Beatings will continue

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that he will keep blowing up people in Gaza until he is sure that every tunnel under the wall is closed. Given the local geology a tunnel takes a couple of guys with shovels about a week to dig (see update). So how will he know they are all gone? How does he plan to enforce his blanket ban on shovels and shovel-related program activities?

It brings to mind the neocon argument that we had to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan until nobody there wants us to leave, Dick Cheney’s One Percent Doctrine, or a war against the general concept of terrorism. Hostilities could last a while.

***Update***

Apparently I underestimated the cost and time commitment involved.

Militants have poured an estimated 600,000 tons of cement and other materials into the ground at a cost of around $30 million to build the three dozen underground passages found so far, according to army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner.

So not as complicated or expensive as the now mostly gone Egypt tunnels but still a big deal. Of course you still have to figure out when they are all gone and make sure nobody starts digging again. Dirt and concrete are not exactly a nuclear program.






139 replies
  1. 1
    Suffern ACE says:

    Or, he could lift the siege so that the tunnels wouldn’t be as necessary.

  2. 2
    Tim F. says:

    @Suffern ACE: Ha. Even if Netanyahu’s alternate universe twin proposed that, his coalition government would set him on fire.

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    Having now bombed a second UN school, I think Israel’s moved beyond the point where it will ever be forgiven.

  4. 4
    Bruce says:

    I’m no Bibi fan, but you have a fundamental misunderstanding of these tunnels. They are quite sophisticated. They are made of concrete, run several hundred meters, have electricity, and are dug 45 meters below the ground. They take years and millions of dollars to build.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @Bruce:

    If the tunnels are that elaborate, why are they so difficult to find and destroy? (Honest question.)

  6. 6
    chopper says:

    Hamas is loving this. they hope it goes on for months, conveniently canceling the elections that were supposed to happen this fall, in which Hamas was originally probably looking to lose seats.

  7. 7
    Peter says:

    A nation birthed in tragedy, surrounded by enemies, turning themselves into monsters.

    We deserve everything that happens to us, as a species.

  8. 8
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    If it were tunnels that were the issue, surely Israel could search them out just from the ISRAEL side, where Hamas has much less in the way of “infrastructure” to hide entrances and exits.

    Hey, just build a damned “underground wall”. Load it with sensors.

  9. 9
    Corey says:

    The real trick of the tunnels is getting rid of the dirt without being spotted. Piling it up or trucking it away is easy to spot from the air.

  10. 10
    Bruce says:

    Baud, they are well concealed and deep beneath the ground. Israel companies are working on technology to detect them, but so far the technology only goes about 25 meters deep. Many of the tunnels are deeper than that.

  11. 11
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I’m about as tired of hearing the words “tunnels” and “rockets” as I was before of “centrifuges.”

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @Bruce:

    Ok, thanks. Hard for me to envision the difficulty given how small the area is, but I have no frame of reference to draw upon.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I love how, in true neocon fashion, the pretext for this butchery is constantly changing. When you have to scramble to provide an excuse for launching a war, it means we are talking about a war of desire, not necessity.

    The answer to all this is for Israel to enclose itself in a hermetically sealed bubble according to borders determined by the international community. This will mean that no Palestinians can enter Israel and no Israelis can leave, especially not for the purpose of corrupting the United States government.

    I have never, ever been as disgusted with my government as I am now.

  14. 14
    JMG says:

    Isn’t the fact of the existence of these tunnels a major major intelligence failure for Israel? They didn’t know they were there or that big until ground forces entered Gaza? That story seems fishy to me.

  15. 15
    Tim F. says:

    @JMG: No, people figured out how to dig a clandestine tunnel thousands of years ago. If people can do it in prison with kitchen utensils Gazans can do it in a semi-autonomous occupied zone. A half-assed human intelligence network would ferret out a lot of them, and as far as I know they found some that way, but Israeli intelligence has a hard time recruiting people in Gaza. Someone whose family suddenly has food and medicine would raise a lot of suspicions.

  16. 16
    debbie says:

    @JMG

    Maybe they thought their drawings of cartoon bombs were sufficient deterrent.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    @JMG: It’s my understanding that they knew. The tunnels allowed for goods and supplies to be shipped into Gaza. Although some of the items could be used to build bombs, some of the items could be used for medical reasons. There is a lengthy list of items that cannot be sent to Gaza.

  18. 18
    beltane says:

    @JMG: Of course it seems fishy. They are just thinking up plausible sounding excuses to justify what they are doing for the benefit of the American public (the Israeli public does not need to be sold on it). The Israeli government has hired Frank Luntz to develop their talking points for them. “Terrro Tunnels” is right out the Bush/Cheney/Fox playbook.

  19. 19
    Cervantes says:

    [This one’s a quick answer to an outstanding question from Bill Arnold last week. I just got to it this morning, sorry.]

    @Bill Arnold:

    @Cervantes: Upon close examination of actions taken by Labor and Likud governments re the Palestinians, what salient differences should we expect to find?

    Rabin was assassinated for pushing through the Oslo Accords (capsule summary). Also, settlements and expansions of settlements are mostly a project of the Israeli right. (This is just from the press over the last 30 years, not deep study.) Also, the Israeli right is aligned with the American right (goes both directions). So I’m interested in your perspective on these (shallow) observations, or pointers to deeper reading.

    Re the Israeli right being “aligned with the American right” and vice versa, I’m not sure what that shows about actions taken by Labor governments against the Palestinians.

    Re Rabin’s assassination, you have to remember that he was personally demonized by the political opposition. It did not matter that he’d been the first Israeli-born Prime Minister — they still accused him of sympathizing with, even being, the enemy: there were open calls for his assassination. The young man who killed him thought his birth-right, his inheritance, was about to be given away by the enemy, to the enemy. So … if his assassin killed him because he was about to give all of Israel away, should we also conclude that Rabin was, in fact, about to give all of Israel away? If in the US a right-wing assassin were to kill a Democratic leader for being a tool of the Palestinians, would you conclude that the Democratic Party has been a staunch opponent of the Israel’s policies towards Palestinians?

