Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3 (since 2011-03-31 19:22:59)

Localist, decentralist, ordered liberty advocate, Christian, defender of Western Civ, invested in classical liberalism but also a critic, anti-imperialist, anti-wars of choice, anti death penalty, vegetarian for moral reasons, interested in distributism, worker-owned businesses, and communitarianism, supporter of co-ops and bottom-up economics, believer in "small is beautiful" approaches to living. If I were a conservative I would be a "crunchy conservative". More interested in GK Chesterton, Russell Kirk, Alasdair MacIntyre, Jane Jacobs, Jacques Barzun and Ron Paul then "left vs. right".

Showing comments 3 - 1

  • Understanding Hamas
    • Djinn: No struggle for liberation has ever been won on kumbayas alone.

      Fortunately, our gay brothers and sisters have taken the kumbaya route. As have countless others. As we speak, left-wing Israelis and Palestinians are planning demonstrations against anti-Arab racism and the occupation and for equality. There's nothing weak about challenging injustice with non-violent means; it is rather, a subtle form of strength that works it's way through history.

      While in prison, Mandela read deeply into history and analyzed the tragedies that inevitably ensue after violence is used to achieve justice. To the dismay of some of his impatient and maximalist comrades, when released, as a leader of his country he chose the path of messy compromises, politics, meetings, reconciliation, and so forth. Much of the world thought South Africa was a tinderbox in 1990 that could only end badly, but the power of non-violence as the means to resist racism and injustice was too strong.

    • Taxi: Hamas is a legitimate Palestinian resistance group.

      The idea that lobbing rockets indiscriminately into populated areas full of civilians is a legitimate form of resistance makes me shudder. How can you believe such an awful, inhumane thing? It is one thing to attack military personnel and installations, but civilians are supposed to be off limits. Nor do I accept the argument of apologists for the US military or Zionists or others that collateral damage of civilians is acceptable. I'm not quite a Quaker, but I refuse to accept rationalizations for attacking civilians. Now, when civilians are involved in working in war industries and similar activities, they are complicit in violence, and therefore violence against them becomes more morally complex, but there is a difference between attacking a factory involved in war, and attacking random individuals).

      Taxi: Historically, violence has been a necessary tool for liberation.

      I can't really disagree with this idea at the abstract level, as I am not a pacifist, and believe in self-defense and just wars. It's true that sometimes violence is the only way to preserve life. But I agree with Pope Francis that war is always a defeat for humanity.

      I don't think justice for the Palestinians will be accomplished through Hamas lobbing rockets indiscriminately into areas where families live. Were they only to attack military personnel, they would of course be defeated, but their current tactics must be regarded by those who love peace and justice with horror.

      I note that Jewish Voice for Peace recently issued a statement including these statements:

      "In just the last few days, scores of Palestinians--with no place to hide--have been killed, while the entire population of Gaza experiences the terror of widespread bombing. Israelis have had to endure the fear of never knowing when or where the next rocket will fall."

      "None of this should be happening. As we mourn all who have died, we also reaffirm that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve security, justice, and equality."

      "End the bombing. End the occupation"

    • One can hope the more pragmatic elements of Hamas eventually triumph. I got the impression Jimmy Carter felt like there were substantive exchanges with some Hamas officials. But let's keep the big picture in mind: they act in utterly anti-liberal and anti-humane ways.

      Their clear bias towards violence and intolerance is what moral giants like Gandhi and Mandela and MLK tried to liberate us from.

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