A separate thought...

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.
― C.S. Lewis

kohenari asked: While I agree that the blockade is ridiculous and terrible, why do you think that opening up all the crossings would result in less terrorism rather than more, given Hamas' control of Gaza and its militant wing's stated purpose of liberating all of Palestine?

politicalprof:

First, I do not in any way think Hamas presents an existential threat to the State of Israel. The power gap is too large. Not US v al Qaeda large, but still enormous. (Note: some of this is borrowed from a long discussion I’ve been having on Facebook.)

Second, like it or not, the people of Gaza think of Hamas as the legitimate government for their territory. Hamas, after all, is more than a military organization: it’s social support, schools, hospitals … a full service government in the place of a state (money provided courtesy of Iran and Qatar, of course). Gazans know this: they see no other prospects — it’s Hamas, starvation, or Israeli bombs. They choose what most would choose in such a circumstance. As history also shows. If you change that sense of legitimacy, however, then there is a prospect for change. Until then, all bombing does is solidify support. (WWII research for example shows that the British, the Russians AND the Germans all supported the war as the bombing got worse.)

You cannot win this war against a government that is perceived as legitimate by its people short of something close to genocide, which of course none but the most extreme of anyone anywhere wants. You certainly cannot win it with heavy weapons, which only reinforce support for the regime.

Thus, third, just in Gaza I’d throw the border open and invite every Palestinian who wants a job to come work (like before the first intifada). That alone would strip Hamas of much of its power since it uses its Iranian and Qatari money to provide food and education and shelter and healthcare to the Gaza population that otherwise faces 60%+ unemployment. I’d open the never-allowed open Gaza airport and port. I’d invite Arab forces in from Egypt and Jordan to play police roles. I’d go after the politics on which Hamas rests not the military annoyance that are its horrible but virtually ineffective rocket attacks.

That seems to me the beginning of a plan that might dent an otherwise perfect death spiral.

Are there risks with such a strategy? Sure. How’s the old one working? Is Hamas (or Hezbollah in southern Lebanon) stronger or weaker due to Israeli policy over the last 20+ years?

It’s time for something else.

Something to think about a bit more.

thepoliticalnotebook:


This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
Armed men raided the offices of Sudanese daily paper Al-Tayar on Saturday, confiscated and destroyed equipment, and beat the editor.
At Foreign Affairs: ”Why the Central African Republic has many peacekeepers, but no peace.”
Two explosions in Nigeria Wednesday, one targeting an opposition leader and another a prominent Muslim cleric, left at least 42 dead.
Clashes between militias in Libya left 47 dead last week.
21 Egyptian soldiers were killed in an attack on a border checkpoint over the weekend.
Amazing and terrible photos from the last couple of weeks in Gaza by Time's Alessio Romenzi. 
15 were killed yesterday when Israeli shelling struck a UN-run school in Gaza. The current death toll in Gaza has passed 800.
According to UN calculations, one child is killed every hour in Gaza.
The Israeli Broadcasting Authority has banned a radio ad from human rights group B’Tselem listing out the names of some of the dead Palestinian children from the past 17 days of conflict.
Clashes erupted in the West Bank as protests mounted against Israel’s shelling of a UN school in Gaza. Two Palestinian protesters were killed. A “day of rage” is planned for this, the last Friday of Ramadan.
A BBC interview with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.
The UN Human Rights Council has voted to launch an independent investigation into human rights violations in Israeli operations in Gaza. 29 voted in favor and 17 abstained. The sole “no” vote belonged to the United States. 
The Lebanese parliament failed for the ninth time to elect a new president. 
According to the Syrian opposition, last Thursday and Friday 700 Syrians were killed in conflict — the deadliest two days of fighting in the war. 
The UN sent trucks of food and other supplies across the Turkish border and into rebel-held Syrian territory, in defiance of the Syrian government. 
Iraqi parliament elected Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum the new president.
The veracity of the claim that ISIS called on Iraqi women to undergo genital mutilation is called into question.
Four journalists have been detained in Tehran, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and his wife, The National reporter Yeganeh Salehi.
Many obstacles block prosecution of those responsible for MH17.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has resigned following the collapse of the governing coalition.
A Ukrainian journalist working as a freelancer for CNN was abducted Tuesday by pro-Russian separatists. 
A dispatch from the front lines with Ukrainian rebels.
RFE/RL interviews an Armenian who says he was recruited in Moscow to fight for the separatist movement in Ukraine.
A mass grave unearthed in Slovyansk, Ukraine, contains 20 bodies believed to have been killed by pro-Russian separatists. 
Ongoing questions about US intelligence prior to the downing of MH17.
C.J. Chivers on the continued dangers of Soviet surplus arms in Ukraine.  
Jon Lee Anderson on proxy war in Ukraine.
Six players for the football club Shakhtar Donetsk refused to return to the conflict-torn region of Ukraine after playing a friendly against France. One, Fred, has since returned.
The European Court of Human Rights found that Poland broke the human rights convention in assisting the CIA in the detention and torture of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Poland is the first to be held accountable for participation in CIA extraordinary rendition programs. 
Two Russian activists sentenced to four and a half years in a prison colony.
Two Finnish aid workers were shot dead in Herat, Afghanistan.
Matthew Rosenberg on the squabble-ridden audit of the Afghan election.
The Afghan police officer charged with killing AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus has been convicted and sentenced to death. 
15 members of the Hazara community were killed by Taliban gunmen as they travelled through the Afghan province of Ghor. 
Civilians caught in the crossfire in Myanmar’s northern Kachin state.
The National Journal on the broad parameters for putting someone on the terror watchlist.
A clip from the upcoming documentary The Kill Team by Dan Krauss, about the killing of civilians by a group of US soldiers in Afghanistan.
Photo: Gaza. A Palestinian man holds a young girl injured during the Israeli shelling of a UN school yesterday. Alessio Romenzi/TIME.
If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

