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January 22, 2007

Jimmy Carter Sux Eggs

I haven't read Carter's book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, but judging by his TV appearances there's a real problem with his analysis—it's not radical enough. And because the radical analysis is in fact the accurate analysis, the non-radical story Carter tells has some gaping holes in it. For instance, here he is on Hardball back in November:

PRESIDENT CARTER: So the persecution of the Palestinians now in the occupied territories under the occupation forces is one of the worst examples of human rights deprivation that I know. And I think it's --

MR. SHUSTER: Even worse, though, than a place like Rwanda?...

PRESIDENT CARTER: I'm not going back into ancient history about Rwanda. Right now the persecution of the Palestinians is one of the worst examples of human rights abuse I know, because the Palestinians --

MR. SHUSTER: You're talking about right now. You're not talking about, say...

PRESIDENT CARTER: You can talk about Rwanda if you want to. I want to talk about Palestine. What is being done to the Palestinians now is horrendous in their own territory by the occupying powers, which is Israel.

This actually does seem shifty on his part, and leaves him open to criticism like that of Deborah Lipstadt:

Carter's minimization of the Holocaust is compounded by his recent behavior. On MSNBC in December, he described conditions for Palestinians as "one of the worst examples of human rights deprivation" in the world. When the interviewer asked "Worse than Rwanda?" Carter said that he did not want to discuss the "ancient history" of Rwanda.

To give Carter the benefit of the doubt, let's say that he meant an ongoing crisis. Is the Palestinians' situation equivalent to Darfur, which our own government has branded genocide?

Here's what Carter should have said:

While the situation in Palestine is very bad—far worse than most people in the U.S. know—it's true it doesn't compare to the genocide in Rwanda or Darfur.

But Americans should care about it, for several reasons. First, we're paying for it, unlike Rwanda or Darfur. It wouldn't happen without us. Second, it's the source for enormous hatred toward the U.S. in the Muslim world. This means would-be terrorists can think—as Osama bin Laden did with 9/11—that casting themselves as champions of the Palestinians will make them politically popular if they attack the U.S. So it's really a matter of life and death for Americans.

It's also important to understand why many in the third world, Muslim and not, feel so strongly about Palestine. Here in the U.S. people often ask exactly the question you just did about why it gets so much attention, when on an absolute scale it's not close to something like Darfur. No one here ever gives an honest answer, which leads some well-meaning individuals to believe there really is a double-standard for Israel, perhaps due to anti-Semitism.

So let me give an honest answer, even though it's one many people won't like. It's this—in Europe and the U.S., we look at the past few hundred years and see two great evils: fascism and communism. But for most places on earth, there have been three great evils: fascism, communism, and colonialism. The colonization of the world by Europe and the U.S. killed tens of millions, just as many people as fascism and communism. It was just as cruel. If you ever doubt this, read up on what Belgium did to the Congo, or the British to Tasmania.

And whether it's fair or not, to people in the third world, Israel is a symbol of colonialism. That's not going to change. And they see it just as the victims of fascism would see a fascist state, or the victims of communism would see a communist state.

I realize it's very difficult for Americans to get their minds around all this, but we have to, both for our own sake and the sake of the world.

Of course, Planet Earth would have exploded if a U.S president had said that on live national television. So maybe we should be grateful he didn't. Still, Carter's case will never be convincing as long as he leaves this out.

Posted at January 22, 2007 08:02 AM | TrackBack

With all due respect, you're criticizing an 82 year old man for not having the quick wits necessary for verbal sparring with an asshole trying to change the subject from something he knows (The Middle East) to something he may not know much about (Africa).
I do agree with the rest of your analysis; if by colonialism, you mean the exploitation of nations by other nations with more political, economic, or military power.

