Monday, August 28, 2006

The unreachable just cause

I had one of those personal mysterious posts of mine which I spring up on you unsuspecting lot from time to time ready at 5 am yesterday morning, when at the last minute I decided not to push the 'send' button. I figured out that once I wrote it, it was out my system and there was no need to share it with anyone anymore, it's there saved in my 'draft' section.

Another thing I noticed was that even my supposedly light hearted topics turn serious lol , hence I might as well enjoy myself and post all the controversial ones to my heart's content . ...

And so it was that I was trying to have a well deserved siesta yesterday afternoon when my attention was suddenly focused on Alarabiya TV and the good news that the Fox news journalists had been released. Welcome back guys.


I have to stress that I strongly condemn kidnappings of this sort I was especially appalled that they were forced to convert to Islam on TV while in captivity.

Those two moves are so stupid and if the perpetrators are hoping to be garnering sympathy to the Palestinian cause - or any cause for that matter- then they are failing miserably and further disfiguring the image of Islam.

I know that Islam does not need to be defended and that God will take care of his religion, but many Westerners do not understand this and only see the 'hard facts' and 'documented examples' from sources that THEY only trust. If it is a source I will trust or some Arab's personal experience then that does not count. This is the bitter truth . We have allowed it to happen .Hmm but I digress , these sensational news will further drown and bury the real dynamo of all that has been happening in the Middle-East and the fact that while we have a just cause, namely an occupied land, we keep pushing it away with the actions of some of these downright stupid people.

On the other hand these guys were not that lucky as Israel always goes for the guttural. It puts the world before the fait accompli especially if the victims are Arab journalists :

"An Israeli air strike on a car in Gaza City during a security operation has injured a Reuters news agency cameraman and a local journalist[..]The Israeli army said the car had not been identified as press and expressed regret that journalists had been hurt. "During the operation, there was an aerial attack on a suspicious vehicle that drove in a suspicious manner right by the forces and in between the Palestinian militant posts," Israeli army spokeswoman Capt Noa Meir said.[Ironically enough ] The Reuters armoured car was clearly labelled as a media vehicle, with signs on all sides, including the roof. "

See for yourself here courtesy of the BBC.

So whenever one wants to stop the bloodshed and the senseless murders, one side does something crazy to begin the vicious cycle again - and please do not tell me shelling the Reuters crew with a rocket was self defense...

The just cause will remain unattainable unless everyone disarms, and not if one side crushes the other.

Note: When commenting kindly abstain from generalisation and threats or wishes for the annihilation of Arabs /Muslims/Israelis/ Americans - Fair game though are combattants of any side but NOT their dependents .
PS if you've written a comment on another post , go back and check there is a great chance someone has replied to you ;)

54 comments:

AngloLibyan said...

well written highlander, that is something that many muslims think about these days.

Non-Blogging said...

I know that Islam does not need to be defended and that God will take care of his religion, but many Westerners do not understand this and only see the 'hard facts' and 'documented examples' from sources that THEY only trust.

Sorry, Highlander, but I lost the point here. What do you mean many Westerners don't understand..? I'll defend my own when I know against what ;-).

If it is a source I will trust or some Arab's personal experience then that does not count. This is the bitter truth .

Although many Westerners believe all crap they read or hear, I think Muslims generally are even worse in self-denial and mixing facts with conspiracy theories and fairytales ;-). In order not to make a generalization Highlander shuns here, to prove my point, I'm citing below a report from www.pewglobal.org:

Perhaps the most dramatic measure of the gulf that separates Muslims from the Western world comes in their response to this question: Do you believe that groups of Arabs carried out the attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001?

By wide margins, Muslims living in Muslim countries say they do not believe this to be the case. The least skeptical Muslim nation is Jordan; even there, a majority (53%) says they do not believe Arabs carried out the attacks. The most skeptical nation is Indonesia, where 65% say they do not believe it and just 16% say they do, with the remaining 20% expressing no opinion.

In Turkey, nearly as many (59%) say they do not believe that groups of Arabs carried out the Sept. 11 attacks, while 16% say they did. In 2002, a much bigger share of the Turkish public - 46% - said they believed that Arabs were responsible for Sept. 11, according to a Gallup survey. Roughly four-in-ten Pakistanis (41%) say they do not believe groups of Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks, compared with 5% who think they did; 44% of Pakistanis declined to respond.

The Muslim minorities of France, Germany and Spain are fairly evenly divided over whether Arabs did, or did not, carry out the Sept.11 attacks, while opinion among British Muslims is similar to views in predominantly Muslim countries. By 56%-17%, British Muslims do not believe Arabs were responsible for the 9/11 attacks.


I guess 9/11 is such a well-documented case that no sane person should have doubt as to who the perpetrators were (a group of Arabs for whom not all Arabs can be responsible of course). To me this an excellent example of denying uncomfortable facts the same way there weren't too many accident news in the Soviet press as if there weren't any in a perfect paradise ;-).

Craig, Maya..! You see, I'm no Euro-chicken, I still have my old views left!

programmer craig said...

NBA, good comment :)

Highlander, there is no "just cause" that can make terrorism acceptable. If there ever was a "just cause" it's long gone. Arabs are not the first to have lost land, and arabs have taken land from others. There is nothing special about the Israel/Pealestine issue, to an objective observer. It's been made into a thorn in the side of the world, by people with an agenda. We're all the victims of those people. But we are not all *equally* victims. Arabs have become willing victims aka martyrs. The two fox news journalists never volunteered to be victimized in the name of Islam, Highlander. They aren't even muslims. And no, don't you dare try and play this game claiming that an Israeli airstrike is the same as kidnapping people at gunpoint! And forcing them to convert to an alien religion, at gunpoint!? They're lucky they didn't get their heads cut off, that's all I can say about that. You're right. It is a stain on Islam. Everything teh terrorists do is a stsaain on Islam. It's a stain on Islam because muslims condemn it at teh same time they support it, and the whole world sees that.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Terrorists don't exist ina vacuum. Terrorism will end when muslims stoip supporting terrorists.

I'm waiting for you to take that step, Highlander. Every time you compare what terrorists do to what the US or Israel does, you support terrorism. That's the way moral equivalency works.

programmer craig said...

Highlander, I assume you've read about this?

Marines capture Jill Carroll kidnappers

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that Jill's kidnappers may ahve been (and probably were) involved in many other kidnappings, and that they were followers of Zarqawi.

What do you think should happen to these men? And should their friends and family who knew of the activities of the kidnapper's and did nothing be charged as accomplices? Some of the wives and children used Jill Carroll as a houasemaid while she was in captivity, and they certainly knew she was being held hostage. Not to mention all the visitor's at the various homes where she was held.

What should happen to all those people? I mean, as a muslim, what do you think should happen?

I ask, because I'm curious why kidnapping seems to be considered OK in arab countries. By western standards, it's one of teh most vile crimes teher is. Right up there with torture, rape or murder. Is that not the case, for muslims? If not, then perhps Islam is in fact the problem. Maybe Islam is not compatibile with everyone's else's standards of normal civilized behavior.

If the kidnapper's of the two Fox News journalists in Gaza are ever captured (they won't be, arabs never capture arab kidnappers, do they!?) what should happen to them? And THEIR friends and families?

The answers to these questions are clear in my mind. Are they clear in yours?

Highlander said...

Anglo Libyan, I think many Arab/Muslims are thinking about this issue that regardless of everything we have allowed this situation to continue, and doing something about it will not be easy but it can be done. One important aspect is to establish the rule of law , and I mean real laws where no one is above blame.

My post contained two parts , one part where I am critizing my people ( i.e. Arabs) for their terrible shortcomings in letting criminals dictate war and peace which has conspired to let us loose the true goal.
The second part is that the enemy has not been always in the right , even though it has gained the legitimacy and right in the eyes of those who count on the international scene, but also because we have allowed it to happen and we are to blame for our own failures. Nevertheless, that does not absolve the enemy of the blood shed.The moral high ground was lost a long time ago by both camps.

Highlander said...

NBA hmmm it's always a tight situation , on one hand I'm Arab and on the other hand Muslim, sometimes it's difficult to separate the even though being Arab does not necessarily mean Muslim. But the perpetrators of many terrorist acts have unfortunately associated themselves with Islam.

I really like the comment section because you guys keep putting difficult questions and inquiries before my eyes to force me and think about my words, and refine my thoughts. This is like a brainstorming session.

So what I meant by my statement about 'many Westerners' not understanding, is that there is no need to defend the religion because it is not the religion which is the problem . If it were the world would have had 2 billion Muslims in as state of boiling. Instead what do we have ? A few crazies some thousands of brainwashed followers. Happens everywhere, now it is important only because the real estate they are on is important. So what I further meant was that I get disapointed that maybe just maybe many of these westerners are not looking deep enough for the beyond the face value picture ( it's not you I mean I know you are such a softie lol),what disapoints me though is that regardless of the atrocities perpetrated by some Arabs/Muslims, those that may have a story to say what happened to them as well will not be heard because some people have cried 'wolf' many times and covered their voices as well thereby lumping them as non-credible.

As to you question about 9/11, yes no one wants to believe that their kin could have perpetrated such an act and so are in denial ;) as you so rightly clarified . It is very clear now that those hijackers were Arabs who think they are Muslims. I think what made the persons polled believe that this is just a conspiracy is the 'success' of the operation. How could they get away with this. The same fact that makes such traumatic and horrible for the Americans and the world makes them very suspicious as it was unimaginable to be able to do so in America. I'm not defending those polled by the way, just analysing what could have gotten into their head.

Hey but we are a people who love conspiracy theories ;)

I've read chilling and serious comments and opinions which say that all Arabs should be killed , all Muslims should be killed and that we should just go and take the oil we want and get out ... Does that mean I'm going to believe that all Europeans or Americans or Israelis want my A##;), that's a scary thought - though it could be flattering ;)

I hope I haven't mixed up the thought process more than it is already .

Adam said...

There can only be one solution. One side must win. And one side must lose.

I propose that 12 strong leaders of both governments are locked into a close compound, with no way out.

Each man shall be armed with pink flowery shebsheb zanoubas. And they must attack each other mercilessly until one side surrenders unconditionally. Can you imagine a more humiliating defeat for a democratically elected leader, than having his hinnies brutally slapped by pink flowery shebsheb zanoubas?

Non-Blogging said...

Craig,

Arabs are not the first to have lost land, and arabs have taken land from others. There is nothing special about the Israel/Pealestine issue, to an objective observer. It's been made into a thorn in the side of the world, by people with an agenda.

It's not usual that Craig writes three sentences in a row which I could agree with 100% but now this has happened ;-). Has Craig softened or am I turning hard LOL?

Seriously, this is very important. Both sides of the conflict and their lackeys have succeeded well in making themselves far more important than they really are.

In Europe alone, dozens of millions of people have faced deportations and expulsions in the 20th century.

