Pope Urban II: The Man Who Changed the World.

Pope Urban II is a pope very few people know about, but in his time he was a man under great pressure that would cause tremendous stress to the average person. He stepped into the position of Pope as the papacy was under attack by forces within the Church and by Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV.   Pope Urban II was a man in need of a miracle to affirm the office of the Pope was an office to be respected by commoner and noble alike.  The office in which he only had the benefit of limited support of the European Christians.  To Pope Urban II the First Crusade was a necessity, not just to liberate Jerusalem, but also to show those in Europe he was the true Pope and ruled the will of the people.

When Pope Urban II become Pope he was inheriting many of the same problems that Pope Gregory VII faced and battled.  The majority of these problems were the differences on many issues of the Church between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. Many of these issues started back during the Papacy of Gregory VII and carried over from the Papacy of Victor III[1]. Some started a generation before Pope Urban II.  Needless to say the Church was at a crossroads and the decisions that Pope Urban II would make would shape the world for generations to come.  To understand the decisions he would have to make one has to look at the events leading up to his Papacy.

In 1054 Pope Leo IX with the perceived wisdom of the office of Pope, or just a power grab, decided that the Bishop of Rome was the patriarch of the Church and should be held in high esteem above all other patriarchs of the Church.  Reason could be that the only other patriarch was the Bishop of Constantinople was the only other bishop to be in Christian lands, and a patriarch much smaller and ever shrinking region of Christianity in Eastern Europe.  The other patriarchs were in Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, which fell into Muslim control centuries before and were home to a limited number of Christians.  This conflict between the bishops would cause a split between the Western Latin Church and the Eastern Greek Church.  This conflict had its subtleties also, such as a number prayers and creeds that where basically the same but for a few lines added here and there.  For example the Nicene Creed in the Eastern Church has the words “and the Son” where as in the Western Church the creed does not have those words.  Needless to say the conflict would make communication between the East and West almost non-existent.

A young rising star in the Western Church during the papacy of Pope Leo IX was a stalwart named Hildebrand.  Pope Leo IX was also the cousin of Holy Roman Emperor Henry III and selected to be Pope by Emperor Henry III[2]. The young Hildebrand was from the revered abbey of Cluny.  The abbey in Cluny was well known for its monks being pious and well educated.  Besides that the abbey of Cluny was the center of a movement within the Church to make the Church a supreme government, with the Pope at the head[3]. A mold Hildebrand fit perfectly, and was selected by Pope Leo IX because of this and Hildebrand’s common goal for reform within the Church.  Hildebrand would perform many duties within the vast papal bureaucracy, advancing to the level of Cardinal[4]. Once a Cardinal Hildebrand was sent to Frankish Gaul as the papal legit, eventually becoming treasurer of the Western Latin Church and prior to the abbey of St. Paul in Rome[5]. It would be during these travels Hildebrand would see how wealthy noblemen who would appoint clergy and bishops loyal to them allowing them to be controlling politics of the Church.  Hildebrand would also witness Holy Roman Emperor appoint a number of Popes. These acts do not seem like much, but they would leave a lasting impression on Hildebrand as he advanced in the Church. Hildebrand would preach against these acts when he made his second trip to Frankish Gaul as a legit[6]. Simony, the act of paying for an office in the Church hierarchy, would also fall to the wrath of Hildebrand. Hildebrand would in time become the head of the College of Cardinals, which during the short papacy of Nicholas II, was charged with the election of popes[7]. This would take the role of the Holy Roman Emperor out of the equation of selection Popes.  This was an important reform in the Church and step by the reformers of keeping the Church pure of outside influence.  The first Pope to be elected was Alexander II, although selected by the College of Cardinals Pope Alexander II had to deal with an antipope.  Calling one the antipope to denounce his papal claim[8], Pope Alexander II would have to find ways to remove the antipope.  The antipope would be disposed in an armed struggle, a struggle financed by Hildebrand[9]. It is important to know that Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV aided in the defense of the Church against the antipope[10]. Emperor Henry IV wanted to be seen as a pious man who supported the Church against those who were not faithful or loyal to the Church.  However this defense of the elected Pope, who was not appointed Pope by the Emperor, could be seen as the Emperor supporting reform within the Church.  Thus shaping the future arguments for Hildebrand.