Photo: Gaza. A Palestinian man holds a young girl injured during the Israeli shelling of a UN school yesterday. Alessio Romenzi/TIME.

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.


Sometimes you just fall in love with somebody, and you’re really not thinking about what gender or whatever they happen to be. If  I happen to fall in love with a woman, everyone’s going to make a big deal out of it. But if I happen to fall in love with a man, nobody cares.

Sometimes you just fall in love with somebody, and you’re really not thinking about what gender or whatever they happen to be. If  I happen to fall in love with a woman, everyone’s going to make a big deal out of it. But if I happen to fall in love with a man, nobody cares.

(Source: joanwatson, via cartoon-heart)

Rafeef Ziadah - ‘We teach life, sir’, London, 12.11.11

(Source: youtube.com)

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
A passenger jet, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 from the Netherlands to Malaysia, was shot down over eastern Ukraine yesterday. Most of the answers are still forthcoming on this one, but none of nearly 300 passengers on board are thought to have survived. 
Who shot it down? Ukraine itself has denied involvement or capability and several signs seem to point to the pro-Russian separatists. 
Separatists have agreed to allow international investigators access to the crash site. 
Earlier this week, Ukraine accused Russia of shooting down a Ukrainian fighter jet in its own airspace. 
Israel launched a new phase of Operation Protective Edge: a ground invasion. According to Gaza’s health ministry, 24 Palestinians have been killed since Thursday night and more than 200 injured. Israel is claiming 14 of those it killed were terrorists and has lost one soldier. 
Netanyahu has said Israel is prepared to “significantly widen" the offensive. 
Inside Gaza’s tunnels — which have been a primary stated target of Israeli forces over the past three weeks.
Earlier in Gaza, a strike from a naval ship killed four Palestinian boys playing on a beach.
Three Israelis were indicted in the revenge killing of 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir.
Parisian police are considering a ban on pro-Palestine demonstrations.
14 Tunisian soldiers have been killed in a militant attack near the Algerian border. 
Libyan militant groups battling for control of the Tripoli airport have agreed to a ceasefire. 
In the Central African Republic, it’s worse than we thought.
Assad begins his third term as Syria’s president. 
Kuwaiti protesters demanding the release of an opposition leader and the purging of corrupt judges were met with tear gas over the weekend.
Anti-terrorism laws in Gulf states are being deployed against dissent and opposition, not militancy.
Tribesmen bombed Yemen’s main oil export pipeline on Saturday.
After a Houthi takeover of the Yemeni city of Amran last week, tens of thousands have fled the city.
Intelligence is linking Saudi chemist turned Al Qaeda bombmaker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri to ISIS and the Nusra Front.
Saudi Arabia is positioned in the middle of extremism — from Yemen on one side and Iraq on the other.
A Saudi rights lawyer has been jailed for 15 years for “inciting public opinion” and “undermining judicial authorities.”
Qatar is planning an $11bn deal to buy Apache helicopters and Patriot missiles from the US.
A suicide bombing in an Afghan market on Tuesday killed at least 89 people — the worst insurgent attack since 2001.
Kabul airport came under attack by militants on Thursday.
Afghanistan has jailed a Pakistani journalist, detaining him while reportedly on his way to interview Taliban sources. He was originally accused of spying, but is now charged with illegal entry into the country.
The outgoing top commander in Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford, is expressing concern about the approach to the drawdown.
The widow of the first assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists speaks about her husband’s fears and death, and about meeting with his assassin. 
Protests and violent clashes continue in Cambodia over a disputed election. Eight members of the opposition in parliament have been arrested on charges of inciting insurrection. 
A Dutch court ruled that the government bore responsibility for the deaths of 300 of the victims of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995, owing to failures by Dutch peacekeepers. 
What are the aircraft carrying out 21st century aerial reconnaissance?
Alan Rusbridger interviews Edward Snowden.
A bill presented in Australian parliament this week could mean that journalists face jail over intelligence leaks.
The US plans to transfer six low-level Guantánamo detainees to Uruguay, possibly next month. 
A US Navy nurse has refused to force-feed prisoners in Guantánamo.
The Guardian looks into hunger strikes carried out by the non-Afghan detainees that the US continues to hold, largely under cover of secrecy, at Bagram.
Blackwater employees testified against former colleagues in the trial over the 2007 Nisour Square shooting. 
And some helpful suggestions for naming the latest operation in Iraq (Operation Shiite Storm, anyone?). You get to pick your favorite.
Photo: Donetsk, Ukraine. A section of the miles-long wreckage of MH17 smolders yesterday. Credit: ITAR-TASS/Barcroft Media.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

