israeli state, but they are not obliged to do so in order to keep their citizenship. In fact, some radical orthodox Jews would face problems if this was a demand as they have difficulty accepting the state of Israel for religious reasons (the Zionists of the 19th century were mostly secular).

And the Arabs in Israel, a group that includes Christians, Bedouins, and Druids as well, overwhelmingly want to stay in Israel, rather than live in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, or the West Bank. This doesn't mean they support Sharon, of course. Many of them align themselves with the Labor party. But as far as recognizing Israel, I think only an extreme minority would be reluctant to do so. Even the PLO has recognized Israel.

But in running for parliament they have to abide by the Basic Law of Knesset. One of its sections stipulates that political parties are not allowed to be nazis, anti-democrats, or - this is the important one - against Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The section applies to anyone - but it would of course prevent Hamas or similar groups from running. Does this mean that Israel is not a democracy? Of course not.

It merely prevents extremists, who do not accept the basic nature of Israel, from running for office and dismantling the state. On aggregrate, Israel is among the most democratized nations in the world.
Peace in the region, with an Israeli-Jewish state
and a Palestinian state, is the only way to true peace IMO.
Which is what Ariel Sharon supports as well. Whether or not it brings peace is a different matter. But I'm actually growing more optimistic with the recent changes in the PA.

Rollo
Apr 15th, 2003, 09:56 PM
Thanks for the info and the correction Iconoclast. So accepting the state of Israel isn't the reason most Arabs aren't citizens.

However, the fact remains that most Arabs within the state of Israel
are not citizens of that state. I wasn't suggesting that Israel wasn't democratic. I agree with you that it's the most democratic regime in the area. It's not a one person, one vote regardless of religion or ethnic background state though, or Arabs would simply become citizens and wait until they outnumber Jews. You hit the nail on the head with this:

this is the important one - against Israel as the state of the Jewish people


We can only hope both sides will eventually compromise. I don't see that happening though until the US gives up it's solid alliance with Israel and the building of Jewish settlements stops. Then of course there will still be Arabs determined to destroy Israel that we have to stop. It's a long road, and I just hope a madman doesn't blow up New York (or Tel Aviv, or London, Paris, etc) before it's resolved.

BTW, here's an interesting article that shows where Israel could be in 20 years-with an Arab majority.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/10/18/181802.shtml

Iconoclast
Apr 15th, 2003, 10:22 PM
However, the fact remains that most Arabs within the state of Israel are not citizens of that state.
No, not at all. There are approximately 1 million Arabs (including Christians, Druids etc.), commonly referred to as Palestinian Arabs within Israel proper, i.e. excluding the occupied territories. This is the usual international definition of Israel. They make up around 20 percent of the population and enjoy full civil rights, although most of them are exempt from the very demanding army service.

But it's true that Palestinian Arabs on the West Bank and in Gaza are not citizens of Israel. Arafat can't run for the Knesset and become Prime Minister of Israel.
BTW, here's an interesting article that shows where Israel could be in 20 years-with an Arab majority.

Yes, an Arab majority if you include the West Bank and Gaza. But only if. The Palestinians in the occupied territories have extremely high birth rates.

Rollo
Apr 16th, 2003, 12:41 AM
Thank you again Iconoclast-you're a font of information and a pleasure to read, even on occasions when we disagree.

We're talking semantics on the point of how many Arabs there are though aren't we? I understand that semantics are important in this situation, but the demographic facts won't change. Unless a settlement of some sort is reached a ghettoized Palestinian population within a defacto Israeli state will only fester.

On an unrelated note-

Are you ever going to get back your cool Cary Grant icon? I love mos tof his movies-Bringing Up Baby is a personal fav!

empiremaker03
Apr 16th, 2003, 02:17 AM
yeah thanks Iconoclast...

rand--i'm not sure why u r so concerned about this post being somewhat biased since this is an opinion driven message board and not a research forum...i am sure most thread started have a bias :confused:...another link that is more research oriented from one of my fav sources of research--the Cato Institute, which has help forming my opinion on non-interventionism
http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-159.html

"By any standard, the relationship between the United States and Israel has been extraordinary. Criticism of any other American ally does not cost a person an elective or appointed position in government. Criticism of any other American ally does not bring accusations of being a hater of the dominant religious group in the allied nation. Both of those things happen, almost routinely, to anyone who criticizes Israel. Elected U.S. officials who have cast a single vote against an Israeli position have seen major opposition mounted by Israel's American supporters. The rare journalist who points out unattractive facts about Israeli conduct is likely to be smeared as an anti-Semite. The chilling effect that has had on public debate is too obvious to need elaboration.

As for the standard rejoinder that Israel has been the staunchest U.S. ally in the Middle East, one is reminded of the one-liner about lawyers: if we didn't have them, we wouldn't need them. The U.S. relationship with Israel produces the very adversaries that are pointed to as justifying the close relationship.

We have allowed our leaders to violate George Washington's sage advice, and it has cost us dearly. For Washington, "the Great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible." We must rediscover the wisdom of our first president.

After the first full-blown U.S. imperialist adventure, the Spanish-American War, classical liberal William Graham Sumner, surveying the results, concluded that, despite its military victory, the United States in fact had been conquered by Spain. By that he meant that the traditions of the American republic were being undermined by the imperial values of the Spanish Empire.

The question of imperialism is the question of whether we are going to give the lie to the origin of our own national existence by establishing a colonial system of the old Spanish type, even if we have to sacrifice our existing civil and political system to do it. I submit that it is a strange incongruity to utter grand platitudes about the blessings of liberty, etc., . . . and to begin by . . . throwing the Constitution into the gutter here at home. If you take away the Constitution, what is American liberty and all the rest? Nothing but a lot of phrases."