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Thread: Release of Alan Johnston

  1. #1
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Release of Alan Johnston

    I'm not giving any links to the actual story, since you can find it anywhere, but I found this editorial quite interesting.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    But Alan's case was just a symbol of a broader message that Hamas wants to send out to the international community and Israel. This is that they can impose peace and security and be trusted to carry out their commitments if they are addressed directly.

    Although there is no doubt that Alan's position as the only full-time western correspondent in Gaza meant he was well-known and respected by the Hamas leadership, this alone would have counted for little. His plight was a test of their ability to govern.

    Their success in securing the release puts into sharp focus the failure of their Fatah counterparts to have any effect on the kidnappers. In a telling comment, Alan described how his kidnappers were "comfortable and secure" until Hamas took control. Then they became "very nervous", and he felt for the first time there was light at the end of the tunnel.

    The effectiveness of Hamas has long been recognised by the highest echelons of the Israeli army. Senior officers have commented in private that they would trust Hamas to live up to any deals that were made between them. However, dealing with Hamas is a political step the Israeli government is not yet ready to take.

  2. #2
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Let's see, this democratically chosen government that we should talk to because they have been democratically chosen has been going on a fatah execution spree, still calls for the destruction of Israel, brainwashes kids from day one, yeah let's democratically talk. Why exactly? Talking you do with people with people when there is something to talk about, you don't talk with people that want to destroy you.

    Why are people so willing to listen?

  3. #3
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    Let's see, this democratically chosen government that we should talk to because they have been democratically chosen has been going on a fatah execution spree, still calls for the destruction of Israel, brainwashes kids from day one, yeah let's democratically talk. Why exactly? Talking you do with people with people when there is something to talk about, you don't talk with people that want to destroy you.

    Why are people so willing to listen?
    The effectiveness of Hamas has long been recognised by the highest echelons of the Israeli army. Senior officers have commented in private that they would trust Hamas to live up to any deals that were made between them. However, dealing with Hamas is a political step the Israeli government is not yet ready to take.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    To put it simply frag there are two choices .
    (A)talk
    (B) genocide .
    You seem to want to rule out option A .

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian
    The effectiveness of Hamas has long been recognised by the highest echelons of the Israeli army. Senior officers have commented in private that they would trust Hamas to live up to any deals that were made between them. However, dealing with Hamas is a political step the Israeli government is not yet ready to take.
    And what deals is Hamas going to make? Does the writer have any support for his assertion about Israeli military officials?

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian
    The effectiveness of Hamas has long been recognised by the highest echelons of the Israeli army. Senior officers have commented in private that they would trust Hamas to live up to any deals that were made between them. However, dealing with Hamas is a political step the Israeli government is not yet ready to take.
    Senior officers have commented in private that they would trust Hamas to live up to any deals that were made between them


    Which deals, which officers, who's privates. I am sure they can come to a military agreement, don't shoot you 2 days and you don't shoot me, ohhh progress. Bit more complicated for the politicians.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Tribesman
    To put it simply frag there are two choices .
    (A)talk
    (B) genocide .
    You seem to want to rule out option A .
    I don't know Tribes, I am sure we can find the middle ground, like not talking to Hamas. Won't break their heart so badly that they die instantly.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    I don't know Tribes, I am sure we can find the middle ground, like not talking to Hamas
    The middle ground is talks Frag , the other ends of the ground are each side trying to exterminate to other .

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Tribesman
    The middle ground is talks Frag , the other ends of the ground are each side trying to exterminate to other .
    Yes but only if the aim of both parties is a mutual agreement, and I doubt the Israeli's will settle for being driven into a lake.

  10. #10
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    Yes but only if the aim of both parties is a mutual agreement, and I doubt the Israeli's will settle for being driven into a lake.
    But you might want to give Hamas a chance. It's entirely possible that they will give in more since they are now officially responsible to represent the will of their people who elected them. Now either those people want Israel gone or had the idea of a genius that by electing Hamas they would tone down the terror campaigns of their own extremists, or maybe they just wanted a change, because the old government couldn't secure peace anyway.

    But who would talking hurt? Why deny talks outright as long as they are willing to talk? Their willingness to talk indicates that they don't want endless war and I'm sure they know that Israel won't be eradicated by their demand.


