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Old 11-01-09, 05:54 AM   #1
multi
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Default In defense of Israel's 'disproportionate' response in Gaza

Kannamachi, Japan – It seems that whenever Israel responds to violent overtures from groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, leaders of the international community are quick to assign equal condemnation to Israelis and Palestinians regardless of whether one is legitimately acting in self-defense.
Whether it is due to a latent anti-Semitism, the desire to avoid inflaming fundamentalist Arab passions, or simply an unrealistic belief in equality, world leaders are focusing too much on buzzwords.
In the case of Israel, the buzzwords are the "disproportionate" and "excessive" use of force – terms used in the 2006 Lebanon war and most recently spoken by French President Nikolas Sarkozy and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in response to Israel's Gaza offensive.
This is a particularly puzzling criticism of Israel. Would the international community truly prefer a proportionate or equal response? If Hamas launches three crudely-fashioned rockets into Israel, should the Israeli government respond with three equally-crude rockets? If three Israeli Defense Forces are kidnapped by Hezbollah, should the IDF respond by kidnapping an equal number of Hezbollah foot-soldiers?
The notion of "proportional" response lacks both merit and logical support for several reasons. In war, there are winners and losers, and the only palatable means of victory come from a disproportionate use of force. Victors are inherently more skilled in combat, tactics, and in the effective deployment of (generally superior) technology.
It does not make sense to demand one technologically or militarily superior belligerent to refrain from fighting to their full potential, simply because they are able to enact "disproportionate" damage on a weaker foe.
Should the United States have refrained from using the atomic bomb because Japan did not yet possess one? Would it have been better to extend Lend-Lease to Nazi Germany as well as Britain so that neither side would gain the advantage? Simply put, a militarily superior force should not limit itself due to the international community's desire to root for the underdog.
The notion of "proportional" responses is further baffling in that such occurrences actually prolong conflicts.
One need only look to the warfare in World War I. Equally-manned belligerents, using the same tactics, the same weapons, and the same defenses resulted in both sides being bogged down in interminable trench-warfare. No side could gain the upper hand and thus the conflict continued in an endless back-and-forth.
The cold war is another example of a proportional conflict. Both Russia and the United States maintained near-parity in regard to weapons, manpower, and political influence, and neither could emerge as sole superpower. As a result of its drawn-out nature, the conflict spread beyond America and Russia to encompass the entire Eastern and Western worlds. For an international community so concerned with peace, condemning "disproportionate" response, thereby accepting endless symmetrical warfare, appears hypocritical.
To be sure, discretion is the better part of valor, and that makes genocide a line that is unacceptable to cross. The use of retaliatory military force must not be reflexive. If peaceful solutions fail, however, the use of force is a viable option that may have to be employed.
Certainly, an indiscriminate carpet-bombing or use of nuclear weapons on Gaza would be an unacceptable and excessive use of force, but if care is taken to minimize the loss of civilian life, then states should be able to respond as they see fit.
In the 2006 Lebanon war, as well as the current Gaza offensive, this proportionality argument has no place. In neither case did Israel decide to launch unprovoked, unnecessary air and ground assaults on a whim as a way of boasting its military might. In both cases, Israel's actions came as a response to provocations from groups bent on its destruction.
Hamas should garner no international sympathy simply because it made the poor decision of engaging an enemy of far-superior military might. The international community must further realize that both belligerents do not always need equal blame placed upon them.
Israel's superior military power comes with responsibility, however. In the wake of the Gaza offensive, Israel should be active in supplying humanitarian aid to affected civilians, and to help moderates such as Mahmoud Abbas regain influence in the area.
Hamas is owed nothing, of course. But in order to further peace negotiations, civilians and moderates must be given any support necessary from Israel.
With the latest Gaza offensive, world leaders must condemn Hamas for abandoning its truce with Israel and recklessly endangering Palestinian citizens, while supporting Israel's right to defend itself, not offering platitudes condemning a "disproportionate" or "excessive" use of force.

