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1 Randall Gross  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 7:25:00am

Downding for posting the whole article when it's clearly copyrighted.

2 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 7:34:26am

re: #1 Randall Gross

You are right. I cut the post in half.

3 Randall Gross  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 7:36:23am

retracted

4 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 7:45:24am

More Destro bullshit

From Arafat the 'moderate':

Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations.

We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem

We will not bend or fail until the blood of every last Jew from the youngest child to the oldest elder is spilt to redeem our land!

Arafat on Hamas:

Q:In your opinion, is Hamas a terrorist organization?
Arafat:The Hamas movement is one of many patriotic movements.

Q:Even it's military wing?
Arafat:Even its military wing. One should not forget that the movement took an active part in the intifada
.

"The suicide bombers of today are the noble successors of their noble predecessors... the Lebanese suicide bombers, who taught the US Marines a tough lesson in [Lebanon]...and then, with no preconditions, they threw the last of the remaining enemy [Israeli] soldiers out of the [security] zone. These suicide bombers are the salt of the earth, the engines of history...They are the most honorable [people] among us..."
- Al Hayat Al Jadida, official Palestinian Authority daily, Sept. 11, 2001.

"We are capable of blowing up Israeli cities. The Palestinians will not be satisfied with attacking military targets, but would strike at Israel's heart."
- Palestinian Authority Communications Minister, Imad Faluj

Need more on Arafat the 'moderate'?

5 Political Atheist  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 8:05:08am

re: #2 Destro

You are right. I cut the post in half.

The general rule is absolutely not more than 4 paragraphs and full attribution/linking. We Page writers must be careful to keep the feature safe for our kind host to provide.

6 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 8:35:33am

re: #4 researchok

More Destro bullshit

How is this my bullshit when it appears in the NYT OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR section written by Paul Thomas Chamberlin, an assistant professor of history at the University of Kentucky, is the author of “The Global Offensive: The United States, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Making of the Post-Cold War Order.”???

Unless you think I am him? (I am not).

Your know-nothingness streak is showing. Disagree with the professor all you want but he is not BSing.

And when Nixon went to China the Red Chinese were responsible for millions of deaths and counting the war dead of Korea and Vietnam, were responsible directly or indirectly for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. But we got Red China to break from being allied with the USSR. And today, pretty much a house full of my stuff is "Made in China", the land of our former (and some stay still hostile) enemy and the USSR and the Warsaw Pact are gone.

That is the strategy talked about here. If you have a movement split as the Palestinian national movement was, pick the least objectionable faction and isolate the hard liners. That is realpolitik in action.

7 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 8:37:16am

re: #5 Daniel Ballard


edited to 4 paragraphs.

8 Sionainn  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 9:37:36am

re: #5 Daniel Ballard

The general rule is absolutely not more than 4 paragraphs and full attribution/linking. We Page writers must be careful to keep the feature safe for our kind host to provide.

Thanks for the clarification. I haven't ever been sure how much is okay to post, so it's nice to know.

9 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 11:07:43am

re: #6 Destro

Be assured no 0one will ever mistake you for a scholar of any kind. Ever.

As to your question, 'How is it bullshit?' the answer is quite simple.

Being a professor of any kind is no label of legitimacy.

For example. William Shockley won the Nobel Prize. He then went on to embrace eugenics and the notion blacks are inferior to whites, at least in terms of intelligence.

There are other professors who embrace similar, even more repulsive view.

I suppose since they are professors, you embrace those bigoted ideas as well- which is not surprising.

In any event, your pitiful pivot and attack attempt to make this about me fails yet again.

Arafat was not a moderate, nor are his minions- and that after all was the gist if what the article was about.

That you consider Arafat a 'moderate', given his published remark, ought to surprise on one.

Take another look in the mirror.

10 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 11:43:29am

re: #6 Destro

The flaw in your logic is that for that strategy to work you have to be able to pull the group you talk to towards a position you can live with. There were no signs other than "private signals" that Arafat was actually willing to talk about a real peace. Arafat sent such "signals" many times but nothing of substance ever came of them. When in 1999 he was offered nearly the whole West Bank plus all of Gaza as well as all the Arab areas of East Jerusalem (including the internationalization of the Old City), his reaction was to reject the offer without even making a counteroffer then launch the "2nd Intifada". He was no partner for peace.

Moreover, there's another factor that Prof. Chamberlin does not consider, but that Pres. Nixon surely did. Having begun to move into Lebanon, the PLO was seeing receipt of substantial amounts of military aid from the USSR. At first this was just things like rifles, but by 1972 it was already expanding to include the provision of technical aid to allow the PLO to manufacture RPG-7 launchers and grenades to be fired from said launchers. By the time Israel finally moved to evict the PLO, the Soviet Union and its proxies were supplying Arafat with artillery rockets, ZSU-23 23mm towed anti-aircraft guns, and even T-34/85, T-54, and T-55 tanks. Arafat was a Soviet client, and as such any close contact carried the risk of espionage, and was unlikely to work.

11 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 11:46:36am

re: #9 researchok

Ding down for your know-nothingness perspective.

12 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 11:48:10am

re: #11 Destro

Down ding for your inability to make a cogent response.

'Professor'.

13 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 11:49:12am

re: #10 Dark_Falcon

You missed the point. The professor is stating that the 1970s diplomacy made a mistake in refusing to negotiate with the PLO when intelligence reported there were rifts their that could be exploited.

Secondly, in the modern era, it would be a risk repeat the failed policies of the 70s and not engaging in realpolitik with current 'terrorist' organizations that have set end goals.

14 alinuxguru  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 11:51:33am

I would love to know who these mythical, objective scholars are that confused Arafat and the PLO as moderate.

"ost scholars of the Palestine Liberation Organization now agree that attacks like the one in Munich were designed by Yasir Arafat’s rivals to shift power away from moderates"

15 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 11:51:35am

re: #13 Destro

More Destro bullshit

You are falsely endorsing the notion the PLO was a legitimate organization as opposed to the murderous, bigoted, racist and genocidal group they really were.

16 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 11:57:38am

Downdinging you for trolling. And I posted an article by a scholar from the NYT op/ed section and not some obscure fringe newspaper, etc. Deal with it with less foaming at the mouth.

17 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:02:39pm

re: #14 alinuxguru

I would love to know who these mythical, objective scholars are that confused Arafat and the PLO as moderate.

The book in question has a publication date of October 5, 2012 and I am sure it is available at your local library if you do not wish to purchase it:

[Link: www.amazon.com...]

