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

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Yes, many have. Including us. Which ones still do? Even so, the point stands. Saying "as free as any Western nation" is bullshit.

No man, the US has an all-volunteer military with a selective service that can be activated intermittently. All the nations I listed you literally have manditory military service of some form. In other words, it is compulsory for all males age 18 to report for basic training and carry out any range of duties from a few months to longer.

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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......

Let's do some math. So, at a maximum, you have 750,000 Gazan Islamists and 750,000 Gazan non-Islamists.

I dont think you can necessarily draw that conclusion from the poll you cited. There is no way of knowing, for instance, how many of those who feel that Hamas is leading them in the wrong direction feel that way because they see Hamas as not being militant enough, or oppose the current leadership or tactics but not the ideological movement. Either way, this poll cannot be used to measure the level extremism in Gaza...except to say that is still quite large.

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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.

Sorry but I don't fetishize semantics and labels.

To become a citizen of Israel, without being born there, is a gigantic pain unless you are ethnically or religiously Jewish.

Specifics please?

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.

I didn't play psychic with your intentions and I would appreciate if you reciprocate that respect. Can you source that non-Jewish citizens are barred from voting in Israel?

Edited by Mister A
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It's hard to think the Revolutionary Guard will have any trouble crushing a bunch of students. Judging from polls and the result of these elections, most Iranians are perfectly happy with the current regime. Their huge military certainly is showing no signs of discontent, and it's gonna be tough to overthrow the government with the military loyal to Ahmadinejad and Khamenei.

As for civil war, Mousavi is a politician, and his support group are civilians (mostly students and intellectuals). They are not armed, how could they start a civil war, even if they had the stomach for it? Haaretz is saying that he just got arrested, actually:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092304.html

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Are you sure polls always tell the truth? :)

The guy brought up polls, in his scientific proof that Iran is Paradise on Earth, and Israel is Hell, so I went with it, and mentioned the latest elections. My mistake. Iranian polls and elections are bullshit. Their society however is oppressive, and even the most liberal students in Tehran are shouting "Allahu Akhbar", and going after Ahmadinejad, instead of Khomeini and Islamic rule in general.

In Eastern Europe, during several bloody revolutions there in '89, people were shouting "Down with Communism", not "Down with the President in the name of Communism".

The West has been hoping to see a repeat of those revolutions some place, for a while now, and it just ain't panning out. It's a cultural thing, Eastern Europe has been part of European culture before WW2. Iran was never Western, they've always been Islamic. Change is hard to come by as long as the US President is "encouraged by the open dialogue there" on the eve of a rigged election. How are they supposed to recognize him as a liar, when they can only look to him for what the West is?

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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I'm still eager to know more about Israel's alleged voter discrimination but I think Wrath has gone back to sitting in the lotus position with his swami hat.

And what precisely does that mean? I'm a busy man with a full-time (indeed, usually somewhat more than full-time) job, a social life, and a myriad of other things to keep me occupied, so please excuse my failure to respond according to your schedule.

If you'll read my post, you'll find that my point about voting wasn't about voting, per se. It was about a prerequisite of voting: citizenship. From Wikipedia:

"Israel was established as a homeland for the Jewish people and is often referred to as the Jewish state. The country's Law of Return grants all Jews and those of Jewish lineage the right to Israeli citizenship."

It's not that easy for non-Jews to immigrate to Israel and become citizens. This is a well-known fact among people who are at all familiar with Israeli politics. Then there's the fact that Israel has continued to refuse to grant a similar "right of return" for Palestinians and their descendants. Now, I don't care so much about the fact that the "Palestinians" don't have a right of return. But I have a moral problem with any country that bases its immigration policy on ethnicity. As an Objectivist, you should favor open immigration, meaning that anyone, including ethnic Palestinians, should have the right to move to Israel if they so desire.

As I said before, I support Israel and its struggle against the enemies that wish to obliterate it. But to say that it is "as free as any western country" is ridiculous. You can point to certain western countries who might share some of its characteristics, but I can point to more that do not. No country has the right to exist as the country of any particular ethnic group. I think that Israel is generally a free country, but it has severe flaws in its founding ideals.

