First Day of November Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jr. is testifying today. I wonder how bad it will get.

  2. CSK says:


    Trump ranted to Engoron to “leave my children alone” last night on Truth Social.

  3. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  4. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Alina claims that the possibility of Trump going to prison is not something she and her colleagues ever discuss.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From compressed yeast to cream cheese and cornflakes: one man’s search for the world’s greatest sandwich

    Barry Enderwick’s adventures in sandwiches began with a filling of chopped raw oysters. It was, he says, “so gross”. Still, his epic sandwich exploration continued with gusto. Since December 2018, Enderwick – a one-man historical re-enaction society, armed with mayonnaise and old cookery books – has recreated recipes for his social media accounts, Sandwiches of History. What began as occasional posts on Instagram, and then TikTok, has now turned into a daily lunchtime creation for hundreds of thousands of followers. Its success has come as something of a surprise.

    “This shouldn’t have worked,” he says. “I’m a 55-year-old balding guy on social media; there’s no way I should have had anybody following me. I can speculate that amid all the people dancing, shaking, doing whatever, I’m the guy standing in his kitchen like, ‘Hey, let’s make a sandwich.’ There’s a calmness about it.” But mainly, he says, it’s that “sandwiches have universal appeal. You can put anything in there. You can cross cuisines, and it’s portable. You can make a sandwich really expensive if you want to, but by default, it is not an expensive food item.”

    Enderwick estimates he has filmed the making of close to 700 sandwiches. It began when a friend sent him a pdf of a little-known 1909 masterpiece called The Up-to-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich, featuring such creations as the peanut, banana, lettuce and mayonnaise sandwich, and a sardine and cream cheese monstrosity. From the start, Enderwick planned to make a social media project of it. Since then, he has scoured other recipe books, almost all American and with delightfully straightforward titles, including 500 Tasty Sandwiches (1941). There’s even, for British followers, Ken Dodd’s Butty Book (once a week, he finds an international recipe, and also now includes family recipes from followers). “I love the idea of looking at what people ate in different eras, and seeing if that is something that we would enjoy today. And I do love sandwiches.”

    There is a bonus at the end of his Top 5 sandwiches and his 5 worst.

  6. CSK says:
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: That is malpractice.

  8. CSK says:

    Oh, and Melania put in an appearance–the first in seven months–at her hubby’s side at the Mar-a-Lago Halloween jamboree.

  9. ptfe says:

    @CSK: It’s also suuuuper weird that “Jew” is so often used as some sort of catch-all label, as though, by obvious contrast in this country, Catholics and ELCA Lutherans and Baptists were all angling for the same social goals.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Heh: Fucker Carlson fired by Fox News for getting ‘too big for his boots’, book says

    When the decision came in April to fire Carlson, Stelter said, it was a bombshell move akin to “somebody canceling Taylor Swift mid-tour, or removing Stranger Things from Netflix before anyone could stream the ending. It made no sense,” he said.

    “To Carlson, cancellation was unthinkable. He was the highest-rated host across all of cable news and he was suddenly sentenced to execution.”

    In the end, however, the Murdochs had just had enough. The final decision was Lachlan’s, Stelter says, flexing his muscles just months before he would succeed Rupert Murdoch as the overall new head of Fox and News Corp upon his father’s retirement in September.

    “It was a tale as old as TV,” Stelter writes. “Stardom is a potent and often destructive drug. Icarus flew too close to the sun; he got his wings melted. Carlson flapped away, higher and higher, until one day the Murdochs just couldn’t tolerate his flapping any more. ‘He got too big for his boots,’ Rupert told at least one confidant.”

    Sounds about right, to me.

  11. Matt Bernius says:

    FWIW, I think part of the issue is it’s a unique case where it is seen (correctly or incorrectly) as both a religious group AND an ethnic one. The slippage between those two categories (even though you can have Jewish worshipers of any ethnic group and ethnically Jewish folks who are atheists), along with the historic prosecution of both things at once, leads to seeing people who fall into both categories as a monolithic group.

  12. CSK says:

    @ptfe: @Matt Bernius:

    My question really was: what inspires this psychotic hatred? This goes way beyond antisemitism. Dai’s parents say he was depressed. So? A lot of people suffer from depression. That doesn’t inspire them to butcher and rape Jews.

  13. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I can imagine .

  14. Kathy says:


    I wonder how many different ways he can convey “I don’t recall.”

  15. Jen says:

    I love Vermont. This feels like a very Vermont-y story:

    A falcon lost his ability to fly. Now the bird is an artist in Vermont.

  16. JohnSF says:

    It probably doesn’t help people with these sorts of issues, still less their victims if they do finally cook off, that some social media and in-person protests have appreciable numbers at worst actively supporting, at least justifying, or minimising, or “contextualising”, actual deeds far, far worse than this person’s threats.

