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Israel's Nuclear Arsenal

By Spork in News
Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 05:16:05 AM EST
Tags: Focus On... (all tags)
Focus On...

After decades of half-hearted secrecy, Israel is finally discussing its large nuclear arsenal. According to John Steinbach's carefully researched and widely republished report, the existence of that arsenal has long been an important bargaining chip in Israeli foreign policy. What follows is an analysis of the purpose and relevance of Israeli nuclear weapons to the current volatile situatation.


For those interested in learning more about the history of the Israeli nuclear weapons program, see this old (1992?) but well-written report, and these documents gathered in research for Avner Cohen's book Israel and the Bomb. The short story is that program was well underway in the mid 50's at the behest of Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion. The Eisenhower administration had a weapons embargo against Israel, but France's nuclear scientists proved quite willing to share their designs for a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor. Kennedy, who strongly opposed nuclear proliferation, agreed to end Eisenhower's weapons embargo in exchange for Israel's assurance that they will not build nuclear weapons. However, the program continued, and shortly after the 1967 war, Israel had several working nuclear warheards. The initial uranium to power their first reactors came from France. Later, more was mined inside Israel, until the apartheid government of South Africa agreed to provide a steady supply. In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, one of the scientists in the bomb project, felt it was his duty to inform the international press about the nature and magnitude of the Israeli nuclear program. For this he was arrested and remains a prisoner of Israel to this day, despite prominent movements urging for his freedom. Presently, the magnitude of the Israeli nuclear arsenal is estimated at anywhere between 200 and 500 warheards.

While the history is quite uncontroversial, the purpose of all these nuclear weapons is a subject of much debate. Some sources claim that the warheads, mounted on long-range Jericho missiles, are intended for deterrence and as weapons of last resort. Evidence for this is French and Russian satellite data revealing that they are not siloed in border regions but instead at the center of Israel--a defensive arrangement.

However, Steinbach's report draws a rather different conclusion. Deterrence weapons are usually designed to have a very high yield; they are doomsday devices. However, a large fraction of the Israeli arsenal consists of neutron bombs. These produce a relatively small explosion and less radioactive fallout than other designs. Their primary mechanism of destruction is a deadly burst of high-speed neutrons, which destroys all living tissue within miles. Because of this design, Israeli bombs could even be used against their immediate neighbors without Israel suffering much from the radioactive cloud they produce. The US calls such low-yield bombs "theater nuclear weapons" and plans to build more of them for a variety of battlefield and first-strike roles (see Bush's recent Nuclear Posture Review, analysis). The idea of first-strike nukes is that they should be small enough so as to not deter the country who owns them from launching them. In this way, the Israeli arsenal has the makeup of a first-strike force.

Lending further support to this is a series of alarming statements by high-ranking Israeli officials. Steinbach's report contains many, but some highlights are

  • "Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches." (Ariel Sharon)
  • "The nuclear issue is gaining momentum (and the) next war will not be conventional." (Israeli president Ezar Weissman).
  • "Israel clearly prepares itself to seek overtly a hegemony over the entire Middle East..., without hesitating to use for the purpose all means available, including nuclear ones." (Israel Shahak)

    Many other threats to use nuclear weapons against the non-nuclear-capable countries of the Middle East are more subtle, but such threats are quite regular. This, together with the fact that no nuclear power is threatening Israel leads credence to Steinbach's thesis that Israeli nuclear weapons are a first-strike arsenal, and that Israel seems quite prepared use it as such.

    Of course, the deterrence/first-strike dichotomy is a very blunt one and cannot capture all of the different roles for which Israel might use their bombs. It is in their interest to appear more ready to nuke than they really are. This makes their enemies think twice. More importantly, perhaps, it wields influence over how they are treated by the United States. Remember that the US would suffer considerably if nuclear bombs started going off in the Middle East. The oil from the region lubricates our entire economy. Steinbach notes several occasions where Israel's message to the US has been: "Either you concede something to us (for example: billions in military supplies each year) or we will solve our security crisis our own way, and you won't like it." As long as the United States actually believes that Israel might use their nuclear weapons, it will be quite motivated to make whatever concessions Israel requests.

    This article is not intended to be alarmist. Indeed, as long as the foreign policies of the US and Israel remain joined at the hip, there is little chance that Israel would launch nuclear weapons. However, Israel's recent movement to the extreme right might test how long this policy union can be maintained. Israel has demonstrated repeatedly that they are prepared to be quite brutal when defending their interests, permitting assassinations, torture and other measures banned my most civilized countries. If they are hit hard by terrorism (WTC-scale), and it's quite likely they will be sooner or later, will they respond with nuclear weapons? They repeatedly claim they are prepared to, and perhaps they are. Also, what is the United States prepared to offer to prevent Israel from using nuclear weapons? With the daily news openly discussing the possibility that the current fighting in the Middle East could easily escalate into an full-scale war, taken together with Weissman's statement that the next war will be nuclear, really should focus our attention on the Israeli nuclear issue, as unpleasant as that may be. While there has been much talk that tensions between Pakistan and India could produce a nuclear exchange, it might be more probable that next nuclear bomb that is used against people will be Israeli. Unlike with India/Pakistan, nobody would fire back.

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    Poll
    What would it take to get Israel to launch their nuclear bombs?
    o Screw you! Israel's nuclear arsenal is a myth and a giant smear campaign. 1%
    o Their nukes will never be used, under any circumstances. Their purpose is only to make Israel's enemies hesitate. 5%
    o They wouldn't launch unless nukes were coming at them. 6%
    o They wouldn't launch unless ABC weapons were used on them (atomic, biological, chemical) 40%
    o They would launch even if ABC weapons were not used on them. 45%

    Votes: 179
    Results | Other Polls

    Related Links
    o discussing
    o widely
    o republishe d
    o report
    o this old (1992?) but well-written report
    o documents
    o Israel and the Bomb
    o Mordechai Vanunu
    o prominent movements
    o report [2]
    o Nuclear Posture Review
    o analysis
    o Also by Spork


    Display: Sort:
    Israel's Nuclear Arsenal | 292 comments (285 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Except (3.92 / 13) (#2)
    by medham on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:45:57 AM EST

    Pakistan. Israel will never launch a nuclear attack against any country unless it's struck by one first, or by an extremely damaging non-nuclear WMD attack. I can't imagine a scenario in which Arab armies could threaten Israel conventionally.

    The rest are just permutations of the standard "madman theory."

    The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

    Scenario (3.66 / 3) (#41)
    by FredBloggs on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:32:16 AM EST

    Baghdad attacks Tel-aviv with the same agents it used in Halabja. Do you doubt that Israel would attack Baghdad with nuclear weapons?

    [ Parent ]
    Oops. (3.00 / 3) (#42)
    by FredBloggs on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:33:33 AM EST

    I guess thats what you said. I think this is why Israel/Palestine needs sorting out before US attacks Iraq, as this is the first thing Saddam Hussein would do - it would get *all* the Arab states behind him.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Oops (none / 0) (#112)
    by khallow on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:37:47 PM EST

    I guess thats what you said. I think this is why Israel/Palestine needs sorting out before US attacks Iraq, as this is the first thing Saddam Hussein would do - it would get *all* the Arab states behind him.

    Assuming he survived. I think with the scud launches in 1991, Hussein was attempting to draw a weaker response from Israel. Say a large scale air raid rather than a nuke fest.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    In '73 (4.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Peaker on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:56:24 PM EST

    Israel was conventionally threatened, and it had nukes.

    [ Parent ]
    In '91 (none / 0) (#97)
    by hawaii on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:07:46 PM EST

    Came close to non-conventional attacks in 1991 (remember the gas masks and Scud missiles)?

    [ Parent ]
    madman? (2.50 / 2) (#83)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:06:37 PM EST

    or medham?

    Admit it! MAD doesn't stand for "Mutually Assured Destruction" -- it stands for "Medham Assured Destruction" and is clearly and implicitly a first-strike theatre nuclear warfare doctrine!

    The "Medham Plan" was hatched in the 1940's by a shadowy group of Zurich Gnomes in the Bedlam Lunatic asylum as part of a greater conspiracy for global conquest now known as the "Medham Bedlam Madman Plan". The truth is revealed!

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Unlikely to be used offensively (4.61 / 21) (#3)
    by Delirium on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:48:14 AM EST

    Israel doesn't really have anything to gain from using nuclear weapons offensively, and they have a lot to lose (mostly in the form of U.S. support). Their conventional armies can soundly trounce all their neighbors, even if all the neighbors threw everything they had into simultaneous invasions (this military disparity is even greater now than it was in 1967/73).

    From what I understand, the original goal of the Israeli development of nuclear weapons was as an essentially watertight guarantee that Israel would not be destroyed. Both in the form of tactical nuclear weapons (overwhelm any invading forces) and strategic nuclear weapons (destroy us and you die with us), though my uninformed guess is that the former likely the main focus -- Israel has no desire to die in flaming glory, because it has no desire to die at all. It's also speculated that after the Arab surprise-attack in 1967 caught the Israeli army off-guard, they considered using tactical nuclear weapons to stop the rapidly gaining Arab armies, but the U.S. averted this by offering immediate military assistance to allow Israel to win a decisive victory conventionally. Whether this is actually true or not, it's plausible that Israel's nuclear weapons might also be used as a bargaining tool with the U.S. -- "help us win conventionally or we can't make any guarantees about what will happen if our back is against the wall."

    In either case, I don't see Israel's nuclear weapons as a major problem. The Arab states are unlikely to mount a major invasion capable of threatening Israel anytime in the forseeable future, and the Palestinian fighting is in areas where nuclear weapons simply aren't useful (even conventional F-16 bombs aren't very useful in that situation).

    67 vs 73 (4.62 / 8) (#6)
    by jasonab on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:19:36 AM EST

    It's also speculated that after the Arab surprise-attack in 1967 caught the Israeli army off-guard, they considered using tactical nuclear weapons to stop the rapidly gaining Arab armies, but the U.S. averted this by offering immediate military assistance to allow Israel to win a decisive victory conventionally.
    I think you mean 1973 here. '67 was the preemtive strike against Egypt. '73 was Yom Kippur where Israel was caught off-guard.

    --
    America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd
    [ Parent ]
    Exactly - they want a sure thing (4.11 / 9) (#9)
    by adamsc on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:32:36 AM EST

    It's like the post-WWII Jews who became body builders and studied martial arts - they didn't want to ever have their survival dependent on a possibly disinterested third party again.

    [ Parent ]
    everyone wants a sure thing (3.60 / 10) (#15)
    by martingale on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:32:43 AM EST

    That doesn't mean they should get it with our blessings. I'll probably get marked down for this, but I don't think your analogy fits. I'd say it's more like victims who start collecting guns and barricade their homes, Waco style.

    Body building and martial arts can be reasonably thought as self-defence. A nuclear weapon is an offensive weapon, not defensive, because MAD guarantees that if you try to defend yourself with them, you're history. That's not defense, that's suicide bombing.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: everyone wants a sure thing (3.28 / 7) (#23)
    by bke on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:08:43 AM EST

    I don't really think that you understand nuclear weapons all that well. Launching low yield devices from Isreal into neighbouring countries isn't going to harm Isreal at all, and since there isn't anyone to strike back at them their will be no mutual destruction.

    --
    Read, think, spread!
    http://www.toad.com/gnu/whatswrong.html
    [ Parent ]

    nuclear scenario for you (4.14 / 7) (#27)
    by martingale on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:44:26 AM EST

    You underestimate the effect such an action from Israel might have on itself. Sure, the physical damage on enemies might be minimal, depending upon the targets chosen, and I've been on the record myself saying that blowing up the planet with nukes is harder than it seems.

    But the hathred unleashed in surrounding populations might be a completely different issue. Pakistan for one would be under extreme pressure to either attack Israel directly with nuclear weapons, or allow some neighbours to "borrow" a few warheads for a couple of days. Chemical attacks by Iraq would I am sure follow within hours. The EU would at the least cut off all relations and support, and place its own small arsenal in readiness and pointed to Israel. This would be a sign to others that from now on, anything against Israel goes.

    Well the WWIII scenario is depressing, but I am convinced that if Israel were to use tactical nukes, it would be slaughtered in short order. That's what I had in mind by mutual destruction. Of course, there's the simpler version that Israel blows itself up if it gets overrun. That's what I would call suicide bombing.



    [ Parent ]
    Madman's poker (3.60 / 5) (#30)
    by adamsc on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:54:58 AM EST

    That's why Israel wants a large nuclear arsenal - for the second round. Would Iraq start chemical attacks if it was clear that the Israelis would cheerfully turn the entire country into radioactive glass? How many Muslims would think twice if the promised reaction would be nuking Mecca?

    As far as the EU goes, their reaction would depend largely on the circumstances. If Israel was seen as the aggressor, they would probably invoke severe sanctions but I doubt they'd start military action except in extreme cases. If Israel used a nuke defensively, it's hard to say what would happen. My guess is that there would be a lot of rhetoric, political infighting and precious little of any meaning anywhere.

    (While I'm generally an optimist, the mere fact that we can talk about things like this outside of the alternative history context is inclining me towards pessimism.)

    [ Parent ]

    indeed (3.60 / 10) (#33)
    by martingale on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:24:18 AM EST

    How many Muslims would think twice if the promised reaction would be nuking Mecca?
    How many Muslims would think twice if the promised reaction was a crackdown on their people and death by explosives for them? What a frightening thought. Let's not go there.

    depend largely on the circumstances. If Israel was seen as the aggressor, they would probably invoke severe sanctions but I doubt they'd start military action except in extreme cases.
    Do you think that Israel's (sorry, I don't mean all Israeli people, but the IDF's) current actions paint them to European eyes as anything other than the aggressor? Have you seen the television pictures of the rubble in Jenin? Looks eerily like the WTC rubble to me. Here's my reasoning: if the IDF is capable of such barbarism in a limited military action, I think the Europeans are capable of seeing Israel as the aggressor if they use nukes.



    [ Parent ]
    Destruction (2.85 / 7) (#71)
    by Peaker on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:17:54 PM EST

    Looks eerily like the WTC rubble to me. Here's my reasoning: if the IDF is capable of such barbarism

    In WTC there was only one aggressor, and no defender.

    In Jenin there was IDF, and there were the Palestinian militants. IDF has destroyed a lot of the houses, but so did Palestinians who blew themselves up near the dense houses (and IDF soldiers).

    I think the media and many of its watchers are jumping to conclusions here.

    [ Parent ]

    Civilian deaths.... (3.25 / 4) (#161)
    by rantweasel on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:34:51 PM EST

    If it was all IDF and Palestinian militants fighting that caused the damage, explain the bulldozered homes with civilians inside? There was a really telling article in the Washington Post recently about a couple of Palestinian senior citizens who were buried in the remains of their home after the IDF bulldozed it down on top of them. There is no justification for that. There is even less justification for preventing people for looking for survivors in the rubble. The suicide bombers are clearly commiting inhumane war crimes, but the IDF is equally guilty, and if I were king of the world, both sides could expect war crimes tribunals.

    mathias

    [ Parent ]
    It's a war... (3.00 / 2) (#213)
    by physicsgod on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:14:44 PM EST

    And in war you don't say "excuse me Mr. Badguy, we're about to blow the fuck out of your firebase, would you be so kind as to evacuate any civillians? Thanks"

    It could very well be that the militants were using the house to shoot from and the seniors couldn't get out. Or the IDF just razed the place out of spite. Just because there are civillian deaths doesn't mean there's been a war crime.

    --- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
    [ Parent ]

    who are you kidding? (3.00 / 2) (#241)
    by martingale on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 09:02:16 PM EST

    This isn't an official war. The IDF troops are officially there on a limited action to "destroy the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure". Look it up on any reputable news site.

    That means most emphatically that "not everything goes", regardless of the perceived actions on the part of militants. This isn't total war ["wollt ihr den totalen Krieg?"], not even Sharon says so [or show me where?].

    Just because there are civillian deaths doesn't mean there's been a war crime.
    You are on very thin ground here. Because this isn't a war, there is no excuse for failing to discriminate between civilians and criminals, especially not because it might be convenient for the IDF. If this had been a war, there would be no excuse for treating civilians like combatants [4th geneva convention].

    The trouble is that the IDF hasn't allowed independent reporting of its operations, so we are forced to piece together what happened from circumstantial evidence and reports from the victims. And it's not pretty.



    [ Parent ]
    Not a war? (4.00 / 2) (#249)
    by physicsgod on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:52:37 AM EST

    Of course it's not a war. War went out of fashion in the late 40's, where have you been? But dying in a war doesn't make you any deader than dying in a "police action".

    If you send an army someplace to fight I call that a war (I guess I'm just old-fashioned). If you say you're doing it to arrest criminals you're either politically astute or criminally stupid, since using the army as a police force is like using a sledgehammer against a housefly.

    Armies are not police forces, just because they both carry guns doesn't make them equivalent. The top priority of the police is to protect innocent people. The top priority of an army is to kill the enemy. Can you see how that makes a difference, especially when a civillian structure is being used as a firebase?

    --- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
    [ Parent ]

    confused (3.00 / 2) (#256)
    by martingale on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:45:20 AM EST

    Wait, now I'm confused. Is it a war, or isn't it a war? Because if it's a war, then there are rules, but if it isn't a war, then there are rules. Unless you're saying that this isn't a war, nor a police action. In which case you've just argued that the current Israeli political rulers are grossly misusing the IDF for political ends. Or something like that. Now that I think of it, that's certainly a possibility...

    Armies are not police forces, just because they both carry guns doesn't make them equivalent. The top priority of the police is to protect innocent people. The top priority of an army is to kill the enemy. Can you see how that makes a difference, especially when a civillian structure is being used as a firebase?
    I'm sure I must be missing something because it reads like you're saying that by sending in the military instead of the police, it makes it allright to kill civilians. Very cunning indeed.

    The Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the military of the country signing it, regardless of whether the other side abides by it or not. This includes Article 3,

    (1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

    To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

    (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

    (b) taking of hostages;

    (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

    (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

    (2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.



    [ Parent ]
    That's what you get from listening to politicians (2.50 / 2) (#269)
    by physicsgod on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:47:30 PM EST

    Sharon may call it a "police action" but to the Poor Dumb Kids with the rifles it's a war.

    And just because it's a war doesn't make all civillian deaths war crimes. First off it would be hard to call it a war crime if the attacking side didn't know there were civillians there, and as I mentioned before neither side is particularly interested in asking the other (who's busy shooting at them) if there are any civillians around. It could also be argued that by staying in an area where there's active combat those civillians were active combatants, at the very least serving as human shields for those shooting. There's also the problem of identification. In this war the Palestinians don't wear uniforms, and you can't make a distinction based on age (10 year-olds with hand grenades are valid targets) or sex (same with women with belts of C-4). But all this is legal masturbation.

    The final analysis is that if you're one of these PDK's and somebody's shooting at you you're going to do everything you can to make them stop, and "better them than me" is an attitude that's been around since 15 seconds after the club was invented. This has nothing to do with nationality, so every country's done it, and thus no country is going to attempt to set the precedent that such actions are criminal. Ergo this will never go to a tribunal.

    --- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
    [ Parent ]

    d'oh, you mean they lied me all these years? (4.50 / 2) (#270)
    by martingale on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 09:07:28 PM EST

    Sharon may call it a "police action" but to the Poor Dumb Kids with the rifles it's a war.
    I'm glad you agree with me that he's using the IDF inappropriately, then.

    And just because it's a war doesn't make all civillian deaths war crimes. First off it would be hard to call it a war crime if the attacking side didn't know there were civillians there,
    Are you really suggesting that the IDF didn't know there were civilians in Jenin, in the other towns? Are you perchance a politician yourself?

    It could also be argued that by staying in an area where there's active combat those civillians were active combatants, at the very least serving as human shields for those shooting.
    Repeat after me, these people LIVE there! They aren't staying in a combat area, the combat area is barging into their living rooms. Conservation of mass would suggest that they can't just disappear magically because suddently their kitchen became a war zone. What are you physically going to do to make them disappear? Besides bulldozing them, I mean (ok, that was mean, but you had it coming).

    problem of identification. In this war the Palestinians don't wear uniforms,
    That's right, no uniforms, no protective helmets, no tanks, no weapons. So if there's a small chance that in a group of ten ordinary people, there's a terrorist hiding, you're happy to mow them all down? I'm glad you're not in charge. Read the Geneva convention, which I conveniently linked for you in my previous post.

    The final analysis is that if you're one of these PDK's and somebody's shooting at you you're going to do everything you can to make them stop, and "better them than me" is an attitude that's been around since 15 seconds after the club was invented. This has nothing to do with nationality, so every country's done it, and thus no country is going to attempt to set the precedent that such actions are criminal. Ergo this will never go to a tribunal.
    If somebody's shooting at you, you're allowed to fight back. But not by failing to discriminate between combatants and civilians. Unless you see the hand grenade in people's hands, you can't shoot them, no matter how paranoid you may be. You can't bulldoze a house with frightened civilians in them just because you suspect a terrorist hiding there. You can't prevent ambulances from helping the wounded. You can't summarily execute people in the streets (I'm quoting from the convention, in case you don't have time to read it).

    'Sucks to be a soldier, doesn't it?



    [ Parent ]
    Explanations (3.66 / 3) (#240)
    by Caton on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:57:33 PM EST

    The Guardian buries in its dispatch this crucial detail, which explains why the Israelis had to wreak as much destruction as they did:

    Palestinians admit the camp was liberally mined two or three days before the assault. But the strategy failed because Israel had no compunction about razing homes to make roads for its tanks.

    "The thing we did not count on was the bulldozer. It was a catastrophe. If the Israelis had only gone one by one inside the camp, they would never have succeeded in entering," said Mr Damaj.



    ---
    As long as there's hope...
    [ Parent ]

    There's an explanation, albeit insane (4.00 / 4) (#253)
    by adamsc on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:23:22 AM EST

    Consider that the Palestinians are glorifying suicide bombers. I could easily see people choosing to stay in those houses - either they call the IDF's bluff or they give Israel a ton of bad PR.

    A lot of the actions are consequences of Palestinian tactics. The much decried inspections of ambulances started after the Palestinians were caught using them as military transport in violation of the Geneva convention. Houses get bulldozed because the streets are mined and the houses are being used as cover by combatants. Children are hurt or killed because their parents tell them to attack soldiers. Once you choose to ignore the distinctions between combatants and civilians, things get very messy very quickly - that's why we have things like the geneva convention.

    Consider how things could have turned out if the IDF cared only about force protection and ignored the media & western opinion. Would those Palestinians in the church who refuse to surrender still be alive if the press hadn't turned into defenders of the christian faith all of a sudden? Somehow I have a feeling that would have reached a brief pyrotechnic conclusion a long time ago.



    [ Parent ]
    insanity, media wars, today's realities (4.50 / 2) (#257)
    by martingale on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:16:03 AM EST

    You make some good points.

    Consider that the Palestinians are glorifying suicide bombers. I could easily see people choosing to stay in those houses - either they call the IDF's bluff or they give Israel a ton of bad PR.
    Well with respect to staying in houses, how long did they have before the bulldozing commenced? And what about old people who couldn't move around that fast, or at all? What about toddlers who might go running into the street? How is the order to leave the house inconsistent with the curfew? It's not as easy I think from the point of view of the civilians. A couple of fit and able bodied IDF reservists certainly shouldn't be making this sort of decision. And the IDF command should be (probably has) thinking about alternatives.

