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Middle East Politics

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From 1947-1949, approximately 700,000 Arabs became refugees, leaving the land defined as Israel by the 1948 U.N. Palestine Partition Plan. The exact underlying reasons for why the Arabs left their land is a source of painful political and cultural dispute and serious historical debate.
Israel's demolition policy is to bulldoze the family house of a Palestinian suicide bomber, as a deterrent. There is debate as to whether in fact the policy is a deterrent, and also as to whether it is ethically justifiable.
During the presidential debates, John McCain and Barack Obama argued vigorously over whether the US president should talk face to face with Iran's president. The conservative's position is that until preconditions are met, such as acknowledging the state of Israel, any such meeting would be pointless, and do nothing but to legitimatize a corrupt regime in the eyes of the world. The liberal position is that negotiation may bear fruit, and will actually help the US gain international credibility.
Iran has expressed their intent to create a civilian nuclear energy program, but many international leaders believe this is a smoke-screen for a nuclear weapons program.
The Holocaust was the extermination of European Jews in World War II by Nazi Germany, under the plan named 'The Final Solution of the Jewish Question' by Adolf Hitler. An estimated 5-6 million Jews were killed, mostly in concentration camps. Antisemites such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have claimed that the Holocaust is myth, claiming that the authenticity of the event is at best a wild exaggeration of the truth.
Some Arab states believe that Israel and Palestine should be unified to form a single state. Israel thinks the suggestion is untenable for several reasons.
The primary reason the US Government stated for going to war with Iraq in 2003 was to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). This includes nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. These weapons were never found, and many questions were raised regarding the failure of US intelligence.
The justification for the Iraq war partly predicated on the assumption that the war would be swift and easy. In 2007, 4 years after the war started, the U.S. Government authorized the “Surge” – an additional 20,000 troops - to quell ethnic violence in the region.
The primary reason the US Government gives for maintaining a military presence in Iraq is to give the Iraqi people a chance at democracy. However, a common skeptical theory is that the US is significantly motivated by a need to secure a cheap supply of oil.
The primary reasons the US Government gave for invading Iraq in 2003 was to rid the country of Weapons of Mass Destruction and to free the Iraqi people from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. However, many critics of the US believe its government was significantly motivated by a need to secure a cheap supply of oil.
Donald Trump
I always heard that when we went into Iraq, we went in for the oil. I said, "Eh, that sounds smart." Except that we never did. So we went into Iraq for 1.5 trillion dollars. Thousands of lives and wounded. And here's what's going to happen. ... As soon as we leave Iraq, Iran is going to take over those huge oil fields. ... That wouldn't happen under my watch.
The holocaust denial view point has no support amongst any significant number of scholars. ... As denial of the holocaust is nonfactual, another common strategy of history revisionism is to use relativism by comparing it to other genocides, the death toll of Germans in WWII, persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany, or the number of abortions.
Michael Neumann
...big oil and big business have never been supporters of the war. Bush I, who was much closer to big oil than Bush II, never wanted to invade Iraq. ... Why then did the US go into Iraq? To my mind it was because the US had to show the world that it was powerful after the humiliation of 9-11, and especially after the equally great humiliation of failing to capture or kill Bin Laden and the Mullah Omar.
Ali Khamenei
US politicians [...] accuse Iran of trying to make nuclear warheads... We do not act like this toward our enemies [and in fact] the US is the only country that has up to now committed such a big crime. The Westerners are the ones that have made chemical weapons and used them, and during the 8-year war they imposed on us through Iraq, they put these lethal internationally banned weapons at the disposal of Saddam and his tyrannical Ba’th minority regime.
Barack Obama
To this day, there are those who insist that the Holocaust never happened -- a denial of fact and truth that is baseless and ignorant and hateful.
Baker Institute
Iraq remains a destabilizing influence to U.S. allies in the Middle East, as well as to regional and global order, and to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets. ... The United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq, including military, energy, economic, and political/diplomatic assessments.
Tony Blair
Let me first deal with the conspiracy theory that this is somehow to do with oil. There is no way whatever, if oil were the issue, that it would not be infinitely simpler to cut a deal with Saddam, who, I am sure, would be delighted to give us access to as much oil as we wanted if he could carry on building weapons of mass destruction. The very reason why we are taking the action that we are taking is nothing to do with oil or any of the other conspiracy theories put forward.
Sarah Palin
We are a nation at war and in many [ways] the reasons for war are fights over energy sources, which is nonsensical when you consider that domestically we have the supplies ready to go.
The Economist
But a conflict that has lasted 100 years is not susceptible to easy solutions or glib judgments. Those who choose to reduce it to the “terrorism” of one side or the “colonialism” of the other are just stroking their own prejudices. At heart, this is a struggle of two peoples for the same patch of land.

