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The Middle East in a nutshell

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  • #21
    Flash - Yes, although to be an Israeli is to be a citizen of a country (one could be any religion), the majority of Israelis are jewish, and the majority of Palestinians (and most other countries in the middle east) are muslim. However, if memory serves me correctly, most native Lebonese are one of the oldest continuous christian sects.

    2dogs, yes, war in the name of religion certainly isn't a localized or new concept. In modern times alone, one only has to look to the Pakistan-India conflict, the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, the China-Tibet conflict... And I haven't even delved into the "my angle on our religion is better than YOUR angle on our religion" conflicts (Northern Ireland with Protestant-Catholic discord and the various Shi'ite-Sunni conflicts in some Muslim countries)... shall I go on? And every single one of these incredibly complex conflicts has existed for many, many generations, and can no way be narrowed down to a single area of dispute.
    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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    • #22
      I am really amazed and awed with all of your (collective) knowledge on the middle east. I listen to Talk of the Nation every day and I must admit that for someone who thinks she is moderatly intelligent, I feel like a moron much of the time listening to these well read, well spoken people. So, I would like to print this entire page, but when I hit print,all I get is the shell, with no posts at all. Thank you, I wanted my 11 year old daughter to read it so we could discuss parts of it....I truly believe that religion is the basis for so many of these problems, and like Starlight said, these wars/disagreements have been going on forever....exactly why I was not too keen in jumping into the whole Bosnian/Serbia thing...had been going for eons, so why would you think that we could all of a sudden fix it? (arrogance??)..anyway, thank you very much for this post, it has been very informative...aimee
      Ellipses users clique ...
      TGFPT,HYOOTGP

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      • #23
        << Are most Israelis Jews and are most Palestinians Muslims?>>

        Yes Flash, as DMK points out, this is basically correct, and has made it easy for Islamic fundamentalists to intensify the conflicts between the two...However, the interests of the Palestinians do not necessarily coincide with the goals of the extremeist Muslim factions...for example, the PLO and Arafat have for quite some time relied on the USA to keep the Israelis at the table; this reliance on the USA is NOT pleasing to those who are waging the "jihad" against the West, and would like to see the West vanquished.

        And, I forgot to mention that the third group that claims Jerusalem as its own are Christians...
        Inner Bay Equestrian
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        • #24
          Have we done less damage in the name of Christianity?

          What I find so devastating is that if not for that one moment in time all the Palestinians would be Jews. But for one other moment in time Jesus who was a Jew might have simply reformed Judaism and all Christians would also be Jews.

          How then can all the descendents of Abraham be so vicious in their individual views. Yes! it is closely related to the war between the Protestants and the Catholics. Luther reformed Catholicism, yes a simple dispute over the Pope. If you asked either side if they were willing to die for the Pope, what would they answer?

          The Book of Revelations written by Josephus forecasted a battle between all the nations of the world on the plains of Armegadon that is in Israel. Nostrademus forecast that in the ninth month of the first year of the millennium a fire would come out of the sky and change the world. This is the first year of the milliennium and it is September. The year 2000 was really the last year of the last millennium.

          There was a lady today interviewed on the TV a very religious Muslim lady. And she said but there are bad people in your country please don't blame me if there is a bad seed in Islam.

          Was this all cast in stone some time ago or are we the masters of our fate. Our forefathers came here because they were Protestants and not welcome in the European Vatican world.

          My question is do we have the ability to locate and eliminate the "bad seed" without compounding the errors of our ancesters? I'm listening to the thunder rolls outside and I wonder about those who may have survived and are not yet free laying there in the dark being rained on feeling abandoned.

          Nationalism and Religions make us feel good, we can pass our doubts on to something else but what damage both these concepts have caused.
          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org

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          • #25
            Since we are discussing this...

            Osawa bin Laden and many of his followers were originally recruited by American intellegence to fight the Soviets when they invaded Afgahanistan in '90. He and many others were trained in guerilla warfare by Americans and set upon the Soviets by the ethnic minority. After the Soviet defeat, and after the Afgahanistan Civil War, Osawa bin Laden gained support from the ethnic majority, the Taliban and has been leading the fanatical left ever since.