    Re your notion that “settlements and expansions of settlements are mostly a project of the Israeli right” — this question, it seems to me, is, indeed, the heart of the matter.

    We do not have time here for “deep study,” you’re right, but let me simply offer just one question: Have you looked specifically at the settler population as a function of time?

    The first settlements were built in the late ’60s (after the 1967 war). Here is a graph prepared by CUNY’s Ralph Bunche Institute showing the number of settlers in the Occupied Territories over time; and here is a list I threw together showing the sequence of Israeli governments (simplified, with L for Labour-ish and K for Likud-ish):

    1969-77 L
    1977-84 K
    1984-86 L
    1986-92 K
    1992-96 L
    1996-99 K
    1999-01 L
    2001-?? K

    If you look at the graph to see how the number of settlers, or the rate of growth/decline in their population, varies over time, let me know if you see a correlation with the L/K identity of the party in power.

    About the data:

    I’m sure you can find your own list of Labor/Likud governments.

    Re the number of settlers, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics publishes an annual Statistical Abstract. Chapter 2 has to do with population. To arrive at the number of settlers, you’ll have to add them up by location (“Judea and Samaria,” etc.) If you’d rather not do the adding up yourself, FMEP has made a table for you (updated through 2010).

    Those are the raw data.

    From those data (and other sources), CUNY’s Ralph Bunche Institute has worked up a graph (linked above) and also a time-line. You can find similar graphs on line showing the number of settlers divided up by location (or let me know if you can’t).

  20. 20

    Hamas is Israel’s excuse to do what they want to do:

    Target the Palestinian population.

    Israel mows the lawn

    Israel’s agenda has been different. Had it been determined to end Hamas rule it could easily have done so, particularly while Hamas was still consolidating its control over Gaza in 2007, and without necessarily reversing the 2005 disengagement. Instead, it saw the schism between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as an opportunity to further its policies of separation and fragmentation, and to deflect growing international pressure for an end to an occupation that has lasted nearly half a century.

    Its massive assaults on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9 (Operation Cast Lead) and 2012 (Operation Pillar of Defence), as well as countless individual attacks between and since, were in this context exercises in what the Israeli military called ‘mowing the lawn’: weakening Hamas and enhancing Israel’s powers of deterrence. As the 2009 Goldstone Report and other investigations have demonstrated, often in excruciating detail, the grass consists overwhelmingly of non-combatant Palestinian civilians, indiscriminately targeted by Israel’s precision weaponry.
    ————–
    ~

  21. 21
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @beltane: Regarding terror-tunnels, this whole story is like watching “Shawshank Redemption” and rooting for the warden.

  22. 22
    Roger Moore says:

    @Baud:

    If the tunnels are that elaborate, why are they so difficult to find and destroy?

    Because looking for them requires you to divert manpower from killing innocent civilians.

  23. 23
    beltane says:

    @FlipYrWhig: On a lighter note, I keep thinking of “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, probably because it’s fresh in my mind.

  24. 24
    Eric U. says:

    likud needs Hamas and Hamas needs Likud.

  25. 25
    RP says:

    I can’t be the only one who finds both the strident pro-Israel and the strident pro-Palestinian articles and comments profoundly irritating. There are no good guys and bad guys here, and it’s naive to think otherwise.

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    @Eric U.: The Israeli left is tiny, impotent, and despised. Likud are now the moderates in Israel. This aswsault on Gaza is supported by 95% of Israelis. Hamas doesn’t need Likud, it just needs Israel. The Israelis, likewise, don’t need Hamas as a pretext to keep on their current course, they simply need Palestinians to exist, especially if they exist on land which the Israeli people want for their own.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    @RP:

    There are no good guys and bad guys here, and it’s naive to think otherwise.

    I don’t think it’s at all naive to think there are lots of bad guys on both sides.

  28. 28
    RP says:

    @Roger Moore: Fair enough. I’m just frustrated because it seems like the rhetoric on both sides has gotten even dumber and less connected to reality. Each side makes ZERO effort to look at things from the perspective of the other.

  29. 29
    beltane says:

    @Roger Moore: No one disputes the fact that there are lots of bad guys on both sides in a region that is brimming over with bad guys. The problem some of us have is that our government has chosen to provide unwavering, unconditional support to one particular group of bad guys. If we walked away, washed our hands like Pilate, and let them all fend for themselves, there would not be so much frustration.

  30. 30
    Cervantes says:

    @RP:

    I’m just frustrated because it seems like the rhetoric on both sides has gotten even dumber and less connected to reality. Each side makes ZERO effort to look at things from the perspective of the other.

    If you see objectionable statements, object to them specifically. Whereas a generalized “both sides do it” complaint is … well, I won’t say it’s “profoundly irritating” but … I will say that, for me, it’s difficult to take seriously, especially if that’s where the “analysis” ends.

  31. 31
    Suffern ACE says:

    @beltane: There is no point in John Kerry spending one more ounce of effort on this crisis. None whatsoever. Israel is going to do what it wants. There is no threat right now that Israel could do anything in Gaza that its American backers couldn’t stomach. It is pointless to ask Hamas to do anything when the solutions offered are to continue the siege and probably make it even stronger (hey, let’s make sure less food gets through the blockade!).

  32. 32
    RP says:

    @Cervantes: Sorry I haven’t met your exacting standards. It’s just a generalized expression of frustration, not an academic study.

  33. 33
    Cervantes says:

    @RP: So what?

  34. 34
    J R in WV says:

    @RP:

    Dude, there are plenty of bad guys, it is the good guys who are very sparse on the ground.

    If the Palestinians use passive non-violent resistance, the IDF rounds them up for life in prison, no questions asked. If they get violent, the IDF mows them down, and not with a lawn mower, with machine guns.

    The first intifada was executed with suicide bombers, whom the IDF gave some less romantic name, like murder bombers. Now there are so many checkpoints and limitations even that is pretty much impossible for the Palestinians. Not that I’m in favor of terrorism in market places and bistros.

    I’m more of a pacifist who believes in b eing well armed in the last resort, personally. But when the power balance is so skewed, and the power-holding party is so willing to slaughter the weaker party, it is really hard to hate the weak folks for trying to get out from under their oppressors.

