Wednesday, December 10, 2003
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Last thoughts on Dean and Gore
Josh Marshall thinks that Gore's endorsement of Dean could paradoxically help Clark, through the process of eliminating the other pretenders to the throne. If Kerry, Gephardt, Edwards, Lieberman et al drop out, it becomes a Dean/Clark horse race:
Josh probably knows a hell of a lot more about Democratic Party politics than I do, but the more I think about it, the more I don't buy it. Here's why:
1) Follow the money. The mainstream press is now obsessing over Dean's new campaign model. The latest issue of Time reports that Dean's coffers are bulging to the point where he's offering money to others:
Republican or Democrat, all politicians follow the funding. The more resources that Dean has to throw around for other campaigns, the less charged the opposition will be.
2) Pride matters for the rest of the field. The Gore endorsement managed to accomplish something that nothing else in the campaign had done to date -- make Howard Dean's challengers look as angry as Howard Dean (this also applies to Democratic-friendly media outlets -- Will Saletan, Exhibit A). This has more to do with Gore than Dean -- as Jeff Greenfield put it: "This to be candid with you is a problem Al Gore has had in the past in his relations with other politicians. There is a kind of reputation that he has earned over the years for not necessarily being the most graceful of diplomats in dealing with his fellow Democrats." If the debate wrap-up is any indication, the other contenders are not going to go down without a serious rhetorical fight.
The problem is, they're all angry, which means none of them are dropping out anytime soon. This complicates the scenario where everyone but Clark falls away. At best, I suspect that by the time South Carolina rolls around, only Kerry and Gephardt would drop out if they were clobbered in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively. Edwards, Clark and Lieberman can easily split the Clinton wing of the party to the point where Dean skates through the Southern primaries.
3) Dean could win the general election. Forget polls comparing Bush to the Democratic challengers today. As I've argued elsewhere, Dean will prove to be more formidable than he seems now. William Kristol is right about this. I have it on good authority that the Bush team is equally aware of how close 2004 could be.
Once this meme filters through the mediasphere, the strongest political rationale for opposing a Dean nomination will be squelched. Implicit hints from Dean that he would pick a VP with either Southern or Western roots would probably accelerate this as well.
One other thing -- as TNR's &c. points out, Dean's wooing of Gore demonstrates something counterintuitive about his political skills:
Again, Marshall may very well be right. I kind of hope he's right, just because it would make for much more entertaining political theater. My hunch, though, is that at best Clark might pull a Jesse Jackson circa 1988 and win a big state after everyone thought Dean had it locked it up. But this would be a hiccup, not a horse race.
UPDATE: Ryan Lizza has an outstanding analysis of Dean's effect on the Democratic Party elite (link via Mickey Kaus) that anticipates much of what was said here and in my previous post on Dean/Gore. And it was written a month ago!posted by Dan on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM
Dean is showing that he has some degree of tacticval political brilliance. The question I have is whether he can truly do that "turn to the middle" that all the pundits expect out of him, and still win the general election.
I would think that Dean could counter the all-important "security" issue by an approach that Bush has actually endangered our security abroad by alienating our allies by his single-minded persuit of his particular windmills and sending our troops into danger with insufficient evidence of the need to do so. And Bush has endangered our security at home by mortgaing the future with his tax-cut driven deficits.
This sounds great. But, what if Iraq continues to be a problem throughout 2004? The pressure to cut and run -- er, excuse me -- hand over the administration of Iraq to the United Nations, will continue to be high on the Democrat side. Dean has committed himself rhetorically to finishing the job (or fixing the mess, if you prefer) If he continues in that stance, as Americans continue to die in frequently reported numbered, many of the angry folk -- their ideals shattered -- may just choose to vote for Nader or not vote at all. If Dean decides that he must keep the left happy, and endorses giving the Iraqis a UN "Peace with Honor", he will lose centrists. (And lose any chance with this particular moderate.)
Oh -- I think a Dean/Clark ticket is far more likely than a Dean/Clark horse race. Clark has yet to give peole a reason to vote for him as opposed to Dean.
Reading Molly Ivins and even Ted Rall, I don't think Dean has any worries about defections on the left, no matter what in Iraq—even if he says we now have to stay. He needs to capture more of the center to defeat Bush.posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
The longer everyone stays in, the better for Dean.
Clinton won't endorse someone who may well lose the nomination. He needs to keep his "image." So he'll stay "above the fray."
From Billmon (sorry to keep repeating this, but it slays me):
"But if putting up with the holier-than-thou act for a little while longer is the price for watching the death of Lieberman's presidential hopes, I'm willing to pay it. The Gore giveth, and the Gore taketh away. Blessed is the name of the Gore."
Also, from Atrios:
"Shorter Al Gore: I think Dean is the strongest candidate, and I want to try to convince people to get behind him because of that. We obviously can't march in lockstep like the Republicans, but we should strive for a little party unity and not have a circular firing squad to the extent that's possible."
PS -- Saletan is a pathetic lazy hack.posted by: MattB on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Dean will need to run to the center to beat Bush. But its not hard for him to do so. He has a very centrist record as governor (with the exception of the civil unions bill which I don't think will hurt him although Rove will try to make sure it does). He also has all the attacks from the left he is getting from Gephardt and Kerry now to use as evidence next fall that he is not a big leftie.posted by: Stuart on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
I think the left's punditocracy is committed to anybody but Bush. But what of the enthusiastic followers who joined Dean BECAUSE he was anti-war? Are they going to be satisfied with a mere "Well, we won't do anything like that again."
I am skeptical. Idealists new to politics aren't always reasonable when they see their ideals threatened. And, I'm afraid as long as there is a pretty sounding United Nations bails us out option, they won't care that it's vaporware.posted by: appalled moderate on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
I dunno about the dropping out thing. I thought in 2000 that Gore was hurting the chances of Bradley dropping out when he taunted him as a quitter, but Bradley didn't really stick around once his number was up (in contrast to the hell Jerry Brown put Clinton through in 1992). I suspect Kerry will bail out before New Hampshire or immediately afterwards, and I think the Gore endorsement could (and should) convince Lieberman to exit stage right, leaving a much more manageable field of 3 challengers to Dean.posted by: Crank on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
what of the enthusiastic followers who joined Dean BECAUSE he was anti-war?
