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Old 07-04-2007, 07:59 AM   #1
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BBC's Alan Johnston FREE!!!!!!

What wonderful news to come home to last night! Congrats to him and all across the world who came together to support him.
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Old 07-04-2007, 08:04 AM   #2
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I just saw that. Great news.
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Old 07-04-2007, 08:25 AM   #3
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I'm so happy for him
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:41 AM   #4
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And he doesn't look to bad, physically, either, thank goodness. It could have ended so much differently - this is a real relief.
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:59 AM   #5
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this is great news!
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:44 PM   #6
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Hurray!
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:11 PM   #7
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good news, although I don't like how BBC is applauding Hamas
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Old 07-04-2007, 06:57 PM   #8
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this is such fantastic news
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:23 AM   #9
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BBC appaluding Hamas?? After the hostages debacle with Iran, you'd wonder why they'd be appaluding any group with ties to that country. Feelings were sore enough when the hostages came home and parroted wishy-washy statements about their captors. And with this week's terroist events, they should be suitably harsh. Iran is playing a very smart game here and for the West to be praising any group operating with their funding is playing into their hands in a way that would have been profoundly shocking even 10 yrs ago. I hope Western governments aren't adapting the "Bono and George Bush" relationship. Just as Bush uses Bono's statements of support as an excuse to make more promises about Africa he feels more comfortable in later breaking (because he knows he won't be reprimanded or punished for it later), I hope people in the West won't make that midstake with Hamas. Negotiating with Iran at this stage is one thing, but Hamas is a different kettle of fish.

That said, it is great to see a happy ending. I am overjoyed for Johnston and his family. Good news these days is very rare. I hope Johnston shuts up and stays silent about his captors and politics though. Hamas and its parent company, Iran, are going to milk this up for all it is worth. "see, we are not the evil people they think we are." All the while they are outlawing music, Western fashion, free speech, persecuting women, instituting the Sharia law, and in general turning the Gaza Strip into the Stone Age, out of the camera's eye. DON'T BE FOOLED. It's time Mr Johnston retired from politics, and not unwittingly become a propaganda agent like the 15 hostages did.

I've noticed that oppressive and dictatorial governments have become VERY SMART and have learned how to play the game. This Hamas crap is for me in the same league as the Sudanese government taking Western NGO aid workers hostage, openly threatening their safety, so that they become angry with advocacy groups and call for their ouster, like what happened recently with Save DarFur.org. When Westerners both inside and outside these places should be unite din opposition when genocide is going on, esp the aid workers as they are the ones seeing it happen in person. The Sudanese gov't complained to Bush, saying, "I was going to work on solving these problems, but these loudmouthed groups are makingit difficult for me to help these poor people of Darfur, I only want what's best for them." RIGHT. Divide and conquer. In 1999 the same thing happened in Kodsovo but we did not give in to Serbian blackmail. And ther Serbs were using Aid workers a shuman shields, so that even today we use the fact that someof them ewere killed as an excuse not to do any similar action. Well, if the savvy ditators make it impossible to make the omelet without breaking eggs, I say break the eggs; the genocide will be prevented. People forget that the Serbs were pushing the people of Kosovo out at gunpoint en masse, and stripping away thier national ID papers as they left. And if this had not been stopped the whole province would have been emptied of its Albanian population likely within a week . We didn't allow appeasement and blackmial then.

Sorry to get on a tangent here....If I am, it;s b/c I am po'd about calculating, savvy dictators and how smart they've become. We can never again have real victories, no matter how right we may be.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:31 AM   #10
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Originally posted by Teta040
BBC appaluding Hamas?? After the hostages debacle with Iran, you'd wonder why they'd be appaluding any group with ties to that country. Feelings were sore enough when the hostages came home and parroted wishy-washy statements about their captors. And with this week's terroist events, they should be suitably harsh. Iran is playing a very smart game here and for the West to be praising any group operating with their funding is playing into their hands in a way that would have been profoundly shocking even 10 yrs ago. I hope Western governments aren't adapting the "Bono and George Bush" relationship. Just as Bush uses Bono's statements of support as an excuse to make more promises about Africa he feels more comfortable in later breaking (because he knows he won't be reprimanded or punished for it later), I hope people in the West won't make that midstake with Hamas. Negotiating with Iran at this stage is one thing, but Hamas is a different kettle of fish.

That said, it is great to see a happy ending. I am overjoyed for Johnston and his family. Good news these days is very rare. I hope Johnston shuts up and stays silent about his captors and politics though. Hamas and its parent company, Iran, are going to milk this up for all it is worth. "see, we are not the evil people they think we are." All the while they are outlawing music and turning the Gaza Strip into the Stone Age. Don't be fooled. It's time Mr Johnston retired from politics, and not unwittingly become a propaganda agent like the 15 hostages did.
I disagree. We need to negotiate w/ Hamas. We cannot let that part of the world fall into Iran's influence. Think about it. Iran's wain is growing, they have the Syrian government's support, Hezbollah in Lebanon, al-Sadr and the Mahdi army in Iraq. We must put a stop to the increasing presence of Iran in the area, for they preach a negative west point of view.