Hildebrand would eventually become Pope, not by election by the College of Cardinals, but by popular acclaim[11]. For a man so set on reform to bypass one of the major reforms of the Church is not shocking, but outrageous. Taking the name Gregory VII, Hildebrand does plan to push forward reforms that will strengthen the Papacy and this means going head to head with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV.  Pope Gregory VII and Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV were two men who wanted control of Europe.  The way to gain control of Europe was through religion.  It was the one unifying force in the continent.  Emperors, kings, and popes come and go, but the Christian religion was always there.  The Emperor saw himself as appointed by God and the Pope saw himself as God’s messenger, Christ’s viceroy on Earth[12]. Like Pope Leo IX, it was the intention of Pope Gregory VII to cement the role of Pope as the divine leader of man on Earth, a papal monarch.  To do that Pope Gregory VII set out to put an end to the nobles putting clergy in positions that favor them.  This would put the relationship bet the Pope and Holy Roman Emperor down a path that would weaken the standing of both.

The Investiture Controversy would be the one main issue that would define Pope Gregory VII’s papacy.  Pope Gregory VII would issue a number of papal decrees forbidding the practice of lay investiture, stating in one “… that no one of the clergy shall receive the investiture with a bishopric or abbey or church from the hand of an emperor or king or of any lay person, male or female[13]. “  What Pope Gregory VII does by mentioning male or female is a round about way of sorts of addressing Emperor Henry IV’s mother, Empress Agnes, who was called upon to help antipope Honorius II.  With these issues Pope Gregory VII would try to extend further control over the Church, taking a rite that was ingrained in the Church since Charlemagne.  For Emperor Henry IV defeat in this issue would further weaken his fragile reign over his vast Empire.  The conflict between the two started in the third year of the papacy of Pope Gregory VII when Emperor Henry IV made a challenge to Pope Gregory VII’s papacy. It was at the synod at Worms that Henry IV will call on Pope Gregory VII to step down stating that Pope Gregory VII was not properly elected Pope as stated in the Papal Election Decree of 1059[14]. This did not have the desired effect because Pope Gregory VII did not step down, he went one step further by excommunicating Emperor Henry IV and all the bishops that where present at the synod. Pope Gregory VII would accuse Emperor Henry IV associating with simoniacs, causing a schism with the Church and polluting the Churches bishoprics and monasteries with simoniac heresy[15]. In a letter Pope Gregory VII used some of the most powerful language that can be used “…I absolve all Christians from the bonds of the oath which they have made or shall make to him[16].” To put it mildly the Pope is declaring that the Emperor is no longer Emperor and not worthy in the eyes of God to be a ruler of men.  Emperor Henry IV would not be out done by the Pope, in a letter to the Pope he would write in the greeting “… To Hildebrand, at present not pope but false monk[17].” These tensions between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV would be on going throughout the Papacy of Pope Gregory VII.  The excommunication would be short lived and Pope Gregory VII would welcome Emperor Henry IV into the Church after Henry IV made an act penance by visiting the Pope in person.  With Emperor Henry IV in good favor with the Church and Pope once again, Pope Gregory VII would try to once again extend the power of the Pope over monarchs by asking Emperor Henry IV in a letter in 1074 to aid in a military campaign to Jerusalem to protect Christians from the Muslims[18]. This could have been the First Crusade, but it was not meant to be.  Emperor Henry IV would not accept this call to lead an army to the Holy Land.  This was a terrible blow to Pope Gregory VII, not just bruising his ego, but a blow to the power of the Pope as a monarch of men. Not only that the Emperor had many internal struggles within his vast Empire, and to place valuable resources on a campaign with an unknown outcome could lead to disaster for Emperor Henry IV. Pope Gregory VII however did see how a call for military action in the Holy Land could not only cement the power of the Pope over all Western Christians, but would cement the power of the Pope over the ruling class elevating the theory of the papal monarch.