    Testimony from Secretary Blinken before a Senate committee yesterday.
    CONTENT WARNING: this is extremely disturbing stuff.

    “A family of four. A young boy and girl, 6 and 8 years old, and their parents around the breakfast table. The father’s eye gouged out in front of his kids. The mother’s breast cut off, the girl’s foot amputated, the boy’s fingers cut off – before they were executed.
    And then their executioners sat down and had a meal. That is what this society is dealing with.”

  17. Matt Bernius says:

    Oh, that’s far more complex. I think a lot of it comes down to centuries of persecution and rumor. One of the most incredible tricks the Romans played on Western culture was shifting the responsibility for the death of Christ onto the Jewish people. So, the rise of Christianity as the dominant Western Religion wasn’t particularly great for Jews on multiple levels.

    Then you had the literal impacts of tribalism and how that played out (including rumors that Jews treated Gentiles differently than other Jews). Add that to the success that the community encountered during the Renaissance and other periods and the need for there to always be scapegoats for something and it’s easy to get to a point where they are an easy target (especially when they because identified with things like money lending/banking).

    I think what is remarkable is how long this sort of thinking has persisted. Literally across millennia. It’s much more fixed than other biases that are far more recent. One might even argue it’s become somewhat baked into Western Culture–though that would be incredibly depressing if that’s the case.

    Also, apparently there has been a growing issue with Antisemitism in some East Asian communities across the globe. That was news to me.

  18. CSK says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    I don’t plan to dwell on this, but again, Dai’s reaction seems to me to be way beyond extreme. He was born in this country. He probably had Jews as neighbors, and Jewish doctors, dentists, and teachers along the way. Possibly he had Jewish playmates. He surely encountered Jews as students and professors in the course of his education. Now he wants to rape and decapitate them. Why? What did they do to him?

  19. Kylopod says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    FWIW, I think part of the issue is it’s a unique case where it is seen (correctly or incorrectly) as both a religious group AND an ethnic one.

    It isn’t unique–a word already exists for it: ethnoreligious group. The category is much more common outside the West, which is why a lot of Westerners find it confusing. And I’m not implying all ethnoreligious groups have the same dynamics: there are elements of Jewish identity that are unique, due to the particular history. But Jews aren’t the only group defined in both religious and ethnic terms.

  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    People need a demon to blame. Doesn’t matter that it makes no sense. Evil requires a victim, and in this country the designated victims are Blacks and Jews. Europe lacks Blacks, so it’s just the Jews.

    The western cosmology is based on Christianity, an intolerant religion, like all monotheisms, and Christians have been preaching and practicing anti-semitism for the entire existence of the religion, frequently assisted by governments, like that in Czarist Russia or Nazi Germany. Jews are useful as victims – you can kill them with the full support of Christians in the West and Muslims in the ME – and often with government support as well.

  21. JohnSF says:

    I suspect it’s simply a case of finding a target that is seen, by some, as legitimate, and using that perception of legitimacy to channel into group-hate some more basic problems.
    Ones to which an unfortunately non-negligeable fraction of humanity is prone.

    It’s a fair bet that a large number of Germans re Jews, or Turks re Armenians, or Serbs re Bosniaks(etc etc) had
    In both cases, positive experiences, or having no experience whatsoever, was insufficient to offset the personal and group-cohesion drivers of hatred and violence.

  22. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Oh, there have plenty of designated victim groups in Europe from time to time besides Jews.

    The difference perhaps being that the Jews were the one most others could agree on. Russian and Poles and Germans might dislike each other, but both could agree on disliking Jews.

    The interesting thing is why this varied over time, and between countries,
    By and large, since around 1600, England, Netherlands, and Italy, for instance were generally not very exercised about Jews at all. Whereas Spain, Russia and Germany were more so

  23. Matt Bernius says:

    Thanks for the additional information. I feel like I should have known that off the dome, given my status as a sometimes-anthropologist, but religious studies, and especially non-Western religions, have never been a focus area.

    He’s from Pittsford NY which is literally 2 towns over from me. That section of the greater Rochester Metro area has never been known for being particularly free from racism. It’s a suburb created by White-flight from the city and known for being a particularly well-to-do and snobbish area. Its also not known for having a big Jewish community (that’s the nearby town of Brighton).

    Also, the Rochester area in general, has a not particularly great history when it comes to anti-semitism (including George Eastman, the founder of Kodak). Or racism in general.

    Sadly, those types of roots run deep as well. And ultimately, as we have seen repeatedly, prejudice isn’t constrained by educational or economic achievement (or lack thereof). Nor does emotional or mental illness.

