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open4
01-29-09, 08:33 PM
The extent of last years financial collapse caused deep systemic shock and insecurity to world governments, democratically elected political leaders by their nature are insecure and need to believe they operate within a predictable system that ensures their security and control and that future events over which they have authority progress substantially according to expectations or at least gives them adequate cover if they don't,

The shock of last years events were of such magnitude that the resulting threat caused a temporary focus away from many national interests in favor of supranational solutions, governments in this instant looked to find their bearings, needed a breathing space and instinctively looked to rally around a common cause, it was almost as though national interests were paralyzed and a common cause ignited as an alien spaceship hovered menacingly in the sky threatening the existence of earth,

From disagreements emerging at the world economic forum at Davos It appears that we now move to the next entirely predictable but very dangerous, accelerating and possibly unstoppable phase where governments regardless of culpability find it politically expedient to polarize and hold other nations responsible for their problems,

amacfly
01-29-09, 08:51 PM
Yep, right on schedule, as one would expect - after the fall everyone is looking around for someone else to blame. From here to WW3 in 4 years, or 6?

BadJuju
01-29-09, 09:28 PM
From here to WW3 in 4 years, or 6?

Who would go to war? Nuclear weapons have made the prospect of war politically, economically, and socially untenable.

amacfly
01-29-09, 10:17 PM
Don't think that reason will have a place in this war, it will start like a forest fire after a very dry summer with a single lightening strike. Most likely it be with Israel defending itself against something. It may start small, but it'll grow big as fast as the wild fires we see out here in California.

Russia & China have a lot of debt and oil futures tied up in Iran, enough for them to care if Israel strikes first. Israel is the largest single donor to the US political system, so has only allies on both sides of the house, thus any aggression that happens in response is sure to be met with a fierce US backed counter strike. Then you have Pakistan wound up like an over tightened spring ready to snap, equipped with big bad bombs sitting on top of good delivery systems, and they hate us Judo-Christians too!

Add to that the cultural, economic and social divides running through a Europe filled with poor Muslims, and you imagine how irrational hatred will tear populations apart, and also be used to polarize the masses. Nationalism will rise up under many new names, but everyone of them will deny they are nationalists, they'll call themselves Patriots. Thats all the Nazi's were, German patriots struggling against the consequences of the Versailles Treaty, a life of unendurable and unrepayable foreign debt.

BadJuju
01-29-09, 10:23 PM
Once again, nuclear weapons virtually ensure that a conventional war will not be waged. Do you really think any nation will risk the utter annihilation of humanity? It is simply politically, economically, and socially untenable, like I said.

KGW
01-29-09, 10:27 PM
Once again, nuclear weapons virtually ensure that a conventional war will not be waged. Do you really think any nation will risk the utter annihilation of humanity? It is simply politically, economically, and socially untenable, like I said.

They don't seem to have stopped the "conventional wars" now being waged in different geographies over the globe. . .

BadJuju
01-29-09, 10:29 PM
They don't seem to have stopped the "conventional wars" now being waged in different geographies over the globe. . .

And who among these countries (that are both engaged in a conventional war with each other) are nuclear powers?

metalman
01-29-09, 11:38 PM
The extent of last years financial collapse caused deep systemic shock and insecurity to world governments, democratically elected political leaders by their nature are insecure and need to believe they operate within a predictable system that ensures their security and control and that future events over which they have authority progress substantially according to expectations or at least gives them adequate cover if they don't,

The shock of last years events were of such magnitude that the resulting threat caused a temporary focus away from many national interests in favor of supranational solutions, governments in this instant looked to find their bearings, needed a breathing space and instinctively looked to rally around a common cause, it was almost as though national interests were paralyzed and a common cause ignited as an alien spaceship hovered menacingly in the sky threatening the existence of earth,

From disagreements emerging at the world economic forum at Davos It appears that we now move to the next entirely predictable but very dangerous, accelerating and possibly unstoppable phase where governments regardless of culpability find it politically expedient to polarize and hold other nations responsible for their problems,

are you saying we're already at the 12th day?