Posted by: coriolis at January 22, 2007 10:33 AM

Very good point on colonialism---"King Leopold's Ghost" was the first book that I know of that got a lot of attention in mainstream circles that made it clear that colonialism belonged in the same category as Stalinism or Nazism. (Well, there's Hannah Arendt's book "The Origins of Totalitarianism", but the link she made between the 20th century mass slaughters and 19th century imperialism never seemed to register with people.)
Mike Davis's book "Late Victorian Holocausts" was also very good, but got less attention, I think.

As for Israel vs. Sudan, people played this game with apartheid too--South Africa didn't kill as many of its own people as Idi Amin did in Uganda. (Though when you throw in the wars they supported in Angola and Mozambique, Amin loses out. Israel, btw, was an ally of apartheid South Africa and so were we, of course). It's a distraction. Rather than face the fact that the mainstream press has understated the oppression of the Palestinians, they're looking for anything they can to make Carter look inaccurate.

Besides, when Carter is inaccurate it's sometimes in favor of the Israelis--claiming that Israel is a wonderful democracy inside its own borders is an exaggeration, but I'm not aware of any of the Carter critics making that point.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 22, 2007 10:39 AM

Your post is excellent and thoughtful.

Two more huge obstacles to anything like that ever being said on television.

1. The formats of most programs - like Hardball - allow for about 1/5th of what you wrote for Alternate Reality Carter before the host cuts in.

2. You still have people like delegate Frank D. Hargrove from Virginia, who will literally stand up and say, "our black citizens should get over [slavery]."

White people and wealthy people are so comfortable soaking in privelege - which is understandable, on a psychological level, even though it is obviously gross, destructive, and not acceptable - that even the most gentle and carefully worded, "You are hurting other people. Here's how," is hard to get through that self-protective haze of, "I'm not actively hurting anyone," or [worse], "Social Darwinism is totally ok. I've done well for myself. Anyone who hasn't... sucks to be them." :/

Between bootstrappy nonsense, complacency, and mental defenses... it's a lot to overcome. So, while I agree with you 100%, I am not optimistic. :/

Posted by: Zach at January 22, 2007 10:40 AM

Communism, fascism, what is called capitalism (but is more accurately, IMHO, called corporatism), colonialism AND Zionism are/were ALL (essentially political) consequences of the industrial revolution--which itself is/was a consequence of the (some say exaggerated) reports of God's ('philosophical') death in somewhere in Europe some time during the 17th century--which itself was the unplanned 'child' of what is often called the Renaissance--etc., etc. all the way back to the first egg which you just said Jimmy Carter 'sux'.

Posted by: Mike at January 22, 2007 10:43 AM

Although probably lengthy for TV, that is an excellent statement of why Americans should care. I'd say that in many places I've traveled, people do not really see three big evils. Colonialism is by far #1. The word does not have as much impact here. 'Apartheid', however, does have some impact.

Posted by: pulaski at January 22, 2007 12:03 PM

Since both sides claim GOD as their authority and chief realitor, and since we can't seem to find any new contracts from GOD resolving this present situation, this is going to be a festering wound to the world for a long, long time. At least President Carter is working toward some resolution. He's only one man, so I don't expect him to have ALL the answers to ALL the world's problems, no matter how many talkshow witiots jerk him around. He has invested YEARS of his life attempting to resolve an impossible problem between impossible people. At least he's tried, more than I can say for rest of us, especially Mr. Shuster. Don't see Mr. Shuster putting any time on anything more than ratings.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 22, 2007 12:13 PM

The words you put in Carter's mouth make sense as a description of American thought. But we seem like the number one example of colonialist violence in history. As a physics teacher once pointed out to us, Hitler was lame and a n00b when it came to efficient genocide. (I'm paraphrasing.)

Posted by: hf at January 22, 2007 12:18 PM

I agree with mike. Your statement might not be radical enough either. Many in the rest of the world would see capitalism up there too. Check out what happened to the poor in England during industrialization. And what Dole has done to Central America may be more akin to capitalism than fascism.

but that really WOULD be too radical for TV

Posted by: ripley at January 22, 2007 01:40 PM

I agree with coriolis. Carter doesn't need the crap he's taking from pundits eager to use his book to make themselves look good (lots of righties wanting to play Ronald Reagan 1980), and he has written stuff that is truly radical to everyone outside of the most-left wing of the liberal blogosphere. His thanks is for you to say he sucks eggs because he failed to answer one question the way you want? How is that different than Shuster or Lipstadt saying dramatic and unfair stuff about Carter to look good to a certain constituency of theirs?