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  11. #11
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar
    But who would talking hurt? Why deny talks outright as long as they are willing to talk? Their willingness to talk indicates that they don't want endless war and I'm sure they know that Israel won't be eradicated by their demand.
    They aren't willing to talk they are willing to discuss terms. They aren't in the position to discuss terms, and they bring absolutily nothing to the table. Why talk with a party that doesn't even recognise Israel's existance as a state? To who do they want to talk exactly, the representatives of the state of Israel, or it's current government? With who can they make deals exactly? And with who can they make lasting deals?

  12. #12
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    They aren't willing to talk they are willing to discuss terms. They aren't in the position to discuss terms, and they bring absolutily nothing to the table. Why talk with a party that doesn't even recognise Israel's existance as a state? To who do they want to talk exactly, the representatives of the state of Israel, or it's current government? With who can they make deals exactly? And with who can they make lasting deals?
    "They bring absolutely nothing to the table". A lack of understanding of what talks mean. Thank goodness my government wasn't like this.

  13. #13
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    They aren't willing to talk they are willing to discuss terms. They aren't in the position to discuss terms, and they bring absolutily nothing to the table. Why talk with a party that doesn't even recognise Israel's existance as a state? To who do they want to talk exactly, the representatives of the state of Israel, or it's current government? With who can they make deals exactly? And with who can they make lasting deals?
    Well, I'd sit down at the table first and then ask them what they want instead of blowing them up before they can reach any table. You can make them lower their expectations at a table but you can't as long as you keep making a propaganda war since propaganda always has a tendancy to extremism. Once they see you are willing to lower your demands a bit, they will either lower theirs a bit as well or I'd say blow them up.
    But do at least give them a chance.


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  14. #14
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar
    Well, I'd sit down at the table first and then ask them what they want instead of blowing them up before they can reach any table. You can make them lower their expectations at a table but you can't as long as you keep making a propaganda war since propaganda always has a tendancy to extremism. Once they see you are willing to lower your demands a bit, they will either lower theirs a bit as well or I'd say blow them up.
    But do at least give them a chance.
    Well you can shoot them before they reach the table, you are proving that terrorism works, what use is talking when you are the only one giving in? They will only use a more extreme of terrorism to get even more. A pretty hardline dutch collumnist (wants to completily eradicate the ghaza strip hehe) used this local story and I think it's great as a example;

    ‘One day, according to this legend, an elderly Bedouin man discovered that by eating turkey he could restore his virility. So he bought himself a turkey and he kept it around the tent, and every day he watched it grow. He stuffed it with food, thinking, Wow, I am really going to be a bull.

    One day, though, the turkey was stolen. So the Bedouin called his sons together and said, “Boys, we are in great danger now—terible danger. My turkey’s been stolen.”

    The boys laughed and said, “Father, what do you need a turkey for?” He said, “Never mind, never mind. It is not important why I need the turkey, all that is important is that it has been stolen, and we must get it back.”

    But his sons ignored him and forgot about the turkey. A few weeks later, the old man’s camel was stolen. His sons came to him and said, “Father, your camel’s been stolen, what should we do?”

    And the old man said, “Find my turkey.”

    A few weeks later, the old man’s horse was stolen, and the sons came and said, “Father, your horse was stolen, what should we do?”

    He said, “Find my turkey.”

    Finally, a few weeks later, someone raped his daughter. The father went to his sons and said, “It is all because of the turkey. When they saw that they could take my turkey, we lost everything.”’

  15. #15
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    Well you can shoot them before they reach the table, you are proving that terrorism works, what use is talking when you are the only one giving in? They will only use a more extreme of terrorism to get even more. A pretty hardline dutch collumnist (wants to completily eradicate the ghaza strip hehe) used this local story and I think it's great as a example;

    ‘One day, according to this legend, an elderly Bedouin man discovered that by eating turkey he could restore his virility. So he bought himself a turkey and he kept it around the tent, and every day he watched it grow. He stuffed it with food, thinking, Wow, I am really going to be a bull.

    One day, though, the turkey was stolen. So the Bedouin called his sons together and said, “Boys, we are in great danger now—terible danger. My turkey’s been stolen.”

    The boys laughed and said, “Father, what do you need a turkey for?” He said, “Never mind, never mind. It is not important why I need the turkey, all that is important is that it has been stolen, and we must get it back.”

    But his sons ignored him and forgot about the turkey. A few weeks later, the old man’s camel was stolen. His sons came to him and said, “Father, your camel’s been stolen, what should we do?”

