Thursday Highlights

G’day

  1. So. A bad year for Malaysian airlines, a flight from Kuala Lampur to Amsterdam (I believe) was shot down over the Ukraine.  True to form the talking heads say stupid things, here and here. “May be a tragedy” Hmm. What more do you need to know to figure out that this was not a tragedy but a horrible act of terror. And “Hell to pay”? What?! You’re going to do what!? I’ll make my prediction on the outcome of this. The conventional wisdom or generally accepted wisdom of what actually happened will be a lie. Decades down the road when the truth comes out, it won’t be the story that you hear a month or two from now.
  2. Here is some reaction from the East.
  3. How Obamacare bends the cost curve. They didn’t promise which direction it would bend, eh?
  4. Not what you want to see.
  5. Probably not a site to warm the cockles of the hearts of the pro-abortion crowd. (with that in mind … )
  6. A suggestion for a best piece. I’d go with Shostokovich’s 10th.
  7. From the crowd that misunderstands the Constitution and Bill of Rights. When it doesn’t make a difference a thing should be allowed, not restricted. Hint: Where gun laws are relaxed it leads to no perceptible increase in gun violence. Duh.
  8. The UN and legal responsibility.
  9. Imaging the earth’s interior.

48 Responses to Thursday Highlights

  1. 3.How Obamacare bends the cost curve. They didn’t promise which direction it would bend, eh?

    Kind of amazing isn’t it the deflation in the hate currency when it comes to the right and Obamacare. After promising us the world would end, we now get gripes about navigators only helping two people per day (yet somehow an extra million plus signed up…guess the website wasn’t that bad after all)…

    What more do you need to know to figure out that this was not a tragedy but a horrible act of terror

    The right seems obsessed with ‘either..or’ dichotomies that make no sense. If an innocent person dies it’s a tragedy…if he dies by terrorist attack rather than, say, a defective airline part, that doesn’t make it any less a tragedy.

    Saw that same false choice presented with Benghazi when the charge was that Obama supposedly didn’t call it terrorism (actually he did). One of the pieces of ‘logic’ in support of that charge was that the administration initially said the best information indicated it was linked to the Youtube video protests. Yet there’s no choice between terrorism and outrage over a film. If you blow up someone because you hate a movie, you are a terrorist whose motivation is outrage against a film. That is no different than terrorists who have other motivations (opposing Israel, wanting to punish the West for having had troops in Saudi Arabia, opposing the gov’t in your country, etc.)

    ‘Terror’ is a word that is now getting meaningless. When the US shot down an Iranian airliner in the 80’s, mistakingly thinking it was a military plane on an attack path, was that an ‘act of terror’? How about in WWI when Germany sank the Lusitania was that an ‘act of terror’? How about the bombings of Hamburg or London or Tokoyo?

    I think terror should be used for actual terrorism, not acts of war, even if they are very bad acts of war.

  2. Let’s try to make a better definition of terrorism out of a useful one for war by Clausewitz:

    War is merely the continuation of politics by other means

    I would say politics is the attempt to get stuff done. By stuff I mean things like take control of a terroritory, rewrite the boundaries on a map, force a people to adopt a religion, and so on. Most of the time people use politics of some sort to try to get this done. War is simply the extreme end of that.

    I would then say terrorism should be defined as the continuation of protest by other means.

    Protests often assert that they want something done, but unlike politics many protests carry a ting of unrealism about them. For example, consider a riot after a favorite team loses a soccar game. Yes it’s a protest, yes I suppose the people protesting would like to see their team win, but does anyone think they want FIFA to declare the game void and do a ‘redo’? Even if FIFA did, would they be happy? I doubt it.

    So let’s divide protests into political protests (the attempt to get something actually done….like oppose a tax increase or enact gay marraige) versus protests that are simply an emotional expression absent any realistic agenda to accomplish something.

    With this in mind contrast 9/11 with Hamas shooting hundreds of rockets into Israel. What did Al Qaeda accomplish or try to accomplish with 9/11? Not really much of anything. If you read what Al Qaeda said in their reasons for attacking the US, you either had emotional reactions (US troops on Saudi soil, not supporting Muslims in the Balkans) or purely unrealistic goals (the conversion of the entire US population to Islam). I would put forth that this was nothing but protest by other means. Sort of like burning an American flag outside the embassy. What is it meant to accomplish? Well nothing really except satisfy the need of the burner for emotional gratification.

    Contrast this with Hamas which is IMO fighting a war against Israel or the pro-Russian rebels fighting in the Ukraine. Calling their actions terrorism misses a point. While they have unrealistic stated goals in some cases (the elimination of all of Israel), they are in fact continuing politics ‘by other means’. Firing rockets at Israel disrupts their economy, puts pressure on nominally anti-Isreali states to support them, could possibly put them in a position to demand concessions from Israel (be it easing restrictions, releasing prisoners or whatnot). Those running Hamas are not wild eyed fools who just want to empty their hate on Israel, nor are they deluded into believing their rockets are going to destroy the state. At the top, at least, I would say their leaders are well aware that they are ‘continuing politics’ by other means both against Israel as well as against other Arab groups and states.

    Of course this ability to tell the difference is lost if you’re going to insist on using the word ‘terror’ to either mean groups you dislike or to mean a military attack that is considered ‘in poor taste’ by 21st century standards you’re going to just end up painting yourself into a rhetorical corner.

  3. Boonton,
    I deny your premise. Let’s work on this.

    I would then say terrorism should be defined as the continuation of protest by other means.

    And I say terrorism is war crime. There is no defense of terrorism that justifies it. None. Never. Put on a uniform and attack military targets or use non violent means. Those are your two choices. Nothing else is valid.

    Combat operations not in uniform is a capital war crime. Combat operations designed to attack or endanger civilians without military targets around is a capital war crime. And yes, bombing of civilian targets in WWII would now be called a war crime, it’s just that it was during a time when war crimes were done by all, and it was less worse than the rape of Nanjing. The only reason terrorists shouldn’t be summarily shot when caught is that if they expect summary execution they will never surrender.

    At the top, at least, I would say their leaders are well aware that they are ‘continuing politics’ by other means both against Israel as well as against other Arab groups and states.

    I don’t think they are rational. I think they are continuing a program which exists soley because of former momentum. Once you’ve built an atom bomb, assembled an army, constructed tanks of Sarin, … the momentum is there. You have to use it. Doesn’t make it rational or right. Again returning to WWII. The allied offensive in (arguably) Italy, (more justifiably) Burma, (and definitely the Philippines) were strategically pointless. The war was settled elsewhere. There was no strategic advance or advantage from mounting offenses in those three places, they just killed people and wasted resources. But armies were gathered. Forces were allocated. So the attacks went on. Hamas and the Palestinians are living in permanent refugee camps established by the UN in 1947 and early 50s. Say that “permanent refugee camp” and you’ll find your cause for terror. They should have assimilated with other Arab nations 60 years ago and Israel and the arab conflict would be between states, Lebanon and Egypt and not with persons exiled for life stupidly living in permanent prisons. Blame the UN for not saying these camps need to be gone in the next 5 years after they were first established.

    For example, consider a riot after a favorite team loses a soccer game.

    What then are the more common riots and violence that occurs when your team wins?

    I would say politics is the attempt to get stuff done.

    So. Following the quote I’ve used in the past of Bertrand de Jouvenal on power (that authority is legitimate if it is granted not coerced) then War is the ultimate expression of illegitimate power? Hmm. What then would be the response of France and the UK declaring war on Germany on the invasion of Poland? That seems a different sort of thing than your ” control of a terroritory, rewrite the boundaries on a map, force a people to adopt a religion, and so on”, as it was a response to try to prevent another from doing those illegitimate things.

    Whence comes your comfort with terror? Is it your lack of a horror reaction when you see Che’ or Mao chic displays? Or Stalinist art chic? Does that play in here?

    puts pressure on nominally anti-Isreali states to support them,

    I fail to see how that works. Committing crimes should not engender support.

  4. Boonton,

    If an innocent person dies it’s a tragedy…if he dies by terrorist attack rather than, say, a defective airline part, that doesn’t make it any less a tragedy.

    Jeffery Dahmer kills, rapes, and eats a boy (pick the order). Odd but things like that are not commonly called a tragedy.

  5. And I say terrorism is war crime. There is no defense of terrorism that justifies it. None

    You’re assuming that ‘continuation of protest by other means’ means terrorism can be considered ok. That conclusion does not follow. Just as politics is typically ‘OK’ that doesn’t mean war is therefore automatically ‘OK’. We divide wars into just and unjust wars. There’s no reason you can’t accept my premise but conclude unlike war, ‘just terrorism’ is an empty set. As you note some pacifists also conclude the set of ‘just wars’ is empty as well and no matter how much they seem justified none can ever be accepted.

    The only reason terrorists shouldn’t be summarily shot when caught is that if they expect summary execution they will never surrender.

    “Summary execution” implies you’re going to ditch due process for prosecution of crimes. That doesn’t seem to be a very good idea.

    I don’t think they are rational. I think they are continuing a program which exists soley because of former momentum. Once you’ve built an atom bomb, assembled an army, constructed tanks of Sarin, … the momentum is there. You have to use it. Doesn’t make it rational or right. Again returning to WWII. The allied offensive in (arguably) Italy, (more justifiably) Burma, (and definitely the Philippines) were strategically pointless.

    Chess is a very rational game, doesn’t mean chess players don’t make amazingly stupid moves every day of the week. I don’t buy your ‘momentum’ argument. If it was momentum why the ups and downs in the # of rockets shoot off over time. Hamas, to maintain power, has to position itself not only against Israel but also against competiting groups jockeying for power. There’s a pretty clear evolutionary process that, IMO, would select against decision makers who could not at least act rational. Now rational here is simply aligning actions with short and long term goals. Just because you don’t share an enemy’s goals doesn’t mean you can assume he is irrational.

    Blame the UN for not saying these camps need to be gone in the next 5 years after they were first established.

    sounds like you’re agreeing with me that terrorism is ‘protest by o ther means’. But in all reality if the UN ‘ordered’ the camps to be gone in 5 years you think they would be? The UN is a consensus body, not a governing one.

    So. Following the quote I’ve used in the past of Bertrand de Jouvenal on power (that authority is legitimate if it is granted not coerced) then War is the ultimate expression of illegitimate power? Hmm. What then would be the response of France and the UK declaring war on Germany on the invasion of Poland? That seems a different sort of thing than your ” control of a terroritory, rewrite the boundaries on a map, force a people to adopt a religion, and so on”, as it was a response to try to prevent another from doing those illegitimate things.