    Remember, Menachim Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, helped blow up the King David Hotel, full of British officers at the time. His hands were pretty bloody by the time the Brits pulled out of their “Mandate” – so none of these actors on this tiny stage are clean, not now and not then.

    Even in the Bible the history is pretty bloody, with the Lord G-d smiting the heathen and giving his chosen people the ability to slaughter the men of their enemy tribes, and seize their cattle and women. So it’s been like this for the last 3,000 or 4,000 years of kind of written history.

    I would like to see the ancient archeology of the region, but I’m making it my personal foreign policy to stay out of war zones.

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Fairly recently I watched a documentary about MOVE and the bombing the Philadelphia police did to try to take care of them. MOVE leadership was a bunch of violent weirdos — and a lot of neglected children. It was reasonable for the cops to do _something_ about MOVE and the disruption they caused and their threatening and mercurial nature. But blowing up their house and letting it burn, and letting the block around it burn, was… not a brilliant idea. It was callous and cruel to people who had nothing to do with the problem. Application to I/P left as an exercise to the reader.

  36. 36
    Scott S. says:

    Dirt and concrete are not exactly a nuclear program.

    We used to be able to take toothpaste on a plane.

  37. 37
    Barry says:

    @Bruce: “Baud, they are well concealed and deep beneath the ground. Israel companies are working on technology to detect them, but so far the technology only goes about 25 meters deep. Many of the tunnels are deeper than that. ”

    That’s odd, because South Korea has been dealing with that for a number of years, now.

  38. 38
    Lolis says:

    I went on a tour of an occupied Gaza territory when I went to Jerusalem in the early 2000s. It was run by a Palestinian who had been imprisoned by Israel for several non-consecutive years in his lifetime without any charges filed. It was eye-opening and really made me have deep empathy for the Palestinians. It is really hard to watch what is happening now. The Palestinians are behaving/reacting to the occupation as any oppressed group would. It is unsurprising how the media provides no context for the conflict, but it is very depressing.

  39. 39
    Kropadope says:

    @Eric U.: This is why, in honor of this war, I would like to start a new conspiracy theory.

    Israel rigged the Palestinian elections for Hamas.

  40. 40
    Mike E says:

    @FlipYrWhig: What was said docu called?

    I graduated later that year from a Philly college where the mayor gave us grads an “address” (it was mostly a rallying cry for the city to come together, but no attempt to inspire the class of ’85). The engineering section stood up in unison during the speech and shouted, “No, a Bud Light!” Good times.

  41. 41
    WaterGirl says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    There is no point in John Kerry spending one more ounce of effort on this crisis. None whatsoever. Israel is going to do what it wants. There is no threat right now that Israel could do anything in Gaza that its American backers couldn’t stomach. It is pointless to ask Hamas to do anything when the solutions offered are to continue the siege and probably make it even stronger (hey, let’s make sure less food gets through the blockade!).

    I’m not sure I agree with you. Bibi’s responses to all of Kerry’s efforts since he became SOS have made Israel’s lack of interest in a two-state solution very obvious. The State of Israel has now blown through every bit of good will I felt toward them as a result of the atrocities of world war II. I still feel for the Jewish people, but Israel’s actions are deplorable, and I believe the tide of public opinion is starting to turn.

    For me, it was the blockade (maybe 2 years ago?) that made me do a double-take and then start seeing the Palestinian side of things. For many more people, the bombing of the UN schools is going to be a turning point. The phrase “mow the lawn” – in reference to human beings (!) – turns my stomach.

    I believe that what’s happening right now is going to be Israel’s Terry Schiavo moment.

  42. 42
    raven says:

    @Barry: Yea and we were “dealing with them ” at Cu Chi too. The tunnels are still there and we’re all gone.

  43. 43
    Kropadope says:

    @WaterGirl:

    The State of Israel has now blown through every bit of good will I felt toward them as a result of the atrocities of world war II.

    The state of Israel existed during WW2?

  44. 44
    Tim F. says:

    @Barry:

    That’s odd, because South Korea has been dealing with that for a number of years, now.

    By ‘dealing with’ you mean that South Korea lives with the knowledge that the various Kims have dug an invisible rats nest of tunnels under the border and all the way to Busan for all they know. North Korean tunnels are notoriously complex and hard to find.

  45. 45
    Brother Dingaling says:

    Dirt and concrete are not exactly a nuclear program.

    Concrete is banned for import into Gaza, along with a lot of other building materials: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_imports

    Leading to: http://www.businessweek.com/ar.....rebuilding

  46. 46
    Cervantes says:

    @Kropadope: Not what she said.

    Also, re your “new conspiracy theory,” you might want to look into Israel’s early relationship with the founder of Hamas and its predecessor organizations.

  47. 47
    Patrick says:

    @Lolis:

    It is unsurprising how the media provides no context for the conflict, but it is very depressing.

    The foreign media is doing a pretty good job.

  48. 48
    raven says:

    @Tim F.: Joe Chink is a clever fucker.

  49. 49
    Mike in NC says:

    Back during the Vietnam War, the pro-war crowd in America kept demanding to “shut down the Ho Chi Minh trail” as if it could be done in a couple of days. In reality, it was a very complex system of dozens of roads, trails and tunnels that ran through Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. In war, there’s no such thing as “simple”.

  50. 50
    Kropadope says:

    @Cervantes: Well, then why would Israel derive her sympathy for the atrocities of WW2? Something too many people forget, Israel is not equal to the Jewish people.

  51. 51
    raven says:

    @Mike in NC: You mean the mexican bedbugs with a phonograph needle glued to a board with transistor didn’t work? Who knew mexican bedbugs got agitated my monkeys and elephants as well as Charlie?

  52. 52
    Cervantes says:

    @Kropadope: She can speak for herself but here’s my take on it:

    The State of Israel has now blown through every bit of good will I felt toward them as a result of the atrocities of world war II.

    She originally felt “good will” towards “the state of Israel” as a result of “the atrocities” [committed against Jews during] WWII. Seemed pretty clear to me, and unobjectionable. I understand your point but I saw no confusion in her words between Jews and the Israeli state.