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Old 11-01-09, 08:24 AM   #2
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The notion of "proportional" responses is further baffling in that such occurrences actually prolong conflicts.
yup - doesn't solve a fricking thing.
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Old 11-01-09, 09:53 AM   #3
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One need only look to the warfare in World War I. Equally-manned belligerents, using the same tactics, the same weapons, and the same defenses resulted in both sides being bogged down in interminable trench-warfare. No side could gain the upper hand and thus the conflict continued in an endless back-and-forth
True enough in Europe but in the Middle -east it was a different tactic of outnumber and overwhelm

(and use a revolt for help and then change the deal)


1914
Mesopotamian Campaign: The campaign was fought mainly in the Tigris River valley region of what is now Iraq, and included battles on the Persian Gulf coast, at Basra, and numerous struggles around Kut and Baghdad.

Caucasus Campaign: The Russian and Ottoman armies fought in the Caucasus and eastern Anatolia (northeastern Turkey), with the Ottoman Empire suffering a crushing defeat at the Battle of Sarikamis in November-December.


1915
Mesopotamian Campaign: Initially the Ottomans successfully repelled the British incursions. However, fortunes reversed after the disastrous Siege of Kut.

Caucasus Campaign: The Russians went on the offensive, advancing as far as Lake Van, but the Ottoman forces were ultimately able to drive them back. Ottoman repression of the Armenian population in Anatolia, who had evinced pro-Russian sentiments, grew into what is now called the Armenian Genocide. The fighting was largely inconclusive as the focus of the Ottoman and Russian war effort shifted to the Dardanelles Campaign and the Eastern Front respectively.

Dardanelles Campaign: the campaign, which began on April 25, took place at on the Gallipoli Peninsula on the European side of the Dardanelles (tr:Çanakkale Savaşları), and is commonly referred to in Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland simply as "Gallipoli". The British and French mounted a combined operation with the goal of capturing the Ottoman capital at Constantinople (now Istanbul). The campaign started with a Naval attempt to force the Dardanelles. When this failed the Allies decided to seize the European side of the Dardanelles with an amphibious assault. The troops were able to land but could not dislodge the Ottoman forces after months of battle that caused the deaths of an estimated 131,000 soldiers, and 262,000 wounded. Eventually the Allied forces withdrew. The campaigning represented something of a coming of age for Australia and New Zealand who celebrate April 25th as ANZAC Day. Kemal Ataturk, who would go on to become the first leader of modern Turkey distinguished himself as a Lieut. Colonel in the Ottoman forces there.

Arab Revolt: The British, based in Egypt, began to incite the Arabs living in Hejaz near the Red Sea and inland to revolt to expel the Ottoman forces from what is the modern-day Saudi Arabian peninsula.

Sinai and Palestine Campaign: The Ottomans launched an unsuccessful attack across the Sinai with the objective of destroying or capturing the Suez Canal.


1916
Arab Revolt: In 1916, a combination of diplomacy and genuine dislike of the new leaders of the Ottoman Empire (the Three Pashas) convinced Sherif Hussein ibn Ali of Mecca to begin a revolt. He gave the leadership of this revolt to two of his sons: Faisal and Abdullah, though the planning and direction for the war was largely the work of Lawrence of Arabia.

Caucasus Campaign: The Russian offensive in northeastern Turkey culminated with the capture of Erzurum in February and Trabzon in April.

Sinai and Palestine Campaign: The Ottoman forces launched a second attack across the Sinai with the objective of destroying or capturing the Suez Canal. Both this and the earlier attack (1915) were unsuccessful, though not very costly by the standards of the Great War. The British then went on the offensive, attacking east into Palestine. However, two failed attempts to capture the Ottoman fort of Gaza resulted in sweeping changes to the British command and the arrival of General Allenby, along with many reinforcements.


