I spent a delightful Saturday afternoon and evening visiting with my daughter, son-in-law, and his relatives, meandering along the California coast, stopping to go to the beach at various points and wandering in a grove of magnificent giant redwood trees before ending the night with a dinner. The ocean was rough, and I saw something I had never seen before, which was that as the waves hit the beach, they produced a large amount of foam that stayed around, like a bubble bath.
Hence until Sunday morning, I was happily oblivious to the drama surrounding the sudden death of Antonin Scalia (though one of our party got the news headline on their phone) and the Republican debate which, according to Jesse Berney, seems to have been even wilder than the previous one, if that is even possible.
I’ve been in a roomful of six-year-old girls trying to organize themselves into an unrehearsed singing and dance performance, so I consider myself something of an expert on total and complete chaos. Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate set a new standard.
It wasn’t just Donald Trump’s constant insults and interruptions directed almost exclusively at Jeb Bush, who had no idea how to respond. It wasn’t just Ben Carson’s insistence on answering not the directed at him, but the one several questions back (and doing a bad job at that). It wasn’t just Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz battling viciously for second place.
On a night that began on a somber note with the death of conservative hero and unrepentant bigot Antonin Scalia, the debate quickly descended into a six-car train wreck. John Kasich summed the night up elegantly after a particularly childish Trump-Bush exchange: “I think we’re fixing to lose the election to Hillary Clinton if we don’t stop this.”
Indeed. There’s no doubt that Clinton and Bernie Sanders were the big winners of the night; this was by far the ugliest debate the Republicans have put on. It was so bad Republican pollster Frank Luntz tweeted, “the GOP is destroying itself tonight.”
Who knew Chris Christie would turn out to be the steadying hand of the Republican field?
The clips that I watched had the audience cheering and booing lustily and the crowd seemed to be very much in favor of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, which made me wonder if the party had stacked the deck in giving out invitations. Trump got wildly booed when he said the unspeakable, that George W. Bush was president when the events of 9/11 happened and hence the argument that ‘he kept us safe’ was rubbish and that he also made a mess of the Iraq war and lied about the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
Kyle Cheney suggested that Trump got hammered for his comments.
An all-out brawl broke out on Saturday night’s debate stage — with Donald Trump at the center of the melee — as the GOP candidates viciously tried to wound one another ahead of next weekend’s South Carolina primary.
Trump skewered Jeb Bush for standing by his brother and the Iraq War. Bush slammed John Kasich for supporting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Marco Rubio and Trump called Ted Cruz a serial liar, and Cruz bit back, retorting that Rubio is weak on undocumented immigrants and Trump would nominate liberal judges.
Unlike in Manchester, New Hampshire, though, the fight seemed to inspire other candidates to stand up for Bush. Trump lost the audience in Greenville immediately. Attendees booed him relentlessly each time he slammed Bush, and then Rubio — who traded fierce attacks with Bush all week — jumped in to defend him
The particularly nasty debate came after a week of intensifying barbs among the six candidates. Cruz has worked to paint Trump as unreliably conservative, while Trump has hammered Cruz for what he calls “dirty” campaign tactics. Cruz has found himself assailed by other candidates as well for his votes against the defense spending bill, a prominent issue in military-heavy South Carolina.
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham warned those expressing outrage at Trump that millions of Republicans regret the Iraq war and see it as a disaster.
Ingraham told the hosts of Fox News that Trump was engaging in a risky but calculated strategy.
“He’s thinking that there are millions and millions of Republican voters who have had the luxury of time to look back on whether the war in Iraq was really a good idea,” she explained. “And all the money we spent, and all the men and women we lost. And I think a lot of Republicans — the establishment doesn’t like to hear this — millions and millions of Americans probably agree with Trump.”
“This was a disaster for the United States,” she added. “We’ve lost influence in the Middle East, we’ve toppled dictators who probably had their finger on the dice of what was going to be a flood of tumult. And he’s betting that people aren’t going to just reject the Republican Party of today, they’re going to reject the Republican Party of the Bushs’.”
“If they think they are going to re-litigate the Iraq war throughout the United States in this primary process and that’s going to end well for them, I don’t think it is.”
The reactions on Twitter suggest that this feeling of the Republican party disintegrating into chaos was widely shared.
Whatever Trump’s faults (and it is hard to keep count) I love the fact that he is reminding us about the Iraq war and who was responsible for creating that mess and pointing out that the absurdity of the mantra “George W. Bush kept us safe”, as if the events of 9/11 did not occur during his presidency. It may not win him points within the party but it needs to be said since even journalists refrain from pointing out these obvious truths. Trump has the ability to drive the media conversation and this one is important.
Marcus Ranum says
And all the money we spent, and all the men and women we lost.
What is conspicuously missing from that lament? Oh, yeah, all the fucking people we fucking killed.
It makes my head explode when some asshole sanctimoniously admits that yeah the empire lost some of its hired killers and sure spent a lot on ammunition and gasoline doing it -- and they fucking wrecked to shit people, families, towns, cities, and infrastructure, not to mention setting up years more of the same. Some perspective: Syria is suffering a 9/11 every day and has been for years. Fucking fuck!!!
Marcus, that’s a point that bothers me too. People wail about a few thousand Americans getting killed over a decade-and yes, those deaths shouldn’t have happened and it’s not right-while rarely even alluding to the much, much larger number of Iraqis (most of them civilians) who have died.
