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Jimmy Carter on Al Jazeera
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, January 17, 2007

For the defenders of Jimmy Carter, explain this quote on Al Jazeera:
I don’t consider... I wasn’t equating the Palestinian missiles with terrorism. But when the Palestinians commit terrorist acts, and I mean when a person blows himself up within a bus full of civilians, or when the target of the operation is women and children – such acts create a rejection of the Palestinians among those who care about them. It turns the world away from sympathy and support for the Palestinian people. That’s why I said that acts of terrorism like I just described are suicidal for the popularity and support for the Palestinian cause. In my book, I talk about violence from both sides, and I describe very carefully and accurately the number of casualties among Palestinians and Israelis, including children. The number of Palestinian children who died because of the violence is five times greater than the number of Israeli children, and I condemn this kind of violence on both sides.
But firing missiles into Israel without provocation isn't an act of terrorism? Nope, apparently you have to strap a bomb on yourself to qualify.

Full video interview here.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

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I’m not sure, but the point may be that if you call Palestinian missile launches terrorism, you may have to call the Israeli missile launches terrorism, and that may be what he is unprepared to do.

If you categorize Palestinian missile launches that hit civilians as terrorist acts, what would you call our aerial bombardment of Iraq when it hit civilians?

You see how this gets complicated?

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
If you categorize Palestinian missile launches that hit civilians as terrorist acts, what would you call our aerial bombardment of Iraq when it hit civilians?

You see how this gets complicated?
It is only complicated if you are a moral relativist and equate an act undertaken to purposely kill civilians with an act which accidentally kills civilians. And I fear that is what Jimmy Carter (and in this instance, you) has become.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Actually Cap, it’s not all that complicated. The Palestinians (and Hizbollah and the Iraqi groups) deliberately and admittedly target civilians.

The Israeli (and American) armies aim for military targets. Civilians can get killed in this process when: a) faulty intelligence leads to the wrong space being hit, b) terrorists/insurgents/whatever deliberately locate themselves within civilian areas hoping to capitalize on public relations coups when the inevitable civilian deaths occur, and/or c) civilians are in the vicinity of a military target (sometimes also as a result of b).

As for Carter, well, somehow I doubt that he’s hesitating to call Palestinian missile launches terrorism for fear of harming the Israelis’ reputation; that particular constraint does not seem to have hampered him in the past...
 
Written By: Amy
URL: http://
If a state does it, it’s war.
If it’s done by an entity that is not a state, it’s terrorism.

Hmmmm. I bet leaders of states came up with that distinction.

In any event, it’s oh so convenient for people to label the violence on ’their’ side as legitimate (even if it kills children and innocents) and decry as terrorism the violence from the other side. Especially if one side has the technology to claim they were
trying
to avoid innocents and the other doesn’t have the technology to do anything but fire into enemy territory, the rhetorical labeling game is grasped by the high tech side.

People we call terrorists see themselves as soldiers in a war, using the only strategy at their disposal. The label terrorist is used to make the violence fromm one group seem hideous, while differentiating from the violence of another group, even if the other group’s violence kills more innocents.

What a surreal world.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
It is only complicated if you are a moral relativist and equate an act undertaken to purposely kill civilians with an act which accidentally kills civilians. And I fear that is what Jimmy Carter (and in this instance, you) has become.
If the next Hamas rocket attack is followed by an announcement that it was targeted against an Israeli politician, but missed owing to faulty intelligence then it will be an equally justifiable attack? Perhaps they could get a Palestinian court to declare the structures they target as illegal buildings. Or simply declare the IDF an illegal terrorist organization and justify all attacks as targetting members or ex-members of this group, bound to hit one of them.

Quite frankly I agree with Carter, missile attacks are not terrorism. They are in no way disguising their intent, the missiles are not putting on a yarmulka & sneaking into a pizzaria. The missile attacks are merely criminally stoopid military adventurism against a much stronger opponent, like walking up to a bear with a sharp stick and poking the bear.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
if you call Palestinian missile launches terrorism, you may have to call the Israeli missile launches terrorism, and that may be what he is unprepared to do
.

