Heisenberg wrote:If I wanted to avoid civilian casualties, I would simply not lob high explosive missiles into densely populated civilian areas
So you are saying the glorious SAA doesn't want to avoid civilian casualties? Again, I'm waiting for a response here.
Heisenberg wrote:What in the world are you talking about?
What is it that you didn't understand?
Heisenberg wrote:More babble, tinged with the cynical appropriation of anticolonialism that is now very fashionable among Zionists./
Babble responding to babble. I find it hilarious to be a communist and whine about appropriation of anything while being one, too, do I have to pay you copyrights now?
Also, in reality communists had no qualms in practicing colonialism of their own, unless you believe Soviet foreign policy wasn't its own kind of colonialism and imperialism.
Heisenberg wrote:This policy requires forcing two million people, almost half of whom are under 14, into a ghetto, does it?
I'd much rather you openly say what you are clearly itching to say. You aren't fooling anyone.
If Gazans want to leave the strip, why don't they ask Egypt to allow them to? Why is Egypt keeping the border with Gaza closed? Why is Israel supposed to open its borders with a territory ruled by a sworn enemy? Does Assad keep Syria's border with Israel open? Am I supposed to believe Hamas has no responsibility in the plight of its own subjects?
Fact is, Israel is under no obligation to allow Hamas to arm and is also under no obligation to keep its borders open if each and every other actor in this conflict does not. If Gaza is what it is, it stands to reason that the first ones that should be held accountable are those who govern it.
Heisenberg wrote:You seem to have an uncanny ability to read my mind!
For the avoidance of doubt, my "support" for Assad begins and ends at not supporting yet another western-backed regime change war in the middle east, and for the Syrian army's efforts to prevent al Nusra and ISIS taking over the country - which, incidentally, is a much more clear and present danger than the idea that the people of Gaza will perpetrate a second holocaust against Israel.
A clear and present danger Israel doesn't have because it does not allow it to fester. Assad tried to do the same, but was unsuccessful. Had he succeeded, had he managed to quell the rebellion early on, we'd not be talking about yet another neverending war in the region.
I also find it great to see you admit that your only reason for supporting Assad is that you don't want Western interests to prevail. Why? Because that means that, should Israel change its allegiance some day, it would force you to become pro-Israel since it would be at odds with the West. Am I correct here?
Heisenberg wrote:Watch out, the Handforth Parish Council is on the scene. Read the standing orders! Read them and understand them!
Heisenberg wrote:For someone who really, really hates Syria, you sure do like to use them a lot as your moral benchmark.
I don't "hate" Syria. As you correctly said, the Syrians are indeed fighting an existential war. That is one big reason for its brutality. As I mentioned in my post above, and this is something you can learn from our (sadly gone) Syrian posters, Alawites were treated like shit by the Sunni establishment before Hafez al-Assad rose to power in Syria. For them, losing the war is (at best) going back to being treated like that. For Sunnis, the conflict is also existential since losing means widespread persecution and repression, and second class status (at best) for those who are identified as belonging to clans who rose against the Assads.
But guess what: For Israelis and Palestinians the conflict is also existential, and both see it that way. Both believe the other is after them, and both have good reasons to believe so. Yes, Palestinians also have good reasons not to want to live under Israel's sovereignty, particularly since Israel doesn't want to take them as citizens. For Palestinians, too, it would seem to me that the different broad factions see their own internal conflicts in a similar vein, as they know the winner would completely obliterate the loser.
So pray tell, why would you treat both governments so differently in how they deal with Islamists except
for the fact that you mentioned above that you're opposing the West in each? If you're going to play that game, go ahead but don't pretend to have any moral high ground here. Just state it outright: You have your own political goals and that's what matters the most, not the humanitarian costs which are secondary. I actually think that's also how most other actors not directly involved see both conflicts too. I highly doubt the civilian casualties in Syria, Israel or Palestine are the main priority for the US, the UK, the EU, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. There's more at stake here than that.
