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January 08, 2009

Fighting in Gaza

Both Hamas and Israel are making attacks on civilians that appear illegal under the Geneva Conventions. However it is important to weigh facts and justifications with careful impartiality. Instead, The Star’s editorial (1/3, Opinion) is partisan and careless.

The Gaza Strip crams 1.4 million people into 139 square miles, for a density of 10,000 people per square mile. That is three times as dense as Los Angeles and denser than any major city in the developed world. Consequently any military installations in Gaza are close to civilian populations as a matter of necessity. When The Star describes Hamas military emplacements as “cynical,” it is The Star that is being cynical.

The Star claims the Israeli sea blockade, power outages and assassinations were necessary to prevent suicide bombings. The Star doesn’t explain why the land blockade plus shore defenses wouldn’t suffice. The rest constitutes anti-civilian warfare.

As The Star says, Hamas was wrong to send untargeted missiles into Israel. The Star fails to note that the blockade constitutes a prior state of war that would justify attacks targeted on the Israeli military.

David Burress
Lawrence

After all these years, Hamas has come up with a rule of war by which they can abide. Anyone who retaliates against Hamas must not use superior force.

Hamas has always had its own set of war rules: no uniforms for warriors (burqas covering bombs have always worked), battle stations in the middle of the civilian population, ignoring the flags of medics and relief workers, and complete disregard for the Geneva Conventions. Is anyone surprised that they now proclaim that proportional warfare must be honored by all who fight them?

In reality, wars are won with superior force. Like the song lyrics say, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape.”

B.J. Taylor
Overland Park

The Arabs and the Jews have been fighting for eons.

Let’s face it: It’s a religious war that no one will placate until each side will get rid of its god.

Bruce Rogers
Kansas City

Comments

Pub 17

Sammy-
We're back to, "Do ye have a flag?" The Israelis shouldn't be surprised that Hamas is firing rockets into Israeli "territory." Gee, the Palestinians don't have deeds to the property they've owned for dozens of generations, so it's ours to take. Sure. The fallacy is expecting the Palestinians to AGREE to that construction: Oh, crap, they're right, we'll know better next time. Worse, how often do you see expressions of sneering disbelief in this country that those stupid Europeans can't see the beauty and clarity of the Israeli position? How DARE they demonstrate against Israel? My God, does the anti-Semitism run deep in that benighted continent!

solomon

Sammy,

I think I suggested this before, use your library card and read a few books about the coexistence of Jews and Muslims for 1300 years. While there where periods of unrest those times were the minority of the situation.
Christian violence against both Jews and Muslims (to be fair to both sides in Christian v Muslims, they were two groups fighting for control). The fact is that you probably (excuse me for assuming here)have never read much other than the pro christian/Western side of it because thats the popular side of the story here. Not much inerest in writing about times of peace. That POV is unbalanced.

The unbridled hatred of Islam and Jews is a relatively new thing. less than a century old Muslim gov'ts have always taxed non Muslims, making them convert or die never served that purpose.

solomon

Re the Native Americans, no one ever said they were a United group, one nation that spread 3000 miles or that they never fought. They were invaded and conquered by Europeans who felt that they had a right to take what they wanted. I think we agree on that. Does that make the Europeans evil? No Does slavery make them evil? Rather so. Was the nation we all built together based on racism, partly justified by religion? Yes.

These things are just true.

Re the area of Palestine. When the territories were taken in that late 19th and early 20th centuries they had gov'ts, some affiliated with the Ottomans, some were semi-autonomous and some were sovreign. To neglect that in any argument favoring giving them to the European and American Jews is your flaw, because they were populated and taxed by central forms of gov't before the European debacle of the early 20th century.

To say there were not established gov't just because the Europeans played chess there for 30 years or so is just not true. Where do you get your history of the area, BTW?

Sammy

Re: the Native American analogy. I suppose all Native American societies were homogenous and worked together peaceably. They never fought eachother and took the lands of their Native American brethren.

I believe it was Thomas Sowell that said that nearly all inhabitable lands have been subject to dispute in history and nearly all races, groups, nationaliities have been involved in such disputes. If you're looking for innocent parties, you'll be hard pressed to find them. That's not saying that they're good or bad, that's just the way it is.

One other defect in your analogy. You assume that the motivation for Palestinian violence is being pushed off their land. That's not it. Their motivation is hatred for a race of people. It's kind of like you guys are defending Fred Phelps.

Sammy

Sol & P17 - So, you answer is, no, Palestine was not a sovereign nation prior to the formation of Israel.

Putkidsfirst - That's what makes P17's and your analogy bad. Kansas is in a sovereign nation. The territory of Palestine was not. Lesson - If you ever find yourself squatting on land that doesn't have property rights protected by the laws of a sovereign nation, don't be surprised when someone comes along and claims it.

Another defect in your analogy is that after Kansas is given to Mexico, you'd be asked to leave. Israel is a fee country. Palestinians make up 20% of Israel's population.

putkidsfirst

Pub, great analogy. I have been saying for years that what the Palestinians are going through would be like giving Kansas to Mexico and making all the Kansas move out.

As far as FOX News lying, they incorrectly labeled Larry Craig and Mark Foley as Democrats. That's as good as a lie in my book.

whispering_to_kc

My "pull-your-finger" link wasn't supposed to work.

Any self-respecting octogenarian should have known better than to try it.

Kate

I don’t know where you’ve been, Whispering, but, besides the fact that the first page of your link lists commentary, not news, the current ROEs state that we don’t accept Media Matters, and your kind doesn’t accept News Busters.

