Terra Sigillata

I came home this evening after a grant submission and uploading a bunch of grant reviews hoping to open a bottle of Gruet Brut and write up my account of last week’s Friday Fermentable Live!!! at ScienceOnline’09.

While sitting down, my dear PharmGirl, MD, asked me to read this op-ed essay and scrolled it such that I could not read the author. I immediately suggested that the author was Bill Clinton or Henry Kissinger.

While I was raised in an unusual form of ethnic catholicism (not Roman), I have had just as many Jewish colleagues as Muslim given where I grew up and where I have lived since. My point is that I have no dog in this fight other than to find a solution that allows my colleagues in the Middle East to live in peace and do good science in a cooperative manner (not to mention stop being bombed to hell for just trying to go out and buy some bread).

The shocking level of the last wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence, which ended with this weekend’s cease-fire, reminds us why a final resolution to the so-called Middle East crisis is so important. It is vital not just to break this cycle of destruction and injustice, but also to deny the religious extremists in the region who feed on the conflict an excuse to advance their own causes.

I can’t figure a way to block the author’s name without violating NYT’s copyright but please read the essay in its entirety first. To me, it’s the most sober assessment of the current situation and I would suggest that the President and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton consider seriously the content of this editorial.

Comments

  1. #1 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2009

    I’m not looking. I’m thinking this is Quadafi.

    OK, no I’ll go look.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2009

    Indeed. Qaddafi. Everybody spells it differently, but same guy.

    In extended remarks a few days ago he also suggested moving all the Israeli Jews to Alaska.

    Gaddafi is much loved and respected by a big chunk of the world, and thanks mainly to Casper Weinberger, hated and despised by another. These days, it is hard to tell when he is joking.

  3. #3 Jack Kolinski
    January 24, 2009

    Although Qaddafi’s authorship will undoubtedly “color” people’s views on his proposal, it is an entirely rational proposal, but for the Jews’ desire for a “Jewish” homeland. The basis for dispute here is no different than in hundreds of other places throughout the world. The former Yugoslavia has splintered because of religion disguised as ethnicity and/or nationalism (or ethnicity and/or nationalism disguised as religion. Not really sure which way to go on that one). John McCain’s beloved Czechoslovakia was separated into two republics some fifteen years ago for precisely the same reason. They seem to be getting along quite nicely. Tiny Belgium may go the same route!
    The “solution” to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is utterly and incontrovertibly simple! Get both sides to realize that there is no god and that both Jews and Muslims and Christians and every other “believer” has been sold a palpably ridiculous hoax and fraud to keep them under control and malleable. I didn’t say it was going to be EASY. But the real solution is just that simple. My suggestion, made elsewhere commenting on related subjects (darn near EVERYTHING is related to the ignorance and resulting hatred and violence spawned by ALL religion), is to require every teenage human being to read The God Delusion. If, after doing so, they persist in their superstitions, at least they will have some facts, common sense and reason to fall back on and to nag at them. And most of them will see the light. It really isn’t that hard to see when you get religion and atheism out in the open air and examine them side by side.
    Of course, I am not averse to proceeding in stages where FIRST, you try to live side by side with your neighbors and respect their religious differences until you realize that all religion is full of crap. The problem comes when one religion decides it is supposed to impose itself on the rest of the World by force if necessary. I’m going to have to side with the Jews and against the Muslims on this one, although I graciously concede the “Christians” used to be just as bad until they splintered into so many different groups they decided to call a truce and stop killing each other, at least until one branch gained sufficient power to impose its will on the others again. That doesn’t seem to be going very well except in the rural United States and if Sarah Palin is the best they have to offer, I’m feeling reasonably safe for the time being.
    So. Two states or one state for the Jews and the Palestinians? I’m going with two for the time being with joint or international control over Jerusalem and compensation for displaced Palestinians but no right of return (not because it’s the most just thing in the World but because it keeps people who dislike each other separated; the Palestinians left voluntarily because they assumed the Jews would be annihilated [they lost that bet]; and it makes us look less like a-holes for our treatment of the Indians). I would also insist the Palestinians accept some responsibility for themselves, get off their butts and start building a society instead of focusing all their attentions on the Jews and Israel. Israel has a booming economy and high standard of living despite being a population of six or seven million Jews surrounded by what? 150 million hostile Arab neighbors? The Jews built a great nation and the Palestinians build refugee camps and throw rocks at Israeli tanks. That’s not asymetrical warfare. That is abject stupidity . . .and RELIGION!