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    Paul Waldman wrote about being pro-Israel or anti-Israel. Note that this distinction does not even come up for virtually all other nations. Who in the US is pro-Germany or pro-Uruguay or pro-Japan? Or anti.

    Only Israel. Oy.

    I always note that the US has mutual defense treaties with one nation in that region: Turkey.
    No others.

    However, that mutual defense treaty was not invoked when Israel attacked a Turkish ship. Or when Syria was launching a few artillery shots into Turkey. hmmm

    On another note, I have just read Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times. He is definitely worth reading on economics issues. The latest was shooting down Pete Peterson.

  54. 54
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kropadope: Okay, sloppy writing, but I can’t imagine you didn’t know what I meant.

    Israel was created after the war as a result of the atrocities committed against the Jewish people. Israel has become what they hated and reviled and yes, Israel has now blown through every bit of good will I felt toward Israel. I no longer support their need to have their own country, certainly not at the expense of Palestinians.

    “Mowing the lawn”? Is that not what the Germans were doing to the Jews? Disgusting, then and now.

  55. 55
    Elie says:

    I’m not usually either a fan or a reader of Brooks but he makes some good points in terms of understanding the broader context for this

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Eric U.: Sort of like how the deserting coward needed Osama and vice versa.

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    @Brother Dingaling: Got there before I did.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WaterGirl: Never forget that “enhanced interrogation techniques” was coined by the Gestapo.

    What the Nazis did was “resettle” the Jews in the East.

  59. 59
    WaterGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Did not know that. Ugh.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    In war, there’s no such thing as “simple”.

    When you’re fighting the war from your office in the Empire State Building as a member of the Fighting 101st Keyboarders, just about everything seems pretty easy.

  61. 61
    RP says:

    Israel was created after the war as a result of the atrocities committed against the Jewish people. Israel has become what they hated and reviled and yes, Israel has now blown through every bit of good will I felt toward Israel. I no longer support their need to have their own country, certainly not at the expense of Palestinians.

    This is a pretty incredible comment. So you no longer have sympathy for the Jewish people as a result of the Holocaust, and now you think, what, Israel should be dissolved? Catclub is right that the notion of being “anti-Israel” is bizarre.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Kropadope says:

    @WaterGirl: Well, maybe it’s because Israel has been up to no good my entire adult life, but I never connected the atrocities of WW2 with the state of Israel.

  64. 64
    El Caganer says:

    @catclub: Anti-Russia seems to be catching on; there are anti-Iran fan clubs, too. Even some anti-China. Like Whitman wrote about America, “I am large, I contain multitudes.”

  65. 65
    Patrick says:

    @Kropadope:

    Well, then why would Israel derive her sympathy for the atrocities of WW2? Something too many people forget, Israel is not equal to the Jewish people.

    OK – then why are people who are criticizing the actions of the government of Israel labeled as anti-semite? Happens all the time…

  66. 66
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Never forget that “enhanced interrogation techniques” was coined by the Gestapo.

    Close. The term the Gestapo used was Verschärfte Vernehmung, which more nearly translates as “sharpened interrogation.” It was Andrew Sullivan who, because he felt the underlying techniques were the same, claimed that the German term can (also) be translated as “enhanced interrogation.” But as Scott Horton noted:

    One of the most striking things about it is that, compared with what Dick Cheney and company want, it is mild. The Gestapo memo forbids waterboarding, hypothermia and several other techniques that the Bush Administration permits. And it imposed strict limits on how these “enhanced techniques” could be used – requiring oversight and permits. But what happened in practice? As usual, there was a race to the bottom and the obstacles put in place were quickly overcome.

  67. 67
    SatanicPanic says:

    @RP: I support Israel being Israel, but I don’t think it has to be a state only for Jews, especially since non-Jewish people live there. I don’t know what’s controversial about that.

  68. 68
    Kropadope says:

    @Patrick: Yeah, that’s the mirror-image.

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @Kropadope:

    Well, maybe it’s because Israel has been up to no good my entire adult life, but I never connected the atrocities of WW2 with the state of Israel.

    That’s certainly a different perspective from mine. Not necessarily better or worse, simply different.

    Whereas here is a relevant excerpt from David Ben-Gurion’s “Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel” (May 14, 1948):

    The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people — the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe — was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully-privileged member of the community of nations.

    Survivors of the Nazi holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel, undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their national homeland.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @RP:

    So you no longer have sympathy for the Jewish people as a result of the Holocaust, and now you think, what, Israel should be dissolved?

    Not every Jewish person is Israeli. You can have sympathy for what Jewish people suffered in the Holocaust, but no longer have sympathy for Israel and Israelis. Because not every Jewish person is Israeli.

    Clear now?

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @RP: One response before you go into the troll filter, since you seem to be deliberately obtuse.

    The idea of a nation of their own, safe from pogroms like the Holocaust, had a lot of sympathy from a lot of people. That idea is not what Israel has become.

    It is perfectly reasonable to be anti-colonialism. That’s what Israel is now: a colonial power dealing with pushback from the indigenous population of their colonial territory.

  73. 73
    D58826 says:

    @Mike in NC: And lets not forget the tunnels of Chu Chi (not sure of the spelling) that ran almost to the Saigon city limits.
    The Palestinians are just as determined to get a homeland as the Israeli’s are determined to keep theirs. The problem is it is the same homeland for both groups. Somebody wrote a book entitled ‘The Much to Promised Land’ which kind of sums it up.

  74. 74
    Cervantes says:

    @Elie: Thanks. Brooks says:

    Hamas needed to end that blockade, but it couldn’t strike Egypt, so it struck Israel.

    That is not what Egyptians have been saying. They have been complaining that Hamas has been helping militants in Egypt.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kropadope: Perhaps you should read some history.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The other catch is there are plenty of Israelis who are not cheering on the actions against the Gaza Ghetto. Some Israelis and Jews are appalled at what is being done in their name, but they don’t get any attention from our AIPAC aligned Village.vermin. The Narrative on Israel is every bit as intransigent and shrill as anything Streicher came up with in Nürnberg.

  77. 77
    GregB says:

    Has President Obama thought of sending John McCain over as a negotiator so he can tell the Israelis and the Palestinians to knock this shit off.

