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Technician
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Israeli warplanes bombed research center near Damascus - Syrian state news agency.

Israel's really pushing it. I wonder if America will really support their asses if they push their boundaries too far.

The world can't afford more pointless conflict in the Middle East.

Old Post 01-30-13 21:55 #
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CorSair
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And the engines of violence just keeps rolling on. People in there really can't find common ground.

Old Post 01-30-13 22:05 #
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phi108
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They are a bunch of idiots, and people worldwide who wish violence on either side are idiots as well.

Old Post 01-30-13 22:15 #
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Technician
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Sadly Canada will support their stupid asses. Fucking Harper.

I with Israel would make like a dradle and sit and spin.

Old Post 01-30-13 22:18 #
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CorSair
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And UN can't do balls with that I bet...

Old Post 01-30-13 22:59 #
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Quast
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Technician said:
I wonder if America will really support their asses if they push their boundaries too far.

Um, the united states will quite literally support israel unto armageddon...and that's by design, that's the whole point.

Old Post 01-31-13 00:10 #
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Technician
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More worrying news: Russia is keeping their promise. I feel that this aggression goes far beyond drugs.

Also, a small update on the Israel bombing:

Israel bombs Syria arms convoy to Lebanon: sources
Israeli warplanes bombed a convoy near Syria’s border with Lebanon, sources told Reuters, apparently targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah in what some called a warning to Damascus not to arm Israel’s Lebanese enemy.

Syrian state television accused Israel of bombing a military research centre at Jamraya, between Damascus and the nearby border, but Syrian rebels disputed that, saying their forces had attacked the site. No source spoke of a second Israeli strike.

Last edited by Technician on 01-31-13 at 00:30

Old Post 01-31-13 00:20 #
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Aliotroph?
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I thought this was going to be a thread about Benjamin Disraeli or something. I suppose Victorian politics might be an odd topic for DW.

The Middle East has a lot of silly people in it. I see much stupidity on all sides. I have no proposals to remedy this except to encourage more atheism, representative democracy, near-limitless pursuit of science and technology, and the drinking of large amounts of beer. Expect positive change some time around Nov. 4, 2168. Hmm, that's basically the opposite of the views of olde Benny D.

Old Post 01-31-13 00:41 #
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Technician
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Aliotroph? said:
I thought this was going to be a thread about Benjamin Disraeli or something.
I'm still waiting for someone to get the reference.


Aliotroph? said:
The Middle East has a lot of silly people in it. I see much stupidity on all sides.
I have little interest in how the Middle Easy handles it's affairs, it's the fact that a great chunk of North America has recently recited their promised allegiance to Israel, and now they're pulling this shit.

Our economy is in the shitter, we can't afford this possible "police action."

Old Post 01-31-13 00:43 #
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Kirby
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Sad and indeed aggravating at the same time


I'm still waiting for someone to get the reference.

Only reference I'm pulling is to the capital city of hell itself


Technician said:
Can someone delete me.


I thought they tried that years ago

Old Post 01-31-13 02:20 #
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Glaice
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And they wonder why most Middle East countries dislike or hate Israel..

Old Post 01-31-13 03:04 #
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Obsidian
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Technician said:
I'm still waiting for someone to get the reference.


An album by Cream, am I right? =D

Old Post 01-31-13 03:18 #
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Technician
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Obsidian said:
An album by Cream, am I right? =D
OUR WIENER!

Old Post 01-31-13 03:32 #
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Obsidian
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Technician said:
OUR WIENER!


And I didn't even have to use Google. :P

Old Post 01-31-13 03:51 #
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Shaikoten
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I totally thought this was something to do with Victorian politics. I was mildly disappointed.

