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Obama's Cairo Speech


Rdskn4Lyf21

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4. My point is even more general. You claim:

"the historical reality is Israelis took the offensive"

The fact of the matter is that it is more nuanced than that. The Egyptians used force to close the Suez canal to Israeli shipping and shipping of any country where the ship was directly involved in trade with Israel. That was/is against international law and required them to use force. You could clearly argue that was an offensive action. Israel fired the first shots, but it was the Egyptians that violated international law and resorted to the use of force first by closing the canal.

I wanted to expand on my answer because after further research I don't think my previous answer was as strong as it could have been.

First off Suez Canal shipping traffic was closed to Israeli shiping from 1949 to June 5 1975. Except for short periods during 1951-52, that was it for Israeli shipping through the Suez. Which means even when Britain was in control of the Canal, pre 1951, it was still closed to Israeli shipping.

Second off, what actually ended the 56 war and forced the British, French and Israeli's to leave Egypt in 1956, wasn't UN mandates. Remember Britain and France were on the security councel and veto'ed any action by that body against their Invasion. What got them to leave was the United States and Eisenhower threatenned to disclude both countries from further Marshal Plan activities. Further Eisenhower threatenned to sell American's holdings of British Sterling bonds which would have severely cut the value of the british pound. Lastly Saudi Arabia oil embargoed both Britian and France. The United States, the largest oil producer at the time, refused to make up the difference in oil until the British and French withdawl.....

Ultimately the British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, Churchills sucessor was forced to resign Jan 1957 shortly after he withdrew British troops from the Canal..

That only left the Israeli's klinging onto the Sinia. In January 1957, President Eisenhower asked Congress for authorization to use military force, if requested, by any Middle Eastern nation to check aggression and, second, to set aside a sum of $200 million to help those Middle Eastern countries that desired aid from the United States. Congress granted both requests. This policy became known as the Eisenhower Doctrine. Israel withdrew from the Sinia in March of 1957.

One last piece of trivia here. Canada actually changed their flag partially due to this incident. Canada had been a large critic of the British actions throughout these troubles, when Canada subsequently offered to send peace keeping troops to patrol the Sinia, Egypt balked cause the Canadian flag at the time contained components of both the British and French flags... the two original settlers of Canada. Canada responded to this complaint, at least in part, by changing their flag to the Maple leaf.

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I wanted to expand on my answer because after further research I don't think my previous answer was as strong as it could have been.

First off Suez Canal shipping traffic was closed to Israeli shiping from 1949 to June 5 1975. Except for short periods during 1951-52, that was it for Israeli shipping through the Suez. Which means even when Britain was in control of the Canal, pre 1951, it was still closed to Israeli shipping.

Second off, what actually ended the 56 war and forced the British, French and Israeli's to leave Egypt in 1956, wasn't UN mandates. Remember Britain and France were on the security councel and veto'ed any action by that body against their Invasion. What got them to leave was the United States and Eisenhower threatenned to disclude both countries from further Marshal Plan activities. Further Eisenhower threatenned to sell American's holdings of British Sterling bonds which would have severely cut the value of the british pound. Lastly Saudi Arabia oil embargoed both Britian and France. The United States, the largest oil producer at the time, refused to make up the difference in oil until the British and French withdawl.....

Ultimately the British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, Churchills sucessor was forced to resign Jan 1957 shortly after he withdrew British troops from the Canal..

That only left the Israeli's klinging onto the Sinia. In January 1957, President Eisenhower asked Congress for authorization to use military force, if requested, by any Middle Eastern nation to check aggression and, second, to set aside a sum of $200 million to help those Middle Eastern countries that desired aid from the United States. Congress granted both requests. This policy became known as the Eisenhower Doctrine. Israel withdrew from the Sinia in March of 1957.

One last piece of trivia here. Canada actually changed their flag partially due to this incident. Canada had been a large critic of the British actions throughout these troubles, when Canada subsequently offered to send peace keeping troops to patrol the Sinia, Egypt balked cause the Canadian flag at the time contained components of both the British and French flags... the two original settlers of Canada. Canada responded to this complaint, at least in part, by changing their flag to the Maple leaf.

Why wasn't the canal open to Israeli shipping (are you going to contend that the British were keeping Israeli shipping from using the canal)?

The Egyptians were violating international agreements even at that point in time. Is this really suppossed to help your arguement?