I think Dean's anti-war support has been widely misunderstood, because his anti-war stance has been widely misunderstood. I have no doubt that there are dovey pacificsts among Dean's base, but a far greater number of "anti-war" supporters are really "anti-bullshit" supporters. Dean's war stance won him popularity because he called "bullshit!" on Bush precisely when so many of us suspected we were being bullshat. Being an anti-bullshit candidate has far broader appeal than anti-war, and the most of the real peaceniks have to understand that's the best they're really gonna get.posted by: cerebrocrat on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Could Leiberman through his support to Bush?posted by: Mark Buehner on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
I repeat my earlier comment about traditional turnout politics - Dean is so weak among black voters that I don't see any plausible combination of states giving him an electoral majority. He's dead in the South without the black vote and ditto for some big northern states like Pennsylvannia.
Worse, he violates the flip side of the turnout politics credo - don't motivate the other side's core vote to turn out. Dean as nominee would do that for the core GOP vote.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Not sure Dean is weak among black voters. He maybe doesn't excite them like Clinton did, but he doesn't seem to turn them off. It looks like good odds that he'll win the DC primary, for instance.
For me, he's had four strokes of tactical brilliance, two of which Dan mentions:
The important thing is that all of these speak to how he could win in November: simply by working harder at it than anyone else ever has since the great days of the party machines. As a left-leaner, I find it exhilerating to watch.posted by: William on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
While singing Dean's praises, let's note another thing. He has managed to work a system designed to deliver a Clinton style nominee, beholden to Clinton style interest groups. That's impressive.posted by: appalled moderate on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
cerobrat nails a key part of Dean's appeal. In addition, Dean has been crystal clear about being anti-THISwar, while having supported Afghanistan and GulfWarI.
People keep talking about Dean moving toward the center come general election time, but I think a look at his positions indicates that he's already there. Many on the left are far more concerned about getting the current administration out than with quibbling with Dean on states' rights for gun control and capital punishment.
I think Rove's best chance at Dean other than the incumbent-as-strong-leader-on-the-rubble-post-9/11 stuff is with Dean's desire to roll back all the tax cuts. That position is completely consistent for Dean, well-known in Vermont for refusing to fund things unless he had a way to pay for them, but will be relentlessly portrayed by the right as "he wants to raise all your taxes!"posted by: Opus on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
The Democrats' core black vote doesn't turn out for candidates who haven't cultivated them. Consider Dukakis in 1988. I repeat that Dean was governor of the wrong small state.
President Bush had the same problem with the religious right in 2000. Their turnout was mediocre, and this hurt Bush a fair amount.
Some core elements of each party need care and stroking _by the candidate_, not just other interest groups in the party, to motivate them to turn out enough to make a difference. This generally requires a track record by the candiate over a period of years with those core elements.
Dean doesn't have that record with blacks and his personal style doesn't work with them either. Clinton had both. Gore had the first. Dean has neither.
It doesn't help that the black vote has gotten somewhat squirrely - this makes it difficult for candidates without the track record to connect with them during a Presidential race (as opposed to before it) without alienating other groups he needs, or motivating some Republican core groups, so that the result is effectively a wash.
Rammesh Ponnuru contended in today's National Review (http://www.nationalreview.com/ponnuru/ponnuru200312100842.asp) that:
"One supposed problem for Dean won't be. Frum also noted that the governor does not run well among black voters. He does not seem to have much appeal at the moment, but I am sure that will change. Dean may very well have sewn up the nomination by the time blacks vote in large numbers. In the general election, labor and Democratic party ads will be portraying the Republicans as neo-segregationists. Under those circumstances, getting a large black turnout for Dean will be feasible."
It is been my experience that such ads work only when the nominee already has a connection with black voters. Gore in 2000 was an example. But they didn't work for Dukakis in 1988 even given the elder Bush's "Willie Horton" ads.
IMO black turnout in 2004 will be mediocre to moderate if Dean is the Democratic nominee, and that spells doom for him right there.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
What puzzles me most about the Gore endorsement is not the fact that he did it, but the timing of the act. Lieberman was going nowhere; in another month to 6 weeks, he might well be folding his tents anyway. And Dean certainly didn't need the endorsement for Iowa or New Hampshire. Where Gore's endorsement would help would be in the big states later in the primary season. So why do it now, and come off appearing to reward Lieberman's loyalty with a knife in the back? Was the timing Gore's decision, or Dean's? Either way, it makes no sense to me.posted by: Harry on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Your two points are important ones, but I don't think they are 'deal-breakers' for Dean.
First there is a plausible combo of states, even without Florida, and not really getting anything in the south that can get the Democratic nominee a victory. See: http://www.moore-info.com/Poll_Updates/2004%20Election%20%20Why%20Dean%20can%20win%20Sept%2003.htm
Note: This article "is the considered judgment of two respected Republican pollsters -- Bob Moore and Hans Kaiser -- from Portland's [OR] Moore Information." ( http://www.moore-info.com/Poll_Updates/The%20Oregonian%20Article%20Why%20Dean%20Can%20Win%20Next%20November.htm)
And black voter turnout here in PA? You'd better see this article:
"The real action last week was in Pennsylvania, a battleground state if ever there was one. Bush has visited the Keystone State 23 times since becoming president, more than any other state; its 21 electoral votes loom large in the electoral calculations of both parties.
And it was the Democrats who had themselves one fine Election Day in Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, incumbent Democratic Mayor John Street scored an impressive victory over Republican businessman and perennial candidate Sam Katz, winning 59 percent of the vote.
The cause for Democratic celebration is not Street himself, who seems unlikely to make it into the pantheon of great American mayors. Rather, it is the astonishing voter registration and mobilization campaign waged on Street's behalf by several organizations, chiefly the political operation of local congressman Chaka Fattah. When the voting rolls closed last month, it had registered 86,000 new voters over the preceding three months, virtually all of them from Philadelphia's African American and Latino communities. In a city of 1.49 million residents (according to the 2001 Census Bureau estimate) that's a mind-boggling achievement. I know of no voter registration campaign anywhere in the United States over the past several decades that can claim results this impressive."