  24. Kylopod says:


    The Protestants hate the Catholics
    And the Catholics hate the Protestants
    And the Hindus hate the Muslims
    And everybody hates the Jews

  25. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It’s true that most of the anti-Semitic tropes we’re all familiar with have their origin in Christianity. First there was the Christ-killer myth, and out of that eventually sprouted the blood-libel myth and the general belief that Jews were to blame for any bad things that occurred in society, from war to disease. And anti-Jewish discrimination combined with the Christian taboo against usury led to Jewish prominence in banking, creating a new stereotype.

    But what’s remarkable is that these beliefs continued to thrive even among people who rejected Christianity. It was kind of like the Henrietta Lacks case–a cancer that continues to grow after the person it infects is long dead.

  26. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: Given how many people believe QAnon, even the not-overtly-anti-semitic parts of QAnon*, rabid anti-semitism doesn’t surprise me.

    It’s always easier to blame someone else for problems than attempt to solve the problems. Homelessness is caused by San Francisco values rather than a systemic housing crisis in the US and a lack of opportunity elsewhere that causes homeless to congregate in cities, after all.

    Rage feels good. It’s like a drug.

    *: There are a lot of people who don’t see the “elites” with the child sex trafficking rings as Jews. They take the minor bits of obfuscation literally.

  27. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @JohnSF: The common thread between England, Italy, and Netherlands may be a cultural acceptance of commerce in general and familiarity with international trade in particular. The ‘moneylender’ trope is likely going to hold less weight in that type of environment.

  28. JohnSF says:

    There’s an old Northern Ireland joke:

    Not long after Isaac Rubinstein had moved to Londonderry, he was walking down the the road, and gets stopped by a menacing bunch of thugs.
    “Are yiz a Protestant, or are yiz a Catholic?” one of them asks, with the air that the wrong answer may earn a thumping.
    Isaac happily replies, much relieved :
    “Well, actually I’m Jewish.”
    The thugs put their blockish heads together muttering, then the intellectual in the group asks:
    “Aye? But are yiz a Protestant Jew or a Catholic Jew?”

  29. Matt Bernius says:


    But what’s remarkable is that these beliefs continued to thrive even among people who rejected Christianity. It was kind of like the Henrietta Lacks case–a cancer that continues to grow after the person it infects is long dead.

    Sadly thats a really good metaphor for a lot of antisemitism.

    Also on the broader question of “how can this be happening,” it’s worth noting is also something that transcends traditional political groupings–we’re seeing recent commentary from left groups that goes far beyond critique of Israel and well into antisemitism.

  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    The sheer irrationality of anti-semitism is part of what helps it survive. Rational people cannot bring themselves to believe it’s still a thing. Even many Jews. And as I’d argue we are seeing daily, progressives, who can famously spot a micro-aggression from a mile off, cannot see anti-semitism when it’s shoved right in their faces, and certainly not when it’s in their mirror.

    Einstein famously left Germany in 1932. But he was Einstein. Most Jews simply could not imagine that their friends, neighbors, employees and employers, people they’d known all their lives, could turn on them. (The Tutsi learned the same lesson in Rwanda.) And yet.

    And now it’s hard to look across the table at the Progressive Make Everything Better Now group meeting and see that ancient hatred in the eyes of someone with whom you agree on so much. Lots of Jews will be in denial. They’ll think if only they make the right noises of support for Hamas, the Jew-hate will pass over them. (Heh.) They’ll be one of the ‘good ones,’ and thus, safe. Rather like Black Republicans in that way.

  31. Kathy says:

    I’m thinking about chicken thighs in a marinade with soy sauce, honey, peanut butter, garlic and ginger. To be cooked on a skillet with roasted sesame oil along with onions (maybe green onions?).

    On the side I’m thinking coconut rice mixed with soybean sprouts, celery, onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Only I’m thinking adding a little citrus juice as well. A small tangerine if I can find one, or a small orange, also some citrus zest.

    Coconut rice is plain white rice cooked in coconut milk.

  32. Forrest Johnson says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What is going on with Fuckers son Fuckley?

  33. CSK says:

    Here’s one of Dai’s messages:

    “Gonna shoot up 104 west. Allahu Ackbar! From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free! Glory to Hamas! Liberation by any means necessary.”

    How will shooting up a Kosher dining commons liberate Palestine?

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Oh well you know, “Something something FREEDOM!!!”

  35. Grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: consider me cynical, but if this idiot hadn’t glommed onto anti-Semitism I suspect he would have found another enemy group to hate. Anything to externalize his own demons onto.

    And no, I don’t feel sorry for him. You have that sort of mental hatred; it’s your responsibility to learn how to avoid it.

  36. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Grumpy realist:

    Dai’s messages seem almost like parody to me. He managed to ram every slogan into two lines.

