American Empire and Antisemitism

 

Until the aftermath of October 7th, 2023, I would have been sure that America, in the balance, was squarely in Israel’s corner and ready and willing to do the right thing to defend the Jewish state. I still feel that America is 70% there, but my confidence has frankly been shaken by the egregious antisemitism displayed on American universities, as well as the unabashed linking of further Abraham Accords progress with Israel’s willingness to negotiate a Palestinian state. (Imagine if, after 9/11, the EU had linked support for America’s war against Afghanistan with political support of the Taliban.) Netanyahu has been strongly against rewarding terrorism with political concessions, and I hope he and Israel continue to stand against it.

We need America to stop using “strategic ambiguity” to walk back her support for allies. When Putin invaded Ukraine, it was clear to me that President Biden’s so-called incompetence was intentional, to capitulate on Afghanistan and Ukraine, partly to reorient toward China, and partly to reconsolidate NATO and make more profitable deals going forward. There was never any intention to help Ukraine “win” against Russia, which is amazingly tragic. The U.S. has been losing on purpose. To a certain extent, Nixon to Carter served a similar purpose. America was on the decline, until mysteriously she resurged in the late 80s, up until the early 2000s.

Big picture, what does such a pursuit do to society? It separates the citizen from the state (contrary to the wishes of progressives) and the local from the global. This is mainly because politics are now almost indecipherable. Most people realize that secret deals now define American foreign policy (and much domestic policy), not public discussion or elections. What does such a policy mean for antisemitism? At home, it means people, unable to find straightforward reasons for political upheaval, will put forward increasingly virulent scapegoating conspiracy theories, and unfortunately Jews will bear much of that abuse. In the minds of antisemites, surely the Jews are manipulating world events and causing the world to go downhill.

Abroad, using allies such as Ukraine as bargaining chips does not bode well either for U.S. support for Israel in the future or for the use of U.S. soft power to counter global antisemitism. For part of Israel’s history, the loose tie that bound it to the U.S. was mutually agreed upon. Israel didn’t want to be the 51st state of the U.S., nor did the U.S. seek to annex Israel. Given the events of the last decades, and certainly since October 7th, 2023, it is clear that the U.S. is the only major ally that Israel has. If the U.S. were to utilize similarly ambiguous logic as has been used with Ukraine, it could lead to a capitulation on Israel’s sovereignty. America must not do this.

Finally, as it appears that President Biden’s White House has already accepted that Iran will get a nuclear weapon; if Iran and Saudi Arabia get nukes soon, will they largely use the weapons to threaten each other? Or will they, in concert, use the weapons to coerce Israel into conceding increasingly more of her sovereignty and security preferences? Both are likely and are not mutually exclusive. If the Abraham Accords move forward, America must provide for explicit provisions within the Accords to safeguard Israel’s security interests. Israel cannot abide ambiguity from America’s corner, and America must recognize this fact.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    Israel carried out a targeted attack on three very senior Iranian generals. Good shot, and entirely legitimate.

    Ok, thanks for clarifying.

    How do you define “legitimate” though ? I assume you wouldn’t regard it as legitimate for Iran to blow up three Israeli generals while they were visiting London for instance.

     

     

    False equivalence: the IDF doesn’t have a military presence in the UK, and Israel and the UK aren’t in a permanent state of war. 

    • #61
  2. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    Israel carried out a targeted attack on three very senior Iranian generals. Good shot, and entirely legitimate.

    Ok, thanks for clarifying.

    How do you define “legitimate” though ? I assume you wouldn’t regard it as legitimate for Iran to blow up three Israeli generals while they were visiting London for instance.

     

     

    Who cares?

    • #62
  3. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    By that I mean have a look at what other countries think of America and in particular what they think of America’s unconditional support for Israel.

    These are two separate subjects, and I don’t think the support of Israel is wrong at all.

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    Israel is becoming a pariah. If you get a UN vote of about 150-1, with America being the only country supporting Israel, you’re not making any friends.

    The UN is a joke.

    • #63
  4. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    Israel carried out a targeted attack on three very senior Iranian generals. Good shot, and entirely legitimate.

    Ok, thanks for clarifying.