New Comments

0 Points       Capricious       25 Mar 2015     Should Israel exist as a separate state from Palestine? Mostly Agree
Both Israel and Palestine should exist.

I'm sick of anti-Israelis saying "fuck Palestine" everywhere I go.

1 Point       Opinion007       29 Jan 2012     Is the Holocaust a myth? General Comment
Using similar logic, should we conclude that actually the casualties in WWII (as listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties) are impossible? And probably only 2.5 million people died?

How could they exterminate so many people? Well, the number of locations that they were killed at were significant. There were multiple death camps and while they were designed for killing, techniques used were often improvised (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extermination_camp#Systematic_killing). The first example on that link is of over 6000 people being killed from a single train rocking up. At just one site.

And based on estimates, probably about half of the Jews that were killed in WWII would have died in camps, the other half were killed either in being targeted and persecuted, or in actual fighting.

As for who is claiming how many died - it is not the Jews that are saying it is 6 million, it's the statisticians and historians who try to calculate that figure. And it is a difficult figure to calculate because it would be the equivalent of trying to calculate how many Catholic or Muslim's died - when you are dealing with a sub-section of population defined by their religious beliefs, it is harder to accurately assess.

Although not really sure why I'm wasting time responding to a clearly uninformed nonsense statement.

-2 Points       Opinion98       31 Dec 2011     Is the Holocaust a myth? Agree
Jews did die in the Holocaust but there were not 6 million Jews living in Germany and conquered countries at the time. How could they exterminate 6 million people in 5 years? That would mean killing 3226 people a day. Impossible. The Nazis probably only killed 250,000. The reason the jews claimed 6 million died is because they had no homeland.

0 Points       Benja       13 Apr 2011     Is oil a motivation for maintaining a military presence in Iraq? General Comment
Thanks Trump for setting the record straight: it makes "business sense" to go to war for oil. Clearly it's a fantastic deal for US soldiers, who obviously get paid in oil proceeds. I hear a new arm costs only a few barrels of oil nowadays. But really, it's not about the money for the soldiers. For them it's about the satisfaction of knowing that they helped the US economy. There's nothing more inspiring than the words: "died for the US economy" on a soldier's gravestone. Going to war for oil is also a boon for America's likability. Not just for the country invaded, but the entire region will no doubt get warm fuzzies thinking about America for perhaps decades to come.

0 Points       blacktrance       10 Feb 2011     Would invading Iraq result in a quagmire? Agree
Yes, as it clearly did.

0 Points       blacktrance       10 Feb 2011     Is the Holocaust a myth? Disagree
The historical evidence is overwhelming.

0 Points       blacktrance       10 Feb 2011     Was oil a motivation for invading Iraq in 2003? Agree
And what's worse is that oil prices still went up.

0 Points       blacktrance       10 Feb 2011     Should the US president talk face to face with Iran's president? Agree
Yes. There's no harm in talking.

0 Points       blacktrance       10 Feb 2011     Does Iraq possess weapons of mass destruction? Disagree
No. The invasion proved that.

0 Points       Benja       21 Sep 2010     Should Israel exist as a separate state from Palestine? General Comment
It's encouraging for me to see that TakeOnIt is fostering understanding and respect between opposing parties on such controversial issues.

0 Points       OmnipotentRabbit       10 Apr 2010     Would invading Iraq result in a quagmire? Agree
Any war with Iraq, which is already unnecessary, would only create a snowball effect - the cost would be ever-increasing, and there would still be no solution as the Iraqis hold on to their beliefs.

New Editorial Comments

0 Points       Benja       26 Sep 2008     Is Israel's demolition policy a good idea? Editorial Comment

sub-questions should be:

1) Is the policy ethical?
2) Is the policy effective?

0 Points       Benja       13 Sep 2008     Does Iran intend to create nuclear weapons? Editorial Comment
The pattern here seems to be the same as with Iraq:

* The western politicians: you're not cooperating with the IAEA, you're planning nukes
* The arab politicians: we are cooperating with the IAEA, we're not planning nukes
* The IAEA: the arabs are partially cooperating, we don't know if they're planning nukes

So aside from the leaders on each side, and the IAEA, what other experts could we use?

Middle East Politics Question Index

Is oil a motivation for maintaining a military presence in Iraq?
Is the Holocaust a myth?
Was oil a motivation for invading Iraq in 2003?
Does Iran intend to create nuclear weapons?
Should the US president talk face to face with Iran's president?
Does Iraq possess weapons of mass destruction?
Is Israel's demolition policy effective as a deterrent?
Is Israel's demolition policy justifiable ethically?
Is Israel's demolition policy a good idea?
Would invading Iraq result in a quagmire?
Was Israel primarily responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem?
Should Israel exist as a separate state from Palestine?