Heisenberg wrote:No, I would like you to address the topic for once, rather than droning on about me.
I get that you don't like me. I also think you're a complete piece of shit, but at least I also actually address your substantive arguments, such as they are. All you've done is shift the topic of discussion to my alleged moral failings.
I think I've been doing that by showing that these "substantive points" are applied selectively (so they're not generally important) and by mentioning that it's probably the least harmful way to deal with the tactics used by Islamists who mingle among civilian populations. You haven't really provided Israel any alternative to that at all but saying "well don't bomb them regardless, just allow your own civilian population to be bombarded by rockets indefinitely". Although this quite obviously doesn't apply to Assad, for some reason.
Heisenberg wrote:There we go, we're finally getting somewhere! I know it must have been very hard for you to type that, since you felt it was necessary to preface it with several hundred words about how evil I am beforehand, but I sincerely appreciate you actually answering a direct question. Even if it was heavily caveated and through gritted teeth.
I've already referred to this issue in the past, actually, as these arguments always surface in this discussion. And the answer is always the same, and actually is a general answer about civilians and one that has backing by international law (for whatever that is worth). What's your point here?
Heisenberg wrote:No, they do not. But this does not give Israel carte blanche to cause orders of magnitude more casualties on response, and then disavow any responsibility for its actions.
I thought you said this wasn't a numbers competition?
As for the responsibilities: I agree it has to face responsibilities, although they are diluted in this case given Hamas uses the tactics it uses and that all alternatives would actually lead to worse civilian casualties. I quite frankly believe Israel has far more responsibility for what happens in the West Bank, and yes that includes very bad things that happen with Israel's complicity (at the very least) such as the whole settlement of the region and particularly how radical settlers treat Palestinians, than for what happens in Gaza, which it effectively does not rule and hasn't done so for quite some time now.
As for the length of my response, it's long because there happens to be plenty of nuance here.
Heisenberg wrote:Of course the Syrian army's bombing of civilian areas, and killing of children, is bad, just as the al Nusra front and ISIS's war crimes in Syria are bad. War is hell, and total wars like the Syrian Civil War inevitably lead to appalling abuses. This, incidentally, is why I have no patience for those who cheer on idealistic regime change wars halfway across the world as a way to make ourselves feel better.
Correct, no disagreement with you here. I'll also reiterate that for al Nusra and ISIL the conflict is also existential in character, since we can both agree that if they are caught by the Syrians they'll experience slow, brutal deaths in a dungeon somewhere, just as Assad losing means scores of Alawites would face a similar fate and those who don't would go back into being second class citizens at best. It's why the conflict is that brutal to begin with.
And guess what, Israelis and Palestinians see each other in a similar way, Israelis may not inflict Palestinian prisoners such deaths but it will keep them locked up for as long as possible, which is not something they want either. And if Palestinian Islamists prevailed militarily, Israeli Jews believe - with good reason - they would likely be forced out (assuming they'd not be massacred), while if Palestinian secular groups prevailed they believe - also with good reason - they'd be either forced out or turned into internal pariahs. Israeli Arabs who didn't join the fray against the Israeli Government would at best become pariahs for being cowards. Of course if you believe that's your cost of losing, you will not allow your opponent to ever be in a position to win no matter what onlookers say and this applies to Israel, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, the Islamists of all kinds and all other actors involved.
Even actors like NATO, China and Russia won't ever allow Islamists to ever reach a position to existentially threaten them such as procuring themselves with a nuclear weapon - if the main possible venue for that imploded (Pakistan) there would be an immediate military intervention to destroy or retrieve the weapons and deny Islamists access to them. And if that means bombings and killing thousands or even tens of thousands of innocent civilians they will (separately or under a temporary alliance to fulfill a mutual interest), I don't doubt that for a second.
Surely we can agree about this?