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Toxn

Islamic State: Canny, patient operators or death-obsessed yahoos?

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Otherwise it's just going to circle the drain where both side's extremists cement control by portraying the other side as an existential threat that only they're tough enough to damage (and thereby play into the other side's hardliners' narrative and propagating the whole thing).

 

This is the inherent problem, form my perspective, of why Neoconservativism or just plain warmongering is unsustainable. Each side will forever increase aggressive rhetoric because their power comes from from specifically having inventing or creative ideas on how to lead, but from otherizing and for that other to be a real threat. Neoconservatism shares brothers in trotskites and fascists, both hoping to perpetuate some kind of perpetual war/revolution for ideological reasons that just align with MIC enough to gain traction.

It also underlines, personal view, where authoritarianism causes issues, namely conformity. You will inevitably have those that refuse to conform to status quo, especially since you will have fewer powerful positions to fill than you have people seeking such power. This threat to your power is incredibly easy to otherize and simply be being a threat, some use of force or suppression is inevitable. From my view, this is the whole point of the nebulous idea of freedom and liberty, to create a society without such a flaw such that it promotes stability, and with it growth, prosperity, and security.

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This is the inherent problem, form my perspective, of why Neoconservativism or just plain warmongering is unsustainable. Each side will forever increase aggressive rhetoric because their power comes from from specifically having inventing or creative ideas on how to lead, but from otherizing and for that other to be a real threat. Neoconservatism shares brothers in trotskites and fascists, both hoping to perpetuate some kind of perpetual war/revolution for ideological reasons that just align with MIC enough to gain traction.

It also underlines, personal view, where authoritarianism causes issues, namely conformity. You will inevitably have those that refuse to conform to status quo, especially since you will have fewer powerful positions to fill than you have people seeking such power. This threat to your power is incredibly easy to otherize and simply be being a threat, some use of force or suppression is inevitable. From my view, this is the whole point of the nebulous idea of freedom and liberty, to create a society without such a flaw such that it promotes stability, and with it growth, prosperity, and security.

 

The principle use of the ideas of freedom and liberty has been to otherize people and legitimize exactly the kinds of actions you're critical of.

Demonization is in our bones, forming tribes is something humans do, same as breathing, shitting, and fucking. You can't get rid of it without raising a band of mutants and eradicating all the unmodified humans, which sounds like something a cartoon supervillain would do.

You can only harness it to support good, sustainable policies that will advance your civilization.

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I worded it incorrectly, I'm not saying I specifically support the idea that freedom/liberty/justice et al necessarily bring about what they profess to exist for as concepts, rather that I am postulating why such concepts gained traction, esp. W/R/T the fact that authoritarianism is a known quantity. At this point I'm just retreading libertarian (original meaning) thought processes, IE that only true egalitarianism and peace can be achieved by willing consensus, and that current forms of it are either state, ethical or cultural coercion that someone will inevitably rebel against, thus defeating the purpose of the endeavor. I will however own that I think authoritarism exacerbates the problem, and that a policy of militaristic intervention based on otherization is inherently bad policy.

 

This is terribly off topic though.

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At the end of the day though I'd much rather have an end to the killing than an outcome that makes outsiders feel like fairness has been achieved, and given the massive disparity in how much the two sides can hurt each other, the ball is firmly in Israel's court to ratchet things down because they have a much greater capability to play defensively and take it, and a government that is much less locked down by belligerent parties. Otherwise it's just going to circle the drain where both side's extremists cement control by portraying the other side as an existential threat that only they're tough enough to damage (and thereby play into the other side's hardliners' narrative and propagating the whole thing).

 

This is exactly why there will never be peace.  Israel may have more ability to harm their enemies, but Israel has to have this.  If Israel wins a war against their enemies, their enemies remain in existence.  Gaza and the West Bank are proof of this - the occupation of these territories did not result in genocide and ethic cleansing.  If Israel ever looses a war in a big way then 8 million human beings will be put to the sword and the nation of Israel will never again recover.  And the region will still be subject to roiling wars and bloodshed because the victorious Arab armies will immediately start destroying each other.

