Dr. Sami Al-Arian Leaves The United States

unnamedIn the conclusion of ten years of intense litigation, Dr. Sami Al-Arian and his wife Nahla boarded a plane last night and left the United States for Turkey. He arrived in Istanbul a couple hours ago. I was Dr. Al-Arian’s lead criminal defense counsel in Virginia until all charges were eventually dropped by the United States Department of Justice against him. I have received many calls from the media over the last couple of days and I have declined to respond because Dr. Al-Arian was represented by an immigration law team after the criminal proceedings concluded. I wanted to defer to those lawyers in any media comments, as I have since handed over the case last year. Dr. Al-Arian issued the statement below this morning.


Dr. Al-Arian’s case raised troubling due process, academic freedom, and free speech issues. He is a Palestinian-American civil rights activist who was also a computer engineering professor at University of South Florida (USF). He had a successful academic career at USF and held permanent resident status since March 1989. He applied for U.S. citizenship and even campaigned for George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election.

Dr. Al-Arian was indicted in February 2003 on 17 counts under the Patriot Act, but a jury acquitted him on 8 counts and deadlocked on the remaining 9 counts. The trial was handled by Dr. Al-Arian’s Florida trial attorneys, the late Bill Moffitt and Linda Moreno, who did an incredible job.

It was later revealed that jury overwhelmingly supported acquittal. The jurors 10-2 for acquittal on the remaining counts. Tapped out of money and wanting closure, Dr. Al-Arian agreed to a plea bargain that admitted to one of the charges in exchange for a promise that after a maximum of incarceration of 57 months, he would be allowed to leave the country by April 2007. (Amnesty International would later condemn his incarceration as “gratuitously punitive” and inhumane). He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to contribute services to or for the benefit of the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a Specially Designated Terrorist organization, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. However, that contribution was described as hiring a lawyer for his brother-in-law during his immigration battle in the late 1990s; sponsoring a Palestinian historian in 1994 to conduct research in the U.S.; and withholding information from a U.S. journalist during a 1995 interview. Many noted at the time that none of those acts were clearly criminal.

Notably, many saw the deal as nothing more than the Justice Department seeking some face saving measure of punishment after its defeat in Tampa and many felt that Dr. Al-Arian should not have signed it. However, he wanted to continue with his academic career and be with his family, including young children. Yet, rather than fulfilling that commitment, the Justice Department called him to a grand jury for additional testimony in Northern Virginia. Dr. Al-Arian objected that he was assured that he would not be forced into any additional proceedings and many viewed the grand jury was a “perjury trap” where the prosecutors would charge on any statement that could be alleged to be inaccurate or untrue. He refused.

The Virginia litigation began in 2006 in Alexandria Virginia. The litigation would be intense for years as we sought to enforce his plea agreement but the federal court insisted that he would have to testify and the Justice Department secured a civil contempt order on November 16, 2006. This was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. It was after the Fourth Circuit decision that I was brought on a lead criminal defense counsel. The Justice Department continued to call Dr. Al-Arian and effectively prolong his incarceration under civil contempt rules.

Dr. Al-Arian engaged in a series of hunger strikes, including a 60-day hunger strike on January 22, 2007 in protest to his treatment and there was an international movement in support of his release.

In addressing the proceedings in Virginia, we took the unusual step of hiring a former FBI polygraphed to ask Dr. Al-Arian every known question about the investigation into an organization called IIIT in Virginia, purportedly the reason for his being called before the grand jury (Notably, not a single indictment for IIIT would come out of the grand jury proceedings which lasted for years and was viewed by many defense lawyers as a runaway investigation and fishing expedition). We even solicited from the Justice Department. The polygraph showed that Dr. Al-Arian had little knowledge of the matters under investigation and he passed every question as answering truthfully. We submitted the results to the Justice Department. We also received additional questions from the Justice Department and submitted a sworn affidavit on those questions. It was clear that Dr. Al-Arian was not withholding information. Indeed, any information that he had was ridiculously out of date given his years of incarceration in solitary confinement and tight restrictions on communications.

Eventually, the civil contempt sanction was lifted, but the Justice Department then, on June 26, 2008, indicted him on two counts of criminal contempt, for unlawfully and willfully refusing court orders that he testify. On September 2, 2008, we were able to secure his release from jail and a court order for Dr. Al-Arian to be subject to house arrest. It was a major change in the case. We were able to later lift the restrictions of monitoring on the home confinement.

On March 9, 2010, Judge Leonie Brinkema postponed the criminal contempt trial, pending our motion to dismiss the charges in the case on the grounds of the plea agreement, flaws in the indictment, prosecutorial abuse, selective prosecution and other grounds. We also asked the Justice Department to investigate the professional misconduct in the case (which it declined to do). The litigation over the indictment continued until, on June 27, 2014, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon D. Kromberg moved to dismiss the indictment.

Dr. Al-Arian leaves behind five children and grandchildren. His children are highly successful in their own right, including multiple books and impressive academic work. The family has been a rock of support for Dr. Al-Arian throughout these incredibly trying years. Nahla and the family formed a tight, protective circle to get through these traumatic years. After the release in 2008, Dr. Al-Arian became a doting grandfather and stayed with his children in Virginia.

I met with Dr. Al-Arian and Nahla shortly before they left the country. They were already missing their children and grandchildren, but excited to start a new chapter in their life. It is not clear whether he will resume teaching in Turkey but he is likely to continue his writing and lecturing in some form. Despite being subjected to extremely cruel treatment and conditions, he is not bitter and remains committed to the principles of freedom that first drew him to the United States. Indeed, his family is an American success story with five children who have secured advanced degrees from leading universities and will remain in the United States in teaching, journalism and other fields. It has been a particular pleasure to get to know them and watch their professional advancement over the course of this litigation.

The Al-Arian case will remain a chilling chapter in our history. The treatment of Dr. Al-Arian after his acquittal on most of the charges was widely viewed as a shocking abuse of the system and a flagrant violation of agreement reached with the Justice Department. The Justice Department put unprecedented effort into the Florida prosecution and suffered one of its greatest trial defeats in an area where convictions were taken for granted. The later proceedings were viewed as retaliatory and abusive by prosecutors. It also showed how the civil and contempt laws can be used to abuse individuals and leave them with little recourse or rights. Justice ultimately prevailed but the cost to Dr. Al-Arian and his family was prohibitively high. The Virginia litigation was not about Dr. Al-Arian’s views or associations. It was about due process and how we handle criminal trials and plea agreements in this country. The United States reached a deal with this man that committed his country to allowing him to leave following his jail stint. No matter how one feels about Dr. Al-Arian’s writings or beliefs, we should honor our agreements as a nation. Instead, the Justice Department broke that deal and then daisy-chained contempt citations to prolong his incarceration. It was abusive and it was wrong. It is now over.

Dr. Al-Arian and his wife will start anew in Turkey. He told me in our final meeting how very grateful he was to his many friends and supporters for what they gave to him. He remained optimistic about the future and spoke of his continued faith in the fundamental civil liberties that define our country. We spoke of how long this process proved since we first met in a holding cell in Virginia. At the time, he was weak from his hunger strike and we knew little about each other. Over the years, our respective families grew and the world has changed in so many different ways. It felt like a 1000 years ago when Sami was brought in from solitary confinement for our first meeting. I wish him and Nahla all the best in the next chapter of their life together. They clearly leave these shores with a heavy heart despite the pain of the prosecution. This country took much but also gave much to their family. They are now again fully in control of their future together.

Here is Dr. Al-Arian’s final statement:

February 4, 2015

A Statement by Dr. Sami A. Al-Arian

To my dear friends and supporters,

After 40 years, my time in the U.S. has come to an end. Like many immigrants of my generation, I came to the U.S. in 1975 to seek a higher education and greater opportunities. But I also wanted to live in a free society where freedom of speech, association and religion are not only tolerated but guaranteed and protected under the law. That’s why I decided to stay and raise my family here, after earning my doctorate in 1986. Simply put, to me, freedom of speech and thought represented the cornerstone of a dignified life.

Today, freedom of expression has become a defining feature in the struggle to realize our humanity and liberty. The forces of intolerance, hegemony, and exclusionary politics tend to favor the stifling of free speech and the suppression of dissent. But nothing is more dangerous than when such suppression is perpetrated and sanctioned by government. As one early American once observed, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Because government has enormous power and authority over its people, such control must be checked, and people, especially those advocating unpopular opinions, must have absolute protections from governmental overreach and abuse of power. A case in point of course is the issue of Palestinian self-determination. In the United States, as well as in many other western countries, those who support the Palestinian struggle for justice, and criticize Israel’s occupation and brutal policies, have often experienced an assault on their freedom of speech in academia, media, politics and society at large. After the tragic events of September 11th, such actions by the government intensified, in the name of security. Far too many people have been targeted and punished because of their unpopular opinions or beliefs.

During their opening statement in my trial in June 2005, my lawyers showed the jury two poster-sized photographs of items that government agents took during searches of my home many years earlier. In one photo, there were several stacks of books taken from my home library. The other photo showed a small gun I owned at the time. The attorney looked the jury in the eyes and said: “This is what this case is about. When the government raided my client’s house, this is what they seized,” he said, pointing to the books, “and this is what they left,” he added, pointing to the gun in the other picture. “This case is not about terrorism but about my client’s right to freedom of speech,” he continued. Indeed, much of the evidence the government presented to the jury during the six-month trial were speeches I delivered, lectures I presented, articles I wrote, magazines I edited, books I owned, conferences I convened, rallies I attended, interviews I gave, news I heard, and websites I never even accessed. But the most disturbing part of the trial was not that the government offered my speeches, opinions, books, writings, and dreams into evidence, but that an intimidated judicial system allowed them to be admitted into evidence. That’s why we applauded the jury’s verdict. Our jurors represented the best society had to offer. Despite all of the fear-mongering and scare tactics used by the authorities, the jury acted as free people, people of conscience, able to see through Big Brother’s tactics. One hard lesson that must be learned from the trial is that political cases should have no place in a free and democratic society.

But despite the long and arduous ordeal and hardships suffered by my family, I leave with no bitterness or resentment in my heart whatsoever. In fact, I’m very grateful for the opportunities and experiences afforded to me and my family in this country, and for the friendships we’ve cultivated over the decades. These are lifelong connections that could never be affected by distance.

I would like to thank God for all the blessings in my life. My faith sustained me during my many months in solitary confinement and gave me comfort that justice would ultimately prevail.

Our deep thanks go to the friends and supporters across the U.S., from university professors to grassroots activists, individuals and organizations, who have stood alongside us in the struggle for justice.

My trial attorneys, Linda Moreno and the late Bill Moffitt, were the best advocates anyone could ask for, both inside and outside of the courtroom. Their spirit, intelligence, passion and principle were inspirational to so many.

I am also grateful to Jonathan Turley and his legal team, whose tireless efforts saw the case to its conclusion. Jonathan’s commitment to justice and brilliant legal representation resulted in the government finally dropping the case.

Our gratitude also goes to my immigration lawyers, Ira Kurzban and John Pratt, for the tremendous work they did in smoothing the way for this next phase of our lives.

Thanks also to my children for their patience, perseverance and support during the challenges of the last decade. I am so proud of them.

Finally, my wife Nahla h​as been a pillar of love, strength and resilience. She kept our family together during the most difficult times. There are no words to convey the extent of my gratitude.

We look forward to the journey ahead and take with us the countless happy memories we formed during our life in the United States.

186 thoughts on “Dr. Sami Al-Arian Leaves The United States

  1. What can one say to this man. Sorry doesn’t cut it. While torturers run free and enjoy lives of luxury and respect, the DOJ spent years and millions persecuting him. Sorry doesn’t cut it but it is all I have. I am deeply sorry and ashamed. I wish you happiness in your new life.

  2. What does it say about the state of our system of justice when one find’s Erdogan’s Turkey a far more secure environment for the freedoms that the United States was founded on.

  3. “I came to the United States because I valued living as a free person, one who is able to advocate in a democratic society. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been turning into a less free society, a police and surveillance state, especially after 9/11.” — Sami Al-Arian

    And he is right. Most Americans aren’t paying attention.

    Sami Al-Arian, Professor Who Defeated Controversial Terrorism Charges, is Deported from U.S.

    By Murtaza Hussain and Glenn Greenwald

    From The Intercept posting:

    Speaking to The Intercept, Al-Arian said that he harbored no resentment despite his ordeal and that he now feels “at peace” with the conclusion of his legal ordeal.

    Describing his visceral, firsthand experience of America’s eroding democratic values Al-Arian said, “I came to the United States because I valued living as a free person, one who is able to advocate in a democratic society. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been turning into a less free society, a police and surveillance state, especially after 9/11.”

    “However, I’m very encouraged by the millions of Americans who are pushing back against the forces of intolerance and exclusionary politics. I leave hopeful that the tide is turning because as history has seen, when the truth is made known to them, Americans do not support oppression and discrimination.”

  4. I am of two minds here. One, I think plea bargains should be abolished. You prove it or you don’t. The professor made a calculated decision and that is on him. Two, I am surprised the Obama administration actually deported someone.

  5. If a government prosecutor gets you in his sights (for any reason), you are done for.

    Few of us have the resources to fight the government’s unlimited resources. The comment in the column: “Tapped out of money…” describes where most of us will be in fighting any government prosecution.

    Even if we win, we lose; we will have spent everything that we have and our families will pay the financial price into the next generation.

    Is that justice?

    Dr. Al-Arian must be a unique individual; most people in his shoes would be embittered and angry.

    Who wouldn’t be when vengeful bureaucrats destroy your life?

  6. Paul:

    Your comment: “The professor made a calculated decision and that is on him.” is naive.

    What do you do when you are out of money?

    After a valiant defense, you have emptied your bank accounts, your friends and family have contributed what they can, and the financial well is dry.

    Now you rely on a public defender – typically a young, overworked individual with little experience, who graduated at the bottom third of his law school class.

    Answer, you plea bargain because that way you will probably get out of prison before you die.

    You take an idealistic position, but the real world is a lot harsher than you comment suggests.

  7. Steve – I would like to move to the British system where lawyers take turns prosecuting and defending. I spent some brief time in the criminal legal system and was there long enough to leave the law for something cleaner.

    They plea bargain because it saves them time and money, you plea bargain because you might see sunlight before you die. I am against the process to begin with. It is perverted. As they say, there is no justice in the justice system.

    However, in this case, the professor agreed to a sentence of 57 months plus deportation. The fact that the DOJ screwed him after that is horrible, but at least they finally deported him.

  8. One of the problems w/ our justice system is the playing field is not level. In civil litigation, money means power over underfunded adversaries. In the criminal justice system, the govt. is the wealthiest litigant in EVERY case. The govt. has a money tree, called the Taxpayer Oak. And, they can shake it @ will.

  9. Tapped out of money and wanting closure, Dr. Al-Arian agreed to a plea bargain that admitted to one of the charges in exchange for a promise …

    That fact of life alone is something I find distressing. Yes, I get it when it is a career criminal, who is likely guilty of far more than he/she is charged with in a case. No, I don’t get it when it is a sole alternative when the money runs out, in the fce of ultiple over charges at hand. Prosecutors are thus inclined to over-charge, as an extortion tactic, when a realistic lessor charge would do and let the jury sort it out.

  10. Reading this history of these trials and the government abuse, I feel like I’ve just read a Kafka novelette set in a Stalinesque Russian milieu.

    Our elected government and the unelected bureaucrats who control our lives are out of control. Someone (somewhat facetiously) said the other day that Chris Kyle should have taken up his craft in Washington DC where he could have done the American people some real good.

    Note to the NSA etc…..he was joking and I am joking. (carefully looking over my shoulder and out the window)…….really just a joke….really.

  11. DBQ and Aridog – they deadlocked on 9 charges (out of 17). He took a plea to something that is really not a crime, but that is his choice, he is a fully functioning adult (college professor). He was able to muster an able legal team all the way through this, I am sure he would have been able to at a second trial.

  12. Paul C … you might be right in this case, but I am not privy to the defendant’s finances. I do have some experience dealing with the IRS, with very a good legal team, and know how it nearly tapped me out…fact is I did have to rely on a friend for financial assistance. That was some $60-$80K, at the time, I could have made far better use of, if not dueling with the IRS over issues that had nothing to do with any personal taxes I failed to pay. The implied charges were solely fiduciary in nature…e.g., I didn’t handle the funds of a company to their liking…and as the CFO at the time, I was the goat.

    A similar thing happened when I retired from my US Army position, also a fiduciary issue…and the same legal team brought an end to that as well, because some of the Army financial folks broke the law regarding the sanctity of formally obligated funds….so the US Bank came after me, since I was the “Authorizing Official” in the transaction. We did not fight US Bank, but the idiots in two offices who simply broke the law by using obligated funds for purposes other than those intended. Good lawyers are not in expensive, and at times you need the best you can afford. I would never ever have coped a plea to something I did not do. Without the very good legal team, that refusal could have been a disaster for me.

  13. It’s interesting that in an article this long and this detailed about the case of Dr. Al-Arian, it doesn’t mention once that he was, in fact, deported. Why?

  14. As an alumni from the University of South Florida, I initially was very shocked when news broke about this case. I have followed this case with interest and have even made visits to the mosque in Tampa where Sami Al-Arian attended.

