Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Different Perspective.

I would like to thank January for creating this nice forum for average wananchi like us to pitch in our ideas on “politics, society & things” tena without being worried about character assassinations that are norms in other peer forums.

Anyhow, I am going to make a quick post on a moment I was a part of this past Friday. I live in metropolitan city in Mid West here in US. And I am a moderate Muslim. Actually my iman is not as deep as an average Muslim. I try my best not to miss a Friday prayer and most mosque goers are the diversity of Blacks (mostly Somali), few white folks, and Middle Easterners as well. The Imam is a Somali scholar and does not seem to be radical at all-most of his sermons are about social issues, importance of prayers and what not. Basic stuff.

However this Friday, Imam had a different tone, he had that Rev Wright-esque kind of delivery. He was talking about current Gaza Crisis, injustices, and killing of civilians Palestines (understandably he chose to ignore the Israeli side of the story) quoting The Prophet and invoking Quran verses. It was a powerful 40 minutes sermon and the anger was palpable amongst all of us in the building. Folks started to shout with God is Great chants and am thinking to myself if there was a sign up sheet to go to Gaza after a prayer, half of the masjid would somehow consider signing up or supporting it financially. Now this is in United States, imagine similar sermons delivered in Amman, Cairo, Islamabad, Yemen and the entire Arab world. You think how many terrorist were recruited just this last Friday?

My point is-there has to be a smarter way to fight against terrorist groups like Hamas or Hezbollah. The current methodologies are definitely counter productive. We have read how Al-Qaeda is now stronger than ever since 9/11 and Iraq invasion had a lot to do with it. Offering just sticks without carrots won’t do it, and Israeli obviously never understood the lessons of Iraq. Invading Gaza would create a lot of new terrorists that would have to be put to work after the operation. It would be interesting to see what Israel will gain from this invasion.

23 comments:

salama said...

Thuwein,

Great post. It's great to get a "Different perspective" from what we see in News.(This is a place to be kwa akina sisi)

This is shocking!, and that's a 64million dollars question. How many were recruited especially the Middle East countries that support Palestines. I just heard that, while Israel are using F-16s and other US made conventional weapons, Hamas is recruiting people. They're already using people as human shield.

Hamas built their headquaters among civilians. When they started firing rockets they knew that Israel's army response was imminent.I wonder if they were doing it to just provoke Israel whose reaction is seen as monstrosity.

But, Israel should know better from the war with Hizbolla in '06. I don't think it's a win win situation. Whatever happens, one war analyst said, Hamas is going to regroup. Imagine the civilians casualities. So far, almost 3000 are wounded, and more than 450 palestines have died.

Israel claims the ground operation now, doesn't mean that they're going to re-occupy Gaza. They want to completely remove Hamas, something Impossible.

Where's Bush in all this?
(not seen as much) Last time I checked I think he was still a Prez.!

GAME THEORY said...

You're either deeply brainwashed by your media sourcs, or you simply have a very simplistic black and white view of the world. Neither is commendable.


Total Killed 2005-2007 (Number in bracket represents those under 18 years of age.)

Palestinian: 1290 (222)
Israeli: 86 (8)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli-Pa ... Casualties


Who is under siege?


Who is dying en-masse?


Who lacks basic medical supplies to help it's wounded?

Who suffers immesurably more?

who's former land is now occupied illegally according to the international community?


Who is the victim, and who is the agressor?


Who manages to do more killing, who manages to do less?


Who is more dangerous?


Who is the threat to peace in the middle east?



Who holds most of the cards, yet continually fails to play them right?

If it isn't blindingly obvious, then this is akin to a creationism vs evolution debate. I.e the side that is blind will never see the world for what it is, so why bother trying to make a blind man see something.And dont give that usual HAMAS terrorist propaganda nonesense the whole point yetu sisi kuja huku ni kukimbia sweeping statements ambazo zinajazwa na watu KWENYE FORUMS ZINGINE

Kweli said...