    How do you define “legitimate” though ? I assume you wouldn’t regard it as legitimate for Iran to blow up three Israeli generals while they were visiting London for instance.

     

     

    False equivalence: the IDF doesn’t have a military presence in the UK, and Israel and the UK aren’t in a permanent state of war.

    We do ( unfortunately ) have a Zionist Jew ( Grant Shapps ) as Defence Secretary !

    And don’t you mean Iran and the UK aren’t in a permanent state of war ?

    You tell me what is a valid equivalence then. How about if Iran killed three generals from country A while they were visiting country B ?

    • #64
  5. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    We do ( unfortunately ) have a Zionist Jew ( Grant Shapps ) as Defence Secretary !

    So your view is all Zionism is bad?

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    You tell me what is a valid equivalence then. How about if Iran killed three generals from country A while they were visiting country B ?

    Everything is settled by force. 

    • #65
  6. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    So your view is all Zionism is bad?

    They should probably have accepted Uganda as a homeland while they had the chance !

     

    • #66
  7. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    Israel carried out a targeted attack on three very senior Iranian generals. Good shot, and entirely legitimate.

    Ok, thanks for clarifying.

    How do you define “legitimate” though ? I assume you wouldn’t regard it as legitimate for Iran to blow up three Israeli generals while they were visiting London for instance.

     

     

    False equivalence: the IDF doesn’t have a military presence in the UK, and Israel and the UK aren’t in a permanent state of war.

    We do ( unfortunately ) have a Zionist Jew ( Grant Shapps ) as Defence Secretary !

    And don’t you mean Iran and the UK aren’t in a permanent state of war ?

    You tell me what is a valid equivalence then. How about if Iran killed three generals from country A while they were visiting country B ?

    How about if Iran-funded Hezbollah killed 85 Jews in a community centre in Argentina? But, of course, that happened already. 

    That apart, your comment has crossed the line beyond which I will no longer engage  

     

    • #67
  8. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    So your view is all Zionism is bad?

    They should probably have accepted Uganda as a homeland while they had the chance !

     

    I’ve heard enough from you on this. pfft

    • #68
  9. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    So your view is all Zionism is bad?

    They should probably have accepted Uganda as a homeland while they had the chance !

     

    I’ve heard enough from you on this. pfft

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Scheme#:~:text=The%20Uganda%20Scheme%20was%20a,of%20the%20modern%20Zionist%20movement.

    • #69
  10. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    How about if Iran-funded Hezbollah killed 85 Jews in a community centre in Argentina? But, of course, that happened already.

    That apart, your comment has crossed the line beyond which I will no longer engage

     

    From Wikipedia:

    On October 10, 2001, two Israelis, one of them a dual citizen of Mexico, were arrested after reportedly acting in a strange manner and failing to properly identify themselves when requested.[7][8] They were later found to be carrying false Pakistani passports, firearms, as well as explosives, and identified as former members of the Israeli Special Forces.[7][9][10] The men were then released after mediation from Israeli authorities.[11][12][13]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislative_Palace_of_San_L%C3%A1zaro#cite_note-11

    Grant Shapps actually was president of a Zionist youth organisation at one time.

    • #70
  11. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    So your view is all Zionism is bad?

    They should probably have accepted Uganda as a homeland while they had the chance !

     

    I’ve heard enough from you on this. pfft

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Scheme#:~:text=The%20Uganda%20Scheme%20was%20a,of%20the%20modern%20Zionist%20movement.

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    So your view is all Zionism is bad?

    They should probably have accepted Uganda as a homeland while they had the chance !

     

    I’ve heard enough from you on this. pfft

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Scheme#:~:text=The%20Uganda%20Scheme%20was%20a,of%20the%20modern%20Zionist%20movement.

    Why should I care about this? 

    • #71
  12. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    How about if Iran-funded Hezbollah killed 85 Jews in a community centre in Argentina? But, of course, that happened already.