Like coriolis, I agree with the rest of te post, and I'm also all in favor of you & Bob pointing out Hilary's past flaws. The 2008 election should not be about the one foolish mistake of Iraq; it should be about the disastrous vision of foreign policy that the neocons have made mainstream. We desperately need a Democrat who can change the debate away from this one stupid way to "protect America." Carter's book can help move things in that direction if we don't attack him for not being Noam Chomsky.

Posted by: Whistler Blue at January 22, 2007 02:04 PM

Jon, this is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Thanks very much.

Posted by: Chris Floyd at January 22, 2007 02:23 PM

Some folks have missed the facetiousness of "sux eggs", though to be sure Jon should have said "sux teh egg" in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

Posted by: buermann at January 22, 2007 03:14 PM

"Be Prepared for the Real Holocaust"
"Europe You will Pay/Your 9-11 is On Its Way"
"Behead Those Who Insult Islam"
"Exterminate Those Who Insult Islam"
"Freedom Go to Hell"

Signs held up during Muslim demonstration in London

What makes you think the victims of European colonialism will not inflict oppression and violence on to their former rulers? If Auden was right, that those to whom evil was done do evil to others in return, that's likely to happen. Even, as remains the case with the Israelis and Palestinians, the target is not the source of the original evil.

The jihad has as little to do with creating a better life for Islamic society as did Hitler's nihilistic revolution. Destructive and self-destructive movements both, one for the Prophet, one for the Fuehrer.
And so is our own corporatist drive for power and control.
The good society? Only on a small(er) scale, in relatively homogeneous cultures, where common goals and common discourse are still possible for citizens.
But once religion or an "ism" poisons the well, the dreams and ambitions leave the everyday world and get big, ugly and nasty. Fascism. Stalinism. Corporatism. Jihadism. Zionism. Destroy and be destroyed for a greater glory. Utter bullshit, but with the right lighting, so exciting and promising.

Posted by: donescobar at January 22, 2007 03:21 PM

For the record:

To be perfectly frank about it, I should have placed the 'capitalism/corporatism' AND 'colonialism' segments somewhere in "'the unplanned child[ren]' of the Renaissance" clause of my rant (above).

I know that. I knew that. And I apologize to anyone who might have been misled by my mistake.

I guess I got excited.

Posted by: Mike at January 22, 2007 03:21 PM

Jon, in my view, no matter how well thought out, how correct, how compelling, Carter could make his remarks, it really wouldn't much matter.

No one in this country is a match for the Isreali lobby.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at January 22, 2007 04:43 PM

Jesus B. Ochoa

If you are correct, how do you explain that? Powerful is one thing, but how did this lobby get to "no one is a match" for it? When did it attain this omnipotent status, and how? (Even the recent piece by the two profs does not make the claim you make.)

Posted by: donescobar at January 22, 2007 04:53 PM

Ah, my fellow AMERICAN TAXPAYERS, might I mention those two most pertinant of all. Those ardent lovers whose lust filled nights have bred for our pleasure and enjoyment ALL the isms one could one could possibly desire. The parents, whose offspring have brought to this point. GREED AND STUPIDITY, and let's not forget their back door lover, BLIND AMBITION. I ask you, are they not OUR OUEEN, OUR KING, OUR FOREIGN MINISTER?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 22, 2007 05:13 PM

You left out Bishop Fear, Mike Meyers.

And (even if it was implied) don't let's forget to mention Professor Loathing.