1917


Turkish trenches at the shores of the Dead Sea, 1917.
Mesopotamian Campaign: British Empire forces reorganized and captured Baghdad in March 1917.

Caucasus Campaign: Russia effectively withdrew from the war in 1917; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk of 1918 eventually restored to Ottoman Empire the territories it had lost to Russia during the war.

Arab Revolt: The revolt was a success, aided immensely by General Allenby's conquest of Palestine in 1917 (see the Sinai and Palestine Campaign for details).



British artillery placements during the Battle of Jerusalem, 1917.
Sinai and Palestine Campaign: Late in 1917, Allenby's Egyptian Expeditionary Force smashed the Ottoman defenses and captured Gaza, and then captured Jerusalem just before Christmas. While strategically of minimal importance to the war, this event was key in the subsequent creation of Israel as a separate nation in 1948.
Quote:
The mounted attack began with attempts to capture Turkish outposts to the east of Beersheba. The advance of the Anzac Mounted Division was held up at the Tel el Saba redoubt—by the time it was captured the attack was running many hours behind schedule and the possibility of launching the combined infantry and mounted assault on the town before nightfall looked slim.
With time running out, the commander of the Desert Mounted Corps, General Chauvel, ordered the Australian, 4th Light Horse Brigade to make a mounted attack. The 4th (Victorian) and 12th (New South Wales) Regiments of the brigade formed up in three waves and charged across four miles of open terrain through shrapnel and machine gun fire. The audacity of their charge confused the Turkish defenders who failed to adjust their rifles sights and so consistently over-estimated the range to their targets and fired too high. As a consequence, the charge was incredibly successful and few casualties were incurred.
Turkish resistance in Beersheba quickly collapsed and they began to abandon the town in a panic. Many of the garrison were taken prisoner and most importantly the Turks only succeeded in destroying two out of the 17 wells. Furthermore, two reservoirs containing 90,000 gallons each were captured intact. Immediate relief for the horses was fortuitously provided by a torrential downpour that had preceded the battle and left pools of standing water.
..more

1918
Sinai and Palestine Campaign: Ottoman Empire could be defeated with campaigns in Palestine and Mesopotamia and the Spring Offensive delayed the expected attack. General Allenby's was given brand new divisions recruited from India. British achieved complete control of the air General Liman von Sanders, had no clear idea where the British were going to attack. Compounding the problems, withdrew their best troops to Caucasus Campaign. General Allenby finally launched Battle of Megiddo,with the Jewish Legion under his command, Ottoman troops started a full scale retreat.

Arab Revolt: T. E. Lawrence and his Arab fighters staged many hit-and-run attacks on supply lines and tied down thousands of soldiers in garrisons throughout Palestine, Jordan, and Syria.

Caucasus Campaign: The Grand vizier Talat Pasha signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk March 3 1918 with the Russian SFSR which stipulated that Bolshevik Russia cede Batum, Kars, and Ardahan to Ottoman Empire. Treaty of Brest-Litovsk united the Armenian-Georgian block[4]. Democratic Republic of Armenia declared the existence of a state of war between the Ottoman Empire[4]. In early May, 1918, the Ottoman army faced the Armenian Corps of Armenian National Councils which soon declared the Democratic Republic of Armenia. The Ottoman army captured Trabzon, Erzurum, Kars, Van, and Batumi. The conflict led to the Battle of Sardarapat, the Battle of Kara Killisse (1918), and the Battle of Bash Abaran. Although the Armenians managed to inflict a defeat on the Ottomans at the Battle of Sardarapat, the Ottoman army won the later battle and scattered the Armenian army. The fight with Democratic Republic of Armenia ended with the sign the Treaty of Batum in June, 1918. However throughout the summer of 1918, under the leadership of Andranik Toros Ozanian Armenians in the mountainous Karabag region resisted the Ottoman 3th army and established the Republic of Mountainous Armenia. The Army of Islam avoided Georgia and marched to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. They got as far as Baku on the Caspian Sea. They threw the British out in September 1918 with the Battle of Baku.


