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Pre-emptive War: e.g. Should we nuke Tehran?

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Couple of points of advice for Andrew if he sincerely wants to be taken seriously here.

* Stop with the assertions of your fidelity to Objectivism, rationality, reason, et al and questioning that of the members here. Not only is it condescending but it makes it seem like you are more concerned with labels (i.e. what people think of you and what you think of them) rather than the substance of your arguments -the trademark of the Second-Hander. Your vague claim at personally knowing 'big name' Objectivists is another Second-Hander giveaway; no serious Objectivist would incorporate that into an argument even if it was true.

* Be more responsible with your use of emotionally loaded words like "inhuman" and "horrific". The other members use them in the context of unambiguously inhuman and horrific deeds like suicide bombing and beheadings. In contrast, you connect those words to vague, general concepts like 'pre-emptive war' and 'nation-building' -things that can have a variety of interpretations depending on the reader- with no specifications on what you find to justify such histrionic adjectives. It's like you're trying to guilt-trip others into agreement with you.

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Andrew, I regret my over- hasty remark earlier. All that 'nuke em' stuff got to me. I do think some of your arguments have merit.

I agree that it has not been in the U.S.'s self-interest to get involved in other parts of the world - at least as far as propping up tin-pot regimes, all in the name of national defence, or trying to give (altruistically) democracy to everyone. So there was Central America, South Vietnam, and now Iraq.

However, as they say, hindsight is an exact science!

Where I think there are holes in your knowledge - and possibly your argument - is on the subject of Israel. : 1. It's not in the US interest to be an ally of Israel 2. The idea behind that nation was [and still is] religious Zionism, only. Have I got it right?

1. The advantages for that alliance, IMO, far outweigh the disadvantages. Firstly, practically. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The Intel that Israel has about its neighbours and their terrorist gangs is invaluable. Also she will protect US interests in that region, more often than not. The innovative productiveness of Israel, in terms of ideas and patents, lies 3rd in the world behind the giants of the US and India. As a trading partner, you can't have better.

Morally, I do not think Israel to be always 'right' [ and I've been a close observer for 30years], but their government,and the people have, and have always had, a deep respect for life and human dignity; even for their sworn enemies. The difference between them and those who would eliminate them, is day and night. This is the closest you in America could have as rational ally in the entire M.East and Africa put together.

2. The religious base for Israel is where I fault her the most, BUT ONLY in the context of interference by the religious groups into politics ,society, and foreign affairs. This must become a fully secular nation as soon as possible, for her own sake.

I think that a huge and dangerous fallacy exists about the creation of Israel. This had a lot to do with the so-called ' Zionist Conspiracy'. There is too much in this subject for me to tackle here. But I must mention one point : There were a tiny number of Jewish settlements in Palestine in the 1930's, all payed for and bought at exorbitant prices from Arab sheiks. The majority of world Jewry ridiculed this effort, but they were soon to learn better.

If not for WW2, who knows?, Israel would probably be a shadow of it's present self. I t was not Zionism that fuelled the population growth, it was out-and-out survivalism and escape from evil regimes.

And if Israel lost the support of it's moral and pragmatic ally, America, could she survive? I think so, but it would be close. If in that conflict, Israel knew that they were on the brink of defeat, with no hope left, then [and only then] will they pull out their final arsenal, and nuke the bastards.

Thanks

Tony

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Look, "most Jews" aren't committing the violence and hatred caused by Zionism. A select few in the ivory towers are causing these problems, just as they always have been.

You being more and more vague won't stop me from calling you out on your nonsense. The leaders of Israel are not religious zealots, as evidenced by Israeli society: no matter what your race, religion, sexual orientation or gender is, if you went to Israel, you'd be able to lead the same life you'd be able to lead in any western democracy, apart from the occasional savage sent in to blow himself up or launch a rocket by the Arabs.

That is not true of any country lead by religious fanatics. Your assertion that Zionists rule Israel, no matter how vague you're trying to make it now, is a clear sign of your profoundly irrational view of the World.

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It's become hard to follow this thread recently due to the treatment of the word "Zionism". This word has a plethora of connotations and it isn't clear that those arguing over the word have defined it. I'd suggest loosely defining Zionism as an ideology that supports a Jewish state surrounding Jerusalem (Yes, Jewish, not simply religious). If this is how the word is used, it'd be pretty easy for everyone to agree that Israel is, currently, a Zionist entity. Israel has its problems, but despite being a Jewish state, it still broadly allows for religious freedom -- One doesn't have to be Jewish to hold government office.