In addition, Egypt wasn't a signature to the Canal Convention becuase they weren't a country at the time (they were part of the Ottman Empire, which did sign).

More importantly, the agreement didn't guarantee free shipping between all the signing parties, but between ALL nations (even non-signees), and the Egyptians had agreed to those terms in the treaty with the British.

I have no idea why the rest is relevant.

The fact of the matter is that the Egyptians did seize ships headed to Israel and hold them by force BEFORE the Israelis attacked.

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I have no idea why the rest is relevant.

The fact of the matter is that the Egyptians did seize ships headed to Israel and hold them by force BEFORE the Israelis attacked.

Which is an act of aggression. The first act of agression was not Israel's. There are all sorts of ways to start a war that is not dependent on firing off a shot.

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I found this kind of interesting - a montage of how this historic day was presented on Fox News.

I'd like to know what should be considered so "historic" about this particular speech... Just curious.

I haven't actually heard anything that I would consider "historic". If someone demonstrates effectively how this was actually "historic", I may have to re-read the speech and pick up what I might have missed.

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The defeat of Hezbollah in Lebanese elections by the pro-West coalition suggests that some in the Muslim world are paying attention to Obama's message.

Prove it... Maybe they are just tired of war... Hezbollah is still in control, but the victory wasn't as large as predicted. From what I've heard, the vote maintained status quo, but was surprising that Hezbollah didn't win soundly.

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I'd like to know what should be considered so "historic" about this particular speech... Just curious.

I haven't actually heard anything that I would consider "historic". If someone demonstrates effectively how this was actually "historic", I may have to re-read the speech and pick up what I might have missed.

Prove it... Maybe they are just tired of war... Hezbollah is still in control, but the victory wasn't as large as predicted. From what I've heard, the vote maintained status quo, but was surprising that Hezbollah didn't win soundly.

History will tell if the speech was historic. If it is followed up by actions positive or negative from the Middle East players or society then it is historic. If it indicates an important shift in U.S. policy then it is historic.

But, regardless, everything a U.S. President does is historic. It is all written down, preserved, and becomes a part of the record for historians and academicians as well as politicos to argue and debate about forever. Using the very oddest of logics, this very thread about Obama's speech makes Obama's speech "historic"

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Prove it... Maybe they are just tired of war... Hezbollah is still in control, but the victory wasn't as large as predicted. From what I've heard, the vote maintained status quo, but was surprising that Hezbollah didn't win soundly.

Care to explain how Hezbollah is still in control? The March 8th alliance is not in control.

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Why wasn't the canal open to Israeli shipping (are you going to contend that the British were keeping Israeli shipping from using the canal)?

I can only guess the reasons, but yes that must have been the result. It's likely that Britian feared the Egyptions trying to nationalize the canal before Egypt actually did in 1951. It's likely that Israeli traffic (flagged ships) through the canal was a flash point for the Egyptions. That's my guess of why Britian did no allow Israeli shipping to use the

The Egyptians were violating international agreements even at that point in time. Is this really suppossed to help your arguement?

Again the Suez Canal Treaty which you are reffering was not negotiated with, or signed by Egypt. It wasn't a treaty they participated in, because by the time of hte treatay Egyption interest in the canal had been assumed by the British.

In addition, Egypt wasn't a signature to the Canal Convention becuase they weren't a country at the time (they were part of the Ottman Empire, which did sign).

They were atonoumous part of the Ottaman empire for decades before 1880's right up until Khedive Tawfig signed the "capitulations," giving extensive power to British and French bankers and investors, who had pretty much conned him out of Egyptions interests in the Suez.....

But even if you were right, so what. The United States wasn't bound by English Treaties after our indepenence. Are you thinking Egypt should have been? If your underlying premise was correct, that Egypt didn't exist before 1880, which it wasn't.

More importantly, the agreement didn't guarantee free shipping between all the signing parties, but between ALL nations (even non-signees), and the Egyptians had agreed to those terms in the treaty with the British.

OK so your assuming eight countries in 1880 can get together and form an agreement and that agreement is binding on every other country down through history even those that didn't sign onto that treaty.

I wished it worked that way because then I and my drinking buddies would solve the worlds problems with binding resoltuions this afternoon.

I have no idea why the rest is relevant.