 

Peace treaties either come from the complete and utter destruction of a people's ability to resist, or from a fair and equitable recognition of mutual benefit.  The US has one of the longest unbroken peace treaties operational in the history of human existence (the Morocco / US treaty) but even this treaty is one that is subject to constant strain and reflection.  

 

As the strongest party Israel must be offered a deal that solves basic problems on the ground, which will cause Israel's natural left leaning people to come to the table.  Marlin Fitzwater told me that Reagan proposed a deal that had a lot of traction years ago.  Refugees in each state get citizenship in their state, with the US providing aid to absorb the populations - and the hopes that other groups also set up with aid.  PLO removes the plan from its documents calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.  Palestinian populations to vote for options of self-government or territorial status with a neighbor.  97% of lands pre-1967 returned.  Jerusalem a shared city.

 

Israel jumped on board.  No other nation did.  The USSR did its best to talk them out of it.  Egypt and Jordan had their own deals.  Lebanon was a mess.  Syria, Iran, the PLO, and Iraq broke down on the existence of Israel - each wanted all Jewish descent people removed as a non-negotiable point.  

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The principle use of the ideas of freedom and liberty has been to otherize people and legitimize exactly the kinds of actions you're critical of.

Demonization is in our bones, forming tribes is something humans do, same as breathing, shitting, and fucking. You can't get rid of it without raising a band of mutants and eradicating all the unmodified humans, which sounds like something a cartoon supervillain would do.

You can only harness it to support good, sustainable policies that will advance your civilization.

 

Seconded, with a bit of an expanded explanation:

 

functional societies harness people's natural tribish-ness by subsuming it within a greater social grouping (example: combatting racist tendencies by emphasising the universal rights and duties of citizenship). One of the central tensions in the modern rights state is thus that by allowing people to express themselves freely, we also allow them to self-segregate and develop tribal identities which inevitably end up circling the wagons against each other.

 

edit: it should be mentioned that social groups ALWAYS involve an other who is contrasted with the in-group and demonised to some extent. Nations breed national hatred even as they lower racial/religious/whatever tensions.

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This is exactly why there will never be peace.  Israel may have more ability to harm their enemies, but Israel has to have this.  If Israel wins a war against their enemies, their enemies remain in existence.  Gaza and the West Bank are proof of this - the occupation of these territories did not result in genocide and ethic cleansing.  If Israel ever looses a war in a big way then 8 million human beings will be put to the sword and the nation of Israel will never again recover.  And the region will still be subject to roiling wars and bloodshed because the victorious Arab armies will immediately start destroying each other.

 

Peace treaties either come from the complete and utter destruction of a people's ability to resist, or from a fair and equitable recognition of mutual benefit.  The US has one of the longest unbroken peace treaties operational in the history of human existence (the Morocco / US treaty) but even this treaty is one that is subject to constant strain and reflection.  

 

As the strongest party Israel must be offered a deal that solves basic problems on the ground, which will cause Israel's natural left leaning people to come to the table.  Marlin Fitzwater told me that Reagan proposed a deal that had a lot of traction years ago.  Refugees in each state get citizenship in their state, with the US providing aid to absorb the populations - and the hopes that other groups also set up with aid.  PLO removes the plan from its documents calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.  Palestinian populations to vote for options of self-government or territorial status with a neighbor.  97% of lands pre-1967 returned.  Jerusalem a shared city.

 

Israel jumped on board.  No other nation did.  The USSR did its best to talk them out of it.  Egypt and Jordan had their own deals.  Lebanon was a mess.  Syria, Iran, the PLO, and Iraq broke down on the existence of Israel - each wanted all Jewish descent people removed as a non-negotiable point.  

 

Part of the problem for Israel is also that they want to avoid having an arab majority in their country, as there would then exist a chance that arab Israelis would simply vote the nation into non-existence. This line thinking has sort of forced them to do everything possible to bottle up the Palestinians and prevent them from either breaking away or integrating into Israel proper (as well as virtually ensuring that existing arab-Israelis will be treated as second-class citizens for the foreseeable future).

