OT: In today's news

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Dave Balderstone wrote:

Funny how North Korea can sink a ship and get very little notice. Israel kills a few terrorist and the UN and the rest of the world can't wait to jump their shit. Boy what a twisted world we live in!!!!
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On 5/31/2010 8:31 PM, Dave Balderstone wrote:

I've only heard from one of the people involved (an American and fellow "Aramco Brat") immediately before the ships set out to Gaza; and I believe that what he wanted most was to get homebuilding supplies and food to the people who needed them.
The Israelis had not blocked all of the previous relief efforts and he said he was hoping that this convoy, also, would be allowed to deliver its cargo - but said he knew it wouldn't be a sure thing.
The news media and those who imagine themselves to be "statesmen" will make it all about Hamas and Israel, and will spin that tangle every which way they can - and totally ignore the roughly one and a half million human beings who (by UN studies) are experiencing slowly but steadily declining health due to insufficient nourishment.
My opinion is that one Holocaust is already too many...
...and that opinion comes without a need to attribute motivations to any of the participants.
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Morris Dovey
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Your friend may have had good intentions, but not everyone involved in these "humanitarian" shipments shares those intentions. <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_BTmbX6v0Q&playnext_from=TL&videos=IpxVzvG__WY&feature=sub
If it were my territory being bombarded by rockets from Gaza, I'd be pretty intent on making sure that supplies going through were pretty well screened.
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There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

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On 5/31/2010 11:59 PM, Mark & Juanita wrote:

That's probably true, but I can only speak from first hand knowledge of one person who, I believe, did have good intentions toward both Israelis and Palestinians - and thought that his presence on an American-flagged ship might help get humanitarian assistance to ordinary (non-combatant) people in need.

<
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_BTmbX6v0Q&playnext_from=TL&videos=IpxVzvG__WY&feature=sub

Me too, but I think any of us could have figured out a better way to accomplish that end - such as stopping the ships 11 miles out and requiring inspection of each ship before either allowing it to proceed to port or turning it back (for cause). After that point they could have exercised any reasonable force needed to prevent an unauthorized ship from proceeding.
I have no tolerance for attacking an American vessel in international waters, towing it to port, and imprisoning crew and passengers - and it doesn't much matter to me whether the attackers were flying the jolly roger or the Shield of David.
I'm not unsympathetic to Israel's problems, but really wish they'd start trying to solve them in ways that doesn't make them worse - and the same for the Palestinians.
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Morris Dovey
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Morris Dovey wrote:

From the accounts I've read, they tried this first. One of the ships (the one upon which they landed) did not comply. The Israelis (again by both their account and video) then launched a landing on the ship. The soldiers landing were armed with paintball guns in anticipation of meeting civil disobedience. Instead (and as born out by the videos), the were attacked with knives, clubs, and pipes. Only after coming under attack to the point of mortal danger did they resort to the use of sidearms. The videos seem to bear the Israeli account out.

It would have been better had the ships been allowed to enter the waters off of Gaza so that Israel could then have been accused of violating their territory? The intent of the ships was clear and their intent to circumvent the blockade was clear.

Letting ships that could be carrying arms (and have done so in the past) run a blockade intended to prevent exactly those kinds of shipments doesn't seem like excessive force.
--

There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

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On 6/2/2010 12:23 AM, Mark & Juanita wrote:

<
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_BTmbX6v0Q&playnext_from=TL&videos=IpxVzvG__WY&feature=sub

Read more closely. The events took place 60 miles out, in international waters, not within the 12 mile limit in which the Israelis /might/ be able to make a legitimate claim for control.
A flagged vessel in international waters is considered the sovereign territory of the country whose flag it bears, and any action taken against it is no different from that same action taken against the country whose flag it is.
Since you seem to need it spelled out: Israel planned and executed a military invasion of the sovereign territories of Greece, Turkey, and the United States.
You and I will just have to disagree because I believe that when under attack, anything at hand that can inflict damage on the attacker becomes a legitimate tool for self defense.

It would have been better for Israel not to have violated international law, yes.
I aware that Israel has difficulties, but I'm also aware that a considerable portion of those difficulties are the consequences of the choices they've made. IMO, the choices made in connection with this incident were poorly considered.

The ships ran no blockade, and there were no arms as such on the ships until the Israeli forces brought them on board. Once a fight starts, of course, everything within reach is a weapon.
BTW, you might find it informative to Google "USS Liberty" (with quotes) and do a bit of reading...
...because it's always good to know who the friendlies are, and aren't. Only the terminally naive lend more credibility to words than actions.
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Morris Dovey wrote:

But well within the 200-mile military exclusionary zone recognized by international law.