The line of thought that Egypt gave Israel cause by denying Israeli shippping through the suez canal is not relevent or true. Nobody is claiming that on the Israeli side, or anywhere in history. The fact that Israeli shiping still wasn't allowed to use the canal before or after four major Israeli Egyption wars, all of which Israel won, also diminishes your premise.

The fact of the matter is that the Egyptians did seize ships headed to Israel and hold them by force BEFORE the Israelis attacked.

You will have to be more specific. Before Israel attacked in 48, 56, or 67 ?

It's well documented that the causis belli for Israel's attack in 67 was not the ongoing denial of Israeli shipping through the suez canal which went on for another 7 years after the 67 war. The causis belli was Egypts decision to block the Strait of Tiran on the other side of the Sinia.

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History will tell if the speech was historic. If it is followed up by actions positive or negative from the Middle East players or society then it is historic. If it indicates an important shift in U.S. policy then it is historic.

Words are important, and speeches can be historic. This was a historic speech.

I agree though what is really important is going to be what happens next, or doesn't happen. I think it was a great speech, and it think its filling people with hope. But in the end it's just words. The actions will be the hard part.

I remember listening to Ronald Reagan's "tear down this wall" speech in germany. That turned out to be a historic speech, but at the time many folks in the press were laughing at Reagan for his "over the top" rhetoric. Sometimes historic speeches only become historic when put in context of what happens next.

I do think it's interesting, I've heard Netanyahu has agreed to endorse the two state solution. His hands are pretty much tied, the Israeli government has already made that agreement as part of the road map to peace, and Netanyahu can't roll back the clock or negate that agreement.

He might have the shortest Israeli PM ship in history if this occurs.

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I agree with that, it's only historic if action comes from it. I think it was a great speech, and it think its filling people with hope. But in the end it's just words. The actions will be the hard part.

I do think it's interesting, I've heard Netanyahu has agreed to endorse the two state solution. His hands are pretty much tied, the Israeli government has already made that agreement as part of the road map to peace, and Netanyahu can't roll back the clock or negate that agreement.

He might have the shortest Israeli PM ship in history if this occurs.

He might, but if the two state actually leads to a cessation of violence, I think he might become one of the most revered and beloved. Sadly, I have severe doubts that a lasting peace would be the end result. Too much bad blood, mistrust, and hate and frankly, if all the Palestinians wanted was land... there were several agreements offered long ago that would have resolved everything already.

They do want a country of their own, but that is only part of their goal.

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I can only guess the reasons, but yes that must have been the result. It's likely that Britian feared the Egyptions trying to nationalize the canal before Egypt actually did in 1951. It's likely that Israeli traffic (flagged ships) through the canal was a flash point for the Egyptions. That's my guess of why Britian did no allow Israeli shipping to use the

Again the Suez Canal Treaty which you are reffering was not negotiated with, or signed by Egypt. It wasn't a treaty they participated in, because by the time of hte treatay Egyption interest in the canal had been assumed by the British.

They were atonoumous part of the Ottaman empire for decades before 1880's right up until Khedive Tawfig signed the "capitulations," giving extensive power to British and French bankers and investors, who had pretty much conned him out of Egyptions interests in the Suez.....

But even if you were right, so what. The United States wasn't bound by English Treaties after our indepenence. Are you thinking Egypt should have been? If your underlying premise was correct, that Egypt didn't exist before 1880, which it wasn't.

OK so your assuming eight countries in 1880 can get together and form an agreement and that agreement is binding on every other country down through history even those that didn't sign onto that treaty.

I wished it worked that way because then I and my drinking buddies would solve the worlds problems with binding resoltuions this afternoon.

The line of thought that Egypt gave Israel cause by denying Israeli shippping through the suez canal is not relevent or true. Nobody is claiming that on the Israeli side, or anywhere in history. The fact that Israeli shiping still wasn't allowed to use the canal before or after four major Israeli Egyption wars, all of which Israel won, also diminishes your premise.

You will have to be more specific. Before Israel attacked in 48, 56, or 67 ?

It's well documented that the causis belli for Israel's attack in 67 was not the ongoing denial of Israeli shipping through the suez canal which went on for another 7 years after the 67 war. The causis belli was Egypts decision to block the Strait of Tiran on the other side of the Sinia.