That voter registration program was a pilot project here, and after its success, is going to be rolled out in many more locales.
Dean doesn't need the south and doesn't need Florida. They would be nice, but it can be done without them.posted by: Ryan Roat on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
“Dean could win the general election. Forget polls comparing Bush to the Democratic challengers today. As I've argued elsewhere, Dean will prove to be more formidable than he seems now.”
Howard Dean definitely has one thing going for him: the liberal “elite” media are on his side! They will ignore his mistakes and exaggerate his virtues. This man’s recent comments about the “Soviet Union” and federalism would be disastrous if he were a Republican candidate. As I’ve said before, President Bush only has an 80% reelection chance. These odds would increase to 95% if the liberal media weren’t out to destroy him.
One, though, should not overlook the impact of Al Sharpton’s inevitable continued attacks on Governor Dean---and even very possible third party run. Sharpton is enraged that he is not currently a more dominant figure within the Democrat Party. He perceives the situation as something of a take over by the white yuppie Liberals. Last but not least, Al Sharpton is proof positive how the liberal media looks the other way if you are a so-called progressive candidate. This man is one of the most disgusting and vile people in national politics. Where is the outrage?posted by: David Thomson on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Thanks for the links - the WaPo article in particular. IMO the Moore Information article looks too much like canned fluff thrown in to meet a deadline. The crucial part of the WaPo article is the comment by Rosenthal:
"Our goal is to try to keep communicating with people over a two-year process."
That long-term commitment is exactly what is needed to turn out the black vote and, as the next paragraph said,
"... Rosenthal marvels that he has the resources to hire as his state directors experienced operatives "who've won these states for Democratic governors or senators" - not the 25 year-olds who have often run such operations in the underfunded past."
I was once one of those "25 year-olds", back when I was a Democrat, and understand the implications of this. Consider, though, that such an effort takes one election cycle to mature, i.e., it won't have time to peak by November 2004.
But it is interesting and I'll keep an eye on it.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
“What puzzles me most about the Gore endorsement is not the fact that he did it, but the timing of the act. Lieberman was going nowhere; in another month to 6 weeks, he might well be folding his tents anyway. “
Unlike you, Al Gore’s decision makes perfect sense to me. He didn’t want to wait until the train pulled out of the station. Those who jump early on the proverbial bandwagon---have more owed to them!posted by: David Thomson on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Winning without the South means Dean has to keep Pensylvannia and every Gore state plus take Ohio from the Republican column.
That isn't going to happen.
New party registration since 9/11/2001 is breaking heavily Republican in *every* battle ground state of the 2000 election. Close "Red" states have become deeper "Red" and close "Blue" states have gone "Red." If Democratic Party activists thought 2002 was an election shaped by the war, 2004 will make that pale in comparison in terms of core Republican voters. Any political Pro can tell you that the newly registered voters turn out and vote.
One more thing, anti-Semitism is going to play a big role in the next Presidential cycle. The growing anti-Semitism of urban black voters and academic supporters of the Palestinians inside the Democratic coalition is going to break open hard in 2004. Between that and the Republican convention being in New York City, New York State is going to be in play. As in, exactly how can Dean counter a Bush/Rove wedge campaign aimed at tarring anti-Semites not only as "Un-American" but as "How You Identify the Enemies of America?"
If Dean spends *any* non-fund raising campaign time in either New York State or California in the September 2004, it will be a Republican blow out in November.posted by: Trent Telenko on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Many people already concede that President Bush now has the economy in his favor. However, they think that Iraq might hurt his reelection chances. This, though, is highly unlikely. I unhesitatingly contend that Americans will increasingly be proud of our efforts to free the Iraqi people. Pity those candidates who conclude otherwise. The situation should improve significantly in that country before the end of March.
Yup, that’s most certainly true. This is the unspoken issue that even Senator Lieberman wishes would go away. Al Sharpton, by the way, is still a member of the Democrat Party---and so is Jesse Jackson! The liberal “elite” university professors engage in moral equivalency regarding Israel. They believe the Palestinians aren’t mostly racist bigots, but victims of capitalist imperialism. Yasser Arafat merely needs more love and understanding.posted by: David Thomson on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
I think you are playing a wishful thinking game on the Washington Post article. This passage seems key:
"The voter registration drive wasn't the only thing that Street had going for him, of course. The discovery of FBI-planted bugs in his City Hall office just as the campaign was entering the home stretch galvanized the city's African American community. In a twinkling, Street was transformed into a persecuted black leader whom John Ashcroft's Justice Department was trying to bring down.
In fact, the revelation of the FBI's surveillance brought Street up. Four years ago, he eked out a 51 percent to 49 percent victory over Katz, winning by 9,000 votes out of 430,000 cast. Last week his victory margin was 85,000 votes out of 490,000 cast."
This was a stroke of political lightning in the same class as Governor Carnahan's (sp?) plane crash costing John Ashcroft his Senate seat. Maybe Dean will get one of the same scale to mobilize the black vote nation wide...but I wouldn't bet on it.
No, some of us merely understand that the situation vis a vis Israel and Palestine has more than one side at fault--and that our objectively imbalanced Israel policy is a significant source of anti-American resentment and al Qaeda recruitment in the Muslim world, and dramatically undercuts both our national security and our credibility in claiming to be a force for democracy.
As an aside, David, your overuse of the term "liberal elite" is not only counterfactual, but is ultimately meaningless. Perhaps you'd be more effective at making your point if you'd try addressing who, in specific or general, you're actually talking about--rather than alluding to the presence of some mythical liberal Illuminati in every other post?posted by: Catsy on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Don't take things out of context. You said yourself in this thread that new voters are the most likely to vote. Here's more of the WaPo article:
"... The cause for Democratic celebration is not Street himself, who seems unlikely to make it into the pantheon of great American mayors. Rather, it is the astonishing voter registration and mobilization campaign waged on Street's behalf by several organizations, chiefly the political operation of local congressman Chaka Fattah. When the voting rolls closed last month, it had registered 86,000 new voters over the preceding three months, virtually all of them from Philadelphia's African American and Latino communities. In a city of 1.49 million residents (according to the 2001 Census Bureau estimate) that's a mind-boggling achievement. I know of no voter registration campaign anywhere in the United States over the past several decades that can claim results this impressive.