Crimson Clupeidae says
Yabbut, Syria is mostly mooslims/brown people.
Snark aside, too many americans sadly don’t care (really don’t care) about non-american lives.
Pierce R. Butler says
… had their finger on the dice …
I have neither the time nor the intestinal fortitude to go search through False Noise video archives, but can’t help but wonder whether it was Ingraham or the Murdoch-machine transcriptionist who was so unaware of a standard English allusion to have mangled this so blatantly.
Pierce R. Butler says
Trump got wildly booed when he said the unspeakable, that George W. Bush was president when the events of 9/11 happened and hence the argument that ‘he kept us safe’ was rubbish and that he also made a mess of the Iraq war and lied about the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
The Donald must feel quite desperate, if he now has to resort to telling truths.
Mano Singham says
If she said ‘finger in the dyke’ the sentence would have made sense.
Give credit to the Reps where credit is due -- the debate managed to make it to Surinamese newspaper De Ware Tijd.
@1. Marcus Ranum : “It makes my head explode when some asshole sanctimoniously admits that yeah the empire ..”
Empire? What empire?
The Coalition of a whole lot of willing nations incl. England and Australia backed by previous United Nations Resolutions?
You mean people in the military doing their jobs and protecting their colleagues and country?
Wow, you sure hate America and its people don’t you, Marcus Ranum. Seriously dude? ( Sheesh you make me look well under the top here!)
Yeah, Iraq and Syria have suffered horribly -- and Saddam Hussein and Bashar Assad and their own people with endless historic sectarian feuds and various appalling self-destructive acts throughout have to take a fair share of the blame for their own situations here too.
(Note here that this is NOT the same as saying the people who aren’t responsible for the carnage there deserve it -- they don’t. But it explains why they are in the situation they are in and no, it isn’t all or even mostly the West’s fault. Arguably if anything we weren’t imperialist enough and should done to Iraq post Second Saddam War a lot more like what we did to post World War II Japan in reforming and radically altering its culture and political scene.)
Marcus Ranum says
Empire? What empire?
The US is an empire. That’s what full spectrum dominance means. That’s what our tremendous economic clout and ability to crush countries that disagree with us, economically, or militarily mean -- especially when we do it all the time. The US has over 1000 military bases in our satrapies worldwide. We’re not flying “SPQR” banners (damn close if you look at the money) but that’s about it. Politically we have a load of oligarchs and a hugely powerful executive that dictates lots of stuff and can bypass the political remains of the republic -- not that the remains of the republic matter, since they have been divided up between two parties that collude to control politics into a dialogue.
You mean people in the military doing their jobs and protecting their colleagues and country?
They’re killers for hire. They’re not protecting their country. There’s nothing in Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya that threatens the US. And as far as protecting their colleagues: yeah that’s one technique militarists use to get people to kill -- drop them in a dangerous situation where they have to shoot their way out in order to protect their buddies. The people who run armies know this. You’re apparently closer to the “sucker” end of the spectrum that still buys all the protection stuff. The last time the US needed protection was 1812 (and that was self-inflicted) You’re such a rube.
Uh, no. It isn’t entirely the west’s fault, but it certainly is mostly the west’s fault. A difference between Japan and the Middle East: Japan is not home to three world religions that hate each other. Imperialism In Japan did not create a power vacuum to be filled by warring factions, it was filled by a single fairly unified culture.
And “if anything we weren’t imperialist enough”? This would be revelatory, if you hadn’t already put it on full display in every conversation regarding Palestine. But I guess it’s nice that you are no longer trying to deny this.
John Morales says
The Empire Files
@ ^ Holms : You mean Israel I take it? That’s what that land is called. Or don’t you see any place for the eight million Jewish individuals living in their homeland which has always had huge cultural value for them?
Also your lack of actual argument otherwise (as per your usual) is noted.
Its mostly the Wests fault that the Sunnis and Shiites hate each other so much they’re destroying their nation in a civil war? That they chose to support Al Quaeda in Iraq then Da’ish with their extremist version of Totalitarian Islamofascism? That Saddam Hussein missed a golden opportunity to stay alive and live in exile with his family rather than try a monstrous nation-breaking bluff? That Saddam chose to invade Kuwait and then wage war on the world in the first place? That Iraqis would loot their own nation and engage in tribal warfare when liberated from their old dictator instead of embracing democracy and the new opportunities they were granted when freed from tyranny?
As for the differences with Japan and Iraq, well, duh. Doesn’t mean a similar course of action applied to Iraq as it was to Japan couldn’t have had similar results -- the difference there was that we broke their old ideology and rewrote their culture with a heavy emphasis on pacifism and a huge shift away from the religion of extreme militarism and hate. We also successfully rebuilt a very different culture from anti-hostile to Western culture into a very pro-Western allied and consequently much happier and more prosperous and globally beneficial one. If we could achieve that there why not here too?
“Its mostly the Wests fault that the Sunnis and Shiites hate each other so much they’re destroying their nation in a civil war?”
Well, kind of, yes. Read books and articles about Iraq from before the Iraq war, and you won’t find much mention of Sunni-Shiite divides. They were not a major thing. It was only after the 2003 invasion that a Sunni-Shiite conflict exploded in Iraq and has now spread elsewhere. And one major factor behind this was that the US decided to divide power in the country along sectarian lines when constructing a new regime.
More generally, Iraq had been decimated first by a decade of appalling sanctions, then by having its institutions smashed by the war. It’s shouldn’t be a surprise that in such a vacuum, extreme armed groups will take over much of the country.