Twelve Days of a Christmas Bust 2007 - iTulip © 2006 (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5198)

http://www.itulip.com/images/dreamhomes.jpg

On the first day of Christmas,
my central banker gave to me
A post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/household-spending.gif
Source: Haver Analytics (http://www.haver.com/)

On the second day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/Blog_Credit_Card_Debt.gif
Source: Washington Monthly (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/monthly/2004_11.php)

On the third day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Three million credit defaults,
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/AG20bw.jpg

On the fourth day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Four collapsing currencies,
Three million credit defaults,
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/alphasheep.gif
Alpha seeking sheep line up for another shearing (http://www.itulip.com/sheeple.html)

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my central banker gave to me
Five million panicking speculators,
Four collapsing currencies,
Three million credit defaults,
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/closed.gifhttp://www.itulip.com/images/closed.gifhttp://www.itulip.com/images/closed.gif

On the six day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Six hundred hedge funds a-closing,
Five million panicking speculators,
Four collapsing currencies,
Three million credit defaults,
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/stockexchange.gif

On the seventh day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Seven stock markets a-crashing,
Six hundred hedge funds a-closing,
Five million panicking speculators,
Four collapsing currencies,
Three million credit defaults,
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/derivatives.gif

On the eighth day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Eight million derivatives contracts un-delivered,
Seven stock markets a-crashing,
Six hundred hedge funds a-closing,
Five million panicking speculators,
Four collapsing currencies,
Three million credit defaults,
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/pe.gif
Source: The Economist (http://www.economist.com/images/20060225/D0806WB1.jpg)

On the ninth day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Nine private equity firms a-shutting,
Eight million derivatives contracts un-delivered,
Seven stock markets a-crashing,
Six hundred hedge funds a-closing,
Five million panicking speculators,
Four collapsing currencies,
Three million credit defaults,
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/bankclosedargentina.gif
Argentina Bank Closure, 2002
Source: BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1950000/images/_1950923_argentina_bankclosed_ap300.jpg)

On the tenth day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Ten banks a-failing,
Nine private equity firms a-shutting,
Eight million derivatives contracts un-delivered,
Seven stock markets a-crashing,
Six hundred hedge funds a-closing,
Five million panicking speculators,
Four collapsing currencies,
Three million credit defaults,
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/soupline.gif
Soup Line, Russia 1999

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Eleven nations in recession,
Ten banks a-failing,
Nine private equity firms a-shutting,
Eight million derivatives contracts un-delivered,
Seven stock markets a-crashing,
Six hundred hedge funds a-closing,
Five million panicking speculators,
Four collapsing currencies,
Three million credit defaults,
Two million insolvent households,
In a post-housing bust economy.

http://www.itulip.com/images/globalwar.gif
Source: GlobalSecurity.org (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/)

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My central banker gave to me
Twelve wars a-raging, ???
Eleven nations in recession, √
Ten banks a-failing, √
Nine private equity firms a-shutting, √
Eight million derivatives contracts un-delivered, √
Seven stock markets a-crashing, √
Six hundred hedge funds a-closing, √
Five million panicking speculators, √
Four collapsing currencies, √
Three million credit defaults, √
Two million insolvent households, √
In a post-housing bust economy. √

jtabeb
01-29-09, 11:58 PM
The extent of last years financial collapse caused deep systemic shock and insecurity to world governments, democratically elected political leaders by their nature are insecure and need to believe they operate within a predictable system that ensures their security and control and that future events over which they have authority progress substantially according to expectations or at least gives them adequate cover if they don't,

The shock of last years events were of such magnitude that the resulting threat caused a temporary focus away from many national interests in favor of supranational solutions, governments in this instant looked to find their bearings, needed a breathing space and instinctively looked to rally around a common cause, it was almost as though national interests were paralyzed and a common cause ignited as an alien spaceship hovered menacingly in the sky threatening the existence of earth,

From disagreements emerging at the world economic forum at Davos It appears that we now move to the next entirely predictable but very dangerous, accelerating and possibly unstoppable phase where governments regardless of culpability find it politically expedient to polarize and hold other nations responsible for their problems,


Good times in the offing then?:rolleyes:

jtabeb
01-30-09, 12:12 AM
Once again, nuclear weapons virtually ensure that a conventional war will not be waged. Do you really think any nation will risk the utter annihilation of humanity? It is simply politically, economically, and socially untenable, like I said.

Never underestimate the stupidity of those in power. You won't be around to regret that mistake. No body is going to "choose" to go to a nuke war, they happen by accident.

Se how close we really came towards having one with the cuban missle crisis. And that was amongst players with a balance of terror (read MAD). Imagine what can happen in a state like pakistan where the ISI and the military hold the button for their arsenal.

One false move is all it takes for an accident to happen. Every player on the world scene has to get it perfect every time to not risk a major conflagration errupting at this point. Based on the record so far in 2009, I'm not hopeful.