1. Is it really hard to believe that the British didn't have complete control of a resource that was taken from them 5 years before it was taken. Read any book on the Suez Crisis. There is no talk about the British stopping Israeli shipping. The Egyptians independent of the British were preventing Israeli shipping through the canal. Now, on one hand you are probably right, the British didn't stop it (and enforce the Convention) because they were already having issues with the Egyptians and didn't want to worsen the situation.

2. The Egyptians agreed to hold up the frame work of the Convention in their treaty with the British. The Canal treaty between Egypt and Britian included a turn over date at which time the canal would belong to the Egyptians. The Egyptians forcaibly took control of the canal early, and then violated the conditions under which they would control the canal and as such violated the Suez Convention.

The Egyptians themselves have defended certain actions based on the Convention as such they at least partially acknowledge they are subject to the Convention (even though they didn't sign it), which they are through the treaty they signed with the British. As I already stated, the convention does allow for the closure of the Canal under military situations (e.g. the defense of Egypt) (I will point out that I've read that the French did have this clause so watered down that they believed it would never give somebody the authority to close the canal, but the British did use that clause to close the canal to the axis during WWII. I honestly don't know if the axis complained or not, but obviously the French didn't), and the Egyptians have sited such language in closing the canal on occassion (I believe for a period the Egyptians closed the canal to any ships flying a British or French flag for a period of time and cited the Convention as to their ability to do so).

Now, once you have Israel attack (e.g. during the Suez crisis), you could argue (and I wouldn't disagree) that the Egyptians had the authority to close the canal to aid going to Israel (as the British did to the axis during WWII). However, once peace is achieved, then they should have reopened the canal (and you've already rejected Burgold's claim that the they shouldn't be thought of as independent conflicts, but a continual conflict started by the Arabs). I would also argue that it in no way should that prevent humanitarian aid from reaching Israel, which the Egyptians were clearly preventing. More importantly, the Egyptians were holding up Israeli shipping BEFORE the attacks you have cited by the Israelis.

What can't be argued is that the Egyptians weren't in violation of their treaty with the British, and then therefore the Suez Canal Convention Treaty when they stopped shipping headed to Israel by force, and in fact, they were "repramained" by the UN to stop intercepting shipping headed to Israel through the Suez canal (and when they didn't they would have also been in violation of the UN Charter (which they did agree to) (I might be wrong on this (not sure know if it was Security Council (which I think would have been binding) or just General Assembly) (which might not have been) (I don't remember enough from my 10th grade report on the UN on how EXACTLY this went down).

I honestly don't understand why you are having such an issue with this. Their very refusal to acknowledge the right of Israel exist was against international law, and they did agree to the UN Charter (I will point out that they didn't just NOT acknowledge Israel diplomatically, but they refused to even acknowledge the right of Israel to exist).

Is it really hard to believe that a nation that was violating their agreement vis-a-vis the UN charter, which created Israel (in Egypt's refusal to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist), AND violated another treaty by forcibly taking control of the Canal, DIDN'T act in offensive manner with respect to multiple international agreements by using force to stop shipping flowing to the country that they said shouldn't exist?

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2. The Egyptians agreed to hold up the frame work of the Convention in their treaty with the British. The Canal treaty between Egypt and Britian included a turn over date at which time the canal would belong to the Egyptians. The Egyptians forcaibly took control of the canal early, and then violated the conditions under which they would control the canal and as such violated the Suez Convention.

I don't think that's accurate either. Nasser and the British didn't negotiate a treaty like we did with Panama and the Suez canal going to Egypt after so many decades. The Egyption army simple moved forward and took over the canal and kicked the British out in July of 1956. And the World Community and the United States ended up supporting Egypt.

Here is how it went down: in the spring/summer of 1956. On 16 May, Nasser officially recognized the People's Republic of China, a move that angered the U.S. and its Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, a keen sponsor of Taiwan. This move, coupled with the impression that the project was beyond Egypt's economic capabilities, caused Eisenhower to withdraw all American financial aid for the Aswan Dam project on 19 July. Nasser's response was the nationalization of the Suez Canal. On 26 July in a speech in Alexandria, Nasser gave a riposte to Dulles. During his speech he deliberately pronounced the name of Fredinand de Lesseps, constructor of the Canal, a code-word for Egyptian forces to seize control of the Canal and implement nationalization of it.