 

As luck would have it, the secular nation of Israel is probably going to go religious fundamentalist anyway: ultra-orthodox jews (who don't contribute much to the economy and are exempt from military service) are poised to become an electoral majority within the next century (projections have them as over 30% of the population by 2060). So Israel as we currently know it seems doomed to be something of a short-lived experiment no matter what happens.

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I doubt this will actually happen.  Terminal graphing is a very useful exercise, and zero intercept generation a tool no leader should misunderstand, but my stats professor said that taken to far you will actually believe that in the year 2101 the entire world will live in Kenya, have a last name of Chang, and be Hindu.

 

Orthodox religions in free societies with open press always look good on paper, but the conversion rate out of the religion is simply too high.  And yes, as soon as Israel falters on its everyone fights rule probably it quits being Israel, but if the army starts to suffer then even the orthodox will be handed swords and called Essenes. 

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Agreed, although I have a distinct hunch that a secular, liberal Israel is just not going to be around all that long. Too much crazy outside, and too much crazy inside.

 

My guess for an end-state is something that looks (even more) like apartheid South Africa: a two-tier society with a small economically active elite and a large majority of disenfranchised people under permanent lockdown.

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Agreed, although I have a distinct hunch that a secular, liberal Israel is just not going to be around all that long. Too much crazy outside, and too much crazy inside.

 

My guess for an end-state is something that looks (even more) like apartheid South Africa: a two-tier society with a small economically active elite and a large majority of disenfranchised people under permanent lockdown.

 

This is not an unfounded fear.  For thirty years Israel treated its own ethnic minority of muslims far better than adjacent nations treated Jews, Maronites, and even fellow Muslims.  An Arab or a Muslim could join the army, but was not required to.  They pay taxes and vote.  Their property rights are identical to that of their Jewish neighbors.  

 

The test was not IF Jews could live with Arab Muslims, which had been proven by the fact that millions of Jews lived in nearly every Middle East nation prior to 1900 and significantly the Ottoman empire, but if Muslim Arabs could live peacefully in a state where they were the minority - an uncommon experience since Sharia only recognizes government based on majority Arab rule and has no structures in place for any other manner of living (well, except for the Druze).  

 

I still like to think that this will happen if the outside tensions can be eased.  Solve the refugee camps by resettlement.  The US is gun shy about Muslim Palestinians but personally I think they are tough buggers with a wonderful culture - anyone who visits Toledo will discover that.  The US should open its doors to 50,000 of them.  Egypt, Iraq, Iran, (eventually Syria), Lebanon, Jordan, and Algeria each take 50,000.  We already have the camps 1/3 empty and we know each country could resettle that many quickly.  Israel takes 50,000, as does the West Bank/Gaza.  10,000 to each former Soviet nation, and 10,000 to each European nation, maybe balanced in a way that takes into account size / ability.  Russia takes 50,000.  The number start to add up.  Create a family lottery with preferences.

 

Once the refugees are solved then the rest starts to fall into the place.

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I like this plan. I think it doesn't have a chance in hell of working, but I like it.

 

South Africa will take 50 000 too, if only to show that we can be terrible and xenophobic to hard-working people from the middle east as well. 

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I like this plan. I think it doesn't have a chance in hell of working, but I like it.

 

South Africa will take 50 000 too, if only to show that we can be terrible and xenophobic to hard-working people from the middle east as well. 

 

You are too hard on the people of South Africa, and I think the people of that nation would take offense, but I understand why you may dislike them.  I protested against them in the 1980s, and my one arrest in my jacket came from tying myself to a gate in front of their old embassy on Massachusetts Avenue.  When I was 18 South Africa was the great Satan and I hoped that the lot of them would burn in hell.

 

I do not now fault South Africa for xenophobia, I am amazed that they are not more so.  One need only head north for a stay in Zimbabwe and find the most racist and backward country in the world.  

 

I like you Toxn, you are smart and educated, but I hate people kicking the guy who is struggling to do his best.  South Africa has a lot of problems and they are trying to solve them.  There is never a time in that region that someone -- Boer, Uitlander, Zulu, Indian, and what have you has not been at the throats of another.  If I had lived in the late 1940 I am not sure I would have liked Jan Smuts, but I feel he is misunderstood because we do not account for all the things that limited him, and two books of letters I have on him do not read much like a racist dictator. 