The Partnership for America's Families is funded by a number of unions to the tune of $12 million over the next year. Another Rosenthal-led 527, America Coming Together, has a budget of just under $100 million and has already received several tidy $10 million donations from Democrats with discretionary income, such as George Soros. That level of resources allows Rosenthal to go into 17 battleground states and establish field operations in black and Latino communities earlier than the Democrats have ever done."
I know what is significant and what isn't. The Philadelphia mayorial race was a blip. Rosenthal's long-term funding for voter registration and getting out the vote might not be - we'll see how long the money lasts. My point was that this sort of long-term commitment is essential to getting out the black vote in particular. Rosenthal is a pro with the chops to do this right.
It remains to be seen whether this can boost Dean in the general election given his Confederate flag gaffe, which was my original point in the first thread on this subject. The flag thing alone was a blip, but it raised a legitimate concern that Dean is tone-deaf on the issue with a tendency to say unfortunate things.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
"[E]xactly how can Dean counter a Bush/Rove wedge campaign aimed at tarring anti-Semites not only as "Un-American" but as "How You Identify the Enemies of America?"
By one public appearance with his wife, Judith Steinberg? This doesn't seem like a winner to me.posted by: Matt Weiner on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
“No, some of us merely understand that the situation vis a vis Israel and Palestine has more than one side at fault”
“By one public appearance with his wife, Judith Steinberg? This doesn't seem like a winner to me.”
There’s also a growing split within the Jewish community between those Jews who suck up to the radical liberal establishment (like Noam Chomsky) and those who realize that such whoring results in Jews dying in Israel. It is simply nutty to argue that the Israelis are equally guilty of causing the unrest in that region. The exact opposite is true. The Israelis are the true victims and want only to live in peace. It is the self pitying majority of Palestinians who indulge in racism and hatred. Let’s get to the nitty gritty: how many Jews have become suicide bombers and target innocent civilians?posted by: David Thomson on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
My lifemate, who shares my opinions on this, is Jewish and I have made an extensive study of this matter. I have seen nothing from you which suggests any personal or professional understanding of the situation beyond the usual uninformed Israel=Good/Arabs=Bad equation. Do you really want to delve into this here? Because if you do, I'll be happy to demonstrate the flaws in your argument.posted by: Catsy on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
“Do you really want to delve into this here? Because if you do, I'll be happy to demonstrate the flaws in your argument.”
Please do. I am very well aware of the fatuous argumentation of Benny Morris and his ilk. Furthermore, I believe that the Olso Accords was a con job. By the way, are you possibly going to defend the morally bankrupt views of Noam Chomsky?posted by: David Thomson on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Left out of consideration to date is the question of religion. Dean's personal secularism not only opens a potential line of attack from the social conservative side, it will also serve to make evangelical moderates uncomfortable. Splitting the parties by faith commitment would only add to unnecessary polarization.
Given this, it would seem paramount that a Dean ticket be balanced with a vice presidential candidate who can speak to faith from the stance of faith.posted by: W R Harris on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Dean doesn't need Ohio either; see the Moore Info paper about the electoral numbers. It's Nevada and West Virgina. Check out the chart in the paper, and the first paragraph below it. (I don't espouse conceding any of the 'in-play' states--just pointing out that there is a formula there to do it without them.)
Also, the voter regisrataion drive in Philly occured before the FBI story broke. Voter registration closed either the day before, or the day of the FBI story breaking. 89,000 new democratic voters didn't come out of the woodwork in one day. (I didn't spec that out in first post, but I wondered if any one would mention it.) It may have driven up turnout, but not registration.
I think PA is in play a little, otherwise GWB wouldn't be spending so much time here. But we just did elect Rendell, and Joe Hoeffel before that on the strength of liberal to moderate voting in the greater Philadelphia area.
Anyway, that's of course, IMO...
See Ya!posted by: Ryan on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
FYI, I choked on the Moore article because it gave West Virginia to the Democrats. Not after 9/11. West Virginia is the one Democratic state which became firmly Republican in presidential elections due to 9/11. Moore, et al., so obviously know nothing about West Virginia hot button issues that this caused me to distrust them in everything.
Trent has a point about New York. IMO 9/11 made it a battleground state. But West Virginia is a write-off for the Democrats, and Senator Rockefeller is in serious trouble given a decent GOP opponent due to his stupid Intelligence Committee memo.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Straw man alert: You brought up Benny Morris and Noam Chomsky, not me. Their words have nothing to do with my positions on this.
Now that that's out of the way, let me make something clear: I condemn any and all terrorism--which I define as the use of violence and fear tactics against civilians--and those who espouse and support it. Regardless of its source. That includes Palestinian militants. It includes Yasser Arafat, whom I regard with no small amount of contempt for his continued obstructionism. It also includes Ariel Sharon, a war criminal who is equally liable for the breakdowns in the peace process. The extent to which I will focus on Israel in the paragraphs to follow is not an attempt to exculpate or ignore Palestinian violence (which is well-established), but rather an attempt to support my previous contention that Israel holds an equal share of blame in the mess that is the Middle East.
While the roots of Arab-Israeli resentment over go back to the 1947 UN partitioning of the Palestine Mandate and the subsequent violence, the bulk of the modern grievances arise from the Six-Day War and the resulting occupation of Arab land.
Contrary to popular belief, it was Israel that struck first in the Six-Day War--although a very strong argument can be made that they were justified in this, given the build-up of Egyptian and Syrian troops and Egypt's illegal naval blockade in the Straits of Tiran. Jordan jumped in to defend Syria and Egypt, and the three were soundly defeated by Israel.
At this point, all four countries involved had their own share of blame in this, with the bulk of it being on Syria and Egypt. It was after this that Israel began to lose the moral high ground.