    That apart, your comment has crossed the line beyond which I will no longer engage

     

    From Wikipedia:

    On October 10, 2001, two Israelis, one of them a dual citizen of Mexico, were arrested after reportedly acting in a strange manner and failing to properly identify themselves when requested.[7][8] They were later found to be carrying false Pakistani passports, firearms, as well as explosives, and identified as former members of the Israeli Special Forces.[7][9][10] The men were then released after mediation from Israeli authorities.[11][12][13]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislative_Palace_of_San_L%C3%A1zaro#cite_note-11

    Grant Shapps actually was president of a Zionist youth organisation at one time.

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    How about if Iran-funded Hezbollah killed 85 Jews in a community centre in Argentina? But, of course, that happened already.

    That apart, your comment has crossed the line beyond which I will no longer engage

     

    From Wikipedia:

    On October 10, 2001, two Israelis, one of them a dual citizen of Mexico, were arrested after reportedly acting in a strange manner and failing to properly identify themselves when requested.[7][8] They were later found to be carrying false Pakistani passports, firearms, as well as explosives, and identified as former members of the Israeli Special Forces.[7][9][10] The men were then released after mediation from Israeli authorities.[11][12][13]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislative_Palace_of_San_L%C3%A1zaro#cite_note-11

    Grant Shapps actually was president of a Zionist youth organisation at one time.

    What’s your point?

    • #72
  13. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    kedavis (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Fear Russia will do something really bad and force a direct US/NATO response. Fear Ukrainian military success might cause Russia to do something really really bad to stave off a serious defeat.

    Putin would not have done this under Trump. What they needed to do was give them a lot more a lot faster, which is only going to happen under Trump.

    Foreign policy is not for amateurs or leftists.

    It would have depended on what happened in Afghanistan. I’m not sure Trump could have pulled off anything other than a Vietnam style decent interval.

    Successful American foreign policy is dependent on how other nations perceive our strength and willingness to use it.

    I am moderately informed on this at best, but I think it was crazy to leave simply because the airbase was excellent there and we could keep a lid on terrorism organizations, plus it’s really nice to have radar defeating jets between Iran, Russia, and China. ` I’m not going to get in a big argument about it, though.

    And, of course, now, we have let in 2 million getaways at the border. Iran and. China have obviously paid the cartels to get their spies and terrorists in. Really such a great idea to let the cartels get so big and not control the borders. Really smart.

    And I think Trump would have listened to the advice from the generals etc and not gotten out, especially since the Taliban were not meeting their obligations under an agreement to POSSIBLY leave.

    However, it seems pretty clear that FJB just wanted an applause line for a speech on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

    Depends on what Trump saw as an acceptable end state. Failure of the Afghan state was inevitable. 

    • #73
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    One thing that sets mature people apart from immature people is that mature people accept the fact that they will be criticized no matter what they do. They realize that ultimately, decisions are between them and God and that the opinions of their fellow human beings don’t mean anything. The only opinion that matters is God’s.

    That is where Israel is.

    I have heard all of the criticisms over the years: “We didn’t help because the Jews need to defend themselves.” And then when they do defend themselves, those critics say, “They shouldn’t strike back. They should do [whatever else comes into their critics’ head from one minute to the next].”

    At the moment, Israel looks a lot more mature than anyone else.

    • #74
  15. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then . . . passed away. The Greek and the Roman followed. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts. … All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality? — Mark Twain

    Every regime that has beleaguered the Jews is in the dustbin of history. In truth, America needs Israel more than Israel needs America. America’s moral standing is buttressed by its support for Israel. Should that support disappear, America’s days would be numbered. The nation of Israel has been around for over 3,000 years and America has been here for less than 300. It’s Israel’s longevity that galls the Jew hater who knows, in his heart of hearts, that his kind will come and go while the Jew will persist to the end of time.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2024/04/02/israel-hamas-war-latest-british-aid-worker-gaza-air-strike/

    Well just to pick a random example, which is the last thing I happened to see in the news – a Brit, a Pole and an Aussie were just killed in an IDF terrorist attack. If you really have been brainwashed into thinking “America’s moral standing is buttressed by its support for Israel” you need to get out more. By that I mean have a look at what other countries think of America and in particular what they think of America’s unconditional support for Israel.

    Israel is becoming a pariah. If you get a UN vote of about 150-1, with America being the only country supporting Israel, you’re not making any friends.

