Happy now? Happy before? Happy ever?


Happy now? Happy before? Happy ever?
by Arash Monzavi-Kia

During the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam’s regime used to take some of the captured Iranian soldiers to the radio and have them give “interviews”, broadcast in Farsi. It was a disgraceful sham, but created some unintended moments of “comic relief”. One instance, a Basiji “volunteer” gave an interview on how he was being “well treated” by the Iraqi brethren etc, when the interviewer asked if he had any messages for the folks back home. The simple-minded hajji thought for a second and then said: “To our neighborhood mosque’s imam, who was so insistent for us to volunteer: Happy Now?” 

Now after 20 days of bloodshed in Gaza and South Israel, the same question can be applied and extended to another endless Middle Eastern war. Is Hamas happy now? Were the Jews and Palestinians happy before? Are they going to be happy ever? The following points have appeared in my blogs before the recent Gaza battles, but may merit your time for a second (or first) view.

Currently, Israel wants to protect its citizens from Hamas attacks in the South, the Hezbollah attacks to the North and the PLO attacks from the East. To that end, the Israeli army is prepared to sabotage, assail and demolish its enemies; not with sporadic rocket attacks, but with overwhelming force, in order to dissuade and disable the other side’s will and means to harm. However, year-after-year, the Palestinian resistance has grown from demonstrations, to stone throwing, to petrol bombs, to suicide bombers, and now mortar and rockets. Why you ask? Well, maybe, because people don’t like to be kicked out of their lands and shoved into waterless, foodless, futureless refugee camps and ghettos!

The creation of Israel has been a negative side effect of WWII. Right at the end of the colonial era, when the strong tide of 3rd world nationalism and independence had started; a new nation was forcefully forged in the Middle East, which has been at war with its neighbors since inception! That animosity has since turned into a septic wound. The humiliating defeats of Arab nations progressively radicalized them into leftist nationalists (Egypt, Syria), militaristic regimes (Iraq, Libya) and Islamist strongholds (Iran, Lebanon). Neither the state of Israel, nor Palestinians are going to disappear any time soon. Hence their relentless struggle for land and growth will continue to create turmoil, fighting and hatred in the Middle East. As long as both sides are fully entrenched in their antagonistic positions, without the ability to see and feel the pains of the other side, this major blunder of colonial era is bound to besiege us.

The two-state solution which is being slowly and painfully implemented is the only viable solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict, but not much of a solution either. Integration of the occupied territories (OT) Palestinians into Israel is impossible. Holding on to those territories and maintaining the Palestinians in a state of apartheid is a failed policy. Therefore, for Israel to survive as an Open Society, it has to sever its ties to the OT. However, neither Egypt nor Jordan is willing to take over the most challenging task of governing the OT, therefore, the only viable remaining solution is an independent Palestinian state (IPS).

Unfortunately, the formation of IPS has been and will be mired by unreasonable demands, paranoid suspicions and militaristic fundamentalism, from both the Arab and the Israeli side. The Jewish population will try to keep the best parts of OT and draw a wall around the scarce resources and water available. The Palestinians will keep demanding right-of-return to their ancestral lands and confiscated properties. The two sides will clash for years and years to come, until a bloody border is established, most probably on a de facto basis.  Consequently, the new IPS which will be starved of most of the choice land and water resources will remain poor, bitter and militant.

The Palestinians, when faced with the dire outcome of making a meager living out of the arid lands, will blame their secular and moderate leaders for cutting a 'humiliating' deal with the devil. The Islamist fervor will continue to grow, with the promise of getting revenge for the atrocities past and conspiracies present. The radicalized IPS will maintain a hostile posture against Israel, will harbor terrorist groups and will facilitate raids on what they believe is the rest of the occupied territories. Sadly, there is still enough fuel to get this unholy fire going for another 60 years, while denying happiness to all involved! 

Equally tragic is the sick role that IRI is playing in this macabre dance. True to their death-loving (Shahadat Talab) form, the Tehran government is supplying cash and weapons to the most fanatic Palestinian factions. The IRI actions follow two fundamental motives: religious belief in the never ending war of Islam with Infidels, as well as the pragmatist view of using foreign wars to rule over a disgruntled populace. With the imminent defeat of Hamas, falling oil prices and an election year ahead; it is unclear if the IRI stooges can reap any benefit from other people’s misery.