    My sense is that Sami Al-Arian did work with the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine. He was just very smart about it and hid under the cover of free speech activism. Sami’s final statement here is very unsettling. He only talks about free speech, whereas his indictments involved working with Islamic Jihad. Why does he not use this opportunity to claim he never helped fund or provide services to the PIJ, or that he is against Islamic Jihad? If I were innocent, that is where I would direct my speech. Instead, his final statement reeks of a guilty man covering his tracks. All we have is his signed plea agreement where Al-Arian admits conspiring to help people associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and covering up his knowledge of the PIJ associations by lying. Sami Al-Arian admitted to being associated with PIJ during the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s. But, of course, we are all suppose to just accept that he lied in the plea bargain in order to stop further prosecution and to get out of jail and be deported. I guess our differences on this case depend upon which lies we choose to believe.

  15. Firstly, if Obama had stepped in he would have been the target of a barrage of ‘overstepping his authority’ attacks.

    Secondly, there is something inherently wrong with the system of law that allows some, the rich, corporations, and the DOJ to use it as a weapon against those with a limited arsenal. The guy was ruined financially and forced to give up for ‘his’ big picture. He was thrown out of the very ideal of why he came to the US.

    With as ambiguous a set of charges he should have been allowed to fight to the end with the government picking up the tab if he was proven innocent and him going to jail and being responsible for the tab if he was to be proven guilty.

    Lawyers take cases on contingency all the time. We are forced to listen adds of them along with cartoons convincing us to take pharmaceuticals unrelentingly. Why should this be so different. The system and the DOJ here differ from those countries we look down on only in the language they speak. If this was Russia, we would all be slapping ourselves on the back for not being like that, us. This is a travesty.

    The DOJ supposedly represents the law. Why should it be able to act outside of the law? Yeah, I know, we’re at war and this guy could be dangerous.

  16. Until voters show that abuses like this will negatively impact the supervising officials’ ability to be elected/re-elected, such abuses will continue. The same is true of police abuses on a local level. If the mayor and city council believe police abuse will lose significant numbers of votes, they hire and support a police chief who will institute policies which discourage such abuse.

  17. Aridog – I feel your pain about the IRS. In my one adversarial dealing with them I found they had no sense of humor.

  18. issac wrote: “The DOJ supposedly represents the law. Why should it be able to act outside of the law? Yeah, I know, we’re at war and this guy could be dangerous.”

    Sami Al-Arian founded a group on campus known as World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE). His director was Ramadan Shallah. Shallah eventually left Tampa and was revealed to be the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad just six months later. Don’t you think it would be appropriate to investigate Sami Al-Arian and his other associates living in the U.S. over this? When questioned about it, Al-Arian lied and claimed he did not know Shallah was involved in something actually happening (as if the Jihad he supports is only theoretical?). Wiretapping evidence in the trial proved he did know and had lied about it in order to cover it up. The trial also revealed that he used coded language in many of his communications. Al-Arian admits to this.

    Notably, in the plea bargain, Al-Arian admitted to knowing that his brother-in-law Mazen Al-Najjar, Bashir Nafi, and Ramadan Shallah, were associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership and that he acted to cover this up. He also admitted to knowing that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was committing violence.

  19. Paul C … my “pain” has been greatly relieved by winning in both cases cited…the IRS and the idiots in Finance vis a vis US Bank. First rule of dealing with the IRS…do not respond to any documents you receive…forward to good lawyers and let them become your proxy agents in accord with IRS rules. Among other things, if you respond in any way, directly, even just a grunt over the telephone, you just re-set the Statue of Limitations time clock to zero. They are very good with the “teases” in their missives…don’t respond, let your lawyers do it. That said, “if you can afford it” is prerequisite. I am honestly sorry for those who can’t afford it…and I was v-e-r-y one of them.

  20. This sounds like shocking prosecutorial misconduct.

    I don’t know what Dr Al-Arian’s opinions are, or if I agree with him. But he has the right to voice his opinion. I am very sorry that our country failed to uphold that right, and treated him unfairly. Thank goodness a jury did the right thing.

    This is a harbinger of times to come unless we get serious about protecting our right to free speech.

  21. I would love to hear Professor Turley address some of Al-Arian’s speech, such as:

    “”Jihad is our path. Victory to Islam. Death to Israel. Revolution. Revolution until victory. Rolling to Jerusalem.”

    ““Let us continue the protests. Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.” ”

    Here is some more disturbing background information about Sami Al-Arian:

    Established in 1986 by Sami Al-Arian and Hussam Jubara, the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP) was promoted as a philanthropic advocacy group devoted to alleviating the suffering of Palestinian women and children. In reality, the organization served as an American front for the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad. At a 1991 conference in Cleveland, Ohio, a lecturer introducing Al-Arian as the ICP President candidly called the Committee “the active arm of the Jihad movement in Palestine.” “We like to call it the Islamic Committee for Palestine here for security reasons,” he added. Shortly after being introduced that evening, Al-Arian declared, “Let us continue the protests. Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.”

    In addition to financing Palestinian suicide bombers, ICP organized rallies and sponsored a number of conferences throughout the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. PIJ materials and emblems were prominently displayed at these events, where known terrorists were among the attendees and keynote speakers alike. Featured speakers at ICP conferences included: Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, leader of the Islamic Group and mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Sheikh Abdel Aziz Odeh, the spiritual leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ); Mohammad Al-Asi, a Hezbollah-linked radical imam who used an ICP event as a forum to exhort Muslims to create a “war front for the Americans in the Muslim world”; Abd Al-‘Aziz Al’Awda, Islamic Jihad’s “spiritual leader”; and Muhammad ‘Umar, whose Islamic Liberation Party seeks to overthrow secular government institutions throughout the Middle East.

    ICP also invited several guest speakers who could not attend its conferences, including PIJ’s then-leader Fathi Shikaki, and Osama bin Laden’s ideological mentor and al Qaeda co-founder Abdullah Azzam.

    ICP functioned as a sister organization to another Sami Al-Arian creation: the World Islam Study Enterprise (WISE). Through ICP’s and WISE’s pretense of legitimacy, Al-Arian was able to secure visas for terror-related individuals seeking to gain entry into the United States. Among these was Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, who served as WISE’s Director of Administration and became PIJ’s worldwide leader in 1995 (when Fathi Shikaki was assassinated).

    Shallah’s elevation within PIJ prompted a federal investigation into ICP and WISE. In a 1995 affadavit, William West of the Immigration and Naturalization Service wrote: “I have probable cause to believe that ICP and WISE were utilized by Sami Al-Arian and Ramadan Abdullah Shallah as ‘fronts’ in order to enable individuals to enter the United States, in an apparent lawful fashion, despite the fact that these individuals were international terrorists.”

    ICP and WISE were financed by the Virginia-based SAAR Network, which was the target of U.S. federal raids in March 2002, on suspicion that it was funding terrorism.

    http://discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6385

  22. davidm2575

    If what you say, that he lied, and it can be proven irrefutably to be true, then he should be subject to the appropriate laws. And, if he did indeed break these laws then he should be deported, after serving the appropriate time in jail.

    However, from Turley’s piece it appears that questions were yet to be ruled on, through the full extent of the full potential of a defendant to defend his or her self, had yet to be fully resolved. If what you state is true but with the caveat that appeals were possible and the defendant could not afford to proceed then what I wrote still pertains.

    The essence of my point is that the law is often not equal and blind. This blog is one continuing recording of the law, the administration (on both political sides), the DOJ, the police bullying the citizen into compromising or just plain losing when the citizen is often in the right. This pertains to those with bottomless pits of money to pay lawyers to crush individuals and/or smaller groups regarding patent rights or any other questions that need to be decided in a court of law.

    One of the attributes of law is power. Relinquishing that power is often seen as a greater weakness than perverting he law. The unspoken question is if those who wield the law admit that they were wrong then couldn’t they have been wrong before? It seems that most Americans believe that if the law is perverted just once then inalienable rights and all that is held sacred is compromised. It also seems that perverting all that is sacred is an option those in power, publicly as well as privately, through political, administrative, and/or financial advantage do on a regular basis.

    JT may be missing some stuff here. You may be missing some stuff here. But America is certainly missing some stuff here.

  23. We have been following this from Remulak since it broke back in 2003 or so. The Islamic Revolution has come a long way. We thought this guy was in bed with the terrorists. We dont know what the American government knew or thought. You folks in America need to air all that is known about this guy for if he was a terrorist then you failed in your efforts to prosecute and things like 9/11 are on the horizon. Or Verizon. But Verizon is a computer or something isn’t it? This guy is going to Turkey for a reason. Deported? Yes. Better safe than sorry there? No. Erdogan going to be kind to him?

  24. “One, I think plea bargains should be abolished. You prove it or you don’t. The professor made a calculated decision and that is on him.”

    Mr. Schulte

    That doesn’t seem like a terrible idea for the overzealous and political prosecutors of our time. Problem is, there would be another period of mass incarceration. Simply look at this blog. You don’t think we as Americans (and our glorious system) would not continue to lock-up black and brown men and poor people?

    Indeed this decision is on the professor (as counsel). Moreover, his propagation of broader messages that are drenched in jingoism (founding fathers especially) help permeate false views about Muslims. Only when someone appears brilliant and civilized did they receive the requisite attention.

  25. Plea bargains are a bandaid on a festering sore in the justice system. Efficiency in running the perps through the system should never be an ingredient in justice. Incompetent prosecutors and court appointed defense attorneys should never be an ingredient in justice.

    The main problem with some institutions is that they hinge on a degree of sanctity that allows their cancers to metastasize. Sometimes the obvious should be allowed to go toe to toe with the sacred.

  26. Having worked in a prosecutor’s office, I can say there are good plea bargains and bad ones. The goal should be to minimize the bad ones, and keep the good ones.

  27. Inga wrote: “David are you trying to say Professor Turley defended someone who actually enabled terrorists?”

    Yes.

    Did you miss that fact in his article? Sami Al-Arian was adjudicated guilty of helping Islamic Jihadists in Palestine. The organization Sami helped was a terrorist group responsible for over 100 killings in Israel. It goes along with his free speech activity, such as saying, “Let us continue the protests. Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.”

    At the mosque where Sami Al-Arian served as an imam, a guy there actually threatened to rape my daughter. He was not afraid to say it right on camera. These are the kind of people we are fighting.

    And you can be sure that Sami Al-Arian believes homosexuals should be executed, and he believes in the subjugation of women too. These are things that Muslims agree upon. Muslims also believe in a doctrine called Taqiyya, which justifies deceiving non-Muslims. Muslims can make friends outwardly but never inwardly with non-Muslims.

    “Let believers not take for friends and allies infidels instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah…” Quran 3:28

    Al-Tabari’s (838-923 AD) Tafsir says: “If you [Muslims] are under their [infidels’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them, with your tongue, while harbouring inner animosity for them… Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels in place of believers – except when infidels are above them [in authority]. In such a scenario, let them act friendly towards them.”

    This teaching within Islam is what we see played out by Sami Al-Arian. He was fearing for himself, therefore pretending loyalty to the enemy (America, Israel, etc.). Islamic law allows him even to deny his Muslim faith in order to secure his deception.

    You have to accept that Sami Al-Arian either lied in his initial defense, or he lied in his pleading guilty. Apparently Professor Turley believes Sami lied in his plea of guilt. I think he told the truth in his guilty plea and lied in his previous pleas of innocence. The wiretappings proved he knew more than what he had previously acknowledged.

  28. david – I believe that everyone is due a defense in court, but like you I think Sami comes to this with very dirty hands.

  29. DavidM is presenting accurate FACTS whereas the rest of you are just presenting your opinions and arguments. FACT 1 is that Sami Al Arian was not a United States citizen. FACT 2 is that Sami AL Arian voluntarily pled guilty to a federal felony involving terrorism. FACT 3 is that Sami Al Arian AGREED to a judicial order of removal and deportation. FACT 4 is that Sami Al Arian has been deported. FACT 5 is that virtually everyday our government deports aliens on the grounds that they were previously convicted of a felony. Sami Al Arian was not treated any different. HE PLED GUILTY. End of arguments. Read Judge Moody’s comments about Sami Al Arian right before he was sentenced to 57 months imprisonment if you want more FACTS. Thank you DavidM!

  30. Paul
    David

    It is possible that this guy is the insidious 5th columnist that David portrays him to be or he could be someone associated with Islam, perhaps a member of the same mosque and other groups as terrorists, unknowingly, or knowingly hoping to keep out of it. Giving money to large organizations that then funnel some to smaller more dangerous ones is one thing, perpetrating or supporting terrorist acts is another.

    Regardless of what anyone thinks of Obama, he was a member of a church that had a nut case as a priest. Most religions include branches that harbor dangerous people. He extricated himself from the situation as it became apparent that the guy was nuts. How can he extricate himself from the past when perhaps his involvement with this leader focused on the more benign aspects such as Christian beliefs and doctrines. Washington is full of guys that belong to groups and temples that include and are sometimes lead by scumbags. Lieberman comes to mind with the Jewish intellectual giant that advises him on Saturday then peeks up women’s skirts when he gets a chance. Scratch a ______ and you get a_____. You fill in the blanks.

    If one is to be tarred with the same brush as the worst of the group then Oliver North and Ronald Reagan should have gone to prison. Dozens around and including Nixon should have gone to jail. Several dozen along with William Calley should have spent life in prison. In this complex and secretive world, most leaders, religious, judicial, political, and industrial would be convicted if one was guilty by association.

    People when asked to choose between an ideal, religion, country, or any doctrine they feel strongly about will, for the most part choose the ideal over what they may feel personally, internally. Millions go to war and slaughter innocents as a means to an end.

    JT rarely gets subjective and he might very well be taking this too personally. He may be looking through a legal glass darkly. However, his main complaint is that this guy was pushed through the system without being able to be either fully convicted or fully exonerated.

    Hard to say now, the sacred DOJ made a deal that very well served them more than the guy going to Turkey. In fact, it does appear that getting rid of someone that could cause a lot of embarrassment stands as the prime mover here. If the guy was as bad as David states, then why not take it through, on the government’s nickel and prove that this time might is right. The DOJ is sorely in need of a victory like that.

  31. issac – Obama left his church after being in attendance for many years. Oprah caught on the guy was a nut case pretty fast and left. There are others who have all the relevant dates, but the Rev. Wright was trouble for as long as Obama was a member of congregation. He preaches “Liberation Theology.”

  32. Paul-

    ” One, I think plea bargains should be abolished.”

    Are you an attorney? If not, you should admit to yourself that you lack the expertise to hold a strong opinion on the subject.

    “They plea bargain because it saves them time and money”

    They also plea bargain because those that fight criminal charges stand a much better chance in trial than what they are offered as a plea bargain. It allows people to do time for bullsh!t charges.

    Steve-

    “Now you rely on a public defender – typically a young, overworked individual with little experience, who graduated at the bottom third of his law school class”

    Actually, that’s not the case for Federal public defenders. They tend to be highly competent attorneys.

    David-

    “My sense is that Sami Al-Arian did work with the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine. ”

    I’m shocked! Who could have seen that coming from you? In case you don’t understand sarcasm- of course you feel that way. You’re the one person in America that stills supports the Iraq war.

    “He was just very smart about it and hid under the cover of free speech activism.”

    Translated -“He didn’t break the law, but he would have liked to, in my opinion, so a politically motivated prosecution was completely justifiable!”

    ” He only talks about free speech, whereas his indictments involved working with Islamic Jihad. ”

    That’s hilarious! To you, it’s “unsettling” when someone prosecuted for free speech refers to that prosecution for free speech rather than launching into a diatribe about Islamic Jihad.

    “Why does he not use this opportunity to claim he never helped fund or provide services to the PIJ”

    Because he doesn’t have any moral or legal responsibility to keep denying bogus charges for the rest of his life just because the extreme right lunatic fringe demands it of him ?

    ” If I were innocent”

    Interesting. So you are publicly admitting that you are NOT innocent of conspiring to advance Islamic Jihad? I knew it.

    ” Instead, his final statement reeks of a guilty man covering his tracks. ”

    Coming from a man with a proven track record of zero objectivity, that perception doesn’t hold much weight.

    ” I guess our differences on this case depend upon which lies we choose to believe.”

    Well, that and the inability of the government to prove it’s case after 12 years and millions of dollars spent.

    ” Shallah eventually left Tampa and was revealed to be the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad just six months later. Don’t you think it would be appropriate to investigate Sami Al-Arian and his other associates living in the U.S. over this?”

    Without considering the fact that Israel has been in violation of international law since at least 1973 with an overt military campaign to seize land, displace Palestinians, and deny the state of Palestine the right to existence that would make a military response by Palestine completely appropriate, an investigation would be a reasonable response. However, there’s a wide divide between an investigation and over a decade of politically motivated, malicious prosecution.

    “When questioned about it, Al-Arian lied and claimed he did not know Shallah was involved in something actually happening ”

    Cite sources. You’re far too partisan to take your word for it.

    “Wiretapping evidence in the trial proved he did know and had lied about it in order to cover it up.”

    Which trial, the one in which he was acquitted of 8 charges and the jury failed to come to a decision on any of the others, or the trial in which the judge felt the prosecutors were overzealous and refused to make any ruling on the case for five years?