You may be interested in S/RES 242, one of the first UNSC resolutions related to this conflict. It denounces Egypt's blockade, calls for a restoration of peace and stability, and requires the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from territories occupied during the war.
To date, Israel is in fact in material breach of no less than /thirty-four/ UNSC resolutions relating to Palestine. It is in clear and internationally-recognized violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention w/r/t Israel's occupation of the disputed territories, and a number of the aforementioned resolutions reference this fact. It continues to violate crucial elements of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and common human decency with its policies of collective reprisals against family and acquaintances of its enemies (for which no small number of men were tried and executed after WWII and military action against civilian areas without regard for the lives of the innocents therein. The state of Israel evinces an ongoing wanton disregard for international law and human rights, and the only reason--the absolute /only/ reason--why action has not yet been taken to force Israel into the same compliance we claim to expect from every other nation is because we, the US, have abused our veto power to shut down almost /forty/ UNSC resolutions relating to Israel.
This is one of the reasons we lack credibility in the Arab world, David. This is one of the most fundamental selling points that organizations like al Qaeda use to get otherwise bright young men in seemingly hopeless situations to blow themselves up and try to land airplanes on the 78th floor. The plain and simple fact is, Israel and Palestine both carry the blame for the sorry mess that things are in. Neither side is willing to admit it. Neither are willing to make more than token concessions, and both take any excuse the other side gives them to go back to killing.
And by refusing to acknowledge this, by abusing our tremendous power and influence on Israel's behalf unconditionally, we enable the violence to continue.posted by: Catsy on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
I'm sorry to sound jaded, but Gore's endorsement of Dean strikes me as the kind of thing destined to become the answer to a trivia question in about two months time.
Dan's key point is the third one, that Dean can beat Bush. He can also get crushed, or run a close race and lose, or even -- as I suggested elsewhere -- win the overall popular vote by piling up big majorities in California and New York while losing decisively in the electoral college.
90% of how the Democratic Party's candidate does in a year's time will be determined by factors outside of the campaign, mainly how the economy is doing and how we are faring in Iraq and with the war on terrorism. The campaign is influential only at the margins, and will probably be less influential in 2004 than it was in 2000 because elections held at the end of a President's first term tend to be referenda on the incumbent rather than decisions as between Candidates A and B.
This man?s recent comments about the ?Soviet Union? and federalism would be disastrous if he were a Republican candidate.ROTFL! Which candidate was it last time round who couldn't name the leader of Pakistan? Who made fun of his opponent's superior understanding of tax arithmetic as a guy with a calculator? The so-called liberal media theme for GWB has always been an honest, tough guy who didn't have (or need) much book larnin'.
Trent has a point about New York. IMO 9/11 made it a battleground state. But West Virginia is a write-off for the Democrats, and Senator Rockefeller is in serious trouble given a decent GOP opponent due to his stupid Intelligence Committee memo.Well, on your guy's analysis, the only hope for the Dems is to nominate George W. Bush. Funny how GWB isn't polling that well, though. After the way he stiffed NY City on reconstruction, Bush would lose there to Sharpton, much less Dean. For my money, the two most likely pickups for the Dems are WV and NV. But, heck, didn't we just kick your butt in LA, too?
Dean is so weak among black voters that I don't see any plausible combination of states giving him an electoral majority.Wait till they tell the story of his asking for a black college roommate (who's stumping for him).
posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Sure took a lot of writing to get to the bottom line:
Putting the your bottom-line up front will save you a tremendous amount of time and energy.posted by: Mike Feerson on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Re: black turnout - one of the ideas I've seen kicking around on the Dean boards is US Rep John Lewis (GA-5) as running mate. The doctor has a lot of things in his big black bag, and a real hero from the MLK era as veep candidate just might be one of them.
Re: Gore's timing - now is the time. If Gore's endorsement has an impact, those late primaries in big states won't matter, the primary contest will be over. Also, for how many other campaigns would the endorsement be just another nice piece of news? Dean's got more to come, that's for sure...posted by: Doug on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Dean can prove he's not an antisemitic robot with a positronic brain by punching an antisemitic robot with a positronic brain at a rally.
Great discussion here. The fringe righties seem be getting riled up, though.posted by: xian on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
For the record, a naval blockade is a classical act of war. That Isreal retaliated on account of it isn't so much a strong defense of their right first-strike, but an invocation of the UN Charter acknowledged right to self-defense for all nations. If China tried to place a naval blockade on the Panama canal, America would similarly be within her rights to respond militarily as a matter of self-defense.
However, you are generally wasting your time on David Thomson. He's incapable of enough critical thinking to realize that he's biased - as notable to his defense of his own writing as nuanced and cautious after accusing anyone associated with Harvard as guilty until proven innocent of being an intellectual slut. You're never going to persuade him because he left reason by the wayside a long time ago. You'd be better off disputing with Holsinger, who while he may be dead wrong occasionally at least comes to his opinions by honest reasons that he can debate about articulately.posted by: Oldman on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
People here would do well to drop over to the Real Clear Politcs web site and check out this link and most especially the links and chart buried in the text there:
This Fox News story suggests the Dean campaign is succeeding in creating community among its supporters, especially serving as a social club and a dating service for the 18-40 year old crowd. Again, predominantly white, predominantly urban. Very little help in winning West Virginia or Arkansas.
Conversely, this article in today's Washington Post shows that the Dean campaign's success in building a huge lead in New Hampshire has had very little to do with its Internet operation but instead has been based on a good old-fashioned ground game.
Replicating this type of effort in battleground states is what it's all about. As Mike Allen and Dan Balz reported recently, all the hoopla surrounding the Dean campaign has obscured the fact that whoever wins the nomination will be facing a Goliath next year.
In the end, it looks to me like the Dean Internet campaign is just a political mutation of the Internet bubble that burst a few years back. They harnessed the power of the Internet to shake the foundations of the traditional campaign model in America. Dean could not and would not be where he is today without the Internet.
But like so many companies who thought they had changed forever the way business was done, Trippi and Co. think they've created a new campaign structure that will revolutionize the way people interact, organize and support Howard Dean. Is the Dean campaign showing us a glimpse of the future of politics in America? Probably at some point, but that point isn't now.