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more from Arash Monzavi-Kia
rosie is roxy is roshan

Q, it is interesting you use the term pitbull

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

I guess it's not so uncommon but I was thinking a lot about it a couple of weeks ago. Because a pitbull is trained by its master to frighten, protect, and if necessary kill but often pitbulls run amok because of this training. Then they go out and kill some baby or some other dog. You suggest it all works out for the U.S. (and West) but I'm not so sure. Right now Israel is probably the most loathed country in the world, and the US's role equally loathed. Doesn't it make it difficult for US foreign policy around the world? Or do you think this problem (if it exists) is outweighed by the benefits you mention? Doesn't Israel sometimes exceed the demands of its master and just go out of control? Or is the US always in cahoots?

People often say that Israel is not the puppet of the US but the other way around.

Another thing I was thinking is that a pitbull is not a happy caomper and this can be said of ordinary Israelis. That is why they leave in droves. Despite your saying the whole country is in on it.

rosie is roxy is roshan

Oh yes please do, those are the best kinds of blogs..

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

the ones that begin as replies to specific questions.

I just posted one of those myself.

Keep the faith,

Arash Monzavi-Kia

Dear Niloufar and Rosie

by Arash Monzavi-Kia on

Just starting writing a reply, but it has turned into a long winded essay. I guess that's a common disease among the teachers :) I'd rather blog it tonight. 

Arash M-K

rosie is roxy is roshan

Niloufar you are right on the money,

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

look what just happened on this site, most people are so relieved about this cease-fire thing that fluff stuff is pouring in on the blogs and only the die-hards remain to tackle with the fact that this so-called ceasefire is just a blip on the screen of a chronic, gangrenous wound on the face of the planet in which the fire never ceases,

Yes I think a boycott is a good idea. It worked for South Africa. Arash and Q are probably right in their (implicit) stance that it won't be able to have the same short-term effect due to the driving nature of the Juggernaut, but it is part of a global response which as Q points out in mentioning "international pressure" will sooner or later (and I do agree within our day) completely change the face of the Middle East. For better. Anything to accellerate and intensify this global counterforce is positive.


rosie is roxy is roshan

Oh dear blue-headed onem re Q...

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

funny the same word popped into my mind several times as I read that first post of his over and over again and continue to mull it over.

More on which coming up.

Which is not to say by the way that Mr. Arash is any small potatoes either.


Niloufar Parsi

MI jaan

by Niloufar Parsi on

agree with you there!

Arash: what do you think? isn't a boycott necessary?

there is a truce right now at long last, but nobody is reporting it as durable. in any case, the US and EU forces are going in to monitor hamas on Israel's side. hamas may come under a lot of pressure to retaliate in time. and they have no chance militarily. so no peace as you say.

seems to me the palestinians will need a lot of help to negotiate a decent, lasting settlement. and to curb hamas' influence. the way tings are, they may grow to become the only palestinian force. outside help now could embolden other palestinians too. and send a strong message of global inter-faith solidarity, which is badly needed. hamas (or IRI) cannot then play the religious war card so strongly.


Continue with your thughts

by MI (not verified) on

Kindly ignore the ignorant comment and refuse
to read it and just
continue with your thughts.

I find this post very interesting. Thank you.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Q is some kind of genius

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

The way he describes what will happen, you mean, peace will not come out of war? You mean people will not be inspired to chill out after their friends or family have arms and heads blown off? Puzzling. War based economy is where its at. I feel sorry for Israelis too, as I know many of them in my "social circle", if you will, who are dismayed by the direction that country has taken. 

rosie is roxy is roshan

"Instinctively" is the correct word.

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

It is about the survival instinct, the most primal of all, and the adrenaline response is fear, and the choice is fight or flight. Well...go figure it out.

And the futher the response (the discharge) is deffered on an indifvidual level, the result is...neurosis.

It was a VERY good article.