The Egyptians themselves have defended certain actions based on the Convention as such they at least partially acknowledge they are subject to the Convention (even though they didn't sign it), which they are through the treaty they signed with the British.

Again, they signed no treaty with Britian to get the canal. Egypt seized it through force of arms. Britian had demilitarized the canal zone as part of a previous treaty with Egypt a few years earlier. So Egyption forces weren't up against any type of serious force when they moved in in 1956.

As I already stated, the convention does allow for the closure of the Canal under military situations (e.g. the defense of Egypt) (I will point out that I've read that the French did have this clause so watered down that they believed it would never give somebody the authority to close the canal, but the British did use that clause to close the canal to the axis during WWII.

Britain also closed the canal to the Russians in the Russian Japanese war of 1905, forcing the Russian baltic fleet to sail around africa to get at the Japanese who sneak attacked Port Aurthor to start that war.... Russia complained.

What can't be argued is that the Egyptians weren't in violation of their treaty with the British, and then therefore the Suez Canal Convention Treaty when they stopped shipping headed to Israel

What treaty? Egypt had many treaties with Britain, but ultimately no treaty turning over formal control of the canal with Britian. As I've stated Egypt took the canal, they didn't negotiate for it. Israeli shipping didn't have use of the Suez Canal pretty much consistantly from 1948 right up until the mid 1970's.. except for periods during 51-52.

by force, and in fact, they were "repramained" by the UN to stop intercepting shipping headed to Israel through the Suez canal (and when they didn't they would have also been in violation of the UN Charter (which they did agree to) (I might be wrong on this (not sure know if it was Security Council (which I think would have been binding) or just General Assembly) (which might not have been) (I don't remember enough from my 10th grade report on the UN on how EXACTLY this went down).

UN resolutions are not binding unless powerful members of the UN care enough to commit troops. Israel is in violation of a few of them and has been for decades.

Either way the UN expressly did not sanction Israel's invasion in 56, or Britain's and Frances conspiracy with them. The UN actually worked against the Invasion with general assemble resolutions against it. PM of Canada got the Nobel Prise for organizeing the political effort against the invasion.

I honestly don't understand why you are having such an issue with this.

Because you are making claims which none of the actual antagonists make, and you are also disregarding the globally accepted history around the events which clearly refute your "theory". Worse still you aren't being specific about which war you are talking about.

The 56 war was a land grab. Clear and simple. Britain France and Israel got together and conspired to carve up Egyption territory. Militarily they suceeded, diplomatically and politically they got expelled.

The 67 war cause did not involve the Suez Canal. the cause was the Straight of Tiran on the other side of the red sea. Israel didn't need the suez canal cause she had ports on both the Red Sea and the Med. Egypt cuttion off the Straight ot Tiran changed this, and that is what Israel pointed to as the major cause of their attack.

Their very refusal to acknowledge the right of Israel exist was against international law, and they did agree to the UN Charter (I will point out that they didn't just NOT acknowledge Israel diplomatically, but they refused to even acknowledge the right of Israel to exist).

Now you really going out there. You do realize the United States didn't recognize CHINA the most populous country on earth from 1948 - the early 1970's. It's Egypts recognition of China which sparked the entire Suez frucus. We reacted by defunding their dam. They reacted by nationalizing the canal and funding the dam themselves.

Is it really hard to believe that a nation that was violating their agreement vis-a-vis the UN charter, which created Israel (in Egypt's refusal to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist), AND violated another treaty by forcibly taking control of the Canal, DIDN'T act in offensive manner with respect to multiple international agreements by using force to stop shipping flowing to the country that they said shouldn't exist?

A lot of things aren't hard to believe, that doesn't make them true. Fact is the world community and specifically the United States and President Eisenhower and history itself disagree with your theory the Invasion of Egypt in 1956 by Israel was legal or justified. We know this because the world lead by the US and Canda rose up and made the combatants leave Egyption soil. The PM of Britian was forced to resign over this. Canada changed their national flag in part because of the 57 war. Israel was directly threatenned with US military expulsion if she didn't leave.. ( Eisenhower Doctrine).

Now in 1967, it might have been justified; legality doesn't realy enter into it. But the facts are Israel did invade Egypt and Syria in 67 and not the other way around. Israel decided to attack first. It can't be claimed that in 67 the resulting war was defensive in nature by Israel.... Especially since Israel seized and attempted to annex huge tracts of land as spoils of that war.