The feud between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV would be an on going feud during the papacy of the Pope.  Pope Gregory VII would excommunicate the Emperor a second time, leading the Emperor the again depose the Pope and having an antipope seated.  The bishop Emperor Henry IV would chose to be his imperial pope was not a stranger to division within the Church.   By choosing Guibert (sometimes spelled Wibert) of Ravenna the Emperor is making a bold statement to those within the Church and to Pope Gregory VII.  Guibert is perhaps the Popes chief rival in the Church, who was no stranger to opposing Pope Gregory VII.  When Guibert was the imperial chancellor for the Italian province on the Holy Roman Empire he opposed the election of Pope Alexander II and a month later supported the appointment of the antipope Honorius II[19]. Upon his selection as Pope, Hildebrand prior to be ordained as Pope sends a letter to Guibert in very strong language asking Guibert to support him as Pope and not to cause anything that would split the Church[20]. It is as if Pope Gregory VII knew when he was going to be ordained Pope there would be some who would oppose him within the Church and he wanted to get those who would oppose under his control before things could get beyond what he can handle.  Pope Gregory VII would have known the Guibert was one of the few that went to Empress Agnes to support the claim of antipope Honorius II[21].   Emperor Henry IV would know this also, which may be the reason the Emperor chose Guibert to be his Pope.   By deposing Pope Gregory VII with Guibert, who would take the name Clement III, in 1080 Pope Gregory VII would be forced to go into exile[22]. Guibert by choosing the name Clement III is also showing great loyalty to Emperor Henry IV, Pope Clement II was the first pope to be appointed by Holy Roman Emperor Henry III[23]. Being the first pope appointed by Emperor Henry IV, Guibert makes the connection between father and son with the choice of Clement as his papal name.  Antipope Clement III would sit in Rome for the remainder of Pope Gregory VII papacy and the full papacy of Pope Victor III.  The effect on the Church was profound and would place the next pope, Urban II, into a situation no man would want to go into.

Eudes de Lagery was the prior of the abbey of Cluny[24], cardinal-bishop of Ostia, and the dean of the Scared College of Cardinals before he was elected as Pope Urban II[25]in March 1088.  Appointed as bishop of Ostia by Pope Gregory VII and being from the abbey of Cluny, Pope Urban II held many of the same opinions as Pope Gregory VII towards reform and how the Church should be administered.  Because the papacy of Pope Victor III was so short Pope Urban II was stepping directly into the firestorm that Pope Gregory VII was in.  The one thing Pope Urban II did right away, which differed in many aspects to the doctrine of Pope Gregory VII, was to urge restoration with the Eastern Church[26]. The reasoning behind this is uncertain giving the situation Pope Urban II was in.  Perhaps Pope Urban II saw the unification of the Western and Eastern churches as a way to solidify his claim as monarch of all Christians or he saw it as a way to balance the power between him and the forces of Emperor Henry IV and antipope Clement III.  Europe was clearly divided between Pope Urban II and antipope Clement III.  Pope Urban II being a Frank had the support of the Franks of France and the Normans.  Antipope Clement III had the support of the Holy Roman Empire that covered vast areas of land in Central Europe.   The lone Norman hold out was William I of England (William the Conquer) who supported neither the Pope of antipope[27]. William I of England had a country for Anglo-Saxons to quell, so for him staying out of the Papal dispute would be a wise decision.  William I could have feared that Emperor Henry IV could have easily invaded King William’s lands in Normandy and the French king was weak at the time in need of land.  Pope Urban II would eventually retake Rome and be seated in the Papal throne in March 1084[28]. Eventually Emperor Henry IV would take Rome and enthrone antipope Clement III again.  Aiding Pope Urban II in the military campaign to take Rome in 1093 was the Norman Bohemond, son of Robert Guiscard, who lived in the Norman lands in Southern Italy[29]. Taking the papal throne permanently in 1094, Pope Urban II was slowly restoring the power of the Papacy and to show that he wore a crown to show he was Gods representative on Earth[30]. Emperor Henry IV was waging an ongoing war in the Italian peninsula until 1097 in an attempt to strengthen his antipope Clement III[31]. It was clearly a struggle for Europe between Pope Urban II and Emperor Henry IV, but Pope Urban II in 1095 would get a gift that would cement the role of the Pope in Europe for centuries to come.