  4. #4 Mo
    January 24, 2009

    I agree that the only viable option for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to be a one-state solution.

  5. #5 crf
    January 24, 2009

    I want a 4 million state solution. And that they are all forced to worship Ron Paul.

  6. #6 Texas Reader
    January 24, 2009

    I am just stunned at the name of the author. I’m not convinced that he wrote it himself, but evidently it is an idea he is willing to support.

    I had never considered a “one state solution” but it makes tremendous sense – from a security standpoint and a fairness standpoint. Never in my life would I have thought I would urge people to read anything written by the guy who wrote the editorial, but I will.

  7. #7 Anonymoustache
    January 25, 2009

    Tremendous, AP. Thanks for the link.

  8. #9 Mike_F
    January 26, 2009

    Very amusing indeed. Israel has 6 million Jewish and 1 million Arab citizens with full voting rights, so apparently it is not impossible for an Arab minority to function in a democracy. The amusing (or not-so-amusing) aspect of this is that there is no Arab country with any reasonable track record of democracy with protection of the civil rights of its minorities. Hence, let me suggest testing this idea in the following stages:

    Stage 1: Arab countries manage to come up with one example of an Arab country wherein Christians and Moslems live together without friction or discrimination. Once this is viable for a generation proceed to stage 2.

    Stage 2: Israel withdraws from the occupied territories leaving the Jewish settlers in place as Palestinian citizens. The Palestinians demonstrate that they can run their country as a democracy with full voting rights and without repression or abuse of the Jewish or Christian minorities. Once this has been viable for a generation proceed to stage 3.

    Stage 3: The Qaddafi fantasy…

  9. #10 MH
    January 26, 2009

    This edition of 60 Minutes suggests that a two-state solution is not even feasible any more.

    Good programme.

  10. #11 dp
    January 27, 2009

    The article is basically a call for demographic suicide by the Israel. Absorbing all the people of Palestinian descent born outside Palestine would push Israel close to 50-50 balance and leave it very vulnerable to a Palestinian coup or civil war.

    The right of return argument ignores the post 1948 events where most Jews were forced out of Middle Eastern countries. The number is similar to the number of Arab refugees who left the Jewish controlled parts of Palestine. Instead of “the right of return for Palestinian refugees to the homes their families left behind in 1948″ a more sustainable (although just as impractical) solution would be for the Palestinians to be given the homes & citizenships Jews were forced out of throughout the rest of the Middle East.

    It’s nicely crafted but deceptive. For example he lists various persecutions but leaves out all Muslim opression of Jews, especially the post 1948 expulsions (stopping with “most recently, the Germans under Hitler”). It also tries to set up a moral equivalence: “both faced cruel persecution and often found refuge with one another” – I’m unaware of Muslims significantly seeking shelter from Jews after the time Mohammed fled to Medina, and in the Middle East all non-Muslims suffered serious discrimination in Muslim areas at almost all times. The article’s goal here, as with quoting the Islamic myth that “Jews and Muslims are cousins descended from Abraham” is to persuade the reader that ‘Hey we’re all in the same situation, just let a few million Palestinians become full citizens of a single state, and we’ll forget goals of Sharia law, and years of dedication to destroying Israel’

  11. #12 Sigmund
    January 27, 2009

    Mike_F and dp illustrate some important points.
    There are currently no functioning Arab democracies that would be recognised as democracies in the western world. Unfortunately there is no functional democracy in Israel either and dp shows us why – if it was a true democracy where all the people in the land occupied by Israel had an equal vote then the current makeup of the Israeli parliment would be utterly altered.
    The two state solution has been left in tatters by the settlers actions in the West bank. The notorious claim that Israel had offered 90% of the West bank to Arafat is shown to be a hollow sham when you look at the details (it involved dividing the West bank into multiple statelets separated by innumerable borders controlled by Israel – no country in the world could function in those conditions).
    As for dp’s proposed solution of sending the Palestinians to other Arab countries that had expelled Jews?
    Thats certainly an interesting idea.
    How about we test it out by using the same model to sort out racist problems in Mississippi by deporting their African American population to Zimbabwe!
    Wait a second.
    That sounds horribly racist, doesnt it?
    Yes it is, and just as racist as dp’s proposed solution.
    If Arab countries stole lands from Jews then it is THOSE countries that should pay THOSE Jews the compensation.
    Arabs are not all the same you know (actually I suspect you don’t).
    I think the model Israel should be looking to emulate, if they want a relatively stable society, is that of South Africa. Not the modern South Africa of course, but the South Africa of the 1950s to the 1990s. They’ve gone most of the way already, why not take the final steps.
    Its essentially putting the current model on a permanent basis anyway so whats the big problem?
    Lets just call Gaza and the West Bank the true ‘homelands’ of the Palestinians.