The Armistice, October 30, 1918
The Armistice of Mudros, signed on aboard HMS Agamemnon in Mudros port on the island of Lemnos on October 30 1918, with the Ottoman Empire and Triple Entente. Ottoman activities at all the active campaigns terminated.

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Old 17-01-09, 03:51 PM   #4
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here's a rather startling stat: Israel killed 1200 Palestinians in the latest round of conflict. of those killed, 410 were children.

hard to see how that is defensible.

http://www.reuters.com/article/lates...s/idUSLH286481
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Old 21-01-09, 09:30 AM   #5
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All we will ever be told is that it's justifiable to kill innocent civilians like that because it is Israel defending itself. That is all we need to know.

Then we put faith in the UN to deal with it fairly and it has always been unable to. Nothing will ever change with that , it is set in stone...

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The logic goes as follows: Israel has the right to occupy Palestinian land, lay siege to Palestinian populations in Bantustans surrounded by an apartheid wall, starve the population, cut them off from fuel and electricity, uproot their trees and crops, and launch periodic raids and targeted assassinations against them and their elected leadership, and if this population resists these massive Israeli attacks against their lives and the fabric of their society and Israel responds by slaughtering them en masse, Israel would simply be "defending" itself as it must and should.
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Old 21-01-09, 04:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by multi View Post
All we will ever be told is that it's justifiable to kill innocent civilians like that because it is Israel defending itself. That is all we need to know.
[/url]
Israel had 13 people killed, 3 of them civilians, in this latest round. so, 13 dead Israelis = 1300 dead Palestinians.
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Old 21-01-09, 10:14 PM   #7
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I guess it's like this... say I am Hamas and you are Israel.

I keep flicking toothpicks at your face in the bar... you yell STOP
but I laugh and keep flicking the toothpicks at your face.
The bar security do nothing...
So you get up and close both my eyes ( No one in the bar pulls you off because you are 16stone and solidly built..a few onlookers shout out hey... hey.. but no one does anything to stop you)

I just laugh and keep flicking toothpicks at your face .. hard , then harder...occasionally getting one in your eye.

Do you beat me unconscious or leave?

Leave and run the risk of having to fight several big hairy bikers on the way out for being such a wimp..



not a great analogy... but you get my drift?
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Old 23-01-09, 05:21 AM   #8
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Obama urges Israel to open Gaza borders
President Barack Obama urged Israel on Thursday to open its borders with Gaza.

The plea came in a speech that signalled the new US administration’s shift from Bush-era policy on the Middle East and the world as a whole. In a high-profile address on his second day in office, just hours after he signed an executive order to close the centre at Guantánamo Bay, Mr Obama proclaimed that the US would “actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians” in the wake of this month’s Gaza war.
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Old 25-01-09, 05:36 AM   #9
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This sounds more like how the situation unfolded..

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The truce, which began in June last year and was due for renewal in December, required both parties to refrain from violent action against the other. Hamas had to cease its rocket assaults and prevent the firing of rockets by other groups such as Islamic Jihad (even Israel’s intelligence agencies acknowledged this had been implemented with surprising effectiveness), and Israel had to put a stop to its targeted assassinations and military incursions. This understanding was seriously violated on 4 November, when the IDF entered Gaza and killed six members of Hamas. Hamas responded by launching Qassam rockets and Grad missiles. Even so, it offered to extend the truce, but only on condition that Israel ended its blockade. Israel refused. It could have met its obligation to protect its citizens by agreeing to ease the blockade, but it didn’t even try. It cannot be said that Israel launched its assault to protect its citizens from rockets. It did so to protect its right to continue the strangulation of Gaza’s population.