    Given that the UN is a festering cesspool of corruption, I’d posit that not being liked by 150 countries there is a badge of honor. 

    • #75
  16. She Member
    She
    @She

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    Allowing jews to take over so many US institutions – universities, media, entertainment, the legal profession, finance and political parties – has been a catastrophe for real Americans. Unfortunately, you’re probably going to learn the hard way why pretty much every country where jews have settled ( going back centuries, or millennia even ) has eventually kicked them out.

    I get it. For you, it’s not about Zionism, it’s about Judaism. You hate Jews. No matter how few or how many there are, or where, or how, they live.

    Frankly, if I were in charge here, I’d kick you out on that basis alone (because you’re an unregenerate bigot who can’t distinguish between a good Jew or a bad Jew), but I suspect TPTB want more. Maybe they’ll get it, maybe they won’t.

    Seriously? You think TPTB “want more?” That’s a pretty loathesome charge, She. Actually, TPTB want this to be a place where freedom of speech is practiced. I would be happy to see the anti-Semites here keep their vile views to themselves, but unfortunately tolerating vile views comes with free speech.

    It’s not a “charge” at all.  It’s merely an observation–one which is pretty much in line with your own–that it takes “more” these days than hateful comments from members who repeatedly demonize entire groups of people–some of whom fall into the category of “fellow members” around here in order to have someone at least nominally in charge tell them–even informally–they are out of line and should knock it off.  I actually think part of your job as a moderator is to do your best to prevent the escalation of such behavior to the point that it requires suspension or banning, not to wait around until things get bad enough that those are the only options and it’s a surprise to everyone when it happens. I believe that merely wishing such bigots wouldn’t harp on their “vile views,”  and would keep them to themselves, isn’t an adequate strategy or response.  Especially when such conversations occupy a position of prominence on the main feed.

    If I wasn’t clear, or if you weren’t sure what I meant, you could have asked me.  The fact that you didn’t ask me, or that you and some others assumed the worst, and so you decided to label what I said a “loathesome” [sic] charge,” is disappointing.  Not all that unexpected; just disappointing.

    • #76
  17. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    She (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    Allowing jews to take over so many US institutions – universities, media, entertainment, the legal profession, finance and political parties – has been a catastrophe for real Americans. Unfortunately, you’re probably going to learn the hard way why pretty much every country where jews have settled ( going back centuries, or millennia even ) has eventually kicked them out.

    I get it. For you, it’s not about Zionism, it’s about Judaism. You hate Jews. No matter how few or how many there are, or where, or how, they live.

    Frankly, if I were in charge here, I’d kick you out on that basis alone (because you’re an unregenerate bigot who can’t distinguish between a good Jew or a bad Jew), but I suspect TPTB want more. Maybe they’ll get it, maybe they won’t.

    Seriously? You think TPTB “want more?” That’s a pretty loathesome charge, She. Actually, TPTB want this to be a place where freedom of speech is practiced. I would be happy to see the anti-Semites here keep their vile views to themselves, but unfortunately tolerating vile views comes with free speech.

    It’s not a “charge” at all. It’s merely an observation–one which is pretty much in line with your own–that it takes “more” these days than hateful comments from members who repeatedly demonize entire groups of people–some of whom fall into the category of “fellow members” around here in order to have someone at least nominally in charge tell them–even informally–they are out of line and should knock it off. I actually think part of your job as a moderator is to do your best to prevent the escalation of such behavior to the point that it requires suspension or banning, not to wait around until things get bad enough that those are the only options and it’s a surprise to everyone when it happens. I believe that merely wishing such bigots wouldn’t harp on their “vile views,” and would keep them to themselves, isn’t an adequate strategy or response. Especially when such conversations occupy a position of prominence on the main feed.

    If I wasn’t clear, or if you weren’t sure what I meant, you could have asked me. The fact that you didn’t ask me, or that you and some others assumed the worst, and so you decided to label what I said a “loathesome” [sic] charge,” is disappointing. Not all that unexpected; just disappointing.

    I thought that  conspiracy theories violated the Code of Conduct. 

    • #77
  18. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Charles Mark (View Comment):
    I thought that  conspiracy theories violated the Code of Conduct. 