    Perhaps the main failing imho of the IDF lately is the failure to treat the media war as a real war. Personally, I believe that Israel's political masters are underestimating the global impact of bad PR.

    Just look at the IDF stopping peace marchers (Israelis and Palestinians) from entering the besieged towns. You can argue that they did this to protect the civilians, but having bulldozed homes to allow safe passage for themselves and their tanks, the IDF could have rigged up some safe corridors to allow the marchers a token gesture, even if it was under armed guard. As it stands, it all looks suspicious.

    Ever since Vietnam, it has been apparent that journalists in war zones have enormous power - military commanders who ignore the media are not conducting their operations optimally, and certainly open themselves up to all sorts of accusations.



    [ Parent ]
    I've been wondering about that myself (4.00 / 1) (#260)
    by adamsc on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:03:59 AM EST

    I'm starting to think that many Israelis have stopped caring about the media - from one perspective, there's a large a double-standard in the way things are reported. Just how much weight does the UN carry in Israel after things like the way Israel was roundly attacked for abandoning Durban after it degenerated into an Arab hate-fest?

    There's also the reputation the international community has for making a great deal of noise and not doing anything significant. Consider how little of substance has come out of the various clucking noises made about Palestinian terrorists - you could think the same thing would happen.

    A siege mentality can explain a lot. You can be blunt with the media on the theory that your allies won't switch sides and the rest will spin it no matter what you do and should thus be written off. Protect your people first - they're your friends and neighbors (or voters - Israeli elections aren't held in France). Stop worrying about people who can't or won't stop you - it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission and your back's against the wall now.

    If this is happening, it's definitely risky. Depending on how the media war plays out and whether it shows results quickly, it could devolve into something like Vietnam. On the other hand, history may treat a successful gamble more favorably - there's certainly enough precedent for that.

    [ Parent ]
    A relevant article (4.50 / 2) (#262)
    by adamsc on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:29:28 AM EST

    Al-Ahram has an interesting interview with a Palestinian militant who was at Jenin: The 'engineer'.
    According to Omar, everyone in the camp, including the children, knew where the explosives were located so that there was no danger of civilians being injured.

    "We were betrayed by the spies among us," he says. The wires to more than a third of the bombs were cut by soldiers accompanied by collaborators. "If it hadn't been for the spies, the soldiers would never have been able to enter the camp. Once they penetrated the camp, it was much harder to defend."

    And what about the explosion and ambush last Tuesday which killed 13 soldiers?

    "They were lured there," he says. "We all stopped shooting and the women went out to tell the soldiers that we had run out of bullets and were leaving." The women alerted the fighters as the soldiers reached the booby- trapped area.



    [ Parent ]
    The current situation is different (4.00 / 2) (#245)
    by adamsc on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:27:03 AM EST

    Do you think that Israel's (sorry, I don't mean all Israeli people, but the IDF's) current actions paint them to European eyes as anything other than the aggressor?
    The palestinians definitely are the trendy designated victim for most of Europe. However, this situation doesn't seem likely to go nuclear; the situations where that seems likely are rather different, involving a large invading army. The Israelis simply don't need nukes to fight the Palestinians.

    [ Parent ]
    quick reply (4.00 / 2) (#258)
    by martingale on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:21:26 AM EST

    I have to go somewhere, so I'll make this short

    The palestinians definitely are the trendy designated victim for most of Europe.
    Yep, that's the media war. See my other post, which I had to cut short too. I don't think (hope?) it'll go nuclear either, provided politicians don't go overboard.



    [ Parent ]
    The hatred unleashed (4.33 / 6) (#44)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:41:43 AM EST

    What, you mean the Arabs could hate the Israelis more? Have your read the Arab press? Much of it gets translated into English these days, and I doubt that the people who are calling for the extermination of the Jewish people could hate Israel any more than they already do.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    thanks for pointing out the typo (3.00 / 1) (#176)
    by martingale on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 11:52:22 PM EST

    What, you mean the Arabs could hate the Israelis more?
    I'm already pretty worried about the Arabic potentialities right now, please don't raise the spectre even more...



    [ Parent ]
    MAD (4.40 / 5) (#28)
    by adamsc on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:47:14 AM EST

    I agree that it's questionable whether this is something we should be happy about, but I disagree about nuclear weapons being purely offensive.

    MAD isn't a given for anyone any more and has never been the case in the middle east for anyone other than Israel.

    We act like "nuclear weapon" means some gigantic planet buster that will leave a barren waste for decades. There are defensive uses for small conventional devices and the whole idea really breaks down for things like neutron bombs which don't have anything like the same blast or fallout.

    There's a whole school of military strategy which came out of figuring out how to use small / unconventional nuclear devices to do things like stop an Russian incoming army using the small NATO forces stationed in Europe. Desparate but the sort of gambit that many sane people considered acceptable if it was the only plausible way to stop hundreds of tanks.

    Consider the damage done at Hiroshima and Nagasaki - yes, there have been significant health threats but none which might appear significant to someone weighing the destruction of his country and, in a hypothetical jihad, it's highly doubtful that an Israeli could hope for mercy. Even slimmer odds would look good if the choice is a desparate move or certain death.

    [ Parent ]

    salami tactics, anyone? (4.60 / 5) (#32)
    by martingale on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:08:28 AM EST

    There's a whole school of military strategy which came out of figuring out how to use small / unconventional nuclear devices to do things like stop an Russian incoming army using the small NATO forces stationed in Europe.
    This type of viewpoint seems to be much more acceptable to Americans than Europeans. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that under the cold war scenario, much of Europe would have been ravaged before the US would have deigned push the button, and even then it still might not have?

    This viewpoint is also one of the major reasons de Gaulle went his own way, and invited US NATO troops to leave France. To reiterate: I think you'll find that Europeans as a whole are much more opposed to nuclear weapons in any forms than people living in the United States.



    [ Parent ]
    Pyrric victory (3.75 / 4) (#35)
    by Sanityman on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:50:13 AM EST

    Perhaps this has to do with the fact that under the cold war scenario, much of Europe would have been ravaged before the US would have deigned push the button, and even then it still might not have?
    Perhaps it had more to do with the fact that, had the button been pressed, your tac-nukes would be falling on European soil? That sort of thing is apt to strain even a special relationship.

    Sanityman



    --
    If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
    "You can't spray cheese whiz™ on the body of Christ!"


    [ Parent ]
    "your"? (none / 0) (#99)
    by joshsisk on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:14:47 PM EST

    Why do you assume the poster is American?
    --
    logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
    [ Parent ]
    Fair point (none / 0) (#263)
    by Sanityman on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:09:05 AM EST

    I was still thinking of the original comment, which was US-originated.

    Sanityman



    --
    If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
    "You can't spray cheese whiz™ on the body of Christ!"


    [ Parent ]
    de Gaulle (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by tjb on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:25:16 PM EST

    de Gaulle went his own way because he realized that there was a lot of Germany to go through before the Soviets would be knocking on France's door.

    Overall, I understand his position, but think that it reduced the security of Western Europe, and Germany in particular.

    You have to remember, that as big as the US cold war forces in Europe were, in total they were only the size of 1 or 2 Soviet armored divisions. The Soviets had thousands of tanks in East Germany alone. NATO had 2 strategic choices:

    1) Try to hold them off. But that wasn't likely to last for very long, especially if NATO can't use airbases out of France. So this turns into "Use nuclear weapons" pretty quickly.

    2) Counter-blitz a Soviet offensive. Partially due to not being able to back-up a defensive out of France, this was probably the plan that NATO would've pulled out in case of a Soviet attack - NATO forces would effectively cede much of the German front and try to push to Warsaw and the rear of the Soviet attack. Unfortuantely, this plan required NATO forces at the border to maintain an offensive posture, hightening tensions on both sides. If those balloons had gone up by accident, there would've been NATO forces 10 miles into Soviet lines before anyone could have called them back.

    Tim

    [ Parent ]
    Re: de Gaulle (none / 0) (#174)
    by martingale on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 11:43:01 PM EST

    de Gaulle went his own way because he realized that there was a lot of Germany to go through before the Soviets would be knocking on France's door.
    How does that follow? Are you trying to say that France is geographically relatively safe, so they could afford to do something risky or silly, but presumably Germany decided not to?

    There was no way Germany would have been allowed to develop its own nukes in the Cold War, since it came right after the defeat of WWII. Having the US nuclear umbrella was a nobrainer for them, especially after the wall was built.

    De Gaulle had several reasons for his actions. For one, he tried to resurrect France's prestige and or position on the world stage. That means being able to act when it counts, hence military spending. As far as reasons go, this one is pretty bad and I won't defend it.

    A better reason (from France's security point of view) is the need for independent military technology. De Gaulle realized immediately that being dependent on US nuclear weapons technology (that's not just the bombs, but delivery systems etc) would effectively place the French at the mercy of US policy, as Israel is to some extent. Hence for example France's obsession with civilian nuclear reactors. Hence also France's insistence on developing military hardware (Mirage fighters, submarines, tanks) instead of buying, which is arguably cheaper/better.

    The main reason still would be the guarantee that, were France to have been invaded by the Soviets, it would have launched nukes independently and irrespective of any NATO decisions and actions. It was a way of strenghtening the NATO security guarantee from the French POV.

    You're right that it probably reduced the security of Western Europe, since it increased the penalty for a Soviet attack. Many will argue that this increased deterrence *was* an increased security, but I think it misses the point. We were pretty lucky to get out of the cold war.



    [ Parent ]
    deGaulle again (none / 0) (#177)
    by tjb on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:28:44 AM EST

    No, I'm not trying to say that deGaulle did anything wrong from a French POV, but he did decrease the security of Western Europe.

    Purely from a self-interested standpoint, a France out of NATO was better for France, but much, much worse for Germany. If a Soviet invasion would've occured it posed a problem of the Soviets making peace with a neutral France and focusing their war on Germany, leaving NATO without what would be useful airbases and staging areas in France. I admit, that in the event of a Soviet invasion of Germany, France most likely would have have aligned themselves with NATO rather than remain neutral (and I find it highly unlikely they would've aligned with the Soviets), but this is not as much a guarantee as if they were a member of NATO proper, so NATO forces had to prepare for a war without counting on French support.

    But, the only reason the French could do this was because Germany was between them and the massive Soviet armored divisions. West Germany had to be a NATO member or it might as well fly the hammer and sickle over Bonn. While they likely would've put up a fight without US security, Soviet tank forces and production capacity were overwhelming.

    As far as France building their own weapons: please do more! As you might note, France is once again a NATO member, probably the second best-armed out of the bunch. I think the US should reduce its commitment to NATO in favor of more EU forces, but unfortunately, while the French (and the UK) do maintain very good fighting units, they lack the ability to move them about with any sort of efficiency. An EU buildup of logistical infrastructure would reduce a great deal of the burden on the US military.


    And yes, we were lucky to out of the cold-war alive. Forutnately, neither side put ideology above their own potential annihilation.

    Tim

    [ Parent ]
    France is still a NATO member (none / 0) (#281)
    by Caton on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 09:30:22 AM EST

    Purely from a self-interested standpoint, a France out of NATO was better for France, but much, much worse for Germany.

    Let's be precise here: France out of NATO Unified Command. That's not the same thing as being out of NATO.

    ---
    As long as there's hope...
    [ Parent ]

    De Gaulle was right (none / 0) (#192)
    by nobbystyles on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 05:52:32 AM EST

    <P>About reducing the dependence on US military technology. The UK decided in the 1960s that it would purchase the delivery systems for its nuclear deterrent from the US. So it bought Polaris and then the Trident SLBM systems.</P> <P>Saved a lot of money and they are technically better than the French equivalents. But they are not very independent as they rely on American satellite targetting. The UK was even testing its warheads in the US testing site in Arizona until test ban treaty.</P>
    <P>But there was a a very heavy price to pay for this in terms of foreign policy which we are still paying for today. Basically the UK government has to endorse any action that America takes abroad and supply troops as requested. I am not so bothered about the deployment of the Royal Marines to Afghanistan as I think we would have offered the troops anyway as a closer ally of the US. But I think that the offering of 25,000 Ukian troops (an armoured division) for Iraq is not as freely given and comes under this agreement. I don't see any other European Nato ally offering any troops for Iraq and the majority of the British cabinet is against it but Blair knows he has to do it.</P>


    [ Parent ]
    Deterrence (4.44 / 9) (#5)
    by cyberformer on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:10:18 AM EST

    I think Israel's nuclear weapons are there to deter a conventional attack, rather than just the other ABC "mass destruction" weapons. Israel could win a conventional war against many of the Arab states, but obviously it would rather not have to.

    For deterring a conventional attack, battlefield-type nukes are better than the large "doomsday' devices: they can conceivably be used against an army rather than entire cities, which makes them appear more likely to be used (and perhaps actually be used). Smaller weapons also minimize the risk of fallout blowing back to Israel itself: The Middle East is a relatively confined region, and giant H-bombs contaminate a very wide area.

    The 73 war never happened? (1.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Peaker on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:28:34 PM EST

    I think Israel's nuclear weapons are there to deter a conventional attack, rather than just the other ABC "mass destruction" weapons. Israel could win a conventional war against many of the Arab states, but obviously it would rather not have to.

    Huh?! It obviously would rather not to? Then what the heck were the 67 and 73 wars?

    [ Parent ]

    It had to (4.00 / 1) (#75)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:32:59 PM EST

    that's what happened.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    Addendum (4.00 / 2) (#76)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:33:48 PM EST

    The US, in 1941, would rather have not gotten involved in WW2 unless it had to.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    American motivation (2.64 / 17) (#7)
    by tiger on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:26:41 AM EST

    As long as the United States actually believes that Israel might use their nuclear weapons, it will be quite motivated to make whatever concessions Israel requests.

    Why?

    America has a much larger nuclear arsenal than Israel. And America has reserved the right to use those weapons against anyone, including non-nuclear states. So, by your logic, Israel will be quite motivated to make whatever concessions America requests, by virtue of America’s nuclear weapons and its stated willingness to use them.

    --
    Americans :— Say no to male genital mutilation. In Memory of the Sexually Mutilated Child



    re: american motivation (4.00 / 6) (#20)
    by rvanrees on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 05:49:48 AM EST

    No, the USA don't feel threathened themselves by Israel's nukes.

    Their problem is that when Israel starts dumping nukes in their backyard, half the world will start frowning towards Washington. USA = Israel's best friend. The USA 's got some heavy influence in Jerusalem, so any nuke dumped by Israel will be half-dumped by Washington.

    So EITHER they help Israel using diplomatics or conventional arms OR Israel might be forced to nuke someone. And that means chaos in the Middle-East and a lot of angry people on Washington's doorstep.

    That's why Isreal's nukes have got some influence in the USA...

    Reinout

    [ Parent ]
    Thank you; much better! (4.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Spork on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:27:45 AM EST

    Yes, I think this is an important part of it. What's more dumping nuclear bombs on Muslim states would be like pouring blood into a tank of sharks. The Middle East would go nuts; moderate governments get overthrown, that sort of thing. It would make for one hell of an oil crisis, and that would just be one of many problems. Certainly, what you said is also true.

    [ Parent ]
    oil crisis, schmoil crisis (2.50 / 2) (#89)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:18:48 PM EST

    have you guys been paying attention to Central Asia? the largest oil reserves in the world are concentrated in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, both of which are controlled by authoritarian *cough* communist *cough* governments.

    Moscow still exerts large influence throughout the Central Asian republics, and we (the USA) now have troops on the ground (semi-permanently) in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrghyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Chevron and Texaco have been in Kazakhstan since 1993.

    The Middle East is well on its way to becoming irrelevant in world Oil Politics -- with Russia as an "Oil Ally", the US can safely ignore foreign oil embargoes. Russia will guarantee (for hard currency) the new pipelines from the Kazakh and Turkomen oil fields through an oil head in the Black Sea and from the inevitable pipeline through Afghanistan.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Have you ever seen Kazakhstan? (4.66 / 3) (#204)
    by fn0rd on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:25:22 AM EST

    It's full of mountains. Big mountains. Really, they're fscking enormous mountains. And there aren't any ports there. Which means a pipeline. In a politically unstable region where lots of people with lots of different agendas, many of them unfriendly towards the West, have weapons and explosives. If we want that oil, and want to make sure our supply can't be got off by a small band of guerillas with some c-5 any time they feel like it, we're (or, more likely, Russia is) going to have to practically colonize the place. Which will cost money, and lots of it.

    Face it, Saudi Arabia still has vast, easily extracted and deliverable oil reserves. They are going to continue to be the major player in the oil market for a long time to come, I think.

    This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
    [ Parent ]

    Yes, I lived there. (5.00 / 2) (#236)
    by CodeWright on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:11:32 PM EST

    For a year or so. Very empty but very pretty place. And some of the most (if not the most) hospitable people I have ever met. The Kyrghyz and Kazakhs have an ancient culture for which I hold a tremendous amount of respect. Unfortunately, I am not fluent in their language and can only speak a few words... but even that would make people even happier to interact.

    The big mountains you are referring to (the Tien Shan "Celestial Mountains") are only in the southeast corner of a truly vast country. The rest of Kazakhstan is open steppe, trending to desert in the west by the Aral Sea.

    Since the existing pipeline (yes, existing; Chevron and Texaco spent USD$9 billion there over the past nine years) runs to the west across the steppe and desert, it was easier to construct than a turbopumped monstrosity over the mountains.

    Certainly, rebels or troublemakers could destroy portions of the pipeline, but that would only disable it for days at a time (the petroleum megacorps have vast resources on hand for maintenance of the pipeline). However, the reigning government of Kazakhstan is brutally efficient at dealing with dissent. Suffice to say that the conscripted army has little else to do but guard the foreign (US) megacorps' oilheads and pipelines.

    Additionally, the newly initiated project to put an ancillary pipeline through Afghanistan to Pakistani seaports will provide redundancy.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    It's a region I've wanted to visit... (none / 0) (#283)
    by fn0rd on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 02:54:41 PM EST

    I understand it's very beautiful. In reply to your assertion that an attack on the pipeline will only shut it down for a few days, while this mabe true, that's a very expensive few days, and several such attacks could render the pipeline economically unfeasable. And the redundant pipleine through Afghanistan, well, I'm sure the problems with implementing this plan in the near future are obvious. Of course, if the current Saudi regime falls to a fundamentalist revolution, then central asia starts looking much better.

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
    Death to the fidels!

    [ Parent ]
    expense is relative (none / 0) (#284)
    by CodeWright on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 10:16:20 AM EST

    Compared to the nine billion or so dollars already invested, and the hundreds of millions of dollars pumped daily, a few days down time due to terrorist/saboteur action is probably something that they already budgeted for when doing the initial risk assessment for the pipeline -- and their analysis obviously indicated that it would be profitable anyway.

    I mean, these pipelines are built in a country which was Communist up til 1993!!! No private land ownership! And they still spent USD$9 billion as fast as they could shovel the money into the country. With the everpresent risk in a Communist-leaning country of nationalized assets, that should give an indication how much profit they generate.

    They would probably happily rebuild the entire pipeline several times over, much less repair small sections of it...

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Haaaaaahahaha (4.00 / 4) (#137)
    by yicky yacky on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:51:15 PM EST

    The USA 's got some heavy influence in Jerusalem...
    Hahaha....yeah.....HAHAHAhahahah....sorry...Hahahahahahahaha...you're killing me...hahahahaha

    'Dubya': Stop that this instant!!
    Sharon: No.
    'Dubya': Ok; But if you don't stop that we'll send Colin...
    Sharon: (sarcastically pretending he's scared) Oh please...not Colin...anything but Colin...

    You see?


    Yicky Yacky
    ***********
    "You f*cking newbie. Shut up and sit in the corner!" - JCB
    [ Parent ]
    Well, if Dubya had any stones he could say: (4.00 / 2) (#205)
    by fn0rd on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:34:34 AM EST

    'Dubya': Stop that this instant!!
    Sharon: No
    'Dubya': OK; But if you don't stop that we'll stop sending you money and weapons...
    Sharon: (doing his best Dwight Frye impression) Yes, Master! Anything you say Master...

    You see?

    This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
    [ Parent ]

    Do you have any idea of what's going on? (3.00 / 1) (#208)
    by EriKZ on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 09:38:46 AM EST

    Why in the WORLD would Bush want to make Sharon stop? You actually believed him? Israel is doing EXACTLY what the US did when terrorists attacked us in the last year.

    [ Parent ]
    huh? (4.00 / 2) (#209)
    by fn0rd on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 09:46:17 AM EST

    What gives you that idea? I don't think Bush wants Sharon to stop. I don't think I've believed anything that ratfaced shitheel has ever said.

    This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
    [ Parent ]

    Do you? (4.50 / 2) (#210)
    by Doktor Merkwuerdigliebe on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 10:02:22 AM EST

    Why in the WORLD would Bush want to make Sharon stop? You actually believed him?

    Because Bush wants to get jiggy with Iraq. Doing that will be much more complicated with uncooperative (if not even somewhat hostile) Arab neighbours and allies. That's the difficult situation the US is in, in that they need to satisfy the Arab concerns over the current trouble in Palestine, while also having to satisfy Israel's and the support at home.

    Israel is doing EXACTLY what the US did when terrorists attacked us in the last year.

    The US is hardly building settlements in Afghanistan and allowing US citizens to live there. Nor are they denying the Afghans independence or full political control, indeed, the US and its allies have been trying to get a working government established again. Need I go on? This conflict is not just about terrorist attacks, it is in essence a struggle for land and the control over it. The US's motivations are a little different.

    Also Sprach Doktor Merkw黵digliebe...
    [ Parent ]

    Well (4.66 / 3) (#212)
    by yicky yacky on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 10:58:20 AM EST

    Why in the WORLD would Bush want to make Sharon stop?
    1.) As 'Doktor Merkwuerdigliebe' has said, so he can go full steam on Iraq with as few global consequences as possible. In the traditions of the very worst C-grade made-for-TV 'westerns', Daddy made a hash of it and now Junior has to 'put things right for his Pa'. Awwww: Ain't it purdie?

    2.) Because Sharon is doing global damage to the international perception of Bush's 'war on terror'; and this damage is getting worse by the day. It would be healthy for the US to distance themselves as much as possible from the Israeli methodology as, at the moment, whilst it could be argued that Bush has 'right' on his side in actively persuing terrorists in the wake of September the 11th, Israel are pissing in the punchbowl and using the US's rhetoric to justify their own idiotic actions (some people like to fall for the rhetoric no matter where it is applied it seems...).
    You actually believed him?
    Errrr.....No.
    I don't think I've believed anything any politician said since circa 1985 (when I was a child - Oh well, that's what Thatcher will do for you...), especially one who is so obviously a mentally-retarded hick who hasn't the wits to realise that he is being programmed and reprogrammed daily by 'Daddy's bestest chums'.

    It was patently obvious that Bush was trying to 'be seen' to behave as if he cared (playing to the European gallery), whereas the mere fact that he sent Colin showed that he didn't. One unnamed Whitehouse source quoted in the press has been claimed to have said: "It's a shop-window visit. If they don't listen to Powell in Washington, why the hell should they listen to him in Jerusalem?"