Posted by: Mike at January 22, 2007 06:03 PM

I am opposed to an independent Palestinian state, because in my own judgement and in the judgement of many leaders in the Middle East, including Arab leaders, this would be a destabilizing factor in the Middle East and would certainly not serve the United States interests. (Jimmy Carter at the United Jewish Appeal National Young Leadership Conference, February 25, 1980).


…we oppose the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The United States, as all of you know, has a warm and unique relationship of friendship with Israel that is morally right. It is compatible with our deepest religious convictions, and it is right in terms of America’s own strategic interests. We are committed to Israel’s security, prosperity, and future as a land that has so much to offer to the world. A strong Israel and a strong Egypt serve our own security interests.We are committed to Israel’s right to live in peace with all its neighbors, within secure and recognized borders, free from terrorism. We are committed to a Jerusalem that will forever remain undivided with free access to all faiths to the holy places. Nothing will deflect us from these fundamental principles and committments. (Source: First anniversary of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty / White House joint conference, March 23, 1980).

So good Carter finally gave up a Jewish Lobby...

Posted by: Ron at January 22, 2007 06:13 PM

unfortunately, the US and Israel have come to have such embattled, reactionary cultures that the only way we'll have a Palestinian state will be when the US is bypassed as a facilitator when we are no longer regarded as a relevant world power.

Funny that all our right-wing jingoists don't see that their boy George Jr is accelerating precisely that outcome, to say nothing of making it harder to avoid.

I haven't read Carter's book, but the more Fox News attacks him, the more I think it must be having an impact.

(incidentally, I've heard that coriolis professes very different opinions when he's in Johannesburg or Canberra.)

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at January 22, 2007 07:19 PM

Jonathan Versen -

Thanks for the awesome science joke!

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at January 22, 2007 07:41 PM

While you children frolic in the sand box and munch on piddling fare like peace in the middle east, please allow me to elevate the discussion with a taste of OUR KAMPF!

Mein "Unser kampf" hast in meine mailbox gearriviert and das ist sehr viele muchos GUT!

Ich habe just gelernt das manhattan was once das size von suden amerika, before das grosse erozion set in bekause of too viele leute pissieren together! Mein Gott!

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at January 22, 2007 07:57 PM

donescobar, what did you respond to with your question about the Muslim demonstration? Also, you know that people voted for Hitler partly because out of misplaced hope for a better life, right? You must have seen a picture of a German wheelbarrow full of their worthless money.

Posted by: hf at January 23, 2007 12:05 AM

At first I didn't see the point of Shuster's interjection about Rawanda, but then Lipstadt's comments helped make clear the implicit reference to the Holocaust. That also explains Carter's odd reference to "ancient history"... I think he really meant it in relation to the latter. Now I can see why no one ever gets anywhere in these discussions: they're semantically overdetermined!

One thing Carter could have said was "barring genocide, this is one of the worst examples of human rights deprivation..." But then some would say that what is happening in Palestine is genocide in slow motion.

Posted by: Andrew Montin at January 23, 2007 12:19 AM

Because underneath the early hope for a better life was an irrational drive for the destruction of Western civilization (cosmopolitan, enlightened, industrial, French-Anglo-Saxon)that "forces" (ie Jews and foreigners) had brought to or imposed on the Vaterland. Similar to some jihadist and other "drives" all too often ignored or marginalized by academic historians.


The Liberty incident was an exercise of its power, OK, but money or guilt feelings about the Holocaust couldn't have done the trick. (The Saudis have more money; why should a Congressman from Idaho or PA feel guilty?) I'm still puzzled by how AIPAC got to where you say it is--the W-M article does not give you a history of that.

Posted by: donescobar at January 23, 2007 06:54 AM

Absolutely correct about Israeli treatment of Palestinians infuriating all Arabs. Last May, I was working in Bahrain and while reading the English version of the local newspaper, I noticed and ad for a garage sale, sponsored by some women's club, with proceeds going to "the suffering Palestinians". America needs to develop a fair and balanced attitude toward the MId-East or face the consequences of becoming a hated and insignificant world force.