The Global Offensive: The United States, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Making of the Post-Cold War Order (Oxford Studies in International History)

18 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:03:42pm

re: #13 Destro

Intelligence suggested such rifts could be exploited, but as we know from the Iraq WMD mess, intelligence can be very wrong. Negotiations with the PLO would have been a longshot at best, given the nature of the organization and who was supporting it. That was much of my point, Destro. Not only was Chamberlin's hoped for solution more likely to fail than to succeed, but it also would have had to overcome the reality of the USSR's support of the PLO and the influence that support bought the Soviets. Regardless of if Arafat wanted peace in the early 1970's, the Soviets did not want a peace in the Middle East. They wanted continued hostilities to allow them to expand their sphere of control.

19 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:06:01pm

re: #18 Dark_Falcon

"Jaw Jaw is better than war war", Churchill was fond of saying. And we don't know what the end result would have been - all we know is we lost an opportunity and we are in danger of losing current opportunities.

20 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:07:47pm

re: #16 Destro

In other words, you cannot come up with any kind of cogent response.

'Professor', indeed!

21 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:10:14pm

re: #19 Destro

We've had decades of jaw jaw.

What has changed is the recognition of just who we have dealt with in all that time.

The Arab Spring has made that abundantly clear.

'Professor'.

22 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:11:10pm

re: #17 Destro

Jaw jaw, indeed.

23 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:14:50pm

re: #21 researchok

We've had decades of jaw jaw.

What has changed is the recognition of just who we have dealt with in all that time.

The Arab Spring has made that abundantly clear.

'Professor'.

What is very clear is you are an insult troll and clinging to a failed ideology that should be discredited after the Bush years ended.

24 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:17:44pm

re: #23 Destro

In other words, you cannot come up with any kind of cogent response.

'Professor', indeed!

25 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:21:38pm

re: #19 Destro

All it was was a "maybe". President Nixon decided that the risks did not match the rewards, and it wasn't just just foreign policy factors he was weighing. In 1972 the threat of Far Left terrorists within the US was still very real, and Nixon may well have felt that concede anything to terrorists posed too great a risk domestically to justify.

Note: In our own time the threat of Far Right terrorists within the US is greater, but that was not the case in 1972. Richard Nixon's actions have to be weighed against the situations he faced at the time.

26 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:34:12pm

re: #24 researchok

Insult trolling by you, noted. Don't feed the troll.

27 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:37:12pm

...

28 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:41:23pm

re: #26 Destro

In other words, you cannot come up with any kind of cogent response.

'Professor', indeed!

29 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:43:12pm

re: #27 Destro

Because negotiating with openly racist, bigoted and genocidal ideologues has proved to be pretty pointless-and costly

'Professor'.

30 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:50:31pm

re: #27 Destro

Why do equate negotiation with Chamberlin? That's what makes me equate people like you with the john McCain's foreign policy for the world, where the only choice in American diplomacy to others is A) Do what we say or B) Do what we say or we invade and or bomb you after sanctions.

That's all I get from your ideological wing.

Because Chamberlin is the person whose article you cited, Destro. He posed what he considers to be a missed opportunity, and you based much of your case off of that. I therefore decided to base my counterargument on taking apart Chamberlin's argument by showing how the opportunity he presents wasn't really much of an opportunity and in fact came with real risks.

31 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:51:40pm

re: #28 researchok

You can't being to troll then pull back and try to have a conversation on the issue. Stay under the bridge where you belong.

32 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:52:11pm

re: #29 researchok

I ask you to please drop the 'professor' line, Researchok. It has reached the point of diminishing returns, IMO.

33 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:53:11pm

re: #30 Dark_Falcon

My apologies, I thought you were making a reference to Neville Chamberlain. I was distracted by researchok's trolling right before your comment.


OK, re-read your comment. It links to the USSR but it is clear the USSR wanted to end the Israeli conflict between Arabs and the Jewish state as well by the 1970s.

Also, there is no current super power in the works to scuttle any modern negotiations.

34 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:56:50pm

re: #31 Destro

In other words, you cannot come up with any kind of cogent response.

In deference to DF, I will not refer to you as 'Professor' for the duration of this thread, though you were the one who brought it up:

How is this my bullshit when it appears in the NYT OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR section written by Paul Thomas Chamberlin, an assistant professor of history at the University of Kentucky, is the author of “The Global Offensive: The United States, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Making of the Post-Cold War Order.”???

Unless you think I am him? (I am not).

How you might believe anyone would possibly mistake you for an academic is astounding.

35 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:57:30pm

re: #33 Destro

LOL

Now it's my fault you fail to respond!

36 garhighway  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:58:42pm

re: #19 Destro

re: #29 researchok

Honest to God, would you two just get a room?

37 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 12:59:56pm

re: #34 researchok

I don't mind having discussions with people I disagree with. It is clear though you came here to insult troll and thus you are not worthy of engaging.

38 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:01:10pm

re: #36 garhighway

Why would I want to share a room with a troll?

39 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:01:22pm

re: #37 Destro

No, you failed to respond, relying instead on personal attacks.

Would you like me to go back and point out where that happened?

40 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:03:22pm

re: #38 Destro

In other words, you cannot come up with any kind of cogent response.

41 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:03:49pm

re: #39 researchok

No, you failed to respond, relying instead on personal attacks.

Would you like me to go back and point out where that happened?

Your first comment on here @ #4 was More Destro bullshit

You do know that is Trollish behavior? Of course you do.

After that you lost all rights to be engaged in conversation.

42 Sionainn  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:05:34pm

re: #41 Destro

Your first comment on here @ #4 was More Destro bullshit

You do know that is Trollish behavior? Of course you do.

After that you lost all rights to be engaged in conversation.

Just ignore him already.

43 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:06:26pm

re: #42 Sionainn

Just ignore him already.

Plus 1

44 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:06:53pm

re: #41 Destro

You have well documented history of bullshit- not to mention a few other ideas outside the mainstream.

We can review if you like.

45 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:07:09pm

re: #43 Destro

Very cogent!

46 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:08:09pm

re: #44 researchok

You have well documented history of bullshit- not to mention a few other ideas outside the mainstream.

We can review if you like.

Is your trolling motor on auto? By the way "not to mention a few other ideas outside the mainstream" That is the nicest thing a troll ever said to me.

47 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:12:13pm

re: #46 Destro

I have an idea.

Let's negotiate.

Why don't we start by your answering the assertions and response I made to this post?

48 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:17:39pm

re: #47 researchok

I have an idea.

Let's negotiate.

Why don't we start by your answering the assertions and response I made to this post?

So you want me to negotiate with trolls who take a thread hostage? Ironic.

49 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:18:51pm

re: #48 Destro

In other words, you are unable or unwilling to answer. Correct?

50 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:28:32pm

re: #33 Destro

My apologies, I thought you were making a reference to Neville Chamberlain. I was distracted by researchok's trolling right before your comment.

OK, re-read your comment. It links to the USSR but it is clear the USSR wanted to end the Israeli conflict between Arabs and the Jewish state as well by the 1970s.