CNN's lie was obvious without resorting to either of those websites.

Worse, your "pull-your-finger" link doesn't work. Any self-respecting octogenarian could do better than that.

solomon

I think the correct spelling is "scruem"

Pub 17

Sammy--
Cf. Eddie Izzard: "Have you got a flag?"
In other words, so what? "Get off the land you've occupied for centuries, we decree the lawfulness of a new tenant." Scroom. Guns, bombs, daggers, knives, en garde!

solomon

Hello Sammy,

If I remember history correctly, and I'm sure I do, the Middle East was a plaything of corrupt and backstabbing European nations, having lied and promised and lied repeatedly to each other and the local populace for over a quarter century before deciding it was a great place to solve their "Jewish question"(problems). Europeans had not wanted and did not want the Jews in Europe anymore, and very few were wanted here in the US. The guilt of 4-6 million of them murdered by Germany and their Axis nations (good Christians gone nuts?) enabled the problem to be put in someone else's backyard.

Anything you want to dispute that with can easily be proven wrong by reading "A Peace to End All Peace" by Fromkin. There are numerous books on the topic, but his is probably the best.

BTW, I said "lied" twice intentionally in my first paragraph, but twice comes nowhere near the number of lies they told.

whispering_to_kc

Well, thank you.

More of my "research" can be found here:

http://mediamatters.org/issues_topics/search_results?qstring=fox

4721 "hits" for you to consume. Bon appetit.

And for future reference, here’s how I found it: http://tinyurl.com/pullmyfinger

Sammy

P17 - "LAY DOWN YOUR GUNS AND ACCEPT THE LAWFUL U.N. DECISION" -P17

Was Palestine a sovereign nation before the UN Partition Plan was enacted?

Kate

Excellent research skills, Whispering. Now, it one step further and tell us if any of those videos are fake . . . you know, like another news network airs. If Fox News is as inaccurate as you make it out to be, this should be an easy task.

whispering_to_kc

Palin whining is now #2 on FOX, after a story on "Gu Gu" the panda bear. "Gu Gu" is #1.

WATCH Fox News Video
Top Video

Don't Mess With Gu Gu Panda at Beijing zoo bites tourist who climbed into pen

Palin opens up about media treatment

Man blames violence on sleep disorder

News anchors soldier on through quake

Fight to keep religion in inauguration

Kate

Actually, Whispering, the lead story on Fox News’ website right now is about Blagojevich’s impeachment. Earlier today, they ran a feature story about Palin, but even that has been moved. A Google news search turns up 607 stories about Palin lashing out at the media. I’d bet my lunch money CNN is one of them.

Here’s the other story you were wondering about http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/19/levi-johnstons-mother-arrested-drug-charges/

And for future reference, here’s how I found it: http://tinyurl.com/8lmyp3

Jim

The Palin interview would be funny if it weren't so sad.

First, everyone else is to blame for anything bad that happens to her. I seem to remember conservatives talking a lot about personal responsibility and how no one is to blame for your bad situation but yourself. Palin is somehow exempted from that.

Second, she decries rumors from "anonymous bloggers" being spread and picked up as fodder for character assassination. I thought the stuff about her family was ridiculous, too, but Palin was one of the worst offenders when it comes to this, with her repeated lies and smears about Obama.

Lastly, it's sad that she is still giving interviews about the campaign. This is particularly rich since any criticism of her is cast by conservatives as an inability of the Left to "let it go." We'll let it go when she knocks off the victim mentality and comes down off that cross.

For someone who tried to sell herself as a "barracuda" and a "pit bull," she sure has a lot of gripes about people beating up on her.

whispering_to_kc

CNN/FOX keep showing shots of WP artillery fire into Gaza.

It's almost pretty.

The newsies never really explain what WP is though. They never explain what the pretty white, curly smoke trails are about. What's next? Chemical/biological weapons? Mustard gas?

FOX's lead story right now is Sarah Palin complaining about her treatment by the media. I can't find any current references to "Arab" burqas but I'm not looking very deep.

Since FOX is still stuck on Palin, you'd think they'd be reporting on Sarah's daughter's new mother-in-law's drug arrest but nothing on that either.

solomon

Confession Day? I learned Latin to be an altar boy a few years before we got to do it in English. I too, was a good little catholic school boy, until the Msgr suggested to my parents I might go somewhere else for doing the instant bra magic trick one day at lunch in 4th grade. You guys know the trick, you fold the hankie just right, pull the corners and instant boobs. Next four years of public school until forced to go to a Catholic HS. And it took forcing, until I encountered girls in very short pleated skirts liked athletes.

But at the same time, there were very few blacks there with us and I heard nuns say things like, "If you want to act like that, go back to Africa" and "Sit by the window, you people don't feel the cold". I took a pretty young black girl to a school dance and was ostracized by the faculty for weeks. All the while taking Latin and religion and being prepared for a good Christian life. Of course this was 40 some years ago, but you remember things like who is good enough for god.

Not just to mention Catholics, this was during the years good Protestant parents were standing outside of schools all over America with signs like "Keep the Ni&&ers out" and threatening violence daily.

God, can't get enough of him/her/it.

Pub 17

Oh, I'm a Catholic school baby, too, and my intimate knowledge of the Bible started with my trying (without success) to get next to a slim young lady from the cross-town high school who was leaning towards a swain who was a Jehovah's Witness. Since then I have no native ill will against Christianity in general, but have it in for JW's.

 
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