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Please. France is testing people's genes to prove family ties before letting them in, and fluent French is a requirement (that is true for all EU nations, when it comes to non EU citizens), several EU countries have laws favoring their own nationality, the US has quotas based on race and source country or region, etc.. At least Israel has a good reason to exclude Palestinians: they are looking to destroy Israel, and establish their own state, through any means including democracy, not live in a system of rights.

I know for a fact that for most people (who are not looking to "take back" Israel for the "nation" of Palestine), it is far easier to get a work visa or go and live in Israel than it would be for any Western European countries, or even the US. I would bet a Mexican worker could most definitely get a legal job in Israel long before he can get one in the US.

And voting for whoever you want, to do whatever he wants, is not a right in a properly free country. I think even letting Arab nationalists into the Knesset (which they do) is a concession that should not have been made.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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Wrath, I believe you are sincere in saying that you hope Israel will one day be at peace.

But you are badly misinformed on some points.

Let me ask you a question: if you, as an Objectivist, wanted to start a club dedicated to Objectivism, built it , composed a constitution, etc., and I as a post- modernist Collectivist demanded entry AND membership...... well you get the point.

What about this. Sometime in the future, all we Objectivists start coming under severe repression by our governments, and our fellow citizens. We gather together, pool resources, and buy up a piece of land in Costa Rica, where we intend living rationally, and in freedom. We literally Go Galt. Who would we admit to this safe haven? Anyone?

Where is it written that a sovereign Nation must admit anyone who desires to live there? Would you send me a Green Card, please?

More critically is the premise underlying all this. I believe that this kind of opposition to Israel is fuelled by the seeming arrogance that Israel conducts itself with. Just by being an exclusive country(but not to the degree you think), people say "Who do they think they are?"

Also, Judaism is definitely an exclusive religion - which is the sole reason I have respect for it. It has never tried to convert anyone to it.

Again , this has been perceived as arrogance! Exclusivity is arrogance, so the ignorants see it.

Here, IMO, is one root cause of anti- Semitism.

On the democratic rights of the non-Jews in Israel; I am friendly with a Muslim Israeli who owns a restaurant here in the RSA. Just to check my facts, I asked him today about this, and he laughed.

"Of course we have full rights"< he said, all state benefits, and the vote. There are one million such Arab citizens in Israel, and believe it or not, they are very patriotic.

On the Israeli issue, with so much disinformation about, it is vitally important to get one's facts straight. In the Middle East, people are dying because of general ignorance .

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It's not that easy for non-Jews to immigrate to Israel and become citizens. This is a well-known fact among people who are at all familiar with Israeli politics. Then there's the fact that Israel has continued to refuse to grant a similar "right of return" for Palestinians and their descendants. Now, I don't care so much about the fact that the "Palestinians" don't have a right of return. But I have a moral problem with any country that bases its immigration policy on ethnicity. As an Objectivist, you should favor open immigration, meaning that anyone, including ethnic Palestinians, should have the right to move to Israel if they so desire.

To begin with Judaism is not an ethnicity, it's a religion and a culture (and compared to other religions it's less bad than most). Jews come in a variery of "races."

Next, Jews as a group have been unfairly persecuted at many times and in many places. One objective of Israel is to provide Jews with a safe heaven. Imagine if Israel had existed as a strong regional state during WWII.

As for Palestinians, or any other kind of people, yes, ideally they should be free to move to Israel if they want to. And to America, and Canada, Mexico, France, Namibia, New Zeland, etc etc. How many countries are that accepting of immigrants, regardless of origin? Singling out Israel is unfair. Not to mention that most Palestinians would want to move into Israel to destroy it. Any country has the right to keep out undesirable people, such as potential criminals and terorrists.

But there are Palestinian citizens of Israel, anyway. Those who stayed after the 48 war and their descendants (I've met a few back in 85 when I was last there).