Absolutely not true. If it were, our customs inspectors could not enter the vessel and would have to treat it as a foreign embassy.

According to Israeli source, the combined "humanitarian" relief on all the ships involved in the incident totaled less than 10% of the humanitarian aid that crosses from Israel into Gaza EACH DAY.

Ah, the Liberty. You mean the electronic-monitoring, armed, warship cruising in a military exclusion zone? Investigations by both countries did not affix blame for the incident. Israel did pay reparations and admit "Our bad."
Mighty white of them, you ask me.
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On 6/2/2010 9:13 AM, HeyBub wrote:

You might want to read up on Admiralty law. A good starting point might be http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/Admiralty

Which statement carries remarkably little information. The most recent information from the UN indicates that the total aid (from all sources) is about 25% of the total needed.
I have no way of verifying either source, but my inclination is to give greater weight to the UN. YMMV.

Indeed. It's too bad their "whiteness" can't resurrect the 34 Americans they killed nor uninjure the 171 Americans they wounded.
It's all very well to be forgiving - that's something we do for ourselves in order not to carry a load of hate. But forgetting is an altogether different matter.
Remembering such events helps us to know where _not_ to place trust.
You may choose to take their word at face value; and you may choose to make/accept excuses for them.
I'd rather base my assessments on their actions.
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NOTICE: The discussion following concerns strictly the _legalities_ surrounding the incident. The 'ethics'/'moralities'/'rightness' are an entirely different matter.
It's a *BAD* situation, all around. Before and after this incident. For these kinds of reasons -- nobody else stepped up to actually -stop- the blockade runners (the U.S., Greece, and Turkey, did a lot of hand-wringing, and saying to the activists "I _areally -wish you wouldn't do this", but nobody actually forbade them from doing it -- Israel feels it is 'all alone' in dealing with these problems. That they cannot _rely_ on anybody else to help.
Given *that* it should be no surprise that they _don't_ take 'world opinion' into serious consideration when they're faced with a decision that may involve 'doing something unpopular'.
I don't necessarily _agree_ with their decisions, but I _do_ understand *how* they come to make them. While I _regret_ the decisions, *given*the*situation* I find it difficult to condemn them -- they are in a situation where they have a choice _only_ between a number of 'unpalatable' alternatives. When there is _no_ 'good solution', the -best- you can do is pick the one that appears to be the 'least bad'.
[. sneck .]

FWIW, a -large- number of nations now claim rights out to _200_ miles from their coast. The U.S. does so for a number or things. This may or may not be relevant to this situation..

True.
"Not exactly", I'm afraid. There are a large number of situations, recognized in the 'Law of the Sea', which constitute exceptions to that 'general rule'.

And Germany invaded the United States and England in 1942.
Snotty comment aside ....
Shall we look at the actions of the 'other guys' -- who sailed into a (declared) 'war zone' *against* the official word of their _own_ (U.S., Turkey, and Greece -- they -all- told the flotilla "don't go there"/ "don't do that" ) governments.
There is a *LOT* of treaty 'law' involving the conduct of military actions, and specifically including 'naval blockades', all of which is relevant to this situation.
Civilian craft that _refuse_to_turn_aside_ when informed that they are sailing in to an 'area of active hostilities' _are_ legitimate 'targets of war', -- they do -not- get a 'free pass' just because they are flying a different flag.

It is _arguable_, as a matter of maritime law, whether the boarding of the vessel sailing into the 'maritime exclusion zone', *after* being warned, AND given the opportunity to change course, constitutes an actual _attack_.
Significant evidence _does_ seem to support the assertation that the first people to employ actual violence were the 'activists' on the ship.

Excuuuuse me!!! What do you think sailing _warships_ into the territorial waters of the area that HAMAS claims' sovereignty' over _without_ the permission/consent of said 'sovereign' government would be?
And that's without considering the 'practical' matter of the added risk of attack from HAMAS forces on shore -- they could easily launch rocket attacks at the 'invading' warships.
Suppose those ships -were- stopped in HAMAS territorial waters, and shore- launched weapons _sunk_ one of those humanitarian aid ships. Who would have gotten the blame for -that- disaster? HAMAS, for attacking the 'invading' ships (even though the missed, and caused 'friendly fire' casualties)? or Israel for doing things "under the nose of HAMAS", and "provoking" the rocket attack?