    “The trial also revealed that he used coded language in many of his communications. Al-Arian admits to this.”

    Unless you can cite sources, you’re lying. You’re hyper-partisan to the extent that you’ve ruined your credibility.

    “Notably, in the plea bargain,. . .”

    You mean the plea bargain that he was forced to accept in order to resolve the matter because a judge had refused to rule on the matter for five years?

    Typical of your routinely partisan presentation of the events, you have neglected to mention that he was never found to have provided any aid, or been a member of any terrorist organization.

    About your propaganda efforts here- You shoot yourself in the foot by becoming reasonably informed and offering logical (though still dishonest) arguments. Right-wing propaganda relies heavily on emotionally charged rhetoric that is devoid of all reason. The danger from rightie propagandists like you is that you will use reasonable arguments to sway other righties, which then exposes the average right winger to the thought necessary for an argument to be reasonable. If rational arguments only come from the left, then the minions of right wing dupes will be hostile towards reasonable arguments in general. If another right wing dupe presents sound arguments that they are sympathetic to, that will inspire sympathy to reasonable arguments in general, and build competence to understand and make reasonable arguments themselves. So, though a dishonest, though logical argument might win you the battle, it will cost you the war. Right wing propaganda relies upon their herd of ignorant reactionaries being incapable of thought.

  33. Paul

    People go to church as much for the community aspect as for being around people who are exactly like them. The more extreme the cult the more everyone is or has to be just like the other. Obama’s congregation seemed to have a reasonable spread from the nut case to people who just needed ‘communitas’, like most. For those with the objective of nailing him, tarring and feathering him, this is an ideal circumstance. Otherwise, he may simply have just been going to church.

    What about Lieberman and the head of his synagogue?

    The right wing of the US is well packed with religious fanatics. The tabloids would go out of business without these guys. I have never read anything about Obama that lead me to believe that he was anything other than an average ‘a la carte’ Christian.

  34. BillT wrote: “Read Judge Moody’s comments about Sami Al Arian right before he was sentenced to 57 months imprisonment if you want more FACTS.”

    Good point, Bill. Judge Moody sat thru the trial and concluded that Dr. Al-Arian is a master manipulator, a director and active leader of a terrorist organization who constantly lied about his involvement.

    Following are Judge Moody’s words for those interested:

    =======================
    Dr. Al-Arian, as usual, you speak very eloquently. I find it interesting that here in public in front of everyone you praised this country, the same country that in private you referred to as “the great Satan”; but that’s just evidence of how you operate in the face of your friends and neighbors.

    You are a master manipulator. You looked your neighbors in the eyes and said you had nothing to do with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This trial exposed that as a lie.

    Your back-up claim is that your efforts were only to provide charities for widows and orphans. That, too, is a lie. The evidence was clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. You were on the board of directors and an officer, the secretary. Directors control the actions of an organization, even the PIJ; and you were an active leader.

    When Iran, the major funding source of the PIJ, became upset because the PIJ could not account for how it was spending its money, it was to your board of directors that it went to demand changes. Iran wanted its representative to have a say in how its money was spent.

    To stop that, you leaped into action. You offered to rewrite the bylaws of the organization. You proposed that all PIJ funds be controlled by a three-person committee, of which you would be one of the three. You made calls to fellow directors all over the world to gather support. This committee would account for Iran’s money, all to keep the money flowing.

    But when it came to blowing up women and children on buses, did you leap into action then? Did you offer to form a committee to protect the innocent? Did you call your fellow directors and enlist their aid in stopping the bombing or even to stop the targeting of the innocent? No. You lifted not one finger, made not one phone call. To the contrary, you laughed when you heard about the bombings, what you euphemistically call “operations.” You even pleaded for donations to pay for more such operations.

    I’ll give a specific example: On January 22nd, 1995, in Beit Lid, there was a double suicide bombing claimed by the PIJ. The bombings occurred at a busy bus transfer station. People, including women and children, were milling about waiting for their buses.

    When one pulled up — not a particular bus, a random bus — the first bomb was detonated, killing passengers and bystanders alike. The second bomber waited ten minutes or so and blew up the ambulance crews and other bystanders who had rushed in to help the wounded and dying.

    Anyone with even the slightest bit of human compassion would be sickened. Not you. You saw it as an opportunity to solicit more money to carry out more bombings.

    You composed a letter to a member of the Kuwait legislature. Your true attitude is best described by your own words, and I quote: “The latest operation carried out by the two mujahideen who were martyred for the sake of God is the best guide and witness to what the believing few can do in the face of Arab and Islamic collapse at the heels of the Zionist enemy and in keeping the flame of faith, steadfastness, and defiance glowing. I call upon you to try to extend true support of the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue.”

    And yet, still in the face of your own words, you continue to lie to your friends and supporters, claiming to abhor violence and to seek only aid for widows and orphans.

    Your only connection to widows and orphans is that you create them, even among the Palestinians; and you create them, not by sending your children to blow themselves out of existence. No. You exhort others to send their children. Your children attend the finest universities this country has to offer while you raise money to blow up the children of others.

    You are indeed a master manipulator.
    ==========================

    http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/71.pdf#page=3

  35. It’s time to end U.S. involvement in wars for izzuhrul, and time to stop U/S. intel cooperation/non-interference with Israeli false flag operations e.g. 9-11, takin’ care of bidness (again) way down in Ike n Tina Turner (Ahhgentiner).

  36. Jeez, but he’s still a friend of JT. Interesting. And, then there are his kids, still here. As the French say, Quelle Salad.

  37. Wow, I wonder how this sits with the Republican Congress and Professor Turley defending him. I wonder if they agree with those of you here who think Dr. Al-Arian is a terrorist enabler.

  38. Anarchist 2.0 – I hold strong opinions on a lot of things. Plea bargains are one of them. People who tell me I cannot hold strong opinions is another.😉

  39. Bill T and David-

    ” FACT 1 is that Sami Al Arian was not a United States citizen. ”

    Thanks for the meaningless factoid. I’m sure that’s a real smoking gun in loony rightie land

    “FACT 2 is that Sami AL Arian voluntarily pled guilty to a federal felony involving terrorism.”

    Because he had to in order for a judge to enter a ruling and allow him to finally get out of the hellhole of a nation that kept him in solitary for three years despite no criminal conviction and despite no evidence linking him to terrorism.

    “FACT 3 is that Sami Al Arian AGREED to a judicial order of removal and deportation.”

    Which, considering the horrendous persecution by our Federal government, is completely understandable. They drained his finances, ruined his career, kept him illegally incarcerated in harsh conditions for years without a criminal conviction, claimed to offer him immunity and then charging him with contempt for acting in accordance with the terms of that immunity. . .

    And here’s a FACT that mysteriously escaped your notice-

    “after more than 10 years of tapping the phone conversations of al-Arian and his family — there was no evidence directly tying him to a single terrorist attack.”
    http://electronicintifada.net/content/despite-no-conviction-sami-al-arian-remains-us-prison/7655

    David-

    “Good point, Bill. Judge Moody sat thru the trial and concluded that Dr. Al-Arian is a master manipulator, a director and active leader of a terrorist organization ”

    And he arrived at that decision despite the lack of evidence, which provides even more evidence that the prosecution was politically motivated.

    From Moody’s comments-

    “The evidence was clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. ”

    Apparently not, since a jury of his peers acquitted him on that charge (along with 7 others, one of which stated- ”

    “They have so little on [Al-Arian] that I’m disappointed. Most of us think he gave in because he was so sick of being in jail.””
    http://www.sptimes.com/2006/04/23/Hillsborough/In_his_plea_deal__wha.shtml

    You give a perfect example of why you righties are so dangerous to a free society- you act as an apologist for any breach of constitutional rights, no matter how heinous, if you believe it offers an opportunity to take revenge on someone you don’t like. There is no little brown fella in a turban anywhere south of the equator that is as dangerous to America as you fascist righties are.

  40. issac – supposedly Obama was in regular attendance except for the days when the Rev Wright went ‘bats**t crazy.’ He missed those days according to him.

  41. In Judge Moody’s comments are conclusions that seem to stem from his interpretation of the arguments against Al-Arian combined with emotion and no small degree of anger. However damming the letter to Kuwait is, Al-Arian’s participation in groups with appendages involved in terrorist activities, the argument set forth by JT seems to revolve around procedure and how the ideals of American free speech, opinion, and due process of law apply.

    We see this constantly in the theater of American justice as well as in like minded countries. People with dubious ideals are protected by due process regardless of how close they are to criminals. In the end, the question remains, did Al-Arian benefit from the same adherence to the law by his accusers as would someone else in different circumstances?

    Americans give millions to Israel to fund jet fighters that slaughter thousands of innocent women and children. That’s OK because America is Israel’s ally. Americans openly propose the violent end of Palestinians and their cause. As abhorrent as blowing up busses is, seen from a purely objective viewpoint it is no different than sending a missile into a school because the enemy is using it to hide weapons. The pilot knows it’s a school. Israel knows it’s a school. Americans know it’s a school. The hatred and slaughter is the same. There are two sides, each sees the other as evil and their cause as just. Then there is the due process of the law. Quelle Salad.

  42. Anarchist, Pogo would have had him executed. That coming from an MD, no less. Right wing loony land is correct.
    ************************************

    on 1, February 5, 2015 at 7:23 pmPogo Hears a Who
    Having read Judge Moody’s comments, he should have been executed rather than deported.

  43. Paul-

    ” People who tell me I cannot hold strong opinions is another.”

    An uninformed opinion is worthless, and a strongly held and uninformed opinion is dangerous. Despite what our culture would lead one to believe, we have no right to an opinion on any matter which we haven’t informed ourselves on.

  44. I find this article interesting. “The Justice Department” genera is constantly used as the primary agency. What I find missing is the primary person in that agency, who shall remain anonymous and still has the ability to destroy anyone that he/she choses without any recourse.
    He/she is just a agency employee and cannot be held libel for his/her conduct , as this shown , in this case. DOJ does have immunity as does the State Department and many other anonymous agencies throughout our Government.
    Did this case have any proof that this gentleman is or was indeed in support of Jihad? It appears that this case is vengeance by one employee , who found themselves in a very, very embarrassing situation , of their own making with out taking ownership and who has the unbridled power to destroy anyone for any reason.
    That is the fear that every American Citizen feels hanging over their heads! We the people have heard all the excuses but no proof of many of the actions these government agencies make? TSA an agency that has blossomed from 9/11, waiting in the wings, knowing what was to occur before the actual event!

  45. Inga-

    “Anarchist, Pogo would have had him executed.”

    For a rightie, that was an informed opinion. Calling for capital punishment after reading someone’s opinion, even if that opinion does make it clear that is derived from anger at constitutionally protected speech that rather than evidence, is practically scholarly research for a modern conservative.

  46. Anarchist 2.0 – If Sami had a bench trial he would have been found guilty of at least several of the charges. He got a hung jury on 9 charges. The government had the opportunity to retool its case and go after him again on all 9. 57 months was a gift.

    What I have a problem with is holding him after that, but then the Obama administration has played fast and loose with deportation since he got in office. So I am not surprised.

    I did find his going to the incredibly free country of Turkey a surprise, though.

  47. Anarchist 2.0 – I am an egalitarian. My opinion is as good as anyone else’s as long as we are talking opinions. And as a citizen and tax payer I pay for the decisions of those plea bargains, good or bad. However, my opinion on plea bargains is based on prosecutors over charging and then offering a plea bargain to people who may not have done it to begin with. If you like you can tell me why prosecutors should over charge and then offer plea bargains and why it is good for the public at large.

  48. David went down to Tampa to personally investigate this case? Looks like David has more files on this man than Turley or the other team. David took his daughter with him when confronting (can’t have been too ‘friendly’ a conversation) the imam? Why would he do that?

    Sounds like a man with a bizarro obsession. Really bizarre. Really. Fanatic comes to mind.

  49. “And as a citizen and tax payer I pay for the decisions of those plea bargains, good or bad. However, my opinion on plea bargains is based on prosecutors over charging and then offering a plea bargain to people who may not have done it to begin with.”

    Mr. Schulte

    Well said.

  50. Paul-

    “If Sami had a bench trial he would have been found guilty of at least several of the charges. ”

    The opportunity for unjust prosecution at the hands of a judge is so well known that our constitution grants us the right to a jury of our peers. Would you toss that wisdom of our forefathers away just so you could convict one man?

    ” He got a hung jury on 9 charges.”

    While being acquitted of the 8 most serious charges.

    ” 57 months was a gift.”

    From a justice department so blatantly psychopathic, and so lacking in regard for the law as ours revealed itself to be, escaping the electric chair was a gift.

    “I did find his going to the incredibly free country of Turkey a surprise”

    Our government can’t just deport him to wherever they feel like. The receiving state has to agree to take him, which limits the options.

    The statement- ” I am an egalitarian.” Is particularly confusing when made right after saying- ” I advocate a non-violent end to Palestine.”. So, does no Nation have a right to exist, or are you just lying to yourself when you claim to be egalitarian?

    ” My opinion is as good as anyone else’s as long as we are talking opinions.”

    All opinions are equal in the sense that everyone has the right to become informed on any matter they choose to present an opinion on, but that equality vanishes when one chooses not to exercise that right but rather just waste the time of others with an ignorant opinion.

    “my opinion on plea bargains is based on prosecutors over charging and then offering a plea bargain to people who may not have done it to begin with. ”

    And you have a valid point (one which I made earlier in this thread, by the way). I have that same concern, and I see other positive benefits to ending the practice of plea bargains, like police ending the practice of making bogus arrests because each one will result in the expense of a full trial. However, I see the potentially negative results as well, like the financial impact of defendants having to cover the enormous cost of a trial, and the necessity to completely rewrite the penalties for every crime. Most importantly, I see that as a layman, I really have no idea what the other potential repercussions could be.

  51. pogo-

    “They count on due process to bind us from self defense.”

    That settles it then, let’s abandon everything about our way of life that makes it worth fighting for so that we can ease your paranoia.

    Or, alternately, you could grow a pair and quit whining like a little feeble little schoolgirl that saw a spider.

  52. Anarchist

    Thank you for your recommendation. I am currently writing a movie script that I think you would be perfect for, it features a genius of superior wit and intellect who uses his uncanny abilities to protect ‘our way of life.’

    Aided by his loyal sidekick Inga, he endeavors to show that he ‘has a pair’ and ain’t no schoolgirl and is a manly manly man that can transform Islam into a Down’s syndrome group hug, even though at present they burn people alive and cut their heads off.

    At the end of the movie he will leave us with a profound thought provoking and politically correct statement such “grow a pair” or “quit whining like a little feeble little schoolgirl that saw a spider”.

    An important part of the character development would be the growing relationship between yourself and Inga the sock puppet. The movie will be titled ‘Grow a Pair.’

    I hope you avail yourself of this opportunity.

  53. pogo-

    “I am currently writing a movie script that I think you would be perfect for, it features a genius of superior wit ”

    I can already tell you’re in over your head

    ” even though at present they burn people alive”

    Sort of like we do, but on a much, much smaller scale. As long as we’re loading drones with white phosphorous hellfire missiles that we routinely fire into civilian populations, we don’t have the moral high ground from which we can legitimately protest that barbaric practice.

    “I hope you avail yourself of this opportunity.”

    It sounds tempting, but we’d need a new writer to get this off the ground. The current writer is a bit of a reactionary spastic that would light his grandmother on fire and kick her down a flight of stairs to prevent the possibility of an Islamic jihadist lighting her on fire and then kicking her down a flight of stairs. I don’t think he’s the man for job.

  54. Pogo – if I could give a note for your script. I think it should be “quit whining like a feeble little schoolgurl seen a spider.” :)

  55. LOL, Pogo! Inga isn’t the sock puppet, I’m the real deal. Pogo, didn’t you have an avatar with Pogo the cuddly possum donning a black leather hood, holding a beheading sword? I recall seeing that as one of your avatars featuring that cute Pogo. It would be apropos considering your eagerness to put Dr. Al- Arian to death.

  56. Arachnid

    Thank you for the excellent suggestion. I recently decided to quit my job as head assistant chef in charge of sprinkles at Dunkin Donuts and focus full time on my movie script career.

    If I had friends they would ask me “Pogo, what is the secret behind your champagne quality movie writing?” and I would explain to them that it is just a gift and that some people are naturally born with an incredible creative spark while others just get to watch the movie about Arachnid the Genius with Igna.the Puppet of Socks.

  57. Ogop recently quit his job of Doctor of Mercy and embraced his new role of executioner of Muslim college professors.

  58. Pogo – I could easily see this on Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The Puppet of Socks vs. the Arachnid. Roger Corman would shoot it for 1/2 a mill.

  59. Anachronist

    In addition to Chief Donut Sprinkler, I have been moonlighting as a Magic 8 Ball writer.

    Here are some of my best:
    Concentrate and ask again.
    Signs point to yes.
    Ask again later.

    Magic 8 Ball would I think make a good random movie line generator.