    It is a truly sad fact that, if Bush had any cojones of his own, he could have stopped this overnight, using the method that 'fnOrd' suggested. In pretending to demand an immediate cessation of military activity (to appease the European allies) and yet not being prepared to back it up with serious action (sending Colin is not serious action - I suspect that sending the LA Lakers team of 1973 would have had greater effect), Bush's motivations are utterly transparent, and he comes across like the apathetic shill-whore excuse for a leader that he actually is.

    It must be reassuring to have a leader who is prepared to look like a moral-lacking, deceiptful coward on the international stage in a seriously half-arsed attempt to keep everyone onside. We should know; we've got one of those too: Although ours has the slightly redeeming feature that he can add 3 to 3 and come up with 6 in a crisis.


    Yicky Yacky
    ***********
    "You f*cking newbie. Shut up and sit in the corner!" - JCB
    [ Parent ]
    There's a problem with that... (4.75 / 4) (#214)
    by physicsgod on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:27:07 PM EST

    There's a large, vocal, and wealthy pro-Isreal bloc in the US; probably larger and certainly wealthier than the anti-Isreal bloc. Cutting off funding to Isreal would make getting re-elected harder, and if you recall Bush didn't exactly ride into the Whitehouse on a tidal wave of public support. Cutting off Isreal would probably mean losing the Whitehouse, and the Palestinians, frankly, aren't worth it.

    --- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
    [ Parent ]
    'Sactly [nt] (3.00 / 1) (#219)
    by yicky yacky on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:47:25 PM EST




    Yicky Yacky
    ***********
    "You f*cking newbie. Shut up and sit in the corner!" - JCB
    [ Parent ]
    Response... (2.50 / 2) (#218)
    by EriKZ on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:04:02 PM EST

    1) Are you seriously rating the quality of high government decisions by how entertaining they would be on TV? If not, you should keep the verbal bile to yourself.

    The global consequences are easily ignored, the military ones aren't. It's a dangerous situation when an armed nuclear power is pulling war maneuvers right next to your battlefield.

    2) I've heard bad things about Israeli's methods mostly from two groups. a. Newspapers b. Palestinians. So far the only thing that has stopped the suicide bombers has been the direct assault on Palestine and the rooting out of terrorists groups. I think the US wasn't trying to stop them; the US was helping them buy more time to finish the job.

    And your reference to Bush's balls is...childish. "I bet you're not man enough to drink that whole bottle of Everclear!"

    I think you're overestimating the power of the President. He's not some middle-eastern dictator who can just snap his fingers and make things happen. Empty threats are also not his forte. I'm not on the Whitehouse staff, but I'm sure that banning the shipment of arms to Israel, after they had bought them from us, would require talking to Congress. Then convince them to vote for action.



    [ Parent ]
    Mountains out of molehills (4.45 / 35) (#8)
    by adamsc on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:28:20 AM EST

    It has interesting moments but the author's position against Israel compels him to overstate the case considerably.

    The reason why everyone worries about, say, Iraq is that Saddam has a long history of using chemical/biological weapons with genodical goals. (And iff the horror stories which have come out of North Korea are true, the world has a great deal of shared guilt for standing by). While Israel has commited some questionable acts with the Palestinians, it's a consequence of fighting an enemy which hides among a supportive population - not part of a campaign to wipe out the Palestinians. Compare how often you hear Palestinian leaders call for genocide or the destruction of Israel versus the reverse. Israeli policy may be hard but at the end it's the product of a freely elected democratic government faced with difficult problems, not a meglomaniac dictator or genocidal fundamentalists.

    The reason why they're persuing neutron bombs and chemical weapons is obvious:

    • Almost all of their neigbors have called for Israel's destruction at some point - those Palestinians handing out posters at Durban praising Hitler's Final Solution weren't shunned by the middle eastern delegates.
    • The population differences are such that an invading army could take seriously uneven losses (10:1) and still consider it a victory. Israel has one significant advantage - the only modern industrial economy in the region (if this wasn't the case, there wouldn't be an Israel for us to be worried about).
      Of course they're going to go high-tech - that's the only route which doesn't leave their survival depending on someone else choosing to step in. A Rwanda-style waffle would be disastrous.
    • Things like neutron bombs and chemical weapons are theater denial weapons. They're local in effect and have much lower long-term effects - exactly what you need to block a numerically superior invading army in your own territory. During the cold war, NATO considered them for Germany for exactly the same reason - the Soviets had a significant advantage over the NATO garrison forces and they needed some way of delaying the Red Army until reinforcements could arrive. In Israel's case, if the army was too big for the IDF to handle, delaying it for a week or two would probably mean a Muslim invasion would be halted by a UN (or at least US) force.

    Unpleasant? Definitely. The situation just doesn't have any outcomes which aren't ugly at the moment. When you're surrounded by people with murderous intentions, going hedgehog is arguably the sanest choice in an insane situation. If your enemies wanted to kill you so badly that they'd encourage their own children to become suicide-bombers, wouldn't brutal, effective options be tempting?



    Israelis are fundementalists too (3.50 / 18) (#14)
    by bosk on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:14:27 AM EST

    While Israel has commited some questionable acts with the Palestinians, it's a consequence of fighting an enemy which hides among a supportive population - not part of a campaign to wipe out the Palestinians.

    Perhaps Israel is not trying to "wipe out" the Palestinians but they are certainly trying to drive them out of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. If that was not so then why is Israel today still building settlements in the West Bank and Gaza? They continue their expansion into Palestinian areas and then wonder why they face such hatred from Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world. Settlements in Gaza? The strip of land is so small one can only conclude that the settlements are there just to foster ill will. Why not let the Palestinians have it all for themselves? The rest of Israel is so big compared to Gaza. The same goes for the West Bank. Withdraw from the West Bank and be happy with what you got. Israel refuses to do this. If Israel was really intent on peace they would have sealed off Gaza and the West Bank long ago, so that there could be mutually definsible borders.

    Israeli policy may be hard but at the end it's the product of a freely elected democratic government faced with difficult problems, not a meglomaniac dictator or genocidal fundamentalists.

    That doesn't mean that Israel is wanting for right-wing fundamentalists. Take for example, Effi Eitam, who was recently sworn into the Knesset, and thinks that Palestinians should make there homes outside of Palestine. In fact Sharon's majority is held together by fringe right-wing political parties who hold extremist views. "Genocidal fundamentalists" also exist on the Israeli side or have you forgotten Baruch Goldstein's 1994 Hebron massacre of 29 Palestians as they were worshipping at a mosque?

    [ Parent ]
    Explain something for me... (2.44 / 18) (#24)
    by ti dave on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:29:17 AM EST

    Settlements in Gaza? The strip of land is so small one can only conclude that the settlements are there just to foster ill will. Why not let the Palestinians have it all for themselves? The rest of Israel is so big compared to Gaza.

    Population of Gaza: Approximately 1.18 Million.
    Of that, approximately 6,900 are Jewish settlers.

    0.0058

    Less than six-tenths of 1 percent of the inhabitants are Jews.

    How does that adversely impact the lives of the Palestinians living there?
    A Palestinian living there should be able to go for days without encountering a Jew.

    BTW, the Palestinians have a State, it's called Jordan.


    "If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

    [ Parent ]
    not the point (3.90 / 10) (#25)
    by bosk on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:41:24 AM EST

    The point is not that a Palestinian in Gaza should have to "encounter" a Jew. Placing settlements in Gaza is Israel's way of lording it over the Palestinians - they will never own any piece of land outright without Israeli settlers and the accompaning Israeli military. If we're only talking about 6900 settlers why don't they move out of Gaza?

    [ Parent ]
    Why don't they move? (1.85 / 14) (#29)
    by ti dave on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:50:06 AM EST

    I'm not really sure why, but I'm pretty confident if the Palestinians moved back to Jordan,
    they wouldn't have to deal with Israeli settlers or soldiers.


    "If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

    [ Parent ]
    Er... (4.12 / 8) (#40)
    by FredBloggs on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:31:09 AM EST

    How would Palestinians born in `Israel` move `back` anywhere?
    I guess if Canada invaded America, then Americans could just move `back` to Europe, so they wouldnt have to deal with Canadian soldiers, right?

    [ Parent ]
    Demographically... (1.00 / 2) (#128)
    by ti dave on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:16:16 PM EST

    I suppose the Palestinians living in Israel are in a similiar situation as the Turks living in Germany.
    3rd generation inhabitants who still don't have full rights of citizenship.

    The main difference being, the Turkish Government wouldn't condone the
    slaughter of Turks returning from Western Europe.
    Those Turks, who left for Germany, departed on good terms.


    "If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

    [ Parent ]
    But they do have citizenship rights (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by wiredog on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:11:24 AM EST

    Except that they aren't subject to the draft. Israeli Arabs are even in the Knesset.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    Is that really a *right*? (none / 0) (#220)
    by ti dave on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:02:48 PM EST

    Is not being subject to the Draft a right?
    Are they able to volunteer for service in the Israeli military?

    Regarding Turks in Germany; though my main exposure to them was in Berlin, at a time when all Berliners were exempt from conscription, the Turks were not able to join the Police force since they weren't German citizens. The naturalization process there made that task virtually impossible.

    I find your choice of "Israeli Arabs" to be an interesting one, as I wonder if the Arab members of the Knesset consider themselves to be Palestinians or Israelis.

    Clearly, they have managed to better blend into Israeli society than the refugee camp residents.

    It seems to me that posting a pro-Israeli comment in this thread is inviting a flurry of ones.
    Oh well, can't change others' opinions I suppose.


    "If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

    [ Parent ]
    All aboard! (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by sasseriansection on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:00:34 PM EST

    If we had a huge influx of Canadian settlers, I'd be first on the boat back to Ireland.
    ------------ ------------
    [ Parent ]
    propaganda (3.62 / 8) (#51)
    by bosk on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:10:10 AM EST

    I'm not really sure why, but I'm pretty confident if the Palestinians moved back to Jordan, they wouldn't have to deal with Israeli settlers or soldiers.

    That is racist, Zionist propaganda. The Palestinians were displaced by Israelis now living in Israel - they did not come from Jordan.

    [ Parent ]
    Please note wiredog's comment... (1.00 / 4) (#125)
    by ti dave on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:58:22 PM EST

    in this thread.

    They *did* come from Jordan.


    "If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

    [ Parent ]
    They can't (3.75 / 4) (#53)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:22:53 AM EST

    Read up on Black September. The Jordanians killed thousands of Palestinians in the process of kicking them out.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    You're correct, of course... (1.25 / 4) (#126)
    by ti dave on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:04:57 PM EST

    which is why I see the issue of a "Palestinian Homeland" as a problem
    between the Palestinians and the Jordanians.

    I'd also like to add, that while I see atrocities commited by both the Palestinians and the Israelis, I sleep better at night with the thought that the Israelis control the Occupied Territories.

    To me, a formal Palestinian State would become nothing but another
    breeding ground for international terrorist movements, a la Syria.


    "If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

    [ Parent ]
    Because Israel is the illegal occupier (3.00 / 3) (#164)
    by rantweasel on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:02:55 PM EST

    Israel is illegally occupying several territories. If anyone should be leaving, it's the illegal occupier who has been disregarding international law and the UN decision.

    mathias

    [ Parent ]
    Not Jordan (2.50 / 12) (#31)
    by goatse on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:01:38 AM EST

    Israel has repeatedly offered the eastern occupied territories to Jordan underthe condition that Jordan not carry out millitary activities in that region. Clearly, Jordan could always take the land and wiggle their way out of the millitary restrictions if they needed. If they wanted the land or people, they don't. Jordan finds it infinitly more politically profitable for their to be a "Palistinian problem." Heck, I think Joran has kicked people out just to increase the refuge camp population.

    What we need, is for the Bahai (sp?) to start converting Palistinians. If there is anyone Arab and Persian Muslems hate more then Jews and Christians its Bahai. Significant Palistinian conversions would screw up the whole cycle of political profit from Jew villification. Failing that they could all convert to Fallon Gong and we could try to convince the Arabs that they hated Fallon Gong.

    The Jeudeo-Christian tradition's days are numbered. Its sacred text have little baring on the modern world and there are no shortage of religions which do have bearing (and no religion is now a viable option; like half of the Iranians I know are Atheists, I don't think I know any Jews who admit to believing in God and I lived in New Jersy).


    [ Parent ]
    you know... (3.00 / 4) (#141)
    by sasseriansection on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:58:04 PM EST

    The Jeudeo-Christian tradition's days are numbered. Its sacred text have little baring on the modern world and there are no shortage of religions which do have bearing (and no religion is now a viable option; like half of the Iranians I know are Atheists, I don't think I know any Jews who admit to believing in God and I lived in New Jersy).

    I think the current situation gives good evidence that these ancient scriptures are still relevant. They seem to believe in it enough to murder and maim for it. Also, apparently you haven't been keeping up with the culmination of research on Mount Moriah concerning the construction of the Temple. And I live in Florida, but most people around here don't go waving banners that proclaim 'I'm an old geezer'.
    ------------ ------------
    [ Parent ]

    Errr... (3.33 / 12) (#36)
    by Betcour on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:50:47 AM EST

    BTW, the Palestinians have a State, it's called Jordan.

    Jordan is the state of the Jordanian, and Palestine the state of the Palestinian. There's a good reason Palestinians aren't called Jordanians. What you are saying is the excuse of the right-wing Isralis to justify their desire of deporting Palestinians out of their country and keep the land for themselves.

    [ Parent ]
    Black September (4.50 / 10) (#49)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:51:34 AM EST

    "Black September" wasn't an Israeli action. It was Jordanian. Jordan is most definitely not a home for Palestinians! The Jordanians killed around 10,000 Palestinians in the Black September.

    Which kind of blows the "kill lots of Palestinians and all you get is more suicide bombers" theory out of the water. When was the last time you heard about suicide bombers in Amman?

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Explain something for me... (5.00 / 1) (#278)
    by xufasch on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 12:13:41 PM EST

    Population of Gaza: Approximately 1.18 Million. Of that, approximately 6,900 are Jewish settlers. 0.0058 Less than six-tenths of 1 percent of the inhabitants are Jews. How does that adversely impact the lives of the Palestinians living there? A Palestinian living there should be able to go for days without encountering a Jew.

    But, why don't you tell us how much land this six-tenths of 1 percent of the polulation occupies?

    I will leave it as an exercise for you to figure this out, I will give you a hint though, it's not less than 1 percent of the land, nor is it in the single digits. Once you figure this out you should begin to understand what Israel is trying to accomplish with settlement building.

    You are right when you say that palestinians should go for days without seeing a settler, but they do feel their presence all the time. e.g water shortages (another exercise for you would be to find out how much a palestinian has to pay for water vs. a jewish settler), army blockades/check posts to protect this jewish minority.

    [ Parent ]

    Refuse? (3.66 / 3) (#78)
    by Peaker on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:43:35 PM EST

    Withdraw from the West Bank and be happy with what you got. Israel refuses to do this. If Israel was really intent on peace they would have sealed off Gaza and the West Bank long ago, so that there could be mutually definsible borders.

    Have you heard of Oslo and Camp David?

    What has Israel been doing since '93?

    [ Parent ]

    busy (4.12 / 8) (#92)
    by bosk on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:30:37 PM EST

    What has Israel been doing since '93?
    Doubling the size of the settlements in the West Bank.

    [ Parent ]
    Israelis are NOT fundamentalists (3.50 / 6) (#81)
    by Sethamin on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:55:00 PM EST

    Israels are fundamentalists like Americans are fundamentalists; that is to say, they live in a democracy and a wide range of views exists. It is unfortunate that the far-right happens to be the one in power right now.

    In fact Sharon's majority is held together by fringe right-wing political parties who hold extremist views.

    Actually Sharon's majority is held together by prime minister Shimon Peres's Labor Party. Without them he would not have a majority, and they are most certainly a left-of-center party. As I said, it is unfortunate that the political climate is such that the far right is in power. However, it should be noted that Israel's "center" is more right than the US. Then again, only Europe's center politics are naturally more to the left than the US.

    The strip of land is so small one can only conclude that the settlements are there just to foster ill will.

    No, that would not be the only conclusion. While I agree that the building of settlements should stop, there are actually two more conclusions that make far more sense that the one you gave. First, Israel is a very small country, perhaps about the size of Rhode Island. Yes, Gaza is a small piece of land, but Israel is a very, VERY small country. Decent land is a premium and Israel wants all the land it can get to settle on.

    Secondly, the pre-1967 borders are simply indefensible by any metric. To go completely back to them would be foolish from a security perspective. Thus, many of these settlements are at key strategic points in the West Bank where Israel hopes it will give them a legitimate claim to keep. This does not account for all of the settlements in this manner but it does for some.

    If Israel was really intent on peace they would have sealed off Gaza and the West Bank long ago, so that there could be mutually definsible borders.

    It's not a bad idea, but then again it is. Like I said before, those borders are not defensible, as was proven in 1967. And the fact of the matter is that it probably would not solve the problem. Palestinians, for all their posturing, are completely dependent on Israel's economy for their own. If the borders were sealed off they would probably even poorer than they are now with less food and I suspect they would complain loudly. In fact, it's astouding that a country the size of Israel that is mostly desert and high density population is able to actually EXPORT food, while most every other nation in the area must import it. Past that, Jordan has consistently NOT shown the most kindness towards the Palestinians, to say the least.

    A society should not be judged by its output of junk, but by what it thinks is significant. -Neil Postman
    [ Parent ]

    The Korean DMZ has held up for ~50 years... (3.00 / 1) (#153)
    by otis wildflower on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:49:11 PM EST

    It's not a bad idea, but then again it is. Like I said before, those borders are not defensible, as was proven in 1967. And the fact of the matter is that it probably would not solve the problem. Palestinians, for all their posturing, are completely dependent on Israel's economy for their own. If the borders were sealed off they would probably even poorer than they are now with less food and I suspect they would complain loudly.

    How about a UN DMZ/"no man's land" separating the Palestinian and Israeli territories? It's worked in Korea, where the north and south are still technically at war. Let Jordan, Syria and Egypt provide aid, jobs, goods and travel to their Palestinian brothers and sisters.


    [root@usmc.mil /]# chmod a+x /bin/laden
    [ Parent ]
    Korea (4.00 / 1) (#200)
    by wiredog on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:10:13 AM EST

    It doesn't make the news much, but it's not exactly peaceful over there. The North Koreans occaisonaly land special ops troops in the South, and an NK sub got nailed a year or two ago.

    When I was there in the mid-80's there were NK terrorist attacks in Seoul, and the weekly firefight on the DMZ.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]

    defensibility, a brief proof (3.50 / 2) (#254)
    by felixrayman on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:29:01 AM EST

    Secondly, the pre-1967 borders are simply indefensible by any metric. To go completely back to them would be foolish from a security perspective.

    Using as my metric the argument that that which has been done before is by definition possible, it is obvious that the pre-1967 borders are defensible, as they were quite successfully defended ( and even expanded ) in, surprise of surprises, 1967. The Israelis in fact had a bit more trouble defending the post-1967 borders during the Yom Kippur war. So to say the pre-1967 borders are indefensible is nonsense. They are defensible. They were defended.

    Decent land is a premium and Israel wants all the land it can get to settle on.

    That's the root of the problem isn't it?

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]
    genocide? (3.75 / 4) (#95)
    by mattwb2 on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:59:53 PM EST

    Take for example, Effi Eitam, who was recently sworn into the Knesset, and thinks that Palestinians should make there homes outside of Palestine.

    How in the heck is this statement genocidal or suggestive of murder or violence in any way. It's certainly an extremist and stupid position, but I cannot see how you could construe this as necessarily advocating violence or even force of any sort.

    This in no way approaches the sort of vitriol that you can read in most of the Arab papers.

    [ Parent ]
    Yeah (none / 0) (#242)
    by Delirium on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 09:19:05 PM EST

    While I vehemently disagree with Eitam's positions, he's not genocidal. He advocates moving the Palestinians out of the West Bank, not killing them (not even as a last resort of they refuse to leave).

    [ Parent ]
    Not predominantly and they aren't genocidal (5.00 / 2) (#259)
    by adamsc on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:22:44 AM EST

    There are Israeli fundamentalists but they are not the sole power in that country. While people may complaing bitterly about far-right Israelis (or Americans, for that matter), they aren't a majotiry and don't control the country the way their Muslim counterparts do.

    Perhaps Israel is not trying to "wipe out" the Palestinians but they are certainly trying to drive them out of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza

    That's my point - even now, very, very few Israelis are calling for the Palestinians to be killed - for the obvious reason. It's a very different matter to forcibly expel an enemy which continues to make war on civilians and can't be relied upon to accept or keep treaties.

    It's important to remember to psychological impact of the repeated suicide bombings and broken promises. Given the situation, the IDF's reaction is arguably restrained - were the military situation reversed, we'd be talking about Israelis only in the past tense. If there were Mexican terrorists setting off bombs in shopping malls and demanding the US surrender everything west of the Mississippi, I think most Americans would be calling for the streets to run red.



    [ Parent ]
    Eh? (3.42 / 7) (#45)
    by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:43:11 AM EST

    It has interesting moments but the author's position against Israel compels him to overstate the case considerably

    Why is it that if someone doesn't outright condemn group X, or throw their complete support behind group Y, they are automatically branded as having a position against group Y? I haven't been so anal as to go back and look at Spork's comment history, but I see nothing in his article that is anti-Isreali.


    -- 报告人对动物
    [ Parent ]

    The bias is implicit, not explicit (4.00 / 2) (#193)
    by RSevrinsky on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 06:06:38 AM EST

    The article presumes that since, in the author's opinion, Israel condones "assassination, torture, and other measures banned by most civilized countries", and therefore, the "extreme right" Israeli government is prepared to:
    • Hold the US economy and US interests hostage by threatening to nuke neighboring countries
    • Respond to terrorist attacks with nuclear weapons
    I'll put aside for the time-being the ludicrous proposition that the US could be blackmailed in such a manner (why doesn't Saddam Hussein do the same thing?). Responding to terrorist attacks (already occuring, with no need to wait for WTC-style fireworks) with nukes will do no good, since all of the terrorists are from Jenin, Kalkillia, Ramalah, Tulkaram, Nablus, and other towns in the West Bank -- strangely enough, where the IDF is concentrating its door-to-door extremely convential methods. Nuclear attacks on any of these locations would kill many Israelis.

    Then of course, there's the pointed quote from Ezer Weismann, the former President of Israel. The article just fails to mention that this fellow is no longer in office when again referring to his statement in the context of the current escalation.

    Mind you, the piece is interesting, well-written, and far from out-and-out propoganda. It's just that the context the reader's mind will conjure from the logical agruments made paints the Israeli government as a panicked bunch of thugs, nervous or ambitious enough to be brutally dangerous. If Israel's history is any indication, nothing could be farther from the truth.

    [ Parent ]

    Not spork - the guy who wrote the linked article (2.50 / 2) (#250)
    by adamsc on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:06:50 AM EST

    I wasn't complaining about the poster here but the article he linked to. The interesting parts of his review are marred by the conspiracy theories - he started with the belief that Israel is evil and read far more from the situation than the evidence warrants.

    You have a small nation surrounded by hostile neighbors. In recent history, almost all of them have called for at least the destruction of this state and, in many cases, killing all of its citizens. If they inquire an nuclear arsenal, it is possible that they're planning to go rogue but it's far more likely that the obvious explanation is correct and they're trying to make sure everyone around them knows that a successful invasion is impossible.