  78. 78
    bago says:

    Ironically, this is where Halliburton could be the peaceful option. If anyone knows how to seismically find pockets and fill them with concrete, it’s those guys. Three trucks, a thumper, a driller, and a concrete truck would be far more effective at closing down tunnels than shelling.

  79. 79
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: Hmm…the same techniques that were used by Japanese on Americans during WWII. For which we hanged Japanese “interrogation technicians” as war criminals.

  80. 80
    Cervantes says:

    @GregB: I suspect the thought of sending John McCain off on a one-way trip to anywhere, but particularly the Middle East, has shimmered and glowed appealingly to several US presidents.

    Would that one of them had acted on it.

  81. 81
    beltane says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Recent polling indicates that 95% of the Israeli public fully supports what is being done in their name, so to claim that “plenty” of them oppose it is perhaps an overstatement. Some of the loudest voices in opposition to Israel’s behavior are from American Jews though I have no idea if this is reflective of attitudes in the larger community.

  82. 82
    beltane says:

    It seems that Israel is paying college students to troll blogs and social media http://www.usatoday.com/story/.....a/2651715/

  83. 83
    Cervantes says:

    @RP:

    Israel was created after the war as a result of the atrocities committed against the Jewish people. Israel has become what they hated and reviled and yes, Israel has now blown through every bit of good will I felt toward Israel. I no longer support their need to have their own country, certainly not at the expense of Palestinians.

    This is a pretty incredible comment. So you no longer have sympathy for the Jewish people as a result of the Holocaust, and now you think, what, Israel should be dissolved? Catclub is right that the notion of being “anti-Israel” is bizarre.

    See, you found a comment that seemed objectionable to you and you objected to it. That’s all I was asking you to do, not publish some unattainable “academic study.” I do appreciate the specificity. Thanks.

  84. 84
    Roger Moore says:

    @catclub:

    However, that mutual defense treaty was not invoked when Israel attacked a Turkish ship. Or when Syria was launching a few artillery shots into Turkey. hmmm

    Turkey does have to ask for help before our mutual defense treaty goes into effect. They probably thought those things were small enough to take care of themselves, preferring not to have the USA come stomp around and mess stuff up worse.

  85. 85
    Roger Moore says:

    @Patrick:

    OK – then why are people who are criticizing the actions of the government of Israel labeled as anti-semite?

    The people who make that criticism are among those who conflate Israel and Judaism. IMO, this thought pattern is most common among people who want to treat Jews as a monolith. That includes both anti-Semites who want to criticize all Jews for the actions of Israel and those Jews who want Judaism to be monolithic and united in their group’s beliefs.

  86. 86
    MattR says:

    @RP:

    I can’t be the only one who finds both the strident pro-Israel and the strident pro-Palestinian articles and comments profoundly irritating.

    No, you aren’t the only one. It is a good reminder that conservatives don’t have a monopoly on selectively choosing facts that fit their narrative while ignoring everything that contradicts it.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane: Nothing can go wrong with that idea! Nosirree!

  88. 88
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Cervantes:
    Thanks much. The table at fmep.org/settlement_info looks good enough stare at graphs of/think about for the next few days.
    Wondering how (or whether) to take into account (maybe this is answered in the written material; will read after work.)
    (1) Lag from approval/construction of housing units to habitation
    (2) Age distribution of settler population, including population growth due to family growth.

  89. 89
    Cervantes says:

    Villago Delenda Est:

    Some Israelis and Jews are appalled at what is being done in their name, but they don’t get any attention from our AIPAC aligned Village.vermin.

    Related to this, and to my comment above about Israel’s illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories, I am reminded of a pair of diplomatic cables I read some years ago. The exchange occurred in July, 1974. The Israeli press was reporting on (still-new but even-then-illegal) settlement activity in the Occupied Territories and the official US response was concerned more with shutting down the reports than shutting down the settlement activity.

    Here is the first cable (July 23, 1974), from Kissinger at State to a number of US ambassadors, including the one in Israel:

    Tel Aviv Reftels Outline Latest Israeli Statements Of
    Intent To Expand Israeli Settlements In Occupied Territories
    Which Have Prompted Mounting Expressions Of Concern From
    Saudis Including King Faisal As Reported In Several Recent
    Jidda Messages. Embassy Will Recall Our Efforts At End Of
    1973 To Seek To Hold Down Press Articles In Israel About
    Alleged Plans To Establish New Israeli Settlements In
    Territories.
    Effort Was Hampered By Absence Of Press
    Censorship In Israel On Any But Purely Military Matters And
    Also By Strong Opposition On Part Of Individual Israelis
    In High Places To Any Withdrawal From Territories. These
    Israelis Are Able To Plant Authoritative-Sounding Reports
    In Press About Alleged Settlement Plans.

    2. As Embassy Knows We Approached GOI In November Re
    Press Article Predicting Imminent Discussion By Ministerial
    Committee For Settlement In Administered Territories Of
    Plan To Double Israeli Settler Population In Golan Heights,
    Saying We Felt Such Stories Were Most Unhelpful To Middle
    East Peace Efforts. Mrs. Meir Replied That She Too
    Considered Publicity Of This Kind To Be Unhelpful, Al-
    Though She In Principle Favored Enlarging Israeli Popu-
    Lation In Golan Heights As Needed For Security Reasons.
    She Explained That Zionist Organization And Not GOI Itself
    Was Source Of Press Story And Would Be Hard To Muzzle,
    Since Ministerial Committee Did Exist And Did Hold Discus-
    Sions Of Such Matters. She Agreed To Seek To Mute Such
    Publicity, And To Best Of Our Recollection, No Further
    Stories Of This Kind Appeared In Israeli Press For About
    Two Months.

    On Basis Of Above Experience, We Are Not Sanguine That
    Further Admonishment Of GOI On Publicity Alone Will Be
    Effective. Nevertheless, In View Difficulties Such
    Publicity Generates In US-Arab Relations, We Want To Take
    Another Look At Problem. To Assist Our Review, We Would
    Like (A) Update Of Embassy Tel Aviv's Assessment Of
    Likelihood Goi Will Press Forward With Plans Along These
    Lines Between Now And End Of Year, And (B) Views Of
    Embassy Tel Aviv On Ways GOI Might Be Induced
    To Turn Off Public Comments On Expanding Settlements In
    Territories.
    Rundown By Embassy Tel Aviv On
    Actual Israeli Settlement Activity In Territories Since October
    War (Especially New Starts) Is Also Requested.