The irony is that the Dean team may succeed in using the Internet to plant the seeds of a new, politically active progressive community, but right now smart money still says they are going to get their asses handed to them next November. It's the modern day, liberal version of a favorite conservative fable - with a twist. It's Goldwater.com. - T. Bevan 11:15 am
In stating this:
>To date, Israel is in fact in material
You are marking yourself either as a foolish unknowing dupe of anti-Semitic Arab propaganda or as a knowing anti-Semite.
Strategypage.com did a "Fisk-like" take down of those old Arab propaganda charges here:
December 2, 2003: Playing With Double Standards- Much has been made that Israel continually violates UN Security Council Resolutions and should be punished for doing so, while Iraq was invaded for its violations of UNSEC Resolutions. So why aren't the Israelis held to the same standards as the Iraqis have been? Why not impose sanctions or invade Israel in order to force Israel to comply with all of the resolutions passed against her? UN Security Council resolutions are written very specifically, under several different authorities, and have varying degrees of affect on the countries the resolutions are directed towards.
The UN distinguishes between two sorts of Security Council resolutions. Those resolutions passed under Chapter Six of the United Nations Charter deal with the peaceful resolution of disputes and entitle the Council to make non-binding recommendations. These types of resolutions do not allow the UN Security Council to take actions of any kind.
Those resolutions written under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter give the Security Council broad powers to take action, up to, and including warlike action, to deal with "threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, or acts of aggression". Such resolutions are binding on all UN members, and were rare during the cold war. But they were used against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait.
All resolutions passed against Iraq were under Chapter Seven; all resolutions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict fall under the umbrella of Chapter Six, and therefore not subject to the remedies of non-compliance found under Chapter Seven. That's the bottom line.
Since none of the resolutions relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict have ever been written under the Chapter Seven rules, the UN is merely acting in accordance with its own rules. It had the authority to impose sanctions - including military ones - against Iraq, but has never had that authority to do so against Israel.
The distinctiveness of Chapter Seven resolutions, and the fact that none has ever been passed in relation to Israel, is even acknowledged by Palestinian diplomats. It is, indeed, one of their main complaints and frustrations in the ongoing Arab-Israeli dispute. A Palestine Liberation Organization report, entitled "Double Standards" and published at the end of September of 2002, pointed out that over the years, the UN has upheld the Palestinians' right to statehood, condemned Israel's settlements and called for Israel to withdraw. But the United Nations Security Council has never ordered enforcement action or any other action to implement UN resolutions and international law against Israel. Why hasn't the UN authorized such actions? The Security Council can't and won't enforce non-binding resolutions under Chapter Six. And this is the common misunderstanding of those who claim that Israel continually violates UN Security Council resolutions.
Resolution 242 is the main UN document outlining the framework for exchanging land for peace between the Israelis and the Arab countries of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. It contains several provisos for how to exchange prisoners, negotiate land taken by Israel during the course of the war, and other items. It is a Chapter Six resolution.
Resolution 242 does not instruct Israel to withdraw unilaterally from territories occupied in 1967. It does not condemn Israel's conquest, for the good reason that most western powers at the time thought it the result of a justifiable pre-emptive war. It calls for a negotiated settlement, based on the principle of exchanging land for peace. This is a very different matter than the UN imposing a settlement on the parties involved.
Now let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that the main Security Council resolutions on the Arab-Israeli conflict had actually been Chapter Seven resolutions, rather than the Chapter Six non-binding ones. A problem would then arise because Resolution 242 of 1967, passed after the six-day war, and frequently cited in the double-standards argument in comparisons with Iraq, does not say what a lot of the people who quote it think it says.
In the case of Iraq, the Security Council instructed Saddam Hussein to take various unilateral actions that he was perfectly capable of taking. the case of Resolution 242, it cannot be implemented unilaterally, even if Israel wanted to do so. Why? One reason is the question of borders. Some of the diplomats who rafted Resolution 242 said afterwards that they intended to allow for some changes in the armistice lines that separated Israel and its Arab neighbors before the war of 1967. There has been an on-going argument for three decades over the meaning of the absence of a definite article (in the English text) before the phrase "territories occupied in the recent conflict". The Arabs maintain that the resolution requires a complete withdrawal from every inch. But even if this were so, the resolution cannot be implemented without arriving at a negotiated agreement. This leads to the often-debated question of whether Israel is illegally occupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
It is commonly asserted that Israel's occupation is "illegal". This is questionable - at best. In March 2002, for the first time ever, Kofi Annan, the UN's secretary-general, called Israel's occupation illegal, but it is no accident that he has not repeated this claim. It was a serious legal mistake to describe the occupation itself, as opposed to some of Israel's actions as an occupier, in this way. It may have reflected Kofi Annan's true feelings, but was in no way a legal opinion regarding the legality of Israel's occupation. In a subsequent letter to the New York Times, Mr. Annan's spokesman admitted as much. The secretary-general, he said, had not intended to refer to the legality of Israel's occupation of the territories during the war of 1967, only to breaches of its obligations as an occupying power. This is a very important distinction.
If Israel was indeed illegally occupying the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, then both Jordan and Egypt would have been illegally occupying the West Bank and Gaza as well, from 1948 thru 1967, in contravention with the UN Resolution on partitioning the British Mandate. To pass any kind of resolution condemning Israel for such an illegal occupation would mean passing a resolution condemning Egypt's and Jordan's former occupations as well, and that would not happen, given the politics of the UN. Lastly, we come to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The last issue that comes up in regard to Israel and Iraq concerning "double standards," is the nuclear issue. Iraq was invaded because it was suspected of developing nuclear weapons, but Israel, suspected of possessing nuclear weapons, has had no sanctions imposed upon it. In regard to claims of Iraq building nuclear weapons but that the Israelis secretly possess them and should have to allow in inspectors, this again is a canard.
Iraq was, and is, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, therefore obligating the Iraqis to the tenets and inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Israel never signed the treaty. Since Israel is not a signatory, it is under no obligation to allow inspections, and cannot be subject to sanctions under the IAEA rules. Membership is voluntary, as is non-membership.
