4.1020 On the War (5/282)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 12 Feb 91 16:44:20 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 1020. Tuesday, 12 Feb 1991.

(1) Date: Fri, 8 Feb 91 10:15 CDT (34 lines)
From: "Anne Harwell, Technology Resources Ops. Mgr."
Subject: RE: 4.1001 On the War

(2) Date: Fri, 08 Feb 91 13:32 PST (55 lines)
Subject: Re: 4.1001 On the War

(3) Date: Fri, 08 Feb 91 18:27 PST (22 lines)
Subject: Re: 4.1001 On the War

(4) Date: Fri, 8 Feb 91 12:11 CDT (49 lines)
From: "Steve Copold, Director Technology Resources"
Subject: Reaction to the reactions.....

(5) Date: Sun, 10 Feb 1991 13:27:04 GMT+0300 (122 lines)
From: LBJUDY@VMSA.technion.ac.il
Subject: The Israel Diaries and responses to them

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 91 10:15 CDT
From: "Anne Harwell, Technology Resources Ops. Mgr."
Subject: RE: 4.1001 On the War (5/224)

Reading some of the responses to the Israeli diaries brings some
thoughts to mind:

1). It should be obvious by now that sanctions would have never worked,
no matter how much time they were given. Saddam just doesn't share our
sense of priorities about human rights and the preservation of safety
and security amongst the populace.

2). Bedouins with eMail? Give me a break. Next we'll be hearing how
terribly beset they are because they haven't been provided with
cellular phones.

3). Killed and wounded civillians in Baghdad are no surprise, given
Saddam's cowardly strategy of placing the bodies of innocents between
himself and us. The surprise is that the Iraqis who nightly watch stray
bombs land on their homes haven't risen up and demanded that Saddam
relocate these emplacements to true military areas.

4). The comment by the fighter pilot about turning on the light in the
kitchen and seeing the cockroaches run of course raises the question of
whether the pilot felt he was killing human beings or non-human things.
And I'm sure that a hundred psychologists read that remark and
immediately began thinking about ideas for their first bestseller (When
Killing Becomes a Game: The Mind of the Nintendo Pilot). But I am
grateful that that pilot is on our side, not vice versa. And I sleep a
little better at night knowing that some withered old Marshal of the
Soviet Army saw him say it, too.


(2) --------------------------------------------------------------374---
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 91 13:32 PST
Subject: Re: 4.1001 On the War (5/224)

Uriah Heepi sh handwringing of a Lakoff is either fatuous or
disingenuous. He says, Israel must sit down with the Palestinians after
the war. He is telling what a soverei gn nation, with a
democratically-elected government must do. he, and all the ot hers who
speak as he does immorally and intellectually-dishonest seem always to
leave out one simple fact: Israel was attacked on the hour of its
formation in 1948 by 5 Arab armies. Israel has a peace treaty, after
many wars, with only o ne of those Arab nations: Egypt. The man who
made the peace treaty, Anwar Sadat , was assassinated. Israel is
non-combatant nation, also at war. the West Bank is an Occupied
Territory during a state of war with 4 nations. Iraq and Jordan and
Syria are particularly at war. If Lakoff had ever stayed in the
northern G alilee under the Golan Heights, which is like being on the
flats in Berkeley an d being shelled from Skyline Drive, or Kensington
Park, he would grasp better w hy the Israelis are holding the Heights.
Unfortunately for Israel, that occupat ion: many people in 1973 feared
it would only be a drain and disaster. It will yet become so. But the
Palestinians in the Occupied Territory are at war with I srael, and
their leaders are at war and have billions a year at thier dispositi on,
Arafat & company. The killers of an American tourist in a wheelchair,
Leon Klingoff, were just released from their light sentences in Italy.
It is a pity about the insufficiency of gasmask in the West Bank (but
not in Israel),which L akoff seems to think the case, but who is sending
the scuds, and who is keeping poor idiotic King Hussein on Iraq's side,
more so than ever, as of 2/7? There is a stubborn refusal, 100%, to
acknowledge the existence of Israel, on Arab ma ps, and in Arab minds,
those countries at war with Israel, that is. What int he world has
Pakistan to do with Israel? Lakoff's heart is dripping thick blood f or
innocent Iraqi victims, and he insists quite, well, disgustingly to my
mind, on smearing that blood on Israel and on the US and UK, and not on
Saddam. Lako ff reminds me of an editorial in the fanatic Left LA
Weekly newspaper, which is 100% anti-Capitalist, etc, but refuses to pay
its own writers union rates, and has been in a struggle ever since the
National Writers union began to be organ ized a few years ago.
Socialism for you, capitalism for me. What did its editor in chief
write last week? We must, he wrote, sit down and help the Israelis an d
the Palestinians and Jordanians and the Lebanese achieve thier inherent
right s of "self-dtermination"! I think the Israeli's had their
selfdetermination in 1948. It is only such impossible and dangerous
demagogues who refuse to recogni ze the right of Israel even to have
existed, who speak of the matter in such re ally crazy terms. Sorry,
Lakoff, but you have failed to begin at Square : i: i. e.,to repeat: 4
Arab nations, our own allies too, are at war with Israel, and remain at
war with Israel. Sorry, but that is why Iraq is being destroyedand no t
by Israel, which has yet to shoot a bullet their way. Try to keep your
mind f ocussed on the facts, Lakoff, and spare us your mealymouthed
weeping and wailin g. That there is cause for weeping and wiling and
gnashing of teeth, we all agr ee, but we must also look at the case,
which is not as you offer it, not at all. It is war, and has been war,
for almost 43 years now. Kessler

