Originally posted by Gon
If the Israeli government wanted, they could have ended the conflict by building the fence (routing it so that no Palestinian villages remain inside), setting up a real border with absolutely no traffic allowed,
A real border is one that is recognised by both sides concerned. In the absence of a peace treaty and of agreed-upon border, it is simply not available. I agree the route of the fence should have been more about its originally intended purpose (when the idea first took form circa 1998/9) of security for Israelis within Israeli civil jurisdiction, and should have avoided as much as possible, inclusion of territories under military jurisdcition (which the current governent has done to appease te far right, without much success). While a more sensible route would not have ended the conflict, it would have reduced friction.
The government has not chosen to do this. They have also blocked the so-called peace process at every step of the way, with US backing.
While the Israeli government's action have often been less than constructive, what has blocked the peace process was the decision by the Palestinian Authority, to return to what they call armed struggle in late 2000.
Certainly the Palestinians have not been very helpful, but the Palestinian authorities have never had the power to stop the fight, whereas the Israeli government always did.
They certainly have the power to stop the fight, and to reach cease-fire with the Israelis. They can rein in their militiae where and when they wish it. The Palestinians have mostly avoided armed action in or from the Jericho area, and so less Israeli incursions there as well; which is why that area is quieter than most.
I oppose all the similar policies. This discussion is about Israel, therefore I only mention Israel.
No problem with that, as stated earlier.
What's important here is that the military industry's whole production (practically speaking) is bought by the government.
And by other governments, particularly in peace-time.
The government has no intrinsic limit on spending, because it doesn't produce anything it spends.
Except where the government runs industries, which I believe, is not its purpose anyway.
Since all the resources come from individual citizens, the current fiscally omnipotent government
A govenment can only be ominpotent (fiscally or otherwise) where it is not subjected to periodical mass consultations (like elections) which can put it out of office.
Because of this, the whole branch of industry is not normal business, but rather a branch of government - one that is free to pass political money to the hand that feeds it.
Industries considered by a country as important to its national security (as the military industry, but many other industries as well) often get preferential treatment by government. And while this doesn't make them a branch of government it does make them too close to political power than is tolerable.
But that doens't make them the worst enemies of democracy. Public apathy such as low-voter turnout, or movements bent on destroying democracy, are much worse enemies.
I would not place too much faith in legislation to stop political funding. Either it will fail to work (due to loopholes), disrupt desireable democratic process and constitutional rights, get twisted into a partisan political weapon, or most likely a mixture of all these. The right solutions are to make the voting process such that money will play a smaller part in politics,
Whiile not very familiar with the various voting processes, I suspect there are countries with a living standard close ot that of the US, where the per-eligible-voter cost of elections is lower. Changes to that effect could be achieved through legislation.
A state *is* the sum of its citizens. It should have no interest other than the benefit of the citizens. If a foreign policy does not serve that end, it's probably harmful, neutral at best.
That course of action is sometimes chosen by countries (like Switzerland), some countries may not have that option; and many which chose it in the past ended up being less protected. Even big powerful countries note that if they are less involved in world affairs (as was the US in the nineteen-thirties) it leaves a free hand to ambitious militarist tyrannies, opening the door to greater international instability.
So, while it does not bring any tangible benefit to its citizens, a country will often opt to fostering complex partneships with other countries.