  60. Pogo – there should be an international agreement that any film that is shown on MST3K has all prints burned afterwards. My God the films are soooooo bad.😀

  61. Anarchist wrote:
    ————-
    From Moody’s comments-

    “The evidence was clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. ”

    Apparently not, since a jury of his peers acquitted him on that charge (along with 7 others, one of which stated- ”

    “They have so little on [Al-Arian] that I’m disappointed. Most of us think he gave in because he was so sick of being in jail.””
    ————

    Not everybody has the background and intellect to understand shell companies and how they work to hide where funds actually end up. The evidence showed funds being collected for widows and orphans in Palestine, but half of it ending up going to terror organizations. It also showed Sami Al-Arian attempting to get money from Iran to support his organizations and shell companies that he incorporated, presumably so he could help more terror activities. While his words are protected speech, the content of that speech is pertinent to understanding his motives and what he supports. He clearly made speeches supporting terror, also calling America the Great Satan and calling for the death of America and Israel. Video was presented where Sami was introduced as a leader of Islamic Jihad in Palestine, something that Sami Al-Arian admits was true in his plea bargain.

    In the article you quote from, the very next juror (Char) said the following:

    “Like another person on the jury, I was convinced Mr. Al-Arian was still working with the PIJ after it was illegal. He was a very smart man and knew how not to be obvious. For me, the absence of evidence didn’t mean there was no evidence. For me, it suggested a coverup, which he admitted to, in the plea agreement.”

    The problem with convicting a man like Sami Al-Arian is the same problem with convicting a mafia crime lord or a mobster like Al Capone. If the mafia godfather simply orders criminal activity and pays the criminals who do it, and later he and others lie about it, how can a court tie him to any specific crime? He may fund the criminal activity, and he may direct criminal activity, but are his hands dirty? How do you prove it? With Al Capone, they failed again and again until they decided they would get him on tax evasion. Some mafia leaders are never convicted.

    Anarchist quotes the following: “after more than 10 years of tapping the phone conversations of al-Arian and his family — there was no evidence directly tying him to a single terrorist attack.”

    This is sophistry. There may not have been evidence tying him to a specific terror attack, but there is evidence that he funded and directed organizations doing more than 100 terrorist attacks. He was an active leader. He spoke at terrorist conventions, and he served on the board of directors of a terrorist organization. He also spoke in code in those wiretappings, purposefully obfuscating what the conversation was about. He admitted to this.

    The anti-Israel crowd will always justify Sami Al-Arian as long as they can, the same way people stood by Bill Clinton when he pointed his finger at the TV camera and claimed to all of America and the world that he did not have sexual relations with that woman. Even when his lie was exposed, people justified it because he was protecting his family and had good reasons for his lie. For them, the villain was not the man who lied to America, but the prosecutors who impeached him for it. The same dynamics are at play in this case.

  62. issac wrote: “As abhorrent as blowing up busses is, seen from a purely objective viewpoint it is no different than sending a missile into a school because the enemy is using it to hide weapons.”

    You have fallen for the Palestinian terrorist propaganda. It is not at all the same thing. The terrorists setup missiles in the schools to fire upon Israeli citizens. Israel has to blow up these schools to get rid of the terrorist stronghold. Before they do it, they send out notices to everyone in the neighborhood that they are going to blow up the school. They tell exactly when they are going to do it. Everybody has a chance to clear out.

    In contrast, the Palestinian terrorists hide their bombs on their bodies, then they get on a bus or enter a restaurant, deceiving everyone into thinking they are innocent like everybody else. They do not announce that they are about to blow up the bus or restaurant. They purposefully attempt to kill as many innocent people as they can, in order to make the community fear them.

  63. Wadewilliams wrote: “David went down to Tampa to personally investigate this case? … Sounds like a man with a bizarro obsession. Really bizarre. Really. Fanatic comes to mind.”

    I did not travel to Tampa to INVESTIGATE. I previously mentioned that I am an alumni of the University of South Florida. I attended graduate school at the University of South Florida and taught biology classes there. I lived in Temple Terrace, a suburb of Tampa. Sami Al-Arian was my neighbor. The mosque where he was imam was walking distance from my home. As a neighbor, I was invited many times to visit the mosque. I was invited to talk with all their imams. Some of the Muslims there wanted to set up a debate between me and their imam, but I declined because it would be in their compound where threats had been made against me. I did not feel that it would be a safe venue.

    There was no obsession at all. I spent much more time feeding and clothing the poor in Tampa than I did at the mosque. The news about Sami Al-Arian, however, was quite a shock. I have followed the case with interest because this was my neighbor that was accused of raising funds for terrorists to kill Israelis. The mosque also is a rather large compound surrounded by fencing. Muslims were moving into my neighborhood after they built the massive complex. I think it is very natural to be curious about it and to accept their invitations to visit. It also is natural to engage them in dialogue and to ask them about their imam Sami Al-Arian.

  64. Paul C Schulte wrote: “I did find his going to the incredibly free country of Turkey a surprise, though.”

    Did you know that Hamas has headquarters in Turkey where they train terrorists going into Israel.

  65. So David is saying that Professor Turley defended a terrorist enabler who was David’s neighbor and an imam at a nearby Mosque? This keeps getting more bizzare by the day. David, I don’t know if Dr.Al-Arian is guilty of the charges or not. If he is guilty then Professor Turley defended a terrorist enabler. If he’s innocent of the charges you’ve just smeared him in front of his children who probably have read this blogpost and it’s comments.

  66. Anarchist wrote: “Without considering the fact that Israel has been in violation of international law since at least 1973 with an overt military campaign to seize land, displace Palestinians, and deny the state of Palestine the right to existence that would make a military response by Palestine completely appropriate, an investigation would be a reasonable response.”

    Let’s not be led down a path of selective memory in regards to history. In 1973, the anti-Israeli countries around Israel led a sneak attack on the biggest Israeli holiday, Yom Kippur. The sneak attack failed and Israel kicked their butts. They had to seize land for purposes of security. Since that time, Israel voluntarily has given the Muslims land and always worked toward trying to help them create their own functioning State of Palestine that would work alongside the State of Israel.

    What many people do not realize because of all the false rhetoric is that a State of Palestine never existed before 1988. The international community called for re-establishing the State of Israel in 1948. Israel has worked toward peace, and they bought into the idea that setting aside land for a State of Palestine was a good idea. Unfortunately, that idea has not worked out very well.

    I don’t know if you have ever traveled to that region of the world. I have traveled several times to Israel and Palestine, and also to Jordan and Egypt. Unless you travel there, it is difficult to understand the conflict. From my perspective, it is very much like the racial conflict we have between blacks and whites. The old city of Jerusalem is split into districts, somewhat like the segregation that naturally happens in our country between blacks and whites. When walking through the Jewish quarter, everything is nice and clean. When you walk through the Muslim quarter, it is dirty with graffiti on the walls of shops. Occasionally you see someone throwing garbage out their second story window, which falls onto a pile on the street below. I am talking stinking trash, like chicken bones and what not. When I complained how these unsanitary conditions could be allowed by the Israeli government, the Jews there claimed that they cannot teach them to use trash cans and act more civilized. They have a culture of doing things certain ways for hundreds of years and it is difficult to teach them any other way. I am not Jewish, but I find the Muslim Arab ways somewhat barbaric. The Israelis seem to be highly civilized and a very respectable population of people.

  67. David, no one in the West wants to know about the terror Islam is committing worldwide.

    Even if they admit how violent they’ve become, they think the Muslims have good reasons:
    1. Jews
    2. Bush
    3. Jews

    You cannot have a discussion with people who refuse to see what’s right in front of them. In my work, once we recognize that someone is delusional, we pat them on the head about it, metaphorically.

  68. David, I had the same experience in Israel.

    I was much surprised how their hospital in Haifa (Rambam) was proud of refusing to differentiate between Palestinians and Israelis, treating everyone the same, even wounded Palestinian combatants.

  69. You tell me David. Is there? If so how do Republicans and conservatives view Professor Turley acting as lead council in the Republican House law suit? A very tangled web. I really don’t know what to think about the entire story.

  70. DavudM said n…

    They had to seize land for purposes of security.

    TRue enough as far as it goes. Actually Israel only took back that land accorded them in the San Remo Accords, as amended in 1922…MAP clearly designated “Jewish Palestine” as distinct from “Arab Palestine.” The “Wet Bank” was occupied by Jordan due to an armistice , not a treaty, to end the hostility in the 1967 war. It was never originally (legally) determined to be Arab land. In short, Israel recovered their land, and did not take lands never accorded them. Still, they’ve been wiling to negotiate for a separate Palestinian state, as you said, within their originally outlined borders.

    I consider Israel’s claim to the disputed territories as legitimate because virtually every other nation state in the ME has used the San Remo Accord defined borders as their official borders. No reason Israel shouldn’t be accorded that same privilege. We, in a coalition of Arab and western states even fought a brief war to re-establish Kuwait’s borders, as well as to blunt an anticipated expansion in to Saudi Arabia.

  71. David

    You go to war with what you have. In 1948 the Irgun had terrorism and they used that to blow up innocent civilians. Now they have jets. If the Palestinians had jets they would use jets. After all is said and done a dead kid is a dead kid.

    Aridog

    Israel has been using one agreement or another to justify their taking over of the entire area. They are still encroaching. It goes like this. If we encroach a little, they will get pissed off and attack us. Then we can wax a few thousand of them and use that as an excuse to encroach some more, and so on.

    The weapons and tactics are the same. It only depends on whose side one is on. The only side that can stop this is Israel. They can continue being the a**hole of the world or give the Palestinians a real country. This argument of well let’s wait and see if you can stop attacking us for a while-how long is a while? Well we’ll tell you.-then we’ll see. Arafat settled his side down for sixteen months and Israel replied with well we’ll get back to you-we’re still not certain that you, um, um

    Israel continues to double talk. Israel has nothing to fear from manifestos written by Palestinians. All they have to do is to recognize the Palestinian State. Then if the Palestinians attack, then Israel can wax a few of them until they stop.

  72. “Israel continues to double talk.

    Hilarious. In contrast, their neighbors, all demanding the destruction of Israel and involved in terrorism across the globe, are shining stars of transparency and truth.

  73. Issac … not trying to be insulting, but just what part of the San Remo Accords, observed by virtually all other middle east nation states, is confusing to you? Virtually all other middle eastern nation-states accept it for their own borders. Why is Israel the bad guy in this fandango?

    The map I linked to makes my case…and Israel’s “encroaching” is within their originally defined borders. Yet, Israel is still willing to discuss establishment of another Palestinian state within those defined borders. That the PLO, et al., have refused to consider any proposals, by Israel or the west, baffles me given their alleged purpose.

    Full disclosure: I have friends who are Israeli and my bias I thus formed. I have yet to hear one of them advocate pushing all local Arabs in to the sea or otherwise annihilating them. Even my Israeli friends are willing to compromise their original San Remo Accord borders in order to attain an enduring peace. I still must ask, if the San Remo borders are good for everyone else, why not Israel? Why is Israel condemned for trying to compromise when no one does?

  74. Issac…and please do not try to tell me that the UN’s opinions over-ride the otherwise fully accepted and legally defined San Remo Accords as amened in 1922. The UN merely usurped the prerogatives for their own purposes, without a shred of legal substantiation…save their own hubris. If not politically contrived…explain why they have not sought an independent Kurdistan? That would slice off pieces of four San Remo defined states, and yet would be an equitable concept….human rights wise and in every other consideration. If we are to demand re-organization, re-organize the whole lot.

  75. Issac…given our messes provided & provoked by our political nonsense in Libya, Egypt, Syria and other places, perhaps our meddling is contra-productive? Perhaps we should just Shut the Flip Up. YMMV….:-)

  76. Pogo…nothing amazes me more than some folks’ obsession with a nation of 7 million or so out of a world population of maybe 16 million…less than 1% of everything. I think that is almost funny if it were not for the lives, all sides, on the line.

  77. Aridog

    You can go back to Moses if you want. The 1922 whatever was a ratification of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. This is nothing more than one in a long line of colonial moves to settle down an area that was left to whomever had the most people and the most arms after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Up until then Arabs, Jews, and Christians would occasionally kill each other over ancient nonsense but were kept in check by Ottoman rule.

    From the early 20th Century the Zionist movement encouraged and accomplished the settlement of Palestine by Jews from all over the world. Each time the influx of Jews into Palestine and the resulting squabbles became difficult for the British and French to handle due to the disagreement of the local Arab peoples to see their lands filling up with non-Muslims they filed a ‘White Paper’ or a ‘Declaration’. You can paper the issue or declare whatever you want, the bottom line is that for the past ninety odd years Jews have been coming in and taking away Arab lands. The UN does not acknowledge the post 1967 boundaries that Israel has established not to mention the settlement program.

    The Palestinians were the indigenous people that dominated the area. It is a waiting game for Israel. After 1948 three million Palestinians were displaced. They have grown up without a country except for Gaza, a near ghetto like situation and the West Bank, which is eroding from within by a cancer of settlements and no go places for the Palestinians.

    The bottom line is that this is no different than what has been going on forever. A strong force comes in and removes a weaker force. Perhaps it’s human nature and can be objectively explained away like the take over of North and South America was and is. However, it is happening now and the only determining part of the equation is Israel. No one can stop Israel but Israel. That is why it is their: responsibility, fault, cause, destiny, whatever, pick a word.

    If you take in the past hundred years one thing is easily understandable. People from other parts of the world have come to Palestine and taken it by force. Their reasoning is a combination of having been persecuted in Europe and that their god gave them the land four, five, six or how many thousand years ago.

    The Jews have a point. The Palestinians have a point. The Jews win because they have the bomb and are the base religion for the Western World. So, call it what it is, don’t give it any other justification than might makes right.

  78. This gets down once again to what is going on in the Middle East with respect to Israel and Palestine. In connection with that conflict, it is true that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” The deported professor was a Palestinian. He had a right to speak up and to use volatile language at times. He must feel the conflict in his blood and bones far more deeply than most people can even imagine. In addition, guilt by association is the only thing that some detractors have raised here. That is why a jury that lived through the evidence was not persuaded that this man was bad or harmful to society. Letting a judge decide the evidence in a case like this would be like appointing a prosecutor to decide the case. To get a jury to acquiit or deadlock in a federal case of this nature is like performing a miracle that defies reality. The reality is that there is virtually no chance for a targeted individual to get an acquittal in a federal court, and certainly not a target of this kind. The evidence had to be superficial and unconvincing for the jury to acquit and deadlock. davidm is a staunch supporter of Israel to the point that he blinds himself to every aspect of the other side’s complaints. His blind adherence to one view and all of its manifestations makes him unable to see that there could have been injustice created in this prosecution by overzealous prosectors who did not do their homework.

  79. “From the early 20th Century the Zionist movement encouraged and accomplished the settlement of Palestine by Jews from all over the world.

    Gee, I wonder why that happened.

    “So, call it what it is, don’t give it any other justification than might makes right.

    So if the Jews were no different that any other group that forced some other group out, what are you going on and on about?

    If it’s all same-same, why bother commenting on Israel’s actions at all?

  80. jj-

    ” In addition, guilt by association is the only thing that some detractors have raised here.”

    Yes, and more telling, the group that sees no problem with the treatment of Al-
    Arian at the hands of the justice department is also the group that will scream the loudest about the violation of constitutional rights by “liberals”. The cognitive dissonance is this group of people is amazing. Whenever it comes down to individual cases, they strongly support any unconstitutional measure taken by the government against people they dislike. They would be willing to sacrifice any protection provided by the constitution for the prosecution or murder of one man, but they still imagine themselves as the heroic defenders of our constitutional rights in what they perceive as a world full of liberals bent on making America communist.

    “davidm is a staunch supporter of Israel to the point that he blinds himself. . .”

    It’s amazing. It isn’t just Israel though, he’s way out in the right lunatic fringe. He also argues that our war against Iraq was completely justified, not because it was necessary, but because he believes it was technically legal. The question of whether the war was necessary is irrelevant to him.As long as we are killing Muslims, he’s happy. He maintains a truly psychopathic perspective on foreign relations.

  81. David, Thanks for the valuable personal information. For folks new here, there is NO ONE who has been attacked more here, over the last couple years, than DavidM. He handles the bile thrown @ him w/ grace and dignity. I don’t know how he does it. There have been too many vile comments to count directed @ David that have been deleted. He probably has a comment or two deleted over the last couple years? But, no more than that. We don’t degree on some issues. But, the man is the real deal.

  82. pogo

    Mankind began governing itself, not by the lofty ideals of documents such as the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence but by might is right. The masquerading of blatant invasion as something ‘god wants’ or something that is legal because of this or that paper, agreement between colonial powers, etc does nothing to obscure the reality. On country’s declaration is another’s edict of slavery, etc.

    Why go on about it? Why do anything? We have a forum here and the opportunity to express ourselves. Does that answer your question?

    I knew a young Israeli girl who was going to the University of Nice. This in itself was a ‘ballsy move’ as she was also outnumbered there a hundred to one by Muslims. She had done a turn in the military and spoke as close to the truth as anyone. “We won, get used to it.” When you take that position then you accept the consequences, no matter how horrific. Most Israelis believe that this is their land, whether because it was taken by force or their idea of a supernatural being gave it to them. Why is this so different from Russia invading Ukraine?