(3) --------------------------------------------------------------374---
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 91 18:27 PST
Subject: Re: 4.1001 On the War (5/224)

Another thing that gravelled me, but which I did put into my fast
response this morning to Lakoff's latest: He speaks of the Iraqia and
Palestinians, et al, w ho have not been privileged to be heard on the
Humanist discussion groups, wher eas the Israelis write their limbo-war
journals to us, as if the Israelis had t he upper hand in propaganda,
because those others have, by not having the tooks of access, been
"effectively silenced." That tendentious grammar is vicious in ints
subtlety. Had Lakoff written, Those who havent the access to the bitnet,
etc. are effectively silent (ie not part of the discussion), I wouldnt
have min ded, since that is the case. But no one has SILENCED them. No
one has taken awa y their voices or computers, if any, etc. That is the
usual trick of trying to make one guilty, by the accuser, the jury, the
judge, and executioner, all in o ne. A nice trick, but too crude to be
borne. Learn to write objectively, Lakoff and I for one will attend
your pleas. What you have written is not good. You o ver did it.
Kessler. (If not deliberately, then you are even weaker in your arg
ument than I think, but merely a demagogue in Academic gown.)

(4) --------------------------------------------------------------50----
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 91 12:11 CDT
From: "Steve Copold, Director Technology Resources"
Subject: Reaction to the reactions.....

Dear Editors,

If possible, please pass this along to your readers. The innocence, and
apparent isolation from reality, of those reacting to Bob Werman's
posting is both astounding and confounding. I suppose that in Berkeley
and the other isolated intellectual hinterlands of this vast nation, the
lack of awareness of the true feelings of most Americans should not be
surprising. Yet, I find myself astonished at the degree to which
several of your contributors are out of touch with the broadest spectrum
of our society. At this point I must confess to being Werman's
"correspondent" that made note of the anger in this country. Like it or
not, it is here, it is massive, and it is very real. Many Americans
believe that we, as a nation, have been badly victimized by the
Middle-Eastern politics of terror. Whether or not one argues that these
acts have had any shred of justification, no one can debate the fact
that they have killed people and destroyed property with some degree of
regularity. Last night on the Larry King Show, Carl Bernstein said,
"The American people have a memory that's only seven minutes long."
Well, I don't know to whom Mr. Bernstein was referring as my memory
extends back at least as far as the taking of the hostages in Iran in
1979....That is a long time for anger to ferment.

I'm not worried about the fate of Israel. They clearly can take care of
themselves. If placing the PATRIOT systems in Israel served a strategic
purpose it was to prevent the IADF from putting up a radioactive cloud
that would have stretched from Baghdad to Berkeley. When this conflict
is finished Israel will be left with the capability of going through any
Arab military coalition like grease through a goose. The real hope,
however, is that with the PLO completely discredited, even with the Gulf
Arabs, there may be a chance for a real and a genuine settlement for all
the pertinent issues that will result in a just and lasting peace.

As for the Iraqi civilians being killed, that's an unfortunate but
entirely predictable side-effect. As for the Iraqi soldiers in the KTO,
I feel nothing at all....They are targets. Having seen first-hand the
result of the ArcLight Raids in Viet Nam, I suspect that the reason
we're not seeing more detailed BDA is that the Iraqi military
casualities are probably approaching the six digit levels. As for Hafez
Al Asad, he is watching and listening. There's nothing like an object
lesson to put the skids on a man of his ilk. America is acting
courageously and righteously in this conflict. On a personal note, I am
both pleased and proud that my son is one of those that is currently
helping to pull the trigger on Saddam Hussein.

Steve Copold

(5) --------------------------------------------------------------128---
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 1991 13:27:04 GMT+0300
From: LBJUDY@VMSA.technion.ac.il
Subject: The Israel Diaries and responses to them

Returning after the weekend, I notice the rhetoric has been heating up.
A few things were said which I think require a response.