  37. JohnSF says:

    On a personal note: Covid vax and flu vax today for JohnSF!
    Yay me!
    Also, left arm aches like a bitch.
    Can’t remember which arm was which.

    Inadvertent song lyric moment there. LOL
    Now, who should sing it? 🙂

  38. Kathy says:

    It’s possible more pieces of Theia’s corpse have been found.

    Had Theia not collided with the Earth (assuming that’s what happened), our world would have been somewhat less massive. I wonder if the gravity of the proto-Earth would have been strong enough to keep an atmosphere like ours.

  39. dazedandconfused says:


    Vax my ‘rona
    Vax, vax my ‘rona
    Vax my ‘rona, yeah
    Get it out of me lungs?

  40. CSK says:

    Donnie Junior testified that he didn’t know anything about The Trump Org.’s business accounts “because that’s what accountants are for.”

  41. Sleeping Dog says:


    I doubt that helped the trump cause.

  42. JohnSF says:

    I recall seeing somewhere various models of “alternative solar systems” and the implications of lots of variables.
    What if Venus gets a lunar-type collision that strips a lot of the early atmosphere, and prevents it developing it’s odd year pattern?
    What about an Earth without the Moon to modify (stabilize?) it’s rotation?
    Mars; but just a bit bigger?

    Also question that still intrigues me, even if it sounds daft at first: why do the oceans on Earth more or less exactly fill the ocean basins? That is, the difference between the sial blocks and sima basins.
    Is it because of the difference between water lubricated areas and non-water modifys crust formation and retention? Or just pure coincidence?
    Why is the Earth neither primarily dry, nor pan-thalassic, but has oceans in basins?

    Not something I think about that often 🙂 but…

    There were two interesting BBC series related to solar system and terrestrial planetary science recently: The Planets, presented by Brian Cox, and Earth, presented by Chris Packham.

  43. Grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: whatever lawyer defends him in court is probably going to take that tack: “oh, he was only joking….it was a parody….no one with any intelligence would have actually believed him…”

    You know what? I don’t give a damn if you thought you were making a funny or not. Your ass should be grass.

  44. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: I would recommend that any Jew who knows this fool should carry a gun anytime they leave their home.

  45. JohnSF says:

    Incidentally, I was intrigued by a remark in yesterdays “Stop trying to make French happen” thread:
    @de stijl:
    Regarding Florence.
    Turns out, it’s the Norman-French version of the Latin name in late antiquity of the city: Florentia, the city of the flowers.
    The Italian version was modified by the change from “flor” to “fiore”.
    Hence Fioretia = Fiorenzia to Firenze.
    So ironically the English version is perhaps closer in pronunciation to the Latin original than is the modern Italian.

  46. gvor10 says:

    @JohnSF: I always heard that joke as a tourist who wanted to go to Belfast during the troubles. He was worried, so his travel agent said it’s no problem, anybody asks your religion, say you’re Jewish. So he did. “Sure and ain’t I the luckiest Arab in Belfast.”

  47. JohnSF says:

    I was thinking more Johnny Cash.
    Or maybe Neil Young, for extra guitar value. 😉

  48. EddieInCA says:
  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Alas, a person doing a parody wouldn’t shoot up 104 west. I wish it were a parody.

  50. JohnSF says:

    I was thinking of referring to that.
    And also to another Hamas spokesman statement along the lines (can’t find link now):

    “We are not to blame for any civilian casualties. It is the responsibility of the occupier and the UN to protect the civilian population. The Jews are the occupiers, as they occupy Palestine, from which the people of Gaza are refugees. We are the legitimate resistance to the occupier.”

    The other thing that is infuriating, from the Israeli POV, is the number of people who before October 7 were asserting
    “Hamas are the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people! You must negotiate with them!”

    But the day after:
    “Hamas are nothing to do with the people of Gaza; they must not suffer for their deeds!”
    or even:
    “Hamas is the creation of Israel, to justify it’s colonialism!”
    As if Israel rigged the Gaza elections in 2006 and then slaughtered the Fatah/PA partisans in the Strip.

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: As I recall, there are several former NFL/NBA stars whose financial advisors are now living outside extradition on the money of former clients who believed the same thing. Donnie the lesser has been lucky so far–or hasn’t heard the other shoe drop yet.

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: It’s all a mysterious result of chance.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Grumpy realist: You may be being unfair–Donnie the lesser may well be that ignorant and credulous. Has he actually ever had a business of his own or has he always been a hanger on at Trump Enterprises?

  54. CSK says:

    After all the incredibly shitty news today, here’s something to elicit scornful laughter: Trump is promising to start a free online university called The American Academy.

    No jihadists or wokeness allowed.

  55. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    ‘zactly! Radical contingency for the win!
    Stephen Jay Gould emphasized this often re. biology: evolution is radically contingent
    Same applies to geohistory and planetology IMO.

