Friday, November 05, 2004

Arafat: Dead or dying

I do not wish harm to come to anyone. I don’t want my enemies to get hit by a car, or to come down with some horrible disease, or any such thing. Yes, I hope they get their just desserts, but I don’t wish tragedy upon them. It’s just the wrong thing to do.

However, in the case of Yasser Arafat, I tempted to make an exception. And now that I think about it, maybe I’ll make exceptions for a few other people, notably O/Usama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Abu Musab Zarqawi. These four are, if not the most horrible people on Earth, four of the worst.

Arafat is said to be, depending upon which report you believe, dead, in an irreversible coma, in a plain old coma, near death, etc. Frankly, in his case, the sooner he is dead, the better off the world is.

His organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization, is responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of innocent Israeli men, women and children in indiscriminate attacks aimed at innocents. Arafat may never have killed or hurt anyone personally, but he has led one of the most insidious terrorist organizations in history.

Now I don’t pretend to understand the finer points of the argument between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but in order to condemn the acts of Arafat and the PLO, all you need to understand is that they murder innocent people.

If the Palestinians feel the need to go to war with Israel, then form military organizations and attack the Israeli military organizations. To do other than that is not just cowardly, but is symptomatic of an evil people who will use any tactic to achieve their purposes.

And that is what Arafat is: a cowardly, ruthless murderer who has drawn breath for far too long already, and whose place in Hell is warm and ready for him.

It is hard to imagine a replacement for Arafat that would not be better than Arafat. The younger generation is said to be more open to finding a peaceful solution to the problems of the Palestinians, and some say even the hardliners are more amenable to a peaceful solution than was Arafat.

Yasser Arafat: Good Riddance!


JL Pagano said...

"Now I don’t pretend to understand the finer points of the argument between the Palestinians and the Israelis"

You should have both started and finished your piece with that sentence, IMHO.

I would not know where to begin to highlight the blatant one-sided ignorance that is present in your piece, my friend.

At least you appreciate the futility in murdering innocent people, with that of course I agree.

I suppose where we differ is in differentiating between it is perpetrated by the "legitimate" army of an artifical state, and by a group of "terrorists" who wish for their own artificial state.

James Shott said...

While I don't pretend to understand the "finer points" of this disagreement, I have a solid understanding of the tactics of the Palestinians.

You may argue about the legitimacy of Israel as an "artificial" state if that pleases you, but Israel looks and acts like most nations on Earth, so from my point of view, Israel is a legitimate nation. You may disagree with the way it all came about, but I think it serves no real purpose to consider Israel "artificial." It has a government, a standing military force, is a member of the U.N., and on and on.

The Palestinians on the other hand mostly do not function as a nation. True, they do not have a "homeland," and that's what the problem is. But that does not stop them from forming a real government, and forming a true military to fight their battles.

That does not stop them from restricting their fighting to the Israel military, and that does not force them to deliberately target innocent men, women and children.

Israel does not send suicide bombers to Palestinian communities to blow up schools, buses full of innocents, cafes full of innocents, and other totally reprehensible actions. Palestinians do. Israel does not send armed bands to attack innocents who are minding their own business, trying to live their lives in a dangerous part of the world. Palestinians do. In fact, that type of behavior is the sum and substance of the Palestinian leadership: Murdering innocent Israelis.

Israel focuses on retaliating against the "individuals" it believes are responsible for the murders. Since those cowardly murderers prefer to work in safe anonymity and hide among their women and children, hence there is no uniformed military for the Israelis to go after, it frequently happens that innocent Palestinians are killed in the retaliatory process. But what are the Israelis to do? Not strike back at those who deliberately murder women and children? Turn the other cheek, endlessly?

You alluded to my "one-sided ignorance." Perhaps you are more enlightened on this subject than I, and I am waiting breathlessly for you to convince me with facts and sources, not just rhetoric, that my perspective on the cowardly, murderous nature of the Palestinian leadership under Arafat is wrong.



JL Pagano said...

I suppose it would only take a "legitimate" army forcibly removing you and your family from your home and razing it to the ground only to rebuild on the same land for its own people to make you see the other side. Feel free to justify these actions, or were you aware they were taking place at all?