    Two days later (July 25), Kenneth Keating, the US Ambassador in Israel, summarized his response:

    During My July 24 Conversation With [Minister] Allon, I Raised
    US Concern Over Israeli Press Stories On Plans To Establish
    New Settlements In Occupied Territories And Adverse Effect
    These Stories Could Have Upon Negotiations. Allon Responded
    Sympathetically To My Remarks And Said That He Would Make
    Additional Efforts To Keep Stories On This Subject Out Of Press.

  90. 90
    beltane says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Unlimited Corporate Cash!!!!

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: So, US recommendation was to keep the planning and construction of illegal settlements in the occupied territories on the QT. Not “Don’t build the illegal settlements, scumbags” which was the only morally correct response in this case.

    Note too that this is in the Israeli press, not the Village, which is well trained to do what officialdom in the US want them to do.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane: If 95% of Israelis approve of what is being done in their name, then Israel SHOULD be pushed into the sea.
    Nietzsche was right.

  93. 93
    Cervantes says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Thanks much.

    You’re welcome.

    As you say, there are angles to consider. One more example: many of Israel’s governments have been coalitions. Depending on one’s particular interest in Israel’s (illegal) settlement policy, it may be useful to look at the various people who have been given the Ministry of Housing and Construction portfolio.

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: This might be a good opportunity to share your views on just how wacky the Israeli political system is, which allows very small parties with pretty radical agendas to play kingmaker and grab control of key ministries for pushing their agendas in the process.

  95. 95
    beltane says:

    Please forgive me for linking to Andrew Sullivan, but he has been awfully good on this particular issue: http://dish.andrewsullivan.com.....ocess-era/

  96. 96
    Cervantes says:

    @MattR:

    It is a good reminder that conservatives don’t have a monopoly on selectively choosing facts that fit their narrative while ignoring everything that contradicts it.

    Yes, if only someone had the time to provide a more objective narrative, everything would be clear and easily resolved.

  97. 97
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mike E:

    What was said docu called?

    I missed the title… it was on PBS late one night. I’ll try to dig it up.

  98. 98
    gene108 says:

    @RP:

    and now you think, what, Israel should be dissolved?

    It depends on how you define “dissolve” or destroy Israel?

    As a geographic entity with established borders or a nation that has to have a Jewish majority and officially be a Jewish state.

    Israel could still exist as a secular constitutional representative democracy, which it is not today as it is neither officially secular nor does it have an official constitution, within its current borders, but may not be a Jewish state, with a clear Jewish majority.

    For many people a secular Israel, would be destroying Israel. A one-state solution, where Palestinians are given full citizenship rights would destroy Israel because its population would not be so heavily Jewish.

    There are plenty of ways to “destroy” Israel without harming the Jews.

    Just like there are ways to “destroy” America and our way of life, without actually harming anybody, other than making them aware that Thai Green Curry is really, really spicy before you try it.

    Of course, from the perspective of Jews, who from the framework of Nazi oppression and the general anti-Jewish feelings of many parts of Europe that aided and abetted the Nazi’s, not having a Jewish state armed to the teeth will harm Jews because Jews can never – at some very deep level – feel safe anywhere, because no Jew can ever know, when the next hatemonger will seize power and try to wipe them out again.

  99. 99
    Elie says:

    @Cervantes:

    well– maybe not everything he says is accurate, but its complex and the strategic positions and relationships he cites are at least to some extent at least, a factor

  100. 100
    Donald says:

    @J R in WV: Someone may have corrected you already, but it was the second intifada that saw the suicide bombers. The Israelis had been doing virtually all the killing up to that point. After that, they still did the majority of the killing of civilians, but around 1000 Israelis were murdered in various grotesque attacks. And that’s all many Westerners seem to remember about the Second Intifada. (That comment wasn’t aimed at you.)

  101. 101
    Cervantes says:

    @Elie: Well, I did not say Brooks was wrong in that particular, just that the Egyptians have been saying something different about Hamas.

    Thanks again.

  102. 102
    MattR says:

    @Cervantes:

    Yes, if only someone had the time to provide a more objective narrative, everything would be clear and easily resolved.

    You are right. Obviously the best path to a solution is for everyone to continue making one sided arguments based on selectively chosen facts.

  103. 103
    Donald says:

    @Elie: @Elie: @Elie: Actually, that Brooks column was an example of what he almost always does. When writing about inequality he tries to distract attention from the ultra-rich and make it about the behavior of the poor. What he did in that column is distract attention from the Israelis and place it all on the Arab world.

    He’s right about a couple of points–most of the fighting in the Arab world has nothing to do with Israel. And obviously different factions in the Arab world have an interest in seeing either Hamas win or Hamas lose. But the rest of the column is a whitewash. The conflict goes back even before Herzl–there was an early Zionist (Ahad Ha’am) who was already warning in 1891 of the violence and arrogance of Zionist settlers towards the Arabs. You can find the quote in Tom Segev’s book “One Palestine, Complete”. The conflict is about how two peoples both think they have the right to that land and that hasn’t changed one bit. No matter which side you sympathize with more, that’s the issue. Brooks also engages in sheer hypocrisy on the blockade, blaming it on Egypt. Well, yes, Sisi sides with Israel and hates Hamas, so it got worse. But the Israelis are the ones primarily responsible. Brooks and most Westerners (probably including the NYT editors) supported the blockade as a way of pressuring Hamas and didn’t give a damn about the civilians. They were supposed to suffer. Now that the blockade is front and center, Brooks is doing damage control.

  104. 104
    Cervantes says:

    @MattR:

    Obviously the best path to a solution is for everyone to continue making one sided arguments based on selectively chosen facts.

    No, no, you’re much too modest. I respectfully submit that the very, very best path to a solution is for people to keep making cheap and inane comments about the Quality of the Conversation without visibly doing a thing to (ostensibly) improve it. Peace is at hand — thanks!