    And the old man said, “Find my turkey.”

    A few weeks later, the old man’s horse was stolen, and the sons came and said, “Father, your horse was stolen, what should we do?”

    He said, “Find my turkey.”

    Finally, a few weeks later, someone raped his daughter. The father went to his sons and said, “It is all because of the turkey. When they saw that they could take my turkey, we lost everything.”’
    And how exactly does this story relate to reality?

  16. #16
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian
    And how exactly does this story relate to reality?
    It was me who raped his daughter.

    Isn't it obvious? Never give in, only opens the door for more demands.

  17. #17
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    It was me who raped his daughter.

    Isn't it obvious? Never give in, only opens the door for more demands.
    Your story might have some relation to reality if those killers (not thieves) would be around, whatever the family did. And if a bouncer/mafia boss came round who has proven that he can keep their activities down in return for a protection fee, negotiable, then what should the family do?

    Israel has an opportunity that the Americans in Iraq would give their right hand for: the chance to enter talks with a single entity who are capable of enforcing the agreed deal. They can talk with Hamas, and perhaps come up with a truce of some kind that may or may not eventuate in the end of hostilities. Or they can undermine and effectively destroy Hamas, then wonder whom to talk to as the bombs continue from a thousand different agencies with no central control. Instead of coming up with these parables, why not look at the reality in Iraq?

  18. #18
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian
    Israel has an opportunity that the Americans in Iraq would give their right hand for: the chance to enter talks with a single entity who are capable of enforcing the agreed deal. They can talk with Hamas, and perhaps come up with a truce of some kind that may or may not eventuate in the end of hostilities. Or they can undermine and effectively destroy Hamas, then wonder whom to talk to as the bombs continue from a thousand different agencies with no central control. Instead of coming up with these parables, why not look at the reality in Iraq?
    That is one hell of a point you have there.....

  19. #19
    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    It was me who raped his daughter.

    Isn't it obvious? Never give in, only opens the door for more demands.
    So that the right of the strongest always prevails? So that opposites will never concede and never progress beyond bickering (or worse)? So that misguided politicians can keep up failing policies? Sorry, I don't buy that view.

    Hamas doesn't recognise the state Israel. Perhaps if they started seeing Israel as something which could be negotiated with, negotiations which could help them, they would find recognition to be more benificial. It would be.
    "The facts of history cannot be purely objective, since they become facts of history only in virtue of the significance attached to them by the historian." E.H. Carr

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey S
    So that the right of the strongest always prevails? So that opposites will never concede and never progress beyond bickering (or worse)? So that misguided politicians can keep up failing policies? Sorry, I don't buy that view.

    Hamas doesn't recognise the state Israel. Perhaps if they started seeing Israel as something which could be negotiated with, negotiations which could help them, they would find recognition to be more benificial. It would be.
    Well as it seems I just charged into a common-sense wall called Pannonian. Extremily good point he has. I am of to mommy for now.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Isn't it obvious? Never give in, only opens the door for more demands.
    There was this bloke over this way that used that line for years , in fact there was a stage that if you took the words "Never" and "No" out of the English language he wouldn't have had much to say at all .
    You may have seen him on the news recently , sitting , talking , laughing and working with the very people that he said he would never talk with .

  22. #22
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Radicals have a curious tendency to start de-radicalizing after they become Establishement. Didn't that happen with the PLO too, way back ?
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  23. #23
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    I can see Hamas having gained power wishing to cement its legitimacy by going the next step into talks. It would be the same way Israel and Ireland dealt with the British and how the IRA in Northern Ireland went from bombers to bureaucrats. The allure of power and an easier road to it tends to win the day... bombing trains is one thing, da gravy train is da bomb.

    The biggest threat would be a real-IRA Hamas equivalent. So it depends on how much sway the political arm of Hamas has over the military arm so that it can crack down on any militant uprising internally or externally.
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    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    Well as it seems I just charged into a common-sense wall called Pannonian. Extremily good point he has. I am of to mommy for now.
    Not quite certain what you mean? I do like Pannonian's point though.
    "The facts of history cannot be purely objective, since they become facts of history only in virtue of the significance attached to them by the historian." E.H. Carr

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey S
    I do like Pannonian's point though.
    I liked it, but with some further thinking, military agreement is too short-term a solution, we need a political solution. There is no way there can be a political solution as long as either party doen't recognise the other. Panonian is right, it's a much better situation, but isn't that the situation wether Israel talk with them or not?