This is a new exhibition about the topic in Germany. Please collect some money and buy me a flight ticket because I really really want to see it:

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Karelian+evacuees+featured+in+Berlin+exhibition+/1135221168840

I ask, because I'm curious why kidnapping seems to be considered OK in arab countries. By western standards, it's one of teh most vile crimes teher is. Right up there with torture, rape or murder. Is that not the case, for muslims?

Craig, many or most of those innocent people in Guantanamo ended up there in a way not too different from kidnapping. I don't mean real enemy combatants or whatever the term is which is used in order to avoid giving the prisoners a POW status, I mean those innocent civilians who ended up there for example because somebody got rich for informing on an innocent person.

By my Western standards, that is vile as is kidnapping innocent journalists. But I'm glad in a democracy like the US the press exposes misconduct like this and there's an open public debate on what's acceptable and what's not.

Now I filled my quota for today in Euro-softie America bashing ;-).

Highlander,

I've read chilling and serious comments and opinions which say that all Arabs should be killed , all Muslims should be killed and that we should just go and take the oil we want and get out ... Does that mean I'm going to believe that all Europeans or Americans or Israelis want my A##;), that's a scary thought - though it could be flattering ;)

No, you shouldn't :-). We do have opinions like that in the blogosphere but I'm glad they don't represent the majority's thinking.

But seriously, I hate opinions like those you quote. However, I think this self-denial is a very serious problem. Of course one always wants to believe the best of his kin but when entire societies are involved in that, what do we get? Problems and martyr mentality which are not beneficial for societies. Post-World War II Germany is a success story, perhaps partly because what happened there has been thoroughly discussed. Russia is a mess, partly because too many people there still hail Stalin as a hero. The ability to criticize oneself and one's kin is a key to success as all societies benefit from self examination and critical thinking.

If somebody here disagrees with me, just shut up because I've the only correct opinion regarding this issue LOL.

Last but not least, now that we're back to controversial topics, check this - it's a new international opinion poll on the Israeli-Lebanese conflict and surely food for a fierce debate here:

http://www.gallup-international.com/ContentFiles/news_detail.asp?id=43

And one final thought. We've discussed terrorism so much here and you know what, I've always wondered that while some debaters here claim Muslim terrorists are not even Muslims and some others claim Arab/Muslim culture is a feeding ground for terrorism, one argument I've surprisingly never seen is that there's at least one terrorist/resistance/insurgent group on this Earth compared with which Hizbollah are almost Sunday school boys. No, I don't mean IRA or ETA, I mean LRA. I've always wondered why Muslim debaters have never brought this topic up - to your mainstream Christian what LRA represents must be as far from real Christianity as Al-Qaida from real Islam.

One major difference exists, of course, that being the fact that LRA has absolutely no grassroots support among mainstream Christians. (By grassroots support for Al-Qaida and the like I mean international opinion polls showing that many Muslims in fact do show confidence in Al-Qaida and OBL.)

Non-Blogging said...

Ah, it seems that my link to LRA was lost:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord's_Resistance_Army

Maya M said...

Non-blogging and Programmer Craig have taken some words from my mouth, hopefully my comment will be shorter than originally intended.
Highlander, you mentioned for a second time that God will defend Islam so there's no need for you to defend it. I don't understand what you mean. If you mean that Islam will be victorious - that's possible, but I can't see how this would prove that Islam is good.
I disagree with you that Islam itself is not the problem. I have struggled for a long time with the idea that Islam itself is the problem (it's too scary), but finally I had to accept it. The last people who convinced me were the authors at www.faithfreedom.org; you could visit this site when you feel like facing a provocation much more serious than a dozen of mild cartoons. To summarize, I now see 2 problems with Islam, either of which would be great enough: (1) the texts of the Koran, combined with the absolute value Muslims put on them, and (2) the biography of Prophet Mohammed, combined with the absolute value Muslims put on his personality.
I'm not sure that Islamists are so stupid when they kidnap and force their victims to convert. Some time ago I wrote that Arabs were not too wise to demand apology from the Ghana soccer association (for the waived Israeli flag), because people hate being pushed to the wall. Later I thought that I could be wrong. When pushed to the wall, people first hate those who push them, but if they cannot or dare not do anything about it, they don't want to see themselves in the humiliating position of a pushed-to-the-wall person. So they begin to think that they have made a voluntary decision and the apology was really needed, why did that bad boy waive the flag of that wicked state that shouldn't exist, the Arabs were right... Islamists see that the more terror and atrocities they do, the more understanding they receive from the West. Sept. 11 could awaken the dead, yet every Western leader still keeps repeating the mantra about the "religion of peace" and there are people like Rachel Corrie and Thomas Hurndall who travel thousands of miles to lay down their lives for the Islamist agenda.
About the Palestinian "just cause" - I've mentioned already that while the Palestinian refugees were injustly expelled (or lured to leave by other Arabs), there were also many Mideast Jews who were forcibly deported to Israel. This of course doesn't correct the injustice done to the Palestinian refugees (a wrong done to an innocent person cannot be corrected by a wrong done to another innocent person), but I think it DOES correct the wrong done to the the pan-Arab nation, which was anyway insignificant. So I don't understand what you mean, saying that "we have a just cause" - who are these "we"? My opinion - compensate the refugees' progeny (although they have already received so much unearned money and done so much harm that I hate the idea of additional compensations), accommodate them and send the conflict to history.
I used to disapprove Israel's unwillingness to return to its pre-1967 borders. However, once I read that these borders were unsuitable for military defense. I asked my father whether this was true and he said "yes". I believe him, because he has military education and isn't a great fan of Israel. So I stopped thinking that the pre-1967 Israel borders are just. After I don't intend to die defending Israel when the Arabs attack it again, I have no right to insist that Israel returns to borders within which it would depend on the goodwill of the Arabs.
Too many Arabs seem to think that if a civilian lives on what isn't his land, he deserves death. They don't bother when Palestinians shoot at Israeli school buses. I wonder, what will they say if skinheads in Europe shoot at buses transporting Muslim immigrant children to school?
Finally, about the denial of Sept. 11 being done by Muslims, I think it's quite analogous to the denial of Holocaust: the same people who deny it actually approve it and want more of the same.

AlanK said...

highlander

interesting post you had today, have not been around much recently, but was intrigued

as for contentions that islam is the problem, that is not right. If that was really true, then that would imply that everyone that is a muslim is the enemy which is just crazy. It is the fanatics that use this to justify murders and suicide bombings, targeting innocent civilians (like here in the UK plane incident recently, which has happered travel here). in the end all societies have problems with fanatics

however good to see that the journalists were released, just a shame that the goverment is too weak to punish those involved, if it was not complicit in the first place

Adam said...

I do not think that Islam is a threat to the Western world. The two recently released Fox News journalists appear to share that view. Here is what at least one of them, Steve Centanni, 60, an American correspondent, told Fox News after his release: “I have the highest respect for Islam” and he also dismissed Al Qaeda links: “These are young men who carried out the action out of private beliefs.” Full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/28/world/middleeast/28mideast.html?_r=1&oref=slogin (I hope this link works for all.)

The problem is a relatively small group of Islamic fanatics. The people living in Gaza and the West Bank are living under horrible and desperate conditions. The blame for those conditions lies largely but not at all only on Israel. Those conditions should be improved by (1) Israel allowing these people greater freedom (2) the Palestinians succeeding in restoring law and order. I firmly believe that if living conditions would improve then the fanatic groups would lose a lot of “firewood” as well as followers, and Israelis as well Palestinians would enjoy increased security.

So far nobody has disputed what I have said before: for two years while the Oslo Accord was progressing, there was not a single terror attack on Israeli lives. Peace is possible.

programmer craig said...

Hi there, Highlnader! Thanks for the reply, I thought you were going to doodge the tough questions for a while there :P

Happens everywhere, now it is important only because the real estate they are on is important.

I don't agree. It doesn't happen everywhere. And while the real estate is critical to the global economy, what makes it IMPORTANT is that people of one religion/nationality are travelling abroad for the purpose of MURDERING people of another nationality/religion. Those are acts of war, being perpetrated by individuals supposedly without the knowledge of tehir own governments.

If there were Cuban communists blowing up US embassies all over the world, kidnapping American citizens all over the world, mass murdering Americans right here in America, etc.... well, you can bet your ass the US would be bombing the living daylights out of Cuba too.

Or any other country who's nationals were behaving in such a way. If it was a religious movement of violent Hindus who were doing the same, we'd be at war with Hindu extremism too.

those that may have a story to say what happened to them as well will not be heard because some people have cried 'wolf' many times and covered their voices as well thereby lumping them as non-credible.

There will always be some fool who wants to hear what a criminal says about being a victim, Highlander. It just won't be me! That's what the Europeans are for :D

NBA,

Craig, many or most of those innocent people in Guantanamo ended up there in a way not too different from kidnapping.

Do you have any evidence that any of them are innocent, NBA?

And no, being captured on a battlefield is not the same as kidnapping. Every single one of those prisoners could have been lawfully killed on the field of battle. No "protected" person under the Geneva Conventions is in Guantanamo Bay. They are all classified as unlawful combatants. Any who were discovered to have been innocent of participating in any hostilities have long since been released.

I don't mean real enemy combatants or whatever the term is which is used in order to avoid giving the prisoners a POW status

They do have "prisoner of war" status, NBA, and they always have. What they do NOT have is the full protection of teh Geneva Conventions - specifically, since they are considered criminal combatants, they do not have the protection from being interrogated.

I mean those innocent civilians who ended up there for example because somebody got rich for informing on an innocent person.

There are no such people still in Guantanamo, NBA. Of course, most of the prisoners made the claim they just happened to be in Afghanistan, during the middle of a war. Most of them were telling lies, as terrorists always do. Al Qaeda had thosuands of operatives at those training camps in Afghanistan, and that mostly who got sent to Guantanamo Bay.

I'm not going to apologize for Gitmo. And I'm not going along with calling it "kidnapping" - you amy as well make the argument that any tiem military or civil authorities place somebody in custody they are committing a kidnapping. Not working for me.

By my Western standards, that is vile as is kidnapping innocent journalists.

Well, that's great. Open season on arabs, then? I can go kidnap Highlander, and that's OK? That's just as legal as teh US holding prisoners in Guantanamo Bay?

So, all this fuss about kidnapped Israelis is just a bunch of hot air, in your opinion? Because the Israelis have "kidnapped" Lebanese and Palestinians, and turn about is fair play?

Did it ever occur to you that the people in Israeli jails are criminals or suspected criminals? Do you think the Israelis just arrest people at random!?

My God, NBA. How do you live with this moral uncertainty?

I was going to comment more but I've babbled enough for one night. And I'm a bit taken aback by your comments. I need to regroup and figure out how to argue with somebody who lives in a world of gray areas and refuses to see any issue with clarity.

programmer craig said...

One last thing! :P

Adam,

The problem is a relatively small group of Islamic fanatics.

No, the problem is the support that relatively small group has in the larger community. A small *isolated* group is the easiest thing in the world to deal with. They are NOT isolated.