    I think you’re confusing the issue here. You’re raising the question of whether or not various actors had the legitimate power to use war to get things done. You can also ask that type of question when it is just simple politics….does a Senator have a right to hold up a needed appointment to try to force some pork spending in his state…is that legit or not? Regardless both players there are trying to ‘get something done’ and politics is how they do it.

    Whence comes your comfort with terror?

    Your insistence on using a mere emotional definition of terrorism does more to facilitate terrorism by creating unneeded confusion. You are thinking because it is uncomfortable for me to dislodge your emotional based definition I must be comfortable with terrorism, I am no.

    I fail to see how that works. Committing crimes should not engender support

    Pretty simple, states like Iran assert they oppose Israel. When Hamas attacks Israel then they make a claim of support on Iran. The gov’t of Iran then is pressured to support Hamas, not to do so would make their anti-Isreal position look empty and impotent.

    Jeffery Dahmer kills, rapes, and eats a boy (pick the order). Odd but things like that are not commonly called a tragedy.

    If I were writing a profile of one of the families of Dahmer’s victims, I could easily write something like “Then on XXX XX, 19XX, tragedy struck the family as their son was ….” and no one would bat an eyebrow.

  6. Boonton,

    You’re assuming that ‘continuation of protest by other means’ means terrorism can be considered ok.

    Returning to Mr Dahmer, calling what he did a “continuation of feeding from other sources” is similar. I don’t understand your reasoning to do so besides an attempt to partially legitimize what they do.

    There’s no reason you can’t accept my premise but conclude unlike war, ‘just terrorism’ is an empty set.

    But as it is an empty set, of what value is your assumption it is an extension of protest? You could call it advertising just as well. But there is no reason to do so. What was Mr Manning “protesting?” Do you pretend that if Hamas had non-violent means of protest, say putting adverts/op-eds in papers, writing books, marching in parades, having demonstrations that they would cease homicidal bombings and firing rockets? Oh, wait, … they can do those things. Oh, well. Try again. Terror is not an extension of “protest” in any meaningful way.

    There’s a pretty clear evolutionary process that, IMO, would select against decision makers who could not at least act rational.

    Tell that to Adolph and Josef. When a leader/decision maker has a terror organ at his disposal, that “evolution” doesn’t work so well.

    Your insistence on using a mere emotional definition of terrorism does more to facilitate terrorism by creating unneeded confusion.

    Huh?!! To what “emotional definition of terror” do you ascribe to me? I have not here given a definition of terror. I’m objecting to yours. You define terror based on motive (apparently). We do not define murder that way. Why do you define terror that way (you can define murder as non-state sanctioned killing … you could define terror as murder (or attempted murder) using weapons that are designed to kill multiple people (bombs, gas, &c)). That’s not “emotional”.

    The gov’t of Iran then is pressured to support Hamas, not to do so would make their anti-Isreal position look empty and impotent.

    You support eating. You do not support Mr Dahmer. Your logic is flawed. One can oppose Israel without offering war criminals support.

    “Summary execution” implies you’re going to ditch due process for prosecution of crimes

    Sorry. I had in mind terrorists apprehended in act by soldiers as in Iraq or Afghan by US armed forces of by the IDF. Domestic terrorists probably should be given a court hearing as should serial killers. As I pointed out the reason for not summarily executing them is that then they wouldn’t surrender.

    Chess is a very rational game, doesn’t mean chess players don’t make amazingly stupid moves every day of the week.

    That is irrelevant. A chess player will admit he makes mistakes. Hamas, I doubt is willing to admit all acts of terror “mistakes” or to even admit that they are horrific war crimes, which they are.

    I don’t buy your ‘momentum’ argument.

    I refer you to Max Hastings book Inferno. Why do you think MacArthur’s Philippines offensive was done? It did nothing to hasten Japanese defeat. It had no strategic impact. It killed thousands of Philippine civilians, many more than would have died if Japan withdrew peacefully after their surrender.

    You’re raising the question of whether or not various actors had the legitimate power to use war to get things done.

    No. I’m pointing out as an aside that by Jouvenel’s theory of authority all non-defensive wars are maximally illegitimate expressions of authority.

    Hamas, to maintain power, has to position itself not only against Israel but also against competing groups jockeying for power.

    I disagree. If Hamas was able to provide peace and prosperity for its people, I’d bet they’d stay in power.

  7. Boonton,
    Re: tragedy. You would not describe the discovery of the remains of 6 people in Mr Dahmer’s fridge as “police tragically discovered the remains of 6 people in a Milwaukee apartment”. Why?

  8. Re: tragedy. You would not describe the discovery of the remains of 6 people in Mr Dahmer’s fridge as “police tragically discovered the remains of 6 people in a Milwaukee apartment”. Why?

    I could very easily write that. Imagine reading this:

    For years families of the 6 missing men and boys searched for any sign that their loved ones were alive somewhere. Those hopes were dashed on Monday when police tragically discovered the remains of 6 people in a Milwaukee apartment. All 6 had been murdered by alleged serial killer Jeffrey Dahlmer.

  9. Returning to Mr Dahmer, calling what he did a “continuation of feeding from other sources” is similar.

    OK I guess that’s a way to describe canibalism. And like terrorism I think most of us would say canibalism is not a moral type of ‘feeding’ even though we all have to feed ourselves.

    I don’t understand your reasoning to do so besides an attempt to partially legitimize what they do.

    You seem to think that categorizing something is legitimizing it. Why would someone who claims to be interested in philosophy make such a huge blunder?

    But as it is an empty set, of what value is your assumption it is an extension of protest?

    To see that it belongs to a different species of action than politics/war.

    What was Mr Manning “protesting?”

    Not really sure, are you claiming that Manning is a terrorist? If not what is his relevance to this discussion. If so then how exactly is your definition of terrorism useful to any rational discourse?

    Do you pretend that if Hamas had non-violent means of protest, say putting adverts/op-eds in papers, writing books, marching in parades, having demonstrations that they would cease homicidal bombings and firing rockets?

    Beats me, again not relevant to the discussion. Your question is essentially asking would Hamas ever opt to drop war as a strategy to get what they want and revert to protest or politics. Who knows? If you have any Hamas friends I guess you should ask them what they think.

    Tell that to Adolph and Josef. When a leader/decision maker has a terror organ at his disposal, that “evolution” doesn’t work so well.

    Certainly if you study Hitler or Stalin’s rise to power and their ability to stay in power once there you would note very rational behaviors. The evolutionary aspect comes from the fact that the *type* of person who seizes power in systems like the USSR and Nazi Germany are most likely the type of person who is able to rationally align his actions with his goals. Those that hesitate get beat by those who do not.

    To what “emotional definition of terror” do you ascribe to me? I have not here given a definition of terror. I’m objecting to yours

    I’m not sure you have any definition aside from “terrorism is violent stuff I don’t like”

    You define terror based on motive (apparently). We do not define murder that way.

    Actually motive plays a lot in the numerous definitions of ‘murder’ (i.e. the unlawful taking of human life) that the law has.

    Granted you can use a simple definition of murder as any human death from unnatural causes. But then that strips the act of all human context leaving you unable to tell the difference between a car jacker who shoots his victim, a doctor who makes administers the wrong drug by mistake, or someone who runs into someone with their car late at night. If you’re not going to use motive in your definition, how do you tell the difference between war and terrorism? I hope you have something better than simply defining war as anything done by people in uniforms.

    you could define terror as murder (or attempted murder) using weapons that are designed to kill multiple people (bombs, gas, &c)).

    How would that apply to airline hijacking circa 1970’s and 1980’s where passengers were threatened but usually not killed?

    You support eating. You do not support Mr Dahmer. Your logic is flawed. One can oppose Israel without offering war criminals support.

    You’re trying to make a logical argument when it comes to the rhetorical/political realm. When it comes to opposing Israel Iran itself is opposed by other nations and groups which sell themselves as opposing Israel as well.

    Summary Executions:

    Sorry. I had in mind terrorists apprehended in act by soldiers as in Iraq or Afghan by US armed forces of by the IDF.

    Irrelevant where they are apprehended. Life cannot be deprived without due process of law for any person per the US Constitution, which all members of the military swear to uphold.

    That is irrelevant. A chess player will admit he makes mistakes. Hamas, I doubt is willing to admit all acts of terror “mistakes” or to even admit that they are horrific war crimes, which they are.

    Some chess players will admit their mistakes, others won’t. Not sure how that applies to the discussion. Chess players are rational in that they attempt to align their actions towards accomplishing their goals (checkmate, for example).

    Why do you think MacArthur’s Philippines offensive was done? It did nothing to hasten Japanese defeat. It had no strategic impact. It killed thousands of Philippine civilians, many more than would have died if Japan withdrew peacefully after their surrender.

    Politics by other means. The US wanted Japan out of the Philippines, Japan wanted to keep them. You’re probably right, the Philippines could have been liberated with fewer deaths if leaving peacefully had simply been included as a condition of surrender. I’m not clear why you would not think the offensive was war? It clearly was. You seem to be saying it was unjust or misguided war. Never said that war was always just and never stupid.

    No. I’m pointing out as an aside that by Jouvenel’s theory of authority all non-defensive wars are maximally illegitimate expressions of authority.

    And a pacifist may argue that even defensive wars are illegitimate. What does that have to do with the definition of war as ‘politics continued by other means’?

    I disagree. If Hamas was able to provide peace and prosperity for its people, I’d bet they’d stay in power.

    Possibly, but what does that have to do with anything? You may recall Godfather III when Michael discovers the old man who helped him is still alive in Italy and he asks him why he maintained power as a Don people liked and he had to be a Don that was feared, despite good intentions? I don’t recall he had any real answer for him.

  10. Boonton,
    Another problem with your protest/politics distinction is that there isn’t one. Protest is a form of public action as is politics. It is a facet of politics.

    I’m still missing your purpose in defining terrorism as immoral and illegal protest.

    Life cannot be deprived without due process of law for any person per the US Constitution, which all members of the military swear to uphold.

    You seem amazingly unaware of what soldiers do. Watch any war flick. Oddly you don’t see guys mirandizing or giving the enemy due process. When you are are ready to enter serious discussion, please let me know. In the meantime, watch a war flick and think for 10 seconds on what those 4 missions per night special ops guys were doing.