Israel is thought to possess a large nuclear arsenal, about which it is not being open and honest, and this is provoking to its neighbors. But it is not evidence of "double standards". Being a nuclear-armed power is not, by itself, a breach of international law. -- Scott Schneider
Words mean things Mr. Catsy.
The words you have used in this instance only support and enable Anti-Semitic hate. Whether you acknowledge your error or show yourself to be a hating energy creature is only of mild interest to me.
For your usefulness as a teaching tool for everyone else about how Arab propaganda has come to dominate what passes for thought the Western Left, and why anti-Semitism will play a large role in the 2004 Presidential election, I thank you.posted by: Trent Telenko on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
First of all, Trent, you can drop the inflammatory "anti-Semitic" label. Right here, and right now. It gets trotted out, usually accompanied or closely followed by Holocaust imagery, whenever any criticism--no matter how justified--is drawn up against Israel. It serves only to dilute the appropriate response to true anti-Semitism and racism. And it displays, quite frankly, that you don't know a /thing/ about me.
So knock it off, or the discussion ends here.posted by: Catsy on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
9/11 happened. We have friends, and we have enemies. We didn't choose the latter. They chose us. And they previously chose Israel. Every enemy of Israel's is an enemy of ours. Every one. We've gotten around to two of those. We'll get to the rest in time.
The major question in our war on terror is how many Arabs survive our victory.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Catsy? ....Oh Cat-sy...? Do you see where we're going here?
True to form, you bristle at labels, yet offer no contention to the response to your...what? ...awkward labeling of the A/I conflict. And where? The header on my comment box says "Last thoughts on Dean and Gore".
I think perhaps howard would say "Stay off my side"
Nice job, Trent.posted by: TommyG on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
“It also includes Ariel Sharon, a war criminal who is equally liable for the breakdowns in the peace process. “
Where is the evidence of Ariel Sharon being a war criminal? Did you, by any chance, find this slanderous accusation off of David Duke’s website?:
“...but rather an attempt to support my previous contention that Israel holds an equal share of blame in the mess that is the Middle East.”
This is totally ridiculous. However, you represent the views of many Jewish Americans who remain in the Democrat Party. It will be most interesting to see how this growing split within the Jewish community will work out on election day. Former Democrat New York Mayor, Ed Koch, is a quintessential example of this trend. He has already committed himself to President Bush in 2004.
“While the roots of Arab-Israeli resentment over go back to the 1947 UN partitioning of the Palestine Mandate and the subsequent violence, the bulk of the modern grievances arise from the Six-Day War and the resulting occupation of Arab land.”
Nope, most Palestinians are racists who scapegoat the Jews for their own self inflicted wounds. The Six-Day War has little do with anything.
“It was after this that Israel began to lose the moral high ground.”
Israel became an enemy of the liberal elite right after it lost the favor of the Soviet Union. Soon afterwards, the Communists started their slander campaign.
“To date, Israel is in fact in material breach of no less than /thirty-four/ UNSC resolutions relating to Palestine. “
These United Nation’s resolutions are the result of anti-Semitism. The UN is for the most part a Jew hating organization.
“...and military action against civilian areas without regard for the lives of the innocents therein. “
Wow, you sure do love to repeat the numerous slanderous charges against Israel. This one is among the most unfair and vicious that I’ve encountered. The truth is exactly the opposite. Israel takes enormous steps to limit civilian causalities.
“This is one of the reasons we lack credibility in the Arab world, David. This is one of the most fundamental selling points that organizations like al Qaeda use to get otherwise bright young men in seemingly hopeless situations to blow themselves up and try to land airplanes on the 78th floor. The plain and simple fact is, Israel and Palestine both carry the blame for the sorry mess that things are in. “
You really should immediately order the books written by Bernard Lewis. Your present views are so off the wall that they are embarrassing. They are not even slightly logical. The Arab world is going through a crisis due to decisions made by its ancestors some 500 years ago. It is our duty to encourage the Arabs to grow up and stop acting like immature children. They have no right to blame the West for their own self inflicted troubles. Nobody in the West ever told them to embrace Ludditism and an anti-modern agenda.posted by: David Thomson on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
According to a recent poll Dean will lose to Bush in New Hampshire by a 2 to 1 margin. This does not bode well for the general election and is why most Democrats are concerned about Dopey Dean taking on the Bush machine.
Youe excuse about the matchups holds water everywhere but New Hampshire and Iowa. In Iowa I would expect this result (Red State). In New Hampshire, a traditional blue state...this could be grim folks.
Paging Hillary...our Dr. is out and we need a second opinion.posted by: Mahatma on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
It only gets worse for the Democrats. Ralph Nader now plans on running. I am also still predicting that Al Sharpton will run as an independent. Still, this most recent poll shocks the hell out of me. I would have been surprised if President Bush even had a six point lead, but 27? And yes, New Hampshire sure isn't a red state!posted by: David Thomson on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Getting back to the original subject, I suggest a look at this article:
"For all Dean's talk about wanting to represent the truly "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," the paradox is that he is a third-party candidate using modern technology to achieve a takeover of the Democratic Party. Other candidates -- Joseph Lieberman , John Kerry, John Edwards -- are competing to take control of the party's fundraising, organizational and media assets. But Dean is not interested in taking control of those depreciating assets. He is creating his own party, his own lists, his own money, his own organization. What he wants is the Democratic brand name and legacy, its last remaining asset of value, as part of his marketing strategy. Perhaps that's why former vice president Al Gore's endorsement of Dean last week felt so strange -- less like the traditional benediction of a fellow member of the party "club" than a senior executive welcoming the successful leveraged buyout specialist. And if Dean can do it this time around, so can others in future presidential campaigns."posted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Thank you. Everett Ehrlich’s article is extremely thought provoking. I think he’s hit the nail on the head. Information costs have been lowered substantially by the Internet. And Howard Dean does appear to be starting his own party. Here might be the real kicker: “Now anyone with a Web site and a server, a satellite transponder and about $100 million can have -- in a matter of months -- much of what the political parties have taken generations to build.”
Sound right to me.