  12. #13 MH
    January 27, 2009

    It’s certainly a pickle.

    The two-state solution won’t work because of the settlers in the West Bank. The one state solution (i.e. democracy) won’t work because Israel will eventually cease to be a majority Jewish state. Ethnic cleansing (expelling the Palestinians to other countries) won’t work because Israel will risk loosing support from the US.

    Apartheid (which is the current situation, with the Bantustans of the Gaza Strip and Palestinian parts of the West Bank), will only provide never-ending conflict, which defeats the whole purpose of Israel being a safe haven for Jews. Its enemies will one day find a way of smuggling nukes in, and then there’ll be another holocaust (6M people). Only this time Israel will probably respond with a nuclear strike on all its enemies (i.e the entire middle-east: 250M people).

    What’s more, the longer the troubles go on, the more it is going to encourage anti-Semitism world-wide.

  13. #14 chat
    January 27, 2009

    very good sites mcx

  14. #15 Paul Murray
    January 28, 2009

    What’s wrong with the “who cares if these tribal people continue killing each other” solution? Why do people on this blog – mainly americans and english-speaking europeans – even think that the opinions of their societies even ought to matter? Why so much interest in arabs and jews killing each other, and so little in the various african tribes doing the same thing?

    Religious tribalism. IMO: treat ‘em the same as antivaxers who won’t vaccinate their kids: just let ‘em die.

  15. #16 Rob W
    January 29, 2009

    @Paul Murray: Your last comment is interesting: “treat ‘em the same as antivaxers who won’t vaccinate their kids: just let ‘em die.”

    Because there’s no evil act more worthy of death that I can think of: being born to antivaxxer parents.

    Oh, wait. I guess the situation is bit more complicated than it seemed. You might find the same is true of other situations.

    Not that I’d disagree with your point about the violence elsewhere in the world that we all seem to ignore most of the time, but your solution seemed worth commenting on.

  16. #17 Salubrius
    February 25, 2009

    There were actually two Islamic Empires, the result of the first two waves of jihad or “holy war”. You can find the details in Andrew Bostom, “The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and its Effect on Non-Muslims.” Bostom tells you how Islam expanded and what happened to non-muslims in conquered areas. You will find that Islamic jihad is a grisly campaign against non-Muslims to satisfy Mohammed’s goal—forcing the “one true faith” on the entire world. Islam, as practiced in the 7th through the 19th century was a faith bent upon the conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims. Subjugated monotheists “People of the Book” such as Christians or Jews were given three choices, 1. to convert to Islam, or 2. to accept second class citizenship and pay a discriminatory tax, and 3. or else to die. Polytheistic peoples were offered only the last choice.
    Bostom describes how at the very outset of Islam, the Jewish Qurayzah tribe were purported to have aided the forces of Muhammad’s enemies and how they were subsequently isolated and besieged. After their surrender some six to nine hundred Jewish men were beheaded in front of Muhammad and their decapitated bodies buried in trenches. The young Jewish males, women, and children were sold into slavery and their property and land were confiscated.

    Throughout the first and second waves of jihad, non-Muslims were discriminated against, made slaves, raped and then became second class citizens. In an insatiable thirst for slaves and women for harems (places of sexual slavery) Islam declared Jihads deep into Africa and Europe, depopulating Eastern Europe and the coast of Africa. Jihad campaigns over 1300 years against non-Muslims were characterized by massacre, enslavement, and pillage. You are confronted with how such military conquests have subdued millions of indigenous peoples and expropriated vast expanses of land.