    Here is the CoC.  It was revised about a year ago, and the new one no longer has the “fruitcake clause.”  If someone writes a crazy conspiracy post, it is highly unlikely to be promoted to the Main Feed, but we don’t censor comments because of them.

    • #78
  19. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Fear Russia will do something really bad and force a direct US/NATO response. Fear Ukrainian military success might cause Russia to do something really really bad to stave off a serious defeat.

    Putin would not have done this under Trump. What they needed to do was give them a lot more a lot faster, which is only going to happen under Trump.

    Foreign policy is not for amateurs or leftists.

    It would have depended on what happened in Afghanistan. I’m not sure Trump could have pulled off anything other than a Vietnam style decent interval.

    Successful American foreign policy is dependent on how other nations perceive our strength and willingness to use it.

    I am moderately informed on this at best, but I think it was crazy to leave simply because the airbase was excellent there and we could keep a lid on terrorism organizations, plus it’s really nice to have radar defeating jets between Iran, Russia, and China. ` I’m not going to get in a big argument about it, though.

    And, of course, now, we have let in 2 million getaways at the border. Iran and. China have obviously paid the cartels to get their spies and terrorists in. Really such a great idea to let the cartels get so big and not control the borders. Really smart.

    And I think Trump would have listened to the advice from the generals etc and not gotten out, especially since the Taliban were not meeting their obligations under an agreement to POSSIBLY leave.

    However, it seems pretty clear that FJB just wanted an applause line for a speech on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

    Depends on what Trump saw as an acceptable end state. Failure of the Afghan state was inevitable.

    The only thing that made it inevitable – and which could be said to have dishonored the sacrifice of those who fought and died for it – was giving up and leaving.  By that point, girls could go to school and women could leave their homes without a male relative, etc.  And US casualties each year were essentially zero; actually lower than training deaths inside the US.

    • #79
  20. TomRoberts57 Coolidge
    TomRoberts57
    @TomRoberts57

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):
    I thought that conspiracy theories violated the Code of Conduct.

    Here is the CoC. It was revised about a year ago, and the new one no longer has the “fruitcake clause.” If someone writes a crazy conspiracy post, it is highly unlikely to be promoted to the Main Feed, but we don’t censor comments because of them.

    The current CoC seems reasonable enough to me. I seem to disagree with almost everyone else here on one particular issue, but if you don’t allow comments from people you disagree with it’s hard to see the point of having comments at all.

    As to “conspiracy theories”, that’s a rather lazy way to stop debate – who gets to decide what is or isn’t a conspiracy theory ?

    You shouldn’t include reasonably valid doubts about the government version of events with the “Elvis is still alive” theories, so let readers decide for themselves what they want to pay attention to. 

    • #80
  21. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):
    I thought that conspiracy theories violated the Code of Conduct.

    Here is the CoC. It was revised about a year ago, and the new one no longer has the “fruitcake clause.” If someone writes a crazy conspiracy post, it is highly unlikely to be promoted to the Main Feed, but we don’t censor comments because of them.

    The current CoC seems reasonable enough to me. I seem to disagree with almost everyone else here on one particular issue, but if you don’t allow comments from people you disagree with it’s hard to see the point of having comments at all.

    As to “conspiracy theories”, that’s a rather lazy way to stop debate – who gets to decide what is or isn’t a conspiracy theory ?

    You shouldn’t include reasonably valid doubts about the government version of events with the “Elvis is still alive” theories, so let readers decide for themselves what they want to pay attention to.

    That seems to have been one of the reasons for the change.

    • #81
  22. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    Allowing jews to take over so many US institutions – universities, media, entertainment, the legal profession, finance and political parties – has been a catastrophe for real Americans. Unfortunately, you’re probably going to learn the hard way why pretty much every country where jews have settled ( going back centuries, or millennia even ) has eventually kicked them out.

    I get it. For you, it’s not about Zionism, it’s about Judaism. You hate Jews. No matter how few or how many there are, or where, or how, they live.

    Frankly, if I were in charge here, I’d kick you out on that basis alone (because you’re an unregenerate bigot who can’t distinguish between a good Jew or a bad Jew), but I suspect TPTB want more. Maybe they’ll get it, maybe they won’t.