Hezbollah is also a "relatively small group" of fanatics. What, 10,000 out of 3 million Lebanese? That's 1 in 300 - a statistically iinsignificat portion of the population. Al Qaeda is even a smaller proportion of the Arab population as a whole.

Is your claim that AL Qaeda and Hezbollah are not a problem, because they are just a few fanatics?

That's not making much sense, Adam. The REAL problem is not the fanatics, it's the societies that produce and support the fanatics in what they do. We've thought long and hard about this issue, Adam, and you seem to be ignoring our findings. Do you want us to lose the war on terror? Because you seem to want us to treat the symptom without treating the disease. A recipe for disaster.

We are not going to do that, Adam. No matter how much you Europeans want the terrorists to win. You go that route, and leave us out of it. Have fun in Eurabia.

Maya M said...

Adam, I'll dispute your argument that "peace is possible" because "for two years while the Oslo Accord was progressing, there was not a single terror attack on Israeli lives".
This proves that peace is NOT possible this way, because only half a year AFTER Oslo there was murderous anti-Israeli terror again. So you see that Palestinians can keep a truce if they await a pact giving them concessions, but once the papers are signed, they resume the genocide in order to obtain more concessions. So it's high time for Israel, USA and the civilized world to say that enough is enough.

Non-Blogging said...

So it's high time for Israel, USA and the civilized world to say that enough is enough.

Maya, I love this Freudian slip of yours... Israel, USA and the civilized world instead of Israel, USA and the rest of the civilized world ;-).

Hahaha!

Non-Blogging said...

Craig,

If there were Cuban communists blowing up US embassies all over the world, kidnapping American citizens all over the world, mass murdering Americans right here in America, etc.... well, you can bet your ass the US would be bombing the living daylights out of Cuba too.

So, when did the US last bomb Hizbollah ;-)? I've read you say many times that Hizbollah has done more evil to Americans than Al-Qaida and currently I've only seen this American reaction to Al-Qaida, unless we talk about outsourcing the vengeance to the IDF ;-).

Craig, many or most of those innocent people in Guantanamo ended up there in a way not too different from kidnapping.

Do you have any evidence that any of them are innocent, NBA?


Some have already been released with no charges and as far as I know from public sources ;-), none there has been charged with anything (I might be wrong though but compared to the amount of prisoners it's marginal), let alone been declared guilty of any crime. The core principle of American (and generally Western) law is that we're innocent until proven guilty. If we don't solidly stick to this principle, we're no better than the thugs we fight against and who throw people into prisons for "wrong" opinions and the like. The Middle East is full of governments of the latter type and I don't want us to have the slightest hint of becoming alike.

They do have "prisoner of war" status, NBA, and they always have. What they do NOT have is the full protection of teh Geneva Conventions - specifically, since they are considered criminal combatants, they do not have the protection from being interrogated.

Yes, considered by the US government ;-). Just like the Lebanese government considers Hizbollah a legal political party. Does it make Hizbollag legal in your mind? No. So why should we then accept all political considerations of the US government as universally valid..? ;-)

By my Western standards, that is vile as is kidnapping innocent journalists.

Well, that's great. Open season on arabs, then? I can go kidnap Highlander, and that's OK? That's just as legal as teh US holding prisoners in Guantanamo Bay?


No, you can't. But that's just my opinion, there's no way I could ever prevent you from doing it. It'd be completely wrong for you to try to kidnap Highlander and exactly as wrong for Highlander to sneak into your house, hit you with a shebsheb zanouba and take you hostage ;-).

Did it ever occur to you that the people in Israeli jails are criminals or suspected criminals? Do you think the Israelis just arrest people at random!?

I think I didn't talk about prisoners in Israel before. But I'm sure there are both people who deserve to be in Israeli jails and also people who are there on dubious charges. Yes, Israeli authorities surely do arrest people at random as well but I believe the great majority they do they do for a good reason.

My God, NBA. How do you live with this moral uncertainty?

Not superbly but I survive ;-).

The REAL problem is not the fanatics, it's the societies that produce and support the fanatics in what they do.

That I partly agree with and that's why I've written here earlier about the conspiracy theories and stuff and on Maya's blog on the importance of reading and education. Ignorance and avoidance of self examination do breed hatred a very very minor part of which becomes terrorism.

However, ignorance and intolerance are not tied to a certain religion or culture only but are too much of global phenomena.

Maya M said...

Non-blogging, I think that when you share a small planet with an enemy such as Islamism, you inevitably start to resemble it and act like it, to some degree. There are two ways to achieve this: either by confronting the enemy or by appeasing it.
I've never thought it possible that in the 21st century, people in Europe would be put to trial for blasphemy. How many European countries currently have anti-blasphemy laws? In theory aimed to protect all religions (although, as Big Pharaoh said, God hardly needs protection), these laws are used exclusively by Islamist bullies to silence their opponents. (This, I guess, was meant by Highlander when she wrote that Muslims should play the game Western way.) What about "throwing people into prisons for "wrong" opinions"?
Even in the USA, journalists and university teachers lose their jobs for speaking (even privately) against Islam, displaying cartoons etc.

Non-Blogging said...

I've never thought it possible that in the 21st century, people in Europe would be put to trial for blasphemy. How many European countries currently have anti-blasphemy laws? In theory aimed to protect all religions (although, as Big Pharaoh said, God hardly needs protection), these laws are used exclusively by Islamist bullies to silence their opponents.

We had an anti-blasphemy law in force all the way until 1998. Nowadays, it's not called "blasphemy" anymore but if I'm right, the term we should use in English is "violation of the freedom or worship" which sounds strange because what you can still be charged with here would be "violating/disturbing religious peace" in direct translation. The last famous blasphemy cases we had were in the late 1960s and early 1970s against a writer and painter.

What we have in force nowadays is not completely a dead letter in the law. When a nationalist niché website reprinted the Muhammed cartoons, the National Bureau of Investigation (the Finnish FBI) actually did great harm to my blood pressure by investigating the guys for breaking this part of the law. They were never charged, thank God, as I would have been disgusted if they had. However, last year a local man was fined € 300 for breaking this part of the law and something which should be titled "disturbing communications" after he had repeatedly blocked a web discussion forum with anti-religious (likely anti-Christian)spam. I agree with a decision like that - his real crime wasn't criticizing religion which must be allowed but the excessive spamming. Of course the result would have been the same had he blocked an Islamic website.

Although I don't feel the West is really threatened, I agree with you that some trends are alarming as we saw during the cartoon crisis, meaning the nasty cases of Muslims trying to impose their standards on non-Muslims in non-Muslim majority countries and the really disgusting Euro- or Americo-softie self-censorship cases. That's why I defended the right to publish the cartoons se fiercely.

I think all these attempts of banning them, death threats and apologies for doing nothing wrong were a dangerous precedent I wouldn't like to see repeated again. Unfortunately, I'm cynical and have to think that we'll see more of this in the future :-(.

On a side note, we have a small bunch of fanatically religious people and on the other side some militant Atheists who sometimes try to have the other side charged with breaking the law. Recently, some religious people reported to the police about some anti-religious (I checked them, very mild!) cartoons the Atheists published on their website. In retaliation, the militant Atheists tried to have the religious ones charged, half-jokingly, for hatred against them because of a Psalm in the Old Testament. As you can guess, we can best laught at this kind of pettiness.

Highlander said...

Hi Programmer_Craig , your favourite topic again eh ? I'm going to reply to both your comments as they are kind of relevant to each other (update: now you have more than 2 comments already -it's hard to catch up with you :) )

OK here we go

' there is no "just cause" that can make terrorism acceptable. If there ever was a "just cause" it's long gone.'

We are saying the same thing , please go re-read my post :

"Those two moves are so stupid and if the perpetrators are hoping to be garnering sympathy to the Palestinian cause - or any cause for that matter- then they are failing miserably and further disfiguring the image of Islam.[..]these sensational news will further drown and bury the real dynamo of all that has been happening in the Middle-East and the fact that while we have a just cause, namely an occupied land, we keep pushing it away with the actions of some of these downright stupid people."

where does it say that terrorism is acceptable ?

The examples I brought were on one side by terrorists and kidnappers, who have absolutely no moral ground , let alone moral high ground, while the second was by a respectable and famous army. This army did not say the Reuters car was a collateral damage while they were targetting a building or someone on the street ; but a spokesperson said was "During the operation, there was an aerial attack on a suspicious vehicle that drove in a suspicious manner right by the forces and in between the Palestinian militant posts," Israeli army spokeswoman Capt Noa Meir said.. Whereby the photos of the car and victims show otherwise. Someone is lying.

Programmer_Craig my dear, having gotten into an incorrect assumption at the start of your post, means that the crescendo of 'rightful' anger has risen by the end ;)

At no point was a comparison drawn. However, come to think about it... while I believe that humans are supposedly enlightened individuals we have seen that many are not. If one is powerful and one misuses that power what does one become ? Answer : not different than the terrorists one despises. So in this instance the IDF acted in a terrorist way (if this is what happened).
Look I'm not saying all IDF is bad, but there are more than a few rotten apples, just like not all Muslims/ Arabs are bad but there are also more than a few rotten apples.

By reading my post and the link provided , one can notice that I said I have to stress that I strongly condemn kidnappings of this sort I was especially appalled that they were forced to convert to Islam on TV while in captivity.
So here again we are in agreement , aren't we ?

Please note that Terrorism is not a Muslim/Arab speciality . However, some Muslims have made it infamous. Your statement that 'Terrorists don't exist ina vacuum'is 100% true, so how can we address the situation ? but from some earlier comments on other blogs and on this one I've gathered you are not interested in finding out how that happened and treating it, but only in making them pay heavily for it by getting rid of them, their families, ancestors, descendants and supporters ( at least for HA). That's scary as it reminds me of the wish of some people to push the Jews into the sea.


Yes there is something wrong that it has allowed these people to exist and they should not certainly be allowed to go unpunished, especially in countries where there is no cause for this terrorist onslaught to happen. But I would like you to do this little test, go and live 3 whole days in Gaza as a Palestinian, and see how you feel after.Alternatively go and live in Iraq as an Iraqi and find out how it feels. With a mustache you will blend in as there are fair skinned Palestinians and Iraqis ;)

I've said this many times and will say it again, you have stressed on mult occasions that you will never forget what happened in Beirut 1982/ 1983, and that you want justice and reparation for that whatever way it comes- if I understood well.

With regards to Jill Carrol, I'm glad the kidnappers were caught, and you said yourself that they were authors of multiple kidnappings in Iraq. I'm sure that some good Iraqi citizen must have snitched on them, no matter how good the marines are they would not have been able to do it without that kind of help.

From the article you linked I quote :
-"A piece of intelligence came to our attention a month prior to May that the kidnap house might be in a certain area"
-"One month went by before another clue gave them the green light."