People interested in both Objectivism and political history should concentrate on the cultural values behind geopolitics. In Israel's case, those values seem to me to be a mish-mash of secular/ethnic Judaism, religious Judaism and some of the best parts of modern Western thought.

I think the argument about the treaty of Versailles causing Nazism is a little off topic, but I've got a cent or two. I agree with Peikoff's assessment, as presented in The Ominous Parallels, that the rise of Hitler was due to a philosophic vacuum within German culture. I regard, then, the treaty of Versailles to have contributed to Hitler's rise in that it was a conditional surrender which prevented US/British values from filling the German vacuum. The German people likely were upset with economic and military sanctions, but this isn't reason enough to elect a psycho to power.

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People interested in both Objectivism and political history should concentrate on the cultural values behind geopolitics. In Israel's case, those values seem to me to be a mish-mash of secular/ethnic Judaism, religious Judaism and some of the best parts of modern Western thought.

This is pretty much true. The reason I, and i suspect most Objectivists support Israel, is because its relative freedom, and even more importantly, its willingness to put its money(weapons) where their mouth is. Whatever the looney reasons for some jews to live in Israel may be, if you oppose Israels right to exist, you are opposing freedoms right to exist in the middle east. Israels right to exists is not by virtue of some holy book, or some UN declaration, but by their freedom, and it would not make any difference if the country situated in Israels place would be Sweden, Taiwan or Barbados. To give up Israel, one of the only real allies the US has, would be the same to say that people are not allowed to be free in the middle east.

About the topic of Iran, one thing would have to be guaranteed before i would support a nuke. The utter, 100%, cutting of ties with Saudi Arabia and other nutjob countries the US calls their "ally", and the cutting of all aid and trade with these dictatorships in the area. Only then, would i support an "endgame" type total and utter devastation of the infrastructure in Iran, nuke or no nuke, and real threats that everyone that doesnt comply with ending the funding/training of terrorism will be next.

So what im saying is, that if a nuke or total war is to be used, it has to be absolutely total, and utterly consistant with achieving the US goals. If it is done without cutting all ties with the Saudi Arabias of the world, it would once again be a shining example of counterproductive US foreign policy.

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If it is done without cutting all ties with the Saudi Arabias of the world, it would once again be a shining example of counterproductive US foreign policy.

I hadn't considered this. You haven't given all of your reasons, but I can come up with a few of my own. I'll think about it a while.

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Benjamin Netenyahu delivered one of the most amazing speeches of the last 50 years to Congress in late September 2001. While not an Objectivist, he has a sharp mind, great insight, and first hand experience with the Islamic extremism that threatens his country daily. He has written other solid speeches as well, but this one really hits the nail on the head.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/531335/posts

This speech may not spell out perfect ethical reasoning concerning the situation, but at the very least it spotlights the psychology of those who would gladly kill me or my family if given the chance. I don't know for sure, but it could me an error of knowledge and not of logic that would lead to the conclusion that Iran is a kid throwing stones as opposed to a murderer.

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It's become hard to follow this thread recently due to the treatment of the word "Zionism". This word has a plethora of connotations and it isn't clear that those arguing over the word have defined it.

If the word was clearly defined then it would be useless as an anti-concept for racists and conspiracy nuts.

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Anybody remember former French president Jaques Chirac specifically stating that France's response to any state-sponsored terrorist attack could include a nuclear counter-attack?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4627862.stm

http://www.redorbit.com/news/international...inst_terrorism/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=1956

"The leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would consider using, in one way or another, weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and adapted response on our part. This response could be a conventional one. It could also be of a different kind."

A stark difference from Obama's "I envision a world without nukes" fantasy.

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It's become hard to follow this thread recently due to the treatment of the word "Zionism". This word has a plethora of connotations and it isn't clear that those arguing over the word have defined it. I'd suggest loosely defining Zionism as an ideology that supports a Jewish state surrounding Jerusalem (Yes, Jewish, not simply religious). If this is how the word is used, it'd be pretty easy for everyone to agree that Israel is, currently, a Zionist entity.

That's a loose definition I can agree with, as long as you agree that France (I'm picking a random European nation) is mainly a francophone entity that supports a French state around Paris, for similar reasons, and to a comparable degree, that Israel is a Zionist entity that supports a Jewish state around Jerusalem: a combination of the traditional values of the majority of the people who live there, and a fear of the nr. 2 alternative to that state, which would be a state ruled by Islamists where both the Jewish and the ethnic French population would be treated as sub-human, and most likely exterminated or forcibly converted in the name of Muslim religion.