CHeck this out between Israel and Turkey at Davos. If this gets traction, you are going to see fireworks ALL OVER THE MUSLIM WORLD.

Erdogan is the only leader of a Muslism Country (Secular) to take Isreal to task over Gaza besides Ahmadinjad. This has traction and staying power. Everyone should watch this very carefully.

This is an accident waiting to happen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHZusFgq3QU

Contemptuous
01-30-09, 12:46 AM
It is indeed a big deal. Turkey has been one or Israel's most reliable and stable partners in the ME under secular regimes. Erdogan is overturning decades of carefully stitched together entente between Turkey and Israel, and that entente was the cornerstone of relative poles of moderate secular regimes in the region. Where Turkey chooses to go, so will the whole region. It's a tectonic shift in alliances there and Turkey has the power to lead a massive groundswell movement in an entirely different direction. IMO Erdogan is showing his true colors here. If left to his own devices he will overturn Turkey's secularist anchor and move the country into another direction entirely - big caveat, if the Turkish army allows it. Truly amazing to see what a small pinch of theological conservatism and partisanship can do, to mutate the formerly very stabilizing foreign policy of what has historically been one of the anchors of political secularism in the Eastern Meditterranean. I am a big admirer of Turkey's role in modern times, for it's heritage as one of the preeminent leaders of the Muslim world, for it's vast hidden legacy for a natural leadership of all the Turkic nations to the east across the Caucasus into central Asia, and it's exemplary experiment in Muslim faith woven into a modern secular nation. I greatly admire Ataturk. Turkey has the makings of a superpower in it's own right in the mid part of this century. I don't trust Erdogan to conserve that fine legacy within it's modern heritage as envisioned by Ataturk.


Never underestimate the stupidity of those in power. You won't be around to regret that mistake. No body is going to "choose" to go to a nuke war, they happen by accident.

Se how close we really came towards having one with the cuban missle crisis. And that was amongst players with a balance of terror (read MAD). Imagine what can happen in a state like pakistan where the ISI and the military hold the button for their arsenal.

One false move is all it takes for an accident to happen. Every player on the world scene has to get it perfect every time to not risk a major conflagration errupting at this point. Based on the record so far in 2009, I'm not hopeful.

CHeck this out between Israel and Turkey at Davos. If this gets traction, you are going to see fireworks ALL OVER THE MUSLIM WORLD.

Erdogan is the only leader of a Muslism Country (Secular) to take Isreal to task over Gaza besides Ahmadinjad. This has traction and staying power. Everyone should watch this very carefully.

This is an accident waiting to happen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHZusFgq3QU

Chris
01-30-09, 03:40 AM
Nuclear incidents are far more likely now than they were at any time in the past. Remember it may not be a state that starts the first reaction in the chain that leads to The Big One. To understand this I re-recommend reading The Shield of Achilles:

http://itulip.com/forums/showpost.php?p=35974&postcount=1

or Martin Van Creveld's Rise and Decline of the State (http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Decline-State-Martin-Creveld/dp/052165629X).

*T*
01-30-09, 07:18 AM
Erdogan is the only leader of a Muslism Country (Secular) to take Isreal to task over Gaza besides Ahmadinjad. This has traction and staying power. Everyone should watch this very carefully.

Erdogan is right, but he is also a hypocrite and a criminal, himself.
I don't think it will progress, I think he was just letting off steam.

amacfly
01-30-09, 01:51 PM
The most fundamentalist regime in the ME is none other than Israel. The Zionists are nothing but bandits, and the sooner the American people rid themselves of this ball and chain around their ankles, the better off the whole world will be. For without AIPAC, Israel descends into oblivion.


That is simply not an option, there are too many people living there who must find a way to live in peace together in the region.

While I think David Rothchild was wrong to persuade the UK Govt to allow him to 'take' Palestine after WW2, the deed is now done, and the only way ahead lies in finding a way for the two tribes to co-exist.

It will be incredibly hard, because by and large the Arabs are people of the heart, and from their perspective they have had their homeland stolen. The Jews are people of the head, with extraordinary powers of reason, but they will never understand the position of those they have displaced because they cannot be reasoned with.

The problem is huge, but there is simply no other way going forward than trying to find a real balance. I really hope it doesn't end in a war, because we and the EU will be dragged into it. However I suspect that the reconciliation that is needed won't happen until after something so terrible happens that it forces unity on the peoples of the eastern Mediterranean. My greatest fear is that that 'terrible' may just be nuclear.

flintlock
01-30-09, 03:21 PM
Nuke war not possible? Ah, how I miss those days of my youthful optimism.