Who Cares says
You do know that the rest of the world called it the coalition of the billing.
Further if you go by UN Resolutions I’d say that the priority target of the US is Israel which has about 30 or so that are still to be resolved. And no you cannot pick and choose the ones you’d like to enforce, unless you are controlling enough other nations that you can use those votes to ignore your own hypocrisy proving that the U.S. is the hegemon of an empire. Also an empire does not require an emperor at the top.
The best proof of the U.S. being the hegemon is what happened during the hunt for Snowden. if you want to deny that the U.S. is the hegemon of the nations that are classed as First World/Western please explain away why Spain, France & Italy all suddenly had ‘technical problems’ relating to a single airplane after the US concluded that that airplane might transport Snowden. Or the fact that Austria didn’t allow the plane to land until the pilot declared a fuel emergency. Or the fact that Austria wouldn’t let that plane take off again until it could be confirmed that Snowden was not on the plane even if they had to breach diplomatic protocols to do so by effectively holding the president of Bolivia hostage (the Austrians got lucky that the Morales was in a hurry and gave them a way out so he could continue).
That arm twisting was accomplished in hours which cannot be done unless the U.S. is capable of giving orders to other nations to be followed immediately.
You do know that most of the things done by Saddam, a former C.I.A. asset installed by the U.S. as dictator over Iraq, were done with the explicit blessing of the U.S. (for example the gassing of various cities in both Iran & Iraq for which the U.S. supplied the precursors and the know-how of how to turn it into chemical weaponry) or papered over by the U.S. since it advanced the goals of the U.S. in the region.
This only changed after the invasion of Kuwait (which Saddam probably thought he’d gotten a green light from the U.S. for two weeks earlier) when the world opinion turned against him which turned him into a liability to the U.S.
And the crimes of Assad you allude to were done by his father, Assad junior was still in the process of gaining control of the government when the 2007-2010 famine turned into a mutiny (by the military units mainly consisting of the clans/groups that were most affected by that famine) which the U.S. thought to be able to use as an easy way to complete another regime change on the to-do list.
Neither person was/is a nice guy but don’t try to wash your hands of U.S. complicity/responsibility.
Why can’t we do the same? Simple Japan has a homogeneous population. To even get started in the middle east you’d have to undo Sykes-Picot and solve the festering sore that is the Israel-Palestinian problem.
Then there just isn’t the will there. The reason for the Marshall plan was that the U.S. feared that Russia would get too much influence in Europe. That was the same reason that they helped rebuild Japan. Up to about 1948 the plan was to redo WW1 Versailles for both, that is punitive reparations to the U.S. and as complete de-industrialization as possible for both Germany and Japan.
Remember that those punitive reparations were the goal when the U.S. invaded Iraq again (all that oil money would pay for the invasion, all that congress had to do was approve the upfront costs for said invasion). There was never a plan on how to rebuild Iraq after the invasion. Why bother it would only slow down the reaching of the next goal, turning Tehran into U.S. property.
And that attitude showed; Cost plus contracts invited fraud & waste, no oversight, people who did try to get accountability for the money getting sidelined (at best), protection of what might generate revenue while ignoring (or even deliberately causing) the destruction of the local culture, deliberately inciting sectarian violence as a means of control (so yes it IS the U.S. fault that Iraq is slowly disintegrating along sectarian fault lines, Saddam was actually managing to keep a lid on that), etc., etc., etc..
@9. Marcus Ranum :
No. Again you seem to have trouble telling apart words and phrases and things that mean very different things. Not sure why you have so much trouble understanding basic english and basic political concepts and wrongly conflating unrelated ones but you clearly do.
FYI : Full spectrum dominance = “a military entity’s achievement of control over all dimensions of the battlespace,”
Source : wikipedia.
An empire OTOH is ” “an aggregate of nations or people ruled over by an emperor or other powerful sovereign or government, usually a territory of greater extent than a kingdom, “
IOW, Full Spectrum Dominance (hereafter FSD) is a military term describing a situation where one’s side has control over all aspects of a battleground whereas an empire is a territory usually large and comprising several internal divisions such as provinces where an emperor or hereditary monarch rules.
These things are NOT the same and don’t mean the same.
Which applies about a hundred times more strongly again to this slander :
Yes they are.
Are you really so isolated from reality and so out of touch and empathy and understanding that you believe that shit you spewed there,Marcus Ranum?
I know people in the military. I’ve got friends in it and my grandfather was in the airforce. Say what you like about the politicians and the decisions they make, the troops who fight our wars -- they are good people and flippin’ heroes. They are the good guys here -- and they are soldiers just doing their jobs as best they can (which include disaster relief and saving lives btw) not “hired killers” which is a totally different category. Those serving in the armed forces are real and good individuals who are risking their lives and limbs and sanity and enduring conditions which you -- and I and others -- can barely even begin to imagine. Your attacks on them frankly show you in the worst and mostcontemptible light possible and you owe them and us a rethink and an apology.
Really? Seriously? Which flippin’ planet have you been on for the last decade or so Marcus Ranum?
How the fuck is that that you have NOT heard of fucking ISIL/ ISIS / IS / Da’esh or even Al Quaeda?
How the fuck have you somehow missed the fact that these are global terrorists who have been committing atrocities all around the world from France, to the United States, from England to Australia and of course in those horrible hellholes where their festering putrescent, repulsive religious ideology was born in the evil brutal ugly mind of that deluded criminal warlord Mohammad the “prophet” of Islam?