    Consider a different country in a similar situation without the same emotional baggage (for westerners, anyway). Suppose you heard that the Taiwanese had acquired nuclear weapons - would it be more realistic to assume they're planning a war of conquest or that they're taking precautions because there's a hostile government on the other side of a small body of water which has a much larger army and has shown signs of both wanting and planning for an invasion?

    (This is very similar in many ways - a much larger, low-tech invader versus a small, high-tech defender. How well can that technology counter sheer numbers? I'd be trying to maximize the technology gap, too.)



    [ Parent ]
    Sharon (4.12 / 16) (#11)
    by Weezul on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:05:09 AM EST

    Well I was going to post about how rediculiously unlikely it is that Israel will ever use their nukes, but everyone seems to have covered that one, so instead I'll post about how much better the Israelis are about handling their nukes then us Americans or Europeans.

    The U.S. and Europe have a first strike policy period. This means if a nuclear capable (or just really seriously powerful non-nuclear country) invades the U.S. or Europe it gets nuked period end of story. I think Israel has been attacked on their own soil and was losing while (a) we had this policy and (b) they had nuclear weapons. They did not use them. No European nation (or the U.S.) can say the same thing. Indeed, the british commanders during the gulf war were ordered by Thatcher to respond to chemical or biological weapons with nuclear weapons.

    Now you make the case that Israel would behave its self more and feel less threatened if they had ICBM boats, more freedom to use them (ala Europe and the U.S.), and less conventional capability. I donno..

    "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
    policy unimportant (2.87 / 8) (#12)
    by boxed on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:35:25 AM EST

    The important thing is to avoid nukes being used against humans again. In this respect Europe and the US are the "better" nations since they really have no reason to use nukes, and most likely won't have any reason for a very long time.

    [ Parent ]
    No (2.90 / 10) (#16)
    by Weezul on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 05:07:26 AM EST

    Like I said, the British were quite prepaired to use nukes if Saddam had used chemical weapons. I'd expect the U.S. to have simillar policies, but we would most likely only allow the president to make that decission.

    Also, why are nuclear weapons this great evil to be avoided at all costs? They are weapons like any other. You want to avoid torturing and maiming people shure, but the radiation exposure from a signle explosion is about like living down river from a poorly run civilian nuke in say New Jersy. Anyway, nukes can be used without wiping out civilian population centers. We don't want to give our enemies the idea that its ok to nuke us, so we don't nuke anyone.

    Anyway, its not really a question of "if" nukes will be used on people in the future, its a question of when. As more rouge states like Pakistan develope their own nuclear weapons programs, these things will just find their way into the hands of people who will use them.

    The interesting question is "How humanity will react to this." One constructive option is space exploration, ie. run away from the crazies. Another less civilized option is an infinitly stricter interpretation of "not giving in to terrorists," i.e. if someone uses a nuke on you, you find out how to hurt them, and you do it, be it full scale nuclear retaliation, genocide, torture/drugs to change the religion of those convicted of the crime (assumping the commited the crime for religious reasons), etc. (horrible uncivilized things all around). But I think the most likely responce will be to simply live with it.

    btw> I don't think Israel will necissarily ever nuke anyone. They will eventually go the way of South Affrica and cave to internal preasure to give many Palistinians the right to vote. It could be India and Pakistan I suppose, but more likely it will be someone like Saddam who have the brains to not let the world know that he is crazy before he gts the bomb.

    "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
    [ Parent ]
    but we all know Saddam is crazy! [nt] (2.33 / 3) (#22)
    by boxed on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:03:03 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Ummm (2.00 / 2) (#47)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:47:28 AM EST

    Arabs living in Israel already have the right to vote. Some of them are in the Knesset.

    Now, if you are talking about the mythical "right of return" well, it won't happen. Too many countries will get too nervous contemplating other "rights of return" and so won't push for it.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]

    Arab MK in prison (3.50 / 2) (#60)
    by fr2ty on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:14:29 AM EST

    You are right. Read something about an imprisoned one here.
    (Which is a background story provided at this page.)
    --
    Please note that are neither capitals nor numbers in my mail adress.
    [ Parent ]
    Right of return is stupid. (1.75 / 4) (#119)
    by Weezul on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:44:22 PM EST

    The vast majority of Muslems fled Israel out of their own stupidity. Only a very few were actually removed by the Israelis.

    I think Israel should descided which occupied terretories it really wants to keep and give all people living there the right to vote (would include the Golan Heights).

    "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
    [ Parent ]
    your statement is stupid (3.33 / 3) (#184)
    by nonsisente on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:32:04 AM EST

    You say the arabs were stupid because they fled from the israeli 'removal' (what a clean word!).

    Now, their claims (lost property, life in refugee camp, no human rights, etc.) are also stupid.

    Think. Think again.

    They were driven out by fear, after many civilians were killed by terrorists and para-military troups.

    The ones that did not flee were driven out by (deadly) force; few remained.

    You are actually saying that the ones that were smart enough no to escape the terror were ethically cleansed.


    BTW: 'Corporazioni' in italian does not translate into 'Corporations'. Even if _you_ know what he's talking about, most people wont.


    [ Parent ]
    strange reasoning (3.00 / 4) (#18)
    by rvanrees on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 05:38:41 AM EST

    Ok, it's "better" with "" around it. But EU/USA have no reason to use nukes because there's none to challenge them. Israel has got some potential challengers.

    Does that difference in situation make EU/USA's nuclear policy better than Israel's? Sounds like the quality of your nuclear policy doesn't depend on it's quality (...) but on whether you're practically omnipotent or not.

    Reinout

    [ Parent ]
    you are wrong (2.60 / 5) (#21)
    by boxed on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:00:59 AM EST

    You totally ignore the context into which these different policies exists. Context is everything in such situations. The fact that the probability of the EU/USA having a use for nukes is low is the very basis on which the policy is based on! If you ignore the context you make all arguments after this meaningless.

    [ Parent ]
    Eastern Europe could still be a threat. (1.50 / 4) (#26)
    by goatse on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:41:45 AM EST

    If it felt like it. Heck, anyone could conqure the Dutch.

    [ Parent ]
    Conquering the Dutch (3.50 / 2) (#46)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:44:55 AM EST

    During WW2 the Nazis overran Holland very quickly. But the Dutch still had one of the best resistance movements. They may have been overrun, but they were far from conquered!

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    hogwash (3.66 / 3) (#91)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:24:19 PM EST

    nukes are no different than any other bomb. all bombs are made to kill people; nukes aren't any different. there are conventional weapons capable of destruction on the same scale as nuclear weapons. the stigma attached to nuclear weapons is a fallacious bogeyman concocted by tree-hugging morons.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    at least a little different. (none / 0) (#110)
    by joshsisk on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:31:54 PM EST

    They do leave radioactivity behind, after all. While this might or might not be as terrible as some say, you still can't say that they are "no different". No matter how big the conventional explosive, it won't leave radioactivity behind.
    --
    logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
    [ Parent ]
    quadrocubane (none / 0) (#145)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:11:28 PM EST

    conventional explosive where an unstable compound is forced into stability as a crystal under extreme pressure. when detonated, will cause an explosion capable of inducing localized fusion temperatures without fissionable material.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    got any links about this stuff? (none / 0) (#206)
    by fn0rd on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:45:36 AM EST

    Google draws a blank on "quadrocubane".

    This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
    [ Parent ]

    google isn't definitive (none / 0) (#224)
    by CodeWright on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:52:34 PM EST

    Quadrocubane is a compound formed of four tightly coupled octanitrocubane[1][2] crystals. It is the result of military explosives research and can only be formed under hundreds of atmospheres of pressure.

    Octanitrocubane [1][2] itself is a cubane derived compound.

    Cubane (C8H8), the densest known hydrocarbon prior to octanitrocubane and quadrocubane, is cube-shaped, with a carbon atom at each of its eight corners and a hydrogen atom attached to each carbon [2].

    Before the advent of cubane (which was previously deemed impossible to synthesize) the most powerful known conventional explosive was Hexanitrobenze (HMX), an extremely unstable (and dangerous) high explosive.

    Do your own research. Good luck finding unclassified quadrocubane publications (with google? *snort*).

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Thanks for the info, but (none / 0) (#226)
    by fn0rd on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:49:00 PM EST

    why the patronizing, antagonistic tone? And then admonishing me to "do my own research" while suggesting that it will be impossible to find unclassified publications on the subject is downright contradictory, not to mention rude. You brought the subject up, why should I be required to verify your rather extraordinary claims (which you, I might note, still have failed to do)?

    This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
    [ Parent ]

    i'm sorry (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by CodeWright on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 04:17:28 PM EST

    I apologize for my inappropriately condescending tone. By way of explanation:

    I'm passionate about manned space exploration, and the only way that will happen is if we use nuclear rockets.

    Nuclear rocket research (see NERVA) was well underway by the USAF, even in the 1950's [1][2]. If it hadn't been for the irrational fears of the environmental-movement-cum-religion, we would have fielded functional atomic systems to take the first men to the moon, and I'd be writing you this message from my nice little pressure-tent on the south slopes of Olympus Mons.

    As far as I can tell, the reason that the <rant>bleeding-heart tree-hugging morons</rant> are categorically opposed to nuclear-anything is that they have this warped belief that even a single nuclear weapon will somehow destroy the planet and human civilization with it.

    So, in my own angry way, I try to pound a little enlightenment in through the cracks of their warped protein-deficient skulls.

    Of course, if I weren't an embittered old man, I would try harder to be polite and reasonable in conveying my message -- but I am an embittered old man and more prone to venting my pent-up rage at the well-meaning but grossly mis-informed than attempting the impossible task of convincing the endless hordes of proudly-illogical neo-hippie gaia-loving crystal-embracing vegetable-eating tree-hugging science-hating innumerate-morons that populate the world.

    In other words, I've crossed the line on this and certain other subjects, and become as passionate about it as the unworthy opponents I try to smite.

    Does that answer your question?

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Yup :) (none / 0) (#230)
    by fn0rd on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 04:31:12 PM EST

    I think you're a bit optimistic in your assesment of our ability to have made it to Mars by now, though I take it you were just being facetious about camping on Olympus Mons. I've always been puzzled why people are so attracted to the place, anyway. Seems like a shitty place to live compared to Earth, but if you ever put together the resources to blast your way there and bring enough food and energy to keep yourself alive, more power to you, I say.

    This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
    [ Parent ]

    nuclear exaggerations (none / 0) (#294)
    by christfokkar on Thu May 02, 2002 at 11:00:25 AM EST

    I'm passionate about manned space exploration, and the only way that will happen is if we use nuclear rockets.

    I did some research on this for another thread and I was left with the impression that nuclear rockets are a very small part of the picture.  There's payload, staging, fuel mass, fuel consumption, scheduling, the return trip...just because a nuclear rocket has, say, twice the thrust, doesn't mean that you will get to Mars twice as fast.  Or that you will get back twice as fast.

    It's like saying that the only way to get from New York to Florida is to drive a BMW.  Bullshit.  Thrust means little when planning long trips.  Even in space.  

    Now, if you want to say that the only way to get to Florida is by airplane, that's different.  But nuclear rockets are not that kind of an improvement.

    Nuclear rocket research (see NERVA) was well underway by the USAF, even in the 1950's

    I read a report on NERVA.  They achieved their goals, but they also had unresolved problems with physical integrity.  And the program was scrapped because it was too radioactive.

    I'm not against nuclear rockets or nuclear power. What I am saying is that "nuclear rockets = manned space exploration" and, by analogy, "nuclear power = too cheap to meter" are false generalizations that grossly exaggerate what the technology is capable of.

    I think the greens have been more consistently right than the pro-nuke side, because nuclear advocates keep promising things from way out in left field.  All the greens know is that radiation is cancerous, and while that might be alarmist, at least it can be verified.

    [ Parent ]

    fusion temperatures? (none / 0) (#295)
    by christfokkar on Thu May 02, 2002 at 11:51:25 AM EST

    Good luck finding unclassified quadrocubane publications (with google? snort)

    Well, it'll be on Google now snort

    Quadrocubane is a compound formed of four tightly coupled octanitrocubane[1][2] crystals. It is the result of military explosives research and can only be formed under hundreds of atmospheres of pressure.

    I'm not a chemist, but this sounds like pure hype.  "Compound," "tightly coupled," these words have meaning but not in this context.  It would also have to have been done in the year or two since octanitrocubane was first synthesized (2000?)

    More important, you said in a previous post that quadrocubane achieves "fusion temperatures," which Google tells me are in the tens of millions of degrees.  Meanwhile, TNT, HSX et al are on the order of a few thousand.  Really, squeezing octanitrocubane under pressure imbues it with the power of fusion?  We should try buckyballs, maybe we'll get supernovas.

    I've been reading your posts all the way down.  You started off great and then literally went insane.  I don't know if you're drunk, trolling, or if your kid brother is posting while you're in the bathroom, but there's definitely some MPD going on here.  Unusual to see this in the context of a single thread.

    [ Parent ]

    Like what? (none / 0) (#182)
    by shinshin on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:21:26 AM EST

    there are conventional weapons capable of destruction on the same scale as nuclear weapons

    From what I have read, the biggest conventional bomb is the BLU-82B/C-130, which is 1/1000th of the power of the nuke in Hiroshima. Are you privy to some military secrets, or are you just making this shit up?

    the stigma attached to nuclear weapons is a fallacious bogeyman concocted by tree-hugging morons.

    I'm no tree-hugger, and I'm certainly no moron, but I admit that when cocksuckers like you take a caual attitude to the usage nuclear weapons, I am scared shitless. Especially when they are either misinformed about the potential of nuclear weapons (see above), or for whetever twisted political or religious reason decide to intentionally spread that sort of misinformation.

    [ Parent ]
    First strike, (4.00 / 3) (#50)
    by katie on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:08:05 AM EST

    NATO's 1st strike policy was only adopted in 1999. Prior to that it was something summed up as: "we will defend europe with conventional weapons as long as we can, and then we will defend europe with tactical nuclear weapons as long as we can and then we will blow up the world."

    I forget the exact words, and who said it, but at the time he was running lumps of the NATO military...

    [ Parent ]
    INot sure the story's out on what really happened (4.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Spork on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:18:24 AM EST

    I think you make a good point. I am very happy that Israel did not go nuclear in 91. However, I'm sure there were many people there tempted to do it, and I wonder what the US had to promise them for an assurance that they'll just let the Americans handle Iraq.

    If Israel drops the bomb on an Muslim country, all hell will break loose. There will be no such thing in the world as a moderate Muslim state (like Joran is now). Maybe this is one consideration that kept them from bombing is '91.

    [ Parent ]

    How are you so sure? (none / 0) (#72)
    by Peaker on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:19:54 PM EST

    I lived here in Israel in 91, and I don't remmember anyone ever mentioning it?

    Care to mention your sources of certainty?

    [ Parent ]

    Israeli nuclear response during the '91 Gulf War (4.66 / 3) (#104)
    by Steve Hamlin on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:26:22 PM EST


    Well, no proof, but when Saddam started firing Scuds at Israel, I believe (based on U.S. press reports) that Israel was contemplating the use of nuclear weapons against Iraq in return.

    As the frequency increased, and there were spotty reports/supposition that some of the Scuds had chemical/biological payloads, the U.S. became concerned that Israel might pop off a few tactical nukes at Iraq, which would destroy our carefully crafted position as a defender of some moderate Middle Eastern Arabs (Kuwait) against a crazy, evil Iraqi dictator.

    U.S. diplomacy (read: pressure) with Israel was failing fast with Scuds raining down on Israeli cities. A hurried, rush shipment of Patriot missle defense batteries from the U.S. were installed in Israel to shoot down incoming Scuds. These were moderately successful, and quelled the Israeli reaction enough to allow U.S. air stikes and special forces to find and destroy some Scuds launchers, and thus keep the Israeli nuclear response a non-used alternative.



    [ Parent ]

    Addition (4.66 / 3) (#109)
    by Steve Hamlin on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:31:51 PM EST


    In addition, I might add that the thought was that Saddam was looking for exactly that, an Israeli nuclear response.

    The idea was that Saddam knew he was losing bad, and, being the lunatic that he is, decided the if he could provoke Israel into a nuclear attack against Iraq, he could draw other Arab states to enter the war on his side, against the now aggressive Israel. Of course, in the process he would kill millions more of his own population, but when you like gassing your own population to begin with, what's the problem with sacrificing a bunch more to further your own meglomaniancal aims?



    [ Parent ]

    Moderately successful (5.00 / 1) (#279)
    by Peaker on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 04:29:12 PM EST

    You mean hitting NO scuds at all is successful? :)

    After the Gulf War, it was publicized that all the "successful hits" were in fact fabricated to raise the moral, and none of the Patriots ever hit anything.

    [ Parent ]

    Yes, but that data was conveniently released later (none / 0) (#288)
    by Spork on Sat Apr 27, 2002 at 11:45:43 AM EST

    We can still say the Patriot missiles appeared to be successful when it counted, so they did their political job well enough. The report that they actually missed every target was only released after the war was over. Yes, a funny situation!

    [ Parent ]
    absolute bollocks, so sorry... (none / 0) (#198)
    by MacD on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:10:35 AM EST

    Chemical weapons were used during the gulf war. Did you see mushroom clouds? You probably still think the patriot missile system actually worked...
    "There are only two things that are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." A. Einstein
    [ Parent ]
    Not really (none / 0) (#261)
    by adamsc on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:15:04 AM EST

    If they'd been used in a decisive fashion which seriously affected the progress of the war, a nuclear response is entirely plausible. Gulf war syndrome is a long-term health hazard (assuming that the DoD dismissal is in fact incorrect), not an operational threat.

    [ Parent ]
    Good write-up... (3.25 / 8) (#13)
    by ti dave on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:43:36 AM EST

    but personally, I was more worried when the Ukraine challenged Russia for their left-over nukes.


    "If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

    Nukes vs Palestine ? (3.07 / 14) (#19)
    by Betcour on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 05:39:03 AM EST

    I doubt Israel would use nuke against the Palestinians. For one Palestine is too close to Israel, so the radiation and blast would likely affect Israeli population. And for two, Israel is way too happy to steal and colonize the Palestinian territories and wouldn't want to damage such a valuable piece of land.

    On the other hand, Syria, Iraq, Iran or Egypt are another story...

    Forgetting the Neutron bombs... (3.33 / 3) (#43)
    by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:35:08 AM EST

    ... which pretty much solves any problem with damaging land. There would still be the issue of evacuating Israeli settlers/citizens beforehand though; something which (if circumstances were bad enough for Isreal to consider such an action) would surely tip off the Palestinians that something big was about to happen.


    -- 报告人对动物
    [ Parent ]

    neutron bombs still explode. (3.00 / 2) (#66)
    by rebelcool on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:34:31 AM EST

    The neutron bomb is a nuke optimized for generating the radiation of a larger nuke, but with a smaller explosion. It is still a significant nuclear explosion however. I certainly wouldnt want to be in isreal and looking over that way when one goes off.

    COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
    [ Parent ]

    of course they do... (3.00 / 1) (#67)
    by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:57:13 AM EST

    ... but if your goal is getting rid of people while minimizing damage to the environment, it's the bomb of choice. A 10kt bomb blast would not, for instance, kill someone in a house 3km away from GZ. They would, of course, die of radiation effects. Caveat: There are all sorts of variables (and I am not a nuclear scientist), so take my figure with a liberal dose of salt. Where the bomb is detonated (above ground? ground level? below the ground?), line of sight, and more will change the numbers significantly.

    Also, "generating the radiation of a larger nuke" is a bit misleading. A neutron bomb *is* a "larger nuke" with no U238 jacket and some extra tritium. This results in a smaller blast (and lessens the attenuation of neutron output).

    Anyway, I wish I kept my mouth shut. ;) I think the chance of Isreal using mini-neutron bombs to scour their enemies is about as good as me being born again.


    -- 报告人对动物
    [ Parent ]

    oops... (3.00 / 1) (#69)
    by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 11:00:04 AM EST

    A 10kt bomb blast would not, for instance, kill someone in a house 3km away from GZ.

    Sorry... the idea was to show that someone 3 klicks away from GZ would not be killed by the blast because their house would still be standing. Bad post.


    -- 报告人对动物
    [ Parent ]

    The results of an Israeli nuclear strike (2.20 / 15) (#34)
    by Hopfrog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:24:46 AM EST

    Now, I don't believe in prophesies and all that. But for those who might believe in Nostradamus, that film showd missiles rising from underground hideouts in the desert that would signal the third great war.

    As a hobbyst military strategist, and a moderate, I am reasonably sure that any nuclear strike by Israel on a Hiroshima scale would cause destruction of large parts of the world.

    If Israel kills such a large number of people, the Arab nations are not going to sit down and take it, or give up. Europe and the U.S will immediately isolate Israel, and Europe (apart from Germany) will send troops to the region.

    Any Arab government that sits idle or thinks about negotiation with Israel will be driven from power, and religuous figures will become leaders. All conventional weapons of the Arab nations will be used to attack Israel, and the Arab nations will lose. when that happens, Arab men will start fighting a guerilla war, and this will be a very serious threat to Israel because of the sheer number of people.

    Iraq, Iran will of course launch daily missiles into Israeli towns.

    Now will come the crux - Israel is isolated, and doesn't have oil. The Arab nations are defeated, but are waging a Guerilla war. Europe is abstaining, and America is despairing. So Israel will try to occupy all the Arab nations, to stop the war, and to start getting oil.

    Europe is going to send troops in on the Arabic side, and will gradually get ensnared in the war. Russia will do the same. China will abstain. America will probably also abstain.

    Israel will then probably be driven back into its country, and redrawn with U.N mandated borders.

    If Israel does not lose, but attacks again with Nuclear weapons, Pakistan will also use its Nuclear weapons agains Israel, and America will offer logistic support against Israel.

    Hop.

    Don't think Europe is going to intervene.... (2.60 / 5) (#38)
    by maroberts on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:15:25 AM EST

    ...we're not going to stick our hand in that particular wasp hive thankyou!
    ~~~
    The greatest trick the Devil pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist -- Verbil Kint, The Usual Suspects
    [ Parent ]
    Europe is ALREADY discussing it (3.66 / 3) (#64)
    by Hopfrog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:28:34 AM EST

    And the Nuclear thing isn't started yet. If European citizens are threatend, you bet your ass that Europe is going to get involved. This is the friggin continent that has had more wars than any other continent.

    Hop.

    [ Parent ]

    Yes, we've had lots of wars.. (none / 0) (#84)
    by mikael_j on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:10:28 PM EST

    but apart from the two world wars and that cold war thing, it's been pretty quiet in large parts of europe for quite a while, some countries have not been at war for hundreds of years (Sweden and Switzerland IIRC). I doubt any european leaders would be willing to get involved in a war in the middle-east...

    /Mikael
    We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
    [ Parent ]
    hobbyist military strategist (3.83 / 6) (#52)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:15:16 AM EST

    And a very amateur one at that.

    First, as maroberts said, the EU wouldn't get involved in that hornets nest. Bush tried to get the US extracted from that. Notice the success he had. Better not to get involved in the first place. Especially since much of Europe is within missile range of the middle east. Are the French going to sacrifice Paris to save Mecca?

