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Israel is destroying the Gaza Strip


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This is kind of overreaction for the kidnapping of one soldier, don't you think?

See this article. "Operation Summer Rains" may just cause me to rethink this conflict (again).

(I know this probably belongs in the Government and Politics forum, but after seeing the reaction to my Montenegro Referendum thread there [i.e. none], I think its warranted)

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This is kind of overreaction for the kidnapping of one soldier, don't you think?

Owen I don’t think any one on this forum will disagree with you about that.

See this article. "Operation Summer Rains" may just cause me to rethink this conflict (again).

It’s my impression that you try to frame longstanding complex ethnic-religious conflicts into an overly simplistic unnuanced ‘righteous good guys’ vs. ‘evil bad guys’ reality. But unfortunately the world is a lot more complicated than that and figuring out who is / was right or wrong is not so easy – normally both sides have their share of blame. Just because the Israelis are in the wrong in this instance in 2006 doesn’t mean they were in the wrong (for example) during the Six-Day War in 1967 or even in other action taken this year. Conversely just because about 6 millions Jews were murdered by the Nazis and some Muslims / Arabs cooperated with them (the Nazis) doesn’t mean the Jews always were / are / forever will be the goods guys / innocent victims and Muslims / Arabs always were / are / and forever will be the evil bad guys.

The same applies to the Balkans. One of the arguments advanced by you and Jared Israel is more or less, “The Serbs were victims of Nazi genocide and Bosnian Muslims and Croats were their allies, therefore 40 -50 years later the Serbs are really the innocent good guys trying to defend themselves and the Croats and Bosnians are the real aggressors.” Again we can’t infer one from the other.

While it is important to look at these conflicts in their historical contexts it is a mistake not to judge each incident on its own merits especially when they are separated by decades and the players are not even the same people but the children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren of those involved in the earlier conflicts.

The Polish were wrong to attack the USSR in 1919 that doesn’t mean that the Soviet invasion of Poland in cahoots with the Nazi’s was justified. The Tutsis cooperated with the harsh colonial rule of the Germans and Belgians in Rwanda, does this justify the Hutu slaughter of Tutsis?

Such a view is also overly simplistic because, because well, it’s overly simplistic. Not all Tutsis cooperated with the Belgians and not all Hutus cooperated with their slaughter (indeed many Hutus were killed). During WWII there were Serbs, Croats, Bosnians etc who cooperated with the Nazis and Serbs, Croats, Bosnians etc who resisted them.

Is Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip a brutal over reaction? Yes. Does that mean Israelis and Jews who settled in Palestine 1882 – 1948 have always been in the wrong? No. Were Jews victims of Nazi genocide in the 1940’s? Yes. Did many Arabs and Muslims including the Mufti of Jerusalem, perhaps the father of Palestinian nationalism, eagerly cooperate with the Nazis? Yes. Does this justify everything the Israelis have done? No.

You are obviously a very smart and sincere guy. You are also (I hope this doesn’t seem to patronizing) quite young. When we are young we tend to simply things into moral absolutes black and white good versus evil, as we get older we realize things aren’t so simple there are lots of gray areas.

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It's my impression that you try to frame longstanding complex ethnic-religious conflicts into an overly simplistic unnuanced 'righteous good guys' vs. 'evil bad guys' reality. But unfortunately the world is a lot more complicated than that and figuring out who is / was right or wrong is not so easy – normally both sides have their share of blame. Just because the Israelis are in the wrong in this instance in 2006 doesn't mean they were in the wrong (for example) during the Six-Day War in 1967 or even in other action taken this year. Conversely just because about 6 millions Jews were murdered by the Nazis and some Muslims / Arabs cooperated with them (the Nazis) doesn't mean the Jews always were / are / forever will be the goods guys / innocent victims and Muslims / Arabs always were / are / and forever will be the evil bad guys.

Yes, I do have this tendency, which is why I'm currently reexamining things, hopefully to arrive at a more balanced or at least more nuanced position. Most political activism can entail reductionism of this sort. It isn't a fault of youth alone.

The same applies to the Balkans. One of the arguments advanced by you and Jared Israel is more or less, "The Serbs were victims of Nazi genocide and Bosnian Muslims and Croats were their allies, therefore 40 -50 years later the Serbs are really the innocent good guys trying to defend themselves and the Croats and Bosnians are the real aggressors." Again we can't infer one from the other.

That's not the main argument. The main argument is that almost all of the so-called Serb crimes are provably phony, which is not the case regarding their enemies. I note that you have not even tried to prove the reality of the so-called Racak massacre, for instance.

Such a view is also overly simplistic because, because well, it’s overly simplistic. Not all Tutsis cooperated with the Belgians and not all Hutus cooperated with their slaughter (indeed many Hutus were killed).

You are quite correct about this. For instance, Bosnian Muslim leader Fikret Abdic (a true moderate, and more popular than Izetbegovic) did the right thing and sided with the Serbs. Read his story here, here, and here.

