“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Turkey says no to Israeli air force drills. Italy and US say no thanks to Turkey.

Turkey and Israel have had a positive relationship for some time. Something has changed for the worse.

Perhaps the following story is related.

Israel Faces Growing Pressure After UN War Crimes Vote
By Robert Berger VOA
17 October 2009

Israel is facing growing international pressure after the United Nations Human Rights Council approved the Goldstone Report, which accuses the Jewish state of war crimes against Palestinians. The Goldstone Report also accuses Palestinian militants of war crimes during the Gaza conflict of nearly a year ago.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling on him to cooperate with the Goldstone Report. They urged Israel to open an "independent, transparent investigation" into alleged war crimes during the three-week Gaza conflict last December and January.

The resolution by the Human Rights Council endorses the Goldstone Report's recommendations that both the Israelis and Palestinian militants show the U.N. Security Council they are investigating the war crimes accusations.

Israel has rejected the report as one-sided and biased and says the Gaza war was a legitimate act of self defense in response to years of Palestinian rocket attacks. Israeli officials say opening a war crimes investigation would be tantamount to accepting guilt.

But Israeli David Horovitz, the editor of the Jerusalem Post, says defiance may be counterproductive.

"I would have thought the last thing Israel can afford to do is to try to simply ignore it," he said. "There has to be some kind of intelligent response, even though the national sense of justice and pride motivates many, I think, in the Israeli leadership to say, 'This is just so unfair, so clearly prejudiced, that we do not want to justify it or honor it by responding.' I don't think Israel can afford to do that."

Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti says Israel should be held accountable, and he called for international war crimes trials.

"Those who committed crimes like killing children for no reason, who hurt civilians for no reason, yes; anybody who kills children for no reason should go to court," he said.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered officials to prepare for a long diplomatic, legal and public relations battle explaining Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism. As Mr. Netanyahu put it, "We will delegitimize those who try to delegitimize us."


  1. The Goldstone Report bases its findings on "Just War" principles. However, while those principles are laudable goals they are superceded by the principle of rightful self-defense.

  2. Self-defense, or the defense of innocent populations, is the very reason there is a just war doctrine. Where I differ from just war doctrine is the principle of proportionality. I would not counter a missile assault from Mexico with tit-for-tat return fire, I would initiate a massive invasion designed to install a friendly regime that was capable of policing its own people, and my invasion would be so punitive and destructive, that the Canadians would take great care not to permit terrorists to build rocket launchers on their side of the border, lest Canuckistan be next.

  3. We have done that to Mexico, twice, Ms T.

    Marched all the way to Mexico City, the first time. Stayed closer to Vera Cruz the second, Black Jack Pershing rode around northern Mexico for quite a while, too.

    The Mexicans remember, even if we forget.

  4. I, on the other hand, accept the principle of proportionality to the extent that it can be accommodated reasonably. However, because I believe the right to self defense trumps the principle of proportionality I also accept the Powell Doctrine, i.e. go in with enough force to kick ass.

    Where I disagree with you T is your idea that the invasion should be "designed to install a friendly regime that was capable of policing its own people." This rationale is a little too neocon for me.

    If in fact we are engaging in a war of necessity rather than of choice, we should go in, kick ass, and get out. While we have had some notible successes in the past, our recent efforts at nation building haven't been all that immpressive.

    Not only does the nation building cost us too much in lives and treasure, it usually results in major damage to the locals.

  5. As Mr. Netanyahu put it, "We will delegitimize those who try to delegitimize us."

    That's the limit of what Israel should do. To accept European pressure and investigate would legitimize the UN corruption against Israel.

    David Horovitz, as editor of JP, has a vested interest in seeing the controversy drag on. It's news.

  6. linear,

    Throughout our long history, we have always had our Horovitz's, cautioning, "We can do business with Pharaoh".

    No, we can't! We cannot do business with a world that will be satisfied with nothing less than our death. We should stop trying.

    Mr. Netanyahu should do now what he failed to do during his last term: He should just say, NO. For good measure, he should also say that Israel will go down fighting, which means the end of the world as we have known it. Welcome to the New Ice Age.

  7. Re: Masada

    You are mistaken Deuce. This time the Romans also die.

  8. Deuce,

    Excuse: You did frame Masada as a question.