Pope Urban II would receive a plea for help from the Roman Emperor Alexios I.  Emperor Alexios I wanted to retake lands in Anatolia that were lost to the Seljuk Turks during the reigns of Emperors before him.  Pope Urban II would take this request beyond the thinking of Alexios I and take it as his chance to be a savior of the Eastern Christians suffering under the rule of the Muslim Turks and would position the Popes role closer to having supremacy over the Eastern and Western Churches[32]. Pope Urban II was at a crossroad that Pope Gregory VII never had a chance to be at.  Pope Gregory VII did not have a meaning for his call for crusade, but Pope Urban II now could imply a greater meaning into having a military campaign to liberate the Holy Land.  At the Council of Clermont in November of 1095 Pope Urban II would make his plea for crusade.  Unlike Pope Gregory VII, Pope Urban II’s call would include special indulgences and penances for those who answer the call to liberate the Holy Land from the Muslims[33].   The response to Pope Urban II and his call was more than anyone could have ever expected.

Pope Urban II literally had the gift of foresight when he made his call for the First Crusade.   It was easy for him to see that the Byzantine Empire was weakened and could not stand up to the advancing Seljuk Turks.  For Pope Urban II to use the liberating of Jerusalem was to aim for the romanticism in the hearts of those nobles he needed to go out on crusade.  Pope Urban II also needed to send a message to Emperor Henry IV that unlike Pope Gregory VII people will answer his call for crusade and that his papacy would not grow weak in the years to come.  Antipope Clement III would become a nonfactor after the crusade and the Church would unite under Pope Urban II.


Bibliography and Works Cited




Abels, Richard. “investiture controversy.” United States Naval Academy, n.d. http://www.usna.edu/Users/history/abels/hh315/invest.htm.


Brundage, James A. The Crusades: A documentary survey. First Edition. Marquette University Press, 1962.


“Christian History Handbook: Medieval: Lecture Twenty,” n.d. http://users.sbuniv.edu/~hgallatin/ht34632e20.html.


“Epistolæ: Letter sent by Gregory VII, pope,” n.d. http://epistolae.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/letter/69.html.


“Epistolæ: Letter sent by Rainerius/Rangerio, bishop of Lucca,” n.d. http://epistolae.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/letter/237.html.


Ereira, Alan, and David Wallace. Crusades. A&E Home Video, 2002.


“Gale World History In Context – Document,” n.d. http://0-ic.galegroup.com.www.consuls.org/ic/whic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=K12-Reference&prodId=WHIC&action=e&windowstate=normal&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CK1616000251&mode=view.


“Gale World History In Context – Document,” n.d. http://0-ic.galegroup.com.www.consuls.org/ic/whic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=K12-Reference&prodId=WHIC&action=e&windowstate=normal&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CBT2353100768&mode=view.


“Henry IV: Letter to Gregory VII, Jan 24 1076,” n.d. http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/academics/history/courses/102/WCDocs/1076Letter%20to%20Gregory%20VII%20(Henry%20IV).htm.


Jones, Terry, and Alan Ereira. Crusades. Illustrated edition. Checkmark Books, 1995.


“Medieval Sourcebook: The Crusades,” n.d. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook1k.html#Background.


Newhall, Richard A. The Crusades.Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964.


Peters, Edward. The First Crusade: “The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres” and Other Source Materials. Second Edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.


“Pope Urban II,” n.d. http://faculty.cua.edu/pennington/medieval%20papacy/price2.html.


“Pope Urban II,” n.d. http://www.umich.edu/~eng415/timeline/Urban.html.


Richard, Jean. The Crusades, c.1071-c.1291. Cambridge University Press, 1999.


Robinson, I. S., and Ian S. Robinson. Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106. 0th ed. Cambridge University Press, 2000.