Nuclear war won't automatically mean mutual destruction. A few small nukes flying between India and Pakistan perhaps, won't end the world. Make it a nasty place to live, certainly, but the earth won't fall off its axis. I agree it makes total war an unlikely scenario. But history is full of limited warfare waged between nations. England could have crushed America militarily if it had wanted to pay the cost. Instead they fought a low grade war until their accountants finally persuaded the King it wasn't worth the effort. Fact is, any nuke capable country without missile submarines is capable of losing to a massive first strike. Remember, only the cold war kept the balance of power in that regard. Any enemy of the US was a friend of Russia and vice versa. That's not always true anymore, though Putin and Bush were doing there best to get back to those days.

e_goldstein
01-30-09, 05:12 PM
Who would go to war? Nuclear weapons have made the prospect of war politically, economically, and socially untenable.

Maybe under a Rational Unitary Actors model of international affairs, but I don't see any world leaders acting rationally these days.

BadJuju
01-30-09, 05:27 PM
Maybe under a Rational Unitary Actors model of international affairs, but I don't see any world leaders acting rationally these days.

They are acting according to their interests right now; however, nuclear war is not in anyone's interests.

mfyahya
01-30-09, 05:43 PM
That is simply not an option, there are too many people living there who must find a way to live in peace together in the region.

While I think David Rothchild was wrong to persuade the UK Govt to allow him to 'take' Palestine after WW2, the deed is now done, and the only way ahead lies in finding a way for the two tribes to co-exist.

It will be incredibly hard, because by and large the Arabs are people of the heart, and from their perspective they have had their homeland stolen. The Jews are people of the head, with extraordinary powers of reason, but they will never understand the position of those they have displaced because they cannot be reasoned with.


Do you think you can "be reasoned with" after being forcibly evicted from your home and all manner of atrocities committed against your family and people for decades?

The Jews did live and flourish for hundreds of years under Muslim rule in Spain, and they say this was their golden era (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_under_Muslim_rule#Middle_Ages) . After the Inquisition many fled again to the Ottaman empire. There are sizable communities of Jews this day living in Yemen in peace. Christians too have been living for generations under Muslims in the Levant.

There is no peaceful solution to the problem.

FRED
01-30-09, 09:06 PM
Do you think you can "be reasoned with" after being forcibly evicted from your home and all manner of atrocities committed against your family and people for decades?

The Jews did live and flourish for hundreds of years under Muslim rule in Spain, and they say this was their golden era (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_under_Muslim_rule#Middle_Ages) . After the Inquisition many fled again to the Ottaman empire. There are sizable communities of Jews this day living in Yemen in peace. Christians too have been living for generations under Muslims in the Levant.

There is no peaceful solution to the problem.

Off to the Political Abyss (http://itulip.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=71) we go.

Contemptuous
01-30-09, 10:14 PM
You've got a point there mfyahya, but if you comb the hair over it with good brush then it won't show up quite as obtrusively. :D


Do you think you can "be reasoned with" after being forcibly evicted from your home and all manner of atrocities committed against your family and people for decades?

The Jews did live and flourish for hundreds of years under Muslim rule in Spain, and they say this was their golden era (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_under_Muslim_rule#Middle_Ages) . After the Inquisition many fled again to the Ottaman empire. There are sizable communities of Jews this day living in Yemen in peace. Christians too have been living for generations under Muslims in the Levant.

There is no peaceful solution to the problem.

KGW
01-31-09, 12:26 PM
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1060043.html


Just four years ago, the defense establishment decided to carry out a seemingly elementary task: establish a comprehensive database on the settlements. Brigadier General (res.) Baruch Spiegel, aide to then defense minister Shaul Mofaz, was put in charge of the project. For over two years, Spiegel and his staff, who all signed a special confidentiality agreement, went about systematically collecting data, primarily from the Civil Administration.

One of the main reasons for this effort was the need to have credible and accessible information at the ready to contend with legal actions brought by Palestinian residents, human rights organizations and leftist movements challenging the legality of construction in the settlements and the use of private lands to establish or expand them. The painstakingly amassed data was labeled political dynamite.