Verdict : Kidnappers must be tried and punished according to the Law. I'm not sure about the women and children though, how do you punish that in the US ? I'm sure not by killing right ? If so then equivalently the prisoner handlers in Abughraib and their masters must be killed too. Nevertheless treat those accomplices according to the Law too.
Having said that if you are a dependant of one of these thugs, living in the security situation such as current Iraq, where even a marine cannot walk safely, and on top of that you are a woman, I think you would think twice before trying to get out of the relative safety provided to you and your children from the general chaos outside and you may keep a blind eye to what your husband or uncle is doing because you may end up kidnapped as well or worse. It does not excuse their complicity nor cruelty but may shed a light on it. How many Iraqis are kidnapped daily ? The majority never survive and are found dumped somewhere.


Kidnapping Programmer_Craig is a fruitful business it thrives in lawless locations and situations.

Example (1) "Colombia still suffers the highest rate of kidnapping in the world; over 2,000 such crimes were committed in 2003. In response, Colombia’s U.S.-supported Anti-kidnapping Initiative was inaugurated in August 2003 and has trained and equipped military and police anti-kidnapping units."
http://www.state.gov/p/wha/rls/rm/33676.htm
Or
http://www.cidh.org/countryrep/Colom99en/chapter-1.htm

Example(2) closely followed by Mexico "Mexico ranks second in the world in the number of abductions actually reported to authorities. Statistics compiled by the private organization Consejo Ciudadano para Seguridad Publica y la Justicia Penal (CCSPJP) indicate that 422 abductions were reported in 2003, only a slight decline from 437 in 2002. The total was surpassed only by Colombia "
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb288/is_200406/ai_hibm1G1118358289

So Craig,it is not a Muslim or Arab characteristic as you implied here:
"What should happen to all those people? I mean, as a muslim, what do you think should happen?

I ask, because I'm curious why kidnapping seems to be considered OK in arab countries. By western standards, it's one of teh most vile crimes teher is. Right up there with torture, rape or murder. Is that not the case, for muslims? If not, then perhps Islam is in fact the problem. Maybe Islam is not compatibile with everyone's else's standards of normal civilized behavior."

In these two tiny paragraphs a whole people and their religion is insulted. It's like me if I hypothetically asked that it is OK christian western priests to be pedophiles since a large number of them have been caught in the act and has been swipped under the closet for years. Does that mean that Christians condone pedophilia since they allowed this to happen? have not some of their friends been accomplices and turned a blind eye not to undermine the clergy, bring scandal and rock the boat. Does that mean that the kids have not been abused etc...

Let us look at where kidnapping of foreigners took place in the Middle East : Iraq => post liberation , Lebanon => since the civil war
Palestine => now after the latest atrocitie in Gaza.
Israel=> under the general banner of 'war on terrorism
Algeria => by the militants fighting the governement.

What do all these places have in common ? they are all a rattlesnake nest, a country literally at war , where security is quasi nil. Just like Columbia and Mexico.
Now let's look closer home, child kidnapping in the US for example "According to NISMART-2 research, which studied the year 1999, an estimated 797,500 children were reported missing; 58,200 children were abducted by nonfamily members; 115 children were the victims of the most serious, long-term nonfamily abductions called "stereotypical kidnappings"; and 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions.
*link from the US dept of Justice:
http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/documents/nismart2_nonfamily.pdf
That's already too many children, we can try and look for the statistics for adults too if you wish.

what I'm trying to say is that you cannot seriously imply that kidnapping is OK for Arab Muslims. What seems to be OK though is that kidnapping of an American or westerner in an Arab hotspot is broadcast all over the world while the kidnapping of someone in Columbia , Mexico or New York and which may turn to be fatal is only local news unrelated to the war on terror , because it does not involve bearded men wearing 'dresses' and proclaiming Allahu Akbar. Not the same selling potential.

Another recent example is of this Austrian girl who has been kidnapped for 8 years, and finally managed to run away, after spending 8 years in a cellar and 'helping' her male kidnapper do the housework etc...8 years they were alone can you imagine what could have taken place ?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5288538.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5292102.stm
She was apparently in a place about 10 miles from her home- 10 miles Craig and the police could never trace her until she found the chance to runaway on HER own.

My point: sick people are everywhere, just don't say they are limited to the Middle East.

I think this would be a good book to purchase on the topic of Kidnapping statistics :)


So to answer your question in my capacity as human I would said they should be investigated and tried accordingly and let justice be done. It has nothing to do whatsoever with me being a Muslim or not and I believe you should not have phrased your question this way nor even asked it in the first place ;)

while the level of my English as third language comprehension tells me that the following is totally out of character :"Every time you compare what terrorists do to what the US or Israel does, you support terrorism."

I'm confused here ;) .....having read Highlander for a while now you must be familiar with some of her opinions.

Lets be part of the solution on both sides and promote understanding and justice for all it's a long term process but I'm sure that would be more fulfilling to find inner peace.

PS i'm sure i repeated myself several times above but i'm too tired to edit this for the 20th time :) so everyone pls forgive typos etc...

Highlander said...

one more thing :)

"what makes it IMPORTANT is that people of one religion/nationality are travelling abroad for the purpose of MURDERING people of another nationality/religion."

Since the above is an act of war, and describes the work of AQ for example does it not equally fit the 2003 invasion of Iraq ? Or the attacks perpetrated against the peaceful Israelis? And would not the Gazaens or the Lebanese think about Israel's raids also in terms of your above description.

Yes we all like to see the world in black and white, but most of the time we see it in shades of grey because we want to see what is to our best advantage, i.e. not further than our nose - even I the infallible Highlander ;) have been caught to make the same mistake ...

Maya M said...

Highlander, it's true that "sick people are everywhere", the difference is that in the Arab/Muslim world they are hailed by the majority of the population as heroes. Therefore, we'll keep offending, as long as you tolerate us.
Your definition of war seems strange to me. In a war, even if it's undeclared, the people who can kill you wear uniforms and you can recognize them. This gives you a chance, even if they don't drop leaflets to warn you. The terrorists who travel with the purpose to kill have no uniforms. On the contrary, they try their best to be unrecognizable, so that the "enemy" civilians around them have no chance to escape and survive. Equating terror to war serves only to exonerate the terrorists.

programmer craig said...

Hi NBA,

So, when did the US last bomb Hizbollah ;-)?

Too long ago, NBA. But their day is coming. I believe the US plans to deal with Hezbollah by dealing with their masters in Iran. I don't like it much, myself. Congress has declared war on international terrorist groups and their sponsors, anywhere in the world, and authorized the President to use whatever force is necessary to destroy them. Hezbollah is certainly in that class, as is Iran, Hezbollah's sponsor. Iraq never was, by the way. If I had my way we'd have been in Lebanon concurrently with the operation in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001. It's long overdue, but the war on terror will not be over as long as Hezbollah continues to exist.

Some have already been released with no charges and as far as I know from public sources ;-)

That doesn't make them innocent. It's at the discretion of the country holding prisoners of war whether or not to parole prisoners.

The core principle of American (and generally Western) law is that we're innocent until proven guilty.

That's an irrelevant principal when discussing prisoners of war, NBA, and you should know that. It's not illegal to be an enemy combatant, so there is nothing to charge an enemy POW with. In this case, people who wage war unlawfully are war criminals (by definition) and the prisoners could be charged with war crimes. However, this AGAIN is at the discretion of the country holding the prisoners. The standard for POWs is that tehy are held for the duration of hostilities unless the holding country decides to parole them early.

That is the law, NBA.

Yes, considered by the US government ;-).

No. The Hague Conventions (also known as the Laws of War) are quite clear about what makes somebody a lawful combatant versus somebody who is waging war illegally. There is no doubt on this issue, NBA, and it has nothing to do with the United States. The Hague Conventions were first drafted in the 19th century.

Why are we even having this discussion, NBA? I'm sure the next step for you is tom either prove the invalidity of the Hague Conventions or prove the US alsso unlawfullay wages war. Whatever, man. Knock yourself out. This is why UN resolutions aren't worth the paper they are written on. Everybody treats them as if wildly varying degrees of misconduct are equivalent. 5 or 6 dirtbags abusing Iraqis in Abu Ghraib is the same as Hitler killing 6 million innocent jews, and some 10 million other innocents in Europe. And Arabs seizing western tourists/journalists/construction workers/teachers/whatever and holding them hostage and killing them unless their ransom or political demands are not met is the same as the US taking enemy combatants prisoner on the field of battle.

Hey, it's all bad, right? Why should we make distinctions.

programmer craig said...

NBA,

Although I don't feel the West is really threatened

I think Europe is already gone, unless you intend to round up tens of millions of muslims and sent them to re-education camps, which I highly doubt. I think EUrope has made a big mistake. You're badly underestimating the abilty of arabs/muslims to assimilate their host cultures, rather than vice versa. Look at Highlander's own country of Libya for an example. Or Egypt for a much bigger example. Egyptians are not arabs, why do they call themselves arabs? Why do they have an arab culture? Can you come up with any similar examples of when Europeans were able to convert whole countries and theirn populations to become "europeanizied?"

Not my concern though. It's not happening in the US, nor will it, because we have an immigrant society anyway, and the arabs are just another immigrant group, here.

Adam said...

Hello Craig, you said:
”Is your claim that AL Qaeda and Hezbollah are not a problem, because they are just a few fanatics?”

No, I never said that they are not a problem. You yourself quoted me saying the opposite! You usually argue your point of view very well, but not in that particular paragraph.

Perhaps what you really meant was that I should address your claim: “the societies that produce and support the fanatics in what they do.” Some of the Islamic societies are not without blame but the blame can not be placed on one side. I do not think that the fanatics are “produced”. Neither did that kidnapped journalist of Fox News appear to think so.

During Arafat’s last years of rule Israel blamed each and every terrorist act on him personally. They kept him isolated. They systematically broke every link in his chain of command. Yet they demanded that he use his chain of command to stop the terror. How much sense does that make?

The fact that these people exist in some societies, does not mean that they are deliberately created, or even welcome. The armed fractions of HA were not too welcome in Lebanon, but what could the Lebanese government have done? I agree with our Highlander that lawlessness breeds crime. An interesting statement of Palestinian self criticism comes from an unexpected source, Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/29/world/middleeast/29israel.html


And Maya,
If Islam terrifies you so much, please answer to Alan’s short but clear post above.

And Highlander,
talking about Freudian slips:
“Kidnapping Programmer_Craig is a fruitful business ...”

Without a comma after “kidnapping” that sentence has a funny ring, perhaps you are one of them after all :P

Non-Blogging said...

In this case, people who wage war unlawfully are war criminals (by definition) and the prisoners could be charged with war crimes. However, this AGAIN is at the discretion of the country holding the prisoners.

So, why not simply charge them and, if found guilty, give them what the law says they deserve? What's so bad about that?

I know and accept that it's not the task of the US foreign policy to try to please any outsiders (you don't have to repeat that to me) but things like Guantanamo are things which alienate people who would otherwise be strong supporters the US-European alliance. OK, find other allies if you want.