    As has been pointed out in other comments, many of the Israeli nukes are tactical/theater types. The sort that would be used in a repeat of the Yom Kippur War, wherein the IDF was caught with its pants down around its ankles. In the event of an Arab invasion of Israel, with Arab forces (who have called for the extermination of the Israeli people) looking likely to conquer Israel, the Israelis would have no choice but to go nuclear. What would they have to lose? "Oh no, if we don't allow the Arabs to kill us all, the Europeans might get upset!" That's not much of a deterrent.

    Would the Iranians, or Pakistanis, launch on Israel? No. Iran wouldn't sacrifice Tehran or Qum for the Palestinians, and Pakistan is far more worried about India than about Israel.

    Iraq? Probably not. The Israelis do have strategic weapons, and the Iraqis know it. The US nuclear weapons deterred Iraq from using chemical weapons duing the Gulf War, and the US had invaded Iraq! Thus, it is safe to assume that Iraq wouldn't invite retaliation in a case where it wasn't invaded.

    And if the Arabs had a nuclear capability of their own? Again, in this (the likeliest) nuclear scenario, what would the Israelis have to lose. It's called the "Samson Option". The Israelis are going to be exterminated if they don't go noclear, so they opt to take their enemies with them. The US and USSR called it "Mutual Assured Destruction", and Pakistan and India are in that situation now.

    And MAD does work. Previously, when India and Pakistan have started fighting on their border a war has resulted. Until this past year. They started fighting, with quite a bit of terrorism over Kashmir. But then things became quieter, if not peaceful. The difference? Both sides have nukes and both sides know that they can no longer afford a full scale war.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]

    About MAD and the Middle East (3.00 / 3) (#59)
    by Spork on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:10:17 AM EST

    I wish I could agree that Israelis vs Arabs were a case of Mutual Assured Destruction. You're right that MAD is an effective mechanism for military stability, unpleasant as it is. My worry is that the destruction would not be mutual. I think the Israeli military is far stronger than all the arab armies put together. Don't judge them by what happened in 67 and 73 (though they well for themselves then, too). They've received several billion dollars in military aid each year, plus they have a very advanced domestic weapons industry. Nobody else in the neighborhood comes close!

    This is actually bad, because if they get mad enough, there will be no assured self-destruction if they go nuclear. And this is exactly the reason why I think we need to worry that they might.

    If the world really cares about peace, they should pass around a treaty that says that any nation who launches a first nuclear strike must by law be nuked to oblivion by all the other nuclear states. Not that all of them would actually nuke when push came to shove, but if enough would, the deterrence effect would be achieved. But of course, nuclear states would never sign that, because they get so much political mileage out of stroking their missiles as they negotiate with diplomats. They don't want people to say "bah, you won't nuke us!"

    [ Parent ]

    wankfest (4.00 / 3) (#96)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:00:59 PM EST

    Now, I don't believe in prophesies and all that. But for those who might believe in Nostradamus, that film showd missiles rising from underground hideouts in the desert that would signal the third great war.
    If you "don't believe in prophesies and all that" then why is it even relevant? Unless you do?
    Iraq, Iran will of course launch daily missiles into Israeli towns.
    Not likely because, at this point, you have already described Israel as having gone nuclear -- Iraqi C3I will be horseshit because it'll all be radioactive dust or hunkered down in some deep bunker. Even though some of their mobile SCUDS will still be capable of fire, they won't have the C3I to direct them.
    Now will come the crux - Israel is isolated, and doesn't have oil. The Arab nations are defeated, but are waging a Guerilla war. Europe is abstaining, and America is despairing. So Israel will try to occupy all the Arab nations, to stop the war, and to start getting oil.
    Both Israel and the US will ramp up their supply from Russian mediated Central Asian oil -- untless Turkey decides to slit its own throat and sinks freighters in the Bosporus; at which point Russia, with tacit US approval, rolls their tank armies through Georgia and into Turkey, securing the Bosporus for oil shipments.
    Europe is going to send troops in on the Arabic side, and will gradually get ensnared in the war.
    Never -- lots of debate and bluster and condemnation, but no action.
    Russia will do the same.
    Russia will use it as an excuse to pacify Chechenya (with nukes against "islamic terrorists") and all of Georgia, bringing it back under Post-Soviet control.
    China will abstain.
    Except for selling arms to all comers...
    America will probably also abstain.
    Officially, yes. Unofficially, they will provide the Israelis with satellite imagery and SpecOps intelligence.
    Israel will then probably be driven back into its country, and redrawn with U.N mandated borders.
    Not likely (as in: pure fantasy), see above.
    If Israel does not lose, but attacks again with Nuclear weapons, Pakistan will also use its Nuclear weapons agains Israel, and America will offer logistic support against Israel.
    Pakistan wouldn't be so stupid. They need their nukes to hold India in check... and they know that if they used their nukes against Israel that the US would give India tacit approval (and intel support) in a pre-emptive nuclear strike and invasion of Pakistan.

    In other words, the reason that Israel can afford to be so bloody and brutal is because they know they can't lose. The nuclear card is their ace-in-the-hole.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Directed by Nostradamus (4.50 / 2) (#102)
    by wormboy on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:23:52 PM EST

    Now, I don't believe in prophesies and all that. But for those who might believe in Nostradamus, that film showd missiles rising from underground hideouts in the desert that would signal the third great war.

    If you "don't believe in prophesies and all that" then why is it even relevant? Unless you do?


    Hey, if Nostradamus could make movies that 'showd missiles rising from underground hideouts in the desert', despite living in the 16th century, I'd believe his prophecies...


    [ Parent ]
    not that impressive (4.00 / 1) (#146)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:17:26 PM EST

    Europeans were using unguided blackpowder rockets in the late 15th century, and the Chinese were using them well before the birth of Christ.

    Typical European siege tactics included the use of siege weapons from sapper trenches and redoubts.

    If Nostradamus had witnessed any of the contemporary major continental castle sieges in southern France or the Italian city states, he would probably have observed blackpowder rockets used against enemy hoardings, barbicans, and entrenchments.

    Since da Vinci preceded him and had composed paper "flip-page" movies of horses and the like, it is conceivable (if not probable) that Nostradamus' directorial debut could have included Savoyard mercenary siege rockets rising from sapper trenches against the walls of a Provencal castle.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    What did he make movies on (none / 0) (#166)
    by epepke on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:13:49 PM EST

    back in the late 15th century? A camera obscura and twenty-four really fast sketch artists?


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    bzzzzzzzzt (none / 0) (#175)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 11:52:07 PM EST

    not *photographic* movies, but *animated* movies. you know, they still make those? companies like Walt Disney Corporation make hundreds of millions on them...

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Reminds me of a Simpsons joke... (none / 0) (#265)
    by wormboy on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:13:15 AM EST

    Homer is the voice of an animated dog (Pookie?) and is talking with a network suit: Homer: Do we ever broadcast live? Suit: No, it's very hard on the animators wrists.

    [ Parent ]
    Prophets (4.50 / 2) (#157)
    by Cro Magnon on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 05:07:49 PM EST

    Has anyone noticed that people only say "Yeah, he predicted it" after it happens? If someone can point to Nostradamus's predictions BEFORE something happens, and it really DOES happen, I might take him seriously.
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Don't quit your day job (none / 0) (#252)
    by delmoi on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:18:29 AM EST

    First of all, the arab states arn't going to do anything, because they'll already have been nuked. The best they could ever muster would be fire missles into Isreal proper, but the germans tried that against the english, and it didn't do anything.

    Pakistan won't nuke isreal, They probably don't even have the capablity too Pakistan's nukes exist for one purpose only, and that's to retaliate for Indian nukes.

    Finaly, no one is going to send troups anywhere. You don't send in ground troups after in retaliation for being nuked.

    Honestly, I have no idea what would happen, but I don't think Isreal would try anything unless they were really fucked, in which case, I don't think people would complain to much.
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    Scenarios for Israeli strikes (2.77 / 9) (#39)
    by CitAnon on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:22:55 AM EST

    First of all, in terms of the proportion of their population killed, Israel is already suffering WTC-scale attack. I do know what you mean though. A terrorist attack that kills thousands of Israelis may very well prompt Israel to retaliate with nuclear weapons. Here are three scenarios I thought of off the top of my head.

    <B>Retaliation for terrorist attack</B>

    Israel may retaliate against a massive terrorist attack with nukes. The question is, against whom and in what way? In theory, neutron weapons are designed to wipe out a population or an army in preparation for an invading force to take over, but due to man power limitations, Israel can't realistically take over much territory. At any rate, nuclear weapons wouldn't be able to destroy terrorist organizations that may commit such acts. A possibility is that they would use the weapons to destroy a couple of towns where the suspected terrorists are hiding and use the threat of further nuking to force Arab governments to crack down on offending organizations. What ever happens, it will be a horrible tragedy all around.

    <B>Preemptive strike against NBC agents</B>

    The most dangerous potential terrorist weapon is infectious disease. Chemical weapons have mcuh less potential destructive power but are more obtainable and about as effective psychologically. The reality is that the potential destructiveness of biological and chemical weapons qualify them as weapons of mass destruction, yet, they are much easier to acquire, transport and deploy than nuclear weapons. If Israel perceives a threat from a party that possesses either of these two types of weapons, it may use nuclear weapons to strike preemptively at underground bunkers where these weapons are stored. Considering this is exactly what the Bush administration is proposing to do in its much maligned nuclear posture review, this scenario is squarely within the realm of plausibility. Since such an attack will entail an underground nuclear explosion, civilian casualties from initial blast effects will be small unless the targeted bunker is in the middle of a city. Over time, however, radioactive dust from the explosion will probably kill thousands.

    <B>Desperate defense after conventional military defeat</B>

    The third scenario where Israel might use nuclear weapons is after a conventional military defeat when it perceives that its existance is threatened by invading Arab armies. This is a classical neutron bomb usage scenario.

    I think some of those "problems" have so (3.50 / 4) (#57)
    by Spork on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:52:34 AM EST

    While I think the US has a tendency to picture all terrorism to be organized by Bin Laden types (stateless outcasts), the Israeli picture is a bit different (at least from what I read). I think Israelis are much more comfortable in blaming states for terrorist acts. Their favorites are Lebanon and Syria. In some instances, they can even make a good case to that effect. I think many see Hezballah suicide attacks as guided missile attacks from Lebanon, for example. So I think they would just treat terrorism as acts in a straightforward-style war, and feel that retaliation for the sponsoring state is justified.

    So we could well see Damascus nuked if things got grim and Israel slipped off the US leash.

    [ Parent ]

    Does it matter how you kill people? (4.00 / 1) (#191)
    by pepperpusher on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 05:15:26 AM EST

    Syria chooses to sponsor guerilla troops to kill israeli citizens instead of using it's own army so they can escape responsibility, but it doesn't work.

    Too bad we don't have tibetan neighbours ;)

    [ Parent ]
    WTC-scale attacks? (3.50 / 2) (#197)
    by MacD on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:06:20 AM EST

    Look at the body count, puhlease! What is it, Israeli dead: 100, Palestinian dead: 800? The numbers may be wrong, but the ratio should be about right. Then again, what do you expect when you pit military against rocks and molotov's...
    "There are only two things that are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." A. Einstein
    [ Parent ]
    it's a matter of scale. (1.50 / 2) (#229)
    by wrffr on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 04:27:38 PM EST

    when you look at the populations of the US and Israel and compare the number of victims in relation to their total population, you'll see that in the last 18 months, Israel has been the victim of enough terrorist attacks to be equivalent of a half dozen 9/11's.

    [ Parent ]
    Uh huh... (4.00 / 2) (#251)
    by delmoi on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:09:59 AM EST

    And that would make Palestinian losses what, a half dozen Hiroshima's?
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    not really. (1.00 / 1) (#282)
    by wrffr on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 02:26:45 PM EST

    the vast majority of palestinian losses have been combatants. while the vast majority of israeli losses have been non-combatants.

    [ Parent ]
    Jeez! (none / 0) (#285)
    by virg on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 11:55:55 AM EST

    >Preemptive strike against NBC agents

    Holy cow! I know NBC does a lousy job covering the news, but are they really so bad that they warrant nuclear strikes to wipe out their news desks? Think of all of the innocent concessioneers who would die just for delivering coffee and doughnuts! Oh, the humanity!

    Virg
    "Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
    [ Parent ]
    New K5 slogan (3.15 / 20) (#48)
    by dieMSdie on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:49:31 AM EST

    Kuro5hin
    Israel and Palestine, from the trenches


    New??? (2.20 / 5) (#54)
    by cione on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:22:56 AM EST

    I thought it already was. Shows What I know
    _________________________________________________
    Daylight Savings - Can I make a withdrawl please?
    [ Parent ]
    heh (2.60 / 5) (#135)
    by elzubeir on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:35:19 PM EST

    Yeah.. I hope this is the last of this Israel/Palestine I see on K5 for a long time coming. I'm about sick of it by now. I'm definitely voting down any article that comes up ever after.

    [ Parent ]
    No, from the trenches (4.00 / 5) (#194)
    by kzin on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 06:06:58 AM EST

    Israel and Palestine, from Jerusalem (at least in my case). I won't complain that my house is not comfy enough, but it is in sight of Beit-Lehem flares and hearing range of Ramallah gunbattles, and my favourite shopping street has been suicide-bombed more than once in the past few months.

    [ Parent ]
    I'm more worried about non-organized Nuclear Power (3.57 / 7) (#55)
    by SinisterMcgee on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:24:56 AM EST

    Considering that there are lots of missing Russian nukes floating around the world I'm not really that concerned about Israel to tell you the truth - These are the people who would give Evacuation warnings before bombing targets (Until they realized that bombing empty buildings doesn't discourage sucicide bombers!) I'm much more concerned about a group like Al-Qaeda, or the Hezbollah, or other Terrorist organizations which don't normally understand the consequences of their actions, and feel that some sort of divine being will prevent retaliations.

    Two things to read up on (3.20 / 5) (#56)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:30:00 AM EST

    Osirak and Black September

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    The Momentum (3.11 / 9) (#58)
    by cem on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:07:43 AM EST

    (Please excuse my poor English!)

    Israel would only use its nuclear power in the moment of final desperation. When they think that there is no outcome and the threat from outside could be lethal for the existence of their state. Because to lighten up the match in the powderhouse would be the last decision a statesman could do in that region. And the last light any other neighbouring statesman would see.

    At no stage in the past there was really such a momentum in Israel. And I don't think there will be such a situation even in the short or midterm future ...




    Young Tarzan: I'll be the best ape ever!

    Another rogue nuclear power (3.20 / 5) (#62)
    by chbm on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:19:27 AM EST

    Thanks for reminding us about yet another rogue state with nuclear power.

    Remeber a 'rogue state' is a state that operates outside and against the UN before you start a flaming.

    -- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
    So that would include (3.33 / 3) (#68)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:58:37 AM EST

    Russia, China, Pakistan, India, etc. etc...

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    As well as... (3.50 / 4) (#70)
    by iguanaphobic on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:07:03 PM EST

    Russia, China, Pakistan, India, etc. etc...
    The United States of America...
    The international community is more than the U.N. By refusing to discuss Kyoto, it's abstention from the war crimes tribunal, it's protectionist economic policies (steel and softwood lumber), it's support for the use of violence to overthrow democratically elected governments (Argentina) and it's refusal to pay it's due's to the U.N., I'd say that The United States of America eminently qualifies as a "rogue state" when you look at it from the point of view of the rest of the world.



    [ Parent ]
    Don't forget (3.16 / 6) (#77)
    by Betcour on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:34:41 PM EST

    ...that USA is also a police-state (highest jail population per capita, heavy sentences, death penalty). John Ashcroft : one names sums it up.

    [ Parent ]
    Ashcroft (3.50 / 6) (#80)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:49:19 PM EST

    The prison situation, mostly a result of the idiotic war on drugs, is a pre-Ashcroft condition.

    The round-up and treatment of terrorist 'suspects' can be laid at his door.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]

    Nope (2.00 / 1) (#188)
    by Betcour on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:47:51 AM EST

    A state with police is any state (I haven't seen a country without some sort of police yet). A police state is a state where the police and legal system is pervasive, opprosive and almost omnipotent. A country where the slightest mistake lands you disproportionnate sentence, where spying on people is done on a large scale (think Carnivore) and where you can get arrested and jailed for no reason (think about all the people from arab origin who where arrested after 9/11 and detained for no reason, of the FBI visits around people who don't follow the herd, or Gantanamo prisonners who still wait for a fair trial)

    [ Parent ]
    three strikes you're out? (4.00 / 1) (#266)
    by jotango on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:15:55 AM EST

    "A country where the slightest mistake lands you disproportionnate sentence". What always astounds me is the "three strikes you're out!" rule, which distributes live sentences for just about everything. I am waiting for that to be overturned because of unreasonable punishment.

    [ Parent ]
    But (2.75 / 4) (#79)
    by wiredog on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:45:08 PM EST

    You could make the argument that almost any state qualifies as 'rogue' under those definitions. Hell, the Dutch allowed ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia. Actually, the UN did. Which means that the UN is itself a rogue state.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    UN (3.00 / 1) (#178)
    by ReF UgEE on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:21:08 AM EST

    UN is not a state, it is an organisation, and therefore cannot be considered a 'rogue state'..

    [ Parent ]
    Pedant (none / 0) (#203)
    by wiredog on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:24:08 AM EST

    ;-)

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    Any sane person is against the UN (4.20 / 5) (#147)
    by VitaminSupplementarian on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:20:24 PM EST

    What the UN does:
    1. Recognize only the sovereignty of very powerful nations like the US, GB and China
    2. Refuse to apply the same standard to China's Western Provinces/Tibet that it did to Kosovo
    3. Condemn a certain small democratic state that petty little anti-semites in Europe find repulsive yet not condemn European nations like Belgium for the rampant anti-semitic violence their police and various security forces fail to stop.
    4. Put the Sudan a country with concentration camps for its christian and pagan minorities that have killed over 2,000,000 people in the past decade or so and still has de jure slavery in place on a "human rights" commission over the US.
    5. Violates its charter frequently. The UN is not allowed IIRC to intervene into the internal affairs of a member sovereign nation

    What the UN does NOT do:
    1. Recognize the sovereignty of small states. This is evidenced by the failure of the UN to send any forces to occupy a western nation during any case of internal upheaval. If you are going to be ready to occupy Somalia's capitol, then you should be fair and be ready to occupy D.C., Paris or London! (not that I'm in favor of occupying any nation's capitol mind you)
    2. Not recognize inalienable rights. All rights are granted by the U.N. and there are no natural rights according to its charter. Freedom of speech, religion, privacy, etc get troublesome for a more powerful UN? Oh hell just outlaw it since it "gave us" the right.
    3. Represent the interest of any of its member states.
    4. Demand that its members of the general assembly be chosen by an at large election by the people of said nation
    5. Block any nation with a record of systematic human rights violations in recent times. Go ahead give a grace period to any abuser to clean up. But to allow countries like INSERT_TYPICAL_THIRD_WORLD_NATION_HERE and the PRC to be members is madness. Set a minimum standard. Nothing less than the United States Bill of Rights or the Declaration of the Rights of Man should be accepted as a charter for human rights in that nation before entry into the UN.

    Face it people, the U.N. is controlled by a bunch of elitist kleptocrats. I'm very much a classical liberal in most ways and even a socialist friend of mine thinks that their (and the IMF/World Bank) attempts to give "aid" are bullshit. As he would put it, do you honestly think a dictator is not going to choose building a pure gold statue of himself over feeding a few million starving people with that money?
    "A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy" --F.A. Hayek
    [ Parent ]
    Isreali nukes are aimed at U.S. (3.37 / 8) (#65)
    by tapir on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:34:19 AM EST

    If you read Johnathan Schell or other thinkers on nuclear strategy you start to realize that governments are very deceptive about their real motivations in nuclear strategy. Although the public has always been concerned about the "doomsday" scenarios, the US and Soviet Union were always planning to use tactical nuclear weapons in airland warfare.

    US army training materials to this day are aimed at preparing troops to withstand the effects of close strikes of friendly nuclear weapons -- with the aim of minimizing post-strike downtime, so that enemy troops can be nuked and US troops can move in within minutes. Although the specific scenarios discussed in the training materials are those of an enemy attack, the manuals themselves admit that these are unrealistic -- under enemy fire, troops wouldn't find themselves at the edge of a single blast, but would rather find themselves at the center of a cluster of blasts and the nuclear attack would be followed swiftly with conventional weapons attacks that exploit the damage and confusion caused by the nuclear attack.

    One reason that unstable, repressive countries like Isreal like to have nuclear weapons is to pose a threat to the US. South Africa maintained a nuclear arsenal for the same reasons up until the mid-1980's, until after the fall of apartheid it was no longer needed.

    The point is to give the US and NATO a strong incentive to maintain the stability of the status quo in the smaller country. Suppose the government of Isreal fell apart -- maybe it fell into the hands of Jewish Nazis, or into the hands of crazy Palestinians. At that point, anything could happen with the nuclear arsenal. Remember that Isreal has launched rockets into orbit, so it's certainly capable of producing unlimited-range ICBMs. Even if such a situation didn't result in a direct attack on the US or Europe, a serious nuclear war could disrupt the flow of oil from the middle east for years with a devastating effect on the world's industrial economies.

    The US and NATO have always faced political pressure to drop support for repressive countries like South Africa and Isreal. A nuclear arsenal in the hands of such a country provides a powerful incentive for our leaders to support it's present government in the fear that those nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of a less desirable government.

    Uh, no. (3.50 / 2) (#103)
    by physicsgod on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:25:50 PM EST

    The longest range missile Isreal has deployed has a range of 2800km, less than half the distance from Isreal to the US. Not to mention a single Ohio class BMS can carry >10% of Isreal's entire nuclear arsenal.

    --- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
    [ Parent ]
    Yeah... sure. (none / 0) (#170)
    by Anon 17933 on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:04:10 PM EST

    Nice troll... it would be pretty stupid for Israel to target the US with nukes... I sincerely doubt they have the capability to deliver a nuke to the US. Put simply -- there's no reason for them to target their allies when they have countries all around them just waiting for an excuse to annihilate them.

    [ Parent ]
    Think about it for a second instead of parrotting (4.44 / 9) (#73)
    by notafurry on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:20:04 PM EST

    It's not that hard. Steinbach's theory is that because the Israeli arsenal consists of low-fallout weapons, they must be intended for a purpose other than last-defense and deterence. This shows that he needs to lay off the caffeine in the morning.

    The United States and the former Soviet Union build huge arsenals of high-yield city-buster bombs. Megaton yields, high-fallout U238 refractory reentry vehicles, Cesium bombs. Those are extremely high-cost weapons, and in addition to that, they require massive delivery vehicles. ICBM boosters have traditionally been used to develop heavy-lift space launchers simply because they have similar payload requirements. Both arsenals were also built to fight an enemy on the other side of the world, so fallout is not a big concern. If the weapons were ever used, the idea was to make the enemy's home territory uninhabitable, while having a minimal impact on the home territory.