Posted by: richard vajs at January 23, 2007 07:40 AM

Donescobar, what should I read to familiarize myself with this movement you speak of? See, I've met quite a few stalinists and fascists in my life, a lot of Zionists, Irish, Russian, Armenian and other nationalists, but not a single 'jihadist' so far. How do you know they exist and represent a movement?


Posted by: abb1 at January 23, 2007 09:38 AM

donescobar, the Liberty incident was of course an exercise of power taken as a calculated risk, and it paid dividends. If the U.S. was not willing and is still not willing to fully investigate not only the wilful murder of U.S. sailors in an act of war, the Isreali right immediately realized it could do whatever the hell it wanted to do and the U.S. would lie doggo. Thus, the settlements, the murdered becoming the murderers. Think bulldozers, the AIPAC and the apologists for torture over at Harvard Law.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at January 23, 2007 10:17 AM

Well, they tell us quite a bit about their aims and oonce in a blue moon, they blow up a few people, er, infidels. Sometimes even co-religionists.

But yeah, how do you know for sure? I heard your argument once, when I taught in NC, about slavery. Ever meet a slave? Naw, so how do you know slavery really existed? How do we know those speeches by clerics in mosques in The Netherlands and Scandinavia are for real? Or those signs at the London demonstration not made in a photoshop? Or the bombing in, say, Bali not the work of Mossad?
Most of the shit, whether done by Zionists, US corporatists, Islamic jihadists is indeed for real. People are dying and suffering.
But if you don't want them to exist, be my guest.
Personally, I've never met a neocon. I think they were made up by the liberal media. Horseshit may have different smells. Pick the one you like.

Posted by: donescobar at January 23, 2007 10:31 AM


Yeah, but is Dershowitz not a pro-Israel operator on his own? Is AIPAC tied to the opinion, expressed publicly or privately, by every pro-Zionist Jew in America? I have seen stuff on the Liberty that puts the blame squarely on the Isralis. I'm still not sure, if it was ordered, why? What threat did the ship pose to the by now victorious IDF? Did they overhear something? What?
But much more important--as abb1 wants to suggest, is there really a Jihadist movement? All tied together, centrally administered, no. But do many Islamic clerics and followers say very similar things about the future rule of Islam and sharia in Europe, about the Jew enemy etc etc.
Read, for example, the article in DER SPIEGEL (in English) on how neo-Nazi and Muslim pupils in German schools band together to intimidate and beat up fellow Jewish students. A "movement?" A network? Not formally, not yet. But the incentive and the appeal are there. To all Muslims, surely not. Doesn't need to be. One incident, and it could grow.

Posted by: donescobar at January 23, 2007 11:01 AM

Donescobar, it might've been easier if you could define your 'jihadism' thingy. So far it sounds me like "anyone who sounds radical and is a Muslim". This is not enough to define a movement.

See, a bunch of kids with signs "Freedom Go to Hell" and "Be Prepared for the Real Holocaust" don't scare me any more than a bunch of hippies burning US flag.

What exactly are those clerics in mosques in the Netherlands and Scandinavia saying? How many clerics are saying these allegedly terrible things - 5%? 20%? 90%? See, I have no idea.

Posted by: abb1 at January 23, 2007 11:15 AM

OK, abb1

Start out by reading"Militants in Europe Openly Call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam," by Patrick E. Tyler and Don Van Natta Jr., the NYT, 4-26-04.
(On the net)Even if you don't like the NYT, the quotes are real, incl by an imam in Geneva, urging his audience in the mosque to "impose the will of Islam on the godless society in the West."

Well, the godless West shouldn't have Islam imposed on them just as Iraq or other Muslim countries should not have the will of Christian capitalist corporatist America imposed on them.
A plague on both houses of worship for dominance.

Posted by: donescobar at January 23, 2007 11:25 AM

I've never, to my knowledge, met a Stalinist or a Nazi or a jihadist. I met some members of the Revolutionary Communist Party once---they'd be just as bad if they had the chance. So I know they exist.