I think that Israel is generally a free country, but it has severe flaws in its founding ideals.

I could say that of any free country, too.

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Here's a pretty serious collection of raw news, images and videos coming out of Tehran (this blog is linked to by Drudge):

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/

Apparently, theThe Basijis religious police (the most hated wing of the Iranian government) shot into the crowd, and killed at least one protester. They also have plain clothed secret Police among the crowd, identifying leaders and grabbing people (if these are not terrorists, no one is). Also, they raided a campus, last night, and at least a hundred students have been taken and are missing.

As these rumours are reaching the population of the capital (through Twitter and word of mouth, cell phones don't work), the tide is turning against the government, and the streets are filled with protesters: according to some French reporter (and this really is just wild speculation, as far as I can tell), the protests grew from thousands to 2 million, after what happened last night. But even if they're not, the new videos show a lot greater crowds, and far more determined and pissed off than yesterday.

(graphic image, proof of the person who was shot dead, sent out through twitter first)

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The problem is that the mullahs can just throw their little buddy Ahmadinejad to the wolves at any time, and defuse the situation. But if they don't do it soon, they will become the target of the protests, and then they either send in the army and cause massive casualties, or they are going bye bye.

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Also, Judaism is definitely an exclusive religion - which is the sole reason I have respect for it. It has never tried to convert anyone to it.

Again , this has been perceived as arrogance! Exclusivity is arrogance, so the ignorants see it.

Here, IMO, is one root cause of anti- Semitism.

I'd say the ultimate root cause is altruism. An antisemite is a person with a flimsy or non-existent sense of individuality who tries to compensate by adopting a collective identity defined by antagonism against another collective. It's not at all uncommon for rabid antisemites to amicably interact with Jews or even befriend them -before going back to snarling epithets on the internet; they don't feel threatened by Jews on a personal level. They have no 'person' that can be threatened. The antipathy always follows a narrative of 'tribe versus tribe' which provides the camaraderie, uncritical acceptance and belonging that altruists need to fill the yawning void where the ego should be.

Sorry for the threadjack.

Edited by Mister A
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I wonder how much more accurate information we'll be getting? :)

From http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9...;show_article=1 ...

Iranian authorities are restricting all journalists working for foreign media from firsthand reporting on the streets.

The rules cover all journalists, including Iranians working for foreign media. It blocks images and eyewitness descriptions of the protests and violence that has followed last week's disputed elections.

The order issued Tuesday limits journalists for foreign media to work only from their offices, conducting telephone interviews and monitoring official sources such as state television.

It comes as foreign reporters in Iran to cover the elections began leaving the country. Iranian officials say they will not extend their visas.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

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To begin with Judaism is not an ethnicity, it's a religion and a culture (and compared to other religions it's less bad than most). Jews come in a variery of "races."

Any Jew would tell you this is absolutely, unequivocally false. Please see the Wikipedia article for Jewish Ethnic Divisions.

Next, Jews as a group have been unfairly persecuted at many times and in many places. One objective of Israel is to provide Jews with a safe heaven. Imagine if Israel had existed as a strong regional state during WWII.

Your point? Countless groups of people have been persecuted many times - that doesn't mean they deserve racist treatment or favoritism.

As for Palestinians, or any other kind of people, yes, ideally they should be free to move to Israel if they want to. And to America, and Canada, Mexico, France, Namibia, New Zeland, etc etc. How many countries are that accepting of immigrants, regardless of origin? Singling out Israel is unfair. Not to mention that most Palestinians would want to move into Israel to destroy it. Any country has the right to keep out undesirable people, such as potential criminals and terorrists.

Why should they? Countries are free to impose whatever rules for their borders that they want. It is perfectly reasonable for a country to deny a person citizenship or access to their land if they don't meet the qualifications that the LAND OWNERS specify. If France wanted to keep people with yellow teeth out of their country, that's their foolish decision - and that's none of our business.

I like this Wrath guy - way to use your head.

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You're package-dealing.