Also, there is no current super power in the works to scuttle any modern negotiations.

As for your apologies, they are accepted. 'Munich' can refer to two distinct historical events in the 20th Century, and mix-ups have happened on LGF.

As for the Soviet Union, it did indeed become less hostile to the prospect of an Arab-Israeli peace accord later on in the 1970's. But in 1972, the USSR was arming both Egypt and Syria for their attack on Israel that took place in October of 1973. It is highly doubtful the Soviets would have been willing to pressure both Arab nations to call off their plans in favor of peace talks. Both nations still had too strong a desire for revenge on Israel to have been willing to back off. Egypt came to make peace later, but that was after proving its army could fight Israel and actually win some of the battles (though Egypt lost the campaign).

51 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:36:21pm

After 1973 would have been a perfect time to negotiate with moderate PLO factions because of that defeat.

52 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:37:18pm

Deleted.

53 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:39:01pm

re: #52 Dark_Falcon

This thread is about the practical negotiating with actors labelled as terrorists. You brought up the events of the 70s. So I consider it on topic.

54 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:39:25pm

re: #51 Destro

When exactly did the PLO become 'moderate'?

When did they renounce violence and bigotry?

55 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:40:10pm

re: #53 Destro

Sorry, I got confused there and had forgotten which tab I was on. My apologies.

56 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:45:25pm

re: #55 Dark_Falcon

Sorry, I got confused there and had forgotten which tab I was on. My apologies.

It happened to both of us on this thread. No apologies needed.

57 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:45:35pm

re: #51 Destro

It might have been, except that by that time Israel had already bombed the PLO repeatedly, and thus by Chamberlin's own thesis the window was largely closed. But you are right that a determined US diplomatic effort might have had an effect. The reasons that did not happen were Watergate and the Arab Oil Boycott. The boycott hardened the US position against negotiations with the PLO, and even had their been no boycott by the late autumn of 1973 Richard Nixon no longer had enough political capital for such a diplomatic effort (he had squandered it covering up a "3rd-rate burglary").

58 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:46:05pm

re: #54 researchok

You had your chance to be part of the discussion, but you chose to troll instead.

59 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:50:08pm

re: #58 Destro

I see.

I would have thought it would be in your best interest to answer and repudiate me.

Of course, that assumes you were able to answer.

60 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:50:28pm

re: #57 Dark_Falcon

It might have been, except that by that time Israel had already bombed the PLO repeatedly, and thus by Chamberlin's own thesis the window was largely closed. But you are right that a determined US diplomatic effort might have had an effect. The reasons that did not happen was Watergate and the Arab Oil Boycott. The boycott hardened the US position against negotiations with the PLO, and even had their been no boycott by the late autumn of 1973 Richard Nixon no longer had enough political capital for such a diplomatic effort (he had squandered it covering up a "3rd-rate burglary").

Maybe I am reading too many books on Byzantium, but that empire lasted 1,000 years playing off one enemy against the other. So I don't get this new missionary zeal in diplomacy where we only negotiate with good people - statecraft is warfare without war.

I recommend reading:

The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire by Edward N. Luttwak

[Link: www.amazon.com...]

61 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:50:59pm

re: #59 researchok

I see.

I would have thought it would be in your best interest to answer and repudiate me.

Of course, that assumes you were able to answer.

I am pretty sure you repudiated yourself with the trolling you did.

62 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:52:26pm

re: #61 Destro

LOL

Pivot and attack. It is all about me when you cannot answer the questions.

63 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:54:56pm

re: #62 researchok

LOL

Pivot and attack. It is all about me when you cannot answer the questions.

Who attacked first? See #4 comment by troll aka researchok

64 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:56:33pm

re: #60 Destro

Maybe I am reading too many books on Byzantium, but that empire lasted 1,000 years playing off one enemy against the other. So I don't get this new missionary zeal in diplomacy where we only negotiate with good people - statecraft is warfare without war.

With respect, that wasn't what I was talking about. You mentioned 1973 and my reply was geared towards the situation at that time.

65 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:56:59pm

What exactly in the comment was incorrect?

66 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 1:59:36pm

I skimmed the drama, but I don't see why you guys are attacking Destro on the moderate point. Moderate is a relative term. A group or person can be moderate in relation to other other factions within a group and still be extremist in relation to a larger group.

67 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:01:38pm

re: #66 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

Openly bigoted, racist and genocidal groups are not moderate by any standards.

68 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:02:28pm

re: #64 Dark_Falcon

With respect, that wasn't what I was talking about. You mentioned 1973 and my reply was geared towards the situation at that time.

My mention of Byzantium was a nod towards realpolitik as part of statecraft.

69 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:02:45pm

re: #66 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

I skimmed the drama, but I don't see why you guys are attacking Destro on the moderate point. Moderate is a relative term. A group or person can be moderate in relation to other other factions within a group and still be extremist in relation to a larger group.

I didn't go after Destro on his use of the term "moderate", I just pointed out that even allowing such terms Arafish (sorry, had to say it) was unlikely to make peace, based on his actions across his life.

70 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:04:21pm

re: #69 Dark_Falcon

I didn't go after Destro on his use of the term "moderate", I just pointed out that even allowing such terms Arafish (sorry, had to say it) was unlikely to make peace, based on his actions across his life.

I have yet to read the book in question - it is not out yet - the author seems t o put out a thesis that says Arafat in the early 1970s was open to negotiations based on newly revealed State Dept sources (if I read correctly).

71 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:08:09pm

re: #67 researchok

Openly bigoted, racist and genocidal groups are not moderate by any standards.

They are moderate in relation to those that are more bigoted, racist, and genocidal.

72 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:10:40pm

re: #70 Destro

I have yet to read the book in question - it is not out yet - the author seems t o put out a thesis that says Arafat in the early 1970s was open to negotiations based on newly revealed State Dept sources (if I read correctly).

Then we should wait for the book to come out and get reviewed before we proceed too much further. It may have more evidence to support its claims than we've seen so far. Or it may have troubles that render it not really usable.

73 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:16:47pm

re: #71 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

Isn't that a bit like saying the Klan were moderates compared to Pol Pot's regime?

Would it not be more accurate to say they were both bigoted and racist regimes?

74 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:16:49pm

re: #69 Dark_Falcon

Destro can try to make that case if he likes.

I'm just pointing out that attacking the term moderate is a sort of fallacy of distraction. You guys are attacking him over the term moderate but what he said is actually true. There was a shift in power to even more extreme groups. Attacking the label while avoiding the main point seems a little odd. I don't really see the point of all the vitriol over a disputable label that isn't even the point of the argument.

75 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:18:59pm

re: #74 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

Calls to genocide do not a moderate make, in my opinion.