  56. JohnSF says:

    I have doubts.
    Gonna be a scam in there or thereabouts.

  57. EddieInCA says:

    For those who won’t click on the link….

    How does one “negotiate” with someone like this?

    Why isn’t Hamas accused of “genocide” when that is their stated purpose, repeated often and loudly?

    Ghazi Hamad: “Israel is a country that has no place on our land. We must remove that country, because it constitutes a security, military, and political catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nation, and must be finished. We are not ashamed to say this, with full force.

    “We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do this again and again. The Al-Aqsa Flood is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth, because we have the determination, the resolve, and the capabilities to fight. Will we have to pay a price? Yes, and we are ready to pay it. We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs.


    “The occupation must come to an end.”

    News anchor: “Occupation where? In the Gaza Strip?”

    Hamad: “No, I am talking about all the Palestinian lands.”

    News anchor: “Does that mean the annihilation of Israel?”

    Hamad: “Yes, of course.


    “The existence of Israel is illogical. The existence of Israel is what causes all that pain, blood, and tears. It is Israel, not us. We are the victims of the occupation. Period. Therefore, nobody should blame us for the things we do. On October 7, October 10, October 1,000,000 – everything we do is justified.”

  58. Kathy says:
  59. CSK says:


    There’s no negotiating. Hamas has stated its position: the elimination of Israel.

  60. CSK says:


    He claims he’ll finance it from the billions of dollars he’ll win in lawsuits.

  61. DK says:


    How does one “negotiate” with someone like this?

    Why isn’t Hamas accused of “genocide”

    Hamas is accused of genocide and terror of the most horrific types. Which makes it all the more intolerable and unacceptable that Israel kept electing a radical right extremist prime minister that pursued bolstering Hamas as a matter of policy, to help stoke hostiles and prevent a two-state solution — the preferred policy of Israeli moderates/secularists and of the US government:

    “Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas,” the prime minister reportedly said at a 2019 meeting of his Likud party. “This is part of our strategy — to isolate the Palestinians in Gaza from the Palestinians in the West Bank.”

    Why does much of the ‘Israel is faultless, blamless, and must be blindly supported’ crowd steadfastly refuse to comment on this part of the story?

    The false pretense that serious people wanted Israel to negotiate with Hamas is designed to whitewash the long history of Israel’s allies begging Israel to pursue the political strategy that defeated ISIS: isolating the terrorists by negotiating with and bolstering moderates/secularists.

    Israel refused to listen. And now its failed governing coalition wants blind, unequivocal, unquestioming support for a failed strategy that will merely serve to recruit more terrorists, mimicking the indiscriminate civilian targeting in America’s Iraq misadventure that helped create ISIS. Not smart.

  62. JohnSF says:

    Gotta pay off that kraken first.
    Nobody wants a pissed off kraken after your ass. 🙂

  63. JohnSF says:

    I’m sorry, but this is not the case.
    At least in the UK “Left”, and in France ditto, to my knowledge, the line was often “Hamas are the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people.”
    Netanyahu and Likud certainly exploited the position of Hamas, and cynically used it to subvert Fatah in the West Bank, and to stonewall any negotiation, and enable settlement expansionism.

    However, Netanyahu did NOT rig the Gaza elections of 2006.
    Nor did the IDF massacre Fatah in Gaza: Hamas did.

    And the Hamas tradition is not a novelty in the politics of Palestine.
    See the record of the Grand Mufti Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, busily encouraging Hitler to advance into Palestine and exterminate the Jewish settlers.
    Or the operations of the Palestinian fedayeen and Fatah between 1948 and 1967, when the West bank and Gaza were controlled by Jordan and Egypt, respectively.

    It may be unacceptable that Israel elects a right wing government (well, that its radically proportional parliamentary system permits a right coalition, but…).
    But it’s worth reflecting that the basis of that vote are NOT the “European white colonialist imperialist settlers” of anti-imperialist mythology, but the Mizrahi Jewish vote: those “Arabic” Jews whose parents/grandparents were expelled from the MENA after 1948.

    This does not make aligning with kahanite settlers of the West Bank justifiable morally or even pragmatically, but it was a fairly predictable outcome of the the Palestinian rejection of the Labor Party peace proposals, and utter refusal to make any constructive counter-offers.
    It was Palestinian actions that wrecked the political position of the Israeli Peace Movement and led to the Likud ascendancy.
    Certainly, the primary responsibility for that lies with those who voted for Likud.
    But a secondary one is with those Palestinians who shut down the peace process option that wast there.

    (And “Sharon went to Temple Mount” is just an indicator of irrationality.)

  64. DK says:

    @JohnSF: Yes, it is the case.