    Certainly if you study Hitler or Stalin’s rise to power and their ability to stay in power once there you would note very rational behaviors.

    And (oddly enough) if you study those men’s rise to power and ability to stay there you will find irrational, nay, certifiably insane acts which aided their staying in power. Megalomania and paranoia come to mind.

    You’re probably right, the Philippines could have been liberated with fewer deaths if leaving peacefully had simply been included as a condition of surrender. I’m not clear why you would not think the offensive was war?

    I never said it wasn’t war. Keep up, or refresh the topic by re-reading re-acquiring our discussion thread. The point was on momentum. The momentum of having troops prepared, having actions in process leads to them being enacted even when the logic for doing the act no longer applies. At the time of MacAurthur’s leaving the notion that an offensive to retake Luzon from Japan may have made sense. At the time he invaded however, Japan could no longer re-supply, recontact, or do anything but defend with what they had already shipped there. They overwhelming naval and air superiority of US at that time meant the far flung holdings of Japan were strategically irrelevant. Mainland Japan could no longer influence or to do anything but offer moral support. If he had invaded or not, the war was not shortened one whit by his invasion. Similarly the invasion of Burma by UK and Indian forces. Those acts were not relevant. The point made was that these acts have a momentum. Once you’ve started down a course, it is hard to stop. Hamas arguably finds it difficult to end their terror campaign because they are invested in it. It is an industry, a process, which has it’s needs and momentum. I don’t know why you resist that notion. It’s obvious and logical.

    What does that have to do with the definition of war as ‘politics continued by other means’?

    Read what I wrote. I thought it an interesting aside that non-defensive wars can be regarded as maximally illegitimate politics. Can I not make an observation. That might serve as well for your notion of terror as protest, maximally illegitimate.

    I’ll go with that. Maxim: You can undertake no form of political statement that is less legit than terror.

    Ok. We have three statements, and I’ll provisionally agree with your notion of terror. To whit:

    1. Protest is a subset of politics. Specifically it is a publication in the public forum of political views.
    2. Offensive war is a maximally illegitimate form of politics.
    3. Terror is a maximally illegitimate form of protest.

    Furthermore I’d say modern terrorists are war criminals and should never be regarded as anything but.

  11. Another problem with your protest/politics distinction is that there isn’t one. Protest is a form of public action as is politics. It is a facet of politics.

    I agree that some protests can look more like politics than the simply ‘venting emotion absent any realistic effort to effect change’. But most are not. Politics is an effort to move from A to B. Protest simply expresses outrage at A leaving B either undefined or so idealistic that it isn’t realistic.

    And (oddly enough) if you study those men’s rise to power and ability to stay there you will find irrational, nay, certifiably insane acts which aided their staying in power. Megalomania and paranoia come to mind.

    Then they wouldn’t be so insane would they?

    You seem amazingly unaware of what soldiers do. Watch any war flick. Oddly you don’t see guys mirandizing or giving the enemy due process.

    Mirandizing is only relevant for collecting evidence to be used against someone at trial. As a practical matter soldiers kill when they are in shooting situations but soldiers are not given and cannot carry out ‘summary executions’. If they encounter enemy who is surrendering they have no more right to ‘summarily execute’ them than a cop has a right to summarily execute speeders. I grant you the opportunity to surrender when the offensive consists of bombing from 75,000 feet or shelling from ten miles away is effectively zero, but the Constitution means what it says.

    Ok. We have three statements, and I’ll provisionally agree with your notion of terror. To whit:

    I think there’s a gulf between politics and protests. Politics, good or bad, appears to me premised on realistically accomplishing something in the real world. Protest IMO seems disconnected from that goal. As you say it can be described as a ‘publication’ of views…less concerned with changing ‘A’ it’s goal is more about the ‘publication’ of views about ‘A’.

    IMO Hamas’s rocket attacks are more like war then than terrorism.

  12. Boonton,

    I agree that some protests can look more like politics than the simply ‘venting emotion absent any realistic effort to effect change’. But most are not. Politics is an effort to move from A to B. Protest simply expresses outrage at A leaving B either undefined or so idealistic that it isn’t realistic.

    Protest is simply a form of … wanting to move from A to B. Oops.

    Then they wouldn’t be so insane would they?

    Yes. They remain insane. Megalomania and acute paranoia remain not rational.

    As a practical matter soldiers kill when they are in shooting situations but soldiers are not given and cannot carry out ‘summary executions’.

    Again. Watch a war movie. Please. You seem completely ignorant of what goes on in war.

    As you say it can be described as a ‘publication’ of views…less concerned with changing ‘A’ it’s goal is more about the ‘publication’ of views about ‘A’.

    Uhm. No protester would agree with your statement, that they actually don’t want their desired changes to take effect.

    IMO Hamas’s rocket attacks are more like war then than terrorism.

    Why? Because it smells more like politics than “protest”?

    I think what the Western elites have forgotten is that terror and illegal war deligimatizes (and not the reverse) your cause. Palestinians (and say Chechens) may have a valid grievance. But nobody in their right mind should discuss or admit the possibility until they stop their rampant war crimes. Poverty level people may have low levels of proteins and fats in the diet but serial killing & cannibalism are not the way to make your point.

    I grant you the opportunity to surrender when the offensive consists of bombing from 75,000 feet or shelling from ten miles away is effectively zero, but the Constitution means what it says.

    The Constitution is not a document applicable to the IDF and Hamas, nor for that matter does it protect serial killers in Iraq or Afghanistan.

  13. Protest is simply a form of … wanting to move from A to B. Oops.

    Actually no, protest is mostly a form of ‘publishing one’s opinion’ of A. For example, consider all the protests over the anti-Islam video that happens around the time of Benghazi. What exactly was the ‘B’ the protestors wanted to move too? Laws against defaming religions like some countries have? Execution of the video maker? I suspect like a dog chasing a car, most of the protestors wouldn’t even know what to do if someone said “OK you can have your way, simply type what you want to have done in this web form and hit submit and we’ll make it happen!” But I grant you sometimes protests are in fact politics. Those would be times when protests are targetting a well defined ‘B’ point (i.e. “yes/no on prop 9″).

    Uhm. No protester would agree with your statement, that they actually don’t want their desired changes to take effect.

    Not the same thing. Broadcasting your view that you hate that Germany won the World Cup doesn’t mean you had no desire for Germany to loose. Almost certainly you did. However an anti-German soccar riot erupting was not about changing the outcome but expressing and venting emotion about it.

    Nothing about the definitions I proposed precludes individuals and groups from both engaging in protests AND politics. Protests to ‘publish’ their view of “Not A!” and politics to push from A to B. But the two are different things. For example, many may join an anti-abortion protest expressing opposition to abortion but in terms of politics the same collection of people may diverge finding themselves in disagreement on what type of ‘B’ they would support. Hence if you visit an anti-abortion protest you may find some people who want the death penalty for doctors and women who have abortion while others simply want Roe overturned and abortion law to be decided at the state level.

    Yes. They remain insane. Megalomania and acute paranoia remain not rational.

    It is in the definition I provided, aligning behaviors towards accomplishing short and long term goals. Acute paranoia may indeed be listed as a mental illness but if your goal is obtaining absolute power and keeping it for a long time that will probably come in handy while the more laid back person will fail to achieve that goal. Now you’re free to argue that such a goals is not something a mentally fit person should set for himself, that’s fine that doesn’t alter the fact that both Hitler and Stalin and many others were shockingly rational in aligning their behavior toward goals like that.

    Again. Watch a war movie. Please. You seem completely ignorant of what goes on in war.

    I’m sorry you’re telling me the Constitution’s plain language is somehow magically voided by ‘war movies’?

    The Constitution is not a document applicable to the IDF and Hamas, nor for that matter does it protect serial killers in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    The Constitution limits gov’t’s powers and sorry it applies unless you can demonstrate these are not ‘persons’. If a member of Hammas happened to show up in DC the US gov’t could arrest him, could expel him, could charge him with a crime and punish him after due process of law but nope there is no right to ‘summary execute him’.

    Despite your belief in ‘amendment by war movie’ the Constitution only allows the military to kill in combat. The US President cannot, for example, order the military to roll into a town and ‘summary execute’ every adult they find regardless of combat status. The fact that things like that have often happened in war says nothing about it’s legal status.

    Hammas rockets
    Why? Because it smells more like politics than “protest”?

    Yes. Specifically ‘politics continued by other means’ aka war.

    I think what the Western elites have forgotten is that terror and illegal war deligimatizes (and not the reverse) your cause. Palestinians (and say Chechens) may have a valid grievance.

    there you go yet again. Why do you equate war with ‘legitimate’ or ‘good cause’? Hey look what Hitler and Stalin did to Poland was pretty terrifying. I’d be scared to death if I was a Polish citizen in 1939. Yet everyone calls that war and no one thinks that because you say Germany and the USSR went to war against Poland that they had a ‘legit’ cause.

  14. Boonton,

    Actually no, protest is mostly a form of ‘publishing one’s opinion’ of A. For example, consider all the protests over the anti-Islam video that happens around the time of Benghazi. What exactly was the ‘B’ the protestors wanted to move too?

    Publishing your opinion publicly … for what reason. Hmm. To foment support for change. That’s a thing we call politics.

    Those would be times when protests are targetting a well defined ‘B’ point (i.e. “yes/no on prop 9″).

    So. This is a “use your own words” thing, in which you define words to mean other than the common usage? Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” didn’t offer an alternative. Yet you (and I) would call it a political document.

    Broadcasting your view that you hate that Germany won the World Cup doesn’t mean you had no desire for Germany to loose

    Not a protest.

    Hence if you visit an anti-abortion protest you may find some people who want the death penalty for doctors and women who have abortion while others simply want Roe overturned and abortion law to be decided at the state level.

    Doesn’t make the protest not political.

    If a member of Hammas happened to show up in DC the US gov’t could arrest him, could expel him, could charge him with a crime and punish him after due process of law but nope there is no right to ‘summary execute him’.

    You were the one arguing that bin Laden wasn’t assassinated. Odd that. You want to try for consistency?

    It is in the definition I provided, aligning behaviors towards accomplishing short and long term goals.

    Except they (Hitler more so) didn’t. A stopped clock is right twice a day. Hitler didn’t “rationally” align his behavior when circumstances changed. Just because their (wildly) irrational behavior suited them for a time in keeping power doesn’t mean they rationally chose those behavior tropes.