76 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:21:01pm

re: #73 researchok

From my perspective, both statements are true.

77 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:24:00pm

re: #76 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

I see your point- and if we lived in a different world, I might even agree.

But from where I sit right now, moral relativism is a dangerous game.

There are absolutes.

It is never right to hurt a child.

It is never right to hurt a spouse.

The list goes on.

In that vein, it is never right to mitigate bigotry and racism. Either it is evil and immoral and should be rejected or it is not.

78 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:30:55pm

I'm not talking moral relativism. I'm staying that the term is relative to the group you are applying it to. That says nothing about morality. It's a way to differentiate group elements.

Let me put it this way and then I have to sign off for a bit:

If you have some country filled with and run by hateful assholes how do you change that, assuming mass murder is off the table? I would start by trying diplomacy with the least hateful people. Those people, in relation to the others, are that country's moderates. You deal with the least extreme people.

If you have a better label for the least extreme people within a group propose it so we can move past discussing and attacking others over terminology.

79 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:43:10pm

re: #78 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

If you have some country filled with and run by hateful assholes how do you change that, assuming mass murder is off the table? I would start by trying diplomacy with the least hateful people. Those people, in relation to the others, are that country's moderates. You deal with the least extreme people.

Unfortunately, that strategy also has some flaws. First, let's call the hateful assholes 'tyrants'. Tyrants are usually very protective (to the point of paranoia) of their power. Those closest to the tyrants are usually in the greatest physical jeopardy. Even a hint of betraying the tyrant, by negotiating with another nation, is met with immediate execution.

Now this doesn't leave a great deal of options on the table. And that's the problem.

However, the claim that Arafat did not rule the PLO with an iron fist, I believe, is ridiculous. We know this because he never relinquished power, there was never any hint of power struggles, and he managed to steal billions of foreign aid without the slightest objection from anyone in the world.

80 garhighway  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 2:54:57pm

re: #77 researchok

I see your point- and if we lived in a different world, I might even agree.

But from where I sit right now, moral relativism is a dangerous game.

There are absolutes.

It is never right to hurt a child.

It is never right to hurt a spouse.

The list goes on.

In that vein, it is never right to mitigate bigotry and racism. Either it is evil and immoral and should be rejected or it is not.

I didn't think the point of the piece was that evil shouldn't be "rejected", whatever that means. I thought it was that sometimes, to achieve the greater good, you talk to people, regimes or groups that you hate. Like, for example, Red China. Or the Soviet Union. Both of which had galactic-sized piles of evil and both of whom we decided to talk to. And in both cases I think the consensus is that our talking to them was, on balance, a good thing.

81 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:05:06pm

re: #79 Bob Levin

Unfortunately, that strategy also has some flaws. First, let's call the hateful assholes 'tyrants'. Tyrants are usually very protective (to the point of paranoia) of their power. Those closest to the tyrants are usually in the greatest physical jeopardy. Even a hint of betraying the tyrant, by negotiating with another nation, is met with immediate execution.

Now this doesn't leave a great deal of options on the table. And that's the problem.

However, the claim that Arafat did not rule the PLO with an iron fist, I believe, is ridiculous. We know this because he never relinquished power, there was never any hint of power struggles, and he managed to steal billions of foreign aid without the slightest objection from anyone in the world.

Moreover, the USSR was giving Arafat the kind of firepower that supported the warlord image he had of himself. He clung to that image at the cost of peace, more than once.

82 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:12:18pm

re: #80 garhighway

I thought it was that sometimes, to achieve the greater good, you talk to people, regimes or groups that you hate.

That was one point of the piece--but it's not a strong point. For instance, why was Nixon the one to open these dialogues? Why not Kennedy? Why did these happen in the 1970s, as opposed to the 1960s? The answer was not that it finally occurred to the US that war is a bad thing. Rather, certain flaws emerged within the USSR and China, acknowledged by the leaders of the nations, that opened the door for low level talks--eventually leading to the high level talks. In other words, the time had to be right. The initial article claims that there was a right time for talks with the PLO--but this is not true, especially after the 1972 Olympics.

At that time, perhaps there could have been talks with Jordan, the nation that could still claim sovereignty over the West Bank. And in fact, such talks did occur, with Jordan and Israel signing a peace treaty. The result was not peace. Instead, Jordan was forced to relinquish sovereign claims on the West Bank, and a terrorist group was granted representation. That is, a non-state was given the political power of a state, as long as this non-state continued their war. And that is why the PLO was so heavily funded.

83 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:26:02pm

re: #81 Dark_Falcon

Exactly. It's not as if the US, Israel, and the PLO never engaged in dialogue, or signed treaties. I believe that the Oslo Agreement is still in force, but you wouldn't know that from the headlines.

84 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:36:50pm

re: #79 Bob Levin

Unfortunately, that strategy also has some flaws. First, let's call the hateful assholes 'tyrants'. Tyrants are usually very protective (to the point of paranoia) of their power. Those closest to the tyrants are usually in the greatest physical jeopardy. Even a hint of betraying the tyrant, by negotiating with another nation, is met with immediate execution.

Now this doesn't leave a great deal of options on the table. And that's the problem.

However, the claim that Arafat did not rule the PLO with an iron fist, I believe, is ridiculous. We know this because he never relinquished power, there was never any hint of power struggles, and he managed to steal billions of foreign aid without the slightest objection from anyone in the world.

That doesn't really change what I was saying though. If the country isn't run by the least extreme elements then you focus your efforts on those that are the least extreme. Tyrants hold onto power by force, but that only works as long as the people they rule are willing to let them.

85 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:42:28pm

re: #84 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

But the PLO was being run by such a tyrant, thus your point does not matter in this case.

Yasir Arafat was a scumbag who preferred playing warlord and spending other people's money to working out a better life for the Palestinian people.

86 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:45:49pm

re: #74 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

Destro can try to make that case if he likes.

I'm just pointing out that attacking the term moderate is a sort of fallacy of distraction. You guys are attacking him over the term moderate but what he said is actually true. There was a shift in power to even more extreme groups. Attacking the label while avoiding the main point seems a little odd. I don't really see the point of all the vitriol over a disputable label that isn't even the point of the argument.

What I find funny is that the term moderate (a phrase long used to differentiate factions in extremist groups the world over) was used by Prof. Chamberlin in his NYT Op-Ed piece, not me. To get in a huff over using the term moderates is extreme and designed to paint every enemy with the same brush and thus beyond negotiations and that is the point of the Op-Ed's thesis.

87 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:51:47pm

re: #85 Dark_Falcon

From what I have read, Arafat was not a tyrant of the PLO. The PLO had many factions at odds with Arafat. Contrast that witha real tyrant, the late Vellupillai Prabhakaran, who ruled separatist militant organization "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam" like a supreme ruler.