I think it's a totally fair thing to mention how it hasn't only been Jews that have raped and pillaged in the name of reclaiming their holy land, Israel.

You misuse the term "package-dealing" in a pretty incredibly way. Package-dealing has been what a lot of you in this thread have been doing this whole time, by relating the various attacks, formulated by VARYING groups of Islamic people, against US and Western interests over the past century to the conclusion that we must use physical force against Iran. When you people justify nuclear bombing Iran by citing the Barbary Wars, 9/11, and the Little Rock, AR shootings, I cannot think of a better term for such absurdity than package-dealing.

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You misuse the term "package-dealing" in a pretty incredibly way. Package-dealing has been what a lot of you in this thread have been doing this whole time, by relating the various attacks, formulated by VARYING groups of Islamic people, against US and Western interests over the past century to the conclusion that we must use physical force against Iran. When you people justify nuclear bombing Iran by citing the Barbary Wars, 9/11, and the Little Rock, AR shootings, I cannot think of a better term for such absurdity than package-dealing.

Examples of like historical events serve to illustrate the dangers of like ideologies. The Barbary Wars and 9/11 are apropos if there is an ideological commonality shared by the Barbary pirates, Al'Qaida and Iran. Blaming Iran for the actions of the Barbary pirates (or any other random group) would be absurd, but nobody is doing this. What people are saying is that these groups share a hostile ideology and thus, share some of the same dangers.

Edit: America has been attacked by all three groups. Iran has been at war with the West for years through it's proxy, Hezbollah.

Edited by FeatherFall
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When you people justify nuclear bombing Iran by citing the Barbary Wars, 9/11, and the Little Rock, AR shootings, I cannot think of a better term for such absurdity than package-dealing.

Excuse me. No one "justified" a nuclear attack on Iran by citing the Barbary Wars. If you had read what I typed regarding them, you'll notice I specifically cited the common ideology that ties these events together. I specifically cited the eventual response to the Barbary States as a past example of a rationally selfish foreign policy as how to end fascist Islamic terrorism, as opposed to appeasing it, blaming the West for it, and shrugging your shoulders while you claim to not see any connection between these events, which is what you are doing.

Nowhere did I say that we should nuke Tehran because of the Barbary Wars. You can say I said that, but that would make you a liar. Are you a liar?

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Then "any Jew" could be wrong.

Do you have a source not prone to manipulation? If so, use it. If not, find one.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY? :P

Are you denying the existence of ethnicities within Judaism? Are you doing so with your only argument being that Wikipedia is an open source encyclopedia? If you even cared about being right, you could have easily gone to the references section of the Wikipedia article for your non-manipulatable sources.

The fact is, the reason why DNA studies are so complete and sophisticated for a relatively small population of the world as the Jews is because ethnic Jews are highly aware of their genetic backgrounds. I, for example, am and Ashkenazim. My good family friends are Sephardi. Every Jew, atheist or not, practicing or not, religious or secular, knows their ethnic background within the Jewish framework.

http://countrystudies.us/israel/49.htm

http://www.rasch.org/rmt/rmt161g.htm

What are you doing espousing Objectivism with that kind of madness behind your "logic"?

shrugging your shoulders while you claim to not see any connection between these events, which is what you are doing.

I specifically replied that the only connection between these events is that they all were practitioners of Islam. That's not a very significant connection at all, if you could even get away with justifying that as a connection to begin with.

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Are you denying the existence of ethnicities within Judaism?

No. There are black Jews, like Sammy Davis Jr. Mixed Spaniard and Mexican indian Jews, like my sister in law. And many others as well. What I said, if you bothered reading my post, is that Judaism is not an ethnicity. I stand by that claim.

Every Jew, atheist or not, practicing or not, religious or secular, knows their ethnic background within the Jewish framework.

I know that. My grandparents made a big deal out of it. Apaprently there was a rift between Polish-German Jews and Lithuanian Jews. I really don't give a damn.

What are you doing espousing Objectivism with that kind of madness behind your "logic"?

You're projecting again.

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