    I watched a woman member of the Knesset speak her mind once on TV. There had just been another atrocity committed by a suicide bomber. Israel was going about exacting a dozen or so lives for each life lost on its soil. She was recently from Russia, after Gorbachov or someone allowed hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews to emigrate. They arrived in Israel and, soon, if not immediately became citizens, and she was elected by the recent immigrants from Russia who now made up a very significant percentage of the population. Her response in English, heavily accented with her native Russian, was, “Carpet bomb them all.”

    Israel is full of decent people. However the state was established and continues to grow at the expense of millions of Palestinians who are not much better off than the First Nation Peoples of North America were when they were adapting to living on secluded parts of what was once theirs. When they fight back, the question is, how much different are they than the Jews who came there, or anybody else for that matter?

    Irrespective of their refusals to acknowledge Israel, their intentions of destroying Israel, or whatever, when your back is against the wall, you kick and scratch and do whatever it takes.

  83. DavidM is a wonderful American.

    He believes in IQ testing in order to determine those entitled to vote. Also, he believes it was a big mistake to give women the right to vote.

    Bottom line, some really crazy ideas. Nothing like crazy obsessive 16th century ideas delivered with grace and dignity.

  84. “We have a forum here and the opportunity to express ourselves. Does that answer your question?

    Not really. You seemed upthread to be anti-Israel.
    Now that’s less clear.

    If what you’re arguing is that all sides are morally equivalent, I have to disagree.

  85. issac wrote: “If the Palestinians had jets they would use jets.”

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say. The countries who came to the aid of the Palestinians, Egypt and Syria, they have jets. It didn’t change much except that they killed more Israelis.

    issac wrote: “Israel has been using one agreement or another to justify their taking over of the entire area. They are still encroaching.”

    I have no idea where you are getting your misinformation. Israel has consistently traded land for peace. They have less land today than they did back in 1973. The Palestinians have consistently violated the peace accords and continued to bomb Israelis after they had withdrawn from the territories ceded to the Palestinians. When the Israelis left Gaza, the Palestinians turned it into a military platform to hurl rockets at Israelis. Their attacks on Israel from Gaza began almost immediately when they gave them Gaza. They dug tunnels to store ammunition and conceal their terrorist activities. Gaza continues to fire upon Israel to this day from the land ceded to them from Israel.

    issac wrote: “The only side that can stop this is Israel.”

    That is a ridiculous notion. It takes two to fight. Every time Israel establishes a peace treaty, the Palestinians break it. Anwar Sadat brokered peace and got the entire Sinai Peninsula given to Egypt from Israel. What did that get him from his Palestinian brothers? They assassinated him and celebrated his assassin as a martyr. Iran even put the image of Sadat’s assassin on a postage stamp.

  86. Wadewilliams wrote: “He believes in IQ testing in order to determine those entitled to vote. Also, he believes it was a big mistake to give women the right to vote.”

    I did not say that it was a big mistake to give women the right to vote, nor have I ever argued for IQ testing to determine who is entitled to vote. IQ tests do not measure knowledge. I simply argue that voting is not a natural right, but rather a privilege conferred by positive law. Governments can rightly determine whatever voting mechanisms they want to create, including not allowing anyone to vote.

    I personally favor a weighted voting system, with more knowledgeable and successful people having a greater vote and influence on elections than the ignorant. I think such would lead to better government and a more harmonious and less gridlocked Congress. Much of our societal problems are caused by ignorance, and education is helpful in this regard.

    I fail to see why a man like Professor Turley, who is obviously very knowledgeable about government and the Constitution, should have his single vote washed out by an apathetic man who doesn’t know anything about government. Much of the time, the apathetic ignorant person knows nothing about the person for whom he casts his vote. Why should his flippant vote count as much as the knowledgeable person? It makes no sense to me. I value the opinion of the man who educates himself much more than the loser on the street who doesn’t know enough to be able to feed himself. I value their lives equally, but I do not value their opinion about law and government equally.

    The notion of Democrats that we should value their opinions equally through universal and equal voting is ridiculous. There is no rational basis for this perspective. If you think otherwise, please make your case for it.

  87. ” If you think otherwise, please make your case for it.

    Usually that involves marching with giant paper mâché heads, repeatedly chanting a moronic phrase in unison, and pounding a plastic bucket with a wooden spoon.

  88. Pogo – I think every side has a right to make their argument, I think some arguments have weaker footing than others.

  89. Anarchist wrote: “he’s way out in the right lunatic fringe.”

    In every political assessment test I have taken, I am evaluated to be a centrist.

    Have you ever taken the test at http://www.politicalcompass.org/ ?

    I would be very interested in learning how you rate on that assessment. I’ll tell you my score if you tell me yours.:-) I suspect you would be very surprised at my score because I am nearly dead center on the chart.

    Anarchist wrote: “He also argues that our war against Iraq was completely justified, not because it was necessary, but because he believes it was technically legal. The question of whether the war was necessary is irrelevant to him.As long as we are killing Muslims, he’s happy. He maintains a truly psychopathic perspective on foreign relations.”

    Not surprisingly, I don’t think you understand my perspective at all about the Iraq war. I would never say that it was “completely justified.” There are many things about the Iraq War that I disagree with. For example, making that country an Islamic Republic whose laws are all judged by the Quran was a huge mistake by President Bush. If our country is going to nation build, then at least do it based upon the principles we believe in and are compatible with our Constitution. Another thing I disagree with is withdrawing our troops prematurely. That was a huge mistake by President Obama.

  90. Issac…I take your post as most relevant, and informative, however….I cited the 1922 San Remo Accords (exclusively) as amended because virtually every other middle eastern nation sate recognizes those borders, but seem to make an exception for Israel. We fought a brief war, with multiple Arab allies, with Israel agreeing to “shelter in place” so to speak, to defend those accord borders vis a vis Kuwait. It is good enough for Kuwait, why not for Israel, regardless of who might be, or have been, there? Take history literally, the Pottawatomie have a claim on my house and yard. Should I willingly give it up, or subdivide it? Facetious point, I know…but seriously, what is the difference (trying hard not to mime Hillary).

    Main point: The San Remo Accords, however contrived, are established and adhered to (the important part) by everyone in the Arab middle east…yet Israel is expected to divvy their hunk of it all up, a bare scarp of land at that.

    Even the Israelis are willing to sub-divide and create a two state solution (really a 3rd state solution once Trans-Jordan was established) because they are not ignorant of demographics and politics there from, so I fail to see what the real beef is….the rhetoric about driving the Jews in to the sea (total annihilation) doesn’t help much does it? From my perspective, the only reason this “2 state solution” hasn’t been established is because the opposite side refuses every attempt and offer. I hardly expect the Israelis to die off as they did at Masada.

    Repeat: my main point is simple…if the San Remo Accords are good enough for everyone else, why not Israel? What is the basis for that debate?

    I refuse to accept the racial or ethic arguments, which seem to drive much of this pseudo-debate. I have never been so at ease as those times in a foreign land, half a world away, among ethnicities and races not my own, where I became at one with them…by humility, honesty, and good humor, and not seeing them as an enemy (to be shot perhaps) solely due to their skin color, eye shape, or culture.

    Moses and ancient history is good to know, and relevant…but you could also draw a conclusion from ancient history that Persia (Iran) should run the whole mess…and they are certainly giving that a shot now.:-)

  91. Aridog,
    You’re trying to use rational arguments when discussing Jews.
    For many, that’s an impossible task.

    Their amygdalas areimmediately hijacked by that four letter word, eliminating all possibility of coherent cognition.

  92. Pogo…I regret to admit that you have a point. My question, then, is why? Jews constitute no more than 17 million world wide. What on earth makes that some kind of threat?

    That said, I believe Issac will take my comment in stride. We differ at times, but are really on the same ground otherwise.

  93. David-

    “In every political assessment test I have taken, I am evaluated to be a centrist.”

    Either every test you’ve ever taken was lying or you’re lying right now. I lean towards the latter. It’s not a centrist position to defend waging war as appropriate even when that war is not necessary. That’s psychopathic.

    Other than that, your abject servitude to far right agenda, agenda that is so far right that it goes well beyond democratic thought and is openly fascist, clearly eliminates you from the centrist category. I know you’d like to be viewed as a centrist because you understand how despicable your views are to any democratic society, but you’re a psychopath, whether you want to admit it or not.

    Paul-

    Possibly. However, like the bible says- “never answer a fool according to his foolishness”. Pretending that insane arguments are not just the outward symptoms of a disturbed psychology is granting those arguments validity that they don’t merit. The same applies for arguments that are pure propaganda which are only made to score political points, which defines all of David’s arguments.

    Take this statement by David-

    “Governments can rightly determine whatever voting mechanisms they want to create, including not allowing anyone to vote. ”

    So David believes that our government would be completely justified if they ended the practice of voting. The guy is a complete psychopath that advocates totalitarianism, and yet you want me to pretend that his arguments are the result of reason and not a disturbed psychology? Not going to happen.

    Or, take this one-

    “I personally favor a weighted voting system, with more knowledgeable and successful people having a greater vote and influence on elections than the ignorant.”

    He believes in disenfranchising voters. Those methods that they used to prevent blacks from voting in the South? He loves them. He opposed to the basis of our system of government- equality.

    The guy is a cancer to society, and that’s really the only proper way to respond to him.

  94. Anarchist 2.0 – some things are worth thinking about and discussing in theory. Having the dead vote disenfranchises voters. There is nothing equal about that.

    For instance, I would like to go back to 1 member of the House of Representatives for every 50,000 population in the state. And I would like the House to expand with every Census. Although it would increase the cost of the House, actually my idea is that only 1/3 would have to be in DC at any one time (for hearings and debates). And they could all vote electronically. The upside of this is that it would be physically and financially impossible to lobby everyone.:)

  95. Davidm

    First of all the Palestinians have, at times stopped attacking Israel as per the latest in a seemingly unending lines of lines drawn in the sand. Israel simply ignores this and states that they will wait further. The Palestinians lose it and the cycle starts all over again.

    Of course Israel gives land to the Palestinians, land they stole in the first place. they give some back with conditions and then allow extremists to settle on the land, then they have to protect the settlers, which further enrages the Palestinians, and it continues. It is no different than the US giving worthless land to the indigenous people of the country and saying how nice they are. This is the height of hypocrisy. The West Bank is, as far as Israel is concerned, open for grabs. They will continue to take more and more in a two steps forward with illegal settlements and one step back so they can refer to the fact that they dismantled a settlement. For every settlement dismantled they allow a few to stay. Once there the land is part of Israel and the Palestinians are further away from a homeland.

    Your arguments follow the old saying, “The victors write history.” The West hears Israel almost daily set out their argument and put the blame on the Palestinians. Yet our media rarely lays out the Palestinian argument: An Jewish Israeli can drill a third deeper for water than a Palestinian Israeli, in Israel. Families that have lived on farms and in houses for dozens of generations have been dispossessed because they could not prove ownership in a way acceptable to Israeli bureaucrats. Investigate the double standards that exist.

    The bottom line is that Israel will not do what is necessary to allow the Palestinians a homeland that is workable and that will result in anything more than a second class people farming and doing cottage industry.

    Aridog

    The San Remo accords don’t mean anything in face of the facts of history.

    Davidm

    I am not anti Israel. I am anti some of what Israel does. This is no different than being American but against some of what America does or any other country. The main problem is the one you so aptly illustrate in your position, the us or them and nothing in between.

    I do believe voting should not only be a privilege but a responsibility. The system is designed to buy votes from ignorant voters. Perhaps if the private financial part of the equation was eliminated and an objective branch of the government disbursed the positions of the candidates on an equal time and venue basis, a voter would be forced to actually understand the positions the candidates would be forced to present. As it is it is the least responsible democratic iteration there is.

  96. Paul-

    Yeah, there are a lot of theories worth discussing. The one you mentioned would make for an interesting discussion. Here’s another one- increase the number of supreme court justices to so that 5 radicals can’t hijack our system of law. That wouldn’t even take an amendment to the constitution. Obama could end the tyranny of the Roberts court tomorrow if he wanted.

  97. Anarchist 2.0 – Congress decides on the size of the court, not the President. Obama cannot do diddle about the Roberts court.

  98. Anarchist wrote: “It’s not a centrist position to defend waging war as appropriate even when that war is not necessary.”

    I have never taken this position.

    Anarchist wrote: “… agenda that is so far right that it goes well beyond democratic thought and is openly fascist, clearly eliminates you from the centrist category.”

    You clearly do not understand my viewpoints. I find fascism to be abhorrent. The State is not more important than the individual. You are correct, however, that I also have problems with democracy. I have the same problems with democracy that the founding fathers of the U.S.A. had with it. Government is better run by wise individuals who govern in a way that is in the best interest of the people and with the consent of the governed.

    Anarchist wrote: “So David believes that our government would be completely justified if they ended the practice of voting.”

    There would be nothing wrong with a government run by a benevolent dictator. Many families are run this way. The problem is that history has shown that human nature is corrupted by power and money. Voting is simply a tool of measuring the consent of the governed, but there are many other ways to measure the consent of the governed. The problem with universal and equal suffrage is that it weakens government and gridlocks it. Name one private corporation that manages itself through universal and equal suffrage in a purely democratic way. They don’t exist for the same reason that such governments do not exist. It doesn’t work.

    Anarchist wrote: “The guy is a complete psychopath that advocates totalitarianism.”

    You are pretty loose with your words. I am an independent thinker, not a psychopath. I do not advocate totalitarianism because that hinders the freedom of the individual. I believe strongly in the liberty of the individual. I believe in limited government, responsible primarily for security, to punish those who would harm others.

    Anarchist wrote: “He believes in disenfranchising voters. Those methods that they used to prevent blacks from voting in the South? He loves them. He opposed to the basis of our system of government- equality.”

    I do not believe in disenfranchising voters. Disenfranchising only happens when that right has been given. Do you disenfranchise non-citizens from voting? No, of course not. They have not been given the right to vote. If somebody has been given the right to vote by the government, that person should not be disenfranchised from voting.

    Nevertheless, at the same time, I would favor changing the system of voting in a way that would allow everyone to vote, but includes a weighted system so that the opinions of those more knowledgeable and with more skin in the game count more than those who do not have an invested interest in their society. I go along with universal and equal suffrage because that is what the majority seem to want right now, but I do not think it is the best. If our country gave the right to vote to non-citizens who are resident here, I would support that in the same way, even though I disagree that it would result in the best government.

    An interesting sidebar here given the topic of this thread, Sami Al-Arian tried to get citizenship here. He was denied. One reason he was denied was because he voted when he was not a citizen. The Democrats in Hillsborough County, in their zeal not to disenfranchise any voters, gave this non-citizen a voter registration card and allowed him to vote in elections here in the U.S.

    I support the equality of people in many ways, but not in the way that modern liberals look at it. It is ridiculous to think that men and women are equal in their gifts and abilities. It is ridiculous to think that all races are equal in their gifts and abilities. If they were, the NFL would hire an equal number of male and female players, and an equal number of blacks and whites. Modern liberals keep pretending that everyone is the same, that even their opinions are equally valuable, and all this does is lead to more conflict and societal unrest. Despite laws for desegregation and a concerted effort for affirmative action to make everyone equal, societies continue to segregate voluntarily along racial lines as well as gender lines. Why? Because that type of equality is a lie. Instead, we should embrace diversity and learn to love one another fervently. When we embrace diversity, we find that the strengths of others who are different from us cover our own weaknesses, and that our strengths cover their weaknesses. A true unity and love develops when we embrace diversity rather than pretend that we are all equal. Furthermore, everyone is equal before the law and have equal standing in the courts of justice. The law applies equally to all. That is the kind of equality referred to in the Declaration of Independence.

  99. Here is my result from the Test Guess I’m another “centrist” or a liar as some might call me. I figured I ,might come out as a far right nut case…whoops?

  100. And that said above…trust me I do NOT care what others think of me more or less, I worry most about the guy I face whilst shaving in the mirror. Do I respect that guy, or not.

  101. issac wrote: “The bottom line is that Israel will not do what is necessary to allow the Palestinians a homeland that is workable and that will result in anything more than a second class people farming and doing cottage industry.”

    I suspect you have not been over there to see what is going on. You just accept uncritically what the Palestinians tell you.

    The way I see it is that there are some who simply do not want to accept the government. They invent the Palestinian State as a way to legitimize their terrorist activity. There never was a Palestinian State before the Israeli government.

    On another thread, we saw that an African American rapper advocating shooting the police. Suppose the African Americans started shooting the police and bombing government buildings. They wanted to establish their own government, their own State, right here among the other States, but just for Blacks. Would you favor this kind of two State solution for us?

  102. Davidm

    I am interested in your critique of democracy. I see the same problems with it that you see however, as Churchill said, it may not be perfect but it’s the least imperfect system around, or something like that. A perfect democracy would be one where every one would vote and every one would be completely cognizant of the situations addressed. This is too much to ask in the present condition of politics in the US as well as most countries. The US is perhaps the furthest from perfection as it is the only country, among our peer nations, that relies so heavily on money to get someone elected.

    Voters are, by in large, ignorant of the issues and of the candidates. This can be seen at every turn in every election. Eliminating private funding in the electing of a representative is already working in other countries. What is it that is so sacred to Americans about winning by saturating the voter with cheap adds? Why is a leader elected based on style, smooth presentation, and looks rather than substance?