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Breaking a siege, or a blockade is defensive isn't it? Or is breaking a siege or blockade an act of agression?

Is choking someone's supply lines not offensive? Not an act of aggression?

No matter how you parse words, the acts by the Egyptians were aggressive. Now, if you want you can say Israel overreacted to their aggression, you may have some justification, but the first offensive move was not Isreal's.

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History will tell if the speech was historic. If it is followed up by actions positive or negative from the Middle East players or society then it is historic. If it indicates an important shift in U.S. policy then it is historic.

But, regardless, everything a U.S. President does is historic. It is all written down, preserved, and becomes a part of the record for historians and academicians as well as politicos to argue and debate about forever. Using the very oddest of logics, this very thread about Obama's speech makes Obama's speech "historic"

Let's not argue semantics (even with yourself). :)

I agree that history will tell if the speech was historic... Much in the way that the collapse of the Soviet Union gave Reagan's speech at the Berlin Wall far more gravitas than it would've had without that occurring. However, what about Obama's speech actually challenged every day followers of Islam to stop supporting terrorism or terrorist organizations? What about it challenged the culture that oppresses women beyond educational opportunities? A historic speech would've been for him to confess that the Koran was written for the 8th century and everyone should be embracing 20th & 21st century principles when it comes to civil rights and religious freedom... THAT would've been truly historic, but he seemed to absolve individuals of their responsibilities and blame external forces for the troubles that plague society in the Middle East. I'm not sure the speech will be considered important or memorable after this week by anyone outside of the most ardent supporters of Obama. To me, it was as if he were simply campaigning for President of the World.

As for what you say in the second paragraph, that is debatable and you seem to disagree with your 1st paragraph... The word "historic" seems to lose complete meaning when you attribute it to everything the President does that is written down and recorded.

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Breaking a siege, or a blockade is defensive isn't it? Or is breaking a siege or blockade an act of agression?

Is choking someone's supply lines not offensive? Not an act of aggression?

Good points. However, in 1940 the U.S. blocked shipments of oil to Japan and, as we all know, the Japanese attacked us the following year. So, under your line of reasoning, the U.S. was the aggressor in WWII (at least with respect to Japan).

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I'd say this, Smoot. If the speech causes a ripple in which many in the Middle East take a breath to rethink who the U.S. is then the speech will have great impact. What Obama has tried to do is change the nature of the language so that a civil discourse is more possible. If we always talk in heated words and angrily, then little progress can be made. Whether this shifting of the tone will have any temporary or lasting resonance I have no idea. At worst, it's a harmless gesture... at best, it breaks some ice.

As to semantics, this thread has been nothing but an argument about semantics (and rhetoric). Look at JMS' extended word games and contortions to try to make Israel the aggressor. You can tell that his logic is strained because his posts are so long. A simple truth can be said in a few brief words. He needs to refashion so many things to create his truth... that he always needs hundreds of words.

For his truth to exist, you have to believe that treaties and agreements were invalid, all the assumptions between nations of that time were false, that breaking UN agreements are meaningless, that forcefully turning away ships are not an act of aggression, that there was no ill intent towards Egypt's actions, and that agression only starts with the first round of gunfire.

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Good points. However, in 1940 the U.S. blocked shipments of oil to Japan and, as we all know, the Japanese attacked us the following year. So, under your line of reasoning, the U.S. was the aggressor in WWII (at least with respect to Japan).

Yes, you could make a case that the US' blockade was an act of agression which helped define for the Japanese whose side the U.S. would be on. I think it also isn't a stretch to imagine it was an act of aggression as FDR was trying for a while to get the U.S. involved in the war.

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Look at JMS' extended word games and contortions to try to make Israel the aggressor. You can tell that his logic is strained because his posts are so long. A simple truth can be said in a few brief words. He needs to refashion so many things to create his truth... that he always needs hundreds of words.

That was disrespectful thing to say.

JMS has used "a lot of words" because he is endeavoring to be as complete in his answers as possible. He has acknowledged your points and responded to them with civility and patience. Even if you disagree with him, he deserves better than that.

Plus, I might add, your theory about "simple truths" is a shallow, FoxNews way of thinking. As someone wiser than me once said: "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Some of your "simple truths" in this thread have been wrong, in my opinion.

