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For Israel, it's starting to feel like it's 1938 again

by wchurchill Mon May 8th, 2006 at 08:01:53 PM EST

The problem with Iran by Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist based in Washington: Washington Post Writers Group, Published May 8, 2006,,,,,the article is a haunting one

For 2,000 years, Jews found protection in dispersion--protection not for individual communities that were routinely persecuted and massacred, but protection for the Jewish people as a whole..............Hitler put an end to that illusion. He demonstrated that modern anti-Semitism married to modern technology--railroads, disciplined bureaucracies, gas chambers that kill with industrial efficiency--could take a scattered people and "concentrate" them for complete annihilation.

The establishment of Israel was a Jewish declaration to a world that had allowed the Holocaust to happen--after Hitler had made his intentions perfectly clear--that the Jews would henceforth resort to self-protection and self-reliance.

Mr. Krauthammer sees obvious parallels and fears that history may be repeating itself.
But, in a cruel historical irony, doing so required concentration--putting all the eggs back in one basket, a tiny territory hard by the Mediterranean, 8 miles wide at its waist. A tempting target for those who would finish Hitler's work.

His successors now reside in Tehran. The world has paid ample attention to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed. Less attention has been paid to Iranian leaders' pronouncements on exactly how Israel would be destroyed "by a single storm," as Ahmadinejad has promised.

Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, the presumed moderate of this gang, has explained that "the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam." The logic is impeccable, the intention clear: A nuclear attack would effectively destroy tiny Israel, while any retaliation launched by a dying Israel would have no major effect on an Islamic civilization of a billion people stretching from Mauritania to Indonesia.

As it races to acquire nuclear weapons, Iran makes clear that if there is any trouble, the Jews will be the first to suffer.

"We have announced that wherever [in Iran] America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel," said Gen. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani, a top Revolutionary Guards commander.

It's easy to believe that if one were a Jew living in Israel, that one could see the following as a realistic appraisal of Iran's motives, and recent events.
Last month, Bernard Lewis, America's dean of Islamic studies who just turned 90 and remembers the 20th Century well, confessed that for the first time he feels it is 1938 again. He did not need to add that in 1938, in the face of the gathering storm--a fanatical, aggressive, openly declared enemy of the West, and most determinedly of the Jews--the world did nothing.

When Iran's mullahs acquire their coveted nukes in the next few years, the number of Jews in Israel will just be reaching 6 million. Never again?


Display:
You might want to look up the "credentials" of Mr Krauthammer before quoting him as a neutral source on this topic.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 05:19:50 AM EST
Let's see how the parallel to 1938 holds up...

In 1938, Hitler annexed Austria and was given the Sudeten. Poland had a second-rate military next to Germany, which was one of the most powerful countries of the day (and had a military second to none).

In 2006, Israel has 200 nuclear weapons [outside the NPT], has decisively won three wars with its neighbours since its creation and lost none, is the favourite client state of the world's sole superpower, and has other US clients for neighbours (Egypt, Jordan). The only hostile neighbour is Syria, and there Israel is clearly on top as it manages to occupy part of Syrian territory. Syria itself is surrounded by other US clients: Turkey, Iraq.

Iran, supposedly Nazi Germany reincarnate, not only does not have nuclear weapons nor will have them for 3, 5 or 10 years (the latter, longer estimate is from the US's own intelligence estimate from 2005), but is also surrounded by US clients: Pakistan [another nuclear power outside the NPT], Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, and across the Persian Gulf Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE...

Will a US attack on Iran be Bush's "Sudeten moment", or his "Poland moment"?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:06:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention that it is not Iran that occupies and annexted and colonises conquered territories, trying to get the locals to leave with all kinds of economic and military supression.

Will a US attack on Iran be Bush's "Sudeten moment", or his "Poland moment"?