Good post Thuwein, I am not a great believer of conspiracy theories but I struggle to accept the official line given by Israel on starting their air assault and the current escalation into ground assault,
We were lead to believe it was a response to missile attacks being thrown into Israel by Hamas but before Israel started this air attacks there were no single Israelis killed by those missile, while the first day of air attack by Israel killed so many indiscriminately men, women and Childs. Do Israel give a damn on the consequence of their action? Of course they do and this is why their tactics puzzled a lot of us.
Now, I am moderate Muslim as well and last Friday at my local Mosque here in London you could cut the tension with knife, you could see the usual peaceful protest now turning a little bit nasty!
The more images of innocents killed in in Gaza conflict appeared in the news the more you will see the transformation of some moderates Muslims into Radicals and Militants. These events can easily become the breeding ground and exploited as a perfect opportunity to boost recruits numbers by Radicals.
So Does Israelis really believe that these assaults will achieve sustainable peace and stability to their region? I and many doubt so and believe it will be quite the opposite and we can now start to see increased violence and disturbance towards Jews not only in Israel but throughout the whole Middle East region and even in the West.
On the other hand I can't understand some of these fellow Muslims actions (like your Somali Imam) Why the hell when Muslim kills each other in Somalia and Darfur by thousands they remained quite and not raged by these atrocities?
Only when Israelis or Americans attacks Arab Muslims that is what enraged them so much and want everyone to join in the protest. Why they don’t take the same action towards Janjaweed Militias and Somalis Warlords?
Kweli

salama said...

Kweli.

Am moved with your 'kweli' points. Every time the Middle East Saga rise, they get attention from the whole Universe!(yea, with the rest of the planets for that case) But, Genocide is happening every single day in Darfur and some parts of Africa and they get very little or none attetion.

Those who've tried to bring awareness to the regions don't get very far. And most international media tend to shy away from the Region with everything going on. There's such bias in the media too, when it comes to covering News from Africa. Sad, very sad.

Thuwein said...

Kweli + Salama

Israel goal is to wipe Hamas out of Gaza. They want to make a statement that resistance isn’t the way to make peace with them. They have already made it clear that there will be no cease fire agreement if Hamas is the only player in the part of negotiations. I understand their logic and quite frankly, they do not want to lift sanctions they put over Gaza but also they do not want Hamas to launch rockets into Israeli either. If there will be a cease fire, Israeli wants to bring another Palestine player that in a long run will undermine Hamas. Placing economic sanctions over Gaza while removing check points over Abbas’ West Bank was in part to damage Hamas’ popularity but again that strategy led to increase rocket firing into Israeli. So now they are making a statement that economic sanctions ain’t nothing because we can obliterate you with our state of the art US made missiles (my tax money paid for that as a matter of fact) but that comes with a greater cost which is deaths of civilians. It is funny now they are quoting Barack to justify these attacks “If somebody is launching rockets into a house where my two daughters are sleeping, I will do anything within my power to stop them”


Now, after all the years of outside world to disengage Hamas into peace talks, what would happen if Hamas can weather out this ground attack? That would legitimize them and trust me, many terrorist groups will use Hamas as a blue print to be a major player. Here we go again, another counter productive move.


Kweli kaka we acha tu, sometimes us Muslims we tend to ignore bigger problems and focus on tiny issues. The guy never delivered a sermon on conlicts among muslims, or Darfur Genocide but went nuts on Gaza Crisis. This happened Nyumbani as well, Imam would go crazy over US invasion into Afghanistan and completely ignore the fact that Kinondoni Muslim and Al Haramain Sec School rank lasts in each test scores every year.

misokasick said...