And even here, there was a moderate branch of the Tamil Tigers that broke off from the main group lured by negotiation and diplomacy.

88 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:53:29pm

re: #86 Destro

To get in a huff over using the term moderates is extreme and designed to paint every enemy with the same brush and thus beyond negotiations and that is the point of the Op-Ed's thesis.

Or, it's saying that the key word in the thesis is not clearly defined. This would render the thesis meaningless.

It's hard to make a thesis that the US didn't talk to moderates in the PLO when, at this point in history, the PLO didn't have authority to make written agreements. It's also hard to make such a statement when there has in fact been a long history of talks between the immediate parties involved.

89 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:56:27pm

re: #85 Dark_Falcon

But the PLO was being run by such a tyrant, thus your point does not matter in this case.

Yasir Arafat was a scumbag who preferred playing warlord and spending other people's money to working out a better life for the Palestinian people.

You really think my point doesn't matter? Why wouldn't it?

I'm not going to debate the power structure of yesteryear PLO or whatever. That's Destro's point.

My point is that if they were not the least extreme then you don't focus your efforts on diplomacy with them. Let's say that every power holding organization in Palestine is on the extremist end of the spectrum. Then you start dealing directly with the people. Stop giving the palestinian authorities money. Drop leaflets on the populace telling them to pick up their monthly cash at a nearby Israeli town, give out door prizes, and then encourage them to stay for a while, spend their cash, and interact with Israelis. If Palestinians elect extremists it is at least partially because they buy the propaganda being sold to them. So destroy the propaganda.

90 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 3:57:18pm

re: #87 Destro

He still had those who opposed him killed when he could. And the second part of my point is still valid even if he wasn't a tyrant.

91 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 4:00:24pm

re: #80 garhighway

Undersdtood- but Red China had never declard her genocidal imntentions- and that is a very big difference.

While it is true peace is entered into with enemies, there has to be a red line and moral distinction.

Bigotry, racism and calls to genocide cannot be 'negotiated'.

Imagine negotiating with the Nazi Party for 60 years, during which time it engaged in a limited but relentless terror and war- as well as their stated genocidal aims.

There comes a point after which negotiations are pointless.

When nations or groups that are that are led by or are under the influence of dysfunctional leaders, tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify their actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the dysfunction or tyranny.

Anyone that comes to the defense of dysfunctional, immoral leaders or groups or tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral. They themselves consciously adopt an immoral posture.

92 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 4:00:26pm

re: #89 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

My point is that if they were not the least extreme then you don't focus your efforts on diplomacy with them. Let's say that every power holding organization in Palestine is on the extremist end of the spectrum. Then you start dealing directly with the people. Stop giving the palestinian authorities money. Drop leaflets on the populace telling them to pick up their monthly cash at a nearby Israeli town, give out door prizes, and then encourage them to stay for a while, spend their cash, and interact with Israelis. If Palestinians elect extremists it is at least partially because they buy the propaganda being sold to them. So destroy the propaganda.

Broadly speaking, all of this has been going on, nonstop. However, there is still a steady stream of propaganda. No one has come up with an adequate solution to this part.

93 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 4:01:53pm

re: #88 Bob Levin

Or, it's saying that the key word in the thesis is not clearly defined. This would render the thesis meaningless.

I have yet to hear a term that would be a better fit for the least extreme group within a larger group. Do you propose one?

94 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 4:08:11pm

re: #93 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

It depends. If the end result of each subgroup is the death of others, then that is where comparative terms end. So, I wouldn't look at that particular large group and begin making differentiations--when the overall goal is to kill others.

Knowing which particular group is being analyzed is very important. All words do not apply to every group.

95 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 4:09:35pm

re: #87 Destro

Not a tyrant? He stole billions from his people who languished in poverty.

His deputy Abu Mazen (now PA president Mahmoud Abbas) controlled the funding of the Munich attacks at the 72 Olympics, according to Abu Daoud, who in his book also asserted Arafat approved of the idea.

Abbas also wrote his 'thesis' in which he claimed cooperation and collusion between Zionists and the Nazis and challenged the reality of the Holocaust.

96 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 4:11:29pm

re: #86 Destro

No, to paint openly racist, bigoted and genocidal tyrants as moderate is not inappropriate.

97 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 4:15:16pm

Chores call.

98 SanFranciscoZionist  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 4:48:49pm

Lord God Almighty.

I don't even know if I should bother, but as an Irish American, I'm not particularly impressed with arguments that start with the assumption I should consider American pols who chummed around with the IRA some sort of fine example of something, or for that matter, arguments that start with the assumption that I do consider this to have been OK, fine, and acceptable.

Nor do I normally go around insisting that 'we' should never talk to terrorists. It's not really one of my primary objectives, telling people not to talk to terrorists. Strawmen. Gotta love 'em.

So pretty much as regards meself, this is taking a potentially interesting piece and hurling it down like a chainmail gauntlet to no particular effect. I am dubious of some of the author's suggestions, and interested in his analysis of what was going on the PLO in the '70s, but what's the use of discussing it? This wasn't brought up as a piece for rational discussion.

99 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 4:52:30pm

re: #94 Bob Levin

In other words you don't have a better term to use.

100 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 5:26:59pm

re: #99 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

If we're talking about the Cub Scouts, I have plenty of terms. If we're talking about the Al-Aqsa Martrys' Brigade, not so many.

101 Bob Levin  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 5:28:01pm

re: #98 SanFranciscoZionist

This wasn't brought up as a piece for rational discussion.

Ain't that the truth.

102 Destro  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 6:30:01pm

re: #95 researchok

Not a tyrant? He stole billions from his people who languished in poverty.

His deputy Abu Mazen (now PA president Mahmoud Abbas) controlled the funding of the Munich attacks at the 72 Olympics, according to Abu Daoud, who in his book also asserted Arafat approved of the idea.

Abbas also wrote his 'thesis' in which he claimed cooperation and collusion between Zionists and the Nazis and challenged the reality of the Holocaust.

Throwing some peanuts to the troll:

Most scholars of the Palestine Liberation Organization now agree that attacks like the one in Munich were designed by Yasir Arafat’s rivals to shift power away from moderates and into the hands of more radical factions. - PROF. PAUL THOMAS CHAMBERLIN

Tyrant implies sole ruler. Arafat's PLO seems to be a mult-faction group - more like a mafia 5 families type organization that a one man ruled top down organization with Arafat probably afraid of being killed by a Palestianian faction just as much as from an Israeli hit team.

103 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 6:36:10pm

Yes, you are right. The PLO more resembled Mother Teresa's order than anything else.

As for your remarks re Chamberlain, forgive me if I put more credibility to the guy who actually knew Arafat, planned out the Munich attacks, publicly took credit for those attackjs than I do the guy who wants you to believe the PLO is anything less than a racist, bigoted and genocidal organization.