 

So I defend South Africa from people who want a whipping boy not because it is perfect, but because it is imperfect but is really, really trying hard to move away from a tough time in its history and gain a balanced appreciation of its past.  100 years from now South Africa will be, along with Brazil, the two most powerful nations in that hemisphere.

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You are too hard on the people of South Africa, and I think the people of that nation would take offense, but I understand why you may dislike them.  I protested against them in the 1980s, and my one arrest in my jacket came from tying myself to a gate in front of their old embassy on Massachusetts Avenue.  When I was 18 South Africa was the great Satan and I hoped that the lot of them would burn in hell.

 

I do not now fault South Africa for xenophobia, I am amazed that they are not more so.  One need only head north for a stay in Zimbabwe and find the most racist and backward country in the world.  

 

I like you Toxn, you are smart and educated, but I hate people kicking the guy who is struggling to do his best.  South Africa has a lot of problems and they are trying to solve them.  There is never a time in that region that someone -- Boer, Uitlander, Zulu, Indian, and what have you has not been at the throats of another.  If I had lived in the late 1940 I am not sure I would have liked Jan Smuts, but I feel he is misunderstood because we do not account for all the things that limited him, and two books of letters I have on him do not read much like a racist dictator. 

 

So I defend South Africa from people who want a whipping boy not because it is perfect, but because it is imperfect but is really, really trying hard to move away from a tough time in its history and gain a balanced appreciation of its past.  100 years from now South Africa will be, along with Brazil, the two most powerful nations in that hemisphere.

 

Hahaha, Virdea, Tox is hard on SA because he's from Joburg. Born in Praetoria, right, Tox?

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Virdea. Toxn does come from South Africa. In fact, I have a picture of him right here...

 

Margaret_Ballinger.jpg

 

Smile_trollface-3.gif

 

Tox looks pretty good considering how long ago (s)he died. - edit: assuming that is Ballinger and not your Grandmother, my South African history quits the year after Jan Smuts left office.)

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This is exactly why there will never be peace.  Israel may have more ability to harm their enemies, but Israel has to have this.  If Israel wins a war against their enemies, their enemies remain in existence.  Gaza and the West Bank are proof of this - the occupation of these territories did not result in genocide and ethic cleansing.  If Israel ever looses a war in a big way then 8 million human beings will be put to the sword and the nation of Israel will never again recover.  And the region will still be subject to roiling wars and bloodshed because the victorious Arab armies will immediately start destroying each other.

 

Note that I consider it part and parcel that the country with the greater capability to kill backs down because they can withstand the gesture. That means that they have to maintain that ability.

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You are too hard on the people of South Africa, and I think the people of that nation would take offense, but I understand why you may dislike them. I protested against them in the 1980s, and my one arrest in my jacket came from tying myself to a gate in front of their old embassy on Massachusetts Avenue. When I was 18 South Africa was the great Satan and I hoped that the lot of them would burn in hell.

I do not now fault South Africa for xenophobia, I am amazed that they are not more so. One need only head north for a stay in Zimbabwe and find the most racist and backward country in the world.

I like you Toxn, you are smart and educated, but I hate people kicking the guy who is struggling to do his best. South Africa has a lot of problems and they are trying to solve them. There is never a time in that region that someone -- Boer, Uitlander, Zulu, Indian, and what have you has not been at the throats of another. If I had lived in the late 1940 I am not sure I would have liked Jan Smuts, but I feel he is misunderstood because we do not account for all the things that limited him, and two books of letters I have on him do not read much like a racist dictator.

So I defend South Africa from people who want a whipping boy not because it is perfect, but because it is imperfect but is really, really trying hard to move away from a tough time in its history and gain a balanced appreciation of its past. 100 years from now South Africa will be, along with Brazil, the two most powerful nations in that hemisphere.

I am indeed a South African, and I thank you for your kind words.

As for Zimbabwe, all of the people I have known (and, in one case, briefly dated) from there have been astonishingly hard working and intelligent. Their country, as terrible as it is right now, still holds hope for the future so long as it can produce such sons and daughters.

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