Palestinian question – an interesting insight

Just recently came across an old transcript of an interview with Martin van Creveld (one of my favourite military writers – he wrote good books on command in war and technology of war). He gives a really interesting perspective on the problems Israel is having in Gaza, strangely enough things have not improved any since this 2002 interview.

Foreign Correspondent – 20/03/2002: Interview with Martin van Creveld:
Reporter: Jennifer Byrne
“Professor Martin van Creveld, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s most prominent military historian. In this interview with Jennifer Byrne he claims that despite the recent increase in Israel’s military operations, the huge Israeli defence forces will inevitably lose to the Palestinians.

Byrne: Thanks for joining us tonight on Foreign Correspondent. How has it come to this, Martin… how is it that the mighty Israeli army – one of the world’s most powerful – with its helicopter gunships, with its tanks, with it’s missiles, can be losing to this relatively small, relatively under-armed if fanatical group of Palestinians?

Van Creveld: The same thing has happened to the Israeli army as happened to all the rest that have tried over the last sixty years. Basically it’s always a question of the relationship of forces. If you are strong, and you are fighting the weak for any period of time, you are going to become weak yourself. If you behave like a coward then you are going to become cowardly – it’s only a question of time. The same happened to the British when they were here… the same happened to the French in Algeria… the same happened to the Americans in Vietnam… the same happened to the Soviets in Afghanistan… the same happened to so many people that I can’t even count them.”

Then a little later he makes this point:

“Van Creveld: No. There is one thing that can be done – and that is to put and end to the situation whereby we are the strong fighting the weak, because that is the most stupid situation in which anybody can be.

Byrne: And how do you do that?

Van Creveld: Exactly. How do you do that. You do that by A, waiting for a suitable opportunity… B, doing whatever it takes to restore the balance of power between us and the Palestinians… C, removing 90% of the causes of the conflict, by pulling out… and D, building a wall between us and the other side, so tall that even the birds cannot fly over it…. so as to avoid any kind of friction for a long long time in the future. ”

Maybe it is time they tried a wall? It worked for Berlin for quite a while.

The solution is . . . send in the tanks

How ironic is this? I’ve been waiting for my new water tank to be installed. But after years of drought it has been delayed – by rain!

The solution is . . . send in the tanks –
By Stephanie Peatling, Environment Reporter, August 7, 2003

“Installing a 5000-litre rainwater tank in every Sydney home might put off the need for a new dam for up to 84 years, according to a study by engineers at the University of Newcastle. A team from the university’s Engineering Faculty, led by Peter Coombes, claims large savings can be made from using water from rainwater tanks for all household purposes except cooking and drinking. The tanks are not a panacea for Sydney’s thirst but they provide part of the solution.

Much has been made of a scheme, devised by the State Government and Sydney Water, to offer up to $500 to people who install tanks. But despite heavy promotion, only 500 rebates have been offered since the scheme began last year, and the Government has not promised to extend the rebate beyond its trial period.

The director of water engineering at the Institute for Environmental Resource Management at the University of Technology, Sydney, Simon Beecham, said tanks were the most efficient way of harvesting Sydney’s rainwater. ‘Rainwater is a wasted resource,’ he said. ‘If that water fell over the dams, Sydney Water would grab it and pump it into our houses.'”

International Aid = False Hope for Africa?

Another interesting snippet re international aid and Africa:

Tech Central Station – False Hope
“Thus, the international aid system has essentially served to reward policies that slow down development, whatever the initial intentions of its advocates. Under such circumstances, the implementation of the rule of law in Africa, necessary to wealth production, has been postponed indefinitely. Aid actually received by the poor is a very small compensation. If the cancelation of debt — which they could have paid off thanks to taxation — gives them a bit of breathing space, it won’t be through increasing subsidies to their governments that their living conditions will be improved.
Xavier Mera is associate researcher at the Molinari Economic Institute.”

Interview: For God’s Sake, Please Stop the Aid!

“The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.”
Source: SPIEGEL Interview with African Economics Expert: News: July 4, 2005

This interview in the German magazine Der Spiegel Kenyan economist James Shikwati explains clearly why continued monetary aid to Africa is not the answer. He also demonstrates the differences between Germany after World War 2 (and the success of the Marshall Plan) and Africa today.

LIVE 8 – Why bother?

On the Live 8 website it states that:

“Every single day, 30,000 children die, needlessly, of extreme poverty. On July 6th, we finally have the opportunity to stop that shameful statistic. 8 world leaders, gathered in Scotland for the G8 summit, will be presented with a workable plan to double aid, drop the debt and make the trade laws fair. If these 8 men agree, then we will become the generation that made poverty history. But they’ll only do it if enough people tell them to. That’s why we’re staging LIVE 8. 10 concerts, 100 artists, a million spectators, 2 billion viewers, and 1 message… To get those 8 men, in that 1 room, to stop 30,000 children dying every single day of extreme poverty. We don’t want your money – we want you!”
Source:LIVE 8 – The Long Walk to Justice

What I want to know is how much more aid are we going to pour into Africa to support corrupt regimes? How much more aid are we going to allow to be diverted from the intended recipients? How long are we going to stand by and watch injustice upon injustice heaped upon the proponents of democracy in Africa?

Some more self indulgent & rich rock stars have made themselves feel better – so what!

Hidden Socialism

Someone suggested to me the other day that I ought to join th eAustralian Labor Party. I replied that I was unable to commit to a party that upheld socialism as one of its core values.

It made me recall a quote from Winston Churchill on socialism:

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel or envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Many people in Australia seem to have forgotten that the Australian Labor Party has a socialist agenda at its core!