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            • #26
              why the odd spelling...In all my research and reading up on the subject I have not ever seen Osama bin-Laden referred to as "Osawa"....I thought you were making a typo, but you seem to be sticking to it....

              FYI:

              Osama bin Mohammad bin Laden was born c. 1957 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. As the son of a self-made construction billionaire, he inherited a large fortune. The same year that he graduated (1979) from King Abdul Aziz University in Jiddah, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and bin Laden, a devout Muslim, traveled there to aid the mujahideen in their jihad (holy war) against the Soviets. He recruited many of the so-called Arab Afghans--volunteer resistance fighters from the Persian Gulf nations--to aid the U.S.-backed mujahideen fighters. Drawing from his personal wealth and funds raised from other wealthy Muslims, he also financed training camps. By 1991 bin Laden's hatred of the United States had crystallized; he viewed the U.S. troops stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War as armed infidels and denounced the House of Saud for allowing the troops into the country. In 1991 the Saudi government expelled bin Laden (he was deprived of his citizenship in 1994), and he fled to The Sudan, where he operated several businesses and also, reportedly, a number of clandestine terrorist training camps. The Sudan forced bin Laden to leave in mid-1996, and he returned to Afghanistan, where he allegedly established at least two training facilities, including one that the U.S. termed a "terrorist university."

              Several weeks after the embassy bombings, the U.S. fired missiles at bin Laden's "terrorist university" in Afghanistan and at a Sudan pharmaceutical plant thought to be manufacturing nerve gas on bin Laden's orders. He continued to deny his involvement in terrorist activities. The U.S. charged bin Laden with inciting violence against American citizens and requested his deportation to the U.S. to face trial. By year's end, however, Afghanistan's ruling Islamic militia, the Taliban, had said that bin Laden was a guest in their country and that he would be prosecuted in Afghanistan only if the U.S. could supply convincing evidence of his involvement in terrorist acts.


              "Bin Laden, Osama"�Encyclop�dia Britannica
              <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=135782&tocid=0&query=osama%20bin%20lade n>
              [Accessed September 14, 2001].

              [This message was edited by M. O'Connor on Sep. 14, 2001 at 06:31 AM.]
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              • #27
                I see "M" and type "W" since "W is an upside down "M" I'm mildly dyslexic. And I seem to be too old to retrain those fingers [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] on the keyboard. Now when I reread the name, I don't even see it. To me it looks right. My apologies - my assistant complained about this bad habit for years.

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                • #28
                  The CIA denies recruiting arabs (in general, Bin Laden in particular) to fight in Afghanistan - they say that their role was to aid the afghani people already fighting.

                  Who knows what the actual truth is.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                  • #29
                    Actually, the CIA would deny that THEY exist, given the option... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                    But regardless, even if they funded the Afghan rebels, and had military advisors in the country, and the Afghan rebels funded bin Laden with US money, the end result was still the same.

                    But I'm not blind to the reasons we did it. In the 80's I was not displeased to see us aiding and abetting the rebels who defied the Soviet Military Machine against occupation. Like most people who had some political awareness of the situation, I didn't lose a lot of sleep over the fact that the Soviets, who had aggressively invaded a "defenseless" country, were all of a sudden saddled with their own "Vietnam".

                    Fast forward 20 years, and of course hindsight is 20-20...
                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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                    • #30
                      A Dutch newspaper had a report today that a suicide bomber killed or critically wounded the Afghan opposition leader who was the biggest and most effective threat to the Taliban... the day BEFORE the attack on America. So it would appear that they have prudently and conveniently eliminated the only source of aid we could have expected to find within Afghanistan should our government decide to retaliate one way or the other against Osama bin Laden. Assuming it's true, of course.

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                      • #31
                        Nutmeg: I'd read the same about Massoud; he was the victim of a suicide bomb attack at the Northern Alliance base...a bomb hidden in a tv camera or on the body of man posing as a reporter interviewing Massoud. Although the "official" report out of Afghanistan was that Massoud only suffered mild injuries, US intelligence basically belive he was killed in the attack.

                        Sounds to me the Taliban are trying to buy time, and it seems they're fast running out...between killing (if it's true) Massoud, and Pakistan possibly turning on them...can we say "Oops!!"?
                        "fighting stupidity; one step at a time" -- a wise COTHer

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