Marcus Ranum -- Have you never met anyone in the military or listened to or read their stories and truths or thought about what it would be like to be in their shoes?
Have you ever considered the possibility -- reality actually -- that you are totally wrong here and are attacking good and honourable people who are going through shit you can’t and won’t even start to imagine when in fact you owe your present fortunate lifestyle if not your life itself to their courage and service and honour?
Have you ever considered the possibility -reality actually -- that you are totally wrong here and are attacking good people who are going through shit you can’t and won’t even start to imagine? Are you really that lacking in awareness and understanding and sense?
And again, really, which fucking planet have you been living on these past few decades?! Obviously not this one.
PS. Muslims are people who can be and usually are individually be quite nice and deserve to be respected and treated decently. They shouldn’t be persecuted or attacked because of their beliefs
OTOH, the same does NOT apply to Islam as a religious idea which does NOTdeserve respectand does deserve criticism and scrutiny and does not stand up to those.
Nor does it apply to the”prophet” Mohammad as an individual historical figure who from all we know of him -incl. and indeed especially his own holy book -- was just one of the worst individuals ever to found a major global religion and a truly nasty horrible, evil piece of shit.
You could praise Syrian and Russian soldiers for the same reasons, but I doubt you would.
Also, most terrorist attacks in the west are from people born and raised here, so it’s true that there’s nothing in Iraq or Libya or Syria or Afghanistan that threatens the US.
I don’t know Marcus very well, but from what I do know and IIRC, this is quite lol worthy.
Actually, I mean Palestine, the common name for a particular part of the middle east. Nice try with the anti-semite smear attempt, your usual dishonesty is showing again.
Did you skip my first paragraph? The one in which I put forth the argument that the more culturally cohesive nature of Japan compared to the Middle East may account for the differing outcomes of imperialism in those regions.
Oh but I see you do actually address this argument later on, meaning you chose to characterise my post as lacking any argument despite knowing that characterisation to be false. That’s two counts of dishonesty in the one post, nice.
Americans are really monsters, Even PZ’s son is a hired killer.
I hear that in a few years President Trump will go back 1400 years in time and install a demented child rapist called Muhammad as leader of the middle east and then start a bloody rift between the Shia and Sunni which will be an entirely peaceful disagreement until Obama tricks Syria into a bloody civil war during the 21st century.
Now that is really a selective reading of history. If you look at the overall history of the region, there has been a history of periods of them living together without violence but there have been frequent outbreaks of Sunni-Shia violence that makes the present Syrian conflict pale by comparison.
How about the Iran-Iraq war? Are you aware that more than a million people died in that conflict? Of course someone will try and argue that it had nothing to do with Sunni-Shia relations and was all the fault of the Americans.
ffs, The Americans have done plenty of shitty things, but to blame them for all the conflict in the world is just as silly as the super-patriot idea that Merka can and never has done wrong.
The truth is considerably more nuanced than either viewpoint.
Marcus Ranum says
Marcus Ranum – Have you never met anyone in the military or listened to or read their stories and truths or thought about what it would be like to be in their shoes?
Here’s a scan of my honorable discharge, dipshit.
Marcus Ranum says
FWIW the “full spectrum dominance” doctrine is based on the assumption that the entire world is the battlefield. That’s why you’ve got global “force projection”, globalhawk/global strike capability, global surveillance, global logistics, etc. It’s why you have (utterly weird, IMO) things like the US claiming China’s artificial islands in its territorial waters are suddenly a threat to US interests. US interests? Well, yes, if you’re seeing US interests as a global imperium. Furthermore, the US has bound itself into military alliances (aka “NATO”) that fit rather nicely with SteveOr’s dictionary definition of “empire” -- as do the US’ many vassal states such as Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam (oops, that one got away), Iraq (whups that didn’t work) etc. The US has proliferated its military globally, as well -- again, bound through very finely-parsed interpretations of treaties. For example, NATO aircraft all standardize so that they can carry US nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons that are provided to the NATO member country and which still remain ‘officially’ US weapons in spite of the fact that they are German aircraft at a German airport with German weapons handlers and Germans managing the command structure. It wasn’t enough that the US proliferated nuclear weapons technology to England and France, they have now given nukes to pretty much anyone who agrees to become satrapies under the US’ dollar regime and nuclear umbrella. The space umbrella is being worked on, too. Missile defenses are one angle, as are mobile missile defenses -- the space race isn’t on full steam because the US has demonstrated that it can shoot down anyone’s satellites that it wants to. Which, by the way, is utterly insane: blind a nuclear power and what’s it going to do? Well, the US thinks it’s OK to demonstrate that capability because if anyone’s launching a first strike, it’s us.
That’s what full spectrum dominance of the battlefield means: the battlefield is the planet and the US dominates it.
The thinking goes back to the 50s and before that to Bretton-Woods. The brilliant innovation at Bretton Woods was to step away from the usual European war-causing punitive treaty and, instead, to enmesh former opponents into economic ties so that they could be economically cratered if the whip hand needed to be shown. That was brilliant. What was evil and slightly brilliant was the 1950s SIOP (single integrated operation plan) which was the US’ plans for a nuclear first strike. Someone at RAND pointed out that if the US and USSR soaked off in a nuclear exchange that would leave China as the ‘last man standing’ so … the US casually planned to wipe out China as competition. These are the strategies of imperialists. The object of empire is control -- not necessarily ownership. It doesn’t matter if the US owns the middle east oil fields: the Saudis are allowed to own them for us. When the Saudis started getting cocky -- look what has happened to them.