While it is important to look at these conflicts in their historical contexts it is a mistake not to judge each incident on its own merits especially when they are separated by decades and the players are not even the same people but the children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren of those involved in the earlier conflicts.

Exactly, the incidents should be judged on their own merits, which is what I do. The historical context is useful for understanding motivation and context.

The historical context is also useful to pull up whenever supposed parrallels between the Nazis and the Serbs are drawn. It is also important because people like Tudjman and Izetbegovic celebrated the Nazi pasts of their people.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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The same applies to the Balkans. One of the arguments advanced by you and Jared Israel is more or less, "The Serbs were victims of Nazi genocide and Bosnian Muslims and Croats were their allies, therefore 40 -50 years later the Serbs are really the innocent good guys trying to defend themselves and the Croats and Bosnians are the real aggressors." Again we can't infer one from the other.

Oh yes, and if you have any belief that Croatia is in any way a victim...

Please read the following material.

For some historical context about the WWII Croatian Ustase regime and its crimes, please visit the Pavelic Papers website.

Excerpts from Franjo Tudjman's book, Wastelands of Historical Reality, can be read here. They are revealing, to say the very least.

Read here, here, here, and here about the resurrection of Croatia's Nazi past. Read about the fears of Croatia's Jewish community here.

Read the fascinating story of how Croatia utilized units composed of German neo-Nazis here.

Read here about how some 10,000 Serb homes were dynamited in Croatia.

Read about the attrocities committed in Gospic here and here.

These minutes from the "Council for Defense and National Security of the Republic of Croatia" in 1993 show Tudjman planning the ethnic cleansing of Croatia's Serb population.

Read of the massacre the Croatian military committed in the Medak pocket in 1993 here, here and here.

Operation Flash, prelude to the Operation Storm ethnic cleansing operation, used as its pretext a phony "Serb terrorist attack" against Croatian motorists that was staged by the Croatian government, as confirmed by Tudjman's Cabinet Chief. Read about it here.

Operation Storm entailed the massive ethnic cleansing of Serbian Krajina, a war crime you have probably never heard about, although it had full U.S. backing and support at every step of the way. Read about it here, here, and here. View these pictures if it isn't "real" enough. The minutes from a meeting held shortly after the operation again adress the ethnic cleansing plans. After you finish with that, read Tudjman's speech regarding this. Learn of the conditions of those Serbs who came back here.

It should be noted that the Croatian government broke off peace negotiations with Republika Srpska Krajina on false pretexts (and with American assistance) in order to do all this (see here).

Let there be no doubt, then, that Croatia was most assuredly an aggressor and a monstrous one at that. Historical context matters.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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It's my impression that you try to frame longstanding complex ethnic-religious conflicts into an overly simplistic unnuanced 'righteous good guys' vs. 'evil bad guys' reality. But unfortunately the world is a lot more complicated than that and figuring out who is / was right or wrong is not so easy – normally both sides have their share of blame. Just because the Israelis are in the wrong in this instance in 2006 doesn't mean they were in the wrong (for example) during the Six-Day War in 1967 or even in other action taken this year. Conversely just because about 6 millions Jews were murdered by the Nazis and some Muslims / Arabs cooperated with them (the Nazis) doesn't mean the Jews always were / are / forever will be the goods guys / innocent victims and Muslims / Arabs always were / are / and forever will be the evil bad guys.

Yes, I do have this tendency, which is why I'm currently reexamining things, hopefully to arrive at a more balanced or at least more nuanced position. Most political activism can entail reductionism of this sort. It isn't a fault of youth alone.

But I think youth is a large part of it. Intelligent people realize as they get older to see the nuisances less intelligent people don’t, some intelligent people are so blinded by ideology they don’t either. You don’t strike me as an idiot or a fanatic so there’s hope for you yet.

Unfortunately you are right about many, I don’t know if it applies to most political activists, all to many are blind to the gray areas.

The same applies to the Balkans. One of the arguments advanced by you and Jared Israel is more or less, "The Serbs were victims of Nazi genocide and Bosnian Muslims and Croats were their allies, therefore 40 -50 years later the Serbs are really the innocent good guys trying to defend themselves and the Croats and Bosnians are the real aggressors." Again we can't infer one from the other.

That's not the main argument.

I never said that it was, but that seems to be what shapes Jared Israel’s outlook and to a large extent yours.

The main argument is that almost all of the so-called Serb crimes are provably phony, which is not the case regarding their enemies. I note that you have not even tried to prove the reality of the so-called Racak massacre, for instance.

As I indicated on that thread, I don’t really have the time to research that. Even if the bodies there really where KLA guerrillas it doesn’t mean that the Serb weren’t guilty of ethnic cleansing in other cases especially Bosnia. I note that you haven’t started a thread about that yet. As you pointed there was no massacre in Jenin, does it then follow then that the Israelis have never used inappropriate force against the Palestians? Does the invasion of Gaza mean that you should reevaluate your conclusion about that incident? In any case I gave that as an example I don’t want to get dragged into a debate over the Balkans.