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That's possibly true, Predicto (about my being mean) and if so, I apologize. And I agree that JMS is trying to be thorough, however, the glue he uses to fit his pieces of logic together does create a distortion. One, I suspect he does not readily or entirely see.

However, I will say, that the razor works pretty well too and sometimes the simplest, most obvious answer is the correct one and all the convolutions we create are unnecessary distractions that guide us away from the truth.

As to me being wrong in this thread... that's impossible! It may take time, but everything I have ever said on ES has been true. Even the stuff the contradicts the stuff that contradicts the other stuff that I wasn't serious about in the first place.

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Breaking a siege, or a blockade is defensive isn't it? Or is breaking a siege or blockade an act of agression?

If I blockade your harbor and you fire on my blockade in your territorial waters than certainly you can make the claim it's defensive. If the "blockade" is actually in Egyption territorial waters, not Israeli, then I think the defensive claim is less convincing even if the justification remains in tact. What we have is a third case though... Israel didn't merely "break the siege" at the straight of Tiran, she invaded greater Israel, Syria, and Jordan. And then set about annexing their territory.

Again you can argue justification, I don't think you can argue Israeli didn't take the offensive. After all it was a sneak attack.

No matter how you parse words, the acts by the Egyptians were aggressive. Now, if you want you can say Israel overreacted to their aggression, you may have some justification, but the first offensive move was not Isreal's.

The first offensive move was certainly Israels. Israel invaded three of her antagonists. That's offensive. Turning back Israeli shiping from Egyption territorial waters you can argue wasn't smart, and you can argue forced Israel's hand, but it wasn't akin to an air raid, a tank invasion, or shelling the capital of Israel.

Like I said we denied Japan iron, oil, and rubber pre WWII. Does that mean the Japanese were justified in peril harbor. Certainly in their eyes yes. But it doesn't mean Japan didn't take the offensive.

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Yes, you could make a case that the US' blockade was an act of agression which helped define for the Japanese whose side the U.S. would be on. I think it also isn't a stretch to imagine it was an act of aggression as FDR was trying for a while to get the U.S. involved in the war.

Exactly true. But does that make the attack on Pearl Harbor a defensive act? Certainly not.

Japan's leaders chose to take the offensive because they rationalized it would improve their long term security position. Japan chose to attack. So did the Israeli's in 1967 and for similar reasons. The Japanese were wrong and their long term position was compromised by their actions. The Israeli's were more sucessful.

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I don't think that's accurate either. Nasser and the British didn't negotiate a treaty like we did with Panama and the Suez canal going to Egypt after so many decades.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Egyptian_Treaty

For several years, they were essentially in a state of war with the British over control of the Canal which put them in violation of the treaty.

The treaty also lined out the operation and performance of the canal post-British control, which included that they would mantain operation of the treaty under the Canal Convention as the British had. They violated that agreement further by nationalizing the Canal and blocking Israeli related trade.

UN resolutions are not binding unless powerful members of the UN care enough to commit troops. Israel is in violation of a few of them and has been for decades.

You mean like France, Britan, and Israel against Egypt during the 1950's?

I'm not defending the current Israeli government or its general polices. I've already said that I think they should withdraw to their '48 borders, which would bring them into compliance with most if not all UN resolutions.

I generally think their policy and our policies w/ respect to them might have made some sense in the 50's, 60's, 70's and early 80's when there might have been a real concern about Egyptian or Syrian or some other country's tanks rolling into Israel, but today with that gone, much of what them and us with respect to them makes no sense to me (which I think is likely because of the decades of irrational hate built up in Isreal and the religious implications both to "conservative" Jews and Christians).

You'll note that I don't have a post in this thread until you started butchering history w/ your comparision of us cutting off shipping to Japan and Egypt abrogating treaties and international agreements.

Either way the UN expressly did not sanction Israel's invasion in 56, or Britain's and Frances conspiracy with them. The UN actually worked against the Invasion with general assemble resolutions against it. PM of Canada got the Nobel Prise for organizeing the political effort against the invasion.

Which included opening of the Suez Canal to shipping to and from Israel.

Because you are making claims which none of the actual antagonists make, and you are also disregarding the globally accepted history around the events which clearly refute your "theory". Worse still you aren't being specific about which war you are talking about.

The 56 war was a land grab. Clear and simple. Britain France and Israel got together and conspired to carve up Egyption territory. Militarily they suceeded, diplomatically and politically they got expelled.