If I want to be sceptical, it could only yet be his Guernica moment (with Iraq being the Abbessina moment, merging Hitler & Mussolini for the sake of analogy).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 08:36:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering the likelyhood that all hell will break loose after an attack on Iran, I'm afraid the international community has let all its chances of a "Munich moment" go by...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 08:49:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If there will be a limited, "show for CNN" type bombing, all hell may not immediately break loose. I note the own production part of the oil weapon may be overestimated: for, AFAIK most purchasers aren't Western, and punishing China for US actions wouldn't make that much geopolitical sense. The question is whether the US bombing does enough damage for the Iranian leadership to risk conflict with its Gulf neighbours too over the closing of the Hormuz strait.

Of course, this doesn't mean that ordinary Iranians would fare any better than Spaniards after the intervention of the Condor Legion and the start of terror bombings on European soil. Nor that Dubya et al don't have even worse ideas than attacking Iran.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:04:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm assuming a first use of a nuclear weapon since Nagasaki. All hell would break loose, and nothing less will stop Iran's nuclear program.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:23:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not even sure a nuke would stop Iran1s nuclear program - in fact it may turn it a military one even if it is not that today.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Supposedly Iran's nuclear facilities are underground, which is why the US needs nuclear bunker busters.

A setback, I agree, not a way to stop the program forever.

Which means this is all just an excuse to hit Iran for the heck of it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:54:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I recall reading somewhere (maybe here on ET) that the idea of a nuclear bunker buster is a military industry-spun mirage, and even a nuclear weapon doesn't have that much more penetration power.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The idea of the nuclear bunker buster is that, by exploding underground, it will destroy (like an earthquake) any underground structures.

It is actually the case [there is a beautiful discussion of this in Biography Of Physics by George Gamow] that there is a maximum penetration depth for a projectile in a material medium which cannot be exceeded no matter how fast the projective is.

So, if the bunker-buster needs to actually reach the bunker before detonating, a device able to dig its own way into the ground is necessary. But I don't think so, I think the shock waves from the underground explosion would be sufficient.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 10:05:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there is a maximum penetration depth for a projectile in a material medium
A different depth for each projectile and medium, of course.

The upshot is that basically the ratio of the projectile length and the penetration length is proportional (close to equal) to the ratio of the medium density to the projectile density, and independent of the speed.

(projectile length) : (path length) :: (medium density) : (projectile density)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 10:09:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with the bunker buster idea is that even if you can create a warhead that survives the massive deceleration caused by slamming into a medium at peak penetration velocity, the shallow penetration depth adds comparatively little to the impact on deep level bunkers.

When a warhead is buried to a depth of ten meters or so, it might as well not be buried at all in terms of the fallout it creates. And deep bunkers need strategic yields of hundreds of KT even at maximum penetration. Anything less won't do the job.

That's why the whole idea is pure pork. Unless your enemies are living in a sandpit under a tarpaulin, the tactical effects are negligible. But you still get huge clouds of lethal fall-out drifting over civilian areas.

The concept is beyond dumb. No wonder Bush loves it so much.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 08:18:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why the whole idea is pure pork.

unless, of course...

But you still get huge clouds of lethal fall-out drifting over civilian areas.

...this is actually the intent:  an antipersonnel nuclear weapon, a scorched-earth tactic, being sold to the public under a thin and (to my ear) unlikely cover story of "bunker busting".   it could be a deniability exercise -- "we surely did intend only to take out that buried bunker where the Hitler du Jour was lurking with his evil cronies, but gee whillikers there was just a bit of unintentional collateral damage which no one could possibly have foreseen."  kinda like no one could have foreseen anyone flying planes into skyscrapers, or the NOLA levees failing...?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 08:46:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Union of Concerned Scientists has published some information on this:

Nevertheless, even nuclear weapons have limited effectiveness at destroying the deepest or widely separated underground bunkers. For example, an earth penetrating weapon using the 1.2 megaton B83 warhead--the highest yield weapon in the U.S. nuclear stockpile--could crush underground bunkers to a depth of about 1000 feet. Deeper bunkers can be constructed with modern tunneling equipment, and are essentially invulnerable to nuclear attack. (link)

They also have a nice animation to illustrate this, including the size of the area affected by all the fallout.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 11:19:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose this is worth a diary, to complement the one I wanted to write on nuclear waste.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 05:07:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ole, could you give a brief synopsis of that nuclear waste diary? (I'm curious whether it would fit De's and my series, or would we have to counter it...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 05:17:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The physics of nuclear waste shouldn't be controversial at all. There is some room for controversy revolving around the tolerable levels of ambient radioactivity, and a lot of room for controversy over the "best" approach to nuclear waste management.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 05:37:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The physics of nuclear waste shouldn't be controversial at all.