    If there was an independent government body, such as the military, that administered the ‘messages’ of the candidates equally to the public using the usual vehicles of the media then time would be equalized. If this government body distributed to each voter the manifestos of whomever is running then the message and position would be there for the taking. The voter would be face to face with the content of the issue. No forms of persuasion would be permitted other than the position of the candidate. The sales job would be there to revisit at the convenience of the voter. There would be no voting for the guy that verbally smacked down the other.

    This would be so boring to many of those that get revved up on hype and other perverted messages that the number of people voting would shrink. Perhaps only those that took a real interest and had a real understanding of the issues would then vote. Through choice we would eliminate those too complacent to make an intelligent choice.

    As it is, our leaders are, for the most part, bought by money, presented to us like some form of entertainment, and further and further away from that least of all imperfect forms of government. A benevolent dictator is only good for the term of that benevolent dictator.

    Another, and perhaps the most important, result might just be seeing more than two candidates running for the office as is done in the more democratic and least imperfect systems.

    You can’t run a country like a corporation. Even corporations need laws and regulation imposed and forced on them to keep them from enslaving their workers. The only solution is to evolve this imperfect system in the direction of perfection, and that means self criticism and change, something most Americans simply can’t entertain.

  103. Davidm

    I lived on the Med for many years. I met many Israelis and many Muslims. By far the most reasonable are the Israelis, in general. However, there is a deadlock and a cycle that repeats itself. There are millions of Palestinians and it very well may be that they will eventually die out, but probably not. I have followed, since I was a school boy and I saw the photos of the holocaust, the plight of the Jews. There is no single people that have been treated so horribly for so long. However, in the establishment of their nation they have committed endless crimes as well. Regardless of declarations, white papers, accords and treaties, there are two peoples living in one land. Perhaps this is simply and intractable situation. But the establishment of Israel was done by force and expulsion and continues through military might.

    The main issue of dissent is the West Bank. While ‘giving’ it to the Palestinians Israel continues to erode it. There are the words, the San Remo Accords, the accusations, and the treaties broken but in the end there was the taking of the land by force and the continuation of the taking of the land by force. When you step on somebody’s neck and they act despicably, what do you expect. All Israel really has can be explained in the words of that young girl. “We won, get used to it.” If that is so then call a spade a spade and stop trying to make it what it isn’t, one people conquering another.

  104. David-

    This quote from you is hilarious-

    ” You just accept uncritically what the Palestinians tell you.”

    This coming from the guy that accepted uncritically that Palestinians are just filthy animals that can’t be taught to use a trash can because some Israeli told you that after you saw the filth in Palestinian Jerusalem. It turns out, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been so deprived of trash services that they’ve even lobbied the UN to try to get Israel to collect the trash in Palestinian neighborhoods.

    “The way I see it. . .”

    Has no relation to reality, much like all your other views. You’re such a buffoon that I suspect you’re just trolling.

    “Would you favor this kind of two State solution for us?”

    That analogy has no resemblance to the conflict between Palestine and Israel.

  105. Isaac-

    ” Perhaps this is simply and intractable situation. ”

    Israel is under the control of homicidal religious fanatics. Hopefully it will never be resolved in Israel’s favor because the moment they can turn their attention abroad, they fanatics that demanded the genocide of the Palestinians will begin calling for the genocide of anyone else that resists world domination by the lunatic far right jews.

  106. David-

    Thanks for clearly stating your malfunction-

    “There would be nothing wrong with a government run by a benevolent dictator.”

    There is no such thing as a benevolent dictator.

    However, I’m having a hard time taking you seriously. The more I read your posts, the more they just strike me as funny.

  107. I along with Sami driven voters in Florida to see Bush win as President. After personally observing the injustice done to my friend Sami I decided to leave the USA to the place of my birth. Man with high principle and sincerity will always prosper which ever the place in this world as home. Sami and Nahla May God keep you happy for ever.

  108. Any one intelligent or a Dummy please see the video opening this link and then write your comments about Sami or any other Palestinian activists:

  109. dave-

    ” The evidence showed funds being collected for widows and orphans in Palestine, but half of it ending up going to terror organizations.”

    It doesn’t matter how those widows decided to spend their money.

    ” presumably so he could. . .”

    You presume a lot of nonsense.

    ” He clearly made speeches supporting terror, also calling America the Great Satan and calling for the death of America and Israel.”

    both an exaggeration and irrelevant nevertheless.

    ” If the mafia godfather simply orders criminal activity”

    Which we know Al-arian never did because his phone was wire tapped for well over a decade.

    “With Al Capone, they failed again and again”

    Are you really going to compare investigative techniques back then with what is available now? Hilarious!

    How can you tell when a juror is incompetent? When he says-

    ” For me, the absence of evidence didn’t mean there was no evidence.”

    Not surprising you would find the comment “Just because there was no evidence doesn’t mean there was no evidence” to be compelling.

    “there is evidence that he funded and directed organizations doing more than 100 terrorist attacks. ”

    No, there isn’t. He pled guilty to one count of providing non-violent aid for helping a relative get a green card.

    ” He spoke at terrorist conventions, and he served on the board of directors of a terrorist organization.”

    Is it your general habit to accuse someone of sophistry immediately before you start lying blatantly? Those two statements are fictions of your imagination, kind of like your concept of “benevolent” dictatorship.

    ” Bill Clinton when he pointed his finger at the TV camera and claimed to all of America and the world that he did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

    Who cares? This has nothing to do with clinton.

    ” The same dynamics are at play in this case.”

    No, they aren’t. More importantly, Al-Arian’s, or anyone’s alleged crimes don’t provide the Federal government with the justification to violate the law in the attempt to secure prosecution. Being a cheerleader for an American dictatorship, you have no concept of rights or rule of law, but the crimes committed by the government in this case were more damaging to the American people than any crimes Al Arian was alleged to have committed.

    Focusing on the actions of Al-Arian at this point, with ll that is known of the illegal and unethical behavior of our government is a bit short-sighted, to say the last.

    I will give you one thing- unlike the rest of the righties, at least you don’t pretend to have a regard for rights or freedom as you lobby for the destruction of both those things. At least the honesty is refreshing, even if it does paint a picture that’s disturbing.

  110. https://consortiumnews.com/2015/02/06/us-deports-professor-sami-al-arian/

    “Since we first met Dr. Al-Arian a few years ago, he and his family have set standards for faithfulness, moral steadfastness, and commitment to truth to which we can only aspire. More broadly, the U.S. government’s treatment of Dr. al Arian underscores an urgent reality: how the West treats Muslims — in the Middle East, where they are the overwhelming majority, and in diaspora communities in the West itself — is the defining moral and political challenge of our time.

    The U.S. government’s actions against Sami Al-Arian and his family should remind all of us how badly the United States is failing that challenge.

    Sami Al-Arian was targeted by the U.S. government because, during the 1990s, he emerged as one of the most prominent and effective advocates for Palestinian rights that U.S. officials had ever faced.”

  111. For anyone not familiar with the Brandon Mayfield case:

    http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/2/the-terrifying-surveillancecaseofbrandonmayfield.html

    “During the OIG’s review of the handling of the Mayfield case, it found that the FBI’s requests for material witness and criminal search warrants “contained several inaccuracies that reflected a regrettable lack of attention to detail.” The FBI’s belief that it had their man, despite all contrary evidence, was so strong that it provided misleading sworn statements to a judge. The only reason Mayfield is a free man today is that the Spanish police repeatedly told the FBI that the print recovered from the bag of detonators didn’t match Mayfield’s fingerprints. The FBI, however, continued to stand by its lab’s findings until Spanish authorities conclusively matched the print to the real culprit, Algerian national Ouhane Daoud. Only then did Mayfield’s traumatic journey into the stomach of the national security state end.”

    And here’s the most important part:

    “Cautionary tale”

    “Mayfield’s ordeal is a cautionary tale of what can happen when the government clamps down on its suspect and refuses to release its grip. In the fortunate case of Mayfield, the government finally released him but only after it turned his life upside down in the process.

    Nearly a decade later, the government’s secret surveillance capabilities have become only more powerful, thanks to social media, smartphones and other technologies. The bulk collection of Americans’ personal data makes it more likely that false positives — innocent Mayfields coming under government scrutiny — will occur. And when that false positive is an American Muslim or an anarchist or an aggressive environmental activist, will government agents and analysts have the ability to set aside their prejudices and excitement and weigh all information, particularly contradictory evidence, before condemning those unfortunate few to bogus charges and public suspicion?”

    “Confirmation bias should make us skeptical of this possibility.” – Matthew Harwood

    As I understand it, there was video surveillance of the Mayfield family in their home, even in the bathroom/s. Almost anything goes in post-9/11 America. Most Americans don’t realize it, yet, and many don’t seem to care.

  112. DavidM
    Aridog

    If you watched the video posted by Abdius Salam, aside from some irrelevant opinions on Iran and nuclear weapons, what do you think? Personally I believe that there should be no nuclear weapons anywhere near Iran or any other Arab state, not because of the state but because of the proximity to extremists.

    I’ve been hearing this same stuff from Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, etc for fifty years. It is also all very well documented, just not popular reading. And, again, if you place your boot on someone’s neck, and they do despicable things, who’s to blame?

  113. Issac…because you asked, I will watch the over hour long video when I have the time. Then answer more fully. I might have some difficulty with the “boot on the neck” aspect because there are times when there is no other choice. I have no respect for the manner in which the PLO/Fatah/Hamas wage their resistance, let along how the PLO has refused every and all proposals for ending the strife. I have no sympathy for bombers who invade civilian spaces to harm those who are not harming them directly, but only because they are Jews. Same goes for the Shia/Sunni strife in Iraq.

    I have one of the first ever exported “Roses from Rockets” made in Ahskelon sitting on our mantle to remind me of the mindlessness of it all. I’ve been to war and I cannot respect those who attack innocents from either side, any side. However, terrorism requires it, it is how they gain control of people….first their own, then others. Witnessing it first handle leaves a mark.

  114. issac, I view Miko Peled similar to the way I view Ronald Reagan’s son: he is someone in rebellion against a father whose shoes he is unable to fill.

    The video smacks of so much bias it is nauseating. Instead of trying to be as objective as possible, he concludes that everybody is biased and so he embraces his own emotional bias. He is extremely biased against religion, ascribing religious motives to Israel. The truth is that nearly half of Israel is secular. Less than 10% are orthodox Jews. He talks about the Palestinian right of return without any mention of the history. Most left their homes voluntarily at the request of their Arab leaders. The Arabs rejected the UN proposal of a two State solution and instead waged violence against any Jews coming to live there as their neighbors. Unfortunately for the people who listened to the Arab leaders and chose to leave their homes, Israel won the fight that the Arabs waged against them. The idea of allowing people back who hate Israel and voluntarily left because of that hatred is dangerous. So logically, Israel said it must be part of a peace agreement. As soon as these Palestinian refugees agree not to kill Jews, they can come back if they want.

    The following link represents a history that I find much more informative and truthful than the one offered by Miko Peled:
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/refugees.html

    You might note that even when these Palestinians are given their own government, that does not stop the violence. Check out this video of them throwing rocks at the PLO and destroying police cars, causing the Palestinian authority to fire bullets at them.
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6de_1403454001

    And don’t even get me started about all the fake photos and videos that Palestinians keep putting out trying to make people believe that Israel is killing innocent Palestinians. When a person lies to me once, whether it is Bill Clinton or a Palestinian, I don’t trust them ever again. In contrast to Miko Peled, I like Bibi Netanyahu. He makes logical sense and is a stand up guy. Show me one clear lie that he has ever told, and maybe I will start listening to what an anti-Jew has to say. Until then, I trust Bibi over Palestinians like the late Yasser Arafat or whatever leader is currently in charge in Palestine. Last I heard, they elected a terrorist organization named Hamas to lead them who builds cross-border tunnels to fight Israel. Does that sound neighborly to you? Do you support terrorist governments? The fact that the Palestinian people elected terrorists to lead them tells us a lot about the Palestinian people.

  115. alyssa, you make Sami Al-Arian sound like a saint. Why was Sami Al-Arian on the board of directors of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Why did he raise money for Jihad? Why did he speak in support of violent Jihad against Israelis? Why did he speak against America as the Great Satan even before his arrest? Isn’t it true that he came here to destroy America and Israel?

    If an American went to Palestine and spoke death to Palestine and raised money to secure the death of Palestine, I think he would be dead right now. Sami Al-Arian got off easy because we are a civilized country who believes in due process.

  116. Davidm

    If I heard correctly, this guy’s father, the general, was against the atrocities committed by Israel and campaigned against the Zionist intent of Israel. He understood the Palestinian position and agreed with it. This is remarkable as he served in the very military that booted out the Palestinians.

    If he is trying to fill his father’s shoes and he believes the same things then perhaps he will rise to the stature of his father some day.

    I have known and continue to know many Jews in the US, Canada, and Europe who agree with Peled to some degree, sometimes not quite so much, and sometimes more. If you research the historical facts the opinions of why the Jews did this and that or why the Palestinians did this and that tend to be biased, at the time of the event as well as after, to this day. There is an ingredient of human nature in this story that comes with the territory. To the victor go the spoils. We may very well be witnessing the same fate that befell the indigenous peoples of North and South America. This may be a purely natural course of events illustrating the survival of the fittest. It is not, however, supported by any moral position. It is theft resulting in an apartheid like condition. I know for certain that the difference in rights exist. One has only to read the newspapers to see what is going on.

    In the end you can blame the person who blows him or her self up in a market or bus or you can blame the people that created that degree of despair and desperation. This is not the first time in human history that one people has treated another this way, and it probably won’t be the last. The foundation for Israel and Zionism is based on their religion in that their god gave them this land, that they are the chosen people, (just like any other religion), and that they have been persecuted so much for so long that they deserve it. That the holocaust gives a Zionist the moral high ground is an argument that is found in plain site, at the beginning, and is near impossible to argue against.

    The Palestinians have rejected what they deem unfair. Israel rejects what it sees as unfair. Research the facts to see what is fair and what is not fair. The facts are that foreigners came from Europe, a half million initially, and booted out the people living in the land they wanted. The rest is justification based on the beliefs and emotions. Theft is theft. If the victor gets the spoils that doesn’t necessarily mean that the spoils include absolution.

    The Israelis have the upper hand. They know more than any what it is like to be persecuted. They are the only ones that can solve this.

  117. issac wrote: “… the general, was against the atrocities committed by Israel and campaigned against the Zionist intent of Israel. He understood the Palestinian position and agreed with it. This is remarkable as he served in the very military that booted out the Palestinians.”

    Mattityahu (“Matti”) Peled never forsook Zionism. He was a Zionist until the day he died. However, he did increasingly move toward the left as he transitioned from a hawkish general demanding war to university professor advocating for peace. He was at one time part of Israel’s’ Labor Party (Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, etc.). Later, he attempted to create a party further to the left, although he never had joined the leftist parties before that time. His party lasted only 7 years or so.

    I think as people age and mature, it is very natural to turn away from war. War is bad. War hurts people. As we become older, we see how senseless war is and how it does not solve problems.

    Miko Peled moved sharply toward Palestinian activism when the Palestinians killed his niece. The terrorist methods basically obtained their desired effect upon him through murdering his niece. When your sister’s teenage daughter is killed, the violence hits home. I think the majority of Israelis want the violence to stop just like Miko Peled, and they will do just about anything to have that. The primary difference involves trust. Do the Palestinians accept the Israeli State or not? Will they even accept and respect the authority of any government?

    issac wrote: “In the end you can blame the person who blows him or her self up in a market or bus or you can blame the people that created that degree of despair and desperation.”

    Do you seriously think people blow up non-combatant civilians out of despair and desperation? It is this kind of characterization that causes mistrust in me toward whoever is saying it. These suicide bombers have been deceived by Palestinian leaders that they are securing a place with God by their actions. It is a religious act for them, not really that much different from the ritual that Christians do when they baptize someone. The difference, however, is that this religious act results in the deaths of non-Muslims.

    issac wrote: “The foundation for Israel and Zionism is based on their religion in that their god gave them this land, that they are the chosen people, (just like any other religion), and that they have been persecuted so much for so long that they deserve it. That the holocaust gives a Zionist the moral high ground is an argument that is found in plain site, at the beginning, and is near impossible to argue against.”

    There is some truth to this, but again, it’s presentation is slanted. That same God who gave them the land also cast them out of their land as judgment for their sins. Why don’t you also mention that? Their prophets foretold this, just as they also foretold that they would one day return back to their homeland. One of their prophets also said basically that the entire Middle East, Jew and Muslim, would be one people and come worship God together. Why don’t you mention that? Furthermore, the Israeli government was established as a secular government, and that as a percentage of the population, there are more secularists in Israel than in the United States. We should not try to characterize Israel as a religious government. In contrast, the governments of Muslims are religious in nature. They consider secularism a sin. Secularism is one of the reasons they hate Israel. All of these facts ought to be incorporated into our opinion.

    issac wrote: “The Palestinians have rejected what they deem unfair. Israel rejects what it sees as unfair. Research the facts to see what is fair and what is not fair. The facts are that foreigners came from Europe, a half million initially, and booted out the people living in the land they wanted.”