Of course, both in French and Israeli society, there are religious and/or nationalist elements, which however make up a smaller percentage of the population, and are not the driving force behind their respective governments. That is in tune with all Western democracies, and in sharp contrast to most Muslim countries, where a Muslim majority, almost as a rule, translates into Muslim laws and religious atrocities.

But that's not what Andrew means by Zionist (in fact I haven't heard anyone mean that). He means what Arab propaganda means by Zionist: religious fanatics who are aiming to exterminate the Palestinians, trying to claim the Holy Land for themselves.

And it's nonsense: Israel is a democracy motivated by their mostly secular population's desire to survive and prosper.

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But that's not what Andrew means by Zionist (in fact I haven't heard anyone mean that). He means what Arab propaganda means by Zionist: religious fanatics who are aiming to exterminate the Palestinians, trying to claim the Holy Land for themselves.

And it's nonsense: Israel is a democracy motivated by their mostly secular population's desire to survive and prosper.

No, my precise definition of Zionism stems from a historical premise rather than a racial or religious one. What I meant to say was that there were a multitude of religions and groups that were killing other groups over their religious belief that the land was "theirs."

Christians were Zionists when they attempted to retake the land of Israel during the various Crusades that allowed countless numbers of men to be slaughtered. These conflicts lasted for over 200 years!

Muslims were also Zionists multiple times throughout history - even before the Christians took it over, they took it over from the Romans. The Romans took it over from the Jews, who had to also fight and kill for it to regain it from the Greeks, who took it from the Jews originally.

There have been skirmishes and all-out wars fought since the dawn of time over this piece of land, and it doesn't begin or end with simply the present Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Also, to end, let me quote Mr. Brook himself:

Zionism fused a valid concern - self-preservation amid a storm of hostility - with a toxic premise - ethnically based collectivism and religion.
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No, my precise definition of Zionism stems from a historical premise rather than a racial or religious one. What I meant to say was that there were a multitude of religions and groups that were killing other groups over their religious belief that the land was "theirs."

Christians were Zionists when they attempted to retake the land of Israel during the various Crusades that allowed countless numbers of men to be slaughtered. These conflicts lasted for over 200 years!

Muslims were also Zionists multiple times throughout history - even before the Christians took it over, they took it over from the Romans. The Romans took it over from the Jews, who had to also fight and kill for it to regain it from the Greeks, who took it from the Jews originally.

There have been skirmishes and all-out wars fought since the dawn of time over this piece of land, and it doesn't begin or end with simply the present Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

You're package-dealing.

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Muslims were also Zionists multiple times throughout history - even before the Christians took it over, they took it over from the Romans. The Romans took it over from the Jews, who had to also fight and kill for it to regain it from the Greeks, who took it from the Jews originally.

I haven't read your posts up to this point but....

By Muslim Zionism do you mean Muslims supporting a Jewish presence in Palestine? Or just valuing the Land for their own reasons?

Assuming you're even still active on this board anymore....

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No, my precise definition of Zionism stems from a historical premise rather than a racial or religious one. What I meant to say was that there were a multitude of religions and groups that were killing other groups over their religious belief that the land was "theirs."

Christians were Zionists when they attempted to retake the land of Israel during the various Crusades that allowed countless numbers of men to be slaughtered. These conflicts lasted for over 200 years!

Muslims were also Zionists multiple times throughout history - even before the Christians took it over, they took it over from the Romans. The Romans took it over from the Jews, who had to also fight and kill for it to regain it from the Greeks, who took it from the Jews originally.

There have been skirmishes and all-out wars fought since the dawn of time over this piece of land, and it doesn't begin or end with simply the present Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Yes, you said that Muslims and Christians were Zionists 700 years ago. (I never even attempted to dispute your definitions, I simply accepted your definition of Zionism, and have been using it as you described it ever since-because I don't care about definitions)

But you also said that the people controlling Israel from "ivory towers" are Zionists, meaning they are just like the Christians who launched the Crucades 700 years ago.

And I explained why that's not true, and I also explained why only someone giving in to irrational propaganda would think it is true, given the obvious fact that Israel is democratic and has a society just as free as any Western nation.

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But you also said that the people controlling Israel from "ivory towers" are Zionists,

Zionism is the nationalist ideology of the Jewish People. The majority of Israelis are Zionists. Every single Prime Minister and military leader of Israel has been a Zionist. The organization which created the State was called the World Zionist Organization. Socialists like Ben-Gurion, Fascists like Jabotinsky, and religious Zealots like Baruch Goldstien were all self avowed Zionists.