The defense establishment, led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, steadfastly refused to publicize the figures, arguing, for one thing, that publication could endanger state security or harm Israel's foreign relations. Someone who is liable to be particularly interested in the data collected by Spiegel is George Mitchell, President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, who came to Israel this week for his first visit since his appointment. It was Mitchell who authored the 2001 report that led to the formulation of the road map, which established a parallel between halting terror and halting construction in the settlements.
The official database, the most comprehensive one of its kind ever compiled in Israel about the territories, was recently obtained by Haaretz. Here, for the first time, information the state has been hiding for years is revealed. An analysis of the data reveals that, in the vast majority of the settlements - about 75 percent - construction, sometimes on a large scale, has been carried out without the appropriate permits or contrary to the permits that were issued. The database also shows that, in more than 30 settlements, extensive construction of buildings and infrastructure (roads, schools, synagogues, yeshivas and even police
stations) has been carried out on private lands belonging to Palestinian West Bank residents.

Contemptuous
01-31-09, 05:51 PM
I have a pretty clear conviction that the Israelis would put the entire gamut of illegal settlements right on the table alongside the original Begin / Arafat comprehensive settlement of land for peace, if they could find an interlocutor on the Palestinian side who offered ironclad guarantees that an armistice signed with Israel would preclude any and all further acts of war, violence, intifada, civilian suicide boming, etc.

The problem is that HAMAS have for so many years provided ample indication that they regard any "binding contract" signed with the Israeli state as a vile piece of paper contaminated by the irrevocable vileness of the Israelis. I would vigorously support A) an immediate cessation of all further Israeli illegal settlements (I support that anyway regardless) , B) that they hand over the entire area originally offered to Arafat, including all of the infrastructure Israelis have built within it, as a major component of a truly binding land for peace deal.

The largest contiguous land for peace settlement in 50 years was that negotiated at Camp David. It's delineation was designed expressly to meet Arafat's requests. It was not delineated arbitrarily by the Israelis, it was devised to win Arafat's genuine interest and participation through to conclusion. The Israelis were meeting his territorial request in that geographic demarcation, not imposing it.

Who is there here, currently feeling the fire in the belly, of ethical outrage at the illegal Israeli settlements, who (also) considers themself to have a grain of realism, who honestly believes that once HAMAS was handed such a package at a new and historic "Camp David II", they would consider that historic document to be anything more than a temporary expedient to gain possession of the land, after which they would spit on the "peace" component of that treaty as a filthy compromise with a hated rival, and resume their active pursuit of yet more "armed liberationist struggle" with Israel?

This is the real issue. The Israeli settlements are clearly illegal. They are a response to a breakdown, or rather a complete disintegration of potentials for serious dialogue such as the above prospective treaty would represent. There is no doubt in my mind that even the most conservative components of Israeli politics could be persuaded to hand over that entire area - straight back to a whole, viable and un-fragmented Palestinian nation, if HAMAS (in a reconciliation with FATAH) ever gave convincing evidence that they'd regard a historic treaty with Israel to be anything other than toilet paper.

KGW
02-01-09, 01:14 AM
You severely underestimate the fanaticism of the Zionists, Lukester. . .

metalman
02-01-09, 01:46 AM
You severely underestimate the fanaticism of the Zionists, Lukester. . .

all fanatics should be rounded up and put into camps.

Contemptuous
02-01-09, 05:37 AM
How fortunate that we have reasoned and moderate interlocutors in HAMAS. At least reason persists on one side. :rolleyes: I must assume by your having omitted them from this roster of fanatics, that you take them to be relatively exemplary.

*T*
02-01-09, 07:20 AM
all fanatics should be rounded up and put into camps.

(touchpaper lit, he runs back 30 yards)

KGW
02-02-09, 11:47 AM
How fortunate that we have reasoned and moderate interlocutors in HAMAS. At least reason persists on one side. :rolleyes: I must assume by your having omitted them from this roster of fanatics, that you take them to be relatively exemplary.


You assume incorrectly :) But then they did not originate by terrorizing the inhabitants of Palestine and taking their land. They did not exist when the Stern Gang/Irgun were proclaiming "Eretz Israel." Greater Israel, laid out on the map below:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/images/greater-israel-map5.jpg

This was proclaimed long ago, that the Arabs must be driven out, by hook or crook. If you wish to be taken seriously, you cannot ignore where responsibility lies.

Contemptuous
02-02-09, 12:02 PM
Doubtless there are some who take your substantive summary of the origins of the Israeli / Palestinian problems quite seriously. And the Stern Gang / Irgun are running Israeli foreign policy today, just as they were at Camp David, and at the Gaza handover - and they have been surreptitiously guiding Israeli foreign policy during it's rapprochement with Egypt, Jordan, pre-Syria dominated Lebanon, and even quietly with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the moderate Arab states. :p Give me a break KGW.