Such a view is also overly simplistic because, because well, it's overly simplistic. Not all Tutsis cooperated with the Belgians and not all Hutus cooperated with their slaughter (indeed many Hutus were killed).

You are quite correct about this. For instance, Bosnian Muslim leader Fikret Abdic (a true moderate, and more popular than Izetbegovic) did the right thing and sided with the Serbs. Read his story here, here, and here.

Exactly normally these conflicts are usually more complex than the X’s, the evil ethnic group vs. the Y’s, the righteous ethnic group. I only skimmed two of your links two didn’t cite any sources, one cited lots of sources but all the links I clicked on were to dead.

While it is important to look at these conflicts in their historical contexts it is a mistake not to judge each incident on its own merits especially when they are separated by decades and the players are not even the same people but the children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren of those involved in the earlier conflicts.

Exactly, the incidents should be judged on their own merits, which is what I do. The historical context is useful for understanding motivation and context.

My reply was motivated by your comment that you would reexamine your entire outlook on the Arab-Israeli conflict base on the invasion of Gaza, that is the opposite of judging each situation on its own merits.

The historical context is also useful to pull up whenever supposed parrallels between the Nazis and the Serbs are drawn.

Again this contradicts judging each situation on it’s merits

It is also important because people like Tudjman and Izetbegovic celebrated the Nazi pasts of their people.

You provided some documentation for this with Tudjman in your latest post, what about Izetbrgovic? The best place for that would be a different thread. Tudjman it should be noted fought with Tito against the Nazis. In any case Tudjman was facing inditement by the same court as Milosevic. Many Croats claim that his crimes were hoaxs just as you claim Milosovic's crimes were.

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[NOTE: I can't get the quotes to work correctly, so Len's comments are in bold.]

As I indicated on that thread, I don't really have the time to research that.

I didn't see it. But in any case, you have had a lot of time to debunk 9/11 demolition theories, moon hoax theories, and "Wellstone's plane was shot down by EMP weapons" theories. I don't know how Racak would be greatly different.

Even if the bodies there really where KLA guerrillas it doesn't mean that the Serb weren't guilty of ethnic cleansing in other cases especially Bosnia.

Please see these internal German government documents for further proof that there was no campaign of genocide in Kosovo. This is why the phony massacre was necessary. Doesn't it bother you that NATO illegally bombed a sovereign country on pretexts that it had to know were lies? Just a little?

I note that you haven't started a thread about that yet.

There are two reasons why I haven't posted a thread on the Bosnian conflict (which did not primarily involve Milosevic, btw; the Bosnian Serbs were a separate political entity, Republika Srpska, indigenous to Bosnia itself) yet. The first one is that it would take a really long time to compile and then post, due to the complexity of the conflict. The conflict in Croatia is quite a bit simpler. The second, and main reason, is that I was disappointed with the way my Racak thread turned out, with little in the way of actual debate before dwindling off into nothing. I don't want to put too much effort into something that will be dismissed as "denial" (as Andy Walker called my Racak thread).

Exactly normally these conflicts are usually more complex than the X's, the evil ethnic group vs. the Y's, the righteous ethnic group. I only skimmed two of your links two didn't cite any sources, one cited lots of sources but all the links I clicked on were to dead.

The dead links in the Antiwar article can be retrieved by editing the URLs and/or putting them into Internet Archive. The links about the Iranian-trained assassination squad that the Bosnian government sent after Abdic, for example, may be found here and here.

My reply was motivated by your comment that you would reexamine your entire outlook on the Arab-Israeli conflict base on the invasion of Gaza, that is the opposite of judging each situation on its own merits.

I didn't say I was going to do a complete turnaround. What I said was that I'm striving for a less one-sided view, as is reflected in my 2nd post.

You provided some documentation for this with Tudjman in your latest post, what about Izetbrgovic? The best place for that would be a different thread.

See above. The more encouragement I get the more likely it is to be out there soon.

Tudjman it should be noted fought with Tito against the Nazis.

I am aware of this. By the 1960's, however, he was attacking Communism and was jailed briefly by Tito's government for his nationalistic activities. His fighting the Nazis in WWII (if it wasn't simply opportunism) does not mitigate the fact that he quite clearly became an anti-Semitic, anti-Serb Nazi holocaust denier later in his life.

In any case Tudjman was facing inditement by the same court as Milosevic. Many Croats claim that his crimes were hoaxs just as you claim Milosovic's crimes were.

Yes, indeed, there are quite a few neo-Ustase out there. The difference, though, is that they do not appear able to back up their arguments with factual material. It is also very hard to deny because Tudjman's own words damn him. In Milosevic's case, you will find nothing racist or ultra-Nationalist from him (quite the contrary in fact). Not in speeches, not in books. No minutes of government meetings planning ethnic cleansing.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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