  26. #26
    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Another interesting article here.

    At the very least, there is a more unified group to deal with than before, a group that actually commands some respect among the people it represents and can actually do things. If there's one thing history shows it's that extremist fringe groups of all kinds actively taken into the mainstream find their goals can be served far better when they are more moderate, and are influenced as much themselves as their opposites are; early environmentalists in for instance Holland spring to mind. I just hope either side takes the oppurtunity presented.
    Last edited by Geoffrey S; 07-06-2007 at 10:01.
    "The facts of history cannot be purely objective, since they become facts of history only in virtue of the significance attached to them by the historian." E.H. Carr

  27. #27
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey S
    Another interesting article here.

    At the very least, there is a more unified group to deal with than before, a group that actually commands some respect among the people it represents and can actually do things. If there's one thing history shows it's that extremist fringe groups of all kinds actively taken into the mainstream find their goals can be served far better when they are more moderate, and are influenced as much themselves as their opposites are; early environmentalists in for instance Holland spring to mind. I just hope either side takes the oppurtunity presented.
    It at least seems like Hamas is showing goodwill, but how long before the moderate elements in Hamas are overthrown in the same fashion as Fatah, I doubt it's all honey and daisy's within the ranks. I give it 2 months at most.

  28. #28
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    It at least seems like Hamas is showing goodwill, but how long before the moderate elements in Hamas are overthrown in the same fashion as Fatah, I doubt it's all honey and daisy's within the ranks. I give it 2 months at most.
    The model response to that fear is the British response to the IRA in the 90s, which was to strengthen the central command who were willing to talk while marginalising the fringes who weren't. We made gestures way out of proportion to what the IRA was offering, to show the ranks that engagement worked, resulting in the militants being exiled to the loony fringes where they were either ignored or quietly killed. After 6-7 years of this, the people in Northern Ireland were so used to the peaceful status quo that they had no desire to return to any ideologically-based conflicts, and the former radical groups met with no resistance when they formally dropped the struggle. It was telling that, when the united Northern Ireland assembly finally agreed on its leaders, the only demonstration outside was about a water tax the locals felt was unnecessary. The Middle East will be at peace when the Palestinians riot over a rise in Income Tax.

  29. #29
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Hmmm you have won me over, it's worth a try.

  30. #30
    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Release of Alan Johnston

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian
    The model response to that fear is the British response to the IRA in the 90s, which was to strengthen the central command who were willing to talk while marginalising the fringes who weren't. We made gestures way out of proportion to what the IRA was offering, to show the ranks that engagement worked, resulting in the militants being exiled to the loony fringes where they were either ignored or quietly killed. After 6-7 years of this, the people in Northern Ireland were so used to the peaceful status quo that they had no desire to return to any ideologically-based conflicts, and the former radical groups met with no resistance when they formally dropped the struggle. It was telling that, when the united Northern Ireland assembly finally agreed on its leaders, the only demonstration outside was about a water tax the locals felt was unnecessary. The Middle East will be at peace when the Palestinians riot over a rise in Income Tax.
    You have argued an excellent and compelling case, Pannonian - well done.

    I would only add that there is also the political courage necessary - during the public negotiations - to swallow the occasional outrage committed by the fringe in their dying throes. The marginalised fringes will always try to regain control of the agenda by an awful act - as the RIRA did at Omagh - that the naysayers will characterise as being typical of the terrorist organisation. Tony Blair, a new PM at the time, showed considerable political courage by not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    This latter courage is harder for mainstream politicians than even the breaching of the "no talking to terrorists" mantra, but such courage is necessary to take away the lunatics' power to control the violence.

    It should also be noted that all terrorists cannot be treated as one. Hamas is more in the mould of the political entity using violence as a means to a end - therefore they can be negotiated with, brought in from the cold and eventually may metamorphose into a mainstream power. Al-Q'aeda in contrast, is a loose knit collection of groups with largely incoherent aims. The latter must be dealt with as criminals, whereas the former need careful steering in the manner so eloquently described by Pannonian.

    One of the cardinal mistakes made by the "War on Terror" is that there has been a signal failure to recognise not only the complex causes of terrorism, but the diversity of its aims.
    "If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one."
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