Photo: Donetsk, Ukraine. A section of the miles-long wreckage of MH17 smolders yesterday. Credit: ITAR-TASS/Barcroft Media.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
Fighting continues in Ukraine, where the army has retaken areas of Donetsk but separatists continue to battle it out — most recently over the airport.
Ukrainian rebels carried out a swift, old-school version of justice in Slovyansk, as documents they left behind in their flight show. 
Amnesty International reports on graphic evidence collected of torture targeting, among others, protesters and journalists in Ukraine over the last three months, as well as abductions.
A dispatch from Rwanda — where last week they celebrated the anniversary of Tutsis occupying Kigali and bringing an end to the 100 days of genocide. 
Amnesty International says South Sudan is “locked in a cycle of violence.”
In the Congo, a major faction of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda seems like it might be ready to disarm.
President Obama has offered to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas — mean while 98 Palestinians have reportedly been killed in Israeli attacks. 
On Israeli right-wing youth extremism and the awful killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir.
Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan De Mistura will replace Lakhdar Brahimi as the UN’s Syria envoy and point man on the ongoing conflict.
ISIS has taken control of an old chemical weapons facility in Muthanna. The US is downplaying the danger, saying the facility contained no intact weapons.
A new ISIS revenue stream: oil smuggling.
Matthieu Aikins points out in the New York Times that the best allies against ISIS are other Sunni Islamists. 
The death toll rises among Iraqi Shi’ites recruited to battle ISIS.
Iran delivered three attack planes to Iraq. 
After meeting with Shia opposition in Bahrain, American diplomat Tom Malinowski was expelled by the government.
The number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan in the first six months of 2014 went up by a quarter from last year’s levels. 
The Afghan Taliban has banned polio vaccination teams from southern Helmand province. 
Brinksmanship between Afghan presidential hopefuls.
Pakistan’s anti-militant offensive has forced more than 700,000 people to flee their homes. 
In Myanmar, four journalists and the head of a newspaper were sentenced to a decade in prison and hard labor for reporting on a secret government factory designed to produce chemical weapons.
An obituary for David Truong, an anti-Vietnam war activist whose wiretapping and conviction on espionage charges eventually lead to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
A new way of war — the purposeful targeting of children.
On Thursday, Germany demanded that the top US spy in Berlin leave the country over new allegations of American espionage.
BNP Paribas SA, France’s largest bank, pleaded guilty in US federal court to violating sanctions by processing $9 billion worth of banned transactions involving Sudan, Cuba and Iran between 2004 and 2012.
The Intercept reports on surveillance of Muslim-American leaders in the US.
Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center for the past three years, is stepping down from his position. 
The TSA’s new focus: electronics.
New charges are expected against Ahmed Abu Khattala, suspected ringleader of the Benghazi attacks.
The Marine Corps is expanding the offer of infantry training to more women.
A new “burn pit” registry has been created to log the names of 11,000 veterans and troops possibly sickened by exposure to open air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Small self-promotion: I wrote a piece for Foreign Policy last week on the practice of barrel bombing from Sudan to Syria and now Iraq.
Bonus war photo: Ukrainian soldiers take up a position in a sunflower field.  
Photo: Gaza City. Palestinians search amid the rubble of an overnight Israeli strike. Khalil Hamra/AP 
If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

Photo: Gaza City. Palestinians search amid the rubble of an overnight Israeli strike. Khalil Hamra/AP 

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

How to tell if you’ve become A Real Knitter yet:

getting-knitfaced:

Beginners: You realize that you knit the last 10 rows wrong, and it’s so annoying to you that you rip it all out and reknit it. It just HAS to be right, even if it takes an extra week of work.

Real Knitters: You realize that you knit the last 10 rows wrong, but since probably no one will notice, you quietly stop looking at it and keep knitting, (per pattern, this time). Ain’t nobody got time to reknit that shit. Looks fine.