“The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church – Papal elections and conclaves by century,” n.d. http://www2.fiu.edu/~mirandas/conclave-xi.htm.


“THE EMPIRE AND THE PAPACY,” n.d. http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Munro11.html.


[1]Pope Victor III was the Bishop of Rome for 18 months of the Julian calendar, the calendar of the time.  It was not ample for Pope Victor III to handle any of the issues.

[2]“THE EMPIRE AND THE PAPACY,” n.d., http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Munro11.html.

[3]Alan Ereira and David Wallace, Crusades(A&E Home Video, 2002).

[4]“Gale World History In Context – Document,” n.d., http://0-ic.galegroup.com.www.consuls.org/ic/whic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=K12-Reference&prodId=WHIC&action=e&windowstate=normal&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CK1616000251&mode=view.

[5]“investiture controversy,” n.d., http://www.usna.edu/Users/history/abels/hh315/invest.htm.

[6]“Gale World History In Context – Document.”

[7]“The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church – Papal elections and conclaves by century,” n.d., http://www2.fiu.edu/~mirandas/conclave-xi.htm.

[8]I. S. Robinson and Ian S. Robinson, Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106, 0th ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2000), 108.

[9]“Gale World History In Context – Document,” n.d., http://0-ic.galegroup.com.www.consuls.org/ic/whic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=K12-Reference&prodId=WHIC&action=e&windowstate=normal&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CBT2353100768&mode=view.

[10]Robinson and Robinson, Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106, 107.

[11]“The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church – Papal elections and conclaves by century.”

[12]Terry Jones and Alan Ereira, Crusades, illustrated edition. (Checkmark Books, 1995), 16.

[13]“Medieval Sourcebook: The Crusades,” n.d., http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook1k.html#Background.

[14]Robinson and Robinson, Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106, 128.

[15]Ibid, 114

[16]“investiture controversy.”

[17]“Henry IV: Letter to Gregory VII, Jan 24 1076,” n.d., http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/academics/history/courses/102/WCDocs/1076Letter%20to%20Gregory%20VII%20(Henry%20IV).htm.

[18]Robinson and Robinson, Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106, 134.

[19]“The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church – Papal elections and conclaves by century.”

[20]“Epistolæ: Letter sent by Gregory VII, pope,” n.d., http://epistolae.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/letter/69.html.

[21]“The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church – Papal elections and conclaves by century.”


[23]Robinson and Robinson, Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106, 200.

[24]Jean Richard, The Crusades, c.1071-c.1291(Cambridge University Press, 1999), 19.

[25]“The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church – Papal elections and conclaves by century.”

[26]Richard A. Newhall, The Crusades.(Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964), 37.

[27]Ibid., 40.

[28]Robinson and Robinson, Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106, 201.

[29]Jones and Ereira, Crusades, 18.

[30]Ibid., 27.

[31]Robinson and Robinson, Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106, 275.

[32]Jones and Ereira, Crusades, 21.

[33]James A Brundage, The Crusades: A documentary survey, First Edition. (Marquette University Press, 1962), 29.



There are many different kinds of government. Some are good and some are not good, but as humans we take the good with the bad. One of the less desired is a Totalitarian government in which a party or individual has complete control over the government and the people within the country. How a Totalitarian regime gains control of a country is interesting. In the book The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt tries to explain some of the root causes of how a Totalitarian regime comes about. The process is pretty elementary and in looking at it is overly simple.

The process comes in stages, they first two of which work hand and hand with each other[1]. Those first two stages are a call to political action and the use of propaganda. For there to be a call to political action there needs to be reason for that call.   That is the work of propaganda. The next and most important step is to derail the government in power, rendering ineffective. This is the most important step because it can get the masses to support the totalitarian party.