Old Post 01-31-13 06:20 #
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Maes
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Aliotroph? said:
I have no proposals to remedy this except to encourage more atheism


For Islam, being atheist is much, much worse than believing in ANY other religion. So much worse that it's simply inconceivable, and one of the "best" ways to make a Muslim hate your guts. Good luck with that #1

In the West, stances like atheism etc. came to be tolerated (somewhat) only recently, and only after the various churches and sects loosened their grip on the majority of society. Maybe a relatively "soft" Islamic country like Albania, Malta or even Turkey can show the way, but as long as there's full-blown Islam...meh.


Aliotroph? said:
representative democracy


That has trouble working as it should even in so-called Western countries, with people constantly voting against their interests. But in the Middle East, at all times they just ended up voting their way up to a Sharia, essentialy voting or paving the way for an actual dictatorship, which seems to be the only thing able to keep those societies together (see Iraq, Lybia, Syria....) Good luck with that #2


Aliotroph? said:
near-limitless pursuit of science and technology


When all middle-eastern nations COMBINED file less patent applications than Israel alone each year? Yeah, good luck with that #3



Aliotroph? said:
and the drinking of large amounts of beer


They can't even have that. Alcohol is prohibited under Islam.

(wow, is it just me or it must totally suck and whatever it touches turns to shit, sooner or later?)

Old Post 01-31-13 08:38 #
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Aliotroph?
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Indeed. I wasn't being serious. As much as I like all the things I mentioned, it preaching them at people with a culture opposed to them doesn't work. Maybe the real solution is something closer to waiting around for a wave of Islamic enlightenment to hit and we can seize upon. I'm not holding my breath for that.

Old Post 01-31-13 08:56 #
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Phobus
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Just carpet bomb the whole Middle East out of existance (I'd opt to leave Dubai standing personally, but if it's easier to not go around it, we'll live) and set up loads of solar panels in its place. Then we get plenty of good electricity/power, don't need to worry about wars or terrorists on the whole Islamic or oil front and can get back to fueding with some decent enemies, like the Russians or the Chinese.

Old Post 01-31-13 20:28 #
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darknation
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lol jews.

Old Post 01-31-13 21:12 #
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Technician
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Syria, Iran threaten retaliation against Israel
Syria has complained to the UN of an alleged Israeli airstrike targeting a research facility. Iran, Syria's closest ally, has joined in issuing a threat of retaliation against Israel for the supposed attack. Syria has complained to the UN of an alleged Israeli airstrike targeting a research facility. Iran, Syria's closest ally, has joined in issuing a threat of retaliation against Israel for the supposed attack. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Syria says Israeli warplanes hit military site
Dozens of bodies found in Syrian city of Aleppo

Syria is threatening to retaliate for an Israeli airstrike and its ally Iran says there will be repercussions for the Jewish state over the attack.

On Thursday Syria sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressing the country's "right to defend itself, its territory and sovereignty" and holding Israel and its supporters accountable.

"Israel and those who protect it at the Security Council are fully responsible for the repercussions of this aggression," the letter from Syria's Foreign Ministry said.

U.S. officials said Israel launched a rare airstrike inside Syria on Wednesday. The target was a convoy believed to be carrying anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militant group allied with Syria and Iran.

In Israel, a legislator close to hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped short of confirming involvement in the strike. But he hinted that Israel could carry out similar missions in the future.

Old Post 01-31-13 21:28 #
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NiTROACTiVE
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*sigh* It's sad that war still exists and that world peace is not obtained yet. I hope that one day this event passes on like the fight between the USA and Japan in WWII someday. From now on, whenever something like this happens between one or more countries, I should play this song:

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Old Post 02-01-13 05:40 #
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Alfonzo
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NiTROACTiVE said:
*sigh* It's sad that war still exists and that world peace is not obtained yet.
I should think that a world without war is one that could not possibly be obtainable through human design. Conflict between peoples is as ingrained within the human makeup as it is joined with ingenuity and oftentimes necessary, and I couldn't make sense of its being gone any more that I could see religion abolished from the face of the Earth -- something which cannot be done unless we somehow manage get over our fear of death, or cease to become slaves to our own pattern seeking tendencies, etc.. If my understanding of the human mind is apt enough to comment, then I can feel confident in saying that this is not something that's ever likely to happen. Indeed, I wouldn't want either to happen, even if such a thing were possible.