    Israel is not in the same position. Their enemies are on their borders, dozens and hundreds of miles away instead of thousands. Bomb Syria with a high-yield citybuster hydrogen bomb, and you'll kill as many Israeli civilians and troops as Syrian. Not an effective way to wage war. Instead, they concentrated their energies on low-yield, low-fallout, "clean" nuclear weapons. Not only can they be used on enemy cities, they can also be dropped on moving field armies, if necessary within Israel itself. They can be delivered by a variety of weapons, from attack aircraft to heavy artillery. They are the perfect nuclear weapon for Israel's situation; they're defending a small and fragile land area from enemies all around them who have large amounts of territory but relatively few people, and those people are in tightly concentrated population centers.

    Isn't that his point (3.00 / 3) (#86)
    by hjw on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:12:33 PM EST

    That Isreali nukes are targetted at arab countries and hence not part of a nuclear deterence program?

    Would that not imply that Isreali nukes are part of a first strike strategy?


    [ Parent ]
    No. (3.40 / 5) (#124)
    by notafurry on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:55:07 PM EST

    It would imply they're thinking about how to make the most effective use of their weapons in the event they do decide to use them. It says they're looking at efficiency considerations, in that it costs more in money and nuclear material to build a citybuster than a tactical nuke. It says absolutely nothing about their intentions regarding use.

    It's also important to remember that in all the wars Israel has fought since 1947, they've never fired the first shot. They've also never really been in a position where nuclear weapons would be required, with the possible exception of the early days of the 1973 war. (Tom Clancy mentions this in his novel "The Sum of all Fears". Note that there is no evidence any nuclear weapons were ever prepared for use during that conflict.) The current conflict is essentially from within their own borders (the Palestinian suicide bombers.) If on top of this the other Arab nations were to attack, as they have in the past, Israel would be faced with preventing terrorist attacks within and repelling an invasion from without. That might be enough to trigger a nuclear response, but I don't see Israel shooting first.

    [ Parent ]

    The terrorists are.. (3.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Weezul on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:06:10 PM EST

    ..largely irrelevent when you have foreign armies to worry about. American stratagists think Israel could "passify" the occupied terretories in 36 hours if they were fighing real a war and hence not concerned about creating a diplomatic incident with civilian casualities. Indeed, the occupied territories actually help Israel, as they move the fighting out of Israel and provide more early warning, thats why the Israelis are occuping them.

    "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
    [ Parent ]
    Sure. (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by notafurry on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:39:50 PM EST

    The problem is, they have to be concerned about a diplomatic incident. Even with the suicide bombers and all the other Palestinian violence, no one is going to just let Israel sweep massive civilian casualties under the rug. CNN and its brethren essentially guarantee that any such atrocities would become known, too, so no fair hiding the facts.

    If external war comes while they're still fighting the internal threat, they can't just pick up all their troops and equipment, move them to the front, and fight the external war. It takes time to shift operational postures from fighting guerrilla or terrorist threats to repelling an armored division in the Golan. Of course, they'll have held back some of their best forces (you don't use elite troops for peacekeeping, which is what the Palestinian conflict is) and the air force never shifted postures. Still, if the war starts and the Israeli government finds they don't have the forces readily available to defeat the attack, they may decide to buy the time they need with nuclear weapons. The front would be the Golan Heights and the Suez, as always. The Golan is a good place for small tactical nukes - narrow passes, great for concentrating enemy armored forces into small areas. The Suez on the other hand is to valuable to destroy, but it's also wide open desert. A neutron bomb wouldn't kill the crews of the tanks, but it would fry their communications, kill their support crews in light trucks and vehicles, and in general throw the assault into disarray. Besides, if you were an Egyptian tank commander and you saw mushroom clouds, would you keep driving that way? How would you know the difference between a neutron bomb or a "dirty" nuke, with your minimal education?

    The point being Israel is somewhat xenophobic (for obvious and essentially justifiable reasons). They believe that the only defense they have is themselves. They won't wait for the US to defend them, they won't way for the UN to declare sanctions. If they're truly threatened, they'll use any weapons at their disposal. Until then, they'll be as polite as they have to be consistent with their own security.

    The comments that Israel makes - the "Arabs have the oil but we have the match" etc. - are essentially saber-rattling and warning. The equivalent of a cornered man with a gun saying "back off or I'll shoot".

    As for the occupied territories... well, yes, they serve as a buffer zone. But if that were their sole purpose, they would not maintain civilian settlements in them. Israel is a tiny nation, particularly when you consider how much of the country is made up of the Negev desert. Their population continues to grow, from reproduction and from immigration as Jews from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union "escape" to Israel.

    [ Parent ]

    Quite right - it's all about posturing (none / 0) (#255)
    by adamsc on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:40:17 AM EST

    The comments that Israel makes - the "Arabs have the oil but we have the match" etc. - are essentially saber-rattling and warning. The equivalent of a cornered man with a gun saying "back off or I'll shoot".

    Given their close ties with the US, they also have to confront the way most of the Arab world sees the US as heavy on talk and short on action: "We know it'll take the UN several months and the US will be under a lot of political pressure to do nothing. We're not like them - if the shit hits the fan, we will spread it around with a very big shovel."



    [ Parent ]
    not true (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:26:30 PM EST

    I agree with pretty much everything that you said except where you described what those bombs were actually supposed to be used for. They are not "city-buster bombs", but "bunker-busters". Those high-yield warheads are necessary to penetrate hardened (3000psi) and super-hardened (5000psi) bunkers, like the ones housing ICBM launch silos.

    During the Cold War, the first warhead delivery platforms were the long range heavy bombers -- soon enough, each side had developed sufficient early warning and air defense systems to make any nuclear attack unlikely to succeed without an extended conventional war (to take out the defenses on the ground). Because American defense of Europe relied on theatre nuclear weapons deployed against the hundreds of Soviet armor divisions, they had to figure out a way to penetrate Soviet airspace and destroy their warmaking capability.

    The development of the IRBM and ICBM programs in the US by German rocket scientest Wernher von Braun was an extension of the V-2 philosophy -- penetrate quickly, deeply, and unblockably into enemy territory with destructive power.

    With the advent of short range Inter Regional Ballistic Missiles as delivery systems for nuclear warheads, the US started basing as many as possible in Europe to act as a counter against Soviet conventional ground forces. In return, the Soviets began developing their own IRBMs to target American IRBM silos.

    Thus began the race to create ever tougher missile silo bunkers versus ever stronger nuclear warheads to crack them open. That arms race was extended to ICBMs when they were developed.

    By the late 70's, however, strategists on both sides had come to rely more and more on submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and mobile launchers. The advantage that this gained was that the enemy could never be sure where your launchers were, and thus couldn't target them with bunker busters (the huge multi-megaton warheads).

    By the time the 80's rolled around, both sides made all kinds of political hay with the tree-huggers through "nuclear disarmament". The nuclear disarmament activity of the SALT and START treaties was really just public acknowledgement of the obsolescence of fixed silo-based nuclear missiles -- they were too vulnerable to their mobile land and water based cousins.

    Because silos have become almost passe', most modern nuclear warheads are of much smaller yield (50kt to 250kt rather than the 200mt dinosaurs of the past), but are tightly clustered with as many as 15 warheads per delivery system (such as an SLBM on a Ohio or Typhoon boomer).

    Today's nuclear warheads are far more versatile and far more precise tools for the purpose of quickly destroying enemy force concentrations.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Re: not true (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by otis wildflower on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:22:42 PM EST

    The nuclear disarmament activity of the SALT and START treaties was really just public acknowledgement of the obsolescence of fixed silo-based nuclear missiles -- they were too vulnerable to their mobile land and water based cousins.

    Missile silos aren't entirely obsolete... ;)

    Because silos have become almost passe', most modern nuclear warheads are of much smaller yield (50kt to 250kt rather than the 200mt dinosaurs of the past)

    '... the "Tsar Bomba" was the largest nuclear weapon ever constructed or detonated.', and it was 50MT.


    [root@usmc.mil /]# chmod a+x /bin/laden
    [ Parent ]
    touche' (none / 0) (#158)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 05:33:53 PM EST

    thank you -- i had thought that the original yield on the Tsar Bomba was 200mt and didn't realize that the design had been modified and tested at a lower yield.

    having visited the Kremlin and seen the Tsar Kolokol and Tsar Pushka, I think that the Tsar Bomba would look particularly nifty next to all the thousands of French cannon piled inside the Kremlin's walls... poetically very fitting.

    as far as silos as homes are concerned, i agree -- they are super neato. however, that doesn't change the fact that they are obsolete in their original incarnation as weapons. in some other incarnation (homes), they are eminently desirable.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Not quite (none / 0) (#181)
    by notafurry on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:45:16 AM EST

    Development of city-buster megaton yield nuclear weapons predated the development of high-precision delivery vehicles and of deep hardened bunkers. The original tasking of these high yield weapons was the political and military command structures of the target nations - the major cities.

    Command centers and missile silos were placed in the open and hardened later under the assumption that ICBM-delivered weapons would never have the capability to target such small targets precisely, an assumption proved false by the SS-24 and the Pershing II.

    [ Parent ]

    actually (none / 0) (#227)
    by CodeWright on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:53:24 PM EST

    Development of city-buster megaton yield nuclear weapons predated the development of high-precision delivery vehicles and of deep hardened bunkers. The original tasking of these high yield weapons was the political and military command structures of the target nations - the major cities.
    Once again, I agree with your statements almost entirely, except for one small piece -- the centers of military command being targetted were the battlefield command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) centers; *not* the political centers.
    Command centers and missile silos were placed in the open and hardened later under the assumption that ICBM-delivered weapons would never have the capability to target such small targets precisely, an assumption proved false by the SS-24 and the Pershing II.
    It is true that command centers and missile launch sites were originally in the open under the assumption that they were safe from enemy attack, but that was primarily an issue of range. American IRBMs in Germany couldn't reach into Soviet territory, but were intended to devastate advancing Soviet tank armies in Central and Western Europe.

    Once the Soviets began deploying (highly inaccurate) IRBMs to counter the American IRBM threat, the Americans realized that they had to harden their IRBM sites if they wanted to retain the capability to target advancing force concentrations after a pre-emptive Soviet IRBM strike.

    At that point, because the nukes had to be more accurate to breach these hardened defenses, both sides began to calculate statistics like the percentage and radius of Circular Error Probable (CEP). For example, the North Korean Nodong-1 missile has a CEP of 190m. This means that 50% of the Nodong-1 missiles fired at a particular target would impact within 190m. Thus, CEP is a measure of accuracy.

    To properly determine how to target a particular warhead, it is also necessary to calculate the Mean Area of Effectiveness (MAE), which is a measurement, in square feet, of an abstract area determined by dividing the area affected by a weapon into small elements and, finally, summing the product of the probability of damage within each element and the area of each element. MAE depends upon target vulnerability, weapon characteristics, impact velocity, weapon angle of fall, and burst height.

    The combination of those two factors would allow strategic planners to determine which kind and how many warheads would be required to have a probable confirmed kill against a specific target.

    The point of all this babble is that, although NATO and Warsaw Pact planners couldn't be confident that a single grossly inaccurate nuclear weapon would be capable of destroying a specific target, a clustering of weapons per target could be reasonably certain of achieving the desired result.

    By the time second, third, and later generation ICBMs were developed, weapon accuracy had radically increased. In addition, total warhead count had also radically increased. The combination of those two factors (lots of highly accurate nuclear weapons) meant that static launch facilities (fixed silos) had practically zero capability of surviving a first strike.

    Highly accurate single weapons (vis-a-vis the SS-24 and Pershing II) are the icing on the cake that rendered fixed nuclear defenses utterly obsolete.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Hmmm (none / 0) (#232)
    by notafurry on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 06:48:52 PM EST

    Once again, I agree with your statements almost entirely, except for one small piece -- the centers of military command being targetted were the battlefield command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) centers; *not* the political centers.

    Data? Every analysis I've seen, including studies and declassified reports examined during coursework for my Aerospace Engineering degree, indicates that both Moscow and Washington D.C. were major targets in order to decapitate political and military leadership. Those targetting orders extend back to the first years of the Cold War. As weapons became more plentiful, targets expanded in (roughly) the following order - major missile/air bases, central communications nexi (which were usually cities), command centers (also often cities), and major cities.



    [ Parent ]

    if you're willing to wait until the weekend... (none / 0) (#233)
    by CodeWright on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:01:29 PM EST

    I'll have the time to put something together from hardcopy sources. Otherwise, you'll just have to disagree with me.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    190 what? (none / 0) (#248)
    by delmoi on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:44:34 AM EST

    For example, the North Korean Nodong-1 missile has a CEP of 190m. This means that 50% of the Nodong-1 missiles fired at a particular target would impact within 190m

    Is that miles or meters
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    meters (none / 0) (#267)
    by CodeWright on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:53:36 AM EST

    The abbreviation 'm' almost always refers to meters, while the abbreviation 'mi' typically refers to miles.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    short range (none / 0) (#292)
    by christfokkar on Thu May 02, 2002 at 09:40:13 AM EST

    Is that miles or meters

    Yeah, I thought that too for a second, until I realized that North Korean missiles only travel about 190 miles.  Well, maybe five or six hundred, but still, you see that 190 miles would be gross error.


    [ Parent ]

    wow (none / 0) (#293)
    by christfokkar on Thu May 02, 2002 at 09:53:16 AM EST

    Thus began the race to create ever tougher missile silo bunkers versus ever stronger nuclear warheads to crack them open.

    Wow.  You know, I'm reading this, and I'm thinking, Jesus, they fought an entire war on paper.

    After seeing War Games, I spent the rest of my childhood drawing dots on maps with lines arcing between them.  It was a pointless exercise, and yet I was thoroughly addicted.  And that's literally what our military planners did, and they spent the money and built the shit to boot.

    You laid it out really well.  It's chilling.  


    [ Parent ]

    Ethno bomb *FAR* scarier than nukes (2.33 / 9) (#88)
    by Arcturax on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:17:47 PM EST

    I for one find their attempts to build an Ethno bomb far scarier than any number of nukes they may have. Given the size of the Arab world, from western Africa all the way to Indonesia, that is a lot of genetic ground to cover with an arab killing disease. Even if they just targeted local arabs you can bet that the disease would kill a lot more people outside those areas, people completly innocent of any involvement in the middle east. Not to mention that this is basically a ghoulish form of genocide on a scale even Hitler would have been boggled by.

    Also, for all we know, it could mutate at some point and start killing outside its intended range. Its funny this came up, I was just watching The Stand the other day and its scary how easy this could happen if something like this "ethno bomb" got loose in the world.

    Oh and for a historical point, I saw a documentary one day talking about Japanese experiments with bubonic plague during WWII. Apparently you still have some outbreaks in China from time to time which can be traced back to what the Japanese researchers did back in the 1940's. That was just the tip of the iceburg, if Israel were to succeed in making this weapon, it could easilly spell far worse for us all.

    I listen to the best music on Earth! http://www.digitalgunfire.com
    Ethno bomb a hoax. (3.25 / 4) (#90)
    by Apuleius on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:24:19 PM EST

    The "ethno bomb" began as a science fiction story published in Hebrew, and mistranslated by Jane's as being non-fiction (by Uzi Mahnaimi, whose other red herrings included a story about a "nuclear landmine" in the Golan). From there it spread all over. Check Salon.com's archives.


    There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
    [ Parent ]
    Doesn't make it any less scary (2.33 / 3) (#94)
    by Arcturax on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:59:01 PM EST

    Just because it may be a hoax doesn't mean that someone someday won't try something like this. This is very dangerous idea and one I which may have been at the least discussed in government circles. Look at the U.S. and Russia, they both still have Smallpox, Anthrax and god knows what else stockpiled who knows where. I sometimes wonder if even the US govt knows where it all is at any given moment after the Anthrax attacks last year. We already know that the former soviet union has no idea where a lot of their own research got to. Someone like Israel or even Saddam could have easilly picked up some of this stuff and it is not too inconcievable that even if they don't use it, some future madman will.

    I listen to the best music on Earth! http://www.digitalgunfire.com
    [ Parent ]
    Ethno bomb an impossible idea (2.00 / 3) (#105)
    by n0nick on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:27:39 PM EST

    Not only is the Ethnicly-guided bomb idea is in fact a hoax, it is also quite impossible to use, especially in Israel. A large portion of the Israeli *Jewish* population consists of Jews who originally come from Arabic countries, such as Iran, marocco, Egypt, Iraq, etc. I myself am one of these people. A bomb that would hurt people with "arabic genes" would hurt these people too. People who are Jewish just as any other Jewish person. So even if the Israeli army would want to use such fantastic weapon, it wouldn't be very effective.
    --
    "Outside? Is that the big room with the blue sky? There aren't any computers out there." -- DesiredUsername

    [ Parent ]
    Its STILL a HOAX (2.66 / 3) (#115)
    by rankor on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:43:01 PM EST

    It still does not exist, and is not attainable at this time. There are more important things to worry about than things that aren't even close to being invented yet.

    This type of weapon will likely be unfeasable anyway since not all Israelis are Jews, and not all Palestinians are Arabs. Given that our species has a tendency towards homoginization of the DNA structure, with each generation the difficulty of producing such a weapon increases.

    The genetic difference between your average Israelite and your average Arab are about as far as your average Frenchman from your average German.

    [ Parent ]
    That's why we need... (3.33 / 3) (#167)
    by verb on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:12:18 PM EST

    The Accent-Bomb.

    A weapon of mass destruction tailored to verious languages! Or... something like that.

    I have a terrible vision of a smart bomb knocking politely at my door and asking if I know Yiddish (or Swahili, or German, or...)

    --the verb

    [ Parent ]
    Sneaky bastards (none / 0) (#169)
    by kerinsky on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:38:36 PM EST

    Well you'd lie of course. So then the next generation would have to rough you up a bit, and then inquire if you'd like a cigarette in the language of death; If you respond, bon jour.

    Sneaky bastards aren't they?

    PS - We told you those cigarettes would kill you...

    -=-
    A燾onclusion爄s爏imply爐he爌lace爓here爕ou爂ot爐ired爋f爐hinking.
    [ Parent ]
    no, no, haven't you seen the Great Escape? (4.00 / 1) (#173)
    by martingale on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:37:26 PM EST

    The exchange would go something like this:

    • Sie wollen nach Berlin?
    • Ja.
    • Your German is very good!
    • Thank you!

    D'Oh!



    [ Parent ]
    Did you even fully read my comment? (none / 0) (#156)
    by Arcturax on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 05:04:45 PM EST

    If you read my comment, you saw that I brought up this same point, that the disease would likely kill fairly indiscriminately despite their best efforts.

    What I said was scary was the fact that someone might even attempt to make such a plague. It would most definately be a disaster for the entire human race.

    I listen to the best music on Earth! http://www.digitalgunfire.com
    [ Parent ]
    Ethno bomb an impossible idea (2.00 / 2) (#107)
    by n0nick on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:30:36 PM EST

    (Sorry for the double post. Forgot to choose "Plain Text"..)

    Not only is the Ethnicly-guided bomb idea is in fact a hoax, it is also quite impossible to use, especially in Israel.

    A large portion of the Israeli *Jewish* population consists of Jews who originally come from Arabic countries, such as Iran, marocco, Egypt, Iraq, etc. I myself am one of these people.

    A bomb that would hurt people with "arabic genes" would hurt these people too. People who are Jewish just as any other Jewish person.
    So even if the Israeli army would want to use such fantastic weapon, it wouldn't be very effective.
    --
    "Outside? Is that the big room with the blue sky? There aren't any computers out there." -- DesiredUsername

    [ Parent ]
    Oh my! (1.83 / 6) (#111)
    by BlackTriangle on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:37:35 PM EST

    who originally come from Arabic countries, such as Iran

    That's three now! Three idiots who claim that Iran is an arab country.



    Moo.


    [ Parent ]
    i don't know about the golan stuff (none / 0) (#134)
    by CodeWright on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:28:29 PM EST

    but nuclear landmines were actually created for use by US Army forces in the European Theatre. The idea was to put them in natural chokepoints and hammer small convoys of Soviet armored vehicles.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    You could make one, though (none / 0) (#165)
    by epepke on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:04:18 PM EST

    And it would be non-lethal. Aerosol pork grenades. Allah doesn't let you into heaven if you show up smelling like a pig.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    There's a big difference (none / 0) (#286)
    by epepke on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 04:07:51 PM EST

    Pork works on many Muslims not because they have "a thing" against it, but because they really believe that it cancels out the "die in Jihad, straight to heaven" deal. Judaism never had a strong heaven concept and in some interpretations and at some times none at all. Even if they did, getting any onya just means that you're unclean until sunset. Big deal.

    Furthermore, there's a Rabbinical interpretation that basically says that a Jew can eat pork if he's starving, but he can't smack his lips. Survival need overrules prohibitions.

    Tricks like this have been used effectively in the past, particularly by the English. Nothing stops a protest more quickly than making someone have to undergo three days of ritual purification. Most people think tactics like this are particularly vile, but if the alternative is death, it doesn't seem so bad.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Source misquotes Salon Article (none / 0) (#276)
    by Randall Burns on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 08:36:39 PM EST

    IMHO this Salon Article is biased and poorly researched. Even so one of their "experts" admits an ethnobomb is "theoretically possible".

    What it boils down to is this:
    The Y-Chromosomes of Palestinians and some Sephardic Jews is very similar. Still, mutations in the Y-chromosome happen something every 300 years. In the case of Palestinians and Separdic Jews whose ancestors were resident in the area around Jerusalem 1500 years ago-there has been substantial, but not complete separation(I'm not sure what the numbers would say here) along religious lines when it comes to thinks like marriage.

    [ Parent ]

    An "Ethno Bomb" makes no sense (2.50 / 2) (#151)
    by ian on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:34:14 PM EST

    Your notion of an "ethno [sic] bomb" designed to kill Arabs is bizarre considering that moret han 60% of Israeli Jews are basically genetically indistinguishable from Arabs. What does "ethno bomb" mean, anyway? I didn't know you could chemically or genetically identify an ethnic group or a religion. What does it do, wait until it sees a dance?
    -- ian
    [ Parent ]
    Read the article (3.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Arcturax on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 05:01:28 PM EST

    The ethno bomb isn't my idea, its in the article if you read it all the way. I didn't say it made sense either, I even questioned the possibility of it working the way they hoped it would if you also read my whole comment. Please read the article and comments fully next time before making assumptions about the poster.

    I listen to the best music on Earth! http://www.digitalgunfire.com
    [ Parent ]
    Geneticaly Israeli == Palistinian (1.00 / 1) (#247)
    by delmoi on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:36:38 AM EST

    There is no genetic diffrence between the two, in general.
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    Virology and Ethnobombs (none / 0) (#274)
    by Randall Burns on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 04:58:31 PM EST

    The question that I have here: Is it possible to create a virus that could require presence of a specific DNA sequence for replication or activation as a disease using the current state of the art of virology(or the state of the art that is likely to emerge the next few years)? (I'm asking this as a serious question-I have very little background in virology). Such a technique seems like it might open the way for biological weapons that could target specific clans, since as Cavalli-Sforza of Stanford has pointed out (in History and Geography of Human Genes) the y-chromosome tends to be highly specific to ethnic groups/clans/tribes(groups like Ashkenazi and Yemeni Jews might differ in only a few locations from each other-and only a few locations from Palestinians, but these small, measurable differences might be leveraged in an ethnically specific virus). I've seen one book that looks good on this topic by the British Medical Association but haven't read it yet. I personally tend to doubt that such a weapon would be deployed as only one weapon or in a dramatic event similar to the stand. I suspect that when deployed, the weapons might instead cause a variety of symptoms that mimic existing chronic diseases

    [ Parent ]
    Virology and Ethnobombs (none / 0) (#275)
    by Randall Burns on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 05:23:45 PM EST

    The question that I have here:
    Is it possible to create a virus that could require presence of a specific DNA sequence for replication or activation as a disease using the current state of the art of virology(or the state of the art that is likely to emerge the next few years)? (I'm asking this as a serious question-I have very little background in virology).