So, why not put this issue under real legal scrutiny, if there's nothing the US government should be afraid of in the results?

The standard for POWs is that tehy are held for the duration of hostilities unless the holding country decides to parole them early.

Which in the case of terrorism can be an eternity. OK, let's have this utopia that one day all terrorism magically disappears from the world (just like the war in Iraq was over at the moment in 2003 when the US president declared the mission accomplished). But technically, how does the war on terror end? Who signs under the documents ceasing hostilities on the other side? And what if all terrorism magically ends and the following day a new group or just an individual terrorist starts its activities?

Conventional wars have conventional ends, wars on terror, drugs etc. don't just end with a signature.

By the way, regarding terrorism. What do you think of the Gallup International figures I've linked here? And now if you don't like the figures themselves, don't blame me or anyone else for them. I wasn't asked any questions in the poll, neither did I make them or ask anyone else. If you don't like the results, blame the respondents' opinions and nothing else.

For example, the results show that while 61% of Americans regard Hizbollah as a terrorist organization, the same figure for Canadians is 65%, Germans 71% and - surprise surprise - Indonesians 65%. In this question, 9% of Americans disagree and 30% don't know or tell.

So, next time you bash Europeans or Arabs for loving terrorists, think that with my mediocre maths there are close to 30 million Americans who think Hizbollah are not terrorists and close to 100 million who don't know. Quite a big enemy within, huh, if one wants to see it like that.

If you saw similar figures for any European or Middle Eastern country, you would have started mongering for World War III and labelling us/them terrorist supporters already. Now, am I allowed to bash you for the figures which show that the amount of Americans who don't regard Hizbollah as terrorists is 25 times the population of my entire country?

So much for the lost Eurabia and America as the only hope left ;-).

Now that's quite frightening.

Craig, nothing personal, my friend, just some facts to show that things are not black and white.

Adam said...

"Can you come up with any similar examples of when Europeans were able to convert whole countries and theirn populations to become "europeanizied?"

North and South America, for the first couple of Centuries.

Non-Blogging said...

Thanks, Adam!

And Craig must agree. Some time ago we had a discussion here on what all is part of the West. For Craig, that included Latin America as well. Now that nobody can claim that the Americas before colonization could have been part of the Western culture, we must admit that colonization succeeded in transforming the local cultures quite radically.

Other examples might include all the former European colonies elsewhere which have adopted a European language or things like the British legal system, French schooling system etc.

And then we shouldn't forget Australia and New Zealand.

Besides, I think Libyans should be proud of their Libyan heritage, Egyptians of theirs and so on, while accepting the cultural layers they've gotten from the Italians, Brits etc.

Although colonialism shouldn't be blamed for the mess for example many African countries have ended up in after they got independent, generally colonialism was a huge crime with surely more offers than thugs like Hitler ever could produce.

programmer craig said...

Hiya Highlander :)

No, this is not my favorite topic. I don't enjoy talking about this topic at all. It disturbs me greatly that I really hate some people enough that I literally want to see them die. It disturbs me enough that I periodically stop watching the news or reading blogs when I can't take it anymore. I read blogs in the ME to find arabs and Iranians who don't support terrorism, not to be convinced that terrorism isn't so bad after all. Whenever I run into people who seem to be making such arguments, it makes my blood boil. Especially when it comes to Hezbollah, because Hezbollah has not faced a single negative consequence for their terrorism in 24 years. Infuriating. The longer they go unpunished, the more I hate them.

Anyway, on to your comments!

where does it say that terrorism is acceptable?

When you imply terrorists are motivated by a just cause, you imply that terrorism is acceptable, though possibly repugnant to you personally, Highlander. You seem to be objecting more to the negative image terrorism provokes for muslims than to the actual crimes that muslims are committing againts the innocent.

Whereby the photos of the car and victims show otherwise. Someone is lying.

Possibly, but not necessarily, Highlander. Journalists are only "protected" by the Geneva Conventions under some circumstances. A journalist who is in close association with enemy forces can be and probably will be considered a hostile and it's perfectly legal to target them as if tehy were an enemy combatant, as they are considered to be particpating in the enemy's war effort. An embedded journalist in the US military, for instance, is not a "protected person" as defined by the Geneva Conventions.

It's very possible the Israelis made that assessment about this Reuters journalist. If they had no basis for making that assessment, then it's a war crime. Otherwise, it was perfectly lawful.

Medical personnel are treated exactly the same, by the way. They can be considered hostile enemies if they are assisting combatants on a battlefield.


re: kidnappings,

So here again we are in agreement , aren't we ?

Partially. Condemnation is good. But condemnation is not enough. Punishment for the perpetrators is required, Highlander. I know you have no power to impose punishment, but if enough arabs say "I condemn that act and I want the perpetrators PUNISHED for it!!" then the people who do have power might actually do something about it once in a while, you know?

I never seem to hear arabs (including you) calling for terrorists to be punished for their crimes. Which nets out to a carte blanche for terrorists.

but only in making them pay heavily for it by getting rid of them, their families, ancestors, descendants and supporters

Only their supporters. If the supporters have to be killed before they'll stop supporting terrorism, so be it. I'm hoping that the negative consequences of terrorism will eventually diminish the support for it to teh point where tit basically ceases to exist.

That is the best case scenario for an end to the war on terror, in my opinion. Worst case scenario is... well... pretty bad. Worst case scenario is that Iran gets nuclear weapons and uses them, and the middle east ceases to exist.

especially in countries where there is no cause for this terrorist onslaught to happen.

There it is again, Highlander! The implication that there is a just cause which can make terrorism acceptable! That attitude must change, or terrorism will be alive as long as the people who have it are alive. It's NEVER acceptable! NEVER!! Because if you say it's OK one day, one place, then it becomes ok everyday, everywhere. And as long as you believe at leats some of the actions of terrorists are acceptable, you will be greatly reluctant to do anything about them, because on some level you sympathize with their goals, if not tehir methods.

You have just encapsulated the whole problem, in my opinion. Thank you Highlander :)

I'm sure that some good Iraqi citizen must have snitched on them, no matter how good the marines are they would not have been able to do it without that kind of help.

No, unfortunatley, that is not the case. They used Jill Carroll's own description of the sights and sounds that she recalled from the various places she was held.

An unusually painted front gate on a house right next to a US airfield I believe was the critical information. And then once they were inside the house they identified other features as being the same.

Kidnappers must be tried and punished according to the Law. I'm not sure about the women and children though, how do you punish that in the US ?

Adult accomplices are considered equally guilty in the crimes the willingly particapte in, and generally face the same penalty as the actual perpetrator. I'm pretty sure kidnapping is still subject to teh death penalty in the US.

Juveniles have a seperate set of laws that apply to them.

How many Iraqis are kidnapped daily ?

The operation that captured these kidnappers of Jill Carroll freed two Iraqi hostages at another location.

Kidnapping Programmer_Craig is a fruitful business it thrives in lawless locations and situations.

Jill's kidnappers were not motivated by simple crime, they were followers of Zarqawi and wre religiously / politically motivated.

I discounted your assertions about Latin America, because as far as I know kidnappings theer are motivated sheerly by greed, and are not condoned by the general population.

The drug gangs in latin america are ALSO a big problem, Highlander. The US has been waging the war on drugs longer than it's been waging the war on terror, my dear :)

Drug gangs are not much easier to deal with than terror groups. Main thing is, drug gangs are very focussed in their methods and are entirely profit-oriented. They don't do things like blowing up embassies or crashing airplanes into buildings, because that would be counter to their interests.

I'm not Catholic so I'll bypass your claims about Catholic Priests. That doesn't insult me anyway, Protestants don't even have Priests and if you want to bash teh Catholic Church I'll help you with that :D

A better example would be if Christians were kidnapping muslims, mass-muredering muslims in muslim countries, blowing up muslim businesses and government buildings, etc... both inside and outside their own country... and Christians were just shrugging their shoulders and saying "oh, well, shit happens" instead of taking responsibilty for what their co-religionists are doing in the name of their God. When that happens, let me know.

I'll be the first to go down to my local Churches and trying to find out who the scumbags who are humiliating me and my religion are.

I'll try to come back and finish replying after lunch! Gotta keep up before things get out of hand :)

programmer craig said...

Just wanna add before I go, Adam and NBA, taht shit is weak! Come up with something better or surrender the point :D

You're talking about exporting your culture by force of arms against stone age locals. Egypt was also colonized by teh Europeans, why is Egypt an Arab country and not a European one :P

Lame!

Non-Blogging said...

Craig,

I never seem to hear arabs (including you) calling for terrorists to be punished for their crimes. Which nets out to a carte blanche for terrorists.

This is what you wrote to Highlander but I want to comment as well. That Highlander doesn't write a disclaimer condemning terrorists after every two words she writes on her blog doesn't mean she'd support terrorism.

That I haven't seen you condemn, say, child rapists, serial killers or other truly disgusting people would in your logic mean that you're giving them a carte blanche which of course is not the case.

Protestants don't even have Priests

Protestants do have priests.

You're talking about exporting your culture by force of arms against stone age locals. Egypt was also colonized by teh Europeans, why is Egypt an Arab country and not a European one :P

And that was to me and Adam. Egypt is one of the oldest civilizations of the world, so calling pre-colonization Egypt a stone age state is quite misleading.

And I see no reason why an Arab country like Egypt shouldn't be an Arab country but a European one :-).

programmer craig said...

Ok... continuing! Whew... comments are really piling up hgere, aren't they? :O

It has nothing to do whatsoever with me being a Muslim or not and I believe you should not have phrased your question this way nor even asked it in the first place ;)

I apologize if I offended, Highlander, but it's impossible to discuss terrorism without discussing hostage taking. Perhaps we should use that term instead? And as far as I know, muslims are the only terrorists who resort to hostage taking on such a large scale, and over such a long period of time. The earliest "hostage crisis" I can recall personally was the Israeli Athletes the PLO took hostage in Munich in 1972. And of course, with the movie that recently came out, we all saw on arab blogs how many arabs supported (and still do support) that action. Or at least, trivialize it and shift the blame for the tragic ending onto somebody other than the perpetrators of the crime.

Then there was the hostage crisis when Iranians seized teh US embassy in Tehran and held the diplomats hostage for over a year, 1979-1980.

And then the kidnap/murder/torture of so many westerners (and non-westerners!)in Lebanon throughout the 1980s.

Recently, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afganistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Phillipines, Indonesia and India (just to name a few) have all experienced terrorist hostage taking. Often followed by beheading.

And of course, all hijacking is a form of hostage taking. Of which there have been hundreds of hijackings the last 35 years, with victims numbering in the tens of thousands.

This isn't an issue that can be ignored. I apologize if you think I was insensitive in the way I broached it, but it is very much at the heart of terrorism.

Lets be part of the solution on both sides and promote understanding and justice for all it's a long term process but I'm sure that would be more fulfilling to find inner peace.

