RANGER AGAINST WAR: When Terrorists Rule the Coop <

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When Terrorists Rule the Coop

There is no clarity if you are clear about economics
and totally unclear about the ways of your own thinking

--Jiddhu Krishnamurti

Q: How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg?

A: Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one


New Middle East envoy George Mitchell can probably hootch up with Tony Blair and sandbag their windows for all the good they are going to do. Just because Mitchell thinks he knows something of Northern Ireland does not mean that knowledge can be generalized to the Hamas situation (Old Hand for an Old Mission.)

Northern Ireland could be viewed as a legitimate insurgency. Hamas is not comperable because they lack historical validity, coupled with their stated goal of obliterating their opponent, Israel. This is a different thing than the goals of the IRA, which wants England to leave Ireland and/or share power. Israel, unlike England, has no retrograde position.

While Mitchell is credited with the successful resolution to Northern Ireland's civil war in the Belfast Agreement, that is not a given. We really do not know that there has been a successful conclusion the The Troubles, nor do we know if it was a civil war. As usual, the terms are oblique.

Was Northern Ireland a civil war or a war of national liberation? Was it a war at all? Did Irish Republican Army prisoners enjoy the rights of the Geneva Convention?

In fact, IRA operatives were assassinated, tortured and jailed in somewhat barbaric fashion. They suffered the same confusion of categorization as the U.S.'s detainees: were they criminals or prisoners of war?

Was the IRA terrorist, or a legitimate unconventional asymmetric combat force? Were the British a legitimate force or a foreign occupying Army, a colonial vestige of subjugation? Or were they forces of democracy?

Point being, it is difficult to define the problems of Northern Ireland, yet it is clear that people of the same religion and culture cannot, could not and would not live side-by-side in peace. Christians whose enmity reaches back to before the Battle of the Boyne (1690) still hate one another, regardless of Mr. Mitchell's efforts.

Hamas and Israel is another case of intractable hostilities with little agreement upon terminology. Terrorist group Hamas is now legitimized in its freely elected role in the Palestinian parliament (thank you, George Bush), and has progressed through the spectrum of conflict into a military organization.

Since it represents a state, albeit a dysfunctional one, Hamas is a legitimate representative for Palestinians in Gaza. The problem is that Hamas uses terror tactics to achieve its goals, which unlike those of the IRA, are not the expulsion of the perceived occupiers, but rather, their total destruction.

The IRA does not wish to destroy England, but Hamas does wish to destroy Israel. For Israel, terrorists -- especially state-sanctioned ones like Hamas -- are an existential issue. For England, they are a political problem. For the U.S. versus al-Qaeda, it is a criminal matter.

What is clear is that Muslims, Christians and Jews will always be killing one another, in any combination thereof, and always for their God.

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Blogger Ael said...

You said "perceived occupiers".

Is there any purpose to inserting the word "perceived" there?

I also note that Hamas has no retrograde position, and that Likud's charter is approximately as anti-palistinian as hamas is anti-Israeli.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 11:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous sheerahkahn said...

"What is clear is that Muslims, Christians and Jews will always be killing one another, in any combination thereof, and always for their God."

Ugh, crap, guys, this subject makes me want to down a couple of pints with scotch chasers, and talk about deer hunting instead.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 11:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing,
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part of the patriot game.

My name is O'Hanlon, and I've just turned sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, and where I was weaned
I learned all my life cruel England's to blame,
So now I am part of the patriot game.

This Ireland of ours has too long been half free.
Six counties still under John Bull's tyranny.
But still dear Ireland is partial to blame
For shirking our part in the Patriot game.

They told me how Connolly was shot in his chair,
His wounds from the fighting all bloody and bare.
His fine body twisted, all battered and lame
They soon made me part of the patriot game.

It's nearly two years since I wandered away
With the local battalion of the bold IRA,
For I read of our heroes, and wanted the same
To play out my part in the patriot game.

I don't mind a bit if I shoot down police
They are lackeys for war never guardians of peace
And yet at deserters I'm never let aim
Those rebels tired of the patriot game

And now as I lie here, this prison is cold
My dreams are of traitors who bargained in souls
My rifle takes life of its own to draw aim
To the bastards who sold me the patriot game.

dominic behan, written in long kesh

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 12:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Pls note also that the Irish Catholics have no retro position either. My sole purpose for this article is to examine the groups , once again.I'm actually not interested in Isreali/ Hamas issues, my only concern is the PWOT and this article is leading up to one comparing Hamas/Al Q / Taliban and what this means to America.That's the only reason I even touch on Hamas.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 10:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

OK let's talk deerhunting. The last time i killed a deer was in 1981 and it was cold,nasty and snowing in central Alabama and i shot a nice buck with my handy Winchester 94 flatband and he had a sucking chest wound and was down. He sounded just like a man. I finished him with a cut to the jugular AND I've never hunted again.!
There's a deer story for you.!

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 10:52:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thank you for those tragically appropriate lyrics. Sadly, so many think patriot games are a good thing.

Ambrose Bierce: “PATRIOT, n. One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.”

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 11:54:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

I was merely trying to expose what I thought were implicit biases in your analysis.

After all, a flawed ground appreciation will likely lead to poor tactical plans.

I actually think that the the Israeli/Palestinian situation is not nearly as intractable a problem as you. You can look at many colonial adventures for appropriate guidance.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 12:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous sheerahkahn said...