Thuwein (You are so like your brother)
You are right on one burning issue on diverging on critical issues at home and focusing on taking a stand against Israel. Demonstrations under the name of humanity would not raise eyebrows at all, but it is embarrassing that our sheikhs lead demonstrations based on Muslim brotherhood. Jamani Palestine is not comprised of Muslims only. Kuna some Palestines who are Christians as well living in Gaza and happened to be Arabs. Arab id sldo not a religion, ni utamaduni. I once was in Minnesota and ran into a somali brother. Unajua ukisema Mtanzania they get so excited and will even give you something for free. Then he asked what was my name, and I said Asha. He was so delighted that I was a good muslim women, but my husband decided to tell him the truth that I was not muslim. Boy! everything changed, we were not buddies anymore. He was angry that I was not a muslim and married to a white man. I felt so sorry for him, because he only connected to me because of my religion, while I was happy to connect with an African brother. Ni muhimu kuelimisha jamii kwamba humanity comes first and not otherwise. Haswa sisi wa nchi kama Tanzania ambao we claim to be a secular state.

misokasick said...

Why does it matter what US says? As a matter of fact if we all wait for the US to respond we will continue to see an increase in evil and inhumanity. why can the world come together and denounce the killings that are taking place in Gaza. Kwa hiyo we will stand to watch an entire ethnic being wiped out just because the US is yet to respond. Kila mtu anafahamu kwamba the US would not disown Israel and will not come up with a proposal that would completely paint israel as an agressor. Nothing new can US offer.

GT to answer your question on who is more dangerous, both groups are dangerous. It all depends on how you look at it. Hata kama Hamas is under siege, they are also so be condemned for using humans as shields and these are its own people right?

GAME THEORY(GT) said...

First of all i would like to apologise for my first post...imekaa ki JAMBO FORUMS JAMBO FORUMS, yaani nimeijibu as if i were replying to Mwanakijiji et al...hivyo wana JM blog naombeni radhi

Back to issues...

Misiokas et al,

I find your replies to my posting truly baffling. Not sure how good is your international Relations but i admit mine is pretty good and I'm gonna lay down couple of points for your discourse.



I am watching Al Jaz (Al Jazeera)and listening to chat btn Moheydeen(not sure about the spelling) with the Hamas fellow from Gaza. I think he (the Hamas) was remarkable frank. He said (roughly):



-They are Islamic. This is an Islamic government and it will stay that way.



-They will not be threatened over money. There are other sources of money in addition to the wallets of Americans and EU (which have cut off )




-they will not recognize Israel. If they allow them to create their state then they will make Hudna with them (renewable)



-they will not give perpetual recognition to Israel because religiously they can not give up recovery of the land as a long term goal.


-they are willing to make short term arrangements (10 years, 20 years) but not sign any permanent cessions of land.

-they could live next to them on that basis.


It was a pretty unusual long interview so if you got Al Jaz stay tuned wanaweza kuirudia tena....





We all know thar neocons and some Israelis want desperately to believe that Hamas, the religious revolutionary group, will prove to be really “agrarian reformers,” “crypto-socialists” “pragmatists” “moderates,” etc. These things were all said of the Mullahs in Iran and look where we are.....(ohhh would you believe that JF had a thread on what to do about Iran na hakuna eliyekuna na majibu?)




Now back to the issue....the HUDNA thing is interesting. They would observe a truce. The Muslims just about always do. In the life of the Latin States (Crusader states.) there were many Hudna (jama' aysh? "Hadaneh" mumkin?). Most were for 10 years, some longer. The Muslims never gave up on their duty to return Palestine to the Umma. They won’t this time either. Last time it took 190 odd years. I suppose the inference insures that the Israelis don’t like that analysis.



Sasa inabidi tuangukie kwenye Epistemology:

1-Duck Rule: If it walks like a duck, squawks like a duck and has feathers, it probably is a duck.



2 – Sherlock’s Rule: When considering a problem, remove everything from consideration which seems untrue. What is left is probably the truth.



3-Occam’s Razor: In considering a complex phenomenon with many factors and a variety of explanations, remember that the simplest explanation that accounts for the factors is probably correct.