In their own words.

You make me laugh- now your playing word games, implying the PLO was not a tyrannical regime as opposed to discussing substance

I'm shocked at the pivot and attack.
//

104 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 6:41:47pm

re: #102 Destro

Imagine that- there were Palestinian thugs who fought against Arafat's tyranny, wanting a piece of the pie for themselves.

How extraordinary.

105 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 6:47:14pm

re: #100 Bob Levin

So you don't have a better term for a less radical faction within a larger group. But you write off the whole article for using the commonly used term for such a faction. That's a fallacy of distraction.

How far do you take your argument? Are you willing to recognize that there are actually more radical and less radical elements within the palestinian populace? Or are they just one huge group to be stereotyped?

106 SanFranciscoZionist  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 7:14:28pm

re: #105 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

How far do you take your argument? Are you willing to recognize that there are actually more radical and less radical elements within the palestinian populace? Or are they just one huge group to be stereotyped?

The 'populace' has extraordinarily limited control over what actually happens, which is why I get frustrated when asked to 'recognize' various things about them. Whether Mr al-Misri, my hypothetical average Palestinian is a moderate or not is about as important as whether I am a moderate or not--neither of us has a lot of influence. If Mr. al-Misri lives in Gaza, even less so. What I know is that polls indicate that most West Bank Palestinians consider economic considerations to be their primary concern, which is good news. There's also bad news, but the consistent economic focus strikes me as something with potential for the future. If the future ever gets here.

I have no problem with the use of the word 'moderate', although it's a highly relative term in this case. But for a counterexample, I would ask what kind of reception I would get if I described a Republican politician who's not a raving maniac, who believes contraception should be freely available to of-age women who pay for it out of pocket, who supports exceptions for rape and incest, but who strongly feels that abortion should be illegal outside those reasonable exceptions, as a pro-life moderate. Would I get firmly corrected on that? Why? He IS a moderate. He's a lot more moderate than a lot of other Republicans, that's for sure.

With the issues of the Right of Return and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state still essentially intractable, that's the way a lot of people feel. Moderate schmoderate.

I don't necessarily agree. I think the distinctions between Hamas and Fatah are real, and politically significant. But that's why you'll see some pushback against the 'moderate' label.

And, as I say, I'm not sure, at least without seeing a lot more of his research, that I buy Chamberlin's perceptions of 'who is a moderate'. His apparent inclusion of Hamas and Hezbollah, maybe, in that category...eh, I think I'll have to read the book.

107 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 7:40:09pm

re: #106 SanFranciscoZionist

Spot on.

I would only take mild issue with one point.

While there are legitimate distinctions between the PA and Hamas (one purportedly more secular, the other ostensibly more religious) the reality is both organizations are corrupt and both organizations are interested only in the consolidation of their own power.

They could have reconciled but instead chose to butt heads- each believing they could wrest power, control and cash from the other.

This is not about politics, the welfare of the Palestinins or the creation of a state- it is about grabbing raw power.

108 SanFranciscoZionist  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 7:53:28pm

re: #107 researchok

Spot on.

I would only take mild issue with one point.

While there are legitimate distinctions between the PA and Hamas (one purportedly more secular, the other ostensibly more religious) the reality is both organizations are corrupt and both organizations are interested only in the consolidation of their own power.

They could have reconciled but instead chose to butt heads- each believing they could wrest power, control and cash from the other.

This is not about politics, the welfare of the Palestinins or the creation of a state- it is about grabbing raw power.

Sure, on that level, they've a lot in common. The rockets, however, are coming from Gaza.

109 researchok  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 8:12:36pm

re: #108 SanFranciscoZionist

This week.
/

Still, I'd rather you be right.

I do believe Abbas and Fayyad are more pragmatic. They would rather the Palestinian Spring be directed at Hamas and not at themselves.

110 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 8:34:32pm

re: #106 SanFranciscoZionist

The 'populace' has extraordinarily limited control over what actually happens, which is why I get frustrated when asked to 'recognize' various things about them.
[snip for brevity]
If the future ever gets here.

That's just the thing though. Not many people have a whole lot of power. But what we think and do still matters because when we band together we can accomplish a lot. Mr al-Misri may not have much power as an individual, but the palestinian populace could overthrow the authority if they so wished. We should cultivate a situation in which they desire to do so.

I think you hit on an important point about the economy. When the economy is bad people are miserable and willing to listen to more extreme points of view. Mitt Romney for example, :p.

Would I get firmly corrected on that? Why? He IS a moderate. He's a lot more moderate than a lot of other Republicans, that's for sure.

I'm sure some people would recoil from that application of the term and try to start something over it. But as you point out, it is correct. Such a person would be a moderate within the anti-abortion group.

I don't necessarily agree. I think the distinctions between Hamas and Fatah are real, and politically significant. But that's why you'll see some pushback against the 'moderate' label.

I can understand the pushback, but it's not very reasonable in the end. Lack of nuance won't help achieve a diplomatic solution. We should not only recognize those differences but play them off each other for maximum effect. Failing to recognize differences limits diplomatic strategies.

And, as I say, I'm not sure, at least without seeing a lot more of his research, that I buy Chamberlin's perceptions of 'who is a moderate'. His apparent inclusion of Hamas and Hezbollah, maybe, in that category...eh, I think I'll have to read the book.

I don't really care for the article. I just thought the way Destro was being attacked was unfair, as well as a logical fallacy.

111 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Sep 4, 2012 9:21:29pm

re: #106 SanFranciscoZionist

I have no problem with the use of the word 'moderate', although it's a highly relative term in this case. But for a counterexample, I would ask what kind of reception I would get if I described a Republican politician who's not a raving maniac, who believes contraception should be freely available to of-age women who pay for it out of pocket, who supports exceptions for rape and incest, but who strongly feels that abortion should be illegal outside those reasonable exceptions, as a pro-life moderate. Would I get firmly corrected on that? Why? He IS a moderate. He's a lot more moderate than a lot of other Republicans, that's for sure.

With the issues of the Right of Return and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state still essentially intractable, that's the way a lot of people feel. Moderate schmoderate.

I don't necessarily agree. I think the distinctions between Hamas and Fatah are real, and politically significant. But that's why you'll see some pushback against the 'moderate' label.

Excellent post, but its the part I bolded that I feel is most critical. Much of the problem stems from the fact that some of the key issues between Israelis and Palestinians cannot at present be bridged, and much of the reason is the incessant anti-Israel propaganda put out by the Palestinian leadership. Let me use a quote from an excellent City Journal article to help make my point:

Several years ago, I briefly visited the largest refugee camp in the West Bank: Balata, inside the city of Nablus. Many of the camp’s approximately 20,000 residents are the children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren of the Arab citizens of Jaffa who fled their homes in early 1948.