    Use of virus's that depend on specific DNA sequences in the host, seems like it might open the way for biological weapons that could target specific clans, since as Cavalli-Sforza of Stanford has pointed out (in History and Geography of Human Genes) the y-chromosome tends to be highly specific to ethnic groups/clans/tribes(groups like Ashkenazi and Yemeni Jews might differ in only a few locations from each other-and only a few locations from Palestinians, but these small, measurable differences might be leveraged in an ethnically specific virus).

    I've seen one book that looks good on this topic by the British Medical Association but haven't read it yet(it strikes me as not terribly technical-but the BMA books are generally well done).

    I personally tend to doubt that such a weapon would be deployed as only one weapon or in a dramatic event similar to Stephen King novel "The Stand". Rather, I suspect we'd see a "cocktail" of several weapons that might mimic existing chronic diseases. In the current state of the art. If it is easier to modify or create diseases than to cure them, the current situation strikes me as one that is potentially rather volatile. Weapons could be deployed, and those being attacked might not know they had been attacked until years later-particularly if the symptoms were subtle and were more along the lines of morbidity, behaviorial changes, sterility or partial disability rather than something more dramatic.

    There is considerable debate for example in the medical community on the issue of whether chronic fatigue syndrome exists and if it is caused by a virus--a variant of this disease that attacks a poorer group without a lot of medical knowledge would be even harder to sort out. Making an opponent's population more lazy, complacent or apathetic might be just as effective as killing them-and a whole lot less controversial, harder to detect and less likely to blow up in ones face if detected.



    [ Parent ]

    Strategic Realities (3.68 / 16) (#93)
    by mjs on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 01:55:18 PM EST

    1. When any sufficiently motivated opponent can drive across your country in a couple of hours, you don't have the ability to 'absorb' their first strike and have any credible retailiatory response. If you don't have a first strike capability in that situation, you don't have a defence. Thus, describing Israel's first-strike nuclear arsenal as somehow being more aggressive that that of the US or Russia is, at best, duplicitous.

    2. When you are surrounded by enemies whose stated goal is your extermination, and whose every action appears to be directed at that goal, what is the proper means of response? Should you send them chocolate chip cookies on their birthdays? Wave your finger under their noses until they behave? Perhaps delivering a stiff note of protest in the United Nations would help.

    I'm not going to get into the entire 'who's land is it' discussion because it's just too idiotic for words. However they got there, they are there. If Israel's Arab neighbors want peace then they should grow up and act like adults. If they persist in their avowed goals of annihilation of Israel and extinction of the Jewish people then they're going to have to learn to live with the knowledge that when the curtain goes up, in all probability so will Cairo, Damascus, Tehran, and a whole bunch more Arab cities. Here's a clue: don't like the consequences? Play a different game. Consider the one called 'peaceful coexistence'.

    mjs

    minor point (4.00 / 6) (#98)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:12:04 PM EST

    Tehran is in fact an Indo-European, rather than an Arab, city. Iranians aren't Arabs, either by ethnicity or language.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Save your breath (2.00 / 3) (#100)
    by BlackTriangle on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:21:46 PM EST

    He's too far gone. Saying "they aren't Arabs" goes right over their head.

    The madman Hitler praised the Aryans Iranians, which means that he knew a thing or two more than these louts.



    Moo.


    [ Parent ]
    These louts... (none / 0) (#122)
    by mjs on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:47:47 PM EST

    are wounded, nay, devastated, by the foil of your wit. I salute you, sir or madame! And hang my head in everlasting shame. No, sackcloth and ashes are insufficient recompense for the offence of my ignorance. Would you, sir or madame, accept my firstborn?

    Ok, how about the middle one?

    No? Ok, you can have all three. All they want to do is correct my spelling, anyway...

    :) mjs

    [ Parent ]

    Iranians aren't Arabs. (2.33 / 3) (#117)
    by mjs on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:44:06 PM EST

    Technically you are correct. Precisely what difference does this fact make in the context of the present discussion?

    mjs

    [ Parent ]

    Easy (1.00 / 1) (#120)
    by BlackTriangle on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:46:05 PM EST

    It shows how ignorant and clueless the people are that are partaking in the discussion.

    Calling Tehran an Arab city isn't just a minor mistake, you know. You can't just redefine Arab to mean Muslim.



    Moo.


    [ Parent ]
    You pedant troll (3.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Demiurge on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:45:17 PM EST

    Since you can't compete by arguing against his points, you have to fall back to semantics and word games. Ok, Iranians aren't Arabic. Just pretend he wrote "Muslim Middle-Eastern states" instead of "Arabic states".

    [ Parent ]
    You've forgotten already? (1.00 / 7) (#139)
    by BlackTriangle on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:57:24 PM EST

    Tisk, tisk. I need not refute your points, for as I said, you are a garden variety troll.

    Last time I said I would not talk to you anymore, but this time I'm sure you know I mean it. I will respond to your nonsense no more.



    Moo.


    [ Parent ]
    grins (none / 0) (#180)
    by Lenny on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:29:13 AM EST

    last word freak


    "Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
    -Me
    [ Parent ]
    Iran is not in the middle east. (none / 0) (#246)
    by delmoi on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:33:43 AM EST

    So there.
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    listen, pal (2.00 / 2) (#132)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:25:27 PM EST

    Sorry if I hurt your feelings with a polite, minor correction, but you were wrong. Be a mensch.

    Besides, the correction is in order, because Arab != Muslim, as any Palestinian or Lebanese Christian would be pleased to inform you.

    I am of the opinion, myself, that fine, accurate distinctions are far more valuable than blanket statements and stereotypes. YMMV.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Feelings, nothing but feelings...! (4.00 / 1) (#149)
    by mjs on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:24:53 PM EST

    Sorry if I hurt your feelings with a polite, minor correction, but you were wrong.

    Feelings unhurt, damage control unnecessary. And I shouldn't be frustrated by your sharp 90-degree veer away from the subject because I do that to my wife all the time... :)

    Be a mensch.

    What's a 'mensch'? Is that anything like 'wench'?

    I am of the opinion, myself, that fine, accurate distinctions are far more valuable than blanket statements and stereotypes.

    I believe that whether Tehran and the surrounding territory are Arab or not matters little to the Israelis. Iran hasn't exactly been Israel's friend and I imagine that the Israeli nuclear arsenal has at least one warhead with an Iranian delivery address on it. The original point remains valid whether we chose to conveniently label Israel's opponents 'Arabs' (imprecise since not all Arabs hate Israel or Jews,) "Muslims" (lacking in precision for the same reason,) or whether we carefully specify exactly who Israel's enemies are in painstaking detail with the finest, most accurate descriptions we have time and energy to specify: if Israel is pushed too hard I believe that they will use their nuclear arsenal, and not in moderation.

    mjs

    [ Parent ]

    Mensch (none / 0) (#290)
    by baruch on Mon Apr 29, 2002 at 11:35:09 AM EST

    What's a 'mensch'?

    Man

    A simple mensch+dictionary search on google does the work



    [ Parent ]
    right. (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by elzubeir on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:22:58 PM EST

    I agree with you. I am an Arab, but I know that if I were to put myself in Israel's place I most certainly would reserve such a capability.

    The question is, in a peaceful settlement, is Israel willing to dismantle its nuclear arsenal? Wouldn't that be a reasonable pre-condition? Most of Israel's peace deals (the few bilateral ones) have often been made with the assumption that it is not a true peace and so they must maintain military superiority (far-reaching superiority). But when dealing with WMD, I think we would have the right to say, we don't feel comfortable making peace with you while you are still capable of wiping out our entire populations.

    [ Parent ]
    The root of peace (4.50 / 2) (#168)
    by CitAnon on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:37:50 PM EST

    You're supposing that once there is peace, there is no need for arms. History has shown that one must rely on a strong military to extend periods of peace by deterring agression. Weapons are not the root cause of conflict. Conflict is a consequence of human nature. The human condition may change; thankfully, there have been times of peace. However, human nature has stayed the same. It would be pure folly for Israel to disarm when Israeli military superiority will be one of the pillars of any potential peace. In the long term, if Arab Israel's neighbors become modern, secular, democratic states, Israel should consider cutting back arms. In the mean time, even if there is a peace deal, Israel needs to keep her hands on the gun and her eyes wide open.

    [ Parent ]
    Not in our lifetimes (4.50 / 2) (#221)
    by mjs on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:29:20 PM EST

    The question is, in a peaceful settlement, is Israel willing to dismantle its nuclear arsenal?

    I think that an essential prerequisite for a peace which results in Israel giving up its nuclear arsenal is trust, and there's precious little of that in the area today. Everyone involved has been virtually at war with each other for so long now that I suggest even the concept of a peace in which the participants trust one another is completely alien to them. In my opinion, it will take many years -- generations, perhaps, before all of the parties can bring themselves to do that. This is another way of saying that I don't expect this conflict to 'end' any time soon. A great tragedy -- for all sides.

    mjs

    [ Parent ]

    MISINFORMATION (3.00 / 8) (#140)
    by murklamannen on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:58:02 PM EST

    Israels "enemies" are not determined on Israels destruction or the extermination of the jews. Maybe Iraq is an exception to this, i don't know. Egypt, Libanon, Iran, Syria and PLO all acknowledge Israel.

    If you claim that it's their hidden agenda to destroy Israel you have to accept the same thing about Sharon who more than once has made statements about how the palestinians should be driven of gaza and the west bank. He's much more likely to succed too.

    And why are you saying Israel has the right to have or use nuclear weapons just because they have enemies that might want to destroy them? I find it outrageous that you even suggest that it's OK to use weapons that definitely will kill thousands of civilians.
    By that logic, the palestinains also have the right to have and use nuclear weapons against Israel, and you wouldn't like that, would you?



    [ Parent ]
    Agendas (5.00 / 3) (#171)
    by ariux on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:31:13 PM EST

    Well, some do want that, and others don't - just as Israel has extremists but not only extremists.

    The problem at the moment is that, on the Israeli and Palestinian sides, the extremists are in charge and basically get to decide what happens.

    [ Parent ]

    From reading the Arab Press (5.00 / 5) (#202)
    by wiredog on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:16:01 AM EST

    Much of which gets translated into English, many Arab nations are calling for the destruction of Israel, and the extermination of it's Jewish population.

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    No and no (5.00 / 5) (#215)
    by Otter on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:30:06 PM EST

    Israels "enemies" are not determined on Israels destruction or the extermination of the jews. Maybe Iraq is an exception to this, i don't know. Egypt, Libanon, Iran, Syria and PLO all acknowledge Israel.

    Egypt does recognize Israel, as does Jordan. The others do not. (The PLO was supposed to recognize Israel but never officially has.) Lebanon, of course, is now an occupied territory of Syria. It's been a while since Muslim countries except Iraq and Iran* explicitly called for the destruction of Israel but their state-run media still do, constantly. Religious leaders explicitly call for all the Jews to be killed (Here's a recent gem -- I'd better run out and plant a gharquad tree!) and the official maps of Arab governments, including the PNA, show no Israel at all. (The official map of Syria also does away with Lebanon, Jordan and part of Egypt.)

    If you claim that it's their hidden agenda to destroy Israel you have to accept the same thing about Sharon who more than once has made statements about how the palestinians should be driven of gaza and the west bank. He's much more likely to succed too.

    No he hasn't. That is simply false. Several far-right have called for expulsion of the Palestinians, which is denounced by the overwhelming majority of Israeli government members, including Sharon and the rest of the Likud, and forbidden by the Chief Rabbis.

    Furthermore, even the nuttiest of the Israeli far-right has never proposed driving Arabs out of Arab countries, which would be analogous to Arab plans to destroy all of Israel.

    [ Parent ]

    Please read post before replying (5.00 / 1) (#223)
    by mjs on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:43:07 PM EST

    And why are you saying Israel has the right to have or use nuclear weapons...

    The simple answer is that I never said any such thing and for the life of me can't imagine how you came to that conclusion. There's no need to repeat what I actually did say; it's still posted and can be read any time.

    The point may perhaps benefit from restatement: maybe I wasn't sufficiently clear the first time. Israel, if they in fact have nuclear weapons (and I believe that they do,) will, in my opinion, use them if it feels the need to do so. There's no statement of opinion as to whether this is right or wrong in either the original post nor in this re-statement and your desire to vilify anyone and everyone who doesn't instantly and explicitly agree with your prejudices is boring: too many like that, the world doesn't need any more.

    However, let me see if I can assuage your pointier feelings: killing is wrong. Killing anyone for any reason is wrong, whether done with a bomb strapped to a deluded idiot or with a nuclear warhead. If Israel (or anyone else) has nuclear weapons, I hope they get rid of them and never use them. I also hope that Muslim extremists stop their idiocy. As a rational matter, I fear that neither party is listening: violent conflict will continue and, if their opponents ever seriously threaten Israel, Israel will go nuclear. Both are wrong, but then people make poor choices all the time. If someone has a magic recipe to fix that, I'm all ears.

    mjs

    [ Parent ]

    ah, tell that to the Isreali (4.00 / 2) (#196)
    by MacD on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 06:56:27 AM EST

    Fact of the matter is that the Israeli government has been screwing the Palestinians since they got there. When the Allies carved up that part of the middle east after WWII, they had promised the land to two parties: the Jewish got the land purely by dint of having more money (ps: not meant as a stereotype, purely factual). The original inhabitants, now collectively known as the Palestinians, have been pissed off ever since, having been screwed out of their homeland and after that being (c)overtly hostile-ly settled [this works in Sid Meier's Civilisation, too]. Peacefull coexistence also includes not graabing land which doesn't belong to you. The guy who said that most [if not all] conflicts are a continuation of the second world war seems to be right, again.
    "There are only two things that are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." A. Einstein
    [ Parent ]
    Palestinian state was rejected (4.50 / 2) (#238)
    by hawaii on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:09:48 PM EST

    When the Allies carved up that part of the middle east after WWII, they had promised the land to two parties: the Jewish got the land purely by dint of having more money (ps: not meant as a stereotype, purely factual). The original inhabitants, now collectively known as the Palestinians, have been pissed off ever since,

    You do realize that the Palestinians REFUSED their own state during the partition, which if they accepted, would have been significantly larger than what is now Gaza and West Bank? They, and the Arab invaders in 1948, gambled that they could wipe Israel off the map. They lost.

    [ Parent ]

    cite? (2.00 / 1) (#244)
    by delmoi on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:25:04 AM EST

    ?
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    Sure (4.66 / 3) (#264)
    by hawaii on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 09:29:00 AM EST

    The following is from the partition section of the Myths and Facts Online of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise.

    Myth
    "Israel usurped all of Palestine in 1948."
    Fact
    Nearly 80 percent of what was the historic land of Palestine and the Jewish National Home, as defined by the League of Nations, was severed by the British in 1922 and allocated to what became Transjordan. Jewish settlement there was barred. The UN partitioned the remaining 20 percent of Palestine into two states. With Jordan's annexation of the West Bank in 1950, Arabs controlled approximately 80 percent of the territory of the Mandate, while the Jewish State held a bare 17.5 percent (Gaza, occupied by Egypt, was the remainder).

    Myth
    "The Palestinian Arabs were never offered a state and therefore have been denied the right to self-determination."
    Fact
    The Peel Commission in 1937 concluded the only logical solution to resolving the contradictory aspirations of the Jews and Arabs was to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. The Arabs rejected the plan because it forced them to accept the creation of a Jewish state, and required some Palestinians to live under "Jewish domination." The Zionists opposed the Peel Plan's boundaries because they would have been confined to little more than a ghetto of 1,900 out of the 10,310 square miles remaining in Palestine. Nevertheless, the Zionists decided to negotiate with the British, while the Arabs refused to consider any compromises.

    gain, in 1939, the British White Paper called for the establishment of an Arab state in Palestine within 10 years, and for limiting Jewish immigration to no more than 75,000 over the following five years. Afterward, no one would be allowed in without the consent of the Arab population. Though the Arabs had been granted a concession on Jewish immigration, and been offered independence - the goal of Arab nationalists - they repudiated the White Paper.

    With partition, the Palestinians were given a state and the opportunity for self-determination. This too was rejected.

    If you're interested, the Peel Comission reports, along with the British White Paper, are available online.

    [ Parent ]

    Corrigendum (5.00 / 1) (#272)
    by ragnarok on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 07:53:11 AM EST

    When the Allies carved up that part of the middle east after WWII, they had promised the land to two parties:

    It was WW I, that got the infamous Balfour Declaration umm, declared.


    "And it came to healed until all the gift and pow, I, the Lord, to divide; wherefore behold, all yea, I was left alone....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies
    [ Parent ]

    Begging the Question (none / 0) (#273)
    by BobsyourUncle on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 03:12:54 PM EST

    As much as I like these mid-east threads to to be short and to the point (and short). Where MJS states he or she won't "get into the entire 'who's land is it' discussion because it's just too idiotic for words." this must be noted. It is on this point and this point alone that the entire issue turns. It is the prime mover and psuedo-legitimizer of all action. To claim it is irrelevent or that the discussion ought start beyond it is begging the question. Without considering Israels "thereness" and on which side of the 1973, 1967 or 1949 borders, no discussion can have any meaning or validity at all.

    [ Parent ]
    Let's get into that... (none / 0) (#280)
    by Caton on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 09:22:52 AM EST

    If the land is owned by the first settler, then it's Israeli. Palestinians should go elsewhere. Say, Saudi Arabia.

    If the land is owned by whoever has the strength to take it and hold it, then...

    Keep also in mind that the majority of the land was bought (and paid twice...) by Zionist settlers. And that the possessions of the Jewish refugees (those that were kicked out of Arab countries after 1948) were seized by the Arab governments, in the name of their "Palestinian brothers". This settles that, too.

    Now that you have your answer: endless, meaningless debates about "ownership" will not help find a solution for the millions of human beings living there. They are the ones suffering -on both sides!- not the land.

    Now, if only Palestinians and Israli understood that, they might have a chance.

    ---
    As long as there's hope...
    [ Parent ]

    Calling the Bluff (4.27 / 18) (#101)
    by eliwap on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:21:58 PM EST

    If they are hit hard by terrorism (WTC-scale), and it's quite likely they will be sooner or later, will they respond with nuclear weapons?

    Israel has been hit, repeatedly by terrorist attacks proportionally larger than the WTC attack -- no nukes fired. Israel was terribly afraid that they were going to lose the Yom Kippur War -- no nukes fired. Hizballah continues to shell Israel's north and has the capability and has threatened to shell Haifa -- no nukes fired. Iraq launched Scud's at Israel at Israel -- no nukes fired.

    The threat of a nuclear arsenel aimed at Arab states is meant as a deterance that has been relatively effective. Israel has never admitted that they have nuclear strike capability. The bluff, if called, originally, however, is indeed meant to suggest a first strike capability to be used in the case of complete despair of the IDF losing against overwhelming odds in a senario while not completely impossible, is unlikely.

    The only way that I can see this happening, is if the Islamic Fundamentalism alla Iran dominates the Arab countries in the region. There is a danger here that has been exacerbated by Al Queida and the WTC attacks. All Arab states, perhaps with the exception of Iran should feel very threatened by possibility of Al Queida sparking rebellion in their respective countries (WTC attack not withstanding.) And consquently, They should also feel very threatened by any terrorist organization for the same reasons. In my view, the main catalyst for a full military assault by the combined armies of all the Arab States is the continued use of Israel as a scapegoat for internal political problems. This threat could best be allieviated if Arab countries weaned themselves off of this potentially explosive policy.

    The most likely scenario, currently, would be as a response to the attempt at first strike of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) launched from Iraq or Iran. Or, a terrorist attack utilizing WMDs. Should Iraq launch WMDs at Israel then Israel would respond in kind.

    "Understanding is the basis of communications. Enlarge your mind to multiple points of view. The world is infinitely larger than your huge ego. -- Hey I said that :)"

    What a joke. (1.46 / 13) (#106)
    by BlackTriangle on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:30:19 PM EST

    Two in a row, eh? You and wsj must get along well

    Arab states, perhaps with the exception of Iran

    You're such a moron.



    Moo.


    [ Parent ]
    Correction: That's 'you and mjs' (1.16 / 6) (#108)
    by BlackTriangle on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:31:03 PM EST



    Moo.


    [ Parent ]
    Thrrrrrrrrr (1.14 / 7) (#113)
    by eliwap on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:38:33 PM EST

    A raspbery to you ;|> thrrrrrrrrr

    "Understanding is the basis of communications. Enlarge your mind to multiple points of view. The world is infinitely larger than your huge ego. -- Hey I said that :)"
    [ Parent ]

    Eep! (1.28 / 7) (#114)
    by BlackTriangle on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:40:43 PM EST

    Will you stop throwing raspberries if I give links? Not that you didn't already know, but it's a pretty drastic error to make if you did.

    Moo.


    [ Parent ]
    Maybe you should stop Threatening People (1.00 / 5) (#116)
    by eliwap on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:43:03 PM EST

    Maybe you should stop Threatening People.

    "Understanding is the basis of communications. Enlarge your mind to multiple points of view. The world is infinitely larger than your huge ego. -- Hey I said that :)"
    [ Parent ]

    Excuse me? (1.20 / 5) (#118)
    by BlackTriangle on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:44:22 PM EST

    When have I threatened people?

    Moo.


    [ Parent ]
    Good rough tactical analysis (3.50 / 2) (#123)
    by cem on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:53:48 PM EST

    I agree with you.

    That's the situation any Israeli leader would have to decide in the moment of truth. It's just a rational tactic thought.

    But a small country like Israel would have only for one time this option. Bluff or not.


    Young Tarzan: I'll be the best ape ever!
    [ Parent ]

    Iran is not Arab! (4.14 / 7) (#162)
    by hengist on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:52:20 PM EST

    Sorry, but this is one thing that annoys me every time with discussions about the Middle East.

    The majority of Iranians consider themselves Persian, not Arab. While there are Arabs (and Azeri, and Pashtun) in Iran, the country has a very different culture - even the religion is different. Arab countries are Sunni Muslim, while Iran is Shi'ite.

    Arabs and Persians do not like each other.

    When Iraq invaded Iran in the late '70s, that war was as much about ethnic hatred between Arabs and Persians than anything else.

    There can be no Pax Americana
    [ Parent ]

    Correction (3.50 / 4) (#179)
    by eliwap on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:28:50 AM EST

    Substitute all uses of the term Arab States, to North African, Middle Eastern, Persian Gulf an Indian Sub Continent States dominated by a vast majority of followers of Islam.

    even the religion is different. Arab countries are Sunni Muslim, while Iran is Shi'ite.

    From my understanding, whether a Muslim is Sunni, or Shi'ite, the religion is Islam and both sects consider either sect to be 100% the same religion. While certain details seem to be emphasised more depending on the sect that one belongs to, both of them agree that they're way is the correct way as how not to interpret the Koran.