The US empire is a unique one; it’s a trade empire based on the idea of bashing open markets and exposing them so that US rapacious capitalists and corporations can pillage the target economies. It’s an evolved version of what ancient Rome did -- bash the locals and grab their gold; which was self-limited by the amount of gold the targets could collect. The US’ “pax Romana” is to ensure trade -- hence the massive, militarily useless, navy suitable for gunboat diplomacy against smaller powers. The US navy protects US trade interests and open markets and shells the occasional vacillating satrapy back into alignment. Well, they try, anyhow.
Marcus Ranum says
which fucking planet have you been living on these past few decades?!
My father’s a historian. I was raised to understand that current events extend from the deep deep past. Not the last few decades.
That’s why, in our previous exchanges -- in which I feel you failed to satisfactorily explain why European jewry have a better claim to Palestine than the descendants of the Assyrians and Akkadians/Babylonians who were living there -- I keep challenging why you privilege the present so much. I mean, aside from rather obviously motivated reasoning.
I didn’t say Sunni-Shiite divides were non-existent before the Iraq war. I said they were not a major thing, at least not in the 20th Century. Inter-sect marriages, for example, were common in Iraq and not particularly controversial. The power vacuum created by the US in Iraq was the single biggest trigger of the current Sunni-Shiite fighting.
And as far as I know the Iran-Iraq war wasn’t a Sunni-Shiite war, it was a conflict between Iran and Iraq over territory.
@23. Marcus Ranum : Well that Honourable discharge is certainly .. interesting -- and also rather uninformative.
Paul L. Babiak is listed here :
simply as a pharmacist.
You claim you actually served in the army (For how long? In what role & command?) Your career -- of how long and in what role -- ended in April 1989 -- yet you denigrate and abuse and insult the people you served with -- and under?
Why? Seriously, how did you go from taking the oath of office (Marines version here) :
To, well, saying the shit you said in comment #1? ”
Truly that baffles me.
If you served honourably once then how could you even listen to what you yourself just said in comment #1 calmly let alone say it yourself?
I’m NOT calling you a liar exactly (Although as you know on the internet no one can tell we’re really dogs! And stolen valour is a real thing exhibit And the Malheur bird sanctuary wannabes)but I’m sure not totally convinced and need to know a lot more before I’d accept your claims here.
Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_discharge#Types
1989 that was the year Voyager II flew by Neptune and a few years before the Berlin Wall fell. NewHorizons flew past Pluto last year and was launched in 2006. I recall watching ‘Towards 2000’ before it was even beyond. It was a very long time ago indeed. A dozen years before the events of 9-11 which did change our world. A whole other era entirely before the Berlin wall fell.
Er.. oops first link meant to be :
Could be a different person maybe but first one that came up on the search engine so .. ?
@25. Marcus Ranum : Well, y’know there are historians and there are historians.
For instance this guy :
Claims to be a historian.
Now I don’t know what your father was a historian of and that’s because you haven’t said.
But I’m just going to note here that claims of historianship still kinda need that, y’know, evidence stuff and specifics and don’t necessarily exempt one from claims of bias or make one an authority on specific issues such as Israel’s right to survive.
So wait, are you actually admitting here that the past few decades (how many decades exactly?) just don’t interest you and you haven’t allowed for things that happened recently -- like, well, say Hamas taking over Gaza after Israel gave it up and the Arabs turning down every peace offer made to them in the past twenty (or thirty or fifty) odd years or so?
Erm, because there ain’t no more Babylonians or Assyrians or Akkadians because those civilisations are very ancient history indeed?! Because to argue that their descendants who live in Iraq and Turkey have about as much modern claim on Israel as the Romans do on Gaul (psst ..its called France now) and Albion (er ..make that Great Britain) in this millennium? Because those claims are just utterly comical or would be if you didn’t actually sound kinda serious about them? (Which just makes it sad as well.)
OTOH, y’know which culture was around back then -- and has survived since the times of the Babylonians and Assyrians and before even? Yeah.The Israelites / Hebrews / Jewish people . Now Israelis. Ever heard of this thing called priority in sciences?
See : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Israel_(united_monarchy)
The KIngdom of Saul and David and Solomon and later Jewish Kings -- and earlier Jewish Prophets and Judges. Check the dates. The Arabs came a whole lot later especially in their Islamist form. Islam was millennia too late to stake a legitimate claim priority~wise. (Would be like Brian Cox claiming credit for heliocentrism over Copernicus really!)
Because we live in the present maybe?
Even if you were right which, well, see the whole paragraph above about priority which I’m sure I raised before and pointed out to you earlier.
Bonus Fun fact :
The word “Palestine” has of course since been co-opted -some may even say “stolen” by a bunch of Arabs who used to call themselves simply “South Syrians” or Egyptians or plain ole Arabs. Go figure.
@ ^Called themselve sSouthSyrians Arabs, Subjects of tehOttoman empire inthenot-toodistant past at that -decades ago really, well fifty years or sixty or so.
And you ain’t interested in anything but ancient history yeah? ‘Cept unless it hurts Israelis maybe Marcus?
