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October 09, 2023 08:16 AM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Bad situations can always get worse.”

–Richard N. Haass


22 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. Even Bret Stephens of the New York Times is worried:

    Bret: The scary scenario is that Trump 2.0 makes no concessions to the normal conservatives who populated the first administration: people like Gary Cohn and H.R. McMaster and Scott Gottlieb. So imagine Stephen Miller as secretary of homeland security, Tucker Carlson as secretary of state, Sean Hannity as director of national intelligence and Vivek Ramaswamy as vice president. This could be an administration that would pull the United States out of NATO, defund Ukraine, invade Mexico and invite Vladimir Putin for skeet shooting at Camp David.

    Gail Collins agrees:

    Gail: You know, a basic rule of Trumpism is that he always gets worse. 

  2. Considering the Isreal/Hamas war on American Indigenous Peoples' Day is a lot of context at once.

    I am writing this as a test of my understanding of things I know very little about, not as any sort of authority on the subjects so if you think I got something wrong, lemme know…

    Since Americans can best understand the world as it relates to us, let's see how well I can create some slightly passable analogies to the Isreal/Hamas war with America-centric things.

    Here's a flippant summary of how I understand the creation of the State of Isreal:

    "We're sorry so many of us killed so many of you. Here, have Palestine. We don't actually own it but we'll give it to you.", Sincerely, Europeans mostly and Britain specifically.


    So in my analogy, I'm gonna equate Palestinians to American indigenous people.

    The Gaza Strip is akin to American indigenous folks having control of, let's say, New Mexico. And Americans as well as American institutions go back and forth on whether or not New Mexico is its own country or part of the United States.

    Hamas is an organization that was created 35 years ago with all the justified anger of having land, relatives and culture taken away mixed with the righteousness of strongly held religious beliefs and the hatred of antisemitism.

    So imagine a Hamas-like organization was created among the indigenous folks of Indigenous New Mexico (they'd have a better name for the area than this but let's just go with it for now) and that organization started with the aim of ridding North America of the non-indigenous people of America so that only indigenous people controlled what is now the United States. Occasionally, the Hamas-like organization would go back and forth between just wanting to secure Indigenous New Mexico against America, taking over America so it doesn't exist and killing all Americans. This has caused America to heavily fortify the borders of Indigenous New Mexico.

    So lately the Hamas-like organization has started attacking people in Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Texas with rockets and guns so America has to respond but Indigenous New Mexico is as densely populated as New Jersey so military responses will end up killing innocent people who don’t want to kill Americans which will likely cause the relatives of those killed to want to kill Americans.

    Repeat these cycles and back-and-forths for 50+ years while sitting on centuries of conflict and strongly held religious beliefs in an area that's about as big as New Jersey and I feel like I'm starting to maybe understand a little bit about what is going on.

    1. Similar musings about the contradictions of the day, Chickenheed. Basically coming down to whether indigeneity is a property of the indigenous or something that can only be bestowed by the occupier once the indigenous are on a reservation? I'd be very careful making any "land acknowledgments" today.

      1. Count me as one who would like to see the land acknowledgements go away completely. It's the softest and most useless form of attempted self-absolution over land conquest and genocide ever invented.

    2. Obviously, the New Mexico metaphor breaks down, though:

      Gaza is heavily urbanized so it would be more like 2 Million native Americans living in the city of Denver, blockaded on all sides.

      I don't doubt that you could bomb Denver into rubble and blockade and starve and thirst out all the Democrats, but it would be pretty treacherous to send tanks and infantry into a city that was heavily armed with IEDs, rifles and drones.

      Like Russia invading Mariupol?

      1. Another one of your shoddy analogies, Park Hill?

        Like Russia invading Mariupol. Except the Ukrainians did not start the fight by taking Russian civilian hostage.

    3. RE"  "The Gaza Strip is akin to American indigenous folks having control of, let's say, New Mexico

      Not a particularly helpful comparison, in my view.

      Gaza strip:  At roughly 140 square miles the Gaza Strip ,  … More than 2 million people live in Gaza,  

      Israel … about 8,500 square miles … about 9 million people.

      New Mexico:  … 121,591 square miles   population: 2.116 million

      a better comparison for relative size .

      Israel is slightly larger than New Jersey, that has just over 9 million people.  Queens NY is about 110 square miles, 2.4 million people.


        1. My main focus was getting the attitudes of people and organizations right without all the specific details of geography and religion so considering that the only critiques I got on this was about population density I feel like I must've done a good job with my main focus.

          I don't feel like well-actuallying the well-actuallys about population density but since it's been brought up in 3 different replies…

          …well actually I did mention population density twice:

          * "…but Indigenous New Mexico is as densely populated as New Jersey so…"

          * "Repeat these cycles and back-and-forths for 50+ years while sitting on centuries of conflict and strongly held religious beliefs in an area that's about as big as New Jersey and I feel like I'm starting to maybe understand a little bit about what is going on."

          I think my "slightly passable analogies" were pretty darn good.

          Today I looked at comparisons of land mass and it turns out I got those pretty close. New Mexico is about 3% of America. The Gaza Strip is about 1.5% the size of Israel.

    1. Are these the offensive comments you are refering to?

      "Our immediate focus must be saving lives, but our ultimate focus must be on a just and lasting peace that ensures safety for everyone in the region," Cori Bush wrote. "Violations of human rights do not justify more violations of human rights, and a military response will only exacerbate the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis alike.

      "As part of achieving a just and lasting peace, we must do our part to stop this violence and trauma by ending U.S. government support for Israeli military occupation and apartheid," she added.

      What kind of person wishes for peace?!

      Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and frequent outspoken critic of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, released a statement Sunday also calling for peace and "lifting the blockade, ending the occupation, and dismantling the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance."

      1. What do you expect the Israelis to do? Pack up and leave? Turn the other cheek? 

        I don't like Bibi because of what he has done to the democratic form of government in Israel but I applaud him defending his nation.

        Fortunately, the rest of the Democratic Party will not be tarnished with the remarks from these two morons because everyone is more interested in the election of a new House Speaker.

        And the right-wing morons only listen the Fox which attributes blame squarely on Biden for releasing the $6 billion to Iran.



        1. Except the $6 billion was not released to Iran, which means that Fox News, as usual, is lying. I thought Jason Crow had a good explanation over the weekend.

        2. At this stage of the game, no commentary or opinion could hope to fully capture the multi-generational fustercluck that is the Israel-Palestine conflict, or even the "right" way forward. Starting with "violence begets violence" seems as adequate as anything. And, frankly, beseiging the population of Gaza and cutting off electricity, fuel, food, and water sounds like a genocide in the making. War sucks. Terrorism sucks more. But calls for considered responses that don't wipe out even more innocents are not out of line. 

    2. Unlike some commenters on this blog, the Democratic Party tolerates dissent and a spectrum of opinions, with respectful, informed debate, all without needing to insult or silence the dissenter. 
      Particularly with a situation as fraught and comlex as the Israeli- Gaza war, this seems wise.

  3. Attention, Hamas apologists on the left ….

    Your friends are now threatening to start executing the hostages they took. 


    1. I remain astounded that the RNC declared that the Hamas terrorist attack represents a great opportunity for republican candidates.

      Not to mention that (h/t Rachel Bitecofer):

      Republicans have gutted the senior command of our military, left the House with no Speaker, and left Israel with no US ambassador but tell me again how it’s Biden’s fault.

    2. Can they be considered P.O.W.s and the Palestinians war criminals under the Geneva Conventions (which I know they haven't signed on to)?


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