    That is not fact. That is your opinion. The fact is that the United Nations established a two State system that would allow the Jews who were displaced from their homeland to return. Many Jews had been working toward this goal and accepted the proposal. Most of the Arabs in the region did not. Many of them hated Jews. They wanted to exterminate Jews just like Hitler did. So they made a plan by telling the residents to get their belongings and leave. Their plan was to attack the Jews as they arrived. They were willing to blow up their own homes in order to do it. Their plan failed. All the Palestinians have to do is accept their new State and accept the presence of Israel. Instead, they create maps that do not acknowledge Israel. They won’t even put its capital city on the map. Such indicates that they reject a two State solution and simply want to annihilate the State of Israel. Their motivation is ethnic, racial, and religious hatred.

    http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=466

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/palmatoc1.html

  118. Miko Peled wants to whitewash the history of the conflict as if it all began in 1947. I can see why this would be important to his narrative because it is necessary in his portrayal of the Israelis as the unjust aggressor. This is such a slanted presentation that it’s makes one wonder what could possibly be true or false. I don’t believe either side is completely innocent in this historical conflict; so if someone has an objective presentation that provides the entire history, I’ll certainly be interested in reading/watching it.

  119. Davidm

    When it comes right down to it, when you take away the myths and fairytales of this god or that god, who is preferred by this god or that god, pedophile prophets, nut cases that will sacrifice their son to prove this or that; when you strip away all the bullish*t, and it is, at the end of the day it is just bullish*t, what happened is that people who had been living there for over a thousand years consecutively, were displaced by the influx of a people that had the sympathy and backing of the dominant military forces of the world.

    You can cherry pick and identify the moments in time and actions where the Palestinians didn’t do what the West and Israel wanted them to do. You can describe the subterfuge and double talk of both sides, and proof exists with no doubt that the manipulation of the situation has been performed by both sides.

    There is no difference in the results of a suicide bombing, rocket bombing, jet fighter bombing, carpet bombing, etc., dead innocents are dead innocents. This is part of war. If Israelis were blowing themselves up in attacking their enemy then they would be seen as all sacrificing and examples of the ultimate courageous actions. There is nothing courageous about pressing a button and blowing school children to pieces and then going back to the base for a scotch and soda in the officers mess.

    To say that it is the fault of the Palestinians by pointing out hopeless situations where they could have done this but did that, is nothing more than designing history to suit your argument. This is done from both perspectives.

    However, the Palestinians did not take away the lands and homes of the Jews, regardless of the infighting that has been going on there for centuries. The Jews, Zionists, Israelis, or just that dominant side did, take away, expel, and continue to expropriate lands from the Palestinians. What is going on is nothing more than another ethnic cleansing. If Israel makes it difficult enough for the Palestinians to live on equal terms or just to live in what those in power see as Israel, (all the land, including the West Bank and Gaza), then the Palestinians will either leave or submit. The big difference between the ethnic cleansing of North and South America and other parts of the world is it is being done smack dab in the middle of the enemy. With an unending stream of Europeans coming in to kick out the indigenous peoples of North and South America time and numbers was on the side of the invaders or immigrants. Time and numbers are not on the side of Israel.

    The longer Israel continues on this unholy path of ethnic cleansing, regardless of opinion it is nothing more or less than that, the more of an argument is given to the extremists that surround Israel. The solution lies in the center and Israel is the only side that has access to the center. Unfortunately there are enough religious extremists on the Israeli side to thwart any moves to honestly and equally solving the problem. That there are religious extremists on the Palestinian side goes without saying, however, the dominant side creates them and then can either continue with the situation that created them, creating more or changes the situation.

    The Israeli position has been from the beginning: We are here. We will be increasing as more and more come. Right now Israel is persuading as many of the half million French Jews to leave France and immigrate to Israel. Russia, the US, and other parts of the world are the places where Israel obtains its people. Palestinians can have what we and the West have determined, something that was ludicrous. After every argument/war/altercation the offer was reduced more and more as the number of Jewish immigrants increased and more land was needed.

    There is no viable solution for the Palestinians other than dispersal, subjugation, or death. Regarding the hundreds of millions of Muslims that surround Israel, as has been seen since 1948, they are as nations unstable, as a people in a state of flux, and economically, technologically, and politically growing in strength as time goes by. Israel may very well succeed in forcing Palestinians to leave, subjugating others, and killing many more but in doing so the ‘great experiment’ of two peoples sharing one land and operating on an equal footing through democracy and self representation will evaporate.

    The time may come when the world does get tired of supporting an apartheid nation. It happened in Rhodesia and South Africa. At the height of the ‘us versus them’ conditions of the Cold War, South African’s apartheid system was protected by Western powers. When the USSR ceased to be a threat, the stink became apparent.

    Israel, for all its positive aspects and given that it is the foundation of Christianity in both negative as well as positive ways, smells bad and will smell even worse. Only Israel has the power to solve this mess. As long as a people are racist through whatever explanation: their god’s chosen people, that they have been around longer than the others, their turning desert into gardens, etc, they will be subject to attack. Given Israel’s location smack dab in the middle of all the chaos and even crazier religious bs, their salvation doesn’t appear to come from digging their heels in.

  120. Olly

    You touch upon the essence of the problem, both sides. However, one side has to make the first move. Israel continues to erode the previously offered West Bank, continues to divide the people into two classes, continues to extract a dozen or more Palestinians dead for every Israeli killed.

    The only side that can start the move to the center is Israel, however, they move further and further away, forcing the Palestinians to flip out more and more.

    Throughout the history of mankind this scenario has played out from feuds between families to entire nations. The paradigms exist to follow. Israel’s example is not one that can be seen as anything other than ethnic cleansing through subjugation and attrition.

    Personally I see two solutions. One to divide the entire area by creating a border across the middle, install UN troops to oversee the migration of Palestinians North and Israelis South. Allow each side to establish its own country with a UN protected corridor. The paradigm is India and Pakistan after 1948. The second is to create one land with equal voting rights for all ‘citizens’ registered at the moment of inception. This could be overseen by the UN and the new land could be called Israel-Palestine, or whatever. It would not be a country where one religion would be privileged over another, something like what is working fairly well in most of the rest of the world. Judaism and Islam could be protected by the government just as the various religions of the West are protected by their governments regardless of the extreme concepts, as long as they obey the laws that pertain to all.

  121. Ҥ 193. How war is a method of acquisition.

    IF it be lawful to carry off things belonging to an enemy, with a view of weakening him (§ 160), and sometimes of punishing him (§ 162), it is no less lawful in a just war to appropriate them to our own use, by way of compensation, which the civilians term expletio juris (§ 161). They are retained as equivalent for what is due by the enemy, for the expenses and damages which he has occasioned, and even (when there is cause to punish him) as a commutation for the punishment he has deserved. For, when I cannot obtain the individual thing which belongs or is due to me, I have a right to an equivalent, which, by the rules of expletive justice, and in moral estimation, is considered as the thing itself. Thus, according to the law of nature, which constitutes the necessary law of nations, war, founded on justice, is a lawful mode of acquisition.

    § 194. Measure of the right it gives.

    But that sacred law does not authorize even the acquisitions made in a just war, any farther than as they are approved by justice, — that is to say, no farther than is requisite to obtain complete satisfaction in the degree necessary for accomplishing the lawful ends we have just mentioned. An equitable conqueror, deaf to the suggestions of ambition and avarice, will make a just estimate of what is due to him, — that is to say, of the thing which has been the subject of the war (if the thing itself is no longer recoverable), and of the damages and expenses of the war, — and will retain no more of the enemy’s property than what is precisely sufficient to furnish the equivalent. But if he lias to do with a perfidious, restless, and dangerous enemy, he will, by way of punishment, deprive him of some of his towns or provinces, and keep them to serve as a barrier to his own dominions. Nothing is more allowable than to weaken an enemy who has rendered himself suspected and formidable. The lawful end of punishment is future security. The conditions necessary for rendering an acquisition, made by arms, just and irreproachable before God and our own conscience, are these, — justice in the cause, and equity in the measure of the satisfaction.

    § 195. Rules of the voluntary law of nations.

    But nations cannot, in their dealings with each other, insist on this rigid justice. By the rules of the voluntary law of nations, every regular war is on both sides accounted just, as to its effects (§ 190); and no one has a right to judge a nation respecting the unreasonableness of her claims, or what she thinks necessary for her own safety (Prelim. § 23). Every acquisition, therefore, which has been made in regular warfare, is valid according to the voluntary law of nations, independently of the justice of the cause and the reasons which may have induced the conqueror to assume the property of what he has taken. Accordingly, nations have ever esteemed conquest a lawful title; and that title has seldom been disputed, unless where it was derived from a war not only unjust in itself, but even destitute of any plausible pretext.” (Vattel; Law of Nations)

  122. Paul

    Go on and say it, typically the first two words, sometimes one hyphenated word, of any rebuttal to any criticism of Israel. As far as I am concerned no, the most deserving are capable of the worst and the least deserving are capable of the best. Take away all the arguments peculiar to one side or the other and it comes down to might is right. Peculiar to this situation is the fact that it is set up backwards. The Europeans overwhelmed the indigenous peoples of North and South America with disease, superior weaponry, and vast and unstoppable numbers of immigrants. It was as pure an example of attrition as can be found in human history. This is almost the opposite, an inferior number temporarily superior in some facets of society, smack dab in the middle of, not only vastly superior numbers but growing as well, coupled with growing wealth and increasing stature in the world.

  123. issac wrote: “… what happened is that people who had been living there for over a thousand years consecutively, were displaced by the influx of a people that had the sympathy and backing of the dominant military forces of the world.”

    And what about the Jews who had been living there consecutively for thousands of years? Are you ignoring them simply because they were a minority?

    So in your perspective, if a culture is persecuted and scattered over the face of the earth, their hope to return to their land (the concept of eretz is at the very heart of Judaism) is invalid?

    issac wrote: “There is no difference in the results of a suicide bombing, rocket bombing, jet fighter bombing, carpet bombing, etc., dead innocents are dead innocents. This is part of war. If Israelis were blowing themselves up in attacking their enemy then they would be seen as all sacrificing and examples of the ultimate courageous actions. There is nothing courageous about pressing a button and blowing school children to pieces and then going back to the base for a scotch and soda in the officers mess.”

    You have a very odd way of creating a moral equivalence between the methods of fighting of Israelis and Palestinian Muslims. The next thing you will say is that the 9/11 hijackers were entirely justified in how they murdered our own citizens. You probably consider that we stepped on their necks somehow, so they had no choice, but in their hopeless desperation they were justified in stealing our planes, killing our innocent citizens (including Muslims), and destroying our planes and buildings.

    Even if you take out the suicide aspect, Israelis are not going into Palestinian territory and massacring civilians riding on the public busses, nor are they walking into restaurants and slaughtering everyone in sight. There is no moral equivalence in the way that the Palestinian Muslims fight, targeting innocent civilians, and the way Israelis fight, attempting to secure their citizens from these immoral and criminal attacks by targeting the places from which these attacks are launched.

    In regards to the number of civilian innocents killed, the Palestinians have a propaganda machine that makes sure to exaggerate those numbers. They also incorporate young children in their warfare so when the children are killed, they can use that in their propaganda about how the Israelis are killing innocent children. They continually put out doctored and fake pictures with misinformation.

    Consider this article about the propaganda of “innocent civilians” being killed in Palestine. The actual numbers are impossible to evaluate objectively because of all the subterfuge.

    http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/how-many-civilians-have-been-killed-in-gaza

    issac wrote: “The Jews, Zionists, Israelis, or just that dominant side did, take away, expel, and continue to expropriate lands from the Palestinians. What is going on is nothing more than another ethnic cleansing.”

    Now you are just spreading more misinformation. Most Palestinians left their homes to go to neighboring countries because they hate Jews. The land was not under their control at the time the Jews immigrated to Israel. The land was under the control of Great Britain. The United Nations agreed on the State of Israel, and the Muslim Arabs there did not accept that. Israel has NEVER made any comments about wanting to wipe out Palestinians. Those comments have come from the Palestinians and neighboring Muslim countries. If there is any ethnic cleansing going on, it is on the part of the Muslim Palestinians wanting to eradicate Jews the same way that Hitler did. You have no evidence whatsoever that Israel wants to wipe out Palestinians. They have ALWAYS desired and worked toward the two State solution.

    issac wrote: “There is no viable solution for the Palestinians other than dispersal, subjugation, or death.”

    This is ridiculous. I have been to the West Bank and other areas under Palestinian authority. Israel has indeed respected their jurisdiction. I’ve been through the Palestinian checkpoints. You are spreading misinformation. The solution is for Palestinians to accept their State and live in peace with their neighbors. There is no need under Israeli law for them to leave or die or even be under Israeli authority because Israel has respected their territory and authority of State.

    issac wrote: “Only Israel has the power to solve this mess.”

    That is ridiculous. If Palestinians stopped killing Israelis and stopped the rhetoric of calling others to annihilate them, if they stopped recruiting suicide bombers, if they stopped teaching them to earn their place in paradise by murdering Jews, if they simply accepted the two State solution and recognized Israel’s right to exist in their homeland, all the violence would end. Both sides have the power to end this mess by coming together in good faith to live peaceably with one another. One of the biggest problems, however, is that the Palestinian authority cannot seem to control their population of terrorists. That is not surprising because their leaders are terrorists. It is the same problem Iraq and Afghanistan has. Without a strong and powerful government intent on outlawing terrorism for the safety of its citizens, the Palestinian Muslim fanatics will just keep killing Jews to earn their place in paradise and receive the sexual strength and ability of 100 men to satisfy the many virgin women they are promised.

  124. Issac…I have not forgotten my promise to read/listen to the entire article, and will as soon as I finish my errands today (running a dog to the vet that is hard to handle outside of the yard) and wrapping up a report for my former office that I have the most background in…GSA keeps changing their BOMA/ANSI factors which makes precise calculation difficult for leased facility space…need to tweak it a bit.

  125. Davidm

    The Palestinians that left in 1948 left because a half million Jews from Europe were bombing the British into leaving and were massing to take back, ‘Their land’. Whether they left to avoid getting killed, due to some plan the other Arab states had, or whatever, they left because they were being invaded. Semantics aside, that is what happened.

    The Jews lived throughout North Africa and the Middle East under the protection of the Ottoman Empire since its inception and before, roughly the 8th Century. Once the altercation(s) started in 1948 the usual arguments that had once been kept in check by the Ottomans erupted into violence throughout the area and Jews left North Africa and other places in the Middle East to emigrate to their newly conquered territories. Arabs left those territories to avoid real or perceived threats or for other reasons stemming from the takeover. The question is how far do you go back for this authority of ownership. There is a big difference between, ‘My god gave this land to me, 5,000 years ago.’ and ‘That over there, that Kibutz, was in my family for twenty generations. I grew up there.’ If you believe in your religion and its authority, then discussion is moot. In fact your whole discussion is biased to the point that further objective discussion has no place. This is the typical ‘Holier than thou’ position that has plagued mankind for so long.

    You can stretch arguments as much as you wish. There are similarities between all acts of vengeance or reactions to perceived wrongs. To a terrorist, Al Quida’s actions on 9/11 may seem perfectly just. To a fighter pilot slaughtering a thousand women and children may also seem perfectly just. It depends on which side you are on. Taking another’s point of view and stretching it to the extreme as you do is the sign of a losing argument.

    What you say depends on:

    the acceptance of a god given right of Israel to the land, that takes precedence over the thousand plus years of Palestinian occupation

    a military takeover of the land, using similar terrorist tactics

    Israel’s superior ability to inflict death and destruction

    the acceptance by the Palestinians of a ‘my way or the highway’ offer,

    the reduction to negation of the basic rights as equal citizens in their own land in an apartheid social structure for the Palestinians

    the loss of the right to return to the lands from which they were driven for over two million Palestinians

    To the victors go the spoils and the authority in history. If Israel had as one of its borders a non Arab area, there might be some future for its position. As it is they are surrounded and making it worse. Nothing will come of the ghettoization of the Gaza Strip other than despair and terrorism. Israel responded with the same terrorism, (none felt as strongly so as to take their own life however), when they were contained. How do you expect the Palestinians to do anything other. The erosion of the West Bank has been already stated as inevitable by Israel and with each new group of Jews from other countries and the growth of the population more and more land will be settled making the only places for Palestinians a hodge lodge of villages with check points or the Gaza Strip ghetto.

    It is what it is but it is anything but moral and just. Israel may win out in the end and the Palestinians may dissolve into the surrounding area and/or accept a second class place in a Jewish state. From 1948, to the present day, Israel is simply taking by force the lands of others. If you are a Jew and perhaps Christian, this is ordained by your god. If not, then it is what it is, the subjugation of one people by another. Morality does not enter into it.

  126. issac wrote: “The Palestinians that left in 1948 left because a half million Jews from Europe were bombing the British into leaving and were massing to take back, ‘Their land’. Whether they left to avoid getting killed, due to some plan the other Arab states had, or whatever, they left because they were being invaded. Semantics aside, that is what happened.”