    I’m sorry you’re telling me the Constitution’s plain language is somehow magically voided by ‘war movies’?

    When you show me how the Constitution applies to IDF and Hamas (or US

    Yes. Specifically ‘politics continued by other means’ aka war.

    Sorry. Still war crimes.

    Why do you equate war with ‘legitimate’ or ‘good cause’? Hey look what Hitler and Stalin did to Poland was pretty terrifying. I’d be scared to death if I was a Polish citizen in 1939. Yet everyone calls that war and no one thinks that because you say Germany and the USSR went to war against Poland that they had a ‘legit’ cause.

    Uhm. Wasn’t a war crime. Werhmacht soldiers wore uniforms. Primarily attacked military targets. Diplomatically declared war. Hamas does none of these. I don’t equate war with war crime. You apparently do.

  15. Boonton,
    BTW, under what circumstances would you expect soldiers (Navy, Army, Air Force, or Marines) to be identifying and locating Hamas terrorists in Washington DC in August 2014?

  16. Publishing your opinion publicly … for what reason. Hmm. To foment support for change. That’s a thing we call politics.

    Foment what change? IMO most protests are centered on the expression of opinion about ‘A’ but are not concerned with pushing for ‘B’ or even defining what ‘B’ even is.

    So. This is a “use your own words” thing, in which you define words to mean other than the common usage? Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” didn’t offer an alternative. Yet you (and I) would call it a political document.

    It’s pretty hard IMO to categorize a document as either a protest or a war. Granted both protests and wars may utilize documents of all sorts. You are aware that the English language often deploys the same word for different but related meanings. A “protest” and a “Protestant Church” are not the same thing despite the same root word.

    The context of this discussion is the use of both ‘protest’ and ‘politics’ as verbs meaning actions done by humans. My assertion is that the extreme versions of those verbs should be ‘terrorism’ and ‘war’. I should not really have to clarrify that this doesn’t mean I think a ‘war book’ is one that picks up a gun and starts shooting at US servicemen but instead is a book whose subject matter is war.

    Doesn’t make the protest not political.

    I would say it does. It may in the future lead to political action but the protest’s advantage is that it can give voice to a collectively felt emotion without necessarily requiring those feeling it to agree on an alternative.

    I think this is easy to confuse because we live in a somewhat well functioning democracy where protests often lead to politics while less well functioning places often just have protests that lead nowhere else (or leap directly to war bypassing politics). So it’s easy to blur the two and imagine protest and politics are equal enough to be the same but I think there’s a real difference between the two. Of course that doesn’t preclude the two working together.

    You were the one arguing that bin Laden wasn’t assassinated. Odd that. You want to try for consistency?

    As noted by multiple sources the mission planning alloted for the possibility that they might have had to have brought back Bin Laden as a live prisoner. I’m not sure why a true assassination mission would have to make allowance for such a possibility. While you’re pretending the difference isn’t there, there is in fact a non-trivial difference between a mission with a very low probability of being able to take prisoners alive and one with blanket ‘orders to kill’.

    Hypothetical, what would have happened if US troops landed only to discover Bin Laden was handcuffed in the back of a Pakistani police car? They almost certainly wouldn’t have let the police take him to local jail but what would they have done? Shoot him in the head? If you really think it was an assassination mission they would have done just that. Yet why the need to prepare for Bin Laden coming back as prisoner as a possibility if that was the case? Did mission planners fear the troops may run out of bullets?

    And my point remains valid even if Bin Laden one day showed up in DC. The US gov’t could arrest him, prosecute him, etc. but it could not just kill him.

    When you show me how the Constitution applies to IDF and Hamas

    “No person may be deprived of life…without due process of law”. Very simple.

    Hammas’s rockets

    Sorry. Still war crimes.

    Yes war crimes do sound like they are, by definition, something that happens in war.

    Uhm. Wasn’t a war crime. Werhmacht soldiers wore uniforms. Primarily attacked military targets. Diplomatically declared war. Hamas does none of these.

    That’s fine, doesn’t mean it’s not a war. As I pointed out multiple times now saying “X is at war with Y and that’s not the same as saying X is committing terrorism against Y” is nothing more than a statement of categories. “X at war with Y” tells us nothing about X’s moral righteousness, legitimacy, conduct etc.

    BTW, under what circumstances would you expect soldiers (Navy, Army, Air Force, or Marines) to be identifying and locating Hamas terrorists in Washington DC in August 2014?

    Doesn’t matter. You are the one asserting a right to ‘summarily execute’. How such a person would happen to be discovered in DC in August 2014 would be totally irrelevant and which arm of the Federal gov’t that did the ‘summary execution’ (FBI, CIA, Army, Homeland Security, the head of the Social Security Administration!) would also be irrelevant. Either the Constitution says ‘all persons’ or it doesn’t. All you’re doing now is trying to fight the hypothetical.

  17. Boonton,

    Foment what change? IMO most protests are centered on the expression of opinion about ‘A’ but are not concerned with pushing for ‘B’ or even defining what ‘B’ even is.

    What Change? To move away from “A”. Duh. (see: Common Sense, Tea Party, OWS … all political. None have a clear notion of “B”)

    It’s pretty hard IMO to categorize a document as either a protest or a war

    The point of this particular argument (apparently) right now is that you think protests are not a subset of political activity. They are. A document can be a political statement. You knew that.

    And my point remains valid even if Bin Laden one day showed up in DC. The US gov’t could arrest him, prosecute him, etc. but it could not just kill him.

    Which remains irrelevant to my statement ROE for terrorists are only not “kill on sight” because of the need to allow surrender for tactical not ethical reasons (a man who can surrender will not fight as hard).

    “No person may be deprived of life…without due process of law”. Very simple.

    Uhm. The US Constitution (surprise!) applies to actual US citizens and this country. You knew that too.

    Yes war crimes do sound like they are, by definition, something that happens in war.

    Yes. And they are very bad. We don’t take seriously “statements” (protests) made by war criminals.

    All you’re doing now is trying to fight the hypothetical.

    No. I’m trying to prevent you from changing my assertion beyond recognition to mark it as problematic. See above. I was talking about armed soldiers apprehending terrorists in the field. GI Joe catches dead to rights a group of non-uniformed men in say Afghanistan using a mortar to launch bombs on civilians. You think he should give them due process (!!). I say (and said) the only reason to accept their surrender and not just gun them down (as they are serial mass murderers) is that if they learn no surrender is accepted then they will fight differently.

  18. Boonton,
    If you replace “GI Joe” with “IDF Isaac” and the non-uniformed guys are members of Hamas launching rockets at hospitals and schools … you think the US Constitution is applicable and (apparently) they need due process of some sort.

    That’s just silly.

  19. What Change? To move away from “A”. Duh. (see: Common Sense, Tea Party, OWS … all political. None have a clear notion of “B”)

    As I said politics is defined as moving from A to B. Since the set of ‘~A’ is infinite simply expressing discontent with A is not politics IMO and should be defined as protest.

    The point of this particular argument (apparently) right now is that you think protests are not a subset of political activity. They are. A document can be a political statement.

    I don’t think that would work. Some protests (i.e. soccar riots) are simply not political IMO at all. As war is being defined here as a ‘continuation of politics by other means’ I don’t think it makes sense to have a war that isn’t trying to get to some ‘B’ (in other words, war for the sake of war).

    I’m willing to say that some protests may be political but most IMO are not.

    Uhm. The US Constitution (surprise!) applies to actual US citizens and this country

    The Constitution speaks about citizens and persons (for example, ‘natural born citizens’ can be President). Due process protections applies to non-citizens and applies outside US boundaries.

    Which remains irrelevant to my statement ROE for terrorists are only not “kill on sight” because of the need to allow surrender for tactical not ethical reasons

    This is fighting the hypothetical. US soldiers are allowed to kill ‘in combat’, outside of combat they have no more freedom than any other gov’t actor does under the Constitution.

    . GI Joe catches dead to rights a group of non-uniformed men in say Afghanistan using a mortar to launch bombs on civilians. You think he should give them due process (!!).

    Of course not. GI Joe is not equiped to be a judicial system. But as you note in this hypothetical the men have been captured. GI Joe has to turn them over to his commanders and from there they will get due process. If you start shooting prisoners in the military you’re going to be arrested and court martialed.

    You seem to be very coy here about the hypothetical. If a group of men is firing mortars the US military can engage them in combat. But you’ve defined the hypothetical as a non-combat case, for whatever reason combat is over and these men are captured and no longer an immediate threat. Sorry uniform or not there are no ‘summary executions’. If you don’t kill them in combat then they are prisoners and you can’t ‘execute them’ regardless of whether or not they are citizens or uniformed soldiers or whatever.

  20. Boonton,

    Some protests (i.e. soccar riots) are simply not political IMO at all.

    Riots are (edit:) not necessarily protests. That seems to be your problem. And perhaps your “A” to “B” is just a bad definition of politics. When you vote, what “A” and “B” are you moving to/from. And you do realize many people vote for one guy primarily because he is not the other guy. You keep ignoring Mr Paine, OWS and the Tea Party which are clearly political but also clearly have no “B” in mind.

    Due process protections applies to non-citizens and applies outside US boundaries.

    So this applies to the IDF and Hamas how? Or do you mean that “to non-citizens and applies outside US boundaries” means it applies to all persons every where?

    US soldiers are allowed to kill ‘in combat’, outside of combat they have no more freedom than any other gov’t actor does under the Constitution.

    So you figure there is a hard sharp line that defines in and out of combat?

    But as you note in this hypothetical the men have been captured.

    No. I said he has them dead to rights. He can ask for surrender. Or he can gun them down.

    Sorry uniform or not there are no ‘summary executions’. If you don’t kill them in combat then they are prisoners and you can’t ‘execute them’ regardless of whether or not they are citizens or uniformed soldiers or whatever.

    See above.

    As war is being defined here as a ‘continuation of politics by other means’ I don’t think it makes sense to have a war that isn’t trying to get to some ‘B’ (in other words, war for the sake of war).

    You mean like UK and France vs Germany w.r.t to Poland, i.e., “B” is “Not A” in which A is “Germany invading Poland”.

  21. Boonton,

    GI Joe has to turn them over to his commanders and from there they will get due process. If you start shooting prisoners in the military you’re going to be arrested and court martialed.