But their land grab was fueled by aggressive Egyptian actions (e.g. closing the canal to Israeli related shipping and violating the treaty that I've given you the wiki link to above).

I'm not saying they were right or wrong, or it was a good idea or not. Just that measuring the first "offensive" action isn't simple, and you can't just point blank say this country started the first offensive action.

You can easily argue that the British actions were the results of Egyptians failing to live up to the terms of the treaty they had signed (and then also Israeli w/ respect to shipping).

The 67 war cause did not involve the Suez Canal. the cause was the Straight of Tiran on the other side of the red sea. Israel didn't need the suez canal cause she had ports on both the Red Sea and the Med. Egypt cuttion off the Straight ot Tiran changed this, and that is what Israel pointed to as the major cause of their attack.

Blocking the Strait of Tiran was the breaking point, but clearly other factors, including the continued blocking of shipping from the Suez Canal was involved (and the massing of Egyptian troops on the Israeli border with the appearant preparation for to launch an attack themselves).

If Egypt ONLY had bloced the Straits of Tiran and taken no other aggressive actions toward Israel, do you really believe that Israel would have attacked?

Now you really going out there. You do realize the United States didn't recognize CHINA the most populous country on earth from 1948 - the early 1970's. It's Egypts recognition of China which sparked the entire Suez frucus. We reacted by defunding their dam. They reacted by nationalizing the canal and funding the dam themselves.

1. Technically, your wrong. We recongized a China and recognized that China as the representative of the entire population of China. We just didn't recognize the people that actually had control of the population.

2. I made a point to distinguish from diplomatically recognizing a country vs. recognizing the right of a country to exist in my post (which you appearantly completely missed). Even when we didn't recognize the mainland China government we did recognize the right for China as a country to exist.

3. China wasn't created by the UN so isn't covered in the same sense of Israel by the UN.

A lot of things aren't hard to believe, that doesn't make them true. Fact is the world community and specifically the United States and President Eisenhower and history itself disagree with your theory the Invasion of Egypt in 1956 by Israel was legal or justified. We know this because the world lead by the US and Canda rose up and made the combatants leave Egyption soil. The PM of Britian was forced to resign over this. Canada changed their national flag in part because of the 57 war. Israel was directly threatenned with US military expulsion if she didn't leave.. ( Eisenhower Doctrine).

I'll make a couple of points here.

1. Just because the world disagreed with an action doesn't make it right or wrong. Egypt had abrogated the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty. Nobody disagrees with that. That the world didn't support a Bristish/Israeli/French invasion of Egypt as "punishment" for that doesn't mean they didn't do it.

2. More specifically related to this incident, countries were upset because they weren't alerted ahead of time.

3. This was a particularly sticky situation (the Suez Canal Crisis) because was happening at the same time as the Hungarian revolt, and we didn't want to see the Soviets to become paranoid and start connecting dots that weren't there and cause a more widespread/larger conflict.

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That's possibly true, Predicto (about my being mean) and if so, I apologize. And I agree that JMS is trying to be thorough, however, the glue he uses to fit his pieces of logic together does create a distortion. One, I suspect he does not readily or entirely see.

I agree. I do not always agree with everything JMS says either. We all have our biases.

However, I will say, that the razor works pretty well too and sometimes the simplest, most obvious answer is the correct one and all the convolutions we create are unnecessary distractions that guide us away from the truth.

Sometimes. Sometimes there is no "one truth." Sometimes both sides of a dispute are correct when the problem is looked at from their own point of view.

The fact that Europe and pretty much the entire rest of the world does not view the Israel/Palestinian conflict in the same way that you, an American of Jewish ancestry, view that conflict, can be looked at in a lot of different ways. One very simplistic answer would be to claim that the entire world is motivated by anti-semitism. I find that answer to be uncompelling, not least because people who are motivated by anti-semitism also tend to hate Muslims.

I think the correct answer is that both sides have real fears, real historical grievances and legitimate aspirations, both sides have been ill served by their past and present political leadership, and both sides are not going to just magically go away no matter how much the other side wants them to.

As to me being wrong in this thread... that's impossible! It may take time, but everything I have ever said on ES has been true. Even the stuff the contradicts the stuff that contradicts the other stuff that I wasn't serious about in the first place.

You and me both, brother.

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