    You are being incredibly simplistic. Arabs were fighting the Ottoman Empire even before this.

    issac wrote: “The Jews lived throughout North Africa and the Middle East under the protection of the Ottoman Empire since its inception and before, roughly the 8th Century. Once the altercation(s) started in 1948 the usual arguments that had once been kept in check by the Ottomans erupted into violence throughout the area and Jews left North Africa and other places in the Middle East to emigrate to their newly conquered territories.”

    You make it sound like the Ottoman Empire had control until 1948 when the Israeli zealots under Menachem Begin started fighting the civil war. The truth is that the Arabs began taking over cities, away from the Ottoman Empire, under Sharif Hussein bin Ali, who had aid from the British government. Eventually there was the Balfour agreement of Britain agreeing to an Israeli State in 1917. After WWI ended in 1918, the League of Nations drew up the new boundaries for the Middle East. Following is what their map looked like in 1920:

    http://www.npr.org/news/specials/mideast/the_west/mandates_map.html

    The Sultanate was abolished in 1922. The Republic of Turkey was established in 1923. The caliphate was abolished early in 1924. There was no Ottoman Empire in 1948 as your version of history seems to imply.

    issac wrote: “There is a big difference between, ‘My god gave this land to me, 5,000 years ago.’ and ‘That over there, that Kibutz [sic], was in my family for twenty generations. I grew up there.’”

    I agree, but both sides have similar religious mandates. For the Muslim, their sacred texts tell them that it is a sin for them to relinquish the land, and for the Israeli, the land is a promise to them from God. Both sides also have similar agricultural history in the area and heritage rights. Ultimately, they are all descendants of Abraham, the Arabs being descended from his son Ishmael, and the Israelis being descended from his son Isaac, your apparent misspelled namesake. As Anwar Sadat of Egypt said in his effort for peace before he was assassinated by a fellow Muslim, they are brothers.

    issac wrote: “To a fighter pilot slaughtering a thousand women and children may also seem perfectly just.”

    Why the hyperbole? You know this NEVER happened. Israelis have a habit of warning their impending attack to minimize or eliminate casualties.

    issac wrote: “Taking another’s point of view and stretching it to the extreme as you do is the sign of a losing argument.”

    Taking an extreme but truthful approach is an effort to swing you back to the middle. You consistently embellish your rhetoric. You do it in this very paragraph to which I respond. You imply that you have knowledge of an Israeli fighter pilot killing 1000 women and children and feeling perfectly justified about it. You know that remark is fiction, something invented to make it sound like you have proved a moral equivalency. If you have to invent something so ridiculous, it really establishes that the side you are on is so wrong that there is no moral equivalence to what these two sides are doing.

    I do know, however, of Muslim pilots who killed thousands of men, women and children in the USA on 9/11. That is not fiction.

    issac wrote: “Nothing will come of the ghettoization of the Gaza Strip other than despair and terrorism.”

    The Gaza becoming a ghetto is the LAST thing that Israel wants. That has happened because of corrupt Palestinian leadership. Billions of dollars were given to Arafat to help aid the Palestinians. It was among the highest per capita aid given, more than $300 per person. Arafat diverted the money to fund terrorism instead.

    issac wrote: “Israel responded with the same terrorism…”

    Israel does NOT engage in terrorism. When Israel gave the Palestinians full control of the Gaza strip, the Palestinians built cross-border tunnels in Gaza. They stored weapons and used them to attack Israeli civilians living across the border. If the Mexican cartel started shooting bombs from Juarez, Mexico into El Paso, Texas, killing civilians living there, do you know what we would do? The same thing Israel does for its own security. It is NOT terrorism. It is national security.

    issac wrote: “From 1948, to the present day, Israel is simply taking by force the lands of others.”

    No, not just that. They have taken land for security of its people, then they give it back for peace. Whenever they give land to the Palestinian authority, the Palestinians use it to hurl more bombs at Israel.

    issac wrote: “If you are a Jew and perhaps Christian, this is ordained by your god.”

    And if you are a Muslim, your God commands you to conquer the land and fight the infidels (non-Muslims).

    issac wrote: “If not, then it is what it is, the subjugation of one people by another. Morality does not enter into it.”

    Morality is at the very heart of this thing. Terrorism is lawlessness. Lawless people need to be subjugated or there is no peace.

  127. Whoa…my headache is getting worse and I haven’t yet watched the hour long video I promised. When I got back home today I to work on a consult with my old Army office I discovered a mess in payments to GSA…way over the space allocated to them….thanks to double billing by GSA. I’ll be at it until tomorrow midday at least. Dealing with two huge bureaucracies’ data is what gives the headache. I am sorry I’ve not contributed to this thread as I promised, at least so far.

  128. Davidm

    You sound more Zionist than a Zionist. Step back a thousand miles or so and then take a look at the situation, without cherry picking, exaggerating, and double talk. One people came in and stole the land from another; no just foundation for doing it, each side has its moral highs and lows, that is war. Might is right and the winners deal the cards. This is no different than the taming of the West except Israel is in no position to wipe out all the locals.

    It might be in the best interests of Israel to rethink their strategy in light of the numbers in the whole region and their increasing creation of settlements and apartheid.

  129. issac wrote: “You sound more Zionist than a Zionist.”

    A Zionist is someone who believes that the State of Israel should exist. Yes, I believe that is reasonable, so that makes me a Zionist. Fine. But by using the term with a racist derogatory tenor as you do here, does that mean that you are against the idea of the State of Israel existing at all?

    issac wrote: “One people came in and stole the land from another; no just foundation for doing it…”

    This is not factual. This is your characterization. I should say mischaracterization. You use emotive and misleading terms like “stole” and “no just foundation.” The justification is that these people were expelled thousands of years ago from their homeland and have carried on a religion and tradition that yearns to return to their homeland. After being persecuted for their race and religion in various nations scattered all over the earth, they should have their own land where they are the majority and not subject to the evil persecution which they have had to endure. As you yourself acknowledged previously, the holocaust is sufficient justification in the minds of many that they should have their own homeland.

    issac wrote: “This is no different than the taming of the West except Israel is in no position to wipe out all the locals.”

    I tend to disagree with this assessment. I would say that they are in a position to just take all of Palestine if they so chose. They could just tell anyone who does not want to be under the Israeli government to move to Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, or Saudi Arabia. Why don’t they do that? Because they are a people under the rule of law, and their basis for being there is through agreement with Britain and the United Nations to pursue a two State solution.

    By the way, if they did forsake the two State solution because it is not working, I seriously doubt they would steal anyone’s land. The residents there would simply come under the authority of the Israeli government. People could either agree with that or sell their land and move away.

    If I was an Arab living there, I would want the Israeli government to be in charge. They provide much better security than the Palestinian government, as well as much better sanitation, housing programs and grants, etc. They believe in plural religions, unlike the Muslim Arabs there. Palestinians also would fair much better under an Israeli government than under a Palestinian government because the officials are not as corrupt. They don’t steal money meant for the people.

  130. Davidm

    You finally did it, called my argument racist. Zionism started at the turn of the 20th century and ranged from the absolutist position of taking over of the area to cohabiting with the indigenous peoples. Your position is extreme. You believe in the claims that originate from five to six thousand years ago, that came from a god peculiar to one people.

    At this time the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel is a forgone conclusion. What is on the table is the integration of the Palestinian people or the people that were and continue to be moved aside for that purpose.

    The presence of the Palestinians in the area for well over a thousand years up until 1948 is a much more just position of ownership than one god’s gift to a group of people 5 to 6 thousand years ago. That is the essence of the argument. Your taking the position of those that used this position of divine right to take away the lands of those they found living there, subject the indigenous people to apartheid conditions, with double standards, makes you more the racist than someone who sees how this is unjust, wrong, and only defensible through military might. The double standards, the apartheid structure of Israel, and the intractable position of the dominant force is only possible when that dominant force looks down upon the dominated. There has to be a racist bent there, or it couldn’t happen.

    Fabled rights stemming from thousands of years ago and anchored in a racist view of superiority over those who aren’t god’s chosen against the rights of millions of indigenous people make up the core of the argument. This blog has focused on law and the sanctity of the law, regardless of intentions. JT is leading a legal move against Obama for his alleged breaking of laws regardless of the intentions and the results. Israel has broken and continues to break the very laws that have been adopted by the West that are there to protect a people from invasion by another dominant group.

    What is most interesting is how Israel views the Russian takeover of areas of Ukraine, areas that are populated by up to 90% by Russian speaking peoples.

    I am not against Israel, for two reasons. Firstly they are there and it would be a disaster to extricate them. Secondly they did suffer for centuries and do deserve a homeland. After WW2 there was talk of creating a Jewish homeland from parts of Germany and Poland. Israel was created unilaterally by the Jews that emigrated from Europe, accompanied with the guilt of the West, and the desire to not have to take them into the Western nations. Anti Semitism was probably equal with Zionism in the creation of Israel. All that having been said, irrespective of the fact that any criticism of Israel automatically makes the person who criticizes an anti-semite, and despite the historical claims of both sides, the fact remains. The area was taken by force, continues to be taken by force, and the solution offered the indigenous peoples is unacceptable to those people. The Jews are the recent interlopers. They would not agree to be treated the way they are treating the Palestinians. Therein lies their hypocrisy and their crimes.

    Again, the only side that can fix this is the Israeli side. The step before achieving a solution is understanding the problem. Israel does not recognize the problem of the Palestinians only of Israel. Thus far their chosen manner is attrition. Given the demographics of the area, that doesn’t seem likely.

  131. issac – Jews were in the Holy Land 2000 years ago, remember Jesus was a good Jewish boy. I am not sure where you get this 5000 or 6000 year thing.

    You do know that Palestine’s Arab neighbors have them fenced in, too. They do not want an open border with them.

  132. issac wrote: “You finally did it, called my argument racist.”

    Pointing out racist elements in an argument is fine, but calling a person a racist is not. You wrote, “… makes you more the racist than someone who sees how this is unjust, wrong, and only defensible through military might.” That is a bit personal. It is not a very good argument to respond with, in effect, “yeah, but you are more racist than I am.” You have basically admitted you made a racist argument.

    issac wrote: “At this time the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel is a forgone conclusion. … I am not against Israel, for two reasons. Firstly they are there and it would be a disaster to extricate them. Secondly they did suffer for centuries and do deserve a homeland.”

    Good, we are in agreement on this. So you are a Zionist too, right? I hope you are comfortable with that label.

    issac wrote: “The presence of the Palestinians in the area for well over a thousand years up until 1948 is a much more just position of ownership than one god’s gift to a group of people 5 to 6 thousand years ago. That is the essence of the argument.”

    No, that has never been my argument. You have constructed a straw man. As I have said before, many Jews lived in that area right along with the Arabs. They were a minority. My “Zionist” argument is just like your Zionist argument. 1) they are there, and 2) they do deserve a homeland where they are in the majority.

    issac wrote: ” Israel has broken and continues to break the very laws that have been adopted by the West that are there to protect a people from invasion by another dominant group.”

    I don’t recognize this. Can you name the laws that they have broken? From my perspective, Israel is responding to violence against its citizens the same way the U.S. would respond if the blacks in America started to rise up in the spirit of the Blank Panthers to kill as many white civilians as they can. They are responding the same way as we would if the violence and mayhem in Juarez, Mexico crossed the border into El Paso. If that actually happened, I would favor us taking the entire city of Juarez and adding it to the U.S. territory, simply for security reasons. You might argue that such action would violate a whole slew of laws, but the laws concerning security and sovereignty are greater laws than any you might suggest would be violated.

    Olly attempted to share some of those laws from Vattel’s Law of Nations, but nobody really responded to it. What do you think of the Law of Nations? Especially, what do you think of the sections that Olly had quoted from?

    “… war, founded on justice, is a lawful mode of acquisition.”

    “… no one has a right to judge a nation respecting the unreasonableness of her claims, or what she thinks necessary for her own safety (Prelim. § 23).”

    “… nations have ever esteemed conquest a lawful title; and that title has seldom been disputed, unless where it was derived from a war not only unjust in itself, but even destitute of any plausible pretext.”

  133. David

    You conveniently leave out that, in my statements and that which is understood, what qualifies my meaning. Zionism, as illustrated from its inception, ranges from mild to severe, from the need for a parallel establishment of a Palestinian state and equal rights including full democracy to a state unique to the Jewish faith. The Zionism that is typically referred to carries a derogatory patina even though historically there have been advocates for an Israeli homeland that would not and do not agree with the lengths to which Israel has gone and continues to go. It is difficult to discuss this issue, using such words, and in fact typically, through the media, through common experience by enough people, and as has been included into our collective understanding, any criticism of Israel has been termed anti-semitic, just as, because of its extremes, Zionism is taken at its most extreme positions and carries with it a derogatory overtone.

    This allusion to racism is attached to any criticism of the actions of the Jews in the establishing of Israel as well as Israel’s ongoing actions. Because this back and forth has gone on sufficiently long enough to bring us to the realization that you support Israel and see it as just and god given, regardless of the actions taken and continuing to be taken, and I see Israel as, given the numbers and time, inevitable yet criminal it its actions taken and continuing to be taken, perhaps we should leave it at that. Actions and intentions are sometimes the same and sometimes not. In my opinion, from what I have seen over the past forty-five years that I have been paying attention and from what is available through historical fact, Israel’s intention is an apartheid state with a subdued Palestinian population as small as possible.

    History is there to be selectively used at the pleasure of this or that point of view. My support of Israel stems from my empathy for the Jews and all that they have endured. My opposition is not of Israel but of the iteration of Israel that is being created. It includes the crimes against humanity that Jews should know greater than most. It includes the destruction of a people that at one time was the majority and must live as second class citizens. Being ‘allowed’ to live somewhere is not the same as occupying your homeland. Palestine by virtue of over a thousand years of Palestinian dominance was until recent acts of war, Palestine, not Israel.

    Again the solution is only available from Israel and the present one being undertaken is a recipe for more wrong on both sides. Given that Israel is in control, started it, and it is based on myths and its own peculiar acceptance of superiority, Israel is the sole factor in the affair that can make any choices that might lead to a peaceful resolution.

    South Africa changed when it could no longer find support for its argument of occupation. South Africa’s arguments for apartheid were also based on pretty much the same history as that of Israel, except of course the extent of the timeline. The Dutch cultivated the land. The Dutch were superior and it was the time of the ‘White Man’s Burden’ and colonialism was seen as ‘Policing the World’. The indigenous peoples had been fighting amongst themselves for centuries. The indigenous peoples emigrated to the area from the North and were not really indigenous people, etc.

    Regarding laws and rules for war there is only one, might makes right. However, the second half of the 20th Century and ongoing has seen the world change from accepting that, but unfortunately in a selective manner. It depends on the god and the affiliation, when it should depend on the higher ideals that seem to be conveniently set aside when might makes right. Just because a people have suffered thousands of miles away doesn’t give them the right to alleviate that suffering by subjugating another less powerful people, making them sufferer. Or as that Israeli girl once explained to me, “We won, you lost, get used to it.”

  134. Issac ..okay, I finally finished the consulting work…and I watched the video. I tend to agree with what DavidM said:

    I think the majority of Israelis want the violence to stop just like Miko Peled, and they will do just about anything to have that. The primary difference involves trust. Do the Palestinians accept the Israeli State or not? Will they even accept and respect the authority of any government?

    Based upon the Israelis I know, that is what I hear from them as well. The historical relativism tires me, but that may be my fault…my myopia so to speak.

    A key question that has not been answered is simply this: Israel exists, and even if sub-divided along the 1967 Armistice lines, will the political Palestinian Arabs ever accept Israels’ right to exist? As a people or as a state? Miko Peled made several points worth consideration, but he did not really address this existential feature of the situation. If I missed it I apologize.

    Issac, I cannot begin to compete with the great discussion you and DavidM have held here in the finest tradition of this blog. You’ve both made it clear with your well chosen words why this is a continuing controversy. And done so without acrimony, which means I enjoyed reading your posts.

    Thank you both.

  135. Issac … you are very welcome. You always seem to comment in good faith and that is why I read your words and consider your opinions, although frequently different than mine…mine are flexible, as I suspect yours are as well. I really do think that the conversation between you and DavidM, whom seems, to me, to be another good faith commenter, was the best I’ve read in a long time and you both deserve credit for the effort, and without bomb tossing no less. I’m getting “up there” now but I regret not one moment of diversity in where I’ve live, and still do to some extent, or whom I engage, it is the only true course to learning, even for an “Old Dude” as my kid fondly calls me. If I have one regret is that I didn’t didn’t take enough advantage of my youth to learn more and engage more. I learned by schooling and by hard knocks, which I guess is de rigueur for an Irish descended kid. I am not “color blind” nor “ethnic blind” nor “opinion blockaded…rather I relish the worlds it opens up to me. You guys have been part of that phenomena on this thread…you made me think. Heaven forbid, eh?

  136. Let me say it it in more concise terms…I find diversity of opinion here is refreshing feature, not a bug. Those who think, or try to make it an “echo chamber” are deceiving themselves. There really are those, here, who try to make their points honestly, without acrimony. When that ceases, I am gone.

  137. DAng it…correction necessary: I said the 1967 Armistice lines when the actual date was 1948 for that armistice. In 1967 Israel re-occupied the “West Bank” and drove out the Jordanians….the line itself, remains the same.

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