I see you've got your wet dreams again Q

by Zion on

What is the matter?Seeing some blood got you excited again? Dream on.
' At some point they will integrate West Bank and Gaza formally. A new Arab-majority government will eventually succeed in overturning all Jewish centric laws. A truth and reconciliation commission will be established. Except unlike South Africa, it won't go largely peacefully, as too many Palestinians (currently 5 or 6 year old kids seeing their families burn to death) won't want to compromise and there might be incidents of "ethnic cleansing", followed by nationalization of large Jewish states and Jewish National Fund lands until things settle down. As much as a third to half of israeli Jews will simply move out voluntarily. Those who have the capital will move to America. The rest will face repatriation difficulties in Europe and Russia for a while. Many Persian Jews will probably return to Iran.
As far as being a "Jewish state," this is the beginning of the end for Israel.'


Arash Monzavi-Kia

Rosie dear, thanks for your supportive comment

by Arash Monzavi-Kia on

Reading your blogs has been an eye opener for me too. What the Arab/Islamist side can't see and understand is the immense sense of insecurity among the Jewish populace, and immense guilt at not having resisted the holocaust successfully. Now, any sign of weakness towards the mortal enemies of Jews (Hamas, IRI, Hezbollah) is instinctively a no-no for them.

It is such an emotionally charged war on both sides, and only god knows if it can be reasonably resolved in a humane fashion.

Arash M-K

rosie is roxy is roshan

Dear Message,

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

Thank you for your very interesting post.


rosie is roxy is roshan

Arash, Niloufar, Q

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

First of all Arash I didn't thank you for the post. Thanx so much. 

It is interesting the words boycott and truth and reconciliation both come up. I have said many times Is/Pal will have to undergo the same T&R process as South Africa. I think there are ways it could not have to be so bloody but enough on that for now. Later.

The important thing for now is to stop the massacres. I think a boycott is an important thing, it is clear we are dealing with a South Africa type of situation in SOME ways..(lest we forget the interconnectedness of South Africa w/Israel and US at that time...).

Q, I am not up early. I am up late. I have erratic sleep patterns. I am probably going to ask you a lot of things you already said (especially to our mutual friend  :o)  ) but don't forget I was away a lot of the time. Some of them may seem very basic but I would rather look stupid than BE stupid. Too old for that game. If they are too basic and/or complicated to explain you can always refer me to a link or to a previous post you wrote.

I am going to have to sit down and STUDY this one, of course I knew about the enormous military but I had some basic misconceptions.

I think we should all try our best on this particular thread to educate each otehr and to work out short-term strategies as well as grasp the long-term possibilities to try to keep things in perspective.

I don't think we should allow this thread to get overtaken by the fighting on the other threads. Let us declare this thread a DMZ (demilitaried zone).

I think we have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If we don't hope for the best the worst will definitely happen.

Peace Now.


Niloufar Parsi

Arash, Rosie, Q

by Niloufar Parsi on

this is exactly why i think a global boycott of israel is so important. it is the x factor that would reduce the power imbalance and provide a real incentive to both the US and israel to sit at the negotiation table. what transpires from that may be one-state or two-state, but it would expedite the search for a solution especially on the israeli side. it would also give obama the extra support he would need against zionist forces within the US. and since it would be a peaceful act by the people of the world rather than any military intervention, there is no military means of blocking it or reversing it later.



Rosie, what are you doing up so early?

by Q on

I have explained it before. Israeli economy is defense based. Just like large corporation here in America, in Israel the defense-corporate-military sector makes or breaks politicians. There is an active interest in war because that's making money and running the country.

First the military itself is gigantic. Perhaps the 4th or 5th most advanced Army in the world in a country of 6 Million means almost everyone is tied to it to some degree. Then thre is the "special" US relationship.

Think of it as a giant money laundering operation: US military Aid comes in, pays for R+D for Israeli military which feeds thousands of contractors right off the bat. The firms also sell to the US. The domestic armemant Industry makes its money back on the open market for arms. A few years down the road the same technology becomes commercialized in the private sector which again employs a large number of Israelis who make civilian products based on original military techonology. With guaranteed US loans and availability of huge US market, these firms make much more than they should in any country the size of Israel.

Part of the money is funneled back, either directly or indirectly (by American investors) to the secret coffers of AIPAC which makes sure the gravy train keeps going by continuing military support for Israel, which is only part of the overall package that includes forgivable loans, favoritism in contracts, valuable military training, sharing of high tech intelligence which would be costly to obtain if not handed out by the US, etc.