Thanks Jim, now I'll have four beers, a few more scotches, and talk about chick flicks that have happy endings.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 2:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


He can really be a big wet rag sometimes. Chick Lit's not all there is left, is there? Let's you and I talk about something happy, shall we? At least, let's go there in our thoughts.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 2:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

OK, i'm sorry - go see THE READER - if you want a happy ending.!.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 6:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

"What is clear is that Muslims, Christians and Jews will always be killing one another, in any combination thereof, and always for their God."

well thank you little miss sunshine..... i'm feeling nihilistic

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

hey... sorry Ranger.... i read back it it looks like you were already getting static.....

the piece is fine, and there really is no evident basis for hope.... it's good hope is built into human nature....

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CTuttle said...

Aloha, Lisa and Jim! I'm working hand to mouth for a G.C., ground up work... subsisting and on dial-up...! Bernhard at MoA mentioned Ael's point on the Likud charter...

Hamas vs. Likud Charter

"...So while using Hamas charter in an argument as being an obstacle to peace is clearly bogus, it is obviously justified to point to Likud's charter as the real issue.

So why have I never seen this used as an argument in the discussion?"

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 10:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Aloha, CT!

I am glad you fare well, though frugally, at the moment. We understand.

Y'know, this whole Hamas blows my mind. Just read their 1988 Charter; read how the Palestinian people have been denied a homeland due to lack of honest broker and fanatics in their midst.

It is always the fanatics, on both sides, who wish to bollix any move to peace, for that would end their reason for being.

Some highlights:

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

"[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion."

Well, Allah's promises a great reward waiting for them. Heard that one before. Religion -- though on paper presents some of of the loveliest lessons for living -- is the most divisive institution devised by man.

As far as the liberals loving them some Palestinian, we part ways there. I am a liberal, but a thinking one. Peace can be had via dialog and compromise. I've seen Israel's moves to compromise, but there is no compromise with Hamas. You cannot shake a clenched fist.

It is more intractable and absurd a situation than the one we face with Afghan tribesman. And this is a very sad thing for the Palestinian people, as well as the Israelis.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 10:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous sheerahkahn said...

I have a joke you may appreciate...

A woman is walking along the beach, contemplating a map of the Middle East, wondering how oh how could she resolve ages old conflict and hatred, when suddenly her foot kicks over a tarnished old lamp.
Immediately picking it up, she chuckled to herself as she rubbed it wondering what it would be like to have a real live Genie...
When suddenly, {{{POOF!}}}}
A real live Genie!
"Oh my G-d! You're a real live Genie!"
The Genie coughed out some dust and said, "yes I am."
The woman, beside herself with excitement, asked, "do I get three wishes?"
The Genie smiled, "only with my cousins, with me, I give you one wish. What would you like to wish for?"
The woman, whipping our her map, points and says, "I wish for peace in the Middle East. I want Jew and Muslim to live in equality, and humanity, with no hatred, no strife, and in peaceful harmony."
The Genie, taking the map in hand, closed his eyes, then grimaced, then grunted, and groaned, finally handing the map back to her, says, "Oh dear. Lady, please, try wishing for something a bit more reasonable...we're talking thousands of years of pure hatred there, and...wow, I mean seriously, do you have any idea how deep a lot of that goes? Come on wish for something that is doable."

The woman looked down, dejected, and came to the realization that the Genie was probably right. The whole thing seemed pretty far fetched, and little more than a pipe dream for a dreamer on a walk.
Sighing she looked over the beach at all the other couples, and decided that what she wanted was totally doable...
"Okay, I wish for a man who will listen to me when I'm angry, understand my feelings, will listen to me when I'm telling him about my day. Who will do things around the house without me badgering him to get them done. Will clean up after himself, and will happily volunteer to do the cooking and cleaning even on days when it's not his turn. But most of all, someone who will want to sit next to me all weekend long talking heart to heart. Yes, that is what I want."

The Genie looked at her, sighed, and said, "Right...lets take a look at that map again."

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 11:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


[smile] I like it very much! Why is is so very much to hope for -- an equable helpmeet? It leaves a woman in the position of having to find several males to fulfill her different needs. Pity. I have every faith that one good man could fulfill one good woman, I just don't see it happen too often.

I remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry and George worked so hard to complete the duties of one man between them. It just never panned out for them. Of course, none of that crew were complete people, and so chose poorly (as I recall, George married a lesbian, and Jerry never quite got around to it.)

Friday, January 30, 2009 at 9:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...


You should try elk hunting. Bugling season to be specific. There you are on some high mountain ridge or in some deep ravine cluttered with blow down talking to an adversary who wants to protect his harem and if you get too close and get him too riled up will stomp your ass. He can come crashing thru the bush at you or appear quietly behind you. If he makes you out he’s gone. If you kill him, then you’ve got to get the carcass out of there before some grizzlie bear decides he wants to take it from you. It’s an adrenaline rush that’ll sometimes bring you right back to memories of sitting alongside some jungle trail, that is if you need that memory.

I enjoy hunting but don’t get any enjoyment out of pulling the trigger on the old model 70 anymore. I hear where you’re coming from.

Friday, January 30, 2009 at 2:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'll pass on the Elk hunting.
I actually believe that wild animals to include wolves/coyotes and rattlesnakes have more dignity and purpose than does man.Their lives are as valuable as otrs are.
I haven't fired my pre 64 Model 70 in forever,maybe i should sell it but it's really a work of art.

Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 10:28:00 AM GMT-5  

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