4- The KISS principal” “Keep it Simple, Stupid.” (Army Rule)

On the basis of the application of these philosophical tools, I judge that Hamas is exactly what it says it is and that Israel will re-occupy the Palestinian Territories after Bibi(Natanyahu) returns to power. It may take him a while but his analysis will resemble mine...By the way i would suggest some of you buy and watch Ridley Scotts, "The Kingdom of Heaven." In spite of all the ignorant crap about the Templars, the film contains a number of truths, filled with "truthiness."

A Hudna is under way as the film begins.

Nothing more than a Hudna was ever possible in the present situation just my two cents...

Anonymous said...

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance...People must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives" Representative Press.

salama said...

GT.(I like your 'name' by the way)

We might not have the comprehension in International relations as you do but, (If I may), Your knowledge will be more helpfull If You analyze the issue from both angles. You watched the Al Jaz interview, of course you have the opinion from that side and that side only.

Misokasick,

At this point, I don't think it matters what the US say. They made their point long ago by supporting Israel. It might sound dumb but, may be they can convince Israel otherwise. Not only Israel but also some countries in the region supporting either sides to initiate talks.

So far, Both sides show no interest in truce.

misokasick said...

GT
No matter how baffling my comments are, I feel like you are a very intelligent man, but yet very pessimistic and one sided. I think in all my postings to your replies I have acknowledged your opinion, but have differed with your analysis. Just like many other, I do not have a PHD on Middle East History, but I know a enough about the conflict. I might not be able to use Epistemology theories but I think I know enough about the conflict. My theory is both sides are to be condemned and should be pressured to seze fire.
In regard to Aljazeera, unfortunately I do not have that channel, but I am sure they had a different perspective on the conflict than that of CNN or any other US network.

No matter how shallow my opinion is, I still believe both sides are dangerous regardless of what tactics are being used. If u had asked me who is capable of completely destroying the other side, no doubt Israel has the means and capability to do so.

I think I am very blessed to have this Blog so that I can learn more on International Affairs. So please keep me informed because I am eager to learn more from you.

Peace!

Salama,
I think I am just sick and tired of just waiting for the US to respond. It seems like in everything the US has to have a say. regardless of their interests and long history with Israel, we can no longer wait for the US to act. I have listened to Msitu speak and I was outraged by his remarks.

GAME THEORY(gt) said...

Salama,
Surely if you read my post properly then you could have easily figured that my analysis isnt solely what the Palestinian doctor said but if you want my opinion of Israel then its simple:



this new war, in fact, confirmed what had long been apparent, namely that Israel has no interest in a negotiated peace. Peace means retraction, it means ceding territory, whereas Israel is still bent on expansion. That is what the continued theft of West Bank land and the mushrooming settlements are all about, together with the demolition of Palestinian homes, the security wall, the settlers-only road network, the stifling of the Palestinian economy by hundreds of checkpoints, and countless other cruel vexations.


All thsi changed on Nov 14,when Israel did what it always does best

GAME THEORY said...

Misokasick,

well, I am a self confessed newsjunk,so I am switching between Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabyia and Al-Ikhbaria to find the other side of the story when i am tired of the usual Skynews, BBC,CNN,ABC,CBS,Channel 4(at least online kwa sasa) to find the same news and start all over again.


Internet has been a good friend as well...



You mentioned that all sides are dangerous...can you at least explain how Hamas or Palestinians are dangerous in this ongoing conflict...maybe we are missing something

Thuwein said...

It is obvious kwamba Mid East conflict is super complicated. And Bush also gave a green light to Israel to undergo this assault. Waiting for United Statement is just a waste of time.

Look, Hamas was getting popular, they won an election with right to run Gaza and Israel was getting pressure from outside world to engage Hamas into peace talks. They don't want to do that. These are hard liners "terrorist group" who refused to recognize Israel as a free state. Engaging them into peace talk is like rewarding your child after misbehaving. Israel want to avoid that. Perfect timing, lame duck US President and they are hoping to wipe out Hamas before Barack's inauguration. But that comes with a greater cost which is death of civilians.

And to answer your question GT kaka (what Hamas have done wrong)they have been launching rockets into Israel civilian residents for ages.

misokasick said...