The entire country is in on it. It has to be, there is no other way. The social structure has been altered to support it with emergency laws, and mandatory conscription (something not necessary according to all experts)... University support, ties to underworld arms networks and an active "hot" testing zones nearby.

If it wasn't for war, Israel would not only go bankrupt economically, but would also lose its usefulness to Western (particularly American) allies.

There is mutual benefit to the US where despite a far more diverse economy, the same Military-Industrial dynamics are in place. But strategically, US gets to stay relevant by having a private pitbull in the Middle East and keeping a finger on the energy lifelines of emerging competitors in India and China.

rosie is roxy is roshan

Thanks, Q. You wrote:

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

, Israeli hawks and defense investors who really run the country


Could you please explain to me a little bit how this works within the global economy and internally?



rosie: The destruction of Israel

by Q on

I myself was in favor of 2 state solution, but it will not happen now. This only leaves one option by default.

One of the primary goals in Gaza is to make signing any final status deal impossible while Obama is in office. Israel figures that if it inflicts enough damage, the divided Palestinians would be too angry to negotiate and nothing would get done. Israel has gained the ability to kill the peace process for another 10, maybe 20 years with this and similar actions in the future. But that's it.

It will be a Warsaw Ghetto for that amount of time. That's what they want: short term uncompromising profits. After that, Israeli hawks and defense investors who really run the country will bail, jump ship in the face of increasing world pressure and demographic inevitability. At some point they will integrate West Bank and Gaza formally. A new Arab-majority government will eventually succeed in overturning all Jewish centric laws. A truth and reconciliation commission will be established. Except unlike South Africa, it won't go largely peacefully, as too many Palestinians (currently 5 or 6 year old kids seeing their families burn to death) won't want to compromise and there might be incidents of "ethnic cleansing", followed by nationalization of large Jewish states and Jewish National Fund lands until things settle down. As much as a third to half of israeli Jews will simply move out voluntarily. Those who have the capital will move to America. The rest will face repatriation difficulties in Europe and Russia for a while. Many Persian Jews will probably return to Iran.

As far as being a "Jewish state," this is the beginning of the end for Israel.

rosie is roxy is roshan

Q if two-state solution is dead,

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

what do you foresee? This can't go on forever can it? It's too sick.

 I don't think in long-run two-state solution would hold anyway. If Israel were not equitable with resources and transport which it will control there will just be more war. Palestinians will rebel and Israel will crush. If Israel were equitable sooner or later people would have to realize they are two states like...New York and New Jersey. Excuse me, and Connecticut. Byt obvously that's not coming any time soon. So what do you think it will be like for foreseeable future?

This huge Warsaw Ghetto situation forever?



Excellent and ingishtful.

by message (not verified) on

Excellent and ingishtful. Best peice of writing on this site in the past year.

You are so right about Hamas's motivation being only revenge AND ESTABLISHING A FASCIST CLERICAL STATE much like IRI.

The Gazans are being decieved and their righteous anger exploited; just like Iranians were in 1979.

..."Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Within a couple of years, Gaza was being run by Hamas and had in effect seceded from the Palestinian quasi-state and became a separate, repressive, clerical fascist, sub-state. It became a base from which rockets have been rained on the people of a sizeable part of the tiny Jewish state.

It is not because of Hamas’ good will that as fewer Israelis have died in this rocket-rain than Palestinians are dying in the Gaza war now.

Israeli casualties have, of course, been few, compared with the 1,000-odd Palestinian casualties so far (14 January), a third or more of them civilians, and many of those children. It is easy enough to say that this disproportion in the dead is all that matters, and shrug off the Hamas rockets on Israel — and a lot easier to say that if you live in Britain and do not live in constant fear of the rockets (and the fear that Hamas technology and marksmanship might get better).

It is not surprising that most Israelis, and not only the Israeli right, think the offensive against Hamas is a just and necessary act of self-defence.
Factors other than Hamas’ rocket war on southern Israel are of course in play in Israel’s decision. Elections are soon to be held in Israel (see page 5). Israel is using the interregnum between the Bush and Obama Administrations in the USA, to smash Hamas, before (perhaps) an international effort to force a settlement with the Palestinians on Israel (though Obama during the US Presidential election was outspokenly pro-Israel). The Israeli military establishment needs to live down the comparative defeat they suffered at the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006.