Old Post 02-01-13 08:36 #
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DoomUK
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st.alfonzo said:
Indeed, I wouldn't want either to happen, even if such a thing were possible.

Don't leave us with cliffhangers like that. I can see reasons why you might think the more benign aspects of religion are worth holding on to, but I struggle to think of the advantages of war.

WWII might be an exception. I suppose you could say it was a war worth fighting, given it was in defence against the oppression and horror wielded by the Axis powers, and that a lot of scientific and engineering progress came out of it as a byproduct. But this was one succession of conflicts; it's a stretch to use it as a model to justify every single war that's ever been waged.

Last edited by DoomUK on 02-01-13 at 09:29

Old Post 02-01-13 09:07 #
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Maes
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st.alfonzo said:
If my understanding of the human mind is apt enough to comment, then I can feel confident in saying that this is not something that's ever likely to happen. Indeed, I wouldn't want either to happen, even if such a thing were possible.


Surprise surprise, one of the most common side-effects mentioned in Body Snatchers or The Invarion style of movies (where alien parasites take over human bodies/mind) is that normal human priorities and pursuits are all but abandoned, and that this automatically stops war, killings, religious fanaticism, competition, etc. simply because those things are meaningless and often hampering to the survival of the invading species. The most interesting aspect is that nobody is spared from this treatment, once infected: it's not as if an elite fully maintains their humanity and can treat the rest like soulless slaves (the "kid in a candy store" effect): everybody is equally "soulless" and indifferent to what once made them human, good or bad.

OK, it's just speculative fiction but it raises an interesting moral dilemma...would you trade in "humanity" with all of its negative and positive traits for something like this? Sure, wars would stop...but not because of a newfound love between people: simply because of an innate harmony in members of the invading swarm, and because the "old" human values would be immediately be rendered void...which also raises other dilemmas: would we really need a complete obliteration and rewrite of human values to reach harmony?

Old Post 02-01-13 09:32 #
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Alfonzo
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DoomUK said:

Don't leave us with cliffhangers like that. I can see reasons why you might think the more benign aspects of religion are worth holding on to, but I struggle to think of the advantages of war.

WWII might be an exception. I suppose you could say it was a war worth fighting, given it was in defence of the oppression and horror wielded by the Axis powers, and that a lot of scientific and engineering progress came out of it as a byproduct. But this was one succession of conflicts; it's a stretch to use it as a model to justify every single war that's ever been waged.

Oh, I should probably correct myself on two points, first in saying that by "religion" I really meant faith in an infallible solution to plug the gaps in our understanding, or to satisfy our pursuit for meaningful existence -- not that I would boil religion down to either of those things, of course.* Second, I didn't mean to say that the science based benefits received from conducting wars could possibly justify their having happened, or even that there are any qualities of religion worth retaining (There aren't any, so far as I see, save perhaps for granting certain figures in artistic history the conviction to fuel their creative yearning... although even those convictions are questionable given the times in which many of these figures appear), rather that I don't look favourably upon a secular utopia due to what the consequences of such a world would mean for our overall development and learning.

Don't take this to mean that I would sooner wave onstage a conflict that I could have prevented had I held the power to do so...: It is more a remark on how conflict is not only a critical part of the human process but, indeed, the very essence of it (emotionally, intellectually, through sport, debate etc.), that I feel it is integral to our ongoing struggle for knowledge, progress, and understanding of the universe as a whole.

@Maes: Interesting :p

*Incidentally, the abolition of religion from public discourse is something I certainly would like to see.