Thuwein,
You have said it all. Hamas might have won the election and yes neither Israel nor US would support the existence of Hamas in Gaza. That said, I truly do not know what triggered the current crisis, but what I know is Hamas launched rockets on the Israel side. Now does Israel has the right to defend its civilians? Hamas instigated this violence this time. To tell you the truth I really believe Hamas has no desire to make any attempt for peace negotiations. Na kama ulivyosema Hamas ni kama mtoto aliyekosa... I honestly do not think Hamas would be satisfied in whatever deal proposed since their interest is to completely erase Israel out of the picture. This is the only way you will please Hamas for a short period. After that is granted then we will have to prepare for conflicts between Hamas and Hezbollah. Kwa kweli I do not know how this conflict would ever be resolved. Nadhani for many year we will continue to see short periods were there are no attacks against each other, but tensions between Israel and Palestine will continue. All I can say, it is so complicated and only God can solve this problem.
GT,
Labda bado tunaendelea na question of Intifada against missiles used by Israel. In that case, the question would be is the reiteration methods used by Israel too extremely in comparison to the rockets launched by Hamas? And if so, how would you suggest Israel to defend itself in these circumstance? This crisis is so complicated and I think it fits perfect to your three epistemology theories?

Ciao

GAME THEORY said...

Israel has been killing, occupying and destroying for four decades, yet it managed to focus on Hamas rockets, blacking out the Nazi occupation, Hamas' raison d'être. What does Israel expect after a long occupation? To be welcomed by Palestinians with roses and wedding rice?
Many Israelis, including Livni, evoke the Transfer (Palestinian displacement). In return, we demand a transfer that would send the Israelis back to the countries they came from. Only original Arab Jews, who were in the lands before the establishment of Israel, would remain.

What I am trying to say is that extremism breeds extremism. If we see a Palestinian extremism and refusal, it is because the other party's extremism has undermined the moderates among Palestinians, Arabs and others.

Mchangiaji said...

My take on this issue would be simple.

If Israel is understandbly need to secure its borders or eliminating the rocket attacks within its borders. Israel with all its power and intelligence, Why dont they target the smuggling tunnels and not waging senseless war, while at the same allowing the humanitarian commodities such as food, medicine, and others to cross its own borders. Surely they can do that, they are in control, and that would substantially control Hamas rocket attacks on its land, but now, I think they are playing with fire which cannot be extuinguished with few drop out bombs. And that, leads and start seeing the elements of reminence support toward Extrimists Groups, and that is growing outside the borders, as outlined on this article, WHY THAT TRENDS ???

Talking about PEACE, we must understand that, without the US involvement with this issue, there will be no PEACE in Israel or Palestine for that matter, until the US start in engaging itself in tough LOVE policy with Israel then, we will see a comprehensive shift of policies toward the real lasting PEACE. It is my hope with new Adminstration comming will do just that! OBAMA breaks SiLENCE on GAZA CONFLICT-Haaretz-Israel

and I again to conclude for the short term goals, ISRAEL need to strike the TUNNELS not the densly populated areas, full of innocent civilians!

Peace, Propaganda & The Promised Land {Part 1} of 2
- Commentaries by Prof. Noam Chomsky, IDF MAjor, Jews Scholars and other PEACE activists.

Visit: http://www.haaretz.com/

By Mchangiaji.

salama said...

Is there anything as inhumane as killing your own people? I agree that both sides are committing some ugly acts in response to this but, for Hamas to hide among innocent civilians, even in schools??!!,using your own people as 'protective vests'??,is SICKENING.

Now, Al qaeda is going to find ways to launch their own business out of these attacks, in one way or another. It's an open opportunity for them. Hawachelewi.

Misokasick,

Don't worry, W has 13 days to go, with the record as the most unpopular Prez. in US history?? When I checked last time he had like 23% approval ratings. He gave us a dough though.

Anonymous said...

News update, there is the escalation??
Rockets hit northern Israel from Lebanon

Mchangiaji said...