I suspect he’d be happy to label Israel terrorist.
If a state does it, it’s war.
If it’s done by an entity that is not a state, it’s terrorism.

Hmmmm. I bet leaders of states came up with that distinction.
Well, it ties back to the old days when Euros were trying to make war more civilized. The way to do that is to limit warfare to the uniformed military.

It doesn’t necessarly require a "state", but it does require that those who fight follow certain rules.
Especially if one side has the technology to claim they were trying to avoid innocents and the other doesn’t have the technology to do anything but fire into enemy territory, the rhetorical labeling game is grasped by the high tech side.
One side is trying to avoid civi deaths: otherwise there would be a lot more Palistinian deaths.

The other side is targeting civilians on purpose. And they are also hiding behind their own civilians, in the hopes that IDF takes some out . . .

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Well, it ties back to the old days when Euros were trying to make war more civilized. The way to do that is to limit warfare to the uniformed military.

It doesn’t necessarly require a "state", but it does require that those who fight follow certain rules.
Sure, when you have a huge, organized, uniformed military, you want to apply "rules" that any adversary must only fight as they are prepared to fight.

What about pure numbers?

I’m not taking the Palestinian side in the conflict, but do you really want to say that if the Palestinians kill more civilians than "official" targets it’s terrorism, and even though Israel kills ten times as many Palestinian civilians while they target "official" targets it’s not terrorism?

If you think it is not complicated, you are fooling yourself into an easy answer.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
better yet, explain this doozy.

Carter is senile and damaged goods.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Carter is senile and damaged goods.


Is that ever the truth, but was he senile 20 years ago when he wrote his little request for leniency for the Nazi?

The man is becoming more and more of an exhibitionist when it comes to flaunting the moral idiocy that’s been his stock-in-trade for so long now.

And for people who might pass over capt joe’s link above, here’s the first bit:

"Neil Sher, a veteran of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigation, described a letter he received from Carter in 1987 in an interview with Israel National Radio’s Tovia Singer. The letter, written and signed by Carter, asked that Sher show “special consideration” for a man proven to have murdered Jews in the Mauthausen death camp in Austria."

How indeed to explain that? Maybe the number of Nazi children who had died was five times greater than some other number he pulled out of his...research.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Sure, when you have a huge, organized, uniformed military, you want to apply "rules" that any adversary must only fight as they are prepared to fight.
It doesn’t have to be huge; the Palestinians could abide by the rules of war. From a military perspective, they would be just as effective.

The Palestinians, of course, understand that military effectiveness is out of the question, so they are really fighting a war to spread terror and provoke a response where their own civilians are killed.
I’m not taking the Palestinian side in the conflict, but do you really want to say that if the Palestinians kill more civilians than "official" targets it’s terrorism, and even though Israel kills ten times as many Palestinian civilians while they target "official" targets it’s not terrorism?
The Palestinians target civilians. They also set their own civilians up for IDF return fire.

IDF trys to avoid hitting civilians. Do you really think that the IDF is trying to kill civilians? If so, why are they killing so few?


 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Quite frankly I agree with Carter,
Ouch.
missile attacks are not terrorism. They are in no way disguising their intent, the missiles are not putting on a yarmulka & sneaking into a pizzaria. The missile attacks are merely criminally stoopid military adventurism against a much stronger opponent, like walking up to a bear with a sharp stick and poking the bear.
Of course the attacks are terrorism. They have no value as a military weapon. Hence they are terrorism.

The IDF counterstrikes do have military value, since they are carefully targeted to take out terrorists.

Terrorism is often used as part of war, for example rape and pillage to terrorise a population. The Nazi use of the V1 and V2 rockets. The Allied bombing of population centers.

The Palestinian missiles can’t achieve a military victory. Hence, they are terrorism. Further, they are often fired from locations intended to maximize civilians damage from IDF counterstrikes. And further, they are not fired in response to Israeli violence, but in response to the existance of the Israeli state.