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Zionism is the nationalist ideology of the Jewish People. The majority of Israelis are Zionists. Every single Prime Minister and military leader of Israel has been a Zionist. The organization which created the State was called the World Zionist Organization. Socialists like Ben-Gurion, Fascists like Jabotinsky, and religious Zealots like Baruch Goldstien were all self avowed Zionists.

Nonsense. Israel is a free country precisely because the majority of its citizens love freedom and modern Western ideas, and their enemies, the Palestinians are not a free society because most Palestinians are religious zealots.

You can play around with words and bring up non-essential past events and extremists all you want, all propaganda fades in the face of that undeniable fact: the reality of Israeli democracy, modeled in accordance with modern western political thought.

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It is not a matter of Jake's definition of Zion, or yours, or even mine. The definition according to Wiki, is the classic definition : ' a worldwide Jewish movement that resulted in the establishment and development of the state of Israel'.

For a long time now every Joe Soap and his brother have borrowed that word to mean whatever they want it to mean. And usually it's one more way of criticising Jews.

For 1000's of years the Jew has been a convenient scapegoat for any Christian and Muslim country that would reluctantly allow them to to reside there - with a few notable exceptions.

Is it so amazing that the movement started? Do you not accept that a people, united under the same faith and culture, would want to be self-ruled?

The Jewish race have had it with the irrational hatred of most "host" nations - and took action.[ BTW , may be Objectivists can relate to this desire, in wanting to "Go Galt].

Now what? Zion has been accomplished.

Israel, which began as an idea- or ideology- , had it's nucleus in the buying up of land in Palestine ( which did not even exist as a State at the time), became internationally recognised with the Balfour Declaration and U.N. vote, and was then deluged by the survivors of Nazi ism.

It then fought wars of defence against it's neighbours, and enlarged it's territory - most of which it handed back. ( The equivalent of the U.S. giving back S.California, New Mexico, and Texas to Mexico ? Just teasing :) ). Israel wants nothing more from any one, but it's right to exist. The fact that religion plays a part in it's politics is regrettable, but so what - they have that right, too.

The propaganda that radical Islam is putting out is that Zionism is imperialistic. For what Empire ? Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon? This is self evidently a lie, but it is effective with some in the West, because the notion dove-tails neatly with their irrational 'ideas' about Jews in general.

To those who continue to use the word 'Zionist', bear in mind, that to many this is seen as either ignorance, or prejudice.

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...given the obvious fact that Israel is democratic and has a society just as free as any Western nation.

Bullshit. I support Israel in its struggles and hope that it can one day be at peace, but this is bullshit. Name me one western country with compulsory military service. Name me one western country that precludes people from the full privileges of citizenship because they belong to the wrong ethnic group.

Edited by The Wrath
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...most Palestinians are religious zealots.

Also bullshit. Though I've come to expect it from you, as you clearly have absolutely no clue about anything going on in the Middle East. Most Palestinians are Muslims, but that doesn't mean that most are zealots. Many of the Palestinian terrorist groups have left-wing, secular agendas. Hamas is the latest outgrowth of the conflict, but to think that it boils down to "most Palestinians" being religious zealots simply reflects your complete lack of understanding of the conflict. For decades, Israel was doing battle with secular Arab regimes. After it became clear that the Arabs could not defeat Israel militarily (and I'll give you bonus points if you can even name what war that was, without looking it up on Wikipedia, but I'm not holding my breath because I'm pretty sure you don't know), Israel began doing battle with the secular PLO. Well, that didn't work out too well for the Palestinians, so Hamas has now gained a great deal of power. Which raises the question...is it possible to support an Islamist group without, yourself, being an Islamist? Why...yes, in fact, it is. There's no doubt that the Palestinians misplace the blame for their situation, by blaming Israel for everything and turning to Hamas for protection. That doesn't make them religious zealots.

Read a goddamn book. Or even a Wikipedia article. I know, I know, reading the opinions of experts is for people like me who don't have any principles. Then at least read a f*cking timeline and familiarize yourself with the ideologies of the Palestinian terrorist groups. Those are brute, historical facts and don't have to be acquainted with any particular opinion. Since I'm sure that you won't go to the trouble to learn about it yourself, allow me to educate you:

Hamas: Islamist

PIJ: Islamist

Fatah: Secular

PFLP: Secular nationalist, Marxist

DFLP: Marxist

PFLP-GC: Marxist

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is probably the most complicated conflict of the past century. It's been going on for centuries. To suggest that it boils down to one side being full of religious extremists is beyond absurd. You have a penchant for oversimplifying things...I seem to remember you making a similar statement about Iranians...in both cases, it is just flat out wrong. Gaza has a population of about 1.5 million. The latest polls showed that around 50% thought that Hamas was leading them in the wrong direction. That doesn't mean the other 50% thought Hamas was leading them in the right direction. The population of the West Bank is around 2.5 million and, since it is ruled by the secular Fatah party, it can be assumed that it's population is less Islamist than Gaza's, which is ruled by Hamas.

