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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2013-11-28 16:55:43)

Lewis

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  • Palestinians say Israel trying to Silence Media, by Attacking Journalists
    • If we're being clear, we should ask what the definition of terrorism is. The US uses violence against civillians for a political purpose. Netanyahu's election is coming up. Isn't that a political purpose? Are civillians getting killed by the IDF or not?

      It's definitely understandable to be scared of chaotic rockets. But they're not as chaotic as IDF propaganda argues. They're predictable, just as all terrorism is. It works on political uncertainty. That's a reason to support violence less, not to balance it with more and draw distinctions where they don't exist.

      Can Palestinians prove that Israel is responsible for all the violence against them? No. Can you provide evidence that Hamas is responsible for all the rockets? I doubt it. In fact, I think there's some evidence to suggest they target IDF when they can. It seems they can cut rockets to 1/20th the amount when they want to, but not completely. It seems some rocketers choose to attack IDF directly while some shoot randomly. Shouldn't we ask on what authority each attack was done before categorically labeling each group?

  • Is Anti-Immigrant, Islamophobic Campaign Rhetoric fomenting Antisemitism in France?
    • Yes, it is a fact that Anti-Semitic attacks happen more in France than anywhere in Europe, which isn't surprising considering its awful record towards Jews, from pogroms to siding with the Nazis. But terrorism is not the problem of any one nation, political body or representative. Just as there is no Muslim fascism and Jewish fascism, the mature, moral response here starts with recognizing that the excuse for terrorism is a historical constant. Humans aren't all that versatile. The American revolutionaries tarred and feathered the British when they lacked control over their economy. The undemocratic power gained by the Nazi party came in a time of just awful depression and humiliation, and political uncertainty, for example, a coup. A scholar studying the Muslim Right in Egypt recognized the tribal virus when looking at the influence of Nazis. The first group's tribalism encouraged the second to produce the same in itself more strongly. The racist propaganda that they welcomed was not just a case of appealing to racists, it was useful to nurse their vengeance. Terrorism comes as a result of any human's exploitation of its own tribal instincts that overwhelm moral reasoning.

      But why look at all this nuance when you can yell at someone to fix the problem? I know who to boo and who to cheer right? Don't do that. That's what someone does who has given up. Violence puts you on the same side as your enemy. Those tribal emotions give us only one option: we can fan the flames. Where does that get you? Hitler was cheered in the US as a "conservative" because the Communists were committing terrorism in Germany at the time. That's just what government is going to do, live only in the nirvana of tribal rage.

      So what's the correct response? Call to stop the wars and the insistence on focusing only on the crimes committed against your own group. We can easily arrive at this conclusion by asking what's necessary for cross-cultural understanding that will lead to a security. Even to start with a quite sympathetic bias, so long as we follow through logically, gives us this solution: Terrorists and potential terrorists do not deserve encouragement to focus only on crimes committed against their own group. The leading Jewish organization in France obviously has realized this, and it has to be why they consider the way to prevent these attacks to be a political settlement between Israel and Palestine. The attacks are responses, you can find them occurring together going back decades.

      This is basic morality, but tribal emotions make it unbearable once they are part of the reasoning. This logically means countering them is where most of our efforts belong.

  • Why don't we have better Reporting on the Afghanistan Army? It is our Best Hope for Getting Out
    • The Obama administration surely realizes they can really just get away with any kind of crap in Afghanistan since it will be blamed as a character flaw of the government (this feeds the nationalist, tribal logic that Red and Blue can agree on).

      Recall what happened as we left Iraq. The bombed out country kept people from organizing there, and the government played power games, inciting terror from their followers.

      This story was successfully carried off as an internal problem, with government officials trying to hold each other accountable for their alleged crimes, and the US was seen as a peacemaker -- between Iraqi government officials. In other words, any discussion about the US's contribution to this problem was maybe not even discussed. (It's surely worth a research project).

      We are already seeing this story leech its way into today's discussion on Afghanistan. US lawmakers and candidates are condemning Karzai, not for his complicity with the illegal occupation, or his general thuggery, but for his occasional outburst against the US. The US diplomat managed to speak out of both sides of his mouth, covering for Karzai by seeing his own humanity in his anger, and mentioning his own ability to get over it. Maybe I'm wrong but it looked to me like a clear message to Karzai that he's not a problem as long as he doesn't push it.

      The replay of the Iraq pullout story will make sure the effects of war on the society and infrastructure of Afghanistan are suppressed. That would include things like schools, the capability of police. It's fine to see victims obviously, as long as our role in their victimizing is not known.

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