By contrast, IDF specificaly targets terrorists. Their strikes are valid military strikes, since they have a specific tactical goal with a military value. And if the terrorists stopped firing, IDF return fire would cease.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://

I’m not taking the Palestinian side in the conflict, but do you really want to say that if the Palestinians kill more civilians than "official" targets it’s terrorism, and even though Israel kills ten times as many Palestinian civilians while they target "official" targets it’s not terrorism?
Terrorism is a strategy used by groups who are not capable of taking on a military in a traditional conflict, and often by non-state actors who believe their cause is just, but do not have legal status to have a "real" army. But look at Hiroshima, Dresden, Tokyo, Koeln, Nagasaki, etc., and other acts states have undertaken,knowingly killing tens of thousands of innocents.

Terrorism as a strategy is rational, even if immoral. Military strategies that have the technology to try to claim they are trying to avoid innocents (though stories of what really happens in war often creates skepticism about the veracity of that claim in numerous instances) are rational as well. Are they more moral than terrorism even if they kill more innocents? Not really — military leaders know from experience that the chances of getting just their targets and not killing numerous innocents is low. It’s just a way to rationalize ones’ own violence, and to blame the other side for all the deaths.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
military leaders know from experience that the chances of getting just their targets and not killing numerous innocents is low. It’s just a way to rationalize ones’ own violence, and to blame the other side for all the deaths.
If you are attempting to minimize civilian deaths, then yes, it is moral. You can’t expect the IDF to accept the Palestinian missile attacks and not respond.

And the Palestinians maximize their own loss of civilian life, by using their people as human shields.

It is obvious that IDF isn’t trying to kill civilians. We can argue to what extent they go to avoid hitting them, but the Palestinian efforts at putting their civilians in harms way give IDF a stark choice:

1) Don’t respond.

2) Respond and kill civilians.

They choose #2, and kill few relatively few civilians in the process. If they selected #1 instead, that wouldn’t be more moral: it would allow Palestinians to murder unmolested; that’s not a moral choice.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Terrorism is often used as part of war, for example rape and pillage to terrorise a population. The Nazi use of the V1 and V2 rockets. The Allied bombing of population centers.
I don’t swallow the strategic bombing equals terrorism argument. Possibly I am rationalising, because to accept the argument requires counting friends and relatives as being terrorists. Sustained strategic attacks are a product of known origin, when you are being attacked by a strategic weapon you are in an open conflict. Terrorism requires an unexpected attack by some hostile force where they are seeking a political result, carried out by someone who hides amoung your populace.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
I don’t swallow the strategic bombing equals terrorism argument. . . . Sustained strategic attacks are a product of known origin, when you are being attacked by a strategic weapon you are in an open conflict. Terrorism requires an unexpected attack by some hostile force where they are seeking a political result, carried out by someone who hides amoung your populace.
I consider terrorism to be attacks designed to . . . instill terror for the sake a political goal.

Raping, murdering and then burning a village is a form of terrorism.

Stratigic bombing, if aimed at war resources, isn’t terrorism. If it is aimed at simply killing civilians (like Dresden) it’s terrorism.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Stratigic bombing, if aimed at war resources, isn’t terrorism. If it is aimed at simply killing civilians (like Dresden) it’s terrorism.
In a total war the populace is a war resuource, strategic bombing is designed to damage this resource. It is aimed at killing civilians for the purpose of killing civilians or causing them to flee or terrorising them, thus disrupting war production.

To be a terrorist requires that hidden action is taken to change a political outcome. If the action is a covert attack on peaceable targets it is a terrorist action.

Think this is important, because "terrorist" is a word with unhelpful baggage. To be a terrorist suggests that someone is unwell in the head, a madman, almost by definition they are classified as a small part of the population only. This excuses the rest of their population fromn their actions. Compare the these statements - Palestinian rockets killed 5 people in Sderot/Palestinian terrorist rockets killed 5 - the first implicates the rockets as being fired by palestinians and the second elicits sympathy for the Palestinian civilians trapped between "terrorists" and Israel, this is unwarranted IMHO. The definition should restrict the use of terrorist to describe a small section of the populace only.

Terrorism should not be used to describe the actions of USA in firebombing Tokyo or Britain in firebombing Dresden or Germany in firebombing Coventry. To do so labels the entire populace terrorists, stretching the meaning to become meaningless.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/

 
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