Even so, the idea that the Hamas rockets are only a pretext will be entertained only by those stupified by “absolute anti-Zionism” — the idea that the Jewish people of Israel deserve anything they get, and don’t have the right to defend themselves.

That is the Israeli “case” for the war Israel is conducting in Gaza. The case against it is, we think, overwhelming.

This pulverising response to Hamas’ rockets, even from a narrow Israeli nationalist point of view, could be, perhaps, justified only if Israel had no better alternative. That is not how things are.

The disproportion between Israel’s power of military destruction and the reckless way it uses it, and the power of the Palestinians, is simply obscene. The pictures of dead Palestinian children that are flashing across the world epitomise that obscenity.

Plainly, Israel is trying to wipe out not only Hamas rocket bases, but to destroy the flimsy structures of a Palestinian state in Gaza. It is intent not only on wiping out Hamas’ capacity to continue the rocket war, and on killing Hamas fighters, but on wiping out Hamas.

This, they believe, is the only way to avoid a quick reappearance of Hamas military power.

Hamas is an odious Islamist clerical fascist movement, but it has much support “on the ground” amongst Palestinians, in part because of the welfare and social services it provides. How many of those would Israel need to kill to uproot Hamas? How many is it prepared to kill?""


Arash Monzavi-Kia

Dear Niloufar

by Arash Monzavi-Kia on

Sorry, but can't see any quick fix (or even medium speed fix) to this chronic disease. Perhaps, it will get worse before getting better, or maybe worst. No one knows.

Theoretically, what has worked for other similar situations (Cyprus, Bosnia/Serbia, India/Pakistan) is having two states with non-militarized borders, perhaps with UN monitoring. However, such a solution usually materializes after both sides reach fire-power equilibrium and war-saturation, through bloody battles and/or foreign intervention.

Arash M-K

Niloufar Parsi

Arash jan

by Niloufar Parsi on

very interesting analysis. i think q may have misread the part about iran in that it looks to me like you are just describing the current state of affairs rather than linking the origin to the IRI. Hamas was also supported by Israel and the Saudis in the past. though you do make a few assumptions about the IRI's motives.

my question is: so what in your view is a possible X factor that may intervene and help fix the situation?


رژیم علنا خواهان ترور وزیر خارجه اسرائیل شد

News (not verified)

Friday 16 January 2009
رژیم علنا خواهان ترور وزیر خارجه اسرائیل شد
خبرگزاری حکومتی فارس: آیت الله جنتی امام جمعه موقت تهران امروز در نماز جمعه گفت هر وقت تصوير اين زن (تسیپی ليوني، وزیر امور خارحه اسرائیل) را مي بينم، دلم مي خواست يك نفر پيدا مي شد و گلوله‌اي خرج او مي‌كرد.


To q- : chizi ke ayan ast che hajat be bayan ast

by Excuse finder (not verified) on

"Crying "IRI" is just an excuse and unfortunately you have fallen for it flatly. This started long before there was an IRI. "

What excuse? anybody can see that IRI instead of playing a positive constructive role bringing all the warring parties together, trying to help them reach a compromise is constantly pouring oil into the fire, so to speak.

Even if we believe that IR is not providing money and weapons to Hamas, its government controlled media are filled, day in day out, with hateful warmongering remarks regarding Israel and encouraging Hamas to continue the fight.

Two state solution is the only way. There is no other way.


this part is totally wrong

by q- (not verified) on

Currently, Israel wants to protect its citizens from Hamas attacks in the South, the Hezbollah attacks to the North and the PLO attacks from the East.

Bullshit. Don't confuse what an aggressor "says" with reality. Nothing Israel has done in the past 60 years has either produced security or worked in that direction. This latest action is a perfect example. That's not what Israel really wants, and everyone knows it. It is much more concerned about maintaining fear and superiority in order to service its war-based economy and demonstrate its usefulness to the west.

Crying "IRI" is just an excuse and unfortunately you have fallen for it flatly. This started long before there was an IRI. There is no lack of sympathy for Palestinians in the region or indeed world wide.

Two state solution is dead. Israel just killed it, on purpose, just like numerous other times in the past.