    Untrue. When you catch a surrendered combatant in the act of war crimes with blood on his hands, and you kill him out of hand, often you are not subject to court martial and even then you may not be convicted. Witness German’s killed by Allies (US) in death camp liberation. Many were not killed, true. But if you shot a German (who has surrendered who i holding a smoking gun having just shot 30 starved captives) in horror and disgust, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be serving time in Military Prison. You probably wouldn’t be arrested if you beat him to death with a entrenching tool.

  22. When you vote, what “A” and “B” are you moving to/from. And you do realize many people vote for one guy primarily because he is not the other guy

    Having A run the country rather than B seems to be a political call.

    So this applies to the IDF and Hamas how? Or do you mean that “to non-citizens and applies outside US boundaries” means it applies to all persons every where?

    Yep it does

    So you figure there is a hard sharp line that defines in and out of combat?

    No there isn’t, it’s no doubt very blurry.

    No. I said he has them dead to rights. He can ask for surrender. Or he can gun them down.

    Yet why do you need it to be ‘blurry’? Because on the other side of that line he has no right under the Constitution to execute. Hence you’re relying upon ‘blurriness’ to make the case look like combat enough so if the soldier kills he wouldn’t be questioned about it.

    But if there’s no protection wellthere’s no need to try to imagine blurry lines or people who’ll look the other way.

  23. Boonton,

    Having A run the country rather than B seems to be a political call.

    Ah, but if your only criteria (which is not unheard of) for be is that he is “not-A”, apparently that isn’t poltics, but protest. Except elections aren’t protests they are purely politics. Oops. Look.

    1. You’ve got bad definitions. Politics as “A” to “B” is a bad definition. Try again.
    2. Protests are a subset of politics. Deal with it. You’ve never ever ever in three comments in a row dodged the “protest only” categorization of the clearly political Tea Party, OWS movement, and Thomas Paine’s little document.
    3. All riots are not protests (see soccer). See riots after wins. Only you think that a soccer riot is a protest movement, apparently.

    No there isn’t, it’s no doubt very blurry.

    Ok. My preferred ROE places the bar for surrender for war criminals, cannibals, child rapists, and terrorists very high.

    But if there’s no protection wellthere’s no need to try to imagine blurry lines or people who’ll look the other way.

    You’ve forgotten the death camp killing. How likely a court martial. Why?

    And then we get to the big zinger … to whit: “Yep it does”. So. The Constition applies to all people in all nations. That’s a particularly insane notion. Citing Kant (Metaphysics of Morals) or if you prefer kindergarden (Turnabout is fair play) apparently then all founding documents apply to all people. Seriously? So in WWII the US was in violation of the German statute that claimed all of Hitler’s requests held the force of law? Thereby we were in clear violation by opposing him. Lots of people (including probably every person who talks politics in this country violated Stalin’s Article 58). How do you deal with conflicts, many Arab states enshrine theocratic notions and a clear national religion, but the US Constitution puts barriers between church and state. Does you’re head explode dealing with the conflicts.

    Most modern political theorists imagine that democratic participation such as a public ratification process legitimizes the enactment and enforcement of a Constitutional document. Apparently you are unaware that the IDF and Israel have no actually voted on ratification of our Constitution (and neither Hamas not the PLO have done so either). How do you figure that foreign nationals are bound by the Constitution (and at the same time, I’m guessing, you and I are not bound by theirs … (see turnabout)).

  24. Boonton,
    BTW: google defines politics thusly

    the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.

    Political protest is part of politics.

  25. Ah, but if your only criteria (which is not unheard of) for be is that he is “not-A”, apparently that isn’t poltics, but protest. Except elections aren’t protests they are purely politics. Oops. Look

    Last time I looked when someone votes they are only offered positive options, not negative ones. You either vote for Obama or Romney but there is no ‘not Obama’ line to check. Remember I also pointed that protest isn’t just ‘not-A’ but either an expression of emotion (‘we don’t like A’) or a demand for a ‘B’ that is so idealistic that it’s not taken as a practical program even by participants.

    2. Protests are a subset of politics. Deal with it. You’ve never ever ever in three comments in a row dodged the “protest only” categorization of the clearly political Tea Party, OWS movement, and Thomas Paine’s little document.

    Why would a political organization be precluded from protest activity? If protest is the more emotional aspect to things, then it provides a bit of insight into why a group advocates ‘B’ rather than ‘C’. Since organizations are made up of people there would be no reason to doubt that they would exhibit both protest and political activity. Just like there are no people who are ‘all emotion’ or ‘all rational’.

    3. All riots are not protests (see soccer). See riots after wins. Only you think that a soccer riot is a protest movement, apparently.

    A protest premised on liking something seems less likely but not impossible by my definition.

    And then we get to the big zinger … to whit: “Yep it does”. So. The Constition applies to all people in all nations.

    Strictly speaking it applies to the US gov’t. So the US govt is not able to deprive people in Iraq of life without due process, period. If Sunnis and Shi’ites in Iraq deprive each other of life without due process I suppose you can say the Constitution is silent but you are advocating an action by the US gov’t and sorry there is no debate the Constitution applies.

    So in WWII the US was in violation of the German statute that claimed all of Hitler’s requests held the force of law?

    That would indeed be a problem, if you can show me where the Constitution asserts Hitler’s requests held the force of law.

  26. How do you figure that foreign nationals are bound by the Constitution (and at the same time, I’m guessing, you and I are not bound by theirs … (see turnabout)).

    I’m unclear what you’re saying. A US military officer swears and oath to the Constitution. As an agent of the US gov’t, he is bound by it. You as an individual are not ‘bound’ by the Constitution. For example, if you go off to a lost island and set yourself up as a God among the natives you aren’t ‘bound’ to provide free speech or free religion even though you are a US citizen. If you want to go off to Afghanistan or Iraq and play ‘V for Vendetta’ murdering people who did wrong, you’re on your own and if it helps the Constitution doesn’t strictly apply to you either.

  27. Boonton,

    I’m unclear what you’re saying

    You said an IDF officer or soldier against Hamas is bound by the Constitution. I was wondering why you figured “bound by the Constitution” was Universal.

    Why would a political organization be precluded from protest activity?

    Protest is a subset of politics. Your question makes no sense.

    A protest premised on liking something seems less likely but not impossible by my definition.

    Chicago trashed the downtown area, destroyed hundreds (I think) of cars and shops when the Bulls won their first championship.

    If Sunnis and Shi’ites in Iraq deprive each other of life without due process I suppose you can say the Constitution is silent but you are advocating an action by the US gov’t and sorry there is no debate the Constitution applies.

    Actually I’d asked about IDF and Hamas. Or are you unaware of what the IDF stands for? Israeli Defense Force. It’s what Israel calls their armed services.

    if you can show me where the Constitution asserts Hitler’s requests held the force of law.

    It was in the German Constitution, ref: Hanna Arendt Eichmann in Jerusalem. And you claimed everyone are bound by the Constitution. I figured, by Kant (turnabout) we are equally bound by their Constitutions.

  28. Chicago trashed the downtown area, destroyed hundreds (I think) of cars and shops when the Bulls won their first championship.

    As you can see even a positive emotion can be costly.

    Actually I’d asked about IDF and Hamas. Or are you unaware of what the IDF stands for? Israeli Defense Force. It’s what Israel calls their armed services.

    Again the Constitution applies to the US gov’t so would not apply to the armed forces of other nations.

    It was in the German Constitution…

    I see a pattern here. You raised this issue when you asserted:

    The only reason terrorists shouldn’t be summarily shot when caught is that if they expect summary execution they will never surrender.

    And you later clarrified:

    Sorry. I had in mind terrorists apprehended in act by soldiers as in Iraq or Afghan by US armed forces of by the IDF.

    (think you meant to write ‘or by the IDF’). I made it very clear US armed forces are bound by the US Constitution. I don’t know what the Constitutions of Israel or Nazi era Germany say, so I don’t know why you’d try to go off on a red herring about whether or not Hammas, the Taliban, Nazis or Batman is bound by the Constitution when quite clearly there really isn’t any debate that US armed forces are.

  29. BTW: google defines politics thusly

    This definition seems very close to what I’ve provided. I imagine the dictionary would define war a bit differently than Clausewitz (though a really comprehensive dictionary would certainly mention his famous definition).

    Perhaps you’d be more comfortable if you turned the definition around and went from the higher level down. If war is the continuation of politics, then politics can be defined as a low-grade version of war.

    Your definition is fine for someone learning English but it really doesn’t help this discussion as my definition provides for exploring the relationship between how politics extends into war as you press the issue and why protests are not always politics (quite often aren’t politics IMO). I haven’t really seen a good objection on your part to my definition(s) and you haven’t proposed an alternative.

  30. Boonton,
    You’ve tried to establish, with your definition, an artificial distinction between protest and politics. Again, I think protests are always part of politics. They are a subset. No protest is non-political. Politic is organization of the body politic. Protest is one of these ways of entering into political activity. You haven’t given a reason for a distinction, except for some reason you want to posit some protest->terrorism politics->war analogy. Which btw, works just fine with politics as a subset, terrorism is a subset of war. It is war done contrary to the legal & moral conventions of war, (Geneva and otherwise).

  31. Boonton,

    Again the Constitution applies to the US gov’t so would not apply to the armed forces of other nations.

    Which is why I was confused when you clearly said it did.

    I went off on the Red herring because you claimed the Constitution applies when I asked if what you thought about the parallel to US Army dead to rights vs Afghan Taliban of IDF and Hamas (IDF had Hamas dead to rights, shoot or ask for surrender).

  32. Boonton,
    Look the real problem here is two fold. First off, you have large masses of armed men in this world who won’t abide by moral conventions of war. These conventions aren’t just for fun, they are to protect civilians. Second you have the liberal intelligentsia of this world cheering those same people, horrific criminals notwithstanding, and ignoring their horrific crimes as they cheer away.

    Finally, there is possibly a third problem. The Geneva convention, a document I’m admittedly with which I do not profess expertise, offers strong protections to civilians (good), strong limits on what soldiers can do in war (also good), and is somewhat silent on the treatment of individuals and groups who flagrantly violate such protections. I get the impression that there is no just rewards for those violators noted. No sanction or treatment that fits or will deter the crime. So unless you find one, I’m sticking with the only argument against immediate execution is tactical.