"This was proclaimed long ago, that the Arabs must be driven out, by hook or crook. If you wish to be taken seriously, you cannot ignore where responsibility lies"

Please take up your axe grinding moral crusade about Israeli terrorists with someone else. I am a poor candidate for such turgid stuff.


You assume incorrectly :) But then they did not originate by terrorizing the inhabitants of Palestine and taking their land. They did not exist when the Stern Gang/Irgun were proclaiming "Eretz Israel." Greater Israel, laid out on the map below:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/images/greater-israel-map5.jpg

This was proclaimed long ago, that the Arabs must be driven out, by hook or crook. If you wish to be taken seriously, you cannot ignore where responsibility lies.

KGW
02-02-09, 12:21 PM
Doubtless there are some who take your substantive summary of the origins of the Israeli / Palestinian problems quite seriously. And the Stern Gang / Irgun are running Israeli foreign policy today, just as they were at Camp David, and at the Gaza handover - and they have been surreptitiously guiding Israeli foreign policy during it's rapprochement with Egypt, Jordan, pre-Syria dominated Lebanon, and even quietly with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the moderate Arab states. :p Give me a break KGW.

"This was proclaimed long ago, that the Arabs must be driven out, by hook or crook. If you wish to be taken seriously, you cannot ignore where responsibility lies"

Please take up your axe grinding moral crusade about Israeli terrorists with someone else. I am a poor candidate for such turgid stuff.

http://www.eretzisraelforever.net/

Itzhak Shamir, PM of Israel, Stern Gang/LEHI member. Menachem Begin, PM of Israel, IRGUN member.

For your further edification. It is unfortunate that you resort to ad hominem and unsupported statements, but that is your choice.

KGW
02-02-09, 04:00 PM
Israeli War Crimes

Under the Black Flag

By URI AVNERY
A Spanish judge has instituted a judicial inquiry against seven Israeli political and military personalities on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The case: the 2002 dropping of a one ton bomb on the home of Hamas leader Salah Shehade. Apart from the intended victim, 14 people, most of them children, were killed.
For those who have forgotten: the then commander of the Israeli Air Force, Dan Halutz, was asked at the time what he feels when he drops a bomb on a residential building. His unforgettable answer: “A slight bump to the wing.” When we in Gush Shalom accused him of a war crime, he demanded that we be put on trial for high treason. He was joined by the Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, who accused us of wanting to “turn over Israeli army officers to the enemy”. The Attorney General notified us officially that he did not intend to open an investigation against those responsible for the bombing.
I should be happy, therefore, that at long last somebody is ready to put that action to a judicial test (even if he seems to have been thwarted by political pressure.) But I am sorry that this has happened in Spain, not in Israel.

* * *
ISRAELI TV VIEWERS have lately been exposed to a bizarre sight: army officers appearing with their faces hidden, as usual for criminals when the court prohibits their identification. Pedophiles, for example, or attackers of old women.
On the orders of the military censors, this applies to all officers, from battalion commanders down, who have been involved in the Gaza war. Since the faces of brigade commanders and above are generally known, the order does not apply to them.
Immediately after the cease-fire, the Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, promoted a special law that would give unlimited backing by the state to all officers and soldiers who took part in the Gaza war and who might be accused abroad of war crimes. This seems to confirm the Hebrew adage: “On the head of the thief, the hat is burning”.

* * *
I DO NOT object to trials abroad. The main thing is that war criminals, like pirates, should be brought to justice. It is not so important where they are caught. (This rule was applied by the State of Israel when it abducted Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and hanged him in Israel for heinous crimes committed outside the territory of Israel and, indeed, before the state even existed.)
But as an Israeli patriot, I would prefer suspected Israeli war criminals to be put on trial in Israel. That is necessary for the country, for all decent officers and soldiers of the Israeli army, for the education of future generations of citizens and soldiers.
There is no need to rely on international law alone. There are Israeli laws against war crimes. Enough to mention the immortal phrase coined by Justice Binyamin Halevy, serving as a military judge, in the trial of the border policemen who were responsible for the 1956 massacre in Kafr Kassem, when dozens of children, women and men were mown down for violating a curfew which they did not even know about.
The judge announced that even in wartime, there are orders over which flies “the black flag of illegality”. These are orders which are “manifestly” illegal – that is to say, orders which every normal person can tell are illegal, without having to consult a lawyer.
War criminals dishonor the army whose uniform they wear – whether they are generals or common soldiers. As a combat soldier on the day the Israeli Defense Army was officially created, I am ashamed of them and demand that they be cast out and be put on trial in Israel.
My list of suspects includes politicians, soldiers, rabbis and lawyers.