    One reviewer of Bostom’s history said: “Islam needs to be understood for what it is by head-in-the-sand westerners and, besides analysis and understanding, western civilization certainly needs to identify a lasting cure for this violent, self-absorbed, hate-filled, psychotic plague before more damage is done.” Death, murder, rape plunder and misery were the lot of infidels who were on the receiving end of jihad. Muslim conquests were not the peaceful transitions of willing converts but conquest by the sword. Modern day Jihad is not an isolated incident, but a tradition going back 1300 years.

    Maulana Maududi, in his monograph, JIHAD IN ISLAM, has written in unequivocal terms that the sole objective of Islam is to overthrow any un-Islamic political system anywhere in the world and replace it by an Islamic system with Sharia law. To do so, Muslims (belonging to the Party of Allah) must use physical force whenever necessary to quickly attain this objective and keep the application of force forever.

    The religion of Islam spread poverty, war, slavery, tirany, illliteracy and backwardness through brutal military force, and brought slavery and marginalization for non-Muslims to all regions that this totalitarian religion conquered.

    Are the terror attacks we are now seeing a “Third Wave”?

    The First Wave

    The first wave commenced in the time of Muhammad in the 7th Century and lasted until about the 13th Century. From the Arabian peninsula, the first Islamic Empire extended west and included large areas of Northern Africa (the Maghreb} and southern Spain. To the east it included Iran, and large parts of Central Asia.

    The decline of the first Islamic empire was described in detail by Efraim Karsh in “Islamic Imperialism, a History.” The invasion of the Mongols caused the collapse of the first Islamic Empire; it was already in decline and therefore easy prey. The Mongol invaders drove Turkish tribes to Anatolia. These Islamic Turkish tribes that were fleeing the Mongols settled in what is now Turkey. The Mongols looted and murdered, but couldn’t govern. They soon fell into decline.

    The Second Wave

    The Anatolians were led by the warlord Osman Bey. He would become known as Ottoman. In the 14th Century Ottoman led his warriors to commence the second Islamic Empire. By the late 18th Century the Ottoman Empire had extended further north into Eastern Europe — to the gates of Vienna by 1683 — but in the south had lost Spain, Iran, and a large portion of Arabia. Then there was another decline from 1826 to 1908 as the faith based society of Islam fell behind the Western Civilization. In the West reason had triumphed over faith and there were decisive advances in science and engineering and their implementation. Particularly significant to the Islamic decline were the advances in weapons adopted by the Western military. In 1776, however, the Second Islamic Empire still had enough power to exact tribute from the newborn United States of up to 20% of its revenues to protect its merchant shipping in the Mediterranean from being raided. This tribute was required by the Muslim pirates of Tripoli to protect US sailors from being kidnapped and ransomed or sold into slavery and any women passengers sold to harems. See Michael Oren, “America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present.”

    In the US from 1778 until 1815 there was an internal political struggle very similar to that going on now between the appeasers and those who wanted to fight the Islamic extortionists. “Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute ” was the rallying cry until the pro war faction won and the US Marines took Tripoli.

    Long before 1900 the Ottoman Empire had became known as “the sick man of Europe”. In WWI it entered the war on the side of the Germans. When they lost, the Allies divided the Empire except for Turkey and created 21 Muslim states out of 99% of it. A 22nd (Transjordan, later Jordan) was created after the British Mandate had been formed to hold Palestine, 1% of the former Ottoman Empire, in trust for a national homeland for the Jews in accordance with the Balfour Declaration. The Balfour Declaration had been adopted as Allied policy in the Conference of San Remo and promulgated as Article 95 of the Treaty of Sevres.

    In forming the 22nd state, now Jordan, the British Mandate gave 76% of that 1% to Jordan, leaving 0.24% for the United Nations to dispose of in 1948. In 1948 the UN gave some 6% of Palestine (0.06% of the Ottoman Empire) to the Jews, mostly desert, and offered the rest to local Muslims. Jerusalem, which had had a majority population of Jews since 1864, was intended to be internationalized. The Muslims did not accept their share- they chose to commence a war against the nascent Jewish state.

    This video shows some of that history:
    http://www.terrorismawareness.org/what-really-happened/

    Their wars against Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973 were a preface to the Islamic third wave of global conquest.

    The Third Wave?

    The seeds of the third wave were planted by Hassan al Banna in the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920s in Egypt. But the Brotherhood was easily controlled by the Egyptians until it and its offshoots began receiving petrodollars from the Saudis. See Dore Gold, “Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism”.