For half a century, the United Nations has administered Balata as a quasi-apartheid welfare ghetto. The Palestinian Authority does not consider the residents of Balata citizens of Palestine; they do not vote on municipal issues, and they receive no PA funding for roads or sanitation. The refugee children—though after 60 years, calling young children “refugees” is absurd—go to separate schools run by UNRWA, the UN’s refugee-relief agency. The “refugees” are crammed into an area of approximately one square kilometer, and municipal officials prohibit them from building outside the camp’s official boundaries, making living conditions ever more cramped as the camp’s population grows. In a building called the Jaffa Cultural Center—financed by the UN, which means our tax dollars—Balata’s young people are undoubtedly nurtured on the myth that someday soon they will return in triumph to their ancestors’ homes by the Mediterranean Sea.

In Balata, history has come full circle. During the 1948 war, Palestinian leaders like Haj Amin al-Husseini insisted that the Arab citizens of Haifa and Jaffa had to leave, lest they help legitimize the Jewish state. Now, the descendants of those citizens are locked up in places like Balata and prohibited from resettling in the Palestinian-administered West Bank—again, lest they help legitimize the Jewish state, this time by removing the Palestinians’ chief complaint. Yet there is a certain perverse logic at work here. For if Israel and the Palestinians ever managed to hammer out the draft of a peace treaty, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, would have to go to Balata and explain to its residents that their leaders have been lying to them for 60 years and that they are not going back to Jaffa. Which, to state the obvious again, is one of the main reasons that there has been no peace treaty.

112 Bob Levin  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 12:17:49am

re: #105 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

But you write off the whole article for using the commonly used term for such a faction.

No, I said that because the word was undefined within the article, and because 'moderate' was a crucial word in building his argument, then the foundation of the entire article is weak. All that he would have to do is define the word.

If we have to speculate on his meaning of moderate, then he hasn't really done his job.

And mind you, historically it's a good idea to begin with Nasser, who was five minutes away from trying to kill every Jew living in Israel, pushing every Jew into the sea, to paraphrase. I've been waiting 45 years for someone with the power to retract that statement, make such a retraction. It hasn't happened yet. As far as I can tell, it's still an active policy among the tyrant class.

Nevertheless, the US, Israel, Fatah, and a cast of thousands have been in non-stop negotiations for forty years. So, what's the point of the article?

113 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 9:49:53am

re: #112 Bob Levin

Sorry but it it fairly obvous what the term means in the context of the article. It seems more like researchok decided to intentionally misunderstand and use that to attack Destro. As if he personally was saying that the whole group was moderate. That's a fairly common logocal fallacy in undisciplined web discussions. Instead of trying to understand the article and directly refute the points it contains you guys crafted a misinterpretation (a straw man) and handily defeated that instead, as well as attacking Destro (an ad hominem).

If you are going to complain about the lack of rational discussion then it is fair to note that Desro's article was countered with logical fallacies instead of reason.

As for the article itself, I'm not defending it. That's Destro's job. I think it is reasonable to point out that within the PLO and palestine there were/are power struggles and different factions. I think the article misses the mark on a few points as it focuses too much on what was happening with the the less extreme factions but doesn't detail what what was happening with the more extreme factions during those same time periods. But the thesis of the article, that sometimes we should talk to terrorists and we should have talked with the palestinians sooner, hasn't been effectively disputed here.

114 garhighway  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 10:37:41am

re: #91 researchok

.

Bigotry, racism and calls to genocide cannot be 'negotiated'.

Agree, but negotiations between enemies generally aren't about getting them to recant their beliefs, however odious they may be. They are about conduct: "you'll stop doing X if I stop doing Y", or some variation on that formula. Certainly, Red China has held and continues to hold some beliefs that are odious. We hold our noses and deal with them anyway because we think it is in our best interests to do so. The Soviet Union was evil in spades, and we nonetheless treated with them.

Other evil regimes we did not negotiate with, but whether that was because of practical problems or because our principles made such negotiaions impossible is hard to say.

115 researchok  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 10:53:43am

re: #114 garhighway

In a perfect world, I would agree, but let's not kid ourselves. We have been negotiating with the PLO, either directly or indiectlky for decades.

Where has this gotten us? Have any behaviors changed?

As I noted,

Imagine negotiating with the Nazi Party for 60 years, during which time it engaged in a limited but relentless terror and war- as well as their stated genocidal aims.

There comes a point after which negotiations are pointless.

When nations or groups that are that are led by or are under the influence of dysfunctional leaders, tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify their actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the dysfunction or tyranny.

Anyone that comes to the defense of dysfunctional, immoral leaders or groups or tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral. They themselves consciously adopt an immoral posture.

116 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 11:20:33am

re: #115 researchok

So the palestinian people are like the Nazis? Nice. Let's run with that analogy since you like it so much.

If the crumbling German economy had been helped by the more stable and rich countries then Hitler would have had a lot harder time coming to power. He used the negative economy to come to power and as a tool to falsely blame Jews.

Would the extremist organizations in Palestine have as much power if the economy wasn't horrible? I think not. They use poverty as a way to keep the average palestinian stripped of political, economic, and personal power. I find it hard to believe that we, as rich and powerful nations, couldn't have done anything to remedy that situation by now and stripped the authority of one of their most powerful propaganda tools.

117 researchok  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 11:34:05am

re: #116 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

No, that is not what I said.

It is the Palestinian leadership I was referring to.

I'm not quite sure how you made that leap.

As t the rest of your comment I am more in agreement.

118 Bob Levin  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 12:06:02pm

re: #113 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

a growing number of moderates within the P.L.O. — most notably Arafat — were putting out feelers about the prospect of a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute..

Okay, this is a quote from the article saying that Arafat was among the moderates. How does the author get to that statement? Arafat was a murderer, and he enjoyed giving the orders for murder. So, there are problems within the article, created by its author. I'm not making that up.

However, it doesn't matter because the US, Israel, the PLO, and many third parties have been holding talks for 40 years. There's no straw man there.

And because negotiations have been ongoing, it seems as though the author has a loose grasp of the facts.

119 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 12:27:14pm

re: #117 researchok

Well even if you are just comparing the leadership to Nazis I don't really think it is a great analogy. The Nazis were in the driver's seat of a powerful manufacturing base. Fixing Germany's economic problems might have helped before the Nazis rose to power. But once they got the economy rolling again that ceased to be a diplomatic option for us.

In contrast the authority isn't as intractable. They are in the driver's seat of a wreck. They didn't fix the economy after rising to power but rather still use it as a tool against their own people. But that only lasts as long as those conditions remain. As such we still have the power to remove that tool.