In a situation like that, there are *NO* 'good choices'. You either 'stick to your guns', or you 'admit you are helpless" insofar as blocking the flow of 'contraband' to those who have declared themselves your deadly enemy.
If you accept the blockade operation as having a valid function, the decision to intercept and search the ships 'at some point' is understandable, and provided for under the laws of war.
AFAIK, Israel _did_ observe the 'formalities' in declaring the blockade, it was 'lawfully' done. Those that choose to attempt to circumvent that action, especially *WITHOUT* the support of their government (and where the government has specifically requested that they _not_ 'do that') have *no* basis to expect their government to take any action 'on their behalf'.

What constitutes a blockade? They were instructed by warcraft to turn aside, that they were heading for forbidden territory. To any 'reasonable person' that would be, at a minimum, 'strongly indicative", of an approach to a blockade.

Whether there _actually_ were or not, is comparatively insignificant, the fact remains that the blockade operator _did_not_know_ whether there were any or not. The function of a blockade is to ensure, by force _IF_NECESSARY_ that proscribed items do not pass to the 'enemy'. To do this requires checking -everything-, to *insure* no proscribed stuff is in the shipment.
The fact is, if the 'good guys' had "nothing to hide", as they claim, they *COULD* have voluntarily allowed the inspection, which would have established (if you believe their claims) that there was -no- contraband aboard, and they would have been allowed to go on their way.
GIVEN that they chose -not- do do so, one of two conclusions seems inescapable. A) there _was_ contraband aboard. B) the activists were MORE INTERESTED in a confrontation, than in delivering their humanitarian supplies.
If "B", well, they got their wish.
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Somebody decided that the boarding should take place at night. Had the Israelis waited until the ship was much closer, dawn would have passed.

How did you feel about the Mayaguez Incident? Or the U.S.S. Pueblo?
Or even the Cuban missile blockade?

Me too. Israel should learn from history. I don't think there's ever been a resolved conflict that was resolved by anything less than vanquishing the opponent.
Those that were "settled" by negotiation remain unsettled to this day: Pakistan-India, North & South Korea, Greek Cyprus vs Turkish Cyprus, Northern Aggressors and the Confederacy, etc.
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On Mon, 31 May 2010 21:59:48 -0700, Mark & Juanita

As evidenced by guns, knives, and clubs on a "humanitarian" convoy ship.

According to one source, the number of rockets and mortars landing on Israeli territory from Gaza since 2001 is 10,048. That's about ten K more than I'd have tolerated, were I Just Another Yahoo, I mean Netanyahu.
Those 2 countries need to do one of two things: Decide to have peace and do it, or decide to have war and get it over with.
-- A well-informed mind is the best security against the contagion of folly and of vice. The vacant mind is ever on the watch for relief, and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the languor of idleness. -- Ann Radcliffe
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Morris Dovey wrote:

The Israelis block NO relief effort. They do require that shipments to Gaza be inspected with a view toward prohibiting arms.
Remember, too, that Gaza shares a border with Egypt. Egypt is no less diligent about the things allowed to be imported into Gaza. There is, however, a small difference: Israel desires that Gaza have no capability to send rockets into Israel; Egypt wants the Palestinians to die.

Interestingly, when the West Bank (and Gaza) was under the control of Israel, the people living there had, objectively, a higher standard of living than much of the Arab world: low unemployment, greater life expectancy, lower infant mortality, universal schooling, universal suffrage*, and so on. Under the government of Hamas, well, .....
--
* Qualified: They couldn't vote for a member of the Knesset, but they could
elect their own mayors and minor officials.
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On 6/1/2010 7:50 AM, HeyBub wrote:

Appearances are deceiving, no?

Let's not include Egypt in this discussion. Start a new thread if you feel the need.

I agree that Israel has managed to do a measurably better job for Israelis, but I would expect that given the flow of wealth into the country. It's not clear to me that Israel's better results are a reflection of better governance.
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It *seems* to me that a great deal of the economic success stems from the use of the Palestinians as cheap labor.
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On 6/1/2010 10:34 AM, Morris Dovey wrote:

Whether it's "better" or not their "starvation" is the result of their own choices. They know what they have to do to not starve and they'd rather starve.

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Live Free Or Die?
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wrote:

Sometimes when you wage war, you die.
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On 6/1/2010 1:09 PM, J. Clarke wrote:

Rather like the soldiers at Valley Forge "choosing" to have cold feet, no?
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On 6/2/2010 2:38 PM, Morris Dovey wrote:

Yep, was their choice.
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In that sense, everything in life is a choice.
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