Depends on whether you include geophysics and chemics - and sometimes, probability.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 05:44:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The nuclear physics shouldn't be controversial, nor the materials science. The geophysics, well, I'll defer to Nomad for that, and on the biophysics we have no idea, really.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:10:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Materials science shouldn't?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:15:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's basic physics.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:25:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Um, we'll see how basic it is...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suggest you contact with prof. Spiers in Utrecht to back up the "basic" claim on material sciences. Of course, if you mean with basic "mind-boggingly complex and dynamic", then you're completely right. ;)

http://www.geo.uu.nl/Research/HPT_lab/

(I know you're talking about material science surrounding  nuclear waste, but this was just too easy. And it sounds like a killer diary.)

by Nomad on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 09:59:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
on the biophysics we have no idea, really

yes, well, that does sum up rather a lot of controversy (and some would say is in itself a controversial statement) :-)

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:17:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One should be able to fall back on accepted standards of ambient radiation. For instance, in connection with Radon contamination, 4 picoCurie per litre are considered dangerous.

In the end this needs to be treated like any other kind of contamination (like by heavy metals, or polycyclic hydrocarbons, or a variety of other known poisons/carcinogens/teratogens).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:32:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, speaking of biophysics, the way the radioactive agent gets near the body, and which parts it gets near, does make a difference.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:48:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, as with any other kind of pollution.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:50:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...and contamination levels are capped case-specific. While with airborne radioactivity, we could fall back to the well established Radon standard, in other cases, it won't be so easy, for lack of well established standards. Which includes that rather lot of controversy. (Sometimes it's about as much as two orders of magnitude, I found when writing the Chernobyl diary.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:59:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you thought by "on the biophysics we have no idea" I meant there is no controversy, read again.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 07:02:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I understood that, and also the point that radiation protection doesn't (and would be silly to) aim at zero radiation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 07:09:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Each pollutant is capped "case-specific", whether it be chemical, biological or radiological contaminations, and caps are also different on air and soil contaminants, as well as distinctions like the ones allowing the watering of crops with non-drinkable water, and depending on whether the body retains or accumulates the contaminant. How is radioactive contamination different from any other kind?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 07:08:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Each pollutant is capped "case-specific", whether it be chemical, biological or radiological contaminations

Just what I meant. Thus from the existence of well established standards for Radon contamination, it doesn't follow that you have well established standards for thyroid cancer-producing food contamination.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 07:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Same for chemicals, as per dilution of REACH.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 07:15:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I said I wanted to write a diary on the topic. If you and De have already done the research, say so and I'll put my effort somewhere else. I am not really up to debating the topic on this thread tonight.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:55:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well OK, as per absolute lack of specifics, I was less debating than probing what should be expected :-)

Whatever we plan won't come for some time, other stuff is planned before, and don't bet on us knowing well the physics just because I'd imply knowledge of more controversy - so just go ahead with your diary.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 07:06:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course one nuclear weapon won't do it.

That's why we'll have to use dozens.

It's Bush's My Lai moment:

"In order to save the village, we must tear it down."

Extreme Homeland Makeover 2......

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 02:46:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I second Jerome on this one. This is the man that supports unilateral attacks, defends the US torture policy, secret prisons, dumps friends (Fukuyama) at the first sign of dissent. As an Iranian, I categorically and vehemently reject all of this regime's anti-semitic attacks. But Krauthammer is not the moral authority on these issues for me.
by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 08:44:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a demonstration of what kind of a propagandist Krauthammer is, take this quote from Rafsanjani:

"the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam"

Even Matt Yglesias, young progidy of national security democrats, realises that this is a quote out of context, from a December 2001 speech by the ex-President, in an argument about how the possibility of deterring Israel's use of nukes is the reason behind US policies to keep check on technological developments in the Islamic world.