Everyone seems to have forgotten that Hamas declared an end to suicide bombings and rocket fire when it decided to join the Palestinian political process, and largely stuck to it for more than a year. Bush publicly welcomed that decision, citing it as an example of the success of his campaign for democracy in the Middle East. (He had no other success to point to.) When Hamas unexpectedly won the election, Israel and the US immediately sought to delegitimise the result and embraced Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah, who until then had been dismissed by Israel’s leaders as a ‘plucked chicken’. They armed and trained his security forces to overthrow Hamas; and when Hamas – brutally, to be sure – pre-empted this violent attempt to reverse the result of the first honest democratic election in the modern Middle East, Israel and the Bush administration imposed the blockade.

Israel seeks to counter these indisputable facts by maintaining that in withdrawing Israeli settlements from Gaza in 2005, Ariel Sharon gave Hamas the chance to set out on the path to statehood, a chance it refused to take; instead, it transformed Gaza into a launching-pad for firing missiles at Israel’s civilian population. The charge is a lie twice over. First, for all its failings, Hamas brought to Gaza a level of law and order unknown in recent years, and did so without the large sums of money that donors showered on the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. It eliminated the violent gangs and warlords who terrorised Gaza under Fatah’s rule. Non-observant Muslims, Christians and other minorities have more religious freedom under Hamas rule than they would have in Saudi Arabia, for example, or under many other Arab regimes.

The greater lie is that Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza was intended as a prelude to further withdrawals and a peace agreement. This is how Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass, who was also his chief negotiator with the Americans, described the withdrawal from Gaza, in an interview with Ha’aretz in August 2004:

What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements [i.e. the major settlement blocks on the West Bank] would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns . . . The significance [of the agreement with the US] is the freezing of the political process. And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and you prevent a discussion about the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package that is called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed from our agenda indefinitely. And all this with [President Bush’s] authority and permission . . . and the ratification of both houses of Congress.
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Old 27-01-09, 07:21 PM   #10
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Default In defense of who?

U got to be kidding.

Too upset to read the whole thread.

There is no defense for Israel's killing that I can see
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Old 05-02-09, 10:06 PM   #11
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i think multi has it with the toothpicks analogy...
also the knife it is quite terrifying living under rocket fire. especially in the southern cities of sderot where such rocket fire has been going on daily for almost 10 years with minimal response from israel. victims arent just measured in deaths, but there are victims of terror who cannot leave their homes for fear of an alarm signaling rocket fire (mind you i came very close to being in one of these areas on my recent trip to israel, missed it by not much at all). Israel has shown so much restraint, but it got to a point where its just not bearable. Citizens living in the borders of their homeland have the right to feel safe within those borders.

As to children being killed, didnt you hear hamas admitted they use children as human shields? its well known...
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Old 12-02-09, 08:01 PM   #12
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shani,

I hope your kids are able to grow up in a safe place.

I guess it would be wise not to live in Gaza.

You should go there and volunteer to save the babies. Anything less and you've proven yourself to be another rude Israelite `killkillkill'
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Old 12-02-09, 10:32 PM   #13
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Yeah Shani stay here in Melbourne where it is ,um.. much safer


You could try California ...

PS. what is Spagal?
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Old 13-02-09, 01:05 AM   #14
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I guess its safer...but look at whats been going on lately.. hundreds killed in bushfires...women murdering their husbands, babies being thrown off bridges..it makes you wonder whether its safe anywhere these days. oh yeh just heard about the plane crash in the US.

hey nicobie, do you wanna come with me to save palestinians? might have to survive a few attacks by armed militants first.
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Old 13-02-09, 02:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shani View Post
hey nicobie, do you wanna come with me to save palestinians? might have to survive a few attacks by armed militants first.
Nic on his bike is a sight for them to fear.



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Old 16-02-09, 07:12 PM   #16
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Nic on his bike is a sight for them to fear.
Darn tootin'


I really need to post bike pics. I know I promised.

Shani, It's the Israelites that are doing most of the killing. Don't you care about others?

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Old 10-03-09, 06:42 PM   #17
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bump'n
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