Highlander, I am absolutely convinced you are part of the solutioon, that's why I spend so much time discussing it with you :)

I find you to be remarkably open minded and willing to consider opposing viewpoints. That's why I find it so alarming when some of your attitudes mirror the arab mainstream so much. And I don't care what some bloggers and blog commenters say, the "arab street" is clearly with the terrorists, in spirit if not in deed. And not just the ignorant. I assume people on blogs to be well informed and if they have the attitudes so many of them do, I shudder to think what the illitrate poor are all about.

Since the above is an act of war, and describes the work of AQ for example does it not equally fit the 2003 invasion of Iraq ? Or the attacks perpetrated against the peaceful Israelis?

No, Highlander. This is where the problem of not differentiating between a murder and a justified killing crops up. When all killing is lassified the same way, you'd think that all killing would be taboo, but it seems to me that just the opposite has occurred with arabs. Killing an innocent is just as "acceptable" as killing a criminal, or a combatant, or an aggressor.

I even see comments on arab blogs that there are no "civilian" Israelis, meaning that they all deserve to die. Same issue. There are no "innocent" Israelis, because innocence is an irrelevant concept to such people.

Gonna try to finish up my comments here in one big babble:

Maya, totally agree with your above comment. I've been trying (forever it seems like!) to clarify the differences between waging war and committing mass murders and massacres of the innocent as your pathy to "victory" - without much success.

Adam, not much to say to you, really. I'm well aware of where your sympathies lie, and it's not with me and my people, so we'll just have to agree to disagree :)

NBA,

So, why not simply charge them and, if found guilty, give them what the law says they deserve? What's so bad about that?

That's an option. But not a requirement. At best, convictions would net them long terms in US military prisons. Which is a death sentence anyway, death by beaing beaten to death. For an Al Qaeda. At worst, the penalty for war crimes is death.

It's in the best interests of the prisoners that they be held as prisoners of war rather than as war criminals. But I'm OK with bringing them up on charges.

but things like Guantanamo are things which alienate people who would otherwise be strong supporters the US-European alliance.

I don't agree. Leftists in the US object strongly to Guantanamo Bay as well. And they object to virtually EVERY OTHER POLICY AMERICA HAS, OR HAS EVER HAD! We don't NEED leftist allies, NBA. Sorry. No thank you. Leftists want America to lose the war on terror. They want America to die a slow and agonizing death. The last thing on this earth America needs is more enemies who claim to be friends.

OK, find other allies if you want.

As far as I'm concerned the US has not had an ally in EUrope since World War II. The US had clienst during the Cold War. Now US protection is not needed and we have a dead realtionship with Europeans. We're at the stage ina marriage, after seperation, but before divorce.

So, why not put this issue under real legal scrutiny, if there's nothing the US government should be afraid of in the results?

It already got ruled on by the US Supreme Court some months ago. What other scrutiny do you want?

This is a non-issue that you have made an issue, NBA, for reasons of your own. You talk as if Guantanamo Bay is a death camp.

Tell me, would war crimes tribuerals make you happy, if we ended up putting most of the prisoners to death for war crimes? Or would you be even louder in your criticism, then?

I bet you'd REALLY be angry then, wouldn't you? What result do you expect? Trials, followed by realease of the prisoners?

They wouldn't be realeased ANYWAY, even if they were found not guilty of war crimes. They'd STILL be prisoners of war, NBA. Only difference is they would no longer be considered criminal enemy combatants, but just plain enemy combatants.

There's no making you happy on this, NBA, so why keep bringing it up?

*sigh* not gonna finish up in one comment after all!

To be continued...

Highlander said...

Adam about Freudian slips eh ?

[talking about Freudian slips:
“Kidnapping Programmer_Craig is a fruitful business ...”

Without a comma after “kidnapping” that sentence has a funny ring, perhaps you are one of them after all :P ]

Thanks for pointing that out man, but Freudian slip for Freudian slip :
Craig 1 : Highlander 1 LOL we are even.

See this below ;)emphasis mine

[Well, that's great. Open season on arabs, then? I can go kidnap Highlander, and that's OK? That's just as legal as teh US holding prisoners in Guantanamo Bay?]

what do you think ?

Highlander said...

Alan K a special thank you to you for coming back I really missed you as you used to be my number one fan and you are hardly online nowadays :(

I especially admire the way you post your opinion , refreshing as usual, just like the Scottish air ;) Yes I agree with you Alan, Islam is not the problem . Please go back to blogging as we enjoy your round up of news everytime.

Highlander said...

NBA and Adam there is not much I can disagree with you guys ....hmm not sure if that is good for you or not you are already blamed for being eurosofties , and now you will become Muslim sympathiser ;)

Maya, one day I really need to quiz you about your experience that made you hold some of these opinions. We know Craig's reasons, now I only need to be nosy and find out yours :)

programmer craig said...

To NBA still...

Which in the case of terrorism can be an eternity.

So? You know, historically getting your prisoners repatriated is one of the motivating factors for ending a war. If Arabs don't care about Arab prisoners, that's not my concern, NBA. Do you think we should implement a no-quarter policy, and stop taking prisoners? Do you realize that such a policy is a war crime in and of itself?

Or do you think we should just forget about the whole war?

Your line of reasoning has me baffled.

Conventional wars have conventional ends, wars on terror, drugs etc. don't just end with a signature.

You are assuming that. There's no historical basis for such a claim, because they are both new concepts.

Contrary to popular belief, though, most non-conventional wars DO end with a signature and a peace agreement. And many conventional wars do NOT end witha peace agreement.

You cannot make this kind of generlaization. Vietnam was a guerilla war that ended with peace agreement. Korea was a conventional war that never officially ended at all, as was the first Gulf War. I think I could find an equal number of examples of both types that ended either way. I don't believe you can make any defintive claim based on historical evidence about teh way either conventional or non-conventional wars tend to end.

By the way, regarding terrorism. What do you think of the Gallup International figures I've linked here?

I didn't look, to be honest, since I saw the word "international" in there :D

I'll look now, since you asked my opinion.

OK, I read it! I think nothing about the poll, because they said "with the exception of the US" before every single result! Dunno why they even polled the US if they are going to exclude our answers :P

The world isn't on our side, NBA. We get it :)

So, next time you bash Europeans or Arabs for loving terrorists, think that with my mediocre maths there are close to 30 million Americans who think Hizbollah are not terrorists

Yes. Many Americans don't remember who Hezbollah is, and what Hezbollah has done. Or they are too young to remember. That's why it is my job to remind them. I assure you, no American who knows of Hezbollah's activities will go along with the idea that hezbollah is not a terrorist group.

And if you Europeans are so firm in your belief that HA is a terror group, then why do your governments refuse to identify it as one? Greed? Corruption? Political expediency? Should taht make me feel better, or worse, NBA!?

If you saw similar figures for any European or Middle Eastern country

Nonsense. I'm well aware that the polls in the Middle East show that most arabs EXPLICITLY SAY THEY SUPPORT TERRORISM, NBA!!

How much more obvious does it get, than asking somebody if they support terrorism and then recording their answer in the affirmative!?

That's quite a different thing than 30% of a population who doesn't know enough about a terror org that has been keeping a low profile for 20 years, to say whetehr or not it's a terrorist group! Especially when so many leftist self-hating pansies are in the media claiming HA is a political party! It gets very confusing for people who don't have first hand recollections, or recent traumas, to go by.

Craig, nothing personal, my friend, just some facts to show that things are not black and white.

Yes they are. Just not to you :)

You see gray areas even when there are none. Because you like it that way. That's OK. Most people like to be free of having to make moral decisions. That doesn't mean such descisions don't have to be made. Adn we should all be hoping that those decisions do get made, and by people who can see the issues with moral clarity, because most of the worst atrocities in human history have been committed by people who lived in the gray area. It's very easy to justify a compromise on important values when you don't really recognize the rightness or wrongness of the issue.

On your latest comment, NBA, I thought I went to great lengths explaining (with clarity) my position re: specific statements Highlander mad. You ahev introduced gray areas to my comments that were not present. Kindly keep the gray areas to yourself :P

Protestants do have priests.

Some do. Most do not. No protestant sect (that I know of, and we have a LOT of protestant sects in America!!) has Priests in teh Catholic sense. Mainly on the vows of celibacy issue. Which is, in my opinion, the reason why so many Catholic Priests seem to be closetted homosexuals.

And that was to me and Adam. Egypt is one of the oldest civilizations of the world, so calling pre-colonization Egypt a stone age state is quite misleading.

You misquoted me on so many levels here, I'm not sure where to start! You didn't claim Egypt as a country that had been "assimilated" by European culture. Theredore, my comments logically could not have been meant to include Egypt, right? You kind of re-affirmed my point there :) The only successes Europeans have had with exporting their culture have been in countries where there was no pre-existing civilzation to speak of.

The arabs have done quite a lot better than that.

Adam said...

Craig dude,
today European culture rules on four continents. Our expansion has been vastly more successful than any other culture.

Really, why do you make such a fuss about what was there before the expansion?

"...there was no pre-existing civilzation to speak of."

You should argue that point with some Native Americans.

And in South America. No civilization??? The Maya Indians had deep knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. They may not have had technology but they sure were more cultured than some of the gringo Conquistadores. We butchered them. You and me Craig, our common ancestors.

Should we count dead bodies?
How many Non-Europeans have died at European hands the last millenium ?

And how many Non-Arabs have died to Arab hands during that same period, huh!

You cannot seriously mean that assimilation more vile than killing stone age people, so I keep wondering: What is all your fuss about what was there before, when we rule four continents?

Maya M said...

Adam, my opinion of Alan's comment is - wishful thinking. I am sorry that this sounds like a personal insult, he doesn't deserve to be insulted. But I think I recognize this particular wishful thinking, because I've done plenty of it myself. All people are good, all religions are good. What about the old Mexican religion? This is just to remind of some things colonizers were finding. BTW I'd like to see less bashing of colonialism by Westerners now, when several decades have passed since the end of the colonial era and the West is struggling with some of its former colonies for its very survival.
I'll be surprised if Alan tells us that he has read the Koran and fragments of what early Muslim historians have written about the Prophet's life. I advise him to read this, then we'll meet at the other bank of the river and he'll tell if he still sees no problem with Islam.
Highlander, my opinion about Islam isn't shaped by any personal experience. Should it be? Perhaps you know the following words of a pastor who suffered repression during Hitler's time, "First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist...Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."
If people like me did speak out while the Islamists were coming only for the Jews, perhaps we all would be living in a better world now.

programmer craig said...

Craig dude, today European culture rules on four continents.

One of which is Europe, and the other three of which were inhabited by stone age peoples before the Europeans got there! Quite an accomplishment :P

Listen, Adam, some of my ancestors came to North America on the Mayflower. I'm not here to argue with you about the history of european colonization.

Our expansion has been vastly more successful than any other culture.

Really? By what measure?

What percentage of the world's population identifies itself as "european", either by ethnicity or culture, Adam?