    Seriously? You think TPTB “want more?” That’s a pretty loathesome charge, She. Actually, TPTB want this to be a place where freedom of speech is practiced. I would be happy to see the anti-Semites here keep their vile views to themselves, but unfortunately tolerating vile views comes with free speech.

    It’s not a “charge” at all. It’s merely an observation–one which is pretty much in line with your own–that it takes “more” these days than hateful comments from members who repeatedly demonize entire groups of people–some of whom fall into the category of “fellow members” around here in order to have someone at least nominally in charge tell them–even informally–they are out of line and should knock it off. I actually think part of your job as a moderator is to do your best to prevent the escalation of such behavior to the point that it requires suspension or banning, not to wait around until things get bad enough that those are the only options and it’s a surprise to everyone when it happens. I believe that merely wishing such bigots wouldn’t harp on their “vile views,” and would keep them to themselves, isn’t an adequate strategy or response. Especially when such conversations occupy a position of prominence on the main feed.

    If I wasn’t clear, or if you weren’t sure what I meant, you could have asked me. The fact that you didn’t ask me, or that you and some others assumed the worst, and so you decided to label what I said a “loathesome” [sic] charge,” is disappointing. Not all that unexpected; just disappointing.

    I thought that conspiracy theories violated the Code of Conduct.

    They all came true, so they removed that plank.  But frankly, the qualifier was making Ricochet look like fruitcakes.  Nowadays fruitcake is the new reality.

    • #82
  23. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    Allowing jews to take over so many US institutions – universities, media, entertainment, the legal profession, finance and political parties – has been a catastrophe for real Americans. Unfortunately, you’re probably going to learn the hard way why pretty much every country where jews have settled ( going back centuries, or millennia even ) has eventually kicked them out.

    I get it. For you, it’s not about Zionism, it’s about Judaism. You hate Jews. No matter how few or how many there are, or where, or how, they live.

    Frankly, if I were in charge here, I’d kick you out on that basis alone (because you’re an unregenerate bigot who can’t distinguish between a good Jew or a bad Jew), but I suspect TPTB want more. Maybe they’ll get it, maybe they won’t.

    Seriously? You think TPTB “want more?” That’s a pretty loathesome charge, She. Actually, TPTB want this to be a place where freedom of speech is practiced. I would be happy to see the anti-Semites here keep their vile views to themselves, but unfortunately tolerating vile views comes with free speech.

    It’s not a “charge” at all. It’s merely an observation–one which is pretty much in line with your own–that it takes “more” these days than hateful comments from members who repeatedly demonize entire groups of people–some of whom fall into the category of “fellow members” around here in order to have someone at least nominally in charge tell them–even informally–they are out of line and should knock it off. I actually think part of your job as a moderator is to do your best to prevent the escalation of such behavior to the point that it requires suspension or banning, not to wait around until things get bad enough that those are the only options and it’s a surprise to everyone when it happens. I believe that merely wishing such bigots wouldn’t harp on their “vile views,” and would keep them to themselves, isn’t an adequate strategy or response. Especially when such conversations occupy a position of prominence on the main feed.

    If I wasn’t clear, or if you weren’t sure what I meant, you could have asked me. The fact that you didn’t ask me, or that you and some others assumed the worst, and so you decided to label what I said a “loathesome” [sic] charge,” is disappointing. Not all that unexpected; just disappointing.

    I thought that conspiracy theories violated the Code of Conduct.

    They all came true, so they removed that plank. But frankly, the qualifier was making Ricochet look like fruitcakes. Nowadays fruitcake is the new reality.

    It’s just that some conspiracy theories have ben more consequential than most. One in particular is brought to mind. 

    • #83
  24. She Member
    She
    @She

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):
    They all came true, so they removed that plank.  But frankly, the qualifier was making Ricochet look like fruitcakes.  Nowadays fruitcake is the new reality.