The colonialists will keep this base as long as they need it. Now, whether they can do so or not is a separate issue and this is my next point. Any time they find a replacement for that particular instrument, they will take it up and this will come to an end. This will open a new chapter. Because colonialism and imperialism will not easily leave the people of the world alone. Therefore, you can see that they have arranged it in a way that the balance of power favours Israel. Well, from a numerical point of view, it cannot have as many troops as Muslims and Arabs do. So they have improved the quality of what they have. Classical weaponry has its own limitations. They have limited use. They have a limited range as well. They have supplied vast quantities of weapons of mass destruction and unconventional weapons to Israel. They have permitted it to have them and they have shut their eyes to what is going on. They have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and long-range missiles and suchlike.

If one day ... Of course, that is very important. If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists' strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality. Of course, you can see that the Americans have kept their eyes peeled and they are carefully looking for even the slightest hint that technological advances are being made by an independent Islamic country. If an independent Islamic country is thinking about acquiring other kinds of weaponry, then they will do their utmost to prevent it from acquiring them. Well, that is something that almost the entire world is discussing right now.

Now, even if that does not happen, they can still inflict greater costs on the imperialists. That is possible as well. Developments over the last few months really frightened the Americans. That is a cost in itself. Under special circumstances, such costs may be inflicted on the imperialists by people who are fighting for their rights or by Muslims. Then they will compare them to see how they could advance their interests better or what they can do. However, we cannot engage in such debates for too long. We cannot encourage that sort of thing either. I am only talking about the natural course of developments. The natural course of developments is such that such things may happen.

Those who are desperate, but who are also faithful and idealistic, see that this is in their best interests. Then no-one will be able to control them. That is when they become disappointed with such ordinary deceptive methods. Therefore, in the future, the interests of colonialism and imperialism dictate whether Israel will survive or not. Moreover, it is the resistance put up by Muslims and Iraq and the Palestinians themselves that matters. They should besiege imperialists and make them think about whether it serves their interests or not. They should also think about whether maintaining the current balance of power, which favours Israel, is affordable or not. Both of those things may change in the future.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 08:55:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even Matt Yglesias, young progidy of national security democrats,

Matt Yglesias, 'national security democrat' - wow! You mean that person who has been arguing for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq for the past year and a half or so, and who has repeatedly put himself on the record that a nuclear Iran, while bad, is nowhere near as bad as a war to try to prevent it from getting nukes?  I suggest you read this article and think again about your understanding of his views.

Three-four years ago he was quite a bit more hawkish, something he recently referred to as 'when I was young and stupid I was young and stupid'. Or to put it differently, he was a college student under the influence of having a bunch of fanatical nutcases fly a couple planes into skyscrapers a short walk from his home.

by MarekNYC on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 01:34:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My bad... apparently I'm not up to date on him by a year! Checking my archives, it must have been the big blogfight between Matt Taibbi, Yglesias, Atrios, Steve Gilliard and others that shaped my memory.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 04:34:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure he is neutral.  He is a well known columninst, Jewish and generally conservative in his views.
by wchurchill on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 01:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sorry, who is "he" in this context? And I owe you an answer to your question about Iran. I'll try to get something coherent out.
by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
he is the author of the commentary, Charles Krauthammer.  Jerome had suggested he was not neurtral, and I was responding to his comment.  

I'm looking forward to your thoughts.  It sounds like your perspective on this issue might add a lot to the discussion at ET.

by wchurchill on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 06:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He also apparently misrepresents Ahmadinejad. According to Juan Cole, there was no such thing as

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed.

-- Krauthammer, as quoted above

Juan Cole:

Ahmadinejad...actually quoted Khomeini as saying, "This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time,"...