Americans don't. Austrailians don't. Canadians don't. Latin americans don't. New Zealnder's don't.

No. The only people who call themselevs Europeans are actual EUROPEANS.

The majority of the people who call themselves arab and identify with arab culture and traditions are not even ethnically arab.

How "European" is India? China? Indonesia? Africa? Japan? Malaysia?

Hell, Hong Kong was a Bristish colony until 10 years ago! The crwon jewle of the Britsih Empire! How British is Hong Kong, Adam?

Really, why do you make such a fuss about what was there before the expansion?

Well, because it's relevant to the discussion, Adam. Arabs have assimilated many foreign lands and made them their own, despite civilzations of long standing having been there before the arabs arrived. And I'm postulating that this is currently happening in Europe.

Your counter-argument seems to be... what? You're immune? I don't think you are! In fact, I think you're playing right into the scenario with great gusto. Maybe Europeans are tired of theri own culture and wihs to be re-invigorated? Your low birth rates seem to indicate you guys don't have much zest for living anymore. You are breeding yourselves right into extinction.

You should argue that point with some Native Americans.

You don't think they know they were stone-age nomads?

Your ancestors and mine both were also stone age nomads two thousand years ago.

There's no shame in that.

And in South America. No civilization??? The Maya Indians had deep knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. They may not have had technology but they sure were more cultured than some of the gringo Conquistadores.

And that civilzation was long dead before the first "gringos" ever got there.

By teh way, correction for your inorrect use of the word gringo:

Gringo (feminine, gringa) is a term in the Spanish and Portuguese languages used to refer to native English speakers (from the United States in particular, but also from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and elsewhere as well)

I'm a Gringo. The spanish were not gringos, and even if they were, the Indians in south america would not have called them such, as they did not speak spanish at the time.

We butchered them. You and me Craig, our common ancestors.

Not me, Adam. I'm not spanish, and I'm not the descendants of Spaniards. My ancestors got along well with the Indians in North America, until teh French and the British governments started the Indian wars, in which they each incited indian tribes to wage war on the other countries colonists. It all went downhill from there!

Should we count dead bodies?
How many Non-Europeans have died at European hands the last millenium ?


I'm NOT European, Adam! Count me out of your calculations! Your guilt belongs to nobody but you, if you choose to accept it!

And how many Non-Arabs have died to Arab hands during that same period, huh!

I imagine that's a very big number, Adam. Are you counting Sudan and other regions in Africa in your calculations?

How did we get off on this tangent, anyway? Is this a pet peeve of yours?

I think a better question to ask is how many INNOCENT non-Arabs have been killed by Arabs, and vice versa.

That's a good measure of victimization.

But honestly, unless for some bizarre reason you want to pursue this "victim" thing for some reason, I'd rather we get back on track.

Adam said...

Craig,
perhaps it would do you some good to meet some people IRL. Get some sun and fresh air too. We are comparing European and Arab expansion, are we not? Also we are questioning how expansion should be measured, no?

If you insist on measuring by what people call themselves let’s try that: Many Libyans I have met I have asked “Do you feel Arab or African?”. Replies vary some say “Arab and African” others say for example “Libyan but also African”. When asking the same question in Egypt each and everyone has replied “Egyptian!” and most giving a me a look saying “Of course you silly!”.

You keep blabbering about “stone age cultures”. Why is assimilating (or destroying) such a culture less bad than assimilating a bit of North Africa? I asked but you never replied properly to “Why?”.

And my point that Europeans colonized three continents is in according to you nullified by the fact that their grandchildren renamed themselves. There is no fundamental difference between the “Western” cultures. Just because you hate my guts and my opinions does not make us culturally different. Just as an Aussie never calling himself Canadian does not make his culture all that different.

“Arabs have assimilated many foreign lands and made them their own, despite civilzations of long standing having been there before the arabs arrived. And I'm postulating that this is currently happening in Europe.”
Assimilation is a pretty strong word. Give me a few pretty strong examples, thanks.

programmer craig said...

Well, that comment was downright insulting, on a personal level, Adam. I'll go back to my earlier position of asking you to address nothing further to me.

Perhaps you should follow your own advice. Your peopel skills ovviosuly leave much to eb desired.

Adam said...

Craig,
You are upset by my use of the word "blabbering". I was unmeasured. I am sorry.

But you have on repeated ocasions said stuff like "you want the terrorists to win" That is a much deeper insult.

If you do not answer my questions above , I am sure some other Euro-softie will ask them again.

I have never asked anybody to not adress me. Nor will that ever happen. People address each other here, that is what blogging is.

Non-Blogging said...

Craig,

As far as I'm concerned the US has not had an ally in Europe since World War II.

Except for the UK independent of who's in the government, people like Berlusconi and Aznar and now I'm not even counting all the Central and Eastern European countries who have voluntarily taken part in your adventures like Iraq. Plus all the European NATO members who are US allies by treaty.

And now that your criteria for allies are so strict, please name any non-European ally of the US fitting them.

Seriously, Craig, your claims resemble me of claims by the Muslims who think the whole Western world is in conspiracy against them while we know it's not true.

This is a non-issue that you have made an issue, NBA, for reasons of your own. You talk as if Guantanamo Bay is a death camp.

Where have I ever referred to any deaths in Guantanamo? What I've criticized is the legal state going on there, not the conditions of the prisoners. That's a completely different topic already.

Tell me, would war crimes tribuerals make you happy, if we ended up putting most of the prisoners to death for war crimes? Or would you be even louder in your criticism, then?

I bet you'd REALLY be angry then, wouldn't you? What result do you expect? Trials, followed by realease of the prisoners?


If they're guilty, give them a punishment. If they're not, set them free. But do something. It shouldn't be too hard.

So? You know, historically getting your prisoners repatriated is one of the motivating factors for ending a war. If Arabs don't care about Arab prisoners, that's not my concern, NBA.

I think Hizbollah committed their first war crime during the recent conflict by illegally kidnapping Israeli soldiers with the motivation of negotiating a prisoner exchange. I'm no Hizbollah supporter and above I've condemned the act but in my opinion this doesn't show an Arab lack of care for their own prisoners.

Do you think we should implement a no-quarter policy, and stop taking prisoners? Do you realize that such a policy is a war crime in and of itself?

Taking prisoners at war is legal, not taking prisoners might be stupid in many cases. But not taking prisoners is not a war crime. If you disagree, show me where it says that you can be charged with a war crime if you don't take prisoners, furthermore, I'm interested in references to any such cases.

And if you Europeans are so firm in your belief that HA is a terror group, then why do your governments refuse to identify it as one? Greed? Corruption? Political expediency? Should taht make me feel better, or worse, NBA!?

Ask our governments, I'm not a government spokesperson. But don't forget 120 million Americans don't regard Hizbollah as terrorists in the meanwhile. Ignorance and stupidity are no excuses whatsoever.

That's quite a different thing than 30% of a population who doesn't know enough about a terror org that has been keeping a low profile for 20 years, to say whetehr or not it's a terrorist group!

I've seen you rant about Hizbollah as the most evil guys in the world very frequently on this and other blogs and now you claim they've had a low profile for 20 years. Should we perhaps search for more recent and topical enemies or consider people from the past as our main adversaries today or should we not claim Hizbollah has had a low profile for 20 years?

Or should we start hunting again our other enemies from a generation ago, like the Sandinistas, Gaddafi, PLO and the Soviet Union as well, with our then friends like Saddam and Noriega ;-)?

There is a contradiction here.

Protestants do have priests.

Some do. Most do not. No protestant sect (that I know of, and we have a LOT of protestant sects in America!!) has Priests in teh Catholic sense. Mainly on the vows of celibacy issue.


Protestants don't have priests in the Catholic sense and Catholics don't have priests in the Protestant sense. Nevertheless, whether a priest is male, celibate, female, non-celibate, gay, straight, whetever, doesn't matter because they are priests. Your claim is akin to claiming that a company doesn't have managers because the managers are women or married.

Don’t give the Roman Catholic Church the sole right to define priesthood for all Christianity.

No. The only people who call themselevs Europeans are actual EUROPEANS.

And who call themselves Americans except for Americans and why should non-Europeans call themselves Europeans?

The majority of the people who call themselves arab and identify with arab culture and traditions are not even ethnically arab.

That was news to me and most Arabs, I guess ;-). I guess you have some proof to show us as well..?

And what's the point anyway?

Maybe Europeans are tired of theri own culture and wihs to be re-invigorated? Your low birth rates seem to indicate you guys don't have much zest for living anymore. You are breeding yourselves right into extinction.

Ah yeah. And how many children do you have and is it an indication of the will to live or lack of it ;-)?

Dictators like Hitler and Ceausescu associated the future of the nation with as many children as possible, with known consequences.

Maya M said...

I think that the low birth rate of native Europeans is healthy. Europe not only is overpopulated but has been overpopulated for centuries and this helps to explain some crazy turns in its history. It needs some depopulation. I wouldn't like it to become like Gaza, with people walking on each other's heads and still producing 8 kids per family.
I think also that multiculturalism was a necessary concept in the post-WWII, post-Holocaust Europe. I was charmed when I heard that in theory, an immigrant can apply for British citizenship without proving English knowledge if he proves knowledge of Welsh or Gaelic.
However, somebody had to figure out that all these things make the society highly fragile and vulnerable. You must be mad to allow mass immigration into this society, even if it didn't need depopulation. Some brain import is OK, but to invite masses of uneducated, unskilled workers just because we are too refined to wash our own toilets? No one true asylum seeker must be turned back, but to invite masses of people from alien cultures just because their country used to be our colony? Didn't anybody figure out that the independence movements in the colonies, besides respectable reasons such as the wish to control one's own life, often had another very important component: rejection of the values of Western civilization?
I am not quite sure what the solution is, if any exists at all, but I'm sure it is not to deny the problems and hide our heads in the sand.

Non-Blogging said...

I was charmed when I heard that in theory, an immigrant can apply for British citizenship without proving English knowledge if he proves knowledge of Welsh or Gaelic.

Works here, too. Swedish, although spoken by less than 6% of the population, is one of our two equal official languages. You don't need to speak a word of Finnish to get citizenship, knowing enough of the far less spoken but equal language is enough. There are in fact immigrants who know Swedish better because of, for example, having first ended up in refugee centres in Swedish-majority areas.

Adam said...

Maya,
"Didn't anybody figure out that the independence movements in the colonies, besides respectable reasons such as the wish to control one's own life, often had another very important component: rejection of the values of Western civilization?"

Wow! So you are phobic of Islam. And in your own words you are (or at least your father) "no fan of Israel". Now all (or most) formerly colonized people reject western civilization? Africa, India, huge masses! You have also talked about the "TV-brainwashed west"? A lot of bad and stupid people.

Makes me wonder: do you see anything nice outside Bulgaria? Anything?

programmer craig said...

Adam,

If you do not answer my questions above , I am sure some other Euro-softie will ask them again.