Abb1, you are being deliberately obtuse.

BTW, I just read an interesting book, "Journey of the Jihadist", by Gerges (I forgot his first name) which gives a fairly balanced picture of the movement. Or balanced as best I can tell. The author makes it clear that there are significant differences between ordinary Muslims and Islamists, and also between non-violent Islamists and jihadists, and even distinctions between jihadists who want to hit particular categories of enemies but are very critical of Al Qaeda's wholesale approach. You don't come away thinking that the jihadists are nice people, but you do come away convinced that if anyone can unite these groups, it's Bush with his crusa..., that is, war on terror.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 23, 2007 12:14 PM

Look, Donescobar, I live in Geneva, it's a very quiet town, apparently no one here cares about this imam.

All kinds of clerics say all kinds of stupid things all the time. Chechens blow shit up in Moscow, Indonesians in Bali, Palestinians in Jerusalem, British in London. They don't like politics of the places where they live - like UK's participation in the Iraq war, for example.

I'm still not convinced that this 'jihadism' thing really exists, and if it does - I don't know what the essence of it is and what the extent of it is.

Posted by: abb1 at January 23, 2007 01:24 PM

Read "The Roots of Muslim Rage" by Bernard Lewis, in "The Atlantic," available on the net.
I don't think anyone knows the (potential) extent of this "jihad thingy."

Donald Johnson is right. Our boy W has done a lot to inspire these groups. He told us he was a "uniter," and his bs applies at least to the jihadist extremists. A man of his mostly misspoken words.

Posted by: donescobar at January 23, 2007 02:09 PM

OK, I skimmed Lewis' piece and found it weak.

First he dismisses the obvious explanation by citing the lack of antagonism against the Soviets, and then he gives his own explanation (absolving the Westerners of any blame, of course) - which is that "the struggle of the fundamentalists is against two enemies, secularism and modernism". Well, you can't go more secularist than the Soviets and the US is not really all that secularist at all and in many ways is not as modern as, say, Dubai.

I think the guy is bullshitting you.

Posted by: abb1 at January 23, 2007 02:55 PM

And I mean - yeah, fundamentalism does, of course suck, no question about that, but what is it that gives rise to fundamentalism? Don't you think all the obvious explanations that he so casually dismisses have something to do with it?

Posted by: abb1 at January 23, 2007 03:07 PM

Sure they do.
And you,at the Calvinist Capitalist heart of Western Civilization, should feel the forces that, as you put it, give rise to fundamentalism.
It gets dark fairly fast when people follow them.
Pace Enlightenment. We hardly knew ya.

Posted by: donescobar at January 23, 2007 03:23 PM

I suppose one can find a bomb-throwing crackpot in most any crowd.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 23, 2007 04:24 PM

Here is an undercover video shot in some of the largest and most influential mosques in the UK, it shows imams preaching jihad to their congregations.

It kind of shocked me a bit.

Posted by: Jonathan at January 23, 2007 10:08 PM

The book I recommended does in fact say that much of jihadism is or was inspired by local conditions--many of the more "mainstream" jihadists were very critical of 9/11. Not because they oppose suicide bombing, but because they oppose killing the "wrong" people. So they might condemn 9/11 and support murdering civilians in Egypt (where jihadists were killing numerous people in the 90's) and in Israel. They have their own twisted moral rationalizations (just like Westerners) on when it's right to target civilians and when it isn't.

But Bush's war on terror has come across as a new crusade and gives the jihadists around the world the sense that their fight is a global one.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 24, 2007 09:57 AM

So what Carter should have said in Jonathan Schwartz's view is that because people in the third world hate Israel as a symbol of colonialism, this hate should shape US policy regardless of whether or not this hate is based more in facts or more in propaganda ("And whether it's fair or not, to people in the third world, Israel is a symbol of colonialism. That's not going to change.") And apparently one of the main reasons it is "a matter of life and death" to put the pesky Israelis in their place is so people like Osama bin Laden can no longer make political capital from attacking the US. So it is not about justice, it is about fear that those who want to destroy Israel may also target the US, so it is better that Israel should perish. Had Jimmy Carter actually pursued such a tack in that debate, he would have laid himself open to justified comparisons to "peacemakers" Chamberlain and Daladier.