So how do you suppose we go about that?

re: #118 Bob Levin

a growing number of moderates within the P.L.O. — most notably Arafat — were putting out feelers about the prospect of a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute..

Okay, this is a quote from the article saying that Arafat was among the moderates. How does the author get to that statement? Arafat was a murderer, and he enjoyed giving the orders for murder. So, there are problems within the article, created by its author. I'm not making that up.

It is clear from context:

moderates within the P.L.O.

If Arafat was quietly seeking to become part of a peace process, as documents show including this one, then that would indeed make him a moderate in comparison to the factions that wanted no negotiation whatsoever.

However, it doesn't matter because the US, Israel, the PLO, and many third parties have been holding talks for 40 years. There's no straw man there.

And because negotiations have been ongoing, it seems as though the author has a loose grasp of the facts.

The fact is that the US has had a hot/cold relationship with the PLO. For a long time we refused to recognize them and avoided contact with them. And at other times we have secretly met with them. Not exactly the face of consistent diplomacy.

120 Bob Levin  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 1:05:12pm

re: #119 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

If Arafat was quietly seeking to become part of a peace process, as documents show including this one, then that would indeed make him a moderate in comparison to the factions that wanted no negotiation whatsoever.

So you and I have to argue what the author meant by moderate. Did the author even address the point of view that some feel that comitting murder disqualifies one from being called a moderate? That would be our discussion, right? It shouldn't. The author should have taken the time to define it more clearly. Which was my original point.

The fact is that the US has had a hot/cold relationship with the PLO. For a long time we refused to recognize them and avoided contact with them. And at other times we have secretly met with them. Not exactly the face of consistent diplomacy.

Then you do agree that there were talks. That was also my original point. It seems as though the author wasn't so clear on that. After all, the issue in the article wasn't about how well the US conducted diplomacy.

121 researchok  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 1:10:34pm

re: #119 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

That the Palestinian economy is a failed enterprise is not the issue. That the leadership (as is most of the Arab world and Iran) are example of spectacular dysfunction is.

They are in power, they have access to huge sums of money and they use their power and money to pursue their stated racist, bigoted band genocidal goals. That cannot be swept away.

In the end, the biggest victims of Arab dysfunction are the Arabs themselves.

They have been cheated out of a future by vicious and dysfunctional tyrants. And as expected, those tyrants are supported by yet other dysfunctional people who support and apologize for the tyrants.

Like the dysfunctional leaders, they could care less about the Arabs who are suffering.

Witness the obsession with Israel- even as Assad and his supporters are butchering tens of thousands in Syria.

And that even doesn't begin to cover the dysfunction in Iran underwriting the whole thing.

122 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 2:00:13pm

re: #120 Bob Levin

So you and I have to argue what the author meant by moderate. Did the author even address the point of view that some feel that comitting murder disqualifies one from being called a moderate? That would be our discussion, right? It shouldn't. The author should have taken the time to define it more clearly. Which was my original point.

He should have simply used different terminology that people wouldn't try to dispute. But your original point wasn't just that he didn't use what you thought was proper terminology, but also that the point of the article was refuted because of that. I can't agree with that. The term was clear enough in the context of the article. If you can replace the single term with something like "less extreme factions" and the whole point of the article remains the same then an indistinct term isn't enough to refute it.

Then you do agree that there were talks. That was also my original point. It seems as though the author wasn't so clear on that. After all, the issue in the article wasn't about how well the US conducted diplomacy.

Okay, but with regards to how well we conducted diplomacy it was very poor during the period described by the author. During that period we conducted some secret talks, while publicly condemning them and refusing official contact. That sort of puts a damper on the idea that these talks were serious.

re: #121 researchok

That the Palestinian economy is a failed enterprise is not the issue. That the leadership (as is most of the Arab world and Iran) are example of spectacular dysfunction is.

They are in power, they have access to huge sums of money and they use their power and money to pursue their stated racist, bigoted band genocidal goals. That cannot be swept away.

I'm trying to discuss ways that we could reduce the power of such an organization but you say that isn't the point. Except that the economy is one of the major factors aggravating this whole mess. So if the point isn't to negotiate with or diplomatically weaken the authority then what is the point? To paint them as totally intractable and that a military solution is the only option?

123 Bob Levin  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 2:47:09pm

re: #122 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

He should have simply used different terminology that people wouldn't try to dispute.

That's correct.

But your original point wasn't just that he didn't use what you thought was proper terminology, but also that the point of the article was refuted because of that.

I don't think so. It just means that I won't take the article so seriously. I'm still not sure what point the author was trying to make.

Now, if someone were to write a better article along the same lines, I start over. A better article would essentially be more historical, taking into account the years of negotiations.

124 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 2:57:06pm

re: #123 Bob Levin

I'm still not sure what point the author was trying to make.

That if we had negotiated more seriously over that 15 year period we could have exploited cracks within the PLO. Instead we waited until they grabbed and consolidated even more power.

125 Bob Levin  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 3:16:57pm

re: #124 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

Are you sure the point was negotiated more seriously, or negotiated at all? Find the quote for 'more seriously', and you prove your point.

However, if the point is 'more seriously', that would entail reading thousands of pages of transcripts from multiple agencies, of which, many of the most important documents might still be classified. After that, the author would have to interview those taking part in the negotiations to get the meaning hidden between the lines.

Still, in order to reach his conclusion, he would have to apply hindsight.

Now, why would the author have to work so hard? Because much of the information publicly available does not fit into his hypothesis--if his hypothesis revolves around negotiating more seriously.

126 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 3:45:39pm

re: #125 Bob Levin

Let's say he didn't do those things. Did you? You have said repeatedly that we have been negotiating the whole time. But based on public records, like the president's speeches and declassified documents that are available, we weren't actively negotiating with them for most of that period. So where is your evidence that negotiations have been happening this whole time?

127 Bob Levin  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 4:37:49pm

re: #126 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter

Peace treaty with Egypt. Return of the Sinai. Peace treaty with Jordan. Camp David Accords. Evacuation of Gaza. Oslo Accords. Wye River Memorandum. All of the PLO financial transactions go through Israeli banks. Gaza gets it electricity from Israel--and on and on.

And on.

128 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Wed, Sep 5, 2012 5:17:13pm

re: #127 Bob Levin

Most of those were A) not negotiations with the PLO, B) fall outside the time frame specified in the article. Do you have any examples of negotiation with the PLO in that time frame?

Frankly, this discussion is losing my interest. We could go on all day about with recriminations about who should have done what. But it's all highly speculative and doesn't really describe the situation today. I was interested in discussing potential solutions to the issue as it stands today and thought SFZ had an interesting point. But since you guys don't seem interested I think I will bow out of the discussion if it stays on the history/semantics/attack track.


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