I don't have as much desire to interract with europeans as you seem to think that I do. Your animosity towards my country and me, personally, is obvious. Take a hike, man. I don't want to hear from you.

NBA,

If they're guilty, give them a punishment. If they're not, set them free

No. They don't go free. They are prisoners of war. You seem unwilling to accept/understand that. It is not necessary to charge prisoners of war with anything in order to hold them. In fact, such a thing is almost unheard of. Charging a POW with a crime for hios particpation in a war, that is.

But not taking prisoners is not a war crime. If you disagree, show me where it says that you can be charged with a war crime if you don't take prisoners, furthermore, I'm interested in references to any such cases.

Fine, NBA. When I do so, will you apologize for being too lazy to fact check yourself?

I'm kinda busy right now, but I'll be back. Maybe by that time you'll have figured out how to use Google. And I'll try to respond to the rest of this crapola at the same time.

Sorry, but it's just tiresome to be lectured about legalities by people who don't apparrently know what the legalities are.

programmer craig said...

By the way, NBA, just in case there is some communication break down, taking no prisoners means a policy of killing all enemy combatants to the last man, on the field of battle.

Such a policy is banned explicitly by both the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions. Any violations of either of those two treaties is, by definition, a war crime. That's where you should begin your search, if you wish to understand international law as it applies to the conduct of a war, without being lectured by a an american idiot. If you don't have the desire to do so, the American idiot will be back in an hour or two to commence the lecture :D

By the way, didn't you havy any training on the Laws of War and the Geneva Conventions in the Finnish military? The training I recieved on both was extensive, to the point that I still recall most the the applicable laws and their accepted interpretations to this day, in general terms.

I'm starting to think all children should be taught about international law in elemntary school. The amount of ignorance displayed by supposedly well educated people on these issues is staggering, especially when people start throwing around false charges that amount to crimes against humanity. I've even seen charges of war crimes on the BBC that were wrong on their face, specifically in regards to white phosphorous (smoke munitions) being a banned weapon of mass destruction.

programmer craig said...

OK, back. Yay. I'm gonna sections of treaty text in a spereate post, because that drudge work.

NBA,

And now that your criteria for allies are so strict

My "criteria" are not strict. I only expect an ally to nehave like an ally. That is all.

In the case of an ally BY TREATY, I expect them to honor the treaty they signed. AND behave like an ally. France in particular fails on both counts, in this case.

please name any non-European ally of the US fitting them.

Israel. Japan. And I hate to say that, because I'm not a big fan of teh Japanese. The Phillipine Islands. Austrailia. Others.

Seriously, Craig, your claims resemble...

My "claims" are based on real world experience, NBA. I was a forward-deployed US Marine, part of America's rapid deployment force, during the peak of the Cold War. I couldn't even name all the diffferent militaries I've worked with if I tried, NBA. I have a pretty good feel for who America's real friends are, and who the backbiting snakes are.

You know one of the military forces I disliked working with the most? The British Royal Marines. Such arrogant condescending cocksuckers. And I look at the BBC, and I see them slapping America in the face every single day, saying the most disgusting possible things about my country, including false charges of war crimes, cover-ups, they call american people ignorant and uneducated, they even make fun of our cooking, say we're over-weight... the list goes on.

Our best buddies, right? What would you think of a person who said they were your friend, and treated you so, NBA?

How often do you see the British being bashed in US papers? It's just plain *wrong* for a nation that is supposed to be on the most friendly possible terms with another country to behave in suhc a manner. Morally wrong. I know the press can publish what it wants, but if there wasn't a demand for material that smeared America, British media wouldn't be pushing it.

You want me to call the Britsiuh our allies? Fine. The British are America's ally. Happy, now?

What I've criticized is the legal state going on there, not the conditions of the prisoners.

Well, when are you going to commence making an argument that whta the US is doing in Guantanamo Bay is contrary to international conventions, then, NBA?

I'm willing to take that up with you. But I need to see a specific argument put forth.

I think Hizbollah committed their first war crime during the recent conflict by illegally kidnapping Israeli soldiers with the motivation of negotiating a prisoner exchange.

That would be true, if Hezbollah was /is acting on behalf of the Lebanese Government. Then the capture of teh Israeli soldiers was a lawful act of war up to the point where they were used as hostages rather than prisoners of war.

If, however, Hezbollah acted without the sanction of the Lebanese Government, then Hezbollah is waging war against a foreign power unlawfully, and every Hezbollah member is a criminal combatant, and every act of war Hezbollah commits is a war crime. Every single act. Every death they cause is a murder, no matter who the victim is, since they have no authority to wage war.

That's the law. It is written so, in the Hague Conventions, as they were adopted by the UN and all signatories to the UN charter.

Same status as the people at Guantanamo Bay. Criminal combatants.

But don't forget 120 million Americans don't regard Hizbollah as terrorists in the meanwhile.

That's not actually how they answered the question, NBA. They said they didn't know enough to say whether Hezbollah was a terror org or not. Not quite the way you characterized it :)

Should we perhaps search for more recent and topical enemies or consider people from the past as our main adversaries today or should we not claim Hizbollah has had a low profile for 20 years?

There's no statute of limitations on mass murder, torture, hostage taking, and other forms of terrorism.

Point me to some groups who have done more harm to America than Hezbollah or Al Qaeda, and haven't been brought to justice. I'll be happy to encourage my government to go after them, as well.

As for HA being "topical" - well, NBA, if you don't think the Islamic Republic of Iran and it's primary terrorist proxy are "topical" then I jsut don't know what to say. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, Hezbollah will be the entity that delivers them to a target. That's a doomsday scenario that could occur within a few years, NBA. You don't think something that could cause the deaths of hundreds of millions of people in teh near future is topical?

Or do you just not buy the whole "Iran really does mean all that shit they say" routine?

We never learn, do we? What year did Hitler first publish Mein Kampf again?

Ignoring the thing about Prists on the grounds that it is semantics.

That was news to me and most Arabs, I guess ;-).

Do you think people don't know their own ethnicity?

I guess you have some proof to show us as well..?

Sure. But why ask me when you have prefectly good anthroplogy books in your public libraries, NBA?

Palestinians are not arabs. Egyptians are not Arabs. Most Syrians are not Arabs. Lebanese are not Arabs. North Africans in general, are not Arabs. Many Iraqis are not Arabs.

That's about 3/4 of all people who would identify themselves as being "arab" who are not ethnically arab at all.

There are two branches of semitic arabs. One began in mesopotamia and migrated to modern day Yemen and the other originated in the arabian desert, in modern Saudi Arabia.

And no, I don't think this is a surprise to most arabs. Not at all. But it is a surprise (apparrently) to most non-arabs. What surprises me is that arabs will ackowledge thsi and then say they call tehmselves arabs anyway because they are "arabized" arabs. That was kinda my point, NBA. Europeans have never been able to transfer eitehr tehir culture or their ethnicity indirectly in such a way! Nor did they ever even try, as far as I can tell. European expansion was along evry different lines, and for very different reasons, than arab expansion. You deny the danger europe faces now because you don't recognize it. Even when I tell you, you refuse to acknowlege it :)

Ah yeah. And how many children do you have

None.

and is it an indication of the will to live or lack of it ;-)?

Yes.

Dictators like Hitler and Ceausescu associated the future of the nation with as many children as possible, with known consequences.

So do arabs. Lets hope the consequences are different than Hitler's, eh?

But after raeding so many stories of Palestinian mother's who want to ahve a lot of son's so that they can fight to get the Jews out of Palestine, I suspect they won't be.

Look, America is facing the same demographic crunch. American whites are not reproducing themsleves. The population shrinks, every geenration.

The difference is the US is going to be majority Hispanic in 20 years. We can all live with that. My own state, California, is already majority Hispanic. It's not a big deal. I get along with Hispanics just fine, especially the women :)

Can you live with muslim majority populations?

Would you want to?

OK, I'm going to hold off on copy-pasting treaty text and give you a chance to do the research on your own, NBA. You can get ammo for the Guantanamo Bay argument at the same time.

Maya M said...

Adam, frankly, I wonder why I'm still debating with you. You remind me our ex-Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He never talked about corruption, crime, stagnation, poor health care or other problems and what he intended to do about them. Instead, when asked, he blamed the asking person for lack of positive thinking.
Yes, I try never to think positively. I think adults have no right to live in fairy tales.
BTW why do you think I'm insulting Asians and Africans if I say they reject the Western civilization? Do you, despite your multi-culti appearance, still think that the Western civilization is the best (or only) one?
In this discussion, I'm not blaming people for rejecting Western civilization, until they immigrate to its cradle and try to impose their views and lifestyle onto the local majority.
And I don't blame even them so much. I blame the native Europeans who invited them, then discouraged their integration, poured welfare on them while isolating them from the labour marked and patted them on the back for being "different" (and also themselves, for being tolerant and multi-culti).
We have a proverb - not he who eats the cake is crazy, but he who has given him the cake.

Adam said...

Maya let me answer yor questions:

BTW why do you think I'm insulting Asians and Africans if I say they reject the Western civilization?
To me your first comment about "rejection the western civilization" sounded like blame. Now you have clarified your words and answered my question, OK.

Do you, despite your multi-culti appearance, still think that the Western civilization is the best (or only) one?
No, I do not, and never said so.

shlemazl said...

Back to the subject of the post. Highlander, do you really think that Israelis attacked the Reuters car intentionally? Why would they do that? Are you aware that in the second Lebanese war (as in any war) Israelis killed many of their own comrades? It's called "friendly" fire. Do you think Israelis kill each other intantionally?

Highlander said...

Hi Shlemazl , thanks for asking - no one did by the way .

Yes I heard of 'friendly fire' and I recall several well illustrated examples of that during the 'war on terror' in Afghanistan and Iraq. I think it occured in fact too much in Iraq troops to the point where it seemed ridiculous. So I'm sure some did happen in the IDF too, and I'm sure the IDF does not intentionally wish to kill its own people.

However, sadly enough I'm not so sure when it concerns Arabs. Maybe you can put it to paranoia or mistrust from my side?

The article did not state the rocket was aimed at someone else and missed its target, nor that Reuters car was just passing and caught in the middle as collateral damage . It says the rocket was aimed at the car because it was suspicious and had no markings. We've seen otherwise.That's not friendly fire to me. But I'm no war expert or military strategist, it just looks to me as a layman that too many journalists are attacked intentionally. I'm open to suggestions and explanations and my opinions are not set in stone but these are my observations .

shlemazl said...

Perhaps there would have been a grain of truth in your argument had the following not been the case:

1. The attack took place at night and no markings could be seen.

2. There is no way the vehicle was hit by missiles. It may have been hit by shrapnel.

Having said this, I am not blaming you for not being aware of these facts. I am blaming the way this incident was reported in some mass media.

Have a look at this article and have it in mind that originally it has been claimed that 2 missiles hit the vehicle and that one missile penetrated the letter "P" on the roof of the vehicle:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3298184,00.html