You seem to have very simplistic ideals that actions of a so-called legitimate army are always fully justified and those of a so-called "terrorist" army are not.

Having said that, I suppose my ideals are equally simplistic; I don't think anyone has the right to blow anything or anyone up at all.

If we disagree on such a fundamental principle, I doubt we will ever see eye to eye on the issue.

Living in Ireland, with our similar conflict in the north, makes The Middle East of particular interest to me.

When it comes to such conflicts, I firmly believe that somewhere out there, there exists a peaceful solution that is suitable for both sides, and if that solution is yet to be reached, then either those involved haven't looked hard enough, or they don't really want to find it.

James Shott said...

Various parties have laid claim to that part of the world over hundreds of years, and control over the territory has changed hands more than a few times. Israel now legally occupies the land by virtue of action by the United Nations in 1948. Additional land was claimed following wars with Arab/Muslim nations. The Palestinians believe, despite the 1948 decision, that that land is theirs.

Muslims – Palestinians, Jordanians, Saudi Arabians, Egyptians, Syrians, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Kuwaitis, etc. – want to destroy Israel and all Jews, and do not even acknowledge Israel’s existence, in spite of the U.N. action in 1948. Israel is justifiably defending the territory that is rightly Israel.

I believe that force in the interest of defending yourself is justified. Muslim-nation enemies like Egypt and Syria have attacked Israel. Having come out of top of those wars, and shown its military superiority and its determination to defeat enemies who attack it, Israel has had a period free of wars with Muslim nations, and only Palestinian suicide bombers and Palestinian terrorists attack Israel today.

Although an effort to find some accommodation for the Palestinians seems to be acceptable to Israel, the Palestinians seem interested only in trying to forcefully take over the territory by killing Israelis, or running them off.

A peaceful solution may indeed be possible, but we must ignore history to have optimism that it will be found.

You may rationalize all you want to try to justify the terrorist attacks of the Palestinians against Israel, but you cannot succeed. While neither side is “pure,” the Palestinians are far, far worse than the Israelis.

Retaliation against Palestinian terrorism is justified. Palestinian terrorism cannot be justified.

JL Pagano said...

I ma by no means justifying anyone's actions, and I would like you to point to where I actually do.

However, if two wrongs don't make a right, then I very much doubt three do either, even if one side out-wrongs the other by two to one.

If in your replies you took the time to do a little bit of research to improve your poor knowledge of the situation (whih you admitted yourself in your original piece), then I can claim have achieved something with my challenge.

And FYI, another part of all this that interests me is that I am constantly having arguments with my mother viz-a-vis the Middle East, but GET THIS - she supports the Palestinians!!!!

James Shott said...

You seem to suffer under the misconception that all wrongs are equal. They are not. You recognize only numbers, unaware and unconcerned that motive and method are key to characterizing the participants. Deliberate killing of innocent people, which is the modus operandi of the Palestinians, is a far worse wrong than the accidental/incidental killing of innocent people, who had the bad luck to be used as shields by the cowardly terrorists when their day of retribution comes.

Indeed, almost at the same time you are writing your response, another Palestinian suicide bomber murders innocent Israelis. Of course, the Palestinian leadership "denounces" the action. More words. Will there be any action to follow? Not if history teaches us anything about the Palestinians, who as Muslims are so consumed with hatred for Jews and other "infidels" that in their limited ability to reason believe it is okay to kill innocents simply because they aren't Muslims, or because they are Jews.

Your mother sides with the terrorists. You think what they do is the same as what the Israeli military does. I see progress. In another generation, someone in your family may actually understand that terrorism is immoral.

And by the way, I said I had limited "understanding of the finer points" of the disagreement, not poor knowledge of it, nor a failure to understand the tactics of the Palestinians. Perhaps you ought to reread my post and see if you pick up the history lesson (capsulized as it is) you missed the first time.

James Shott said...

I now see where the Palestinians have arrested four terrorists for the recent bombing, claiming they are Lebanese and from Hezbollah. Hezbollah, not surprizingly, denies it was behind the suicide bombing. This terrorist band is funded by Iran, and is known to have hundreds of Palestinian militants on its payroll.

Well, even if the terrorists were Palestinians and not Lebanese, it is an encouraging sign that the Palestinian leadership will take action against them. Further evidence that having Arafat gone is good.