Nick Gotts says
Typical right-wing invincible ignorance. That war was certainly not the result of Sunni-Shia hostility: Iraqi Shias fought in large numbers in the Iraqi armed forces. The driving force for the war was Saddam Hussein’s territorial ambitions, but he certainly received considerable material help from the USA, because of the latter’s hostility to the Iranian regime. Of course Reagan later traded arms to the Iranians as well, in order to fund terrorists in Nicaragua, but the overwhelming balance of arms went to Iraq.
Oh my dog, you really can’t be this stupid. Seriously, would you just listen to yourself for a minute?
Hint; try adding his rank to your search terms, doofus. Or you could just look a bit further down the list of results, say, as far as the third entry (from Google), which clearly tells you that Brigadier General Paul L Babiak was the commander of the US Army Reserve Personnel Command from February 1, 1986 to May 30, 1989.
And you wonder why people don’t take you seriously…
Funny, because that’s exactly what it looks like from here.
Which, incidentally, is more of an ethical issue than a historical one anyhow.
You never did say what fate you had in mind for the eight million Israeli individuals who were mostly born in, y’know Israel did you?
Its not like they have a mass of possible nations to go to the way the Arabs do. I mean how many Jewish nations are there on this planet and how big is that one and only Jewish nation? I think I’ve asked before here for folks to have a look at a globe and contemplate this reality. (Don’t think any have ever done so or at least said what they’ve thought of that.) And of course Jewish people have never been persecuted and massacred in other nations hostorically (ancient or recent alike) despite trying desperately to fit in eh ? Major, major major sarcasm. (Not the Catch 22 character!)
Nick Gotts says
It’s very telling that you can’t suppress the reflex racist sneer -- “stolen”, “bunch of Arabs” -- even when it clearly does your case harm. Whatever Palestinian Arabs chose to call themselves 60 years ago, it is simple fact that they were the predominant population group throughout the Israel/Palestine area before the large-scale modern Jewish immigration which got underway in the late 19th century. The whole area was called “Palestine” both under the Ottomans and during the British mandate.
If Palestinian national identity is a fairly recent thing (also true, of course, of many of the national identities emerging from the breakup of European empires), then it’s partially the creation of Israel -- and also, of neighbouring Arab states: one of the best ways to persuade a group of people that they have a common identity is to mistreat them on the basis of that identity -- as both Israel and some of its Arab neighbours have done to the Palestinians.
Nick Gotts says
So, when are you leaving Australia?
@32. Dunc : Okay. Thanks I guess. I’d kinda figured full name including middle initial would enough and the first result would be the most famous one.
And NO I specifically and deliberately and absolutely was NOT calling him a liar -- but just saying I had my suspicions about it given that Stolen Valour is a thing* and the Honourable Discharge as shown was vague as all hell and the hateful stuff Marcus Ranum said about people who, well, were just like him according to his own words here .. Note again, saying one is suspicious is NOT the same as calling someone a liar -- which I didn’t & won’t do without much stronger reason to so than Marcus provided.
Hey, Marcus Ranum, you know if you had joined up later you would have been in your own words a “hired killer” for “ëmpire” yeah?
Just how the hell does that square up with your own Honourable Discharge and presumed service with presumed real army people and individuals dude? Really, I’m trying to make sense of what you said and well, it doesn’t add up.
* See : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_imposter -- & onc eagain I’m NOT saying whether Marcus Ranum is or isn’t merely that his comments and record etc ..make me consider this as a potential possibility. I simply do not know and am NOT accusing him of anything.
Ahem: Flag of Mandatory Palestine.
Also, having a quick look around that site (while it trys to strangle my browser with pop-ups), it doesn’t exactly look like a reliable, unbiased source of information. In fact, it looks more like a fount of frothingly racist propaganda.
@35. Nick Gotts : I’m not planning to do so at all.
And I do respect and appreciate our Indigenous people’s specifically for where I live the Kaurna and Peramangk.
We could learn a lot from them and need to understand and appreciate them and what they did a lot more.
@37. Dunc : Note from your own linked source :
As for you thinking my linked site is biased, well, meh. Sure it makes a case -- a valid case I’d say.
Do you think its actually factually wrong in what it says and, if so, why?
Yes, because there was no such thing as a “Palestinian Flag” at the time in question.
@34. Nick Gotts : You seem confused about the difference between “sneering” versus stating facts. For the record my reference is accurately described as the latter.
@ 40. Dunc : Yet I have that link in # 29 which you’ve already seen that shows otherwise and says there was.
Yes, and I’m saying that that is incorrect, and I’ve provided a reasonably well-sourced reference to support that position. And if we follow up the references from that, we find that it is apparently described in the original source as “the flag of the Palestine Jews“, which is not the same thing as “the Palestinian Flag”.
patrick2 @26: Saddam Hussein’s stated reason for invading Iran was that Iran had been supporting Shi’ite militants to overthrow not just him in Iraq but were also sending agents to the gulf states.
There were few, if any Shia in the Republican Guard, the Mukhabarat, or the officer class of the Iraqi military. The Shia rank and file in the military were treated like cannon fodder in both the Iran and Kuwait wars. They tended to be reluctant combatants that had the Republican guard units forcing them into the front lines. This was reflected in their poor performance while they were in Iran and Kuwait.
Saddam had ruthlessly suppressed both Kurds and Shia. When a sniper attempted to assassinate him in a Shia village, he had him and several hundred of his fellow villagers executed. Just as Tito had done in Yugoslavia, Saddam used ruthless force and a powerful secret police to keep power and stop ethnic/ religious groups in line.