  105. 105
    Donald says:

    @Donald: Not sure how the three “Elie”s got there.

  106. 106
    Cervantes says:

    @Donald:

    But the rest of the column is a whitewash.

    I agree; and also that it’s typical.

  107. 107
    BobS says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: This would be just punishment inasmuch as Israel (as we are constantly reminded) is ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’. I’m ready for some Old Testament-style smiting of those sick fucks, not to mention their enablers in this country.

  108. 108
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Probably “Let the Fire Burn,” by Jason Osder.

  109. 109
    MattR says:

    @Cervantes:

    I respectfully submit that the very, very best path to a solution is for people to keep making cheap and inane comments about the Quality of the Conversation without visibly doing a thing to (ostensibly) improve it.

    Ahh. My apologies. I did not realize that your comments on this thread were designed to help us along that “very, very best path to a solution”

  110. 110
    Elie says:

    @Cervantes:

    gotcha —

    thanks

  111. 111
    Elie says:

    @Donald:

    Thanks for your sharing your insights and knowledge. I am certainly not an expert on this topic. Just citing an article that I found at least talked about some of the regional perspectives. I DO fault the Israelis mostly, but know its also a bit more complicated and that regional issues do have some influence. I feel that this is a strategic disaster for Israel which is getting a lot of damage to its long term interests — and that their view of “security” for Israel is incomplete and primitive.

    I also think that prolonging this serves Hamas’s interests more than that of the Palestinian people. No surprise there.

  112. 112
    cckids says:

    @Cervantes:

    I suspect the thought of sending John McCain off on a one-way trip to anywhere, but particularly the Middle East, has shimmered and glowed appealingly to several US presidents.

    Agreed. As a plus, he’d probably annoy both sides enough that they’d unite just to get rid of him. By any means necessary.

  113. 113
    Donald says:

    @Elie: I agree with that. Right wing militarists all around the world may hate each other, but they’re all in some unconscious alliance to drag everyone down with them. They feed off each other.

    In this particular case the blockade has been an act of collective punishment on ordinary Gazans, meant to discredit Hamas. Like nearly all such actions, it didn’t take down Hamas, but only hurt the people. Now Hamas has seen its popularity skyrocket because one of their demands is exactly what every decent person should favor–lifting the blockade and letting Gazans out of their prison. And of course Israel’s western supporters, even including many liberals, simply looked the other way, ignoring the plight of ordinary Palestinians in Gaza, teaching them that the only way to get attention for their legitimate demands is to use violence. Utterly brilliant strategy.

  114. 114
    catclub says:

    @bago: Yeah, I think the guys saying that the tunnels 40m below ground level are impossible to find are just making things up.

    perhaps ground penetrating radar only goes 25m or so, but there are other methods available.
    Asking the oil industry about finding pockets and voids in the ground is right up their alley.

  115. 115
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @beltane:

    My fantasy solution: put the Palestinians on equal military footing with the Isrealis (short of nukes, and sequester Isreal’s nukes somwhere), then seal the borders and let them have at it. Winner takes all.

    My other fantasy solution: stop all US aid to Isreal.

    My real-world solution: wait for Isreal to implement its own final solution wrt the Palestinians, at which point we all get to play another round of “who’s shooting at us now?”

  116. 116
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Elie: The usual deal in the past was that Israel and Hamas disengage after most of their aims have been met — the Israeli government has shown their electorate that they are being firm with the Gaza Strip Palestinians by killing and maiming a lot of them and blowing stuff up, Hamas shows the Palestinians in both the Strip and the West Bank they are standing up to what the Israelis are doing to them and then they control the rebuilding and cleanup operations afterwards gaining more support, especially from well-connected oil-rich states and Iran. A few weeks later the Israeli government would announce more settlements in the West Bank to further cement their relations with the radical factions and religious nutters in government to much condemnation but no functional opposition from either the locals in the West Bank or the international political community since nobody except for American foreign policy wonks care much about what the appointee President West Bank Mahmoud Abbas says or does.

    Hamas aren’t playing fair though, they refuse to agree to a ceasefire and disengagement and that means the Israelis are still losing soldiers and the civilian population are still getting bombarded by rockets. This is not a vote-winner, it should have been a short victorious war, done and dusted and the new West Bank settlement plans would be getting finalised. Hamas know this and seem quite willing to keep going for some time to come. They may be pushing their luck but at the moment they control the political position in Gaza.

  117. 117
    Mike E says:

    @FlipYrWhig: @Cervantes: Thanks.

  118. 118
    Elie says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    “They may be pushing their luck but at the moment they control the political position in Gaza. ”

    I definitely feel that is true. I can’t remember the end to the childhood tale about tar baby, but the lesson will be increasing painful for Israel, the longer it is “stuck”

    Also, stupid question, but if Israel’s nominal goal was to find the tunnels, wouldn’t that have been a safer search on their own turf? Just askin… tunnels have two ends. Why were they so focused (if they indeed truly were), on the Palestinian end. I have a cynical answer.

  119. 119
    WaterGirl says:

    @RP: You said at #61:

    This is a pretty incredible comment. So you no longer have sympathy for the Jewish people as a result of the Holocaust, and now you think, what, Israel should be dissolved?

    Part of my comment at #41:

    The State of Israel has now blown through every bit of good will I felt toward them as a result of the atrocities of world war II. I still feel for the Jewish people, but Israel’s actions are deplorable, and I believe the tide of public opinion is starting to turn.

    As you can see, I still have sympathy for the Jewish people as a result of the Holocaust. Do I think Israel should be dissolved? No. But I do not feel that being given land for a Jewish state as a result of atrocities gives Israel the right to do what they are doing to the Palestinians. Israel has become what it hated an reviled and I find it unfathomable that they could treat Palestinians the way they do, and KILL SO VERY MANY OF THEM. I do not believe Israel has the right to be killing civilians like this. It’s shameful. The abused has become the abuser.