Ahmadinejad, however, has condemned mass killing of any sort and was not threatening military action (he is in any case not in command of the Iranian military). He compares his hope for an end to any Zionist regime in geographical Palestine to Khomeini's prediction that the Soviet Union would one day vanish. It wasn't a hope to kill Soviet citizens, but a desire for regime change.

Informed Comment, Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Unless Juan Cole is uncharacteristically confused, Krauthammer is propagating a dangerous falsehood.


Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 02:03:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a shame that nobody had pointed this out before Juan Cole. Cole's translation of the persian passage is indeed much closer to the target. I re-red the persian and Cole is right.

It is still a threat, don't get me wrong. There is a quasi-hegelian ring to the original, as something that will occur as history unfolds. Not a nice thing to say (or hope for) but not as awful as the bad English translation made it sound.

by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 02:45:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
April 12, 1938 - 2 Arabs and 2 British policemen were killed by a bomb in a train in Haifa.
April 17, 1938 - An Arab was killed by a bomb detonated in a cafe in Haifa
May 17, 1938 - An Arab policeman was killed in an attack on a bus in the Jerusalem-Hebron road.
May 24, 1938 - 3 Arabs were shot and killed in Haifa.
June 23, 1938 - 2 Arabs were killed near Tel-Aviv.
June 26, 1938 - 7 Arabs were killed by a bomb in Jaffa.
June 27, 1938 - An Arab was killed in the yard of a hospital in Haifa.
July 5, 1938 - 7 Arabs were killed in several shooting attacks in Tel-Aviv.
On the same day, 3 Arabs were killed by a bomb detonated in a bus in Jerusalem.
On the same day, an Arab was killed in another attack in Jerusalem.
July 6 1938 - 18 Arabs and 5 Jews were killed by two simultaneous bombs in the Arab Melon market in Haifa.
July 8, 1938 - 4 Arabs were killed by a bomb in Jerusalem.
July 16, 1938 - 10 Arabs were killed by a bomb at a marketplace in Jerusalem.
July 25, 1938 - 39 Arabs were killed by a bomb at a marketplace in Haifa.
August 26, 1938 - 24 Arabs were killed by a bomb at a marketplace in Jaffa. (From Wikipedia)

I guess that wasn't the bit of 1938 they had in mind above.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:08:37 AM EST
And not to forget that the later Prime Minister of Israel Begin  was involved in the bombing of the King David hotel in Jerusalem. Though that was only in 1946.

So terrorists according to today's criteria, becoming leaders of Israel is fine, because they do not lead terrorist organization, as Irgun was responsible for Security!!! However the same thing for the People of Palastine is not ok. I think Israel should have its place but I am becoming really tired of the hypocrisy involved.

Here the Wiki link to the King David Hotel Story. Sorry it is in German and I don't have the time to search for an English version.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:36:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just look at the Andere Sprachen box on the left-hand margin. (English version)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Begin was in Irgun, and Shamir was in the even more hardcore Stern Gang.

What was the objection against Arafat again?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Begin was in Irgun, and Shamir was in the even more hardcore Stern Gang.

And Netanyahu's dad left Israel in protest at Begin's and Shamir's treacherous moderation, i.e. knuckling under to Ben Gurion and putting their Greater Israel plans on ice, rather than continuing a fight against both the moderate Israelis and the Arabs.

What was the objection against Arafat again?...

There are plenty of objections to Arafat. First, he was always clearly ambiguous in his feelings about a final peace settlement - similar to hawkish Labour leaders like Barak in that way. Two, deliberate attacks on civilians are wrong, and not justified by what the other side did in the past or is doing now. Nor do they make that much sense even in an ends justifies the means logic. While they have gotten the Israelis to decide on significant withdrawals from the Occupied Territories, and moved much of the Israeli right leftwards (cf. Sharon, Olmert), they haven't had any moderating effect on Israeli ideas of what a final deal should look like, if anything the reverse. Plus the guy presided over a monumentally corrupt government.  

by MarekNYC on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 01:12:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Netanyahu's dad left Israel in protest at Begin's and Shamir's treacherous moderation, i.e. knuckling under to Ben Gurion and putting their Greater Israel plans on ice, rather than continuing a fight against both the moderate Israelis and the Arabs.