* * *
THERE IS not the slightest doubt that in the Gaza war, crimes were committed. The question is to what extent and by whom.
Example: the soldiers call on the residents of a house to leave it. A woman and her four children come out, waving white handkerchiefs. It is absolutely clear that they are not armed fighters. A soldier in a near-by tank stands up, points his rifle and shoots them dead at short range. According to testimonies that seem to be beyond doubt, this happened more than once.
Another example: the shelling of the United Nations school full of refugees, from which there was no shooting – as admitted by the army, after the original pretexts were disproved.
These are ”simple” cases. But the spectrum of cases is far wider. A serious judicial investigation has to start right from the top: the politicians and senior officers who decided on the war and confirmed its plans must be investigated about their decisions. In Nuremberg it was laid down that the starting of a war of aggression is a crime.
An objective investigation has to find out whether the decision to start the war was justified, or if there existed another way of stopping the launching of rockets against Israeli territory. Without doubt, no country can or should tolerate the bombing of its towns and villages from beyond the border. But could this be prevented by talking with the Gaza authorities? Was our government’s decision to boycott Hamas, the winner of the democratic Palestinian elections, the real cause of this war? Did the imposition of the blockade on a million and a half Gaza Strip inhabitants contribute to the launching of the Qassams? In brief: were the alternatives considered before it was decided to start a deadly war?
The war plan included a massive attack on the civilian population of the Strip. The real aims of a war can be understood less from the official declarations of its initiators, than from their actions. If in this war some 1300 men, women and children were killed, the great majority of whom were not fighters; if about 5000 people were injured, most of them children; if some 2500 homes were partly or wholly destroyed; if the infrastructure of life was totally demolished – all this clearly could not have happened accidentally. It must have been a part of the war plan.
The things said during the war by politicians and officers make it clear that the plan had at least two aims, which might be considered war crimes: (1) To cause widespread killing and destruction, in order to “fix a price tag”. “to burn into their consciousness”, “to reinforce deterrence”, and most of all – to get the population to rise up against Hamas and overthrow their government. Clearly this affects mainly the civilian population. (2) To avoid casualties to our army at (literally) any price by destroying any building and killing any human being in the area into which our troops were about to move, including destroying homes over the heads of their inhabitants, preventing medical teams from reaching the victims, killing people indiscriminately. In certain cases, inhabitants were warned that they must flee, but this was mainly an alibi-action: there was nowhere to flee to, and often fire was opened on people trying to escape.
An independent court will have to decide whether such a war-plan is in accordance with national and international law, or whether it was ab initio a crime against humanity and a war-crime.
This was a war of a regular army with huge capabilities against a guerrilla force. In such a war, too, not everything is permissible. Arguments like “The Hamas terrorists were hiding within the civilian population” and “They used the population as human shields” may be effective as propaganda but are irrelevant: that is true for every guerrilla war. It must be taken into account when a decision to start such a war is being considered.
In a democratic state, the military takes its orders from the political establishment. Good. But that does not include “manifestly” illegal orders, over which the black flag of illegality is waving. Since the Nuremberg trials, there is no more room for the excuse that “I was only obeying orders”.
Therefore, the personal responsibility of all involved - from the Chief of Staff, the Front Commander and the Division Commander right down to the last soldier - must be examined. From the statements of soldiers one must deduce that many believed that their job was “to kill as many Arabs as possible”. Meaning: no distinction between fighters and non-fighters. That is a completely illegal order, whether given explicitly or by a wink and a nudge. The soldiers understood this to be “the spirit of the commander”.