1. Lakoff on the diaries:

Lakoff's long response was in fact considerably less "humanist" than it
said. It was characterized by some of the elements of rhetoric against
which we have so recently been warned. For instance, he comments that
"the humanist's empathy for other human beings...is absent from Werman's
diaries". I'm not responsible for Bob Werman's diaries and I wouldn't
reply to this, if it weren't in a context of discussing the Israeli
diaries in general. In such a case, it would have been fair if Lakoff
had noted that an "empathy for other human beings" is in fact included
in my diary; but that would have subverted his argument.

Lakoff also characterized the Israeli government's "refusal" to
distribute gas masks to the inhabitants of the West Bank as "racist".
This is opinion masquerading as fact. The present government (which
heaven knows I have no love for) is not racist; it didn't distribute gas
masks to the West Bank because it didn't have enough. For as long as
possible, it didn't distribute them to the Jewish settlers on the West
Bank either, because while it had enough masks for the Jewish
population, it didn't have for the Arab population, and didn't want to
differentiate between them. This fact apparently did not manage to
batter its way into Lakoff's consciousness through the defense
mechanisms he seems to have set up.

The government only distributed masks to the Jewish settlers when it had
acquired enough to distribute to at least the Arab areas thought to
be at greatest risk. Since then it has been buying and distributing
masks as fast as it could. Those who castigate the government for
not doing it faster should spend their efforts on encouraging their
national airlines to resume flights to Israel -- El-Al can't carry
ALL the cargo required in the time required. If you chicken out
of sending flights to Israel, don't then turn around and complain
because sea freight takes 3 months.

The government didn't have enough masks because it didn't envisage
the possibility that an Arab government would wage chemical warfare
upon the population of the West Bank. I agree this was probably
short-sighted. Obviously, it is also ludicrous to distribute masks
when you only have them for adults: what parents are going to accept
masks for themselves alone, and sit in their sealed rooms with unmasked
children around them? Equally obviously, it was not an intentional
diabolical plot on the part of the government: it does nothing but
harm (just look at the propaganda it has aroused!). Conclusion: they
didn't yet get a shipment of children's masks but were pressured to
distribute whatever they had as quickly as possible nonetheless.
This would seem to be a situation where you're damned if you do and
damned if you don't.

If Lakoff is serious about being an objective observer and a "humanist",
he could find a better use for his time than allowing himself to be
used for propaganda. I thought his forte was supposed to be analyzing
rhetoric, not indulging in it.

2. Werman's latest diaries.

Here I have only one point of information. Werman talks about all the
trucks carrying containers bound for Iraq from ships which arrived at
Aqaba: they left Aqaba in the days (weeks?) before the war, he says,
at the rate of one every five minutes.

I don't know where Werman's information comes from. I'm sure there
were supplies being imported to Aqaba for Iraq: let's at least give
King Hussein the credit for being consistent. All I can report is
the eye-witness account of a husband who spent 3 weeks on army reserve
duty immediately prior to the war (up to the weekend of Jan. 13) on that
border, with the boring task (among others) of observing traffic on the
road north from Aqaba. There were a few trucks, he said, but nothing
to get excited about. A few a day, not a few an hour.

The point of all this is: let's not get carried away by the rumours
and rhetoric to the point where we believe them ourselves.

3. The message from the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence.

I saw this on CRTNET but I think it found its way to Humanist also (I've
had so much mail this weekend that I no longer remember what was from
where!) They reported "rumors" that Palestinians in a detention camp in
the Negev are to be "transferred to DIMONA (nuclear plant where Israel
is keeping some of its nuclear warheads)". Despite the fact that this
is just a rumour, they then immediately relate to it as already proven
fact, and exhort everyone to condemn Israel and express their horror
that Israel "is prepared to use this method" (i.e. put detainees in
sensitive sites as Saddam has).

Does the Center usually proceed by judging you guilty until proven
innocent? Or only when judging those it disapproves of a priori?
Since when are rumours which you yourself spread, a sufficient basis
for condemnation?

For the record:

1) The nuclear research facility they refer to is not actually at
Dimona; any transfer to Dimona of prisoners could only be to
a prison.

2) Goodness only knows where we are keeping nuclear warheads, or
even if we have them (though everyone assumes we do so I am
not faulting the Center for assuming it too. I am faulting them
for regarding things as fact not assumption).

3) The nuclear research facility they refer to has nowhere to keep
political prisoners (I assume we're not talking about one or two?
The impression the Center strove to give was that this was a mass
transfer) and any government would be out of its mind to risk
taking these particular prisoners, many of whom come from terrorist
movements, to such a sensitive place.

In short, this is propaganda of the sort the P.L.O. and Iraq enjoy
putting about. The conclusion I draw from it is that the "Palestinian
Center for the Study of Nonviolence" is a political propaganda organization
in disguise. It would be fair of them to say so, and not masquerade as
something else in order to get onto the networks.

Judy Koren