Abu Nidal thought similarly about Arafat.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 04:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note as well the purposeful conflation of Israel with all Jews. I always love that. If you're against Israeli policy you're against Jews. anti-Zionist=anti-Semitic.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:14:07 AM EST
(With the extra beauty that many Iranian leaders prefer to make the same conflation, I add.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 09:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I could not agree more. Iran has long had Iranian jews. These days, only about 100,000 are left in the country. Twice as many are abroad. For better or for worse, Iran is a patriotic country. Growing up I did not have a sense that being Jewish, Armenian, Turk, Arab, Persian, etc. mattered. We were all in Iran. (Though of course there were always some tensions.)

The current discourse of hatred is foul, unbecoming and, I would add, most un-Iranian. Iranians were -- and most still are -- hospitable, kind and poetic. This barbaric regime is trying to undo a very old civilization. That is pitiful

by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 10:05:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I note your views on the current regime:
The current discourse of hatred is foul, unbecoming and, I would add, most un-Iranian. Iranians were -- and most still are -- hospitable, kind and poetic. This barbaric regime is trying to undo a very old civilization. That is pitiful.
What are your thoughts on the way in which the world should react to this regime's current path of potentially developing nuclear weapons.

 (I should state that I would of course be in agreement with comments in the thread that criticize a susposed "planned" nuclear attack by the US--but believe that discussion is so premature as to be ludicrous.  There is a process underway with the IEAE, and the security council that is clearly the world's first attempt at dealing with this situation.  Jumping to the worst of all world outcomes, and leaving out the actual processes that are happening in the world right now to engage Iraq, seems somewhat irrevalent, or at best unbelievably premature.)

by wchurchill on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 01:39:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding your paranthetical comment, did you not notice that Blair just demoted his Iraq-hawk foreign minister because he said considering a nuclear attack on Iran was insane? (link)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 01:49:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Krauthammer has consistently opposed any peace deal with the Palestinians. He shares the views of the Israeli hard right - the people who that noted extreme leftist Tom Friedman referred a year or two ago as the Israeli Hezbollah.  Unsurprisingly, his rhetoric mirrors that of Hamas which recently claimed that what is going on in Palestine is no different than the Holocaust. Both extremes should be banned from making historical analogies until they take and pass a basic course on twentieth century European history.
by MarekNYC on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 01:18:49 PM EST
US Continues to Seek Diplomatic Solution to Iran Nuclear Issue
Ambassador Schulte says President Bush is not seeking a military solution to Iran's nuclear weapons program, the goal is to achieve a diplomatic settlement.

He says the United States does not want the U.N. Security Council to apply sanctions against Iran right now.  He says sanctions might come into play in a few months if Iran fails to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

He says the United States and Europe are united in their determination to stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions.  He says Russia and China also support that objective.

"There is a strong consensus that Iran is going down a path that is not acceptable, that Iran needs to get off this path and that we need to achieve a diplomatic solution," he added.  "So, I think actually that the engagement of Russia and China on this has been absolutely key in demonstrating to Iran that they are isolating themselves and that the course they are taking is not a course they should continue to pursue."

by wchurchill on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 02:24:46 PM EST
Lest we forget what Bob Woodward has to say:

Beginning in late December 2001, President Bush met repeatedly with Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks and his war cabinet to plan the U.S. attack on Iraq even as he and administration spokesmen insisted they were pursuing a diplomatic solution, according to a new book on the origins of the war.

The rest here.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 08:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 We learn from Mr K. that

"Israel's Jewish population has just passed 5.6 million. America's Jewish population was about 5.5 million in 1990, dropped to about 5.2 million 10 years later and is in a precipitous decline that, because of low fertility rates and high levels of assimilation, will cut that number in half by midcentury."

or, in other words, by 2050--if we are to accept his own view of population estimations, we should expect that there remain some 2,6m Jews living in the U.S. (for the sake of argument, I'll even stipulate that this includes Canada's complement--though I don't know that to be the case).