    Palestinians didn’t murder Israel’s Nobel Prize-winning prime minister Yitzhak Rabin for pursuing a peaceful, negogiated resolution to this conflict. Jews did — incited by Benjamin Netanyahu among others.

    Netanyahu’s extremist policies and opposition to a two-state solution is a failed strategy. Netanyahu failed to protect Israel, distracted by his corrupt attacks on democracy and his attempts to annex the West Bank. Netanyahu is quoted as arguing for bolstering and funding Hamas. That quote may be inconvenient for you, but it is in line with Netanyahu’s known policies Palestinians — now roundly and rightly being criticized by respected voices throughout the Israeli press.

    Neither the Palestines nor global left rigged the Israeli elections of the past two decades that empowered Netanyahu’s radical right extremist coalitions, enabling settler terrorism and other counterproductive policies — while seeking to cripple democracy.

    Settler violence, occupation, and counterproductive killings of civilians are not a novelty in the Israeli tradition. Israel’s 1982 invasion and occupation of Lebanon — with the goal of destroying the PLO and with no coherent concurrent political strategy (sound familiar?) — led to the creation Hezbollah, which formed in response before Israel withdrew in 1985. Oops.

    Israel’s summer 2006 incursion into Lebanon — with a goal of destroying Hezbollah’s leaders so Hezbollah could never again kidnap and kill Israelis (again, sound familiar?) — failed and, again, served as a recruitment tool for Hezbollah.

    And, yes, Israel’s miltary occupation Israel of Gaza and the West Bank until 2005 actually did contribute to the popularity and election of Hamas.

    Israel’s policies toward Hamas, Gaza, and the West Bank have not made Israel more secure, more peaceful, or more safe.

    Israel is not some blamess innocent here, and yes, it absolutely is unacceptable that an elected prime minister of Israel argued for bolstering and funding terrorists. Who put him in power is not relevant. Bibi is a violent liar, bigot, and failure who does has not earned the blind support of decent people.

    Anyone who thinks Israel is going to be made more safe with the same failed Israeli governments pursuing the same failed terrorist-recruiting policies is deluding themselves. Or crazy, since crazy can be defined as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

    One has to question whether those who claim to support Israel while supporting demonstrated failure really care about Jews — or whether they’re just posturing. Vengeance is not a strategy. It didn’t work before, and it’s not going to this time.

  65. JohnSF says:


    Netanyahu is quoted as arguing for bolstering and funding Hamas. That quote may be inconvenient for you, but it is in line with Netanyahu’s known policies.

    It is not inconvenient for me in the slightest.
    I rather dislike Netanyahu.
    If it were the whim of little old me, he’d have been terminated with extreme prejudice 30 years ago.
    Then again, I’d have arrested and executed Menachim Begin on his state visit to the UK.
    So few ask me my opinions.
    I wonder why? 😉

    Are you saying Israel intended to create the ascendancy of Hezbollah in Lebanon?
    That seems rather unlikely.

    Perhaps Israel’s actions contributed to the popularity of Hamas.
    And Israel’s actions in the West Bank have been flawed both morally and pragmatically.

    But: Hamas continues to insist that Israel is in principle illegitimate.
    And the Palestinian fedayeen and Fatah mounted attacks on Israel before ever it occupied either Gaza or the West Bank.
    From 1948 to 1967.
    During which period more Jews were driven out of the MENA states than Palestinians left Israel.
    So, when it’s insisted that it’s all to blame with the Israeli’s actions since 1967, is it any wonder the Israelis get antsy?

    I have no particular axe to grind for Israel here.
    Far from it, re various aspect of the whole history.
    It’s just how can a pragmatic peace be founded.

    Oh yes, and my inclination that the Hamas scum who conducted the October 7 atrocities be exterminated to the last man.
    In that regard I’m not open to negotiation, I’m afraid.

  66. dazedandconfused says:


    The only way to stop a bad pilot with a gun is a good pilot with a gun!

  67. DK says:


    It’s just how can a pragmatic peace be founded.

    Pragmatic peace is not found by Israel’s supporters peddling ‘woe is me’ strawmen arguments about Israel being “all to blame” in response to historids of Israel’s contribution to the current morass.

    Nor is pragmatic peace found by asking moot questions about Israel’s intentions. Israel’s policies have helped strengthen, recruit for, and — in the case of Netanyahu –overtly enabled and sponsored terrorism. Israel’s intentions aren’t going to make the policies any less of a failure.

    The United States and our coalition partners did not intend for our collateral killing of Iraqi civilians to create ISIS. But we did. So we had to grapple with that reality as it was, not with how our intentions wanted it to be.

    At what point do Israel’s electore, allies, and alleged supporters demand reality-based pragmatic strategy, rather than blind support of hot-headed responses that have proven time and yet again to recruit terrorists and make Israel’s security situation worse?