Negotiations cannot take place w/ Iran until they show a willing to stop spreading a hate message.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:38 AM   #11
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and yes, i might sound contradicting from my earlier post. we should not applaud hamas for its beliefs, but they cannot be ignored for they are a popular movement.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:56 AM   #12
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I edited my post above to talk about how smart these groups and govts are becoming. How, exactly, do you "negotiate" with Hamas? What do you say? And more importantly, what do you want? What would you want? I used to feel as you did, until 3 weeks ago. The Gaza takeover was my Damascus road experience. Hamas and Hezbollah may be "popular movements" but only for a part of the population. Both organizions have sopisticated TV and radio networks which only show part of the equation, and the public doesn't learn the truth until after the takeover, and by then it's too late. I've read so much about Hezbollah's al-Manar, for example.....it puts Fox News to shame. The Palestinian people "negotiated" them into power, and then learned the truth. Not that I've converted to Cheneyism or anything like that, (God Forbid!) ,but I'm not for openly praising them either. While they "negotiate" with us, Syria buys huge weapons shipments from Russia (they just finalized a deal for the shipment of a new fleet of the latest Russian warplanes last month).

Ah, back when things were simple.....What to do? If Israel starts a war this month (like posters from the IDF are hinting...there are unusually high levels of miltary excercises in the Negev right now; the Israeli govt plans to use the Hamas takeover to justify payback for a year ago) I can't support that either....
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Teta040
I edited my post above to talk about how smart these groups and govts are becoming. How, exactly, do you "negotiate" with Hamas? What do you say? And more importantly, what do you want? What would you want? I used to feel as you did, until 3 weeks ago. The Gaza takeover was my Damascus road experience. Hamas and Hezbollah may be "popular movements" but only for a part of the population. Both organizions have sopisticated TV and radio networks which only show part of the equation, and the public doesn't learn the truth until after the takeover, and by then it's too late. I've read so much about Hezbollah's al-Manar, for example.....it puts Fox News to shame. The Palestinian people "negotiated" them into power, and then learned the truth. Not that I've converted to Cheneyism or anything like that, (God Forbid!) ,but I'm not for openly praising them either. While they "negotiate" with us, Syria buys huge weapons shipments from Russia (they just finalized a deal for the shipment of a new fleet of the latest Russian warplanes last month).

Ah, back when things were simple.....What to do? If Israel starts a war this month (like posters from the IDF are hinting...there are unusually high levels of miltary excercises in the Negev right now; the Israeli govt plans to use the Hamas takeover to justify payback for a year ago) I can't support that either....
well, i personally am not a strong supporter of our (if you live in the US) policy towards Israel. I think that we give the birdie to a lot of the Middle Eastern countries and that is why most of the citizens hate us there. i would just get a line of communication up. you don't have to have specific goals to communicate w/ each other. express view points, then try and persuade. obviously, hamas will have to change, but israel and the us will as well. throwing out hamas' government will not stop the ideals behind the movement.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:25 AM   #14
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The only thing Hamas really wants is to get rid of Israel, entirely. You cannot negotiate that.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:36 AM   #15
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Well, struckpx....I think one thing we can agree on is, nothing will ever be truly negotiated, b/c both sides are too entrenched and both sides are right. The Israeli-Palestinian conflcit ist ruly the world's "problem from hell". The reason why I think we are in the abysmal state we are in today is Bush's disasterous policy in his first term of "Hands off the ME." We disengaged and did NOTHING, and let Ariel Sharon run amok. In the 90's nothing was accomplished either, but all the factions sat around TALKING aobut how to get to Point.00001 in order to get to Point .0001 and from there on to get to Point .001 and we never really got even to Point A, let alone B. In this conflict, progress is measured in sentences. And both sides knew that in the end the ultimate deal-breaker, the J-Word, would come up eventually and that would cause the whole damned thing to fall apart (which was exactly what happened. And if I read one more remark about "Barack's generous Offer: again...). But they put off that moment as long as possible, and what was important was that even if it was doomed to fail, at least it bought some time, at least 6 or 7 yrs of peace and hope, and do I regret the long torturous rise and fall of Oslo? Many Israelis have been taught to think so, but I don't. What kept the whole thing going, even the face of events like the bus bombings which were just as frequent as today, was the impression that people got that SOME effort was being made. The politiicos sent a very powerful public message that the terrorists could do all they wanted, but it swouldn't stop Progress.

I'd love for that to hapen now, I wish we could revive the Spirit of Oslo, but the neglect has gone on too long. The poison was allowed to get too deep into the system of both peoples. Things have deteriorated to the point where I don't think that spirit cvan ever be revived again. I'd love to see it happen, but I don't thinkit can. This is, for me, perhaps Bush's greatest foreign policy sin--fatally neglcting our newfound role as Arbiter. They've trying to revive it now, but too little, too late.
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