    And finally, I don’t agree with your reading of the Constitution. Yes it says everyone gets due process. However it also says you have freedom of speech. You can’t shout fire in a crowded theater. I say you can’t expect to not get shot out of hand if you “surrender” while standing over the bloody corpse of the preteen girl you just raped and killed. Like the terrorist, it may be that killing is tactically unwise. It may be that “killing’s too good for him”. But it isn’t that killing out of hand in that sort of situation is either un-Constitutional or ethically wrong. I’m with Reacher on that. You of the “it’s not un-Constitutional unless someone who has standing is willing to file suit” fame should have no problem with shooting terrorists caught in the act in cold blood.

  33. No protest is non-political

    Explain then the political nature of the protests over the anti-Islam video that sparked riots around the time of the Benghazi attack. IMO these protests were not political in that they had no ‘B’ point. They either expressed an emotional reaction against the video (without any real thought towards any particular law like hate speech laws that would do anything about the video) or expressed a ‘B’ that was so unrealistic (make everyone in the world stop attacking Islam) that it isn’t an action with a pragmatic goal.

    Now it’s interesting to contrast this with the on-off negotiations between Israel and Hammas for a cease-fire. Israel wants to keep troops in Gaza after to destroy the tunnels, Hammas wants border trade and travel restrictions relaxed. While a raw emotion (‘we hate Israel’) may be a factor this seems like a very real political act with a real political goal (or ‘B’ point) that’s quite more pragmatic than anything the anti-video protestors were after.

    You haven’t given a reason for a distinction, except for some reason you want to posit some protest->terrorism politics->war analogy

    Well it does seem strange that we use terrorism to describe ISIS, which to me looks like a civil war or Hammas’s rockets, which also to me looks like something someone who is at war does. Explain how shooting hundreds of rockets a day at a country is terrorism but Germany dropping hundreds of bombs a day on England is war? Uniforms? That doesn’t really work very well IMO as all wars involved the use of fighters both in and out of uniform.

    I went off on the Red herring because you claimed the Constitution applies when I asked if what you thought about the parallel to US Army dead to rights vs Afghan Taliban of IDF and Hamas (IDF had Hamas dead to rights, shoot or ask for surrender).

    It’s easy to forget what one says in an extended discussion but you clearly asserted the US military was not bound by the Constitution and no there’s nothing that supports that argument. In combat the military can kill but outside of combat there is no ‘summary execution’ permitted by the Constitution. It would be nice if other military forces abided by our Constitution or wrote their Constitution to incorporate some of our good ideas but that isn’t the case.

    The Geneva convention, a document I’m admittedly with which I do not profess expertise, offers strong protections to civilians (good), strong limits on what soldiers can do in war (also good), and is somewhat silent on the treatment of individuals and groups who flagrantly violate such protections

    No it isn’t. Soldiers are protected as POWs under the Geneva Convention and have to be released upon the conclusion of a war and cannot be prosecuted for their actions. That means you can’t charge a German anti-aircraft gunner with murder if he shoot down US planes in WWII. ‘Illegal combatants’ are not accorded the protections of soldiers. This does not mean all’s fair. They can be held during the combat and released after the conflict is ended. The only difference really is that they can be charged with criminal acts. Yet that means due process etc. etc. Soldiers are generally immune to prosecution unless you are talking about war crimes or criminal actions they undertake as POWs (like killing a fellow prisoner).

    You can’t shout fire in a crowded theater. I say you can’t expect to not get shot out of hand if you “surrender” while standing over the bloody corpse of the preteen girl you just raped and killed.

    Are you saying no one has been charged with the war crime of rape and murder? I mean if soldiers just killed everyone who did that then there’d be no one to charge, right?

    I think I get what you’re saying, the law says that when combat ends, soldiers cannot execute. But the reality of war is that the end of combat is often fuzzy and if you’re standing over the corpse of some innocent person you killed the soldier is going to have a very strong incentive to ‘read’ fuzzy rather than clear. Even if we agree the soldier killed wrongly, it’s very easy not to prosecute. After all soldiers are young men and combat is high emotion where judgements are made so quickly that even if they are wrong the soldier may not be legally responsible.

    That, nonetheless, does not mean ‘summary execution’ or anything like that is Constitutionally permitted. Remember you advocated it not as ‘looking the other way’ when it might occassionally happen but as a policy of the US military.

  34. Boonton,

    That, nonetheless, does not mean ‘summary execution’ or anything like that is Constitutionally permitted. Remember you advocated it not as ‘looking the other way’ when it might occassionally happen but as a policy of the US military.

    I think it would pass Constitutional challenge, just as the restrictions against “fire fire” in a theater passed “free speech” (not to speak of various restrictions on speech on college campuses).

    ‘Illegal combatants’ are not accorded the protections of soldiers. This does not mean all’s fair.

    Again. I hold that “not accepting their surrender” is only tactically wrong, not ethically.

    Are you saying no one has been charged with the war crime of rape and murder?

    You realize in WWII rape by soldiers was very very common, charging soldiers for the same was rare.

    It’s easy to forget what one says in an extended discussion but you clearly asserted the US military was not bound by the Constitution and no there’s nothing that supports that argument.

    I did not. I pointed out that “due process” is something you don’t find on the battlefield.

    Hammas wants border trade and travel restrictions relaxed.

    I believe by their Constitution, Hamas includes “the destruction of Israel”. They want more than “trade and travel”.

    Explain then the political nature of the protests over the anti-Islam video that sparked riots around the time of the Benghazi attack. IMO these protests were not political in that they had no ‘B’ point

    You’ve failed to explain why you think Tea Party/OWS/”Common Sense” are not political. But seriously. Give it a moment of thought. How could those protests be political? Hmmm (or Duhhh). “Tip” O’Neil pointed out “all politics is local” which includes demonstrations and riots. The causes and concerns of the demonstrators (rioters) was local. The “standard” causes for Mid-East riots/demonstrations fostered by the religious leaders include bolstering the local political hold in the face of rampant (local) corruption and dissatisfaction with the local regime. The rise of Hitler proved, perhaps once and for all, focus on an external scapegoat can cause people to overlook local hardships, corruption, and the political crimes of those currently in power. These are just a few of the political (!) reasons for provoking riot/demonstrations. Slightly further afield demonstrations of this sort have worked (strangely successfully in my view) in moving Western liberal elite views to by sympathetic to the Arab/Islamic cause against the Israeli/Jewish one. That this would not work against the US “devils” is still a work in progress. Why do you not think that changing perceptions is not part of politics?

    Even today various terrorists groups in the M.E. and in South America use kidnapping and ransom both as terrorism and general fund raising.

    You were doing fine until you brought that up. You realize that “kidnapping and ransom” is a crime? It’s not a legal or moral method for soldiers to operate.

  35. I believe by their Constitution, Hamas includes “the destruction of Israel”. They want more than “trade and travel”.

    What does that have to do with war? The US Constitution and Declaration assert all people are endowed by inalienable rights. That didn’t stop the US from allying itself with the Soviet Union in WWII or assorted dictatorships in the Cold War. War is politics, the pragmatic attempt to get stuff done. Rhetoric, like protest, is an expression of values which may guide your strategic goals but are not quite the same thing as politics.

    If it makes you feel better I again offer to contribute to buying you a one-way ticket to Gaza where you may advise Hamas that their considerations of cease-fire terms that do not include the destruction of Israel run counter to their constitution.

    I think it would pass Constitutional challenge, just as the restrictions against “fire fire” in a theater passed “free speech” (not to speak of various restrictions on speech on college campuses).

    ‘Yelling fire’ is actually in a class of crimes like fraud where the key element of the crime is not speech itself but an action where speech may be used as a means to faciliate the offense. So ‘yelling fire’ may be outlawed in the sense that incitement to riot is a crime, yet just because a person may use speech to incite a riot doesn’t mean the speech itself is the subject of the prohibition.

    College campuses are not covered by the US Constitution anymore than your workplace is. Your boss can fire you for telling people not to buy the company’s products, but Detroit’s police force cannot arrest you for telling people not to buy American made cars. Gov’t’s involvement as funder makes the picture more complicated but ultimately there is no question that the US military is an arm of the US gov’t and hence bound by the Constitution…which I remind you they take an oath to uphold, something College profs and students do not.

    There’s no way you can make a ‘summary execution’ policy fly Constitutionally. Yes you can plan military missions in such a way as to make surrender effectively impossible (such as the rejected plan to bomb Bin Laden’s hideout from the air) but you haven’t successfully demonstrated any reason to think you could exempt the US military from the Constitution’s plain meaning.

    You’ve failed to explain why you think Tea Party/OWS/”Common Sense” are not political

    Are you talking about an organization or a particular protest? As I pointed out an organization may engage in both a combination of politics and protests. OWS vs the Tea Party are good examples to contrast. Unlike the Tea Party, OWS did not materialize into much politically. OWS was interesting for the views they expressed and the creativity of some of their demonstrations but ultimately for either good or bad reasons they opted not to become very political. So while you see the Tea Party trying to defeat Republicans in primaries we see little of that from OWS organizations.

    The “standard” causes for Mid-East riots/demonstrations fostered by the religious leaders include bolstering the local political hold in the face of rampant (local) corruption and dissatisfaction with the local regime

    You have not demonstrated that such riots/demonstrations are that coordinated and controlled by ‘leaders’. For example, the more stable a M.E. gov’t is, the more riots/demonstrations one would see. After all, since most M.E. gov’ts are pretty corrupt it makes sense the most stable and secure of gov’ts would be the most successful at pulling off anti-video riot/protests. Why, though, were the most remarkable protests in Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan? In terms of stable gov’ts at the time the most likely place for protests would have been Saudi Arabia, Syria (at the time), and possibly Iran.

    I would argue that the riot/protests weren’t controlled by leaders so much as tolerated by them. Why? One, the focus of the negative emotion was distant, hence such protests *might* helpfully allow people to express discontent without allowing it to focus on more local enemies. Two, since the protests are aligned with the standard regime propaganda it’s hard to immediately justify a heavy handed shutdown of protests. I would say, though, that leaders would rather *not* have such protests since they are essentially choatic and unpredictable. Hence you see a lot more of them in states that are less successful at being ‘strong’.

    The rise of Hitler proved, perhaps once and for all, focus on an external scapegoat can cause people to overlook local hardships, corruption, and the political crimes of those currently in power.