  68. DK says:


    But: Hamas continues to insist that Israel is in principle illegitimate.:

    We know that. And that’s why Israel cannot pretend to be blameless when it has stood by a prime minister that argued for bolstering and funding Hamas. Israel cannot have it both ways and will lack credibility until it gets rid of Netanyahu.

    You can be sure Hamas is already actively recruiting young men from the families of the thousands of Gazan civilians killed in response to Hamas’s Oct 7 horrors. So as the US and its partners did with ISIS, Israel needs a coherent political strategy designed to leverage its superior military and economic position to bolster, negotiate with, bribe, and nation-build alongside Palestinian moderates/secularists while isolating and targeting Palestinian militants, murderers, and terrorists.

    If instead Israel wants to forgo such a strategy because of something something 75 years ago in 1948 and something something 56 years ago in 1967, then Israel will remain perpetually insecure and at war with its neighbors.

    It’s their necks not mine. I will never live there (despite entreaties from a very beautiful Israeli police officer ex-boyfriend I would love to marry). But given what I’m seeing from today’s youth, the clock is ticking on the West’s blind, unquestioning backing of these failed, counterproductive Likudist policies.

  69. Franklin says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “Donnie, what is it that you’d say you … do here?”

    “Well, I take the list of properties from my dad to the accountants. I’m a people person!”

  70. Mister Bluster says:

    Chairman of the backboard, Coach Bob Knight has died at 83.

  71. Michael Reynolds says:

    Show me evidence that killing terrorists today just creates more terrorists. Make the case. Oppose it to a policy of rewarding terrorists. Which creates more terrorists? Show your work. Because I think you’re full of shit.

  72. Gustopher says:


    Oh yes, and my inclination that the Hamas scum who conducted the October 7 atrocities be exterminated to the last man.

    And how many other men who are not the Hamas scum?

    All other things being equal, it would be better for every member of Hamas to be killed, but all other things are not equal.

    Israel created and maintained the situation that keeps Hamas in power. They share the blame for all of this. And, as the party with the most power, they have the lion’s share of the responsibility for getting out of the situation.

    @Michael Reynolds: It isn’t antisemitism to be opposed to bombing refugee camps, or cutting off food and water to civilian populations.


    But given what I’m seeing from today’s youth, the clock is ticking on the West’s blind, unquestioning backing of these failed, counterproductive Likudist policies.

    Biden is probably going to be the last Democratic president who embraces Israel unquestioningly. Unless someone finds another Boomer or Older that they can run, frozen in a block of ice or something, waiting to be defrosted.

    It’s also very possible that the antisemite Q wing of the Republicans will prove dominant. That would also not be ideal for the right wing in Israel.

    I think the Israelis realize this, and that is making them increase the violence out of desperation.

  73. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Show me the evidence that Israel is just killing terrorists.

  74. Michael Reynolds says:

    If you hold Israeli Jews to one standard, and their opponents to another, and the effect of that standard is to strengthen Hamas and weaken Israel, then yes, that is anti-semitism. Apply the identical standard. Why wouldn’t you? Explain please why Israel is held to one standard and Hamas to another.

    You are demanding that Israel hold to a standard that the United States – which is not a sliver of land in the Eastern Med surrounded by enemies, but the world’s sole superpower – did not meet as recently as a few years ago. You’re holding Israel to a standard that ensures Israel’s destruction. And you’re doing it not because you’re an anti-semite but because you’re a pudding-headed liberal with way more smug than wisdom. I don’t think you hate Jews, but your position is objectively anti-Jewish. The thing is that actual Jews are in actual danger right now, today, in the United States, and it doesn’t help that our progressive allies are simps more interested in virtue signaling than in the dirty business of international relations in the real world.

    You should watch Biden. He understands that mealy-mouthed liberal bullshit will do nothing but strengthen Israel’s determination. His genuine loyalty, his ally-ship puts him in a position to talk to the Israelis. Whereas progressives are doing nothing but pushing Israel to think, well, fuck it, might as well hang for a sheep as a lamb.

    Extremism and schism go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Progressives, already failing at organization because of their own ideological obsessions, are now breaking further apart because of their ignorance of history and failure to understand human beings. Disappointing. Not surprising, but disappointing. I had hopes.

  75. Michael Reynolds says:

    They aren’t just killing terrorists.

    What are you, twelve? Open your eyes. 20,000 dead Frenchmen thanks to D-Day. Grow up.

  76. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Show me evidence…Make the case…Because I think you’re full of shit.

    Lol who the fuck told you that you get to make demands of me? I don’t know you or give a fuck what you think. I’m your not unpaid research assistant, and neither I nor anyone has to “show you” anything or prove anything to some irrelevant nobody stranger from online. Believe whatever fake, fact-free alternate reality you want. Who cares?