  120. 120
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Elie: If they are set up the way I think they are (and there is not a lot of real knowledge about them in the Western press) then the infiltration tunnels aren’t opened at the Israeli end until they are to be used. There isn’t a neatly hidden trap door or the like. The tunnelers break through the remaining soil and rock and launch their attack at their leisure. Not too easy to find such tunnels from the Israeli side.

    The other use for these tunnels is supplies storage and accommodation safe from Israeli bombardment plus the ability to move fighters and weapons around inside the Gaza strip without them having to be on the surface and prone to attacks by aircraft or artillery. Many civil insurrections like the Soviet era Hungarian uprising, the Warsaw ghetto etc. have made extensive use of sewers and other underground passageways for the same reasons. The Vietnamese also built a lot of tunnels for the same reasons, maybe why most Westerners think of it as “cheating” in some manner.

  121. 121
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cervantes: Thank you for finding that and posting it here.

  122. 122
    Cervantes says:

    @WaterGirl:

    The abused has become the abuser.

    Yes, and the turn-around began a long, long time ago.

  123. 123
    Dog On Porch says:

    It seems to me that todays Israelis calculate the worth of all human life on the scale of the holocaust. The deaths of their enemies, even by the thousands, is thereby rendered insignificant. Any enemy is perceived as a nazi, as are critics of the state.

  124. 124
    Cervantes says:

    @Dog On Porch: Do you wonder if there was an alternative, a road not taken?

  125. 125
    Roger Moore says:

    @WaterGirl:

    But I do not feel that being given land for a Jewish state as a result of atrocities gives Israel the right to do what they are doing to the Palestinians.

    There are two problems here:

    1) The Jews weren’t given land as reparations for the atrocities committed against them. They took some land and used those atrocities as justification.

    2) The land didn’t come from the people who actually committed those atrocities, which might actually be logical, but from uninvolved third parties who had land the founders of Israel especially wanted.

    A just response to the Holocaust would have been to take land from Germany for a Jewish homeland, or taking money from Germany to buy land somewhere else to serve as a Jewish homeland, given that Jewish people would be rightly leery about living right next door to the Germans. Taking land from the Palestinians instead was responding to one injustice with another and just created a whole new set of problems.

  126. 126
    WaterGirl says:

    Catching up on the thread just now is making me think of the Affordable Care Act and how people say they don’t like it but they DO like they items in ACA, if you ask about them separately.

    Perhaps some enterprising person here can do up a little survey for Balloon Juice.

    Then we could all go down a list and answer specific questions like “does Israel have the right to bomb gaza as it has been doing this july” and “do the palestinians have the right to retaliate with missiles” and “should Israel be dissolved?”

    Then perhaps we could get to the meat of the disagreements instead of people assuming other people are saying things they are not.

  127. 127
    Elie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Well said

  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore:

    re: #1 – I see that differently than you do. Check out the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel” (May 14, 1948) from Cervantes at #69, which fits with my recollection. But I am not a historian.

    #2 – could not agree more

    your final paragraph – could not agree more

  129. 129
    Patrick says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Excellent posting!

  130. 130
  131. 131
    Cervantes says:

    @WaterGirl: Here is the full text via the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  132. 132
    Dog On Porch says:

    @Cervantes: Great question. I can’t speak as an Israeli, but certainly the U.S. would have been wiser to demand Israel cease its annexation of the West Bank, way-back-when. We should have done everything to temper the (inevitable?) strategic assumptions upon which Israel acts. Instead, against our long term best interests, we turned a blind eye to the their land grab and its implications. And in a real sense, we let Israel down in doing so.

  133. 133
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Cervantes:
    From the first cable:

    Also By Strong Opposition On Part Of Individual Israelis
    In High Places To Any Withdrawal From Territories. These
    Israelis Are Able To Plant Authoritative-Sounding Reports
    In Press About Alleged Settlement Plans.

    Has anybody worked out names (to reasonably high probability if not for sure)?
    Also, were there U.S. career diplomats involved? (Through Nixon, Ford, Carter administrations.)

  134. 134
    sharl says:

    I just learned today that Paul Findley’s 1985 (with revisions in 1989 and 2003) “They Dare to Speak Out” is available for free online – it’s available in various formats here. I’ve been browsing the 402pp .pdf version – a bit fuzzy but definitely legible – and it’s bringing back memories of just how long AIPAC has had a stranglehold on domestic U.S. politics.

    I read the hard copy book years ago, and what struck me then was just how much of a nationwide grassroots effort that whole lobbying campaign was (and presumably still is to some extent). It would have been bad enough if the campaign stuck to chucking out large amounts of money solely in Washington DC, and crippling Big Media they way they do. But they have done so, so much more.

    By the way, a bit on former rural Illinois Republican Congressman Paul Findley (from a 2002 Robert Fisk article):

    Paul Findley, who spent 22 years as a Republican congressman from Illinois, found his political career destroyed after he had campaigned against the Israeli lobby—although, ironically, his book on the subject, They Dare to Speak Out, was nine weeks on The Washington Post bestseller list, suggesting that quite a number of Americans want to know why their congressmen are so pro-Israeli.

  135. 135
    Original Lee says:

    @Cervantes: This being Nazi German (as opposed to post-WWII German), I would say it translates more as extra-sharpened interrogation. YMMV.

  136. 136
    Cervantes says:

    @Original Lee: Sure, I see what you mean — and you’re amplifying my point about Sullivan’s would-be translation: purely as a matter of language, “extra-sharpened” is even more different from “enhanced” than “sharpened” is.

  137. 137
    Ned Ludd says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The MOVE documentary is called “Let the Fire Burn”. It’s pretty well done. They interleave testimony given by city officials during a city council meeting with contemporary news reports and eyewitness accounts in a fisking/FJM style to refute the mayor and police chief point-by-point.

  138. 138
    Original Lee says:

    @Cervantes: Exactly. Another possible translation would be “intensified interrogation,” which is also a distance from “enhanced”. Just like those guys to weasel-mouth a term some Gestapo bureaucrat devised and was quite proud of.

  139. 139
    Pococurante says:

    Militants have poured an estimated 600,000 tons of cement and other materials into the ground at a cost of around $30 million to build the three dozen underground passages found so far, according to army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner.

    That would have paid for some nice schools, maybe a new industry or two to provide jobs.

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