[FoRK] World Map of Happiness

Malcolm Greenshields < greenshields at uleth.ca > on > Wed Aug 2 21:22:45 PDT 2006

Stephen D. Williams wrote:

> Damien Morton wrote:
>> On 8/3/2006 6:25 AM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>> Since I can't effectively ask the media, I'll have to settle for 
>>> asking you:
>>> Why would you only send a link showing Lebanese damage?
>> At the time, I didn't come across a map of Israel damage.
>>> I find it odd that although the press mentions the numbers of 
>>> rockets sent at Israel, they go on to spend 90% of their reporting 
>>> on damage to the Lebanese.  This one sidedness happens sometimes, 
>>> but usually the damage by the original aggressor is highlighted.  
>>> I'm annoyed even when the US press does it for its own actions.
>> 90% of their reporting on damage to the Lebanese is probably a result 
>> of 90% of the casualties being inflicted on the Lebanese. (In terms 
>> of actual deaths, its more like 97%; no idea how to weigh up the 
>> damage to infrastructure). I'm pretty sure that, if the numbers were 
>> reversed, the reporting would be reversed.
>>> I found one balancing site:
>>> http://www.conceptwizard.com/n-israel.html
>> Given that this conflict started on the capture of 3 Israeli soldiers 
>> to bargain for the release of some of the hundreds of prisoners 
>> captured by the Israelis, and now having arrived at destroying the 
>> infrastructure of Lebanon, killing 800 Lebanese, and injuring 
>> thousands more, the concept of balance seems somewhat moot.
> Prisoners captured because they, allegedly, had something to do with 
> the suicide bombers killing civilians in Israel recently, right?
> Israelis are probably safer withstanding random rocket fire than they 
> were from bus and cafe explosions a few months ago.  If the casualties 
> are as low as you think, they certainly are.  No wonder there is local 
> support.
>>> The authority for the other side I suppose:
>>> http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa
>>> sdw
>>> Damien Morton wrote:
>>>> Hmm - Lebanon map of bombedness
>>>> http://maps.samidoun.org/lebanon_map_july12-aug01.pdf
It's curious, how perception works. It seemed to me watching cnn that I 
was hearing endless stories of individual suffering in haifa and 
elsewhere in Israel, but until the last few days, lebanese were for the 
most part statistics. I admit I've stopped watching tv about the whole 
thing, discouraged as I am by a sympathy for the Israelis, whom everyone 
in the region basically wants dead and who must always assume an 
aggressive posture, combined with an abhorrence of the disregard for 
civilian life that the airwar, no matter how sophisticated, entails.

It will never end well. In 1948, Jewish settlers, many of them holocaust 
survivors, took a lot of arab stuff in taking palestine and declaring 
the state of Israel, after a campaign featuring a good deal of hotel 
bombing, assassination etc etc. (now usually called terrorism). They 
then defeated invading arab armies in '48, 56, 67, 73 (if I remember 
rightly), developing in the process a remarkable military force and a 
formidable intelligence service (Mossad). These last two advantages and 
the support of the US as well as the incompetence of the enemy states, 
have allowed the Israelis to prevail for the last sixy yrears or so. But 
the palestinians outside the state still think they should get their 
stuff back and Israel's few million are still surrounded by 100s of 
millions of muslims, most of them arab (the iranians are not arabs), who 
long to see them destroyed.

How can this end? The only general change in the world conflict seems to 
be a new form of antisemitism in the west (Mel Gibson notwithstanding), 
i.e. the hatred of arabs, who are also semites, and a more pronounced  
muslim sentiment that the West is  a satanic whoredom against which any 
atrocity is permissible.  Before the 20th century, a unified, 
independent state  of Israel was most often a dream or a goal, even in 
Biblical times, with the exception of a few brief periods. Now that it's 
here requires tremendous will and sometimes bloodshed to sustain. I'm 
not sure it can be otherwise.

More information about the FoRK mailing list