* * *
AMONG THOSE suspected of war crimes, the rabbis have a place of honor.
Those who incite to war crimes and call upon soldiers, directly or indirectly, to commit war crimes may be guilty of a war crime themselves.
When one speaks of “rabbis”, one thinks of old men with long white beards and big hats, who give tongue to venerable wisdom. But the rabbis who accompanied the troops are a very different species.
In the last decades, the state-financed religious educational system has churned out “rabbis” who are more like medieval Christian priests than the Jewish sages of Poland or Morocco. This system indoctrinates its pupils with a violent tribal cult, totally ethnocentric, which sees in the whole of world history nothing but an endless story of Jewish victimhood. This is a religion of a Chosen People, indifferent to others, a religion without compassion for anyone who is not Jewish, which glorifies the God-decreed genocide described in the Biblical book of Joshua.
The products of this education are now the “rabbis” who instruct the religious youths. With their encouragement, a systematic effort has been made to take over the Israeli army from within. Kippa-wearing officers have replaced the Kibbutzniks, who not so long ago were dominant in the army. Many of the lower and middle-ranking officers now belong to this group.
The most outstanding example is the “Chief Army Rabbi”, Colonel Avichai Ronsky, who has declared that his job is to reinforce the “fighting spirit” of the soldiers. He is a man of the extreme right, not far from the spirit of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose party was outlawed in Israel for its fascist ideology. Under the auspices of the army rabbinate, religious-fascist brochures of the ultra-right “rabbis” were distributed to the soldiers.
This material includes political incitement, such as the statement that the Jewish religion prohibits “giving up even one millimeter of Eretz Israel”, that the Palestinians, like the Biblical Philistines (from whom the name Palestine derives), are a foreign people who invaded the country, and that any compromise (such as indicated in the official government program) is a mortal sin. The distribution of political propaganda violates, of course, army law.
The rabbis openly called upon the soldiers to be cruel and merciless towards the Arabs. To treat them mercifully, they stated, is a “terrible, awful immorality”. When such material is distributed to religious soldiers going into war, it is easy to see why things happened the way they did.

* * *
THE PLANNERS of this war knew that the shadow of war crimes was hovering over the planned operation. Witness: the Attorney General (whose official title is “Legal Advisor to the Government”) was a partner to the planning. This week the Chief Army Attorney, Colonel Avichai Mandelblut, disclosed that his officers were attached throughout the war to all the commanders, from the Chief of Staff down to the Division Commander.
All this together leads to the inescapable conclusion that the legal advisors bear direct responsibility for the decisions taken and implemented, from the massacre of the civilian police recruits at their graduating ceremony to the shelling of the UN installations. Every attorney who was a partner to the deliberations before an order was given is responsible for its consequences, unless he can prove that he objected to it.
The Chief Army Attorney, who is supposed to give the army professional and objective advice, speaks about “the monstrous enemy” and tries to justify the actions of the army by saying that it was fighting against “an unbridled enemy, who declared that he ‘loves death’ and finds shelter behind the backs of women and children”. Such language is, perhaps, pardonable in a pep-talk of a war-drunk combat commander, like the battalion chief who ordered his soldiers to commit suicide rather than be captured, but totally unacceptable when it comes from the chief legal officer of the army.

* * *
WE MUST pursue all the legal processes in Israel and call for an independent investigation and the indictment of suspected perpetrators. We must demand this even if the chances of it happening are slim indeed.
If these efforts fail, nobody will be able to object to trials abroad, either in an international court or in the courts of those nations that respect human rights and international law.
Until then, the black flag will still be waving.

Contemptuous
02-02-09, 04:19 PM
KGW - You might recognize that in the top diplomatic colleges around the world (the reputable ones that is) the kind of National Enquirer stuff you are touting here as being the driving force of Israeli foreign policy would not get you past first semester? This stuff would make your thesis a laughingstock of serious political analysis of modern Israel, let alone any other country in the region.

Much more to the point, it's directly offensive to an entire nation. You are resorting to "ad hominem" attacks against the "legitimacy" of an entire nation old sport. Imagine us developing theses about Ghana, or Trinidad, or Monaco, or the Republic of Guinea-Bissau which painted them as evil schemers bent on stealing all of their neighbor's property and lands? A bystander observing that exercise would be repelled.

This is not an ad hominem attack on you. To suggest anyone disagreeing with your overheated thesis is engaging in an attack on you is further delusion. Disagreement with your thesis suggests rather, that the assertions you are celebrating here have an element of gutter oriented mud and slime slinging towards an entire nation's inherent morality in it. Really, it's a bit steep. Are there any other nations in the world you feel this vehemently outraged about? If not, why is your vivid concern so narrowly focused on this one?

Be less naive perhaps. Take note of the virulent nationalists in dozens of other countries, and then meditate for a little while on why it is the Israeli nationalists who you find so gripping, while you routinely ignore the Turkish ones, the German ones, the British ones, or the American ones. Got a bee in your bonnet perhaps?


http://www.eretzisraelforever.net/

Itzhak Shamir, PM of Israel, Stern Gang/LEHI member. Menachem Begin, PM of Israel, IRGUN member.

For your further edification. It is unfortunate that you resort to ad hominem and unsupported statements, but that is your choice.