Last edited by Alfonzo on 02-01-13 at 09:52

Old Post 02-01-13 09:36 #
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Maes
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DoomUK said:
WWII might be an exception. I suppose you could say it was a war worth fighting


Suprise surprise, EVERY war ever waged HAD to be at least morally justified by at least by ONE of the combatants, it doesn't matter if a-priori or a-posteriori ("Deus vult", "For the blood and honor", "Why we fight", "We can do it" etc.)

An invading army needs to "pump up" its own troops and convince them that what they do is just and that "God is on our side", or at least that they will personally have some gains from it (e.g. new "Lebensraum" for everyone, a piece of land in conquered territories, etc.)

Defenders equally justify their own resistance, and even when the situation is more complex than that (e.g. a non-invaded Ally that intervenes) some moral justification will always be found, if necessary a-posteriori.

The icing on the cake? The winner of a war gets all the "rights" to moral and rational justification, the loser is always completely demonized.

Old Post 02-01-13 09:43 #
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Alfonzo
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Maes said:
OK, it's just speculative fiction but it raises an interesting moral dilemma...would you trade in "humanity" with all of its negative and positive traits for something like this?
No... but not because I despair at the idea of losing these human traits, or for the sake of those who recognise them. Indeed I can't answer the question personally because I must admit that were I to be "assimilated" into this survival based void of existence I ultimately wouldn't give it a monkey's uncle about any of those things in the slightest... instead, I would say "no" after having considered what value of the universe would be lost in choosing this option. True, the universe probably doesn't care about the well being of its inhabitants, but it seems to me an objective injustice that the secrets of the universe would no longer stand to be appreciated, moreover understood, by another species in its fold.

Old Post 02-01-13 10:05 #
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You guys reminded me of a weird story. My grandma was from northern England and WWII happened when she was a teenager. One day I was hanging out at her place and while she was ironing some shirts I commented that the technology behind ironing hadn't changed at all since some clever guy got the idea to make irons emit their own steam.

Her reaction was kind of hilarious: "we need another war!"
"What?"
"Well, when there are wars technology advances really fast!"

This was just so weird. After that she mostly went on about how England hasn't been conquered since 1066, but she wasn't buying my argument that avoiding the deaths of millions of people and the destruction of several country's stuff was probably best avoided. It was a really weird argument to hear from someone who told us about hearing bombing raids from her house.

It's easy to say WWII was worth fighting from the Allies' POV like Maes said, but I don't think we can say anything reliable about the other benefits outweighing the costs. Besides, lots of that technology was going to happen soon anyway. Jet engines, TVs, computers, and radar already existed by the time the war happened. (Ok, computers are sort of pushing it, but they were going to happen anyway.)

Old Post 02-01-13 10:28 #
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Maes
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You could generalize the war/technology argument by noting that competition in a particular field creates a technological/ingenuity arms race between the contestants. This can be seen even in peacetime in particularly competitive sectors such as sports, the automobile industry, money services/investment, software development etc.

What may be radically different between peacetime and wartime however, is the purpose of those enhancements. Obviously, developing a low-pollution engine in order to satisfy civilian environmental regulations (and beat your competitors at it) is not the same as developing a versatile engine that can burn anything from gasoline to Jet-A fuel, in order to be fitted on military vehicles that might have to make do with whatever is available, and none gives a flying rat's ass if they are "green" or not.

Where this drive is lacking or hindered, technological advancement stagnates or remains stuck at a usable, but not optimal, level. E.g. Soviet-made cars were engineered just so they fulfilled their purpose, but they would never be caught in a feature/optionals war like their Western counterparts.

Old Post 02-01-13 10:44 #
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I had started to hint at something like that with my grandmother. Clearly a pile of wars hadn't created a more advanced iron. I couldn't see a use for one either, and I'm not sure she could. She seemed to want technology for its own sake. Odd trait for old English women form small towns.

The other thing war is good for is getting funding thrown at things. Those things may not start with the intention of being green or having lots of features, but technology tends to get applied that way when the war stops. The Cold War was awesome for that too.

Old Post 02-01-13 10:54 #
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