Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Surreal Sentence Of The Week

... comes from Der Spiegel.
Is Israel a threat to world peace?
Responding to a row kicked up by former Waffen SS man Gunter Grass who recently wrote a poem criticizing Israel, Der Spiegel thoughtfully strokes its editorial chin and ponders whether or not a tiny nation under constant attack by its crazed, genocidal neighbors is a threat to world peace.

Dear Gunter Grass and Der Spiegel: Please shut up.


pathickey said...

Brer Cat,

Time for all good men to quit bullying them Nazis. Their feelings are hurt.

K T Cat said...

Pat, I'm not down with the Nazi stuff any more. The Germans have paid their dues. If it was just them, it would be one thing, but it's all of Europe.


Secular Apostate said...

Waffen SS is one thing. His novels suck, too.

Doo Doo Econ said...

Obama will spin this to be an issue of "War on Islam"

Foxfier said...

Well, of course they're a threat to world peace.

If they would just die, it would be so much more peaceful, right?

Same way that the victim of bullying can prevent a fight by not fighting back, and how you can prevent rape by agreeing to have sex with your attacker...

lee said...

Good gosh, that hack is still around?

tim eisele said...

Foxfier's comparison of Israel's situation to being bullied in school is a good one - the behavior of governments has a lot in common with teenage boys (impulsive, overly concerned with social standing, often self-destructive, and ready to resort to violence at short notice)

I'd like to stick with that comparison for a minute to tell a little story: At my (rural) school, I moved into the area in 6th grade. As the "new kid" I became a favored bully target (partly my fault, as I didn't make much effort to socialize). The standard advice (ignore them, tough it out) didn't actually work (it never does). Unfortunately, the recourse of "fight back" also failed partly because of the intervention of the teachers and principal: it was clear that I wasn't the one mainly at fault, so when I fought back against the bullies, they couldn't bring themselves to punish me. Which made the bullies decide I was a "teacher's pet", and so they despised and harassed me all the more whenever the teachers weren't looking. Eventually I got big enough that I could fight the bullies off on my own without the aid of the teachers, but it was still pretty constant war of me against everyone else.

Until, finally, I got into a series of fights with a persistently troublesome gang of three that was too public for the principal to ignore (he practically tripped over us while I was throttling the ringleader), so he expelled *all* of us from school for three days.

The funny thing is, that was what was needed to end the whole thing. As soon as the whole school saw that I was subject to the same rules as everybody else, with no favoritism, I was just another one of the guys. People respected me after that, and nobody gave me any problems for the rest of my time in high school.

So what's my point? Well, I think we are making the same mistake with Israel that my schoolteachers made with me. Yes, Israel is being bullied by a bunch of the national equivalent of a high-school gang. Yes, Israel's only real option is to fight back. *BUT*, when the US and Europe come in and explicitly and unselectively support Israel, then Israel appears to their neighbors to be the "pet" of the US and Europe. They then resent and despise the Israelis even more, and all of Israel's fighting ends up being for nothing.

As far as I can see, all of our time and treasure that has been dumped into Israel has been wasted because of this. They were fighting then, they are fighting now, and they'll continue fighting until we take a completely even-handed approach, with everyone, including the Israelis, being subject to exactly the same punishments for taking the same actions.

Basically, I don't care which one launches an attack, the whole world needs to come down on them like a ton of bricks when they do it, so that they all know that they are in the same boat. Nothing else is going to work. What we are doing *now* sure as hell isn't working.

ligneus said...

Tim, Your analogy is BS. Attacking Israel then playing the victim when Israel strikes back is the MO of the Muslims and all their hangers on in the West. What you're suggesting has a number of names, Appeasement and Dhimmitude come to mind.

Pull the other leg, it has bells on.

tim eisele said...


What you are suggesting has a name too. Eternal war. If that's what you want, then by all means keep it up. We've been doing a grand job of doing our bit to keep the pot boiling for 64 years, so why stop now?

But if Israel decides someday that they need to uncloak their nuke program and launch a first strike to obliterate Iran, and thinks that they'll get away with it because we never stopped them before, what exactly do you want to do then?

Foxfier said...

Problem being that, for the comparison to work, they would have had to be trying to kill you, and they would've had to be doing so in a pack. While you were the one following the rules.

The psychology is the same, though, yes-- "How dare you fight back! And you wronging me (by existing, defending yourself, etc) is unfair!"

K T Cat said...

Wow! I stop reading for a few hours and come back to find all kinds of way cool discussion going on.

I'm not sure I like the bully angle on this. Assume that Gunter Grass is right and Israel really is a threat to world peace. What would they be doing? Building settlements or conquering Jordan? Wouldn't they simply snuff out the Gaza Strip and take out the Lebanese while they're at it?

It sure doesn't look to me like their aggression is all that aggressive.

On the other hand, what can you say about the Palestinians? As a function what they would do in an all-out war, how close are they to doing everything they can? I'd say launching hundreds of rockets at a time is pretty close to flooring the accelerator for them. I suppose they could try a few Somme-style infantry assaults on the Israeli border, but even they aren't that stupid.

The "Israel as a threat to world peace" model doesn't work for me. It doesn't stand up to any kind of analysis at all.

Finally, how does the world get involved in this other than when Israel's enemies decide it should? Israeli agents aren't blowing up night clubs in Indonesia, but its enemies are. How does that make Israel a threat to world peace? It seems to me a much more plasuible statement to say the Palestinians are a threat to world peace.

ligneus said...

What you are suggesting has a name too. Eternal war. If that's what you want, then by all means keep it up. We've been doing a grand job of doing our bit to keep the pot boiling for 64 years, so why stop now?

That's the whole point, the Muslims want eternal war or the destruction of Israel whichever comes first, it has nothing to do with what Israel does and certainly "We" have nothing to do with keeping the pot boiling. Always remember, if the Arabs decided to lay down their arms and declare peace, peace there would be, if Israel did that they'd be wiped out at the first opportunity. Except anyone would be a fool to trust the Arab Muslims, Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt, handed back the Sinai and look where that's got them.
What you missed in Foxfier's original comment was: how you can prevent rape by agreeing to have sex with your attacker...
So Israel can agree to peace with the Arabs by committing suicide.
Never Again.