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New Mega-Leak Reveals Middle East Peace Process 760

Posted by samzenpus
from the like-a-sieve dept.
An anonymous reader writes "There's been yet another mega-leak, this time of 1,600 papers describing the Israeli/Palestinian peace process negotiations. It's independent of Wikileaks and came to light via al-Jazeera, showing perhaps that the mega-leak meme is here to stay whatever happens to Assange. The papers show a weak Palestinian side offering ever greater concessions to Israel, which flatly rejected this as being insufficient: 'We do not like this suggestion because it does not meet our demands,' Israel's then foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, told the Palestinians, 'and probably it was not easy for you to think about it, but I really appreciate it.'"
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New Mega-Leak Reveals Middle East Peace Process

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  • Good lord... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:22PM (#34976864) Homepage Journal

    How can the following script be repeated for 1600 pages:

    "You started it!"
    "No, you started it!"
    "No, you started it!"

    Nuke them all. Their respective God will provide his true chosen people with the ability to live in the radioactive wasteland.

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:32PM (#34976932) Journal

    I thought maybe isolate both sides for 100 years or so. Give them time to cool off.

    Yeah, because it's not like the Jews or Muslim to carry a grudge for hundreds of years, right?

    I'm guessing you are a fellow American. We tend to underestimate the longevity of a grudge in the rest of the world. The beginning of the US seems like a long time ago to us, but to the rest of the world, we are still kids. Then again, we haven't gone that far out of our way to prove them wrong.

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by peragrin (659227) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:33PM (#34976938)

    Better answer is to nuke Jerusalem so that no one can go there for 2 or 300 hundred years. To be equal opportunity atheist take out Vatican city, and Mecca too.

    Let these people fight over cities they can't even have.

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by quanticle (843097) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:36PM (#34976950) Homepage

    No. Israel is trying to do that unilaterally with its containment wall. The only result (so far) is that the hard-liners on both sides (settlement movement, Hamas) have gained power at the expense of the moderates. Its a lot easier to demonize people you can't see.

  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Magic5Ball (188725) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:39PM (#34976966)

    It only seems like a new game because we've grown accustomed to the non-critical, non-investigative journalism that's handed to us on the nightly news. The news should be surprising to most people since we're mostly not experts in Middle-East relations, but astute readers of Foreign Policy, The Economist, AJ, or even La Presse should find very little new except for the details of individual human speech and interactions (the same can be said of any close transcript of almost any meeting or discussion).

    However, that's not to say that leaked details aren't valuable to somebody. If we were smart about this, we'd ask under what circumstances it's acceptable for professionals in general (who are also accountable to the public) to provide contrasting or conflicting private and public accounts of their professional activities as experts.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:51PM (#34977076)

    ...but not the right to expand by force.

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mug funky (910186) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:52PM (#34977078)

    the optimism, vigour, idealism and basically cocky precociousness of youth can explain all those achievements.

    "kids" is not necessarily derogatory. just look at any old person who envies the youth that have overtaken them.

    however, i fear the USA has now entered adolescence and is more concerned with yelling at it's mum and sitting in it's room listening to terrible music and blaming everyone but itself...

  • by MrHanky (141717) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:52PM (#34977086) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, except they were willing to give up parts of their own land, and you didn't bother to read the story since it doesn't fit your moronic prejudices.

  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:59PM (#34977136) Journal

    great post - anyone who travels much and sees the world through their own eyes will quickly realize that most of what we are told on the "news" is highly filtered and twisted to make it palatable to the sheep !

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:00PM (#34977144)

    RTFA you Fucking Moron. Seriously, get your head out of your ass and fucking READ IT. The Palestinians are the ones doing all the giving here, Israel is still WAY outside it's fucking borders, but stupid fucking racist retarded cunts like you are the reason it can get away with it.

    One day in the future we'll all be saddened that Israel was the child of ethnic cleansing and racism, and chose instead of becoming a beacon to inflict misery upon a new set of innocents.

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KingMotley (944240) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:05PM (#34977170) Journal

    Hmm... I highly doubt that Americans just walk up to you at random and say that. From what I've seen it's usually a provoked response, typically started from anti-American comments by British/Europeans that feel they are superior to the rest of the world.

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tragedy (27079) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:09PM (#34977192)

    Oh come on. A good chunk of the US still seems to practically define itself through resentment at the North over the civil war. Forget what Dunbal said about WWI and WWII, lots of Americans seem to be holding a grudge over colonial times and the War of Independence. They also seem to carry a massive grudge against the French for no reason I can figure out.

  • Re:Farhud (Score:5, Insightful)

    by otis wildflower (4889) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:32PM (#34977320) Homepage

    You mean like the Arabs that lost the west bank and gaza during the six day war and the yom kippur war did?

    So we set the marker in the ground only where _YOU_ think we should start over?

  • by definate (876684) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:33PM (#34977330)

    It's independent of Wikileaks and came to light via al-Jazeera, showing perhaps that the mega-leak meme is here to stay whatever happens to Assange.

    I think history will find that Wikileaks and by association Julian Assanges greatest contribution to the world, will not necessarily be the Wikileaks service, but helping to cultivate a greater culture of leaking, by showing that it can be done effectively, and that your message will be heard.

    Now that, is something extremely valuable, that's almost impossible to be taken away.

  • by otis wildflower (4889) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:39PM (#34977372) Homepage

    Actually, if you read your history, you'd know that they were driven out or forced into dhimmitude when Mohammed conquered Jerusalem.

    Additionally, Medina was originally a Jewish city, its name was Hebrew, and Mohammed murdered every Jew there.

    Oh, BTW, Mohammed was also a fucking degenerate child rapist.

  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qbzzt (11136) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:51PM (#34977416)

    It would be difficult to forge those 1,600 documents.

    A much easier propaganda use is to go over the documents you do have, and decide selectively which ones to leak - the ones that make your side look good, and the other side look bad.

  • by Farmer Tim (530755) <roundfile@NOSPAm.mindless.com> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:59PM (#34977474) Journal

    Do you mean Israel's right to exist or Palestine's right to exist [wholetruthcoalition.org]?

    (Dreadful source, but the map is accurate)

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by copponex (13876) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @10:16PM (#34977580) Homepage

    The solution is to arm both sides equally. I'm sure negotiations would be much more productive if the Palestinians had helicopter gunships, tanks, jet fighters, and billions in military aid every year instead of barely enough food to eat. It would also stop the suicide bombing, since they would be able to target what they really want to hurt: the IDF.

  • by Supurcell (834022) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @10:59PM (#34977782)
    Try replacing "Jews" with any group. Most social groups are incapable of seeing their own shortcomings.
  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seanadams.com (463190) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:20PM (#34977906) Homepage
    If the other side wants to leak something that makes their point then I'm all ears for that too. Fuck it all, leak everything!
  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Slippery (47854) <[tms] [at] [infamous.net]> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:31PM (#34977990) Homepage

    After watching the 'peace' process break down again and again here. You have to realize *NEITHER* side is really interested in it.

    The "peace" process has been Israel and the U.S. telling the people of Palestine to, essentially, "relax and enjoy it". No, the Palestinians are not interested in that, but over and over their leadership has shown an interest in sincerely working for peace. It's not surprising that they cannot find a reliable partner for peace and justice in Israel, any more than the Native Americans nations have ever been able to find a reliable partner for peace and justice with the U.S. government.

  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by E IS mC(Square) (721736) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:31PM (#34977992) Journal

    I don't get this "because it's al-jazeera, it must be biased".

    Two things:
    1. Al-Jazeera, if you remove your yellow glasses, is actually a very high caliber new organization, unlike most of anything you find in the US. Of course, they belong to a different country, different culture and difference environment, and may not speak your language so to speak, but that does not mean they are not good. Do some research for once for fuck sake. To help you, start with the excellent documentary "Control Room". And don't even try to compare it with CNN.

    2. Even if one assumes AJ is bias, if the document they release prove to be correct, how does that take away the truth in any form?

  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fishexe (168879) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:47PM (#34978060) Homepage

    For sure. It completely baffles me how anyone can have a strong opinion on any issue when they are only fed the information via the mainstream media. War on Terrorism is the main one that springs to mind - so many people wanting the US (and everyone else) out of there and obviously feeling very strongly about it, having only read about it in mainstream media and maybe a few forums. Maybe they're right, maybe there are a whole load of valid reasons why we shouldn't be over there, but how can they know for sure when they are just repeating 'popular opinion'???

    I don't know where you get the idea that popular opinion says to end the War on Terror, based on reading the mainstream media. It seems to me that almost every cheerleader of the War on Terror I've met was someone who limited themselves to the mainstream media and limited their discussion of the issue to repeating talking points, and almost every staunch critic of the War on Terror I've met has based their opinion on having done independent research including talking to people from the affected parts of the world on all sides of the issue, and could engage in lengthy and nuanced debates on the subject. Maybe you just assume because their view doesn't match yours that it must be based on lack of information? Or maybe you're in a country where that is the popular opinion and I'm just assuming you're in the US 'cause I'm a dope ;-)

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:54PM (#34978094)

    Americans seem to be holding a grudge over colonial times and the War of Independence.

    So that's why the English are the American's strongest allies, because Americans still hold a grudge over... wait what?

    It's complete nonsense.

    The only time this stuff comes up is when one person can't think of a better response in an argument (that was almost certainly retarded to begin with - case in point, this thread). Generally it is limited to one or two wars, because most people don't know all that much about history anyway.

    The truth is relationships between countries is very complex and ever-evolving. For the 60 years prior to independence France was the biggest enemy of the colonists. There were two wars fought against them. After the Declaration of Independence Great Britain was (for obvious reasons) the greatest enemy to the colonies, and France was suddenly our ally.

    The United States of America would almost certainly not exist without the help of France.

    After that the US was largely on its own, dealing with internal conflict, along with Mexico and Cuba.

    For world war one the US came in late and "saved the day" (the Triple Entente probably would have won anyway), siding with the countries who, based on the number of wars fought, had been enemies more often than allies.

    For world war two Japan made a slight miscalculation, bringing the US into the war when it really should have just let things be. Europe probably didn't need the US's help, since Germany was spread too thin, and Russia was willing to throw as many men at the problem as it took to win. Though, judging by the way Russia treated Germans and Pollacks after the war, you probably wouldn't have liked it if they were the ones who clinched the victory. The US took care of Japan largely by themselves. Had Japan been attacking Russia instead of the US, it's possible things could have ended differently, but Japan wanted the US, since the Russia closest to Japan sucks.

    Hey guess which two countries are on real good terms 50 years later? If you guessed Japan and the US, you get the prize!

    Honestly, the best response to the "you'd all be speaking such-and-such if we hadn't saved you" nonsense is to roll your eyes and move on. It's a juvenile argument, you win by ignoring it (or mocking it, mocking it is fun too).

  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fishexe (168879) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:56PM (#34978104) Homepage

    He didn't say Al-jazeera stood alone. What he's trying to convey is that they make Fox News looks like men of honor.

    Which is only true if you take "Muslims are dishonest" or something similar as one of your premises. For all the talk about "fibs" and "lies" on al Jazeera, they are measurably more accurate and less biased than Fox News. It's just that they're biased in a direction that is politically incorrect in present American society, whereas Fox News is biased in a direction that's politically correct (again, within American society) so they usually get a pass.

  • It's actually a lot more complicated than that. My advice when people ask me about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that if you think either side is right, it's because you don't know anything. Spend any time really studying the issues and you realize that there's nothing but shades of grey in this conflict.

  • Re:Its really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Monday January 24, 2011 @12:28AM (#34978270)

    Al-Jazeera is not a 'shining example of independent journalism'. It is, however, much much better than the usual government-controlled stuff coming out that region (excluding Ha'aretz etc which also have articles from the left and right sides of the political spectrum).

    If you read the Al-Jazeera article being discussed, rather than relying on your pre-formed perception, you would realise it that is was an opinion piece and unbalanced (as would be expect from an opinion). The author essentially considers the main Palestinian negotiator as a 'sell-out' for going for compromise/concessions. The ability for the Palestinians to make up their own mind to find something that could bring peace doesn't seem to enter into the author's head.

    There are two other things worth noting that you may be unaware of (I have travelled a fair bit around that region, including Israel):
    1) What is written and declared by the Palestinians in English generally does not match what is declared in Arabic. There has never been a recognition of Israel's right to exist in Arabic (try finding Israel on a Palenstinian map). In fact, most things (eg. soothing words to the West) are taken as temporary tactics until Israel is finally pushed into the sea and all Palestinian land reclaimed.

    2) Concessions by the Palestinians are remarkable. Generally, offering a concession is viewed as a sign of weakness in many parts of Arab culture, and a sign of weakness means you should hold out for more rather than find a mutually acceptable solution. This is one of the reasons that Ehud Barak failed to achieve a settlement when he offered a very large number of concessions many years ago.

    3) Both sides do not trust each other. It seems that settlement building will never stop, even in regions internationally accepted as Palestinian - so naturally Palestinians do ot trust the Israeli government. Plus even the dovish Israelis also seem to have resigned themselves that the Palestinians do not want peace (after two Intifada) - which is why the bulk of moderate Israelis (who don't want a 'Greater Israel', they just want a nice life) are tolerant of their increasingly hawkish governments. One big change was the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza by the Israelis which did not bring any peace and is now used as a staging post for missile attacks (which seek to 'liberate' the rest of the land, Gaza was only the beginning).

  • Re:Its really (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 24, 2011 @12:47AM (#34978368)

    How about referring to the victims of suicide bombers and intifada violence as "martyrs?"

  • by Rayonic (462789) on Monday January 24, 2011 @01:08AM (#34978478) Homepage Journal

    ...but not the right to expand by force.

    Every other nation seems to have claimed this right at some point in history. That's basically how most of today's large, well-defined nations formed. At some level it's just humans defeating other humans, and then later saying they're sorry.

    I'm just playing Devil's Advocate here, but it seems like Israel is getting flak for acting in a more humane way than historical standards. Had they just kept the land they won through war and drove everybody out, we might not even be talking about it today. It'd just be another sad footnote.

  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Schlacht (18295) on Monday January 24, 2011 @01:50AM (#34978650) Homepage

    Exactly as SeanAdams says, if the Isreali side have a counter-leak let us have it. Its total bs to say because it's an AJ leak its invalid and that neither side want peace. The leak shows a flexibility towards peace that we were never made aware of, that the PA are at least willing to make even bigger concessions and the Isrealis just throw it back in their face with a 'thanks but no-thanks attitude. THAT is the news, and as I said if there is an Isreali released and independently verified counter-leak let's see it!

    And to compare this to two children and a toy - well I'd like to spend 5 minutes with you in a boxing ring. You can be blindfolded, no shoes, and with both arms tied behind your back ... then give me a baseball bat and maybe a nice selection of body armor to make sure I don't hurt myself too bad. The way the Isreali army has been using the Palestinians like the center stage attraction at a Mexican birthday party makes me disgusted ... and you call these two opposing forces 'children' -- wtf, open your eyes. At best its a college freshman going to the local kindergarten and kicking around some kids.

  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kdemetter (965669) on Monday January 24, 2011 @02:05AM (#34978720)

    Still , it's dangerous to just assume that everything leaked is automatically valid.

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by silentcoder (1241496) on Monday January 24, 2011 @02:08AM (#34978732) Homepage

    You know... the French could justifiably turn your whole "Do you speak German" thing around and ask: "Are you ruled by the Queen of England" to Americans.
    How sad that almost nobody in America knows that the only reason your country even EXISTS is because the French funded your war of independence and kept you going (granted, they did it mostly to spite England but still). Ironically in doing so they impoverished themselves tremendously - directly leading to the French Revolution.

    Yeah you HELPED liberate them in World War 2 (you know there were soldiers at D-Day from ALL the allied nations including Britain and even my little South Africa right ?) - they liberated you 300 years ago.

    How about you both just call it even and learn to STFU about it ?

  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Monday January 24, 2011 @02:36AM (#34978842)

    If you go back and read the same Bible most of the West does, you'd see the Jews are constantly their own worst enemy.... they rise to the occasion under extreme suffering, only to wallow in the gutter when everything goes their way. It's like a micro cell of humanity... it's happened before, it will happen again... 60 years ago somebody tried to exterminate one part of their ethnic group, yet they can't have any kind of grace or honor with people lesser than them. It's straight out of Dickenson where somebody with everything claims injury because they had to clean a little poor kids guts off their carriage and it ruined their day.

    The problem is that most of the "Jews" that ended up in Israel after WW2 would best be termed "carpet baggers". Most of them were from other well-to do places. It was founded as a "fairy tale" religious state... like if Pat Robertson and Dick Cheney had their own country. I think part of why Americans are starting to find it so vulgar is that it mirrors what the Americans did to the Indians not that long ago... and they're starting to realize it was a mistake.

    From a purely "biblical" point of view, the land being squabbled over is the same land Israel failed to take back in the time of King David and the Philistines. There is a prophesy that it would NEVER be their land... and 4000 years later it's still the case. They are trying to take land their OWN religious text says they won't ever get.... They're trying to starve them out, to cheat on their peace treaties, etc, etc. when 60 years ago those people were just "folks" of the land. In ANY western country (like Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, etc) we'd call out Israel for "Ethnic Purges" which is exactly what they're doing. It's high time they stop getting a free pass to randomly execute residents of their country... we overthrew Saddam for the same kind of crap.

    Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Crusaders.... all gave the jewish people a chance to participate in their cultures, then wiped them out... then the next guy gave them another chance, rinse n repeat. The UK/USA is another in a long line of big world players that felt the Jewish people earned great respect.... watch them squander it all just as fast!!!

    My opinion is that in the next 5-10 years Israel is going to step over the line with Iran and the US will have to put them down for their own good (and to save our own face with the UN), wipe out all the stuff we've sold them... or 8 other countries will try to wipe them out. Iran is playing a game of talking big, but being careful not to actually violate any international laws, while at the same time stepping up response to minor violations on their own borders. It's a clever game to talk smack, but make sure the other guy throws the first punch. Russia and China have too much invested in Iran to let the US knock it over too... I think those two would hit the veto button on any military action against them.

  • Re:Good lord... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Monday January 24, 2011 @03:20AM (#34978954)

    The solution is to arm both sides equally. I'm sure negotiations would be much more productive if the Palestinians had helicopter gunships, tanks, jet fighters, and billions in military aid every year instead of barely enough food to eat.

    So you think that would turn out better than when the surrounding Arab nations and the Arabs in Palestine went to war with Israel? '48, '56, 67, '73?

    It would also stop the suicide bombing, since they would be able to target what they really want to hurt: the IDF.

    Don't be ridiculous, it has nothing to do with the IDF - it is about killing and terrorizing Jews. Why do you think they sent suicide bombers into pizza parlors? Couldn't find an army patrol?

    The Arabs living in Palestine would be better off if their leaders would give up two things: 1. Kleptocracy as a governing and organizing principle. 2. The fantasy of trying to destroy Israel.

  • Different versions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by olman (127310) on Monday January 24, 2011 @06:03AM (#34979462)

    There's English Al Jazeera which you can buy at least in Finland as a part of pay tv packages. Apparently they're by far more balanced with their reporting than the Arabian version is. Not too surprising, perhaps, considering their target audience.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday January 24, 2011 @07:14AM (#34979648) Journal
    The Hitler excuse is starting to wear pretty thin. Some of my relatives died in the death camps (my mother's family were German Jews who left the country in the '30s, but not all of them got out in time), so I'm not exactly unbiased on this issue, but every time someone calls Israel to task for their behaviour the reply is always 'but... Hitler killed loads of Jews'. He also killed loads or homosexuals and gypsies, but these groups don't seem to get to use him as an excuse for behaving like asshats several generations later.
  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday January 24, 2011 @08:01AM (#34979804) Homepage

    It should also be pointed out that Al Jazeera did the same thing here, doing their best to validate that these were authentic. While they've been demonized in the US mainstream press (largely for not parroting the US view of the Israel-Palestine Conflict), they're the equivalent of CNN or the BBC in the Middle East. Is it 100% credibility? Heck no. But it's a good 95+% credible.

  • by Entrope (68843) on Monday January 24, 2011 @08:55AM (#34980036) Homepage

    If you read a little more closely, you might have noticed that "Hitler killed a lot of Jews" was in response to "Jews have had problems with their neighbors for 3700 years" -- it was challenging the strong element of one-sided blame in the latter.

    If the critics of Israel being asshats spent a little more time criticizing Israel's neighbors when the neighbors were being asshats, instead of coming across as stereotypical haters (technically, anti-Semitism isn't quite accurate here), then perhaps both Israel and its neighbors would have a better sense of when their behavior was outrageous.

  • Re:Its really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by radtea (464814) on Monday January 24, 2011 @11:48AM (#34981592)

    Wars can be won, and enemies can be stamped out.

    Tell that to the dead and consider the cost to the "victor". Wars can have first and second losers, and that's all.

    England and it's allies "won" WWII... at the cost of British economic supremacy. The United States "won" WWII... at the cost of discarding forever its tradiational isolationist policies, putting it on a slippery slope to empire that is still costing American lives today, to say nothing of progressively bankrupting the American state.

    Anyone who thinks wars can be "won" hasn't been paying attention to anything but military-industrial propoganda.

  • Re:Its really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Americano (920576) on Monday January 24, 2011 @12:11PM (#34981900)

    The title was just about the only slanted aspect of the release.

    That, and the editing to remove evidence that supported the military's assertion that they appeared to be an armed group of insurgents and that the helicopter that fired on them was completely justified in doing so based on that evidence.

    Yes, they provided a link to the unedited video. How many people actually clicked it, versus how many people watched "Collateral Murder" in its edited form, and simply accepted what they were shown - that the US military was just flying circles over Baghdad lighting up random people. They intentionally omitted the footage showing the men carrying what appear to be weapons, and they named it in as sensational a way as possible to paint the military in a horrific light.

    All things considered, such a service is so valuable that anyone who supports government accountability should be thankful to Wikileaks, even if they disagree with the apparent bias.

    This, I can agree with you on, at least in principle, and I've said so here on Slashdot repeatedly. I think that Wikileaks does provide a valuable service. I do not like Mr. Assange's editorializing about the content they're releasing, and I think it only serves to undermine their mission and make them (and him) less credible. Let the information speak for itself.

    The Collateral Murder video footage was powerful. But they introduced bias to it. Let people watch the full & unedited version, and understand that war:
    1) Requires young men and women with very imperfect information to make quick decisions about the situation they see unfolding in front of them, and act on it;
    2) Is not a series of explosions and fire-from-the-hip Rambo footage. Modern warfare is in fact, large stretches of "mostly nothing happens" interspersed with a few minutes of gut-wrenching "interesting parts".

    That video would have painted a terrifically informative picture of modern warfare for the average civilian... unfortunately, it painted a picture that said "these kids are trigger-happy monsters, and are just looking for an excuse to kill anybody they see walking down the street." Frankly, I'd say that the people who are already predisposed to agree with that message simply use the collateral murder video as a way to reinforce that notion, and never bothered to watch the full unedited video. And in that regard, they're no better than the people who refuse to watch any news source other than Fox.

  • Re:Its really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fishexe (168879) on Monday January 24, 2011 @01:02PM (#34982730) Homepage

    Is it possible that both of you see the people on your side if the argument through biased lens of "clearly they are more intelligent people who have done way more research into the the matter because they reached the same opinion as me, and anyone who reaches a different opinion must not know as much as me or have ulterior motives."

    No. I'm basing what I say on careful evaluation of people's arguments and stated justification for their beliefs. If I meet someone who has actually done more research into an issue than I have, I find that out and admit that it is the case; furthermore, I often change my position in response to meeting better and more-researched arguments than my own.

    It is a rare day indeed when you find a person who will admit that someone who disagrees with them has done an adequate amount of research and fact finding and simply has reached a different well informed opinion.

    I don't know where you hang out, but I (and many people I know, many of whom disagree with me on important issues) do it every day. For example, I'm willing to admit right now that you and I have a reasonable difference of opinion on differences of opinion. You're being reasonable enough here that you give me no reason to believe what you say is based on bias, and to give me every reason to believe you're basing what you say on serious thought.

    We always want to believe people who disagree with us simply don't have all the facts or dismiss their opinions as misinformed ignorant sheep.

    True. That's why we have to be very careful in arguments not to lapse into that kind of sloppy thinking. I never just dismiss someone I disagree with without asking enough questions about their position to know why they disagree with me, carefully evaluating their reasons to see if there's something real there, and offering my arguments to see what their counter-arguments are (and also on the off-chance I might convince them of my position; arguments serve a dual purpose here). I don't claim to be perfect or bias-free, but I think the process of careful examination means more of my assessments of people's positions are based on the actual strength of those positions than on my bias, and I regularly criticize people on the same side of issues as myself for not engaging in the same sort of rhetorical integrity (as well as for making weak arguments or just plain being biased).

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