Monthly Archives: January 2009

Don’t Believe; Try to Understand

Take 5 Questions,
Seek 25 Answers,
Apply Logic,
Use Thought:

The Scientific Method.

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The Republicanista Garbage Must Stop

I am shocked and dismayed, but not surprised, by the actions of high ranking Republicans. Ken Blackwell, candidate for RNC Chair, urged people to oppose Obama’s reinvestment and stimulus plan. Not on it’s failing, but because, according to Blackwell, “it could create a major electoral advantage for Democrats” (click here). John Bohner, House Minority Leader, is toeing this line with his opposition to the Democrats’ proposed stimulus plan (click here). Republican Senator Arlen Specter opposes the confirmation of Eric Holder for Attorney General ostensibly because of the Rich pardon, but really because Holder acknowledges that waterboarding is torture, and Holder opposes torture, and could hold Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld Rice, and Rove to account (click here).

Two Million people attended President Obama’s Inauguration in Washington. An estimated 38 million televisions and 8 million computers were tuned to the event, which probably means 100 million watched the Inauguration in living rooms, classrooms, conference rooms, offices etc. across the country. Regardless of the number of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who watched or were there to wish Obama and America success; opposing the President because his success will mean your failure at the polls, opposing his nominees because they oppose torture; these are what I would expect of Stalinists and Sandanista, not Americans. This “Republican-ista” garbage must stop!

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Filed under Barack Obama, Boehner, Holder, Republicans, Specter

What Would Hannah Say?

Hannah Arendt, the German-Jewish political philospher, pictured above, coined the term “The Banality of Evil” to describe Eichmann and the bureaucratic manner in which the Nazis committed genocide.

What would Arendt say about the Israel – Palestine wars? It is fitting to ask since the Palestinians and their supporters argue that the Palestinians should not be “punished” for Europe’s war against the Jews, they compare Israel to Nazi Germany, and some say “the 4,000 rockets fired by Hamas into Israel since Israel’s 2006 withdrawal from Gaza don’t do that much damage, therefore Israel should ignore them or respond proportionally.”

Would Arendt criticize Israel for retaliation against Hamas, the government of Gaza? Would she observe that Hamas’ patron, Achmadinejad, denies the Holocaust and yet wants to finish the job?

Golda Meir, pictured below, said “We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” Arendt would notice that the Palestinians, who elected Hamas, do not use their weapons to protect their children. Rather, they hide their weapons behind their children.

Arendt would quote Golda.

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Israel v Gaza

Just when things were looking good – Obama wins by 8 million votes and 28 to 21 states, the EPA promises to regulate carbon, Franken wins by 200 votes, a Democrat wins Staten Island’s Congressional seat, other Democrats, including some very progressive, win races all over the country – harsh realities come knocking like the grim reaper at an earthquake in a third world country. The stock market loses 1/3 of its value, real estate foreclosures skyrocket, and home values plummet, the Arabs and the Israelis start shooting each other, again.

Actually, they never really stopped. Hamas launched 7,000 Kassam missiles against Israel since Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Fortunately most of these Kassam rockets haven’t killed very many people – not because Hamas doesn’t want to kill Israelis – but because Israelis live – eat, sleep, and play – in bomb shelters. Still, while I think this proves that peace is up to the Palestinians, because Hamas seems impotent and the Israelis respond with massive force, and are defended by George W. Bush and the Neo-Cons, the anti-Israel left buys into the claim that Israel is the aggressor.

Israel, according to the anti-Israel left, used “the pretext” of Hamas breaking the cease-fire in order to bomb the crap out of Gaza and invade. They ignore several inconvenient truths:

  • Hamas is the government of Gaza,
  • Hamas publicly executes criminals suspected of collaborating with Israel by shooting them in the head,
  • Hamas, like Hesbollah, locates weapons caches and missile silos in apartment buildings, schools, and mosques,
  • Hamas executes men for the “crime” of being gay and women for the “crime” of being raped,

Both sides have grown incapable of trusting the other. They must be separated and held apart. This could be a U. N. Mission. But when the U. N. stands there and allows Hamas to fire rockets from schools and hospitals, they become culpable, responsible for the violence their mission ought be to prevent.

Personally, I would like to see Iisrael withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank and a bilateral cease fire between Israel and Gaza. I see de facto states in the West Bank and Gaza; I would like to see de jure states that recognize the rights of all; male, female, gay, straight, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Moslem, and athiest. And that state or those states, along with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria must recognize Israel.

If a crazy man points an ineffective gun at me, and I shoot him dead, did I not act in self-defense? When you’re staring down the barrel of a gun you don’t ask yourself if the shooter is competent or the gun works.

The fact that the 7,000 rockets Hamas fired into Israel in the past few years haven’t killed large numbers of Israelis is because Israelis live in bomb shelters and Hamas lacks high tech rockets and good intelligence, not because Hamas doesn’t want to kill Israelis. They have the intent. They lack the capability.

Hamas, Hesbollah, and the Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust. However, every Israeli with a parent, grandparent, or in-law with the misfortune of being born in Europe has lost cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, siblings, or grandparents in the Holocaust. The Israelis react strongly. How can they not? Beginning 70 years ago the Nazis and their collaborators tried to kill them all – and killed two out of three of the Jews of Europe. The Americans did not allow them in. The British did not allow them refuge into Palestine. The French handed them over to the Nazis. The Poles killed Jews of prewar Poland who survived, and staggered home from the camps or the woods. While the Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust, Achmadinejad, who funds Hamas and Hesbollah, denies that the Nazi Holocaust occurred, while simultaneously calling for another shot at finishing the job Hitler started.

So again, if a psychotic points a gun at me, am I supposed to wait until he shoots first? And if he shoots first and misses, or his bullets bounce off a bullet-proof vest, or the air-raid shelter in which I sleep, can you blame me for shooting back? And if I get him right between the eyes, well, don’t point a gun you don’t intend to use.

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Filed under Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Palestine, Peace