Let's do some math. So, at a maximum, you have 750,000 Gazan Islamists and 750,000 Gazan non-Islamists. We'll go ahead and give the West Bank a 49% Islamist population (which is ridiculous, since 8% of the West Bank is Christian). There, I've just shown with hard facts that your contention is bullshit. QED.

Edited by Capitalism Forever
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Name me one western country with compulsory military service.

There are a lot of Western and/or semi-free countries that have or have had varying forms of manditory military service:

Austria

Brazil

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

Germany

Greece

Latvia

Norway

Russia

Singapore

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Ukraine

Italy (until 2004)

Poland (until 2009)

Netherlands (until 1995)

New Zealand (until 1972)

Romania (until 2006)

Slovenia (until 2003)

Spain (until 2001)

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Name me one western country with compulsory military service.

An unfortunate necessity to being under constant siege by savages.

Name me one western country that precludes people from the full privileges of citizenship because they belong to the wrong ethnic group.

Can you reliably source this (i.e. no Rense or prisonplanet)? I can understand how Jews may get certain benefits beyond the entitlements of citizenship (the same way minority scholarships do) but nobody is barred from residence, employment and protection by the law.

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An unfortunate necessity to being under constant siege by savages.

So you think it's necessary for Israel to reject the concept of individual rights and force people into military servitude? Very unbecoming for someone who presumably supports the ideals of Objectivism. Also, if you're going to call the Palestinians "savages," then you need to come up with a new word for the various aboriginal tribes that have existed (and still exist) throughout history.

Can you reliably source this (i.e. no Rense or prisonplanet)? I can understand how Jews may get certain benefits beyond the entitlements of citizenship (the same way minority scholarships do) but nobody is barred from residence, employment and protection by the law.

David Veksler is (I think) an ethnic Jew. As such, he can fly into Tel Aviv right now and become a citizen while he's still in the airport. You and I would not be so lucky. To become a citizen of Israel, without being born there, is a gigantic pain unless you are ethnically or religiously Jewish. While I agree that Israel is generally-speaking a free country, this is a very unbecoming feature for a country that purportedly respects individual rights. Look it up if you don't believe me.

And on your list of things that people aren't "barred from," you conspicuously (and probably intentionally) left of "voting." I don't really think that voting is something that should be extended to all people...but I absolutely think that ethnicity should not be a consideration.

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Let's do some math. So, at a maximum, you have 750,000 Gazan Islamists and 750,000 Gazan non-Islamists. We'll go ahead and give the West Bank a 49% Islamist population (which is ridiculous, since 8% of the West Bank is Christian). There, I've just shown with hard facts that your contention is bullshit. QED.

You've just managed to demonstrate the opposite of obvious reality: Paestine is a hellhole lead by savages and thugs (in both Hamas and Fatah), democratically elected by a Palestinian majority. That fact is easily observed, by the constant executions of political dissidends, the lack of freedom of any type of speech, except in support of said thugs, the constant antisemitic and anti Western propaganda in State and Hamas(which is State now) run media, etc.

Congratiulations, you just polled and percentaged your way around reality. I guess I should now throw my eyes (with which I constantly see the executions and propaganda I mentioned, on TV) away, and rely on I'm sure flawless polls that ask all the right questions.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is probably the most complicated conflict of the past century. It's been going on for centuries. To suggest that it boils down to one side being full of religious extremists is beyond absurd. You have a penchant for oversimplifying things...I seem to remember you making a similar statement about Iranians...in both cases, it is just flat out wrong.

Maybe you should have waited for the result of the elections: Ahmedinajad, the hardline Islamist conservative, won by a landslide. Again.

People have been claiming that people with principles over simplify things since the advent of pragmatism. The opposite is true: the level of thought behind principles is more complex than your child like attention span could ever grasp.

Read a goddamn book.

What a self indulgent, lazy thing to say. What happened, all the arguments slipped your mind, so you let your mind drift into a daydream about a complete stranger's lack of reading habits instead? You've been doing a lot of that lately, huh, having a tough time keeping in touch with every day reality?

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