    People actually study this stuff. There’s plenty of research and public commentary out there by serious academics, military men, and diplomats showing how Israel’s actions in Lebanon in the 80s gave rise to Hezbollah, how the US’s mistakes in Iraq gave rise to ISIS, etc. And none of it is hidden, hard to find, or even controversial. But I’m sure some random YA author knows better. Pfft.

    It’s your job to educate yourself on that work. Show your fucking self. It’s not my job to waste my time and energy trying to educate stubborn, angry cranks. Their belligerent ignorance is not a crisis for me, has zero effect on my life, and is not going to change reality.

  77. Barry says:

    @JohnSF: “The other thing that is infuriating, from the Israeli POV, is the number of people who before October 7 were asserting ”

    Note that that list features Bibi as #1.

  78. Bobiinyoungstown says:

    The principle value of this forum (at least for myself) is the civility that exists between people of opposing views.
    Please let’s not let this site descend into the general cesspool of angry rants and personal attacks that characterizes so much of the internet.

  79. DK says:

    @Bobiinyoungstown: And may I ask why you’re singling me out for this lecture, but have nothing to say to the angry asshole I responded to, who angrily rants on this site on a daily basis and who said to me “I think you’re full of shit”?

    Was that civil? Do you have to say anything to him?

    Are all of you scared of Michael Reynolds? Why does he get a free pass to be uncivil and rant angrily on a daily basis?

    Spare me the selective outrage and typically American double standards where the rest of us have to be civil but angry old white men can do and say whatever they want with no pushback. No thanks.

  80. Bobinyoungstown says:

    Because the “shoe appears to fit”.
    And now it seems that your rage turns towards me for pointing out that personal attacks are NOT what I find attractive on this forum.
    As to MR, it’s one thing for him to say “I THINK you are full of shit” because you don’t or will not offer any evidence. But it’s a entirely different tone from ‘I don’t give a fuck what you think and I don’t have to do anything to be taken seriously’.
    It’s that kind of drivel that powers the majority of the uselessnet.
    Can we please attempt to avoid descending into that cesspool? BTW , applies to MR as well.

  81. wr says:

    @DK: “Spare me the selective outrage and typically American double standards where the rest of us have to be civil but angry old white men can do and say whatever they want with no pushback.”

    I get that MR really pisses you off. I think everyone here can sympathize. But honestly, the “he gets to say whatever he wants because he’s an old white guy” schtick is tired and doesn’t really work here. Because while we do know from his picture that he is an old white guy — well, I can see calling him old, even though I decline to only because we’re very close to the same age — no one here knows who the hell you are. Don’t know your name. Never met you, never seen you. I think you’ve made some reference to your race and gender, but lots of people make reference to lots of things on the internet, and I think we all know better than to pay too close attention.

    So no one here is discriminating against you and in favor of him because of his age and race versus yours. No one knows what yours are. If you’re feeling that people aren’t treating you as you want to be treated around here, maybe you should dig a little deeper than falling back on lazy accusations of race or gender discrimination.

  82. DK says:

    @wr: And missing from this is any explanation of why Michael Reynolds gets a free pass to derail conversations daily with angry, profane, uncivil ranting and raving with nobody lecturing him about civility.

    America’s double standards are what’s tired.

    In absence of an alternative explanation, I stick by what I said. I see no need to dig deeper, because it’s clearly not that deep.

    MR doesn’t piss me off actually — I rather enjoy the back-and-forth. I’m perfectly fine with giving him back what he puts out (he’s a big boy, he can handle it), I’m unconcerned about “treatment” by faceless strangers on the internet, and I have no intention of censoring myself to cater to double standards. The people who are not fine with that need to dig deeper on why that is.

    If they want me to take their lecture seriously, then they need to be consistent and fair. If they cannot do that, I’m not interested.

  83. charontwo says:


    I do not find DK’s whataboutism persuasive. And MR is hardly the worst person here when it comes to DK’s complaint, or when it comes to hyperbole and straw man invocations.


    Consider looking in a mirror.

  84. DK says:


    I do not find DK’s whataboutism persuasive.

    Because your main rai·son d’ê·tre is perpetrating the double standards I mention, when it allows you to circle the wagons for those who you agree with politically.

    And MR is hardly the worst person here when it comes to DK’s complaint

    Yes he is.

    Consider looking in a mirror.

    Consider taking your own advice.

  85. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It’s not the killing of terrorists that creates more terrorists, it’s the bombing of refugee camps, done in the name of killing terrorists.

    If Israel was just killing terrorists, it would be great. Instead you have traumatized people who have lost their families, are desperate, and feel like they have little left to live for other than revenge.