The Gloves are off, but this definetely a RACIST WAR, a war of dripping blood and avenge, a war against Humanity, a war which defies the Human convention,

Every single life deserve a living, what a horrible massacre against the people who are defenceless, the world follow the words of the elites, and forget the forgotten. In our perception we are tuned to believe, few deserve attention than everyone else. They must be listened to their cry, Hamas using its own people as Human shield ? or well so condemned to death the defenceless, is that a justification of killing them ??

Who can really justify, and call this an understandable war, but A NAZI who killed hundred of JEWS, and still the Germany believed was understandable Execution against those innocent lives.

What a Horrible Horrible events unfolding in Gaza and the middle east, imagine your sons and daughters, your mother and father murdered in cold blood because of the rockets hitting the side walls, or killed 1 to 100 of the other race/religion. Totally disproportionate and Unjustified, Condemned by the whole world and NEED TO STOP, and come to a sense of really a true solutions of PEACE and justice, at the end of the day, they need to learn to live side by side, and that decision wont based on RACIAL or RELIGIONS but of full Compasionate of HUMANITY, and thats the war they need to WIN.

Some, may say this is a political WAR, do we have political war ?? because of the comming election in ISRAEL, they need to win an election, they want to be seen tough and patriotic, making hard decision against the others, who aren't deserve a descent living, or a life for that matter. I tend to believe so, what a trend.

Speak for Yourself (ProteanView)

Anonymous said...

President Carter, "The is the level of response.... Israel could have bombed those tunnels...."

salama said...

Mchangiaji,

WELL SAID!

The war they need to win is the War of Humanity, not racial of religion. Though, that seem to be difficult even to imagine. One Palestian Political activist said on Fareed Zakaria's TV show GPS, that, Israel/Palestinian conflict is like a wound which doesn't heal since the occupation of Israel in Gaza, then. It's a complex issue.

And, on updating the Middle East, the NY Times reported yesterday that, Israel pleaded the Bush administration for a specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran's main Nuclear complex. O.k, this is NEWS at least to me. If that happens, it'll perpetuate the whole Middle East crisis, the anti-Israel countries around the religion might want to use the opportunity to try and wipe it out of the map. Keep in mind that Hamas 's going to,(again) retaliate what's going on right now.

Anonymous said...

Last update - 18:52 12/01/2009

Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections

By The Associated Press

Israel on Monday banned Arab political parties from running in next month's parliamentary elections, drawing accusations of racism by an Arab lawmaker who said he would challenge the decision in the country's Supreme Court.

The ruling by parliament's Central Election Committee reflected the heightened tensions between Israel's Jewish majority and Arab minority caused by Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Arabs have held a series of demonstrations against the offensive.

Parliament spokesman Giora Pordes said the election committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motion, accusing the country's Arab parties of incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist. Arab lawmakers have traveled to countries listed among Israel's staunchest enemies, including Lebanon and Syria.

The 37-member committee is composed of representatives from Israel's major political parties. The measure was proposed by two ultranationalist parties but received widespread support.

The decision does not affect Arab lawmakers in predominantly Jewish parties or the country's communist party, which has a mixed list of Arab and Jewish candidates. Roughly one-fifth of Israel's 7 million citizens are Arabs. Israeli Arabs enjoy full citizenship rights, but have suffered from discrimination and poverty for decades.

Arab lawmakers Ahmed Tibi and Jamal Zahalka, political rivals who head the two Arab blocs in parliament, joined together in condemning Monday's decision.

"It was a political trial led by a group of Fascists and racists who are willing to see the Knesset without Arabs and want to see the country without Arabs," said Tibi.

Together, the Arab lists hold seven of the 120 seats in the Knesset, or parliament.

Tibi said he would appeal to the high court, while Zahalka said his party was still deciding how to proceed.

Pordes remarked that the last time a party was banned it was the late Rabbi Meir Kahane's Kach Party, a list from the 1980s that advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Israel.