Books I have read by expat Kurd and Shia Iraqis do not paint a harmonious picture of Shia -Sunni relations in general.
Nick Gotts @31: lol Only a fully brainwashed Trotskyite would label a Liberal Canadian as a believer in right wing invulnerability.
To say these disputes had nothing to do with with the Shia- Sunni schism is just ignoring the evidence. It wasn’t the whole picture but it was a large component of the situation and is still.
Yes, the Americans did doubledealing in the Iraq/Iran war.
Interestingly, the wiki article you linked to debunks the tale the rabid anti-American bunch likes to spin saying that the US gave Saddam the go ahead for the war.
btw, does Russia and the USSR get any credit for supplying almost all of Saddam’s lethal weaponry as well as training their military and secret police or does that take too much of the blame away from the evil Merkins?
Oh yes that’s right, Marcus saying that he keeps deeper history in mind as context for modern problems totally means he completely disregards recent events.
You incorrigibly dishonest hack.
And the picture I have gotten from Iraqi Shiites is that there was lots of oppression from Saddam’s government, but that relations with everyday Sunnis were not antagonistic. But I accept there were plenty of complexities.
In any case, it doesn’t change my point that the current Sunni-Shiite fighting was triggered by the US first creating a power vacuum in Iraq and then trying to fill it on a sectarian basis.
On another note, christ, StevoR is quite a piece of work.
This has fallen off the front page, so it is possible he will have an attack of can’t-face-refutation-of-points-itis and hence not return, but if he does, you can be fairly confident that he will now offer his usual passive aggressive wounded feelings bleat. Something like ‘have you considered that I might be a human with feelings?? to say nothing of the 8 million jews you so casually throw under the bus, maybe consider them for a change hmm?’ etc. etc.
@ ^ Holms : And those would be invalid points to raise because ..??
I can see Marcus Ranum hasn’t come here to explain his slanders against those serving in the US (and presumably other Western) militaries or elaborate on his exact historical perspective and what his father specialised in history ~wise.
I also notice that once again No one has tried to answer the points I raised in #33 :
Incidentally I’ll also note the absence of any answer to the question abear raised in xie’s final line of comment #45.
Holms again in #46. :
So, wait are you actually agreeing with me or being sarcastic? Because the truth from his comments are that Marcus Ranum *does* indeed seem to completely disregard recent events like Hamas taking over Gaza after Israel voluntarily left it, the failure of the Palestinians to honour their deal in the Oslo accords and their constant rejection of Israel’s rather extraordinarily generous peace offers and the whole brain-washing of Arab children into hating Jewish ones that the Palestinians constantly do and all the homicide-suicide atttacks ad nauseam.
Prove me wrong. Either you or him. Show me where you take these into account and admit they are at least half if not more of the problem here?
As for your standard abusive and unwarrented name-calling, I have been honest in my arguing here and everything I’ve said has been based on fact and reason. Some of you have contested some of my facts. In one case correctly and have have accepted that -- #32. Dunc & my #36 . In another #43 Dunc regarding the Old Palestinian Jewish flag, well, it is a more complicated situation but there was that Jewish Palestinian flag used as I indicated on the link. There were also other flags used for the British Mandate and I gather perhaps also by the Arabs at that time when, let’s not forget we had a Mufti of Jerusalem who was an actual Nazi ally and supporter. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amin_al-Husseini ) Let’s also please not minimise the historic indigenous population of Jewish people in what is now Israel and their presence and achievements and survival against great odds shall we?
You have a low opinion of me clearly but, meh. My opinion of you,Holms, ain’t that high either and I can show why that is with real evidence and reason.
Oh and also, sheesh, you sure do hate even the word Israel don’t you, Holms!
Israel! Israel! Israel!
Humperdinck!Israel! Israel! 😉
@48. patrick2 : “On another note, christ, StevoR is quite a piece of work.”
I am am I? Got any reason for that insult? An actual case as to why you think so? I take it you disagree with me here and that would be because .. ?? Got anything to explain or say beyond that simple personal unsupported insult? No? Seemingly not.
^ Make that :
I can see Marcus Ranum hasn’t come back here to explain his slanders against those serving in the US (and presumably other Western) militaries or elaborate on his exact historical perspective and what his father specialised in history ~wise. He has failed to answer the questions put to him by me in comments #27, 29, 30, & 36.
Because they are obviously wrong.
Why would he need to? You have nothing beyond embarassingly shallow insinuations against him. He joined the military, served whatever term(s), then lived a few decades more, over the course of which he has been thinking, revising opinions etc., as a result of which he no longer views the military positively.
No one bothered answering that ‘point’, primarily because it is utterly baseless but also because it has been answered before. You forget, perhaps, just how often you make that insinuation.
That’s because the ‘point’ raised by abear was also facetious; no one is engaged in apologetics for Russia’s conduct.
The sarcasm was extremely obvious, on the basis that he has mentioned recent events many times in these arguments. And as I’m sick of having to perform the research you can’t be bothered doing for your own edification, you do it. Or maybe put an end to your convenient amnesia, whichever solution works for you.
Your reasoning has been anything but honest, as demonstrated in this very thread -- and in fact in virtually all of these threads -- by your wilful slanderous insinuations or outright accusations e.g. that we side with Hamas, your repeated special pleading on behalf of Israel, your complete dismissal of the unjustified / unjustifiable burdens placed by Israel on Gazans especially… all of which demonstrate varying degrees of intellectual dishonesty.