Totalitarian regimes become possible when a countries government fails to function and as a result of the failure to function collapse. That is the effect to what can be many causes depending on the circumstances. Arendt says “Totalitarian movements are possible wherever there are masses who for one reason or another have acquired the appetite for political organization[2]” which is correct except the masses are loosely defined. Arendt would like us to believe the masses called to political action would be the bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie being the middle class. This is partly true to the extent that they may have increased their political activity, but they were and always be involved in political action in one form or another.   The reasoning being most policies set forth by the government will have more of an impact on their lives; public, private and business.   The bourgeoisie can be manipulated to an extent, but has the power of their vote to change government. The masses that usually acquire the taste for political action or organization would have to be one that is normally not considered in the political environments. That would be the lower classes. In the case of the Nazi movement it was the unemployed, most of whom were soldiers that fought in the First World War The middle class has too much to lose and very little to gain, were as the lower class has nothing to lose and all to gain. The lower class can also be manipulated, more so than the middle class.

Manipulation comes in the form of propaganda. Arendt’s description of what propaganda is and why it is important is one the mark, but she fails to capture how it is used. Propaganda comes in many forms, but regardless of what form it comes in, it is the front line of psychological warfare for the totalitarian movement[3]. In the beginning of the process it is used to incite the lower classes by giving them something that might not have had before. Usually the lower classes are told in the form of speeches and reading materials that they can achieve anything if they surrender to the movement. Once the lower classes start to feel empowered the propaganda is used to incite them into a mob that is used in force to spread terror. It is in the chaos of this terror that the mob reinforces the propaganda spread among the middle classes. The mob is like a river, very powerful, but has a natural flow. If one damns that river and can direct its flow, that river and it’s power can become very dangerous. Arendt says the masses need to be won over by propaganda[4]; however it is more important to control the mob with propaganda. For example the Nazi’s needed the control of the SA early on in their rise to power. If the SA turned on the Nazi leadership the history of Germany would be completely different. The Nazi leadership maintained its grip on the SA also to counterbalance the force of the German army and police. In her attack on the bourgeoisie Arendt fails or underestimates the ability to control the mod.   It is by far more important than controlling the middle classes, because without it you can not control the middle classes.

The middle class is the key to power. To control the middle class is to control a country. This is when the soon to be regime will replace propaganda with more ideological indoctrination to assert control[5], but also garner popular support to help it seize control of the government. It is important to remember, unlike Stalin, Hitler and the Nazi’s were freely elected by the people. To get these votes the Nazi’s used the mob to create an upwelling of fear. For example the attempted uprising by the Nazi’s in Bavaria, in which Hitler was jailed. The middle class was stuck between a government trying to contain the Nazi’s and the violent seemingly uncontrollable mob. The mob is the ultimate tool in eroding the middle classes confidence in the government and the rational of the middle class.

Eroding the people’s faith in the government would be a challenge easily overcome by the Nazis, but they way they do it shows the ruthlessness totalitarian leadership will be in achieving their goals. Josef Goebbels wrote in 1928 “We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. We become members of the Reichstag in order to paralyze the Weimar sentiment with its own assistance. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and per diem for the this “blockade,” that is its own affair[6].” This quote clearly states the aim of the Nazi party to stale the government rendering it useless. Consider that the German people voted in four elections since the Beer Hall Putsch[7]. There was clear deadlock and it was with this deadlock that the Nazi’s were able to seize power.   These failures of the government to operate and move forward build distrust in the citizenry of the country. With the support of the propaganda the totalitarian party looks like the better option to the voter. Also by voting for the totalitarian party the voter will get a false sense of security because by placing that vote the voter thinks the totalitarian party will rein in the mob. This is the most important step for the totalitarian movement; it forces the citizenry, mainly the middle class, in a position of total loyalty. Once in power the totalitarian government can put into place new laws and institutions that would in effect rapidly stabilize conditions within the country[8].       Also within the government there is a shifting of positions in which more trusted party members are giving more power and those that want power are put under men of lesser prestige[9]. Although the positions given to these loyal men in search of power does keep them close to the head of the party, under his watchful eye.

Hannah Arendt was heading in the right direction, but the points I bring up here she seems to ignore.   It is puzzling because it would have made her later arguments much stronger. She also misplaces the blame for the totalitarian regimes of Stalin and mainly Hitler at the feet of the middle class. Clearly the lower classes are more to blame because they are the ones the hold the power. Even George Orwell points this out in his novel Nