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Thread: Past Insurgencies

  1. #1 Past Insurgencies 
    Time Lord
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    What fundamental differences exist between the French Resistance during WW2, and the Palestinian struggle of the PLO, or various insurgent groups that are currently operating in Iraq?

    I think the partisan resistance during the Nazi occupation of Rome might also make for an interesting comparison, especially since it would have had a slightly religious flavor.

    Is there a tremendous difference between these groups? And, if so, why?


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  3. #2  
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    The French resistance in WWII targeted Nazi soldiers and officials. The Palestinians target ALL Jews, including small children. The Iraqi insurgency seems primarily directed against the Iraqi people - at least in terms of the numbers killed.

    I think there is a distinction between killing the enemy as the French did and killing just to terrorize as the others do.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman
    The French resistance in WWII targeted Nazi soldiers and officials. The Palestinians target ALL Jews, including small children. The Iraqi insurgency seems primarily directed against the Iraqi people - at least in terms of the numbers killed.

    I think there is a distinction between killing the enemy as the French did and killing just to terrorize as the others do.
    That's a pretty good difference.

    However, I think part of that might have been because the Nazis hadn't been indiscriminately targeting French civilians, whereas Israel is not known to be nearly so surgical in its approach to Palestinians. Also I don't think there were a lot of German civilians running around France who *could* be targeted.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Both the French and the Palestinians were/are fighting a foreign occupation army, but the situation is different.

    Although the Germans installed the Vichi Puppet government (like the US Empire has done in Afghanistan with the Karzai puppet regime), they did not buldoze or repossess French villages in order to build German colonnies, the Israelis are actively doing this. The Germans also did not create bantoustan and for-germans-only roads, nor did they appropriate water for German colonies inside France.

    In Iraq, its a good bet that some of the violence commited against iraqi civilians attributed to 'insurgents' or 'al queda' were false flag operations by US/British special forces or groups infiltrated by the occupation to cause strife to justify permanet presence or whatever fiendish motive (SAS officiers in false flag attire were captured by Iraqi police).

    Note that its also probable the israelis supported Hamas initially to undermine the PLO and foster a group that would more likely prove to be a good excuse to continue the occupation and ethnic cleansing.

    Another difference was that the French had the support of industrial nations attacking Hitler's occupation in a war that lasted a few years, the Palestinians have a world that looks and makes a resolution of condemnation (vetoed by the US) in an occupation that is lasting for years upon years upon decades. The German population supporting the occupation were in a war thorn economy, the Israeli population is for the most part enjoying martinis by the beach (if you think the occasional suicide bombing is horrible you are right, but compare that with the bombing of Drenzden, not the same ball park).

    The Germans faced the propaganda from the west(international jewish organizations having officially declared war on Germany in NY newspaper and radio before the war had started), while the Israelis benefit from the zionist media in the west(we hear of that israeli soldier that was captured, but the tons of palestinian civilians that are emprisonned or killed are hardly mentionned or totally ignored, the Israeli state receives billions in aid, the elected palestinian authority gets sanctions)
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  6. #5  
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    I don't know how many of you function in French but, if you did, you'd know that talking about French resitance in WW2 is a complicated subject among those in France and there is no 'this is how it was' that agreed upon by all.

    Vietnam to Americans is about much more than trying to stop Hanoi from ruling all of Vietnam. There are all types of ideological, political, social, economc layers . There is no consensus among Americans about that Vietnam was all about.

    The French resistance movement was equally complex and the French, themselves, have no consensus. It was based on social class warfare with a topping of nationalism...intellectual idealism and plain old revenge. Hitler was despised but so was de Gaulle by much of the resistance. Stalin was the hero and Churchill a capitalistic stooge... except that....and others would say...and so on.

    The French have done a lot of navel gazing about the morality of many actions and policies during WW2. Lots of movies, books, etc, with the central theme about questions of morality of variations on ' does he end justifies the means?'.

    a side note. In the 1970's I spent two years studying in Alsace,France . At the time the local and regional elected government was Communist. Looking across the Rhein from the university was Germany. For a lot of the locals WW2 was a means of tearing down the old social order and building a new one on socialist principles. WW2 was 'bad' but 'good' at the same time.

    bottom line: we often see the surface of happenings around the world. Often they are much more nebulous in definition than the stickers we put on them.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    thats an interesting post raptordigits :wink:
    (I guess your not basing your opinion on the movie Top Secret with ze Torche as leader of the resistance )
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo

    In Iraq, its a good bet that some of the violence commited against iraqi civilians attributed to 'insurgents' or 'al queda' were false flag operations by US/British special forces or groups infiltrated by the occupation to cause strife to justify permanet presence or whatever fiendish motive (SAS officiers in false flag attire were captured by Iraqi police).
    False flags are so hard to prove, though.

    I don't know how many false flags do or don't happen, but it's an incredibly effective tactic. People seem to like closure so much they're rarely willing to continue looking into a matter. If I were an evil person looking to start a war, I would use false flags.


    Note that its also probable the israelis supported Hamas initially to undermine the PLO and foster a group that would more likely prove to be a good excuse to continue the occupation and ethnic cleansing.
    I think Israel sees itself as being engaged in a life and death struggle where not getting Gaza and the West Bank is seen as "death". Kind of unfortunate when a group of people define their entitlements in such an unfair way.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Freshman Rabid Ewok's Avatar
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    Did the French resistance target civilian collaborators?
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  10. #9  
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    They are different cultures, which is the largest difference.
    They are different situations.
    Different times.
    Different countries.
    Different priorities.
    Different histories.

    It's DIFFERENT.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    They are different cultures, which is the largest difference.
    They are different situations.
    Different times.
    Different countries.
    Different priorities.
    Different histories.

    It's DIFFERENT.
    I'm not sure those things matter as much as you seem to imply. At the macro level, both cultures are human cultures, both situations are insurgencies, both countries are human countries, both priorities are human priorities, and both histories are human histories.

    It's better to start with the assumption that everything is the same, and then look for key differences (exceptions to the rule of same-ness), than to start with the assumption that everything is different and then look for key similarities.
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