    "Understanding is the basis of communications. Enlarge your mind to multiple points of view. The world is infinitely larger than your huge ego. -- Hey I said that :)"
    [ Parent ]

    D'oh (3.66 / 3) (#183)
    by hengist on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:22:35 AM EST

    Meant to say:
    even the religion is different. Arab countries are Sunni Muslim, while Iran is Shi'ite Muslim.

    Forgot to add the second Muslim.

    You're correct, of course. Sunni and Shi'ite are both branches of Islam, but IIRC parted ways a long time ago. One of my Iranian friends describes Iran as "a Shi'ite country surrounded by Sunni countries", which seems to sum up the differences between the two beliefs.

    There can be no Pax Americana
    [ Parent ]

    Exampla Gratia: (3.00 / 1) (#271)
    by ragnarok on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 07:49:35 AM EST

    Northern Ireland; Catholics versus Protestants - they're still fighting over the Protestant Reformation.


    "Jacobation, and that were Mosiah; and they might not be saved. For he feared them all....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies
    [ Parent ]

    Not Quite the Same (3.00 / 1) (#289)
    by czolgosz on Sun Apr 28, 2002 at 11:58:19 PM EST

    From my understanding, whether a Muslim is Sunni, or Shi'ite, the religion is Islam and both sects consider either sect to be 100% the same religion.
    Generally speaking, that's true, though there are extremists in both sects who consider the others to be heretics to be exterminated or forcibly converted. This is particularly true of the Wahhabi sect in Arabia, who are anti-Shia in a big way. Due to the power of Saudi money, this view has been promulgated worldwide. Splinter groups with similar views include the Taliban and Al-Qaida, though Al-Qaida was willing to make tactical alliances with Shia groups in order to attack the West.
    Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
    [ Parent ]
    The American Nuclear Arsenal (2.28 / 7) (#121)
    by n0nick on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 02:46:31 PM EST

    The US has a bigger nuclear arsenal than Israel's. It also has a space program, and probably the biggest and richest army in the world.

    Yet I don't see any kuro5hin story worrying about when would the US president press the big-red-shiny-"Nuke 'em"-button.
    --
    "Outside? Is that the big room with the blue sky? There aren't any computers out there." -- DesiredUsername

    reason why (4.00 / 5) (#129)
    by elzubeir on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:16:43 PM EST

    There is a very good reason for this. The US' existence is not being threatened. Israel is under constant threat (although IMHO, that threat is more like noise).

    [ Parent ]
    What would you call a threat then? (2.00 / 9) (#138)
    by VitaminSupplementarian on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:56:11 PM EST

    Israel takes several hits every week from suicide bombers. Arafat is in control of the PA and has the military power to wipe out almost every single terrorist in his jurisdiction. For the rate of bombings from palestinians to not have decreased, but rather increased shows that he is willfully not doing his job and is most likely allowing it to go on unimpeded.

    The suicide bombins have targetted primarily women and children. Do you know why??? It has nothing to do with scaring them. It has everything to do with Jewish culture/religion! The bloodline in Judaism is not passed on by the father, it is by the mother. Therefore killing off members of the Jewish female population in Israel is tantamount to attempted genocide of the Jewish population there.
    "A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy" --F.A. Hayek
    [ Parent ]
    omigod (4.20 / 5) (#143)
    by btb on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:02:31 PM EST

    So, wow. what you're saying is that since the bloodline is passed through the mother, targeting women is equal to genocide! But wait, wait - if the bloodline of non-jews is passed through the father, then by rounding up all the males in Palestine, Israel is.... nah.

    [ Parent ]
    what does this have to do with what I said? (4.50 / 2) (#144)
    by elzubeir on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:03:20 PM EST

    I don't understand your comment. First of all, I don't think the idea is to 'eliminate' the females of Israel or however you put it. Suicide bombings are a tactic that is seen as a last resort (much like a scenario where Israel would nuke its neighbours).. it is as the Arabs say, "3layya wa 3ala a3da2y" (on me and on my enemies). Kind of how Saddam just decided to burn Kuwait's oil wells before retreating. The mentality of 'if I can't have it, no one else can.. if I can't live, no one else should'.

    Has it been successful? In the short term, suicide bombings are very successful. They have hit Israel's tourism economy very hard, they have had a very depressing effect on the overall morale.

    Is this a constant threat? Yes. But does it mean Israel will disappear because of them? I seriously doubt it. And that is why I call it 'noise'.

    [ Parent ]
    Links in response. (4.00 / 3) (#130)
    by djotto on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 03:18:35 PM EST

    I don't see any kuro5hin story worrying about when would the US president press the big-red-shiny-"Nuke 'em"-button.

    Here are three stories discussing the US's nuclear weapons policy.

    I didn't look very hard, and I know there are others. (Though I really don't see what your point was anyway).

    HTH.



    [ Parent ]
    And another (3.00 / 1) (#207)
    by wiredog on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 09:06:48 AM EST

    Here

    Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
    [ Parent ]
    Well actually, you do. (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by DeadBaby on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 10:05:07 PM EST

    Just about every war related K5 story includes vocal questions about just how far Bush Jr. Will go to "fight evil"

    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Mecca? (2.75 / 4) (#150)
    by Pseudoephedrine on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:34:10 PM EST

    I seem to recall a comment being attributed to Ariel Sharon that if it looked like the survival of Israel was in serious question, they'd nuke Mecca into a sheet of glass. I'm not sure of whether it's an actual comment, or a misquote or what though. Anyone know any better?

    I have to say that, were I am Israeli (I'm not, I'm not even Jewish for that matter), and I was in a situation where I knew that the Arab nations around me were about to wipe out my people and nation, I'd nuke Mecca just out of sheer spite. I think more of us than will admit it would, just out of sheer rage.

    So, here's hoping Sharon doesn't have a bad day anytime soon.

    "We who have passed through their hands feel suffocated when we think of that legion, which is stripped bare of human ideals" -Alexander Solzhenitsyn
    I don't think he would say that (4.00 / 1) (#154)
    by elzubeir on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 04:50:32 PM EST

    As arrogant and extremist as Sharon is (along with his long history of crimes), I doubt he would even try to make such a comment. He may say that under his breath, but such a comment is an open invitation for all Arab states to attack Israel.

    It would be worth noting though, that Muslims have the strong belief that no one can ever harm Mecca, even if they wanted to. Note the story of the Ethiopian king who attempted to invade Mecca to destroy it (with elephants) and the Quran makes note of it where 'birds' were throwing stones 'ababeel' on them until they were defeated.

    The idea is that no one needs to protect Mecca since God is protecting his own house. Most Muslims however would not pay note to the fact that Mecca was in fact attacked in several occasions (by Muslims) and the 'ka3ba' has been damaged several times due to those attacks. Ironic, wouldn't you think?

    [ Parent ]
    Definitely, The Koran can stop nuclear missiles. (1.00 / 1) (#190)
    by pepperpusher on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 04:56:28 AM EST

    If it stopped elephants... really, who knows.
    Now, why would it be an open invitation if it's clearly a warning saying "if you kill us, we kill you", if you take this as a warning it seems you're really into killing me, right?

    [ Parent ]
    Consequences (4.00 / 1) (#195)
    by MacD on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 06:44:31 AM EST

    Thing is, it says in the Koran that anyone stopping a Muslim from reaching Mecca is fair game for a Jehad (a real Jehad, ie with full ayatollah support, not the Ben Laden crap [he's not a spiritual leader, so he can't make that kind of call, IIRC]). Nuking mecca would definitly qualify, and bring Muslims the world over on Israels back. Unless they did it during the Haj, in which case there'd be quite a few less Muslims. Now that's a spooky thought... Anyway, even without a longrange pre-emptive nuclear stick, I'm liking the Isrealy government less every day...
    "There are only two things that are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." A. Einstein
    [ Parent ]
    Ethnostate Nuclear Balance of Terror (4.25 / 4) (#159)
    by Baldrson on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 06:25:02 PM EST

    In "The Ethnostate" Wilmot Robertson makes a sound argument for nuclear-deterrent-based devolution of imperial states into ethnostates. The basic idea is that with nuclear proliferation countries like Israel must become the norm, rather than the exception due to the tendency for elites to exploit their subject populations the further-removed those elites are from their subject populations. In a manner quite similar to the theory that crime can be held to a minimum if every capable adult can handle and may be in possession of deadly force, so all ethnostates will be a position to launch a coordinated retaliatory nuclear strike against any rogue ethnostate that initiates hostilities.

    The belief of imperialists that a centralized world government will be the ultimate solution to the problems of proliferation are naive in the extreme -- and sacrifice diversity on the altar of control. Better a balance of terror with freedom than a peaceful tyranny that is guaranteed to degenerate into corruption and abuse of all.

    -------- Empty the Cities --------


    Deterrence doesn't work under small scenarios (none / 0) (#186)
    by Cal Jayson on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:23:16 AM EST

    Kenneth Waltz's original theories of nuclear deterrence all involved a mutually assured destruction (MAD) scenario. Scott Sagan (some twink from Stanfurd) has excellent rebuttals and outlines very specific scenarios in which proliferation amoung smaller nations will cause a nuclear catastrophy. They both wrote a book entitled The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate and Sagan clearly comes out on top. If you ignore the non nation-state war sceanrios he still leaves you with pleanty to think about. I'll quickly run down his arguments, but you should really check out the book.
    1. Sagan sees a problem with single-sided nuclearization. This has the potential for a first strike scenario. After one nation secures a nuclear ability and its rival nation does not, then if a conventional war breaks out and the trailing nation seeks a nuclear alternative of their own, then if the leading nation perceives the trailing nation as a possible nuclear threat (i.e., their is a perception trailing nation would use their acquired nuclear ability), the leading nation has an incentive to decisively finish the war immediately.
    2. Without MAD, there is a great first-strike motive. If one nation perceives the other as about to use nuclear force, they would rather launch first than second. In the cold war, the US and USSR had such huge arsenals that even if 80% of it was taken out, the remaining 20% would still be enough to remove the enemy from the map. However, if your arsenal is small, removing 80% effectively removes the teeth from your nuclear threat. Basically, if I launch first, I will completely remove you from the map and you will only take out one city in return. Looks like a bargain to me.
    3. Without early warning MAD doesn't work. Another thing that the US and USSR had going for them was that a launch could be detected early and a retaliatory second strike could be launch before initial impact. When two nations are close and there is no warning, this again places them in a use-or-loose situation.
    4. Deterrence relies on rationality, that you value the lives of your soldiers and citizens more than you value the lives of your enemy. This has been repeatedly shown to be a false assumption, especially in the Middle East.
    We are not even getting into terrorist, accidental launch, command and control breakdown scenarios.
    --
    kx.com: 2.5 billion trades
    select max price from trade
    [ Parent ]
    Robertson's Scenario (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by Baldrson on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 10:28:44 AM EST

    I apparently didn't do a good enough job describing Robertson's alternative to MAD when I said "In a manner quite similar to the theory that crime can be held to a minimum if every capable adult can handle and may be in possession of deadly force, so all ethnostates will be a position to launch a coordinated retaliatory nuclear strike against any rogue ethnostate that initiates hostilities.". Let me elaborate:

    While it may be true that as the number of players increases, the likelihood that one of them will be irrational increases, so also increases the likelihood that there will be an adequate number of players in the scenario to engage in a counter-strike.

    The reason is simple:

    By dividing the nuclear capability among a large number of players, any one player has a relatively small fraction of the total capability -- he simply will not be capable of destroying all the other players' war making ability in a first strike -- at least not without at least some of them being far distant enough to enjoy the early warning advantages of MAD. Thus the stabilizing characteristics of MAD are actually amplified.

    Now to the larger issue comparing imperial states to small states in the likelihood of "rationality" in the sense of valuing citizens: Centralization creates loci of immense power that are far removed from their constituencies. This means that not only is the pressure to succumb to corruption immensely greater in the imperial state than in the ethnostate, but its resistance to said corruption is proportiately lower even as the destructive effects are greater.

    There is no contest.

    -------- Empty the Cities --------


    [ Parent ]

    Mutually Assured Destruction (none / 0) (#216)
    by bouncing on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:42:36 PM EST

    Your analysis is essentially small scale mutually assured destruction. It would be a fair comparison if there were no biases in the middle east. But this isn't a region free of racism and bias, sadly.

    No Arab country would come to Israel's defense in a nuclear war. If Iraq attacked Israel, "moderate" Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan would likely denounce the attack, but not help in Israel's retaliation. Iran would at minimum support the attack, and would probably join it. Furthermore, if Israel were to attack an Arab neighbor, Israel would not garner any sympathy from their neighbors, even the "moderate" ones.

    There would not be dozens of countries providing some kind of balance of power, you have one country (Israel) and dozens of other countries aligned against it, unified only by their mutual hatred. Therefor, it stands to reason that in order to maintain a realistic balance of powerful, Israel must be at least as powerful as all its neighbors combined. I suspect it's that theory that much of our US policy is based on.

    Another far more sobering reality is that signs are growing that mutually assured destruction is less of a deterrent than it used to be. The situation with the Palistinion Authority and Israel is an excellent example of this. It isn't nuclear, but it's clear to both sides that attacks will only provoke more attacks. We aren't there yet, but do you think we might come to a point at which a small group of aristocrats would be willing to sacrifice a percentage of their population to destroy another? That may be a reality sooner than you think. They are already sending suicide/homicide bombers into Isreal, and it was entirely stupid not to anticipate an Israeli invasion eventually.

    It's not like giving most citizens guns, it's like giving AK-47s to 50 criminals and 3 police. Everyone may have the same arsenal, but there are two clearly defined sides.

    Balance of power is not an effective path to peace. A more educated, civilized, and secular society is. Peace in Western Europe exists not because France and Britian (remember history? They used to be real enemies) have equal arsenals. Their society evolved.


    [ Parent ]
    Corruption and abuse (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by medham on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:19:51 PM EST

    Are good things because they divert power with little real harm. Nuclear war--which is the inevitable result of MAD, as Axelrod, Oakeshott, and Fermi have all noted--will cause species-wide devestation.

    The only survivors, in fact, will be the Celts. They have made certain, shall we say, "arrangements," with the autochthonic powers that be. I don't think I have to paint you a picture for the rest.

    The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
    [ Parent ]

    Who is "medham"? (5.00 / 1) (#237)
    by Baldrson on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:51:06 PM EST

    "Lode Runner" states: Sorry to spoil the game, folks, but frankly I'm hurt and I just want it to stop. Baldrson's made a mockery of the tremendous effort I've put into name-brand personas like "medham" and "streetlawyer".

    -------- Empty the Cities --------


    [ Parent ]

    Here's the thing (3.00 / 2) (#239)
    by medham on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:40:19 PM EST

    The swarthier races evolved a concept called lying to help compensate for their genetic inferiority.

    The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
    [ Parent ]

    deadly force (none / 0) (#291)
    by christfokkar on Thu May 02, 2002 at 08:57:31 AM EST

    In a manner quite similar to the theory that crime can be held to a minimum if every capable adult can handle and may be in possession of deadly force, so all ethnostates will be a position to launch a coordinated retaliatory nuclear strike against any rogue ethnostate that initiates hostilities.

    You know, that's a crazy theory but I actually like it.

    Of course, the problem is that nukes aren't quite comparable to handguns.  A more apt comparison would be a hand grenade, or a pocket flask of nerve gas.  So, when the mugger sets upon you, you have a choice: capitulate to the mugger, or kill everybody.

    Thus, in the long term, I suspect we'll find that a global nuke ban is best.  People have already decided against using them, it's just a question of getting everyone to admit it.

    Using nukes as a deterrent requires acting as if you are willing to use them when, of course, you are not.  It's brinksmanship, and it leaves you, well, perpetually on the brink...

    I thought Israel had the right idea when they proactively destroyed Egypt's nuclear reactor.  We should do that to Israel, and then Russia should do that to us.  I shudder to think that any minority has the power to destroy the world.  If not for that, yeah, deadly force, it works.

    [ Parent ]

    Verifying Steinbach sources... (4.33 / 3) (#163)
    by platypus0 on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:02:10 PM EST

    Y'know, I figure most of the stuff in this article and it's references are true. But the one that freaked me out the most is Steinbach's assertion that the Israeli arsenal is comprised of a bunch of neutron bombs. The only citation he has to back that up is a book by Seymour Hersch, but he doesn't offer proof, Hersch's or otherwise. Is it based on the materials that Israel is known to have collected? Is it based on eyewitness accounts such as Dr. Vanunu's? I'd like to know, because Steinbach's argument (and yours, Spork) seems to hang on this fact, yet none of the articles linked seem to show how we know it is a fact, and not one of the 5 gazillion rumors and whispers that buzz around issues like Israel and the threat of nuclear destruction.

    Know your source (4.92 / 14) (#199)
    by existenz on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:11:14 AM EST

    An interesting discussion with a former military engineer, as well as some brief research into who John Steinbach actually is, comes up with some interesting figures. The article starts out with an utter, and I believe, intended falsehood (read: lie): "With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World's 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal."

    Why this can't be the case, according to the engineer:

    Here's what a grand total of 10 minutes research- of freely available sources- has to say:
    http://www.wisconsinproject.org/countries/israel/plut.html
    http://www.tgarden.co.uk/writings/candet/cdl8.html
    http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/index.html

    IF we assume an annual plutonium production of 40kg (which is twice what the reactor was built to produce, by the by), IF we assume the maximum use of their HW facilities for Li-6 bombardment (that gets you fast neutrons for "H-Bomb" triggers), IF we assume the existence of an additional facility for U-232 enrichment (which no one has ever seen), and IF we assume the Israeli's use about 4.4kg per warhead (when the first-world average is >5) we get an absolute maximum of:
    196 weapons.
    It's a lot like 500, only less than half as much. [And as for surpassing England?]
    http://www.bullatomsci.org/issues/nukenotes/so00nukenote.html

    Wait, I'm not done yet. "Global Analyst John Steinbach" would seem to have a degree in basketweaving- those aren't the figures for thermonuclear weapons... A thermonuclear warhead is a fusion device, using tritium ("heavy water") as a reactant with a conventional fission device as a trigger. That 196 we came up with is total warheads. There's really no way to estimate how many are fusion triggers based on any data I've seen anywhere (I can't link to Jane's, as its subscription-only, but it agrees largely with FAS's data). Safe to say they're not using enriched uranium for their H-bombs; you'd need a tractor-trailer to move them. This leaves: Maximum Possible Number Of Thermonuclear Warheads=

    84.

    I realize that I have an engineering background, but I don't need to draw any diagrams indicating why 84 is less than 500, do I? I'm thinking "Global Analyst John Steinbach" should go back to writing "Cooking for Dummies" books, as he's clearly out of his depth on this subject.


    A little more research uncovers a bit more... Steinbach isn't a global analyst, but an anarchist with the ability to do selective research. See the following link: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/archives/cover/2000/cover0421.html
    Let's leave the global nuclear proliferation analysis to the global nuclear proliferation analysts, shall we?

    Thanks to my buddy gridflay for his ancient wisdom on this one (he pretty much wrote this one for me).

    Um... (none / 0) (#231)
    by trhurler on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 06:38:03 PM EST

    Considering that they've had a long time and no real public oversight, they could have ten reactors by now. The US might know, but wouldn't tell anyway. Half ass estimates based on one supposed but unproven resource limitation are far less interesting than they might seem.

    Couple that to the amount of fissionable material they've imported over the years, and it seems likely that something HAS been going on that your friend has missed. You just don't need that much material for 84 weapons. Or even 200 weapons.

    "Facilities nobody has ever seen" are something Israel has plenty of. They've stymied even US satellite based intelligence on many occasions; what makes your friend think they've got no surprises?

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    ...um indeed... (none / 0) (#234)
    by existenz on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:03:47 PM EST

    So what you're basically saying is that it's POSSIBLE for Israel to have a stockpile of that size. Okay, but it's also POSSIBLE that they bought up all the missing Soviet weapons, possible that the Moussad flew the planes into the WTC, and possible that Ariel Sharon ordered the ousting of Hugo Chavez. You can't leave what's supposed to be a well-researched report up to speculation. What was suggested is that it's HIGHLY UNLIKELY that Israel has the capacity to create and maintain such and arsenal, along with some directly valid sources. Steinbach's report is lax at best.

    [ Parent ]
    No small Task (none / 0) (#243)
    by Woundweavr on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 11:01:30 PM EST

    Reactors aren't some thing you can just throw together. Iran has been trying to build one for decades. Egypt took years and years to build one. You can't just build nuclear reactors like you can throw up an office building, and you especially can't with any real degree of secrecy

    [ Parent ]
    Er... (5.00 / 1) (#268)
    by trhurler on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:11:31 PM EST

    The US has done so with great secrecy on numerous occasions. It isn't as hard as people think, if you can get the materials to the site. Do it underground or inside an existing building with a loading dock,(possible if you design the building with this purpose in mind in advance,) and there's no need for any hard evidence of anything beyond major remodelling. You also can't compare the difficulty of building one reactor(a first one,) with building the second; a huge part of the difficulty is in getting it right the first time, rather than in practical difficulties in doing it once you really know how.

    One thing people in the US don't realize that would probably scare them is the sheer number of reactors in this country. They're all over the place, even if most of them aren't normally operated at high power. Many, many universities have facilities capable of generating enough power for a small town or operating as breeders, but run the reactors at low power for research purposes such as sample irradiation and nukee lab training instead, and these can be built, delta regulatory hurdles, in a matter of weeks. Granted, building a really high capacity reactor takes a bit more care, but that's mostly in design; the construction isn't much harder.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Thoughts... (none / 0) (#217)
    by Kayser Soze on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:00:35 PM EST

    Since most of Israel's problems and conflicts come from neighboring nation-states, does it even make sense to be worried about Israel using nuclear weapons?

    It seems to me that this would akin to using a firebomb in a wrestling match.

    Any thoughts?


    "If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes

    Read the artical (none / 0) (#222)
    by delmoi on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:37:27 PM EST

    Most of the bombs are little ones, and nutron bombs wich won't cause to much over-all damange, just kill lots of people
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    Corrections and additions (5.00 / 5) (#235)
    by peregrin on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:05:59 PM EST

    Just a few things. Anyone who knows Ezer Weizmann will not take anything he says seriously. Think of an Israeli version of Dan Quayle.
    Also, Israel has three new Dolphin submarines, that went into service well after the book was published. Reportedly, they are capable of launching modified Jericho missiles. This should be the ultimate deterant - a middle Eastern version of the ever popular Mutually Assured Destruction.

    My, my... (3.00 / 2) (#277)
    by jo42 on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 11:27:33 AM EST

    What have God's Chosen People come to - savages along with the rest of us.

    History (5.00 / 1) (#287)
    by yenisey on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 06:12:23 PM EST

    Compare phrases used by Sharon, Hussien, Hitler, Stalin - any fundamentalist leader of the past few centuries. It's all been said before, it will all be said again.

    Will Israel use nuclear weapons? - yes, but only if they cannot achieve their aims by other means.

    Israel is unlikely to launch a first strike at the moment, but if one of their enemies had WMDs...


    There will be no clean end to this conflict.




    -- Every step we take appears to be an unavoidable consequence of the preceding one.
    Israel's Nuclear Arsenal | 292 comments (285 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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