    Prior to Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948, Hassan al Banna said: “If the Jewish State becomes a fact [the Arabs] will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea.” That is currently the expressed goal of Hamas.

    Following the takeover of the West’s oil interests and the formation of OPEC, for internal political reasons the Saudis commenced providing petrodollars to the Wahhabis, The Sunni Wahhabis used the immense sums to finance mosques and madrassahs all over the world. These were used to spread their salafist doctrine — Islam as it existed in the 7th Century. Other Muslim groups such as the Shia in Iran and the Deobandi in Indonesia also adopted similar extreme doctrines. Those who do not study history will not recognize the wave of terror commencing in the 1970s as the start of “the third wave” of global conquest. The attacks listed below are limited to attacks on the West and do not include the civil war between the Islamic Salvation Front and the government of Algeria, the massacre in the Sudan with the goal of Islamization, the Black September riots in Jordan, the Civil War in Lebanon, the Hamas-Israel conflict, and the attacks on US and coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    1. 1979 U.S. Embassy take over in Teheran
    2. 1982-91 Kidnapings of 10 Americans in Lebanon
    3. 1983 Suicide truck bombing of U.S embassy, Beirut
    4. 1983 Suicide truck bombing of U.S. Marine barracks, Beirut
    5. 1983 Bombing of U.S. Embassy Annex in Kuwait
    6. 1984 Suicide bombing attack of U.S. Embasy Compound, Beirut
    7. 1984 Hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 221
    8. 1985 Restaurant bombing, Madrid
    9. 1985 Hijacking of TWA 847, Algiers, Beirut
    10. 1985 Bombing Rhein-Main air base, Frankfurt
    11. 1985 Hijacking of cruise liner Achille Lauro, Port Said, Egypt
    12. 1985 Hijacking of Egyptair 648, Malta
    13 1985 Rome and Vioenna airport grenade and gun massacres
    14.1986 Bombing of TWA flight 840
    15. 1986 La Belle Disco bombing, West Berlin
    16. 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, Lockerbie, Scotland
    17. 1993 Gun attack on CIA employees, Langley, VA
    18. 1993 First World Trade Center bombing, NYC
    19. 1994 Jewish Cultural Center bombing, Buenos Aires
    20. 1995 Bombing of U.S. Military Complex, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    21. 1996 Bombing of the Khobar Towers, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    22 1996 Osama bin Laden’s “Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.”
    23. 1998 Bombing of US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    24. 2000 Bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, Aden, Yemen
    25. 2001 Destruction of World Trade Center, NYC
    26. 2001 Attack on the Pentagon, Washington, DC
    27. 2004 Ferry bombing, Phillipines
    28. 2004 Bombing Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia
    29. 2004 Bombing trains, Madrid
    30. 2005 Bombing attacks in the London underground railway and in the streets, London
    31. 2006 Airline bomb plot at Heathrow http://online.wsj.com/article/wonder_land.html
    32. 2007 Bombing attacks on London nightclubs and Glasgow Airport

    There have been 10,925 deadly terror attacks world wide since 9/11 http://thereligionofpeace.com

    From 1942 in Khomenei‘s sermon “Islam is not a religion of Peace” ” …those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.” http://www.hirhome.com/islam/culture01.htm to an Imam whose sermon on April 12th, 2008 repeats that goal, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351242,00.html It seems clear to me that the Third Wave has commenced.

    Following the bombing attack on London nightclubs and the attack on the Glasgow Airport the following day by Muslim doctors, Andrew Bostom wrote an article entitled “Doctors of Death”. In it he referred to the third wave of jihad as “a fulminant recrudescence” of the millennium of Islamic Jihad. “Recrudescence” is like me coming down with shingles 75 years after I recovered from the chickenpox. “Fulminant” means that it came back with a bang.

    Here is the strategic goal for the Muslim Brothers in the United States.

    4- Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America:
    The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that
    destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.

    http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/20.pdf

    This is from a document introduced in evidence in the criminal trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The first part of it is in arabic but if you scroll down to page 17 you will find the English translation of what is in store for you if we do do nothing about failed states such as Afghanistan.

    These are some of the things one must keep in mind in evaluating the wisdom of a 23rd Muslim state in the Middle East and North Africa. George Santayana has said “Those who do not remember history are condemned to relive it”

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