 Then, reading on, we learn that, according to Mr K.


" For 2,000 years, Jews found protection in dispersion--protection not for individual communities that were routinely persecuted and massacred, but protection for the Jewish people as a whole. Decimated here, they could survive there. They could be persecuted in Spain and find refuge in Constantinople. They could be massacred in the Rhineland during the Crusades or in the Ukraine during the Khmelnytsky Insurrection of 1648-49, and yet survive in the rest of Europe."

" Hitler put an end to that illusion. He demonstrated that modern anti-Semitism married to modern technology--railroads, disciplined bureaucracies, gas chambers that kill with industrial efficiency--could take a scattered people and "concentrate" them for complete annihilation."

[my emphasis added/P.]

The establishment of Israel was a Jewish declaration to a world that had allowed the Holocaust to happen--after Hitler had made his intentions perfectly clear--that the Jews would henceforth resort to self-protection and self-reliance. And so they have, building a Jewish army, the first in 2,000 years, that prevailed in three great wars of survival (1948-49, 1967 and 1973).

 [Note : One of those "great wars" lasted all of six days, I note for those too young to remember.]

But, in a cruel historical irony, doing so required concentration--putting all the eggs back in one basket, a tiny territory hard by the Mediterranean, 8 miles wide at its waist. A tempting target for those who would finish Hitler's work."

  I disagree that "Hitler put an end to that illusion" by ..." demonstrat[ing] that modern anti-Semitism married to modern technology--railroads, disciplined bureaucracies, gas chambers that kill with industrial efficiency--could take a scattered people and "concentrate" them for complete annihilation.

  Even supposing that Hitler had succeeded in killing every last Jewish man, woman and child within the domain of his conquered territories at the height of his regime's reach--a task, I emphasize, at which he failed,--there should have still been many, many hundreds of thousands of Jews--or perhaps a few million even--elsewhere in the world.

  What Hitler's experience teaches us, then,  I believe, is the very opposite of what Mr Krauthammer thinks is the lesson to be drawn: that, indeed, it is not practically possible to entirely anihilate such a population.  Success, let's recall, requires (as I understand received opinion on it) that not a single Jewish woman of child-bearing age remain able to reproduce.  That is an extremely tall order.  What Hitler proved, or at least provided very strong evidence of is that this is simply not a practical possibility.

 Still, such a preposterous claim is good fodder for fear-mongering, which is what Charles Krauthammer is up to here.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 02:32:26 PM EST
for years, decades, america has masked its economic and military imperialism with a smileyface, a sinister joke to those informed about nicaragua and so many other similar meddlings.

while europe apparently still feels in moral debt for the rescue from hitler, radical moslems have no such compunction, having not been significantly threatened by naziism.

krauthammer ties his thesis together elegantly; the man has a fine mind, unfortunately seemingly completely beholden to nefariously deluded ends, imo.

his evil-psychiatrist demeanour is far from telegenically charming, but i confess to a hypnotically reptilian fascination with him, as with bill krystal and chris wallace, and even to a much lesser extent o'reilly, as they represent the 'thinking man's' wingnut....gawd help them....and us while they have any pundit-power.

he always has a narcissistic bemusement as he pontificates, a bit like a snakecharmer watching the well-trained cobra of his argument rising as it should.

redefines the word 'smug' for me.

did i mention 'reptilian'?!

the palestinians are paying through the nose for hitler's evil, it gives new meaning to the words 'we're all connected'...

i guess it was inevitable that some spunky upstart david should up and challenge the good ole usa eventually, figures it should be a close neighbour of israel.

america feels the world should 'get in line', but at the end of the day (sorry, terrible choice of words) has only the threat of vaporising (a chunk, if we're lucky, of) the planet to fall back on.

what worries me is that bush (and the rupture-ite, bunker-mentalit, resource-robbing puppeteers behind the curtain) may be looneytunes enough not to care.

sure makes existence seem mighty tenuous sometimes...

focusses the mind in strange ways...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed May 10th, 2006 at 07:07:16 PM EST


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