    There is something to this.  As a matter of fact, those of us who worked on the new C0C (you’re all welcome, BTW) felt that the “dinner party” metaphor had outlived its usefulness, that the “fruitcake” clause had never been as charming and amusing as those who’d originally conceived it thought it was, and (as indicated above) that policing what was and what was not a conspiracy theory in these days when one man’s conspiracy theory is another man’s truth bomb was simply a waste of time.  Thus are people welcome to disappear down whatever rabbit holes they choose in search of whatever facts or wishful thinking–in this galaxy or any other–they can scare up or bring to bear.

    However.  I assure you that–in the minds of the team who worked on the new CoC, the relaxation of the old “conspiracy theory” clause was decoupled from, and nothing to do with, whether or not a member’s posts or comments veered off the reservation and into unacceptable rhetoric.  Nothing in the new CoC should be deemed as being more accepting of, or welcoming to, such remarks simply because they promote a (now-allowed) conspiracy theory.  At least, I hope that’s still true.  It was when I wrote it, and it largely made it through as written.

    Whether or not the members who make such posts and comments are espousing conspiracy theories isn’t so much the issue as is that they are insulting, defaming, or otherwise bringing opprobrium on entire groups of people, some of them fellow members here.  Sure, we can choose to engage or not, but–as many have noted over the years–allowing such offensive ideas to stand without objection really doesn’t redound much to Ricochet’s credit online.  So we argue them, even when they really aren’t deserving of a rational response.  And I can’t help thinking that it might be helpful, or at least enlightening to outsiders, if we argued them with the strenuous participation of those with skin in the game, those who should–above even we regular members–be watchful for the site’s reputation.

    I have noted statements to the effect that–starting with Version 5–main feed posts will only display the first few comments to the Internet at large, and that anyone who isn’t a member and who’d like to read the whole conversation will have to join first.  I have my own thoughts on that, but at least such an approach may mitigate some of the public dumpster fires that occasionally occur here on main feed posts as a result of the fact that–while super-flaky posts may not be promoted to the main feed on general principles–not very much is done, either in the way of moderating comments that go beyond the pale, or of counseling members who make them, even when such conversations enjoy prominent placement on the main feed.

    • #84
  25. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    TomRoberts57 (View Comment):
    Allowing jews to take over so many US institutions – universities, media, entertainment, the legal profession, finance and political parties – has been a catastrophe for real Americans. Unfortunately, you’re probably going to learn the hard way why pretty much every country where jews have settled ( going back centuries, or millennia even ) has eventually kicked them out.

    I get it. For you, it’s not about Zionism, it’s about Judaism. You hate Jews. No matter how few or how many there are, or where, or how, they live.

    Frankly, if I were in charge here, I’d kick you out on that basis alone (because you’re an unregenerate bigot who can’t distinguish between a good Jew or a bad Jew), but I suspect TPTB want more. Maybe they’ll get it, maybe they won’t.

    Seriously? You think TPTB “want more?” That’s a pretty loathesome charge, She. Actually, TPTB want this to be a place where freedom of speech is practiced. I would be happy to see the anti-Semites here keep their vile views to themselves, but unfortunately tolerating vile views comes with free speech.

    It’s not a “charge” at all. It’s merely an observation–one which is pretty much in line with your own–that it takes “more” these days than hateful comments from members who repeatedly demonize entire groups of people–some of whom fall into the category of “fellow members” around here in order to have someone at least nominally in charge tell them–even informally–they are out of line and should knock it off. I actually think part of your job as a moderator is to do your best to prevent the escalation of such behavior to the point that it requires suspension or banning, not to wait around until things get bad enough that those are the only options and it’s a surprise to everyone when it happens. I believe that merely wishing such bigots wouldn’t harp on their “vile views,” and would keep them to themselves, isn’t an adequate strategy or response. Especially when such conversations occupy a position of prominence on the main feed.

    If I wasn’t clear, or if you weren’t sure what I meant, you could have asked me. The fact that you didn’t ask me, or that you and some others assumed the worst, and so you decided to label what I said a “loathesome” [sic] charge,” is disappointing. Not all that unexpected; just disappointing.

    I thought that conspiracy theories violated the Code of Conduct.

    They all came true, so they removed that plank. But frankly, the qualifier was making Ricochet look like fruitcakes. Nowadays fruitcake is the new reality.

    It’s just that some conspiracy theories have ben more consequential than most. One in particular is brought to mind.