Look, I'm an old-fashioned center-liberal. I believe in freedom, and I'm perfectly happy to fight for it--but only if we're going to win. Military intervention to bring freedom to Liberia? A-OK with me. Military intervention to bring freedom to China? Not on your life. China's got the bomb.
Simple enough for you?
Now, let's say we want to bring freedom to Iraq, because it would annoy the terrorists to no end. Peachy keen idea.
There's a little problem: Iraq is a civil war waiting to happen, and we need at least a quarter-million troops and a quarter-trillion dollars to have a reasonable shot at victory. So let's fire up the draft boards, hike taxes, ruthlessly weed out incompetent military leaders, and generally immitate FDR.
Instead, we cut taxes, send as few soldiers as possible, and do our damndest to immitate LBJ. We get our intelligence from self-promoting Iraqi defectors and scam artists. We fail to maintain law and order in Iraq. We disband the Iraqi Army. We let al-Sistani take the moral high ground away from us. In short, we screw up.
I'm not listening to any more overblown war rhetoric until Junior calls Dad. It's time for the grown-up Republicans to come in and clean up this mess.
Bush may very well win in 2004. It probably won't be a long-term victory for the Republican party or for America.posted by: CenterLiberal on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
New Hampshire is traditionally a REPUBLICAN state. (It was considered remarkable when the Dems won the statehouse, and they didn't keep it long.)
That said, Bush's margin over Dean there is somewhat surprising. I wonder who was polled?posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Bush's margin is still rather big in New Hampshire, but it's declined sharply since summer. The long-term trend is not exactly great for Bush, and Dean's likely primary victory will give him a bump. Dunno if the state's in play for 2004.
Clark is curiously uncompetitive in New Hampshire for reasons which I don't understand at all. A lot of Democratic primary voters haven't been fired up by his retail politics. There's some weird NH ego thing going on, and Clark's early dearth of policy statements might have something to do with it. You've got to stroke NH voters early and often, give them policy, and (possibly) act like an entertaining maverick.posted by: CenterLiberal on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
Thanks, Trent for the Citation of the StrategyPage article by yours truly.
Most people have no concept of International Law, but can only spout back what they hear or read, without critical thinking about what is actually being said. I noticed that the poster known as Catsy didn't or COULD NOT refute you after you posted my article on UN Security Council Resolutions, since it's pretty clear once one actually does the research how and why UN Resolutions are formulated, it deflates all these bogus charges. A little knowlege goes a long way.
Good job on pointing this out.
However, I am REALLY miffed in regards to your failure to address the usual blatantly biased charges that Israel is in violation of Article 4 of the Geneva Protocols, usually in terms of how the IDF goes into terrorist areas populated areas to roust them out, and civilians are hurt.
The relevent point of this is the following, which I will post in its entirety. regardig why the IDF is TOTALLY protected from such accusations of war crimes. Note that given the political atmosphere in the world, you can bet your bottom dollar that if there WAS a legal way to charge any and all IDF soldiers with war crimes, it would have happened already. Given the fact that there IS no legal basis, the looney left defenders of PALI terrorism can only make POLITICAL accusations of War Crimes, and that amounts to about as much moral authority as a resolution (non-binding, of course) coming from the UN General Assembly:
What the Geneva Protocols Really Say
There have been many accusations that Israel has committed war crimes and massacres in fighting the Palestinians, up to and including charges of ethnic cleansing and genocide. But these accusations do not hold up according to the Geneva Protocols, even with regard to the operations in Jenin, and the targeted killings.
The "Geneva Protocol" in question is the "Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War." This lays down the "law" for situations where an army finds itself fighting non-conventional forces that themselves operate from within civilian areas: The Fourth Geneva Convention goes into great and elaborate detail about how to assign fault when military activities take place in civilian areas. Those who are actually fighting the war are not considered "protected persons." Only civilians are granted the status of "protected persons" whose rights cannot be violated with impunity.
The Fourth Geneva Convention convicts Hamas, the Jenin terrorists, Al Aqsa, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah, and all of the other terrorist groups that hide among civilian populations, in one sentence: This sentence makes up the entirety of Part 3, Article 1, Section 28.
It reads: "The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations."
This sentence appears in the Fourth Geneva Convention precisely to deal with situations like the ones the Israelis faced.
Here's how: Israel is at war with Hamas and Palestinian militant organizations wreaking terrorist havoc. Hamas and al-Aqksa, et al are at war with Israel. But instead of separating themselves from the general population in military camps and wearing uniforms, as required by international law, Hamas members and other Palestinian terrorists try to use civilians - the "protected persons" mentioned in 3:1:28 - as living camouflage. To prevent such a thing from happening, international law explicitly gives Israel the right to conduct military operations against military targets under these circumstances.
Again, let's check out that 3:1:28 sentence: "The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations." There were plenty of "protected persons" in Jenin (and applicable to other areas). The Palestinian terrorists wanted it that way: they choose to live in their camps with their families and hundreds of others around them so that they would serve as human shields, knowing that the Israeli army is reluctant to attack those areas like the Russians did in Grozny.
And because the terrorists do set up in civilian areas, they are wholly responsible for what happens to their "protected persons" - that is, the civilian population where they hide out.
That's what the very next sentence of the Fourth Geneva Convention says: "the party to the conflict in whose hand protected persons may be, is responsible for the treatment accorded to them by its agents."
Let's translate: The "party to the conflict" here is Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aqska, etc. Because they choose to live in and fight from a civilian setting, the "protected persons" are deemed to be "in his [their] hands." And since they are in the terrorists'', these terrorists "is[are] responsible for the treatment accorded to them."
This is mainstream thinking about Geneva Convention issues, by noted legal scholars. The Palestinians fight from within civilian areas- therefore civilians - who knowingly support and give aid to the terrorists- lose any and all immunity from Geneva Convention rights - and that would include human shields. Israel is therefore in no violation according to the Geneva Conventions - whereas the Palestinians, if they had been signatories- would have no rights of protection, since in Jenin, and in other places where there is conflict, they have abrogated those rights to which they are claiming that Israel is violating.posted by: Scott Schneider on 12.10.03 at 11:25 AM [permalink]
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