Speaking of dishonest arguments, it has been pointed out to you many times that Israelis are not the indiginous peoples of the region. Convenient amnesia, or intentional elision? Who fucking cares.
No. Unlike you however, I am actually careful with my wording; if I am referring to a geographic region of the world in which multiple nations exist, it is best to use a word that maps to geographic (as opposed to national) borders.
@ ^ Holms : “Because they are obviously wrong.”
An assertion without evidence and if one does the actual research a very large mass of evidence that contradicts your position and refutes it entirely.
Nice understatement there. We can all scroll up & check other thread sand so forth and see what Marcus Ranum actually said and how he called people serving in the US military “hired killers” which is offensively, completely and utterly wrong. I have asked Marcus how he, if really a once serving military man could possibly say that and why and what happened to him to make him say something so totally horribly wrong. I haven’;t yet seen any satisfactory response from him.
In which case a link to where it was supposedly “refuted” should be easy to provide yes? Yet you failed to do so there -duly noted.
See above -- citations and supporting evidence notably & for you embarrassingly absent.
If the sarcasm was so obvious, why is it I had to ask?
I don’t suffer amnesia and I’ve done my research here, I suspect a whole lot more than you have. Have you looked at all the sources and suggestions I’ve already made for considering the Israeli side of the issue? I somehow doubt it but please do prove me wrong if you can. Ever read Golda Meir’s autobiography or Leah Rabin’s book on her former Israeli PM husband’s life and hers and so much more or Alan Dershowitz’s The Case for Israel’ or viewed all of DannyAyalon’s youtube clips? Or the original Herzl book or Daniel Derronda by Dickens or .. Et cetera? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
D’oh! Hit submit too early insetad of preview .. mea culpa.
Y’all can judge my honesty here based on the facts. I think they support what I’ve said and argued and noted. You think I’m wrong, you can show where and why.
I think I’ve been a lot more slandered against than slandering frankly ..
So specifically :
3) That Gazan’s don’t fire rockets , engage in terrorism and teach their kids (& others) that Israelis are actually humans and people who have the right to live and defend themselves from attack like everyone else yeah? Too much to ask?
2) Oh yeah. Special pleading. Like if Israel does what any other nation would do and protect its citizens against indiscriminate rocket attacks and homicide-suicide bombers and, noted, Israel isn’t perfect and has gone too far on occassion but look at who and what they are up against and put yourself in their shoes? That kinda special pleading? That Israelis might actually be people who deserve to live?! Well, ex-fuckin-‘scuse me if I won’t apologise for that and will keep saying those (Israeli) people be people like me or you.
3) There’s a war being fought by two sides. Israel and Hamas. yeah , funnily enough some folks do keep taking the wrong evil side. I wish they didn’t and they don’t have to but yet they do. By their own choice & misjudgment. (Putting it kindly and with benefit of doubt here.) You take Hamas side against Israel, damn right you will be and durn well deserve to be criticised for that? You think you should be exempt because you (“just?”) hate Israel? Citations and reasons beyond mere anti-Semitic bigotry even with an anti-Israel facade very much needed.
Er,. dude, how the fuck can you know so flippin’ little history -- specifically Jewish and Israeli and SW Asian history that you think such crap?
Yes. The Jewish people are indigenous to Israel. Look up the Davidic Kingdom, the Maccabean Kingdom, Judea and Samaria and Israel. Read about how the people without a land made the desert bloom for the land which back in Twain’ time -Ottoman empire -- was a land without people. Just, dude, really? How the flippin’ stupid are you or do ya think others others are?
Israel is Jewish land, where they came from, where they’ve always lived and always been their home that has meant so much to them and probably stuff all to you.
Wow. Dude, it is called Israel.
I’m careful with my wording too. Spelling and grammar maybe not as much, but wording, yeah.
That land you are and I are talking about here; it is called Israel and it is inhabited by Israeli people.
And you still obviously find it too hard to even type that word because you won’t do so.
And to think you keep having a go at the now long absent Colnago80 and his failure to type Hitler’s name when you do so much the same just in the anti-Semitic way. You sure do hate the Jews don’t ya? What is your fucken problem?
Incidentally the answer to the question “Who fucking cares” is always somebody. Usually plenty-a people.
And if ya don’t then why are ya arguin’?
I know they ain’t popular in these here FTB-y parts but dangnabbit Israelis are people too & they deserve to live in peace and happiness like everyone else yeah?
Mano Singham says
You know StevoR @#57, I am getting pretty sick of your constant snide, smug, and unsubstantiated insinuations that I (and other commenters here) do not think that “Israelis are people too” and “deserve to live in peace and happiness”. Of course we do. What I am saying is that the Palestinians also have the right to live that way and the Israelis are preventing it by their appalling policies in the Occupied Territories.
Can you point to a single statement that I have made that supports your ugly insinuations?
You with your former explicit calls for the use of nuclear weapons on Muslims and Arabs and support for the massive assaults launched on the people of Gaza (would you like me to provide the quotes and supporting links yet again so that new readers can see how vile they are?) are hardly in a position to take the moral high road. You sound like you are a Trump supporter because you have espoused the ugliest of anti-Muslim racist sentiments and the fact that you have said that you apologize for those statements hardly gives you the right to fling unsubstantiated accusations against others.
I am also getting tired of you overwhelming comment threads with multiple, long-winded, repetitive comments that are often tangential to the original post. If you cannot control your verbal diarrhea, then I may have to take action to stop it.