Posted by: Menshevik at January 25, 2007 02:51 PM

From BOTH SIDES, it ain't about the land, it ain't about the money, it ain't about the love or the hate, or the religion,IT'S ALL ABOUT THE POWER. And there's NEVER ENOUGH of that to satisify any of the players. Never will be.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 25, 2007 05:19 PM

Well, suppose you live in a village, grow olives minding your own business. Then some guys come from Europe, kick you out, shoot your nephew, burn your house and uproot your olive trees.

Yeah, sure it quickly becomes "all about the power". But I think there can be enough to satisfy at least some of the players.

Posted by: abb1 at January 26, 2007 03:55 AM

Please, don't dress the VICTIM as a power broker. It's the bomb throwers (Arafats & Begins)who don't produce anything other than rhetoric and problems, who won't let a dog lay or a man live, whelps of the same bitch that breeds Stalins and Hitlers, where the trouble starts and of whom I speak. Like a tapeworm, they drain their host to nothing and eventual death. The poor bastard who, by luck of the draw, happens to be their neighbor, is the first hapless target, the first of many.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 26, 2007 10:46 AM

Mr. Schwarz with all due respect I strongly disagree with your statement that " colonization of the world by Europe and the U.S. killed tens of millions". You then say that the reader should read what the Brits did in Tasmania and the Belgians in The Congo. Do you have any proof that the U.S. is responsible for the deaths of millions under American colonization? You sound like someone who reflexively blames America for the hate our enemies feel for us. The Islamists would hate us whether we supported Israel or not. They would hate us simply because their world view allows no room for compromise or understanding. I have no doubt that much injustice has been visited upon the TransJordanians or Palestinians if you prefer. However much injustice has also been visited upon Israeli civilians in the form of suicide bombings. The Palestinians should have their own state and the right to self determination just as the Israelis should have the right to exist and to defend themselves against terrorism.

Posted by: Anthony at January 28, 2007 08:31 AM

Why should the Israelis have the right to exist and to defend themselves against terrorism while simultaneously electing a government after government denying Palestinians the right to self determination? Isn't this a bit contradictory? What gives?

Posted by: abb1 at January 28, 2007 11:34 AM

Well the Israelis did put Rabin in office, which was a good start. The SAME OLD PROBLEM ended that, YOUR AVERAGE PSYCHOPATH. Aparently no way to legislate them out of existance.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 28, 2007 12:28 PM

The reaction to Carter's book in the mainstream media confirms what Carter and others have documented--it isn't possible in mainstream political discourse in the U.S. to have a reasonable discussion about Israeli policies. If you criticize these policies you are "anti-Semitic." If you think it's probably not a good idea for the U.S. to have such a one-sided policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you are "anti-Semitic." If you think it would be good for U.S. national interests to see the Israeli occupation, let's face it--now in it's FORTIETH YEAR, end, you're "anti-Semitic."

Until people like Carter have the guts to say, "I don't agree with you--it's not anti-Semitism," than we will continue to watch the U.S. undermine it's own national interests for the sake of a domestic lobby for a foreign country.

Posted by: at January 28, 2007 12:38 PM

I don't think there's anything particularly psychopathic in all this.

Israelis are backed, equipped and financed by the only superpower in the world and thus see no reason to compromise. That's not psychopathic, that's rational behavior according to human nature. Palestinians don't see any hope and behave accordingly.

How is this a mental disorder? It's not. I think any two random groups of people would've acted the same way.

Posted by: abb1 at January 28, 2007 02:58 PM

Just commenting on the nature of the Assassin who shot Rabin, not the general nature of our policy of BUSINESS AS USUAL.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 28, 2007 04:20 PM