    Oh.  The one that popped up in the comments.  I wouldn’t call that any conspiracy theory, that’s blood libel and such.

     

    • #85
  26. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Ryan Van Tress: Finally, as it appears that President Biden’s White House has already accepted that Iran will get a nuclear weapon; if Iran and Saudi Arabia get nukes soon, will they largely use the weapons to threaten each other? Or will they, in concert, use the weapons to coerce Israel into conceding increasingly more of her sovereignty and security preferences?

    I have no special knowledge of the Middle East, I’m just a dude who reads the occasional article.  I am under the impression that when speaking to the Saudi public, their officials sound anti-Israel — but behind the scenes, they can live with Israel and are probably not that torn up about the fate of Hamas.  Iran is who they actually feel threatened by.  Just my largely uninformed opinion.

    • #86
  27. She Member
    She
    @She

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Ryan Van Tress: Finally, as it appears that President Biden’s White House has already accepted that Iran will get a nuclear weapon; if Iran and Saudi Arabia get nukes soon, will they largely use the weapons to threaten each other? Or will they, in concert, use the weapons to coerce Israel into conceding increasingly more of her sovereignty and security preferences?

    I have no special knowledge of the Middle East, I’m just a dude who reads the occasional article. I am under the impression that when speaking to the Saudi public, their officials sound anti-Israel — but behind the scenes, they can live with Israel and are probably not that torn up about the fate of Hamas. Iran is who they actually feel threatened by. Just my largely uninformed opinion.

    Yeah.  I think that’s pretty on point.

    • #87
  28. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Ryan Van Tress: Finally, as it appears that President Biden’s White House has already accepted that Iran will get a nuclear weapon; if Iran and Saudi Arabia get nukes soon, will they largely use the weapons to threaten each other? Or will they, in concert, use the weapons to coerce Israel into conceding increasingly more of her sovereignty and security preferences?

    I have no special knowledge of the Middle East, I’m just a dude who reads the occasional article. I am under the impression that when speaking to the Saudi public, their officials sound anti-Israel — but behind the scenes, they can live with Israel and are probably not that torn up about the fate of Hamas. Iran is who they actually feel threatened by. Just my largely uninformed opinion.

    But the Saudi officials probably talk down Israel in public for the same reason other places do, to shift blame for anything the public doesn’t like, away from themselves.  And that’s still a bad thing that they should wind down.

    • #88
  29. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Ryan Van Tress: Finally, as it appears that President Biden’s White House has already accepted that Iran will get a nuclear weapon; if Iran and Saudi Arabia get nukes soon, will they largely use the weapons to threaten each other? Or will they, in concert, use the weapons to coerce Israel into conceding increasingly more of her sovereignty and security preferences?

    I have no special knowledge of the Middle East, I’m just a dude who reads the occasional article. I am under the impression that when speaking to the Saudi public, their officials sound anti-Israel — but behind the scenes, they can live with Israel and are probably not that torn up about the fate of Hamas. Iran is who they actually feel threatened by. Just my largely uninformed opinion.

    But the Saudi officials probably talk down Israel in public for the same reason other places do, to shift blame for anything the public doesn’t like, away from themselves. And that’s still a bad thing that they should wind down.

    Definitely.  In most countries, ever since there have been such things as countries and kingdoms, it has been a popular tactic of leaders to blame people outside the kingdom for their problems.  In our era, Jews are a popular people to blame in many countries that have practically no Jewish population.  In many corrupt countries, they blame current government malfeasance  on whatever European country had formerly colonized them, even though the British, Dutch, Spanish, or whoever have been gone for generations.  If the United States falls some day, most Americans aren’t going to say that we really screwed up running up those trillions of dollars in debt.  We’ll blame it on China, Mexico; some batch of foreigners or another.  It’s just psychologically easier than admitting we are responsible for our own problems.

    • #89
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    If the United States falls some day, most Americans aren’t going to say that we really screwed up running up those trillions of dollars in debt.  We’ll blame it on China, Mexico; some batch of foreigners or another.  It’s just psychologically easier than admitting we are responsible for our own problems.

    I expect that’s less true of conservatives in general, and Ricochet members in particular.

    • #90
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