    Except Hitler’s rise coincided with a general improvement in the condition of Germany (barring the end of WWII, of course). There is some truth to that saying about ‘making the trains run on time’….and the trains do not typically run on time in a lot of M.E. regimes.

    You were doing fine until you brought that up. You realize that “kidnapping and ransom” is a crime? It’s not a legal or moral method for soldiers to operate.

    So terrorism is a crime, thanks for playing. Remember I pointed this out not to counter your argument that Al Qaeda is not made up of soldiers (an argument which you never made because no one has asserted that they are), but your assertion that it’s rare to find terrorist groups that are not ‘about murder’. There’s quite a bit of terrorism that is not centered on killing people.

  36. Boonton,

    If it makes you feel better I again offer to contribute to buying you a one-way ticket to Gaza where you may advise Hamas that their considerations of cease-fire terms that do not include the destruction of Israel run counter to their constitution.

    Actually a cease fire makes sense if your current tactical situation requires a delay.

    The US Constitution and Declaration assert all people are endowed by inalienable rights.

    Actually the Constitution says no such thing.

    War is politics, the pragmatic attempt to get stuff done. Rhetoric, like protest, is an expression of values which may guide your strategic goals but are not quite the same thing as politics.

    Yep. Subset of (protest, politics).

    There’s no way you can make a ‘summary execution’ policy fly Constitutionally.

    Says the guy who claims some of Obama’s direct violations are Constitutional because even though they disobey the intent and wording of the Consitution, since there is nobody with standing who would sue then there is no violation. Hmm.

    OWS was interesting for the views they expressed and the creativity of some of their demonstrations but ultimately for either good or bad reasons they opted not to become very political. So while you see the Tea Party trying to defeat Republicans in primaries we see little of that from OWS organizations.

    Except that lots of politicians talk and are motivated by 1%-er noise. Seems those OWS protests entered into everyday politics just as intended.

    So while you see the Tea Party trying to defeat Republicans in primaries we see little of that from OWS organizations.

    But the Tea Party’s main cohesive stance is “less (government/taxes&c)”. It is fundamentally a protest movement, which wheny ou see they influence voting (intentionally) is indeed politics, except by your criteria A -> not-A is a protest. Alas that is their main political thrust. And I’d note that you’ve forgotten to address Mr Paine’s document which didn’t ever really talk about “B” or what “B” might look like. Just talked about A=bad.

    For example, the more stable a M.E. gov’t is, the more riots/demonstrations one would see. After all, since most M.E. gov’ts are pretty corrupt it makes sense the most stable and secure of gov’ts would be the most successful at pulling off anti-video riot/protests.

    You have it backwards. The less secure is a government the more need for protests. Secure government doesn’t need the distraction as badly.

    Except Hitler’s rise coincided with a general improvement in the condition of Germany (barring the end of WWII, of course). There is some truth to that saying about ‘making the trains run on time’….and the trains do not typically run on time in a lot of M.E. regimes.

    Are you saying that focusing on the problem of Jews as the “other” and the “problem” didn’t happen?! Or that it wasn’t effective?!

    There’s quite a bit of terrorism that is not centered on killing people.

    Actually you had to scrape 50 years into the past to find examples. Find some in this years papers if you pretend it is so common. There isn’t “quite a bit”. It’s quite rare.

    You have not demonstrated that such riots/demonstrations are that coordinated and controlled by ‘leaders’.

    You have. You said the mosques had been getting preached about the horrors of the video for some time. Apparently you don’t realize that constitutes “leadership”. This wasn’t a “viral” grass roots explosion ala a so-called blogstorm. It was intentionally organized. And no, I’m not a CIA analyst with lots of data at my fingerprints and don’t know the movers and thinkers behind the Islam extremist movements. Your pretense that I need to name names is a (bad) rhetorical dodge.

    Hence you see a lot more of them in states that are less successful at being ‘strong’.

    You mean like Germany and Kristallnacht?

  37. Boonton,
    Here’s the problem. You define politics very narrowly. I define it categorically, as those things we do in the public sphere to organize our behavior. Protest is one of those things. Voting, legislating and so on are also in that category. Here’s the rub, which is that most people don’t define politics narrowly like you do. You haven’t given reason for why you want a narrow definition.

    As I pointed out an organization may engage in both a combination of politics and protests.

    It’s all politics. Sorry.

  38. Actually a cease fire makes sense if your current tactical situation requires a delay.

    In this spirit I suggest
    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/07/what-is-the-strategy-of-hamas.html
    and
    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/07/stratfor-on-israel-and-gaza.html

    To Hamas the ‘destruction of Israel’ may be an aspirational goal but make no mistake that does not preclude them from being very political and the politics of the M.E. is very complex.

    Actually the Constitution says no such thing.

    It’s debatable whether the Constitution is a continuation of the Declaration or not. Most, I think, would say the Constitution’s intent is to be read as *consistent* with the Declaration.

    Says the guy who claims some of Obama’s direct violations are Constitutional because even though they disobey the intent and wording of the Consitution, since there is nobody with standing who would sue then there is no violation. Hmm.

    You do indeed need standing to sue, but no I don’t claim you can make something Constitution if ‘no one is looking’.

    Except that lots of politicians talk and are motivated by 1%-er noise. Seems those OWS protests entered into everyday politics just as intended.

    Don’t confuse an idea (1% vs 99%) with OWS. The Tea Party likes tax cuts, it doesn’t follow that all tax cuts or advocates of tax cuts are Tea Partiers.

    But the Tea Party’s main cohesive stance is “less (government/taxes&c)”. It is fundamentally a protest movement, which wheny ou see they influence voting (intentionally) is indeed politics, except by your criteria A -> not-A is a protest.

    Essentially noise “less gov’t” is protest. Moving from A to B is politics. When the Tea Party tries to scuttle, say, the Export-Import Bank they are practicing politics. A big rally demanding ‘smaller gov’t’, is probably a protest.

    You have it backwards. The less secure is a government the more need for protests. Secure government doesn’t need the distraction as badly.

    I’m unclear who exactly is running the story here? If the gov’t is insecure how are they able to stage protests so effectively? If the gov’t is only ‘allowing’ the protests because they aren’t very secure, then why are protests so random?

    Look, I suppose you’d say Pakistan is probably not very secure. There’s plenty of anti-Islam videos on Youtube today just as there was back when that one video was a big deal. Are you saying the gov’t is more secure today so it isn’t allowing protests? Or are you saying non-gov’t leaders don’t want to protest today?

    If it is the former, it seems rather amazing that a wave of insecurity happened to all hit the ME at once, even down to the very same week…even same day of the week! If it’s the latter then what exactly is driving non-gov’t leaders to want to make a big deal about a video today but not tomorrow?

    These questions have an easy answer if you assume at least a large portion of the protests were essentially meme’s ‘going viral’. In that case like any other fad they catch fire because human behavior in large groups follows essentially choatic patterns.

    You said the mosques had been getting preached about the horrors of the video for some time. Apparently you don’t realize that constitutes “leadership”.

    It might if the mosques could turn protests on and off. I’m sure today you can wander around the M.E. and hear lots of sermons about how horrible anti-Islamic videos and documents are. Yet despite that fire and brimestone there’s no protests. Do the imans making impassioned sermons simply don’t want protests at this particular moment, or are the sermons just not ‘sticking’ for reasons that elude both us and them?

    Hitler
    Are you saying that focusing on the problem of Jews as the “other” and the “problem” didn’t happen?! Or that it wasn’t effective?!

    You asserted that Hitler rose to power by offering Germans declining living standards, which he was able to get them to ‘accept’ by causing them to focus their anger on Jews. In reality Hitler offered the typical non-Jewish German improved living standards, which many were happy to accept along with anti-Semitism.

    Terrorism based on not trying to kill people:
    Actually you had to scrape 50 years into the past to find examples.

    Reports are that since 2008 Al Qaeda has raised $165M fron ransoms.

    Here’s the problem. You define politics very narrowly. I define it categorically, as those things we do in the public sphere to organize our behavior. Protest is one of those things

    I would say here it isn’t. How did the video protests ‘organize’ our behavior? It got us talking about free speech for a bit but as they say, talk is cheap. Aside from catching the news/pundit cycle in the West for a week or two it didn’t do much of anything. And, IMO, the protestors had no realistic expectations that it would.

    In contrast Al Qaeda’s ransoming operations got $165M to come out of various bank accounts and go into their hands. To me that is starting to look less like impotent ‘protest/terrorism’ and more like pragmatic (if immoral) ‘politics/criminality/war’.

  39. Boonton,

    You asserted that Hitler rose to power by offering Germans declining living standards, which he was able to get them to ‘accept’ by causing them to focus their anger on Jews

    I most definitely did not say that. I said in the face of bad times a scapegoat can be useful. Recall Depression and the weight of the WWI sanctions were oppressing Germany. “Times” were not good. A scapegoat allowed them to focus their “blame” elsewhere. This is similar to the riots and the direct political benefits to allowing/encouraging same. Don’t you think if an Imam successfully engages many of his listeners to riot he doesn’t garner influence and power. Sounds like politics to me.

    Essentially noise “less gov’t” is protest. Moving from A to B is politics. When the Tea Party tries to scuttle, say, the Export-Import Bank they are practicing politics. A big rally demanding ‘smaller gov’t’, is probably a protest.

    All politics. Why the distinction?

    Reports are that since 2008 Al Qaeda has raised $165M fron ransoms.

    And how? Piracy. Hmm. People don’t die when pirates attack? Please. And if you had pirates dead to rights … kill or not?

    You asserted that Hitler rose to power by offering Germans declining living standards, which he was able to get them to ‘accept’ by causing them to focus their anger on Jews.

    In reality Germany was suffering under the Treaty of Versailles conditions and had a horrific Depression.

    I would say here it isn’t. How did the video protests ‘organize’ our behavior? It got us talking about free speech for a bit but as they say, talk is cheap. Aside from catching the news/pundit cycle in the West for a week or two it didn’t do much of anything. And, IMO, the protestors had no realistic expectations that it would.

    So. How has the Hamas/PLO “protests” organized things in the West vis a vis Israel? Oh, wait. It has garnered them great sympathy (why? I have no clue … do you know how suicide/homicide bombing garners anything but loathing?). So, by and large the campaign of terror by Hamas has gotten them mileage. Did the video protests? Probably not, that one act … but this is a campaign.

    Essentially noise “less gov’t” is protest. Moving from A to B is politics. When the Tea Party tries to scuttle, say, the Export-Import Bank they are practicing politics. A big rally demanding ‘smaller gov’t’, is probably a protest.

    Why the distinction? Politics is the category of actions in the public sphere. Protest is a facet of that.

  40. Boonton,
    Where did I say Hitler “offered them declining standards”?

  41. Boonton,

    You asserted that Hitler rose to power by offering Germans declining living standards, which he was able to get them to ‘accept’ by causing them to focus their anger on Jews.

    Here is what I wrote:

    The rise of Hitler proved, perhaps once and for all, focus on an external scapegoat can cause people to overlook local hardships, corruption, and the political crimes of those currently in power. These are just a few of the political (!) reasons for provoking riot/demonstrations.

    Not what you claim I asserted. Depression and the Treaty conditions were hardships. Corruption and the crimes (many of them Hitler’s Brownshirts) needed ignoring

  42. Recall Depression and the weight of the WWI sanctions were oppressing Germany. “Times” were not good.

    The history here is often forgotten. The hyper-inflation had already been stopped long before Hitler got any power. Germany had never sacrificed many economic resources paying reparations to the allies. At the end of the day German politicians refused to impose either taxes or budget cuts to pay the sanctions and what ended up happening was a game of hot potato where Germany issued bonds to pay the sanctions which it then sold to the allies to make the payments.

    Germany was actually doing quite well when Hitler came to power and Germany’s standard of living rose after the Nazi’s took control. The idea that Germany was a disgraced failure which turned to Hitler to save itself from ruin and starvation is actually Nazi propaganda. The average Germany was doing quite well by world standards and had little reason to feel anger and hatred that could be ‘redirected’ towards Jews.

    It is interesting that sometimes radicalism comes not from hardship but success. Germany all in all did ok in the post WWI era. In some ways they did better than the UK, despite the UK supposedly being on the receiving end of all those ‘repariation’ payments. The resentment that brought Hitler to power probably wasn’t economic hardship as much as pride and arrogance of the old order feeling it was entitled to power and seeking a scapegoat for its failure.

    Don’t you think if an Imam successfully engages many of his listeners to riot he doesn’t garner influence and power.

    Hmmm, power and influence would make him a competitor with the government. It also sets him against other Iman’s who are playing the same game. This sounds like it would make successful riots and protests less about elite power and more about the random and choatic nature of human society.

    All politics. Why the distinction?

    Distinctions are important, and it provides us with a tool for defining terrorism from war. Sorry but we’re going a bit too far here where people like you have essentially defined terrorism as being just about everything and anything you don’t like. For example, why is Isis ‘terrorism’ and not a civil war? Capturing territory, killing representatives of the old regime, looting their riches and equipment are all pretty much standard to rebellions and wars since ancient times. Shelling a country with hundreds of rockets is likewise an act of war, no different than what Nazi Germany did to London with planes at the start of WWII and rockets at the end.

    Ransoms:
    And how? Piracy. Hmm. People don’t die when pirates attack?

    Pretty simple. Step 1, kidnap someone. Step 2, demand ransom. Step 3, collect ransom and release person. Step 4, repeat until you’re rich.

    Yes people can get killed but the idea is not to kill people, bad for business why pay ransom if you don’t believe the kidnappers will honor the deal to return the hostage?

    Hamas’s goals versus video protesters:

    So. How has the Hamas/PLO “protests” organized things in the West vis a vis Israel? Oh, wait. It has garnered them great sympathy

    PLO != Hamas. An inability to know who is who does not bode well for someone who intends to educate us about what politics is.

    Anyway I’m unaware of any great amount of pro-Hamas protests in the West nor any great change in the amount of sympathy Hamas has before or after this outbreak. I suggest you read the links I provided. While I’m sure Hamas is happy to get some international sympathy their more immediate goals are on the ground, not winning the affections of bloggers thousands of miles away.

  43. Boonton,

    The history here is often forgotten. The hyper-inflation had already been stopped long before Hitler got any power. Germany had never sacrificed many economic resources paying reparations to the allies. At the end of the day German politicians refused to impose either taxes or budget cuts to pay the sanctions and what ended up happening was a game of hot potato where Germany issued bonds to pay the sanctions which it then sold to the allies to make the payments.

    Germany was actually doing quite well when Hitler came to power and Germany’s standard of living rose after the Nazi’s took control. The idea that Germany was a disgraced failure which turned to Hitler to save itself from ruin and starvation is actually Nazi propaganda. The average Germany was doing quite well by world standards and had little reason to feel anger and hatred that could be ‘redirected’ towards Jews.

    Interesting theory. Alas, not supported by actual facts. Hitler rose to power in 29-33, which coincides with the depression (29-34). In 1932 (wiki) Germany had 30% unemployment. This isn’t “doing quite well” by anyone’s standard. 1933 Hitler was made dictator for 4 years. You might read Erik Larsen’s “In the Garden of Beasts” if you want to pretend the anti-Jewish propaganda was not part of Hitler’s program from the beginning. And yes, their standard of living went up after Hitler came to power (the depression ended). Oddly it is your imagination only that I indicated a loss of economic influence was in Germany. I hadn’t said so. If you want to pretend that there was no political “crime” that needed overlooking, google “night of long knives”.

    For example, why is Isis ‘terrorism’ and not a civil war?

    I have not categorized ISIS as a terrorist organization.

    Yes people can get killed but the idea is not to kill people, bad for business why pay ransom if you don’t believe the kidnappers will honor the deal to return the hostage?

    You do realize that people very often die when pirates attack during the ships capture? Apparently this is news to you.

    PLO != Hamas.

    True. the “/” indicates conjunction not equality.

    Anyway I’m unaware of any great amount of pro-Hamas protests in the West nor any great change in the amount of sympathy Hamas has before or after this outbreak

    You are unaware that Hamas has anti-Israeli protests and actions which have generated sympathy in the West? Please. And it’s not with bloggers, it’s with countries and rulers and the intelligentsia (not bloggers).

    Hmmm, power and influence would make him a competitor with the government. It also sets him against other Iman’s who are playing the same game.

    Surprise! Religion in the middle east works has power and influence. News (apparently) to you. Why don’t you think an Imam’s moves to increase influence is not politics?
    ReplyCancel

  44. You are unaware that Hamas has anti-Israeli protests and actions which have generated sympathy in the West? Please. And it’s not with bloggers, it’s with countries and rulers and the intelligentsia (not bloggers).

    Weasal wording. Ohh sure there’s sympathy for Hamas in the West. The West is a big place and you’ll find someone somewhere who thinks anything. Do you have any evidence that this outbreak of violence has increased the general level of sympathy towards Hamas or Palestinians in general in the west? For example, card 14 of http://www.vox.com/cards/israel-palestine indicates no dramatic sympathy in the US for Palestinians in general nor any general uptick recently. IMO anti-Israeli sentiment has been a minority bi-partisan affair. For example, the right has always had a slew of figures who flirted with anti-Isreali stances (examples, Pat Buchannan and more respectable James Baker).

    Surprise! Religion in the middle east works has power and influence. News (apparently) to you. Why don’t you think an Imam’s moves to increase influence is not politics?

    Sure but remember we have a problem here. Assume all or many Imam’s also want power and influence. Likewise governments want to check the rise of power and influence. What does this mean? Well if every Imam wants an anti-Western riot you, average Joe in Middle Eastern country, will have to choose to riot nearly every day or end up ignoring most or all of those calls. Likewise if one Imam’s calls for riots start getting a lot of success, he himself will start to be targetted both by the gov’t and by other Imam’s seeking to capture some of what he has.

    This would seem to more or less cancel out the ability to stage riots on a dime. When riots do happen they are better modeled by random, choatic processes like you would use to model fashion trends or videos that ‘go viral’ on Youtube rather than a managed PR-type process. This makes it far more difficult to do riots/protests as a pragmatic process to go from A to B which lends support to my definition here.

  45. Germany:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_reparations

    Surprisingly, it’s hard to figure out exactly how much Germany paid in reparations after WWI. But good estimates are Germany paid about 2.4% of it’s GDP out. However, Germany also got 2.1% of it’s GDP as capital transfers in. Essentially the allies, esp the US, loaned money to Germany, Germany used the money to ‘pay’ their reparations and then after Hitler they repudiated the loans. So essentially only a tiny sliver of German GDP ever went to the allies as reparations.
    Before WWI, though, Germany was spending 1.4-1.9% of GDP on the military (http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/trachtenberg/courses/milex.html). So even that tiny 0.3% paid to allies as reparation was probably more than offset by what they saved by the military restrictions imposed after WWI.
    Likewise while 30% unemployment is not fun the depression did not hit Germany exceptionally hard. Consider the graph at http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/edgeofthewest/files/2009/10/01/percapgdp.jpg

    The average German saw his income improve by a third from 1920 to 1930. The Depression only reduced him to where he was in 1925. In the US, by contrast, the Depressin reduced the average American in about 1932 to where he was in 1910!

    The depression didn’t hurt the UK as much but look carefully at the UK after WWI versus Germany. The UK stagnated after winning WWI while Germany improved (mostly because the UK foolishly decided to try to force prices back to their pre-war level while other countries opted to accept the inflation that happened during WWI.

    Germans might have felt they were suffering great hardships before Hitler came to power to ‘fix things’ but the reality is their suffering was more about pride than it was actual hardship.

  46. Boonton,

    The West is a big place and you’ll find someone somewhere who thinks anything. Do you have any evidence that this outbreak of violence has increased the general level of sympathy towards Hamas or Palestinians in general in the west?

    Hmm. Not talking about the US, mostly but Europe. Like

    A global poll in and about several countries, conducted for the BBC long before the latest strife in Gaza, reported that negative views of Israel’s influence in the world outweighed positive ones by more than two to one (see chart 1)

    . How’d that come about? The only sort of war the Palestinians have conducted has been terror.

  47. Boonton,
    I’m sorry, suffering “less” compared to others isn’t relevant. Politics is local.

  48. Yes but Hitler didn’t take over a town or hamlet, he took over a nation. So where’s the suffering you said was linked somehow either to his takeover or continued hold on power? Are you saying that going from 1930 standards to 1925 was the suffering? If so why didn’t Germans turn to Hitler in 1925? If not why didn’t a Hitler rise in either the UK (whose post WWI performance was much more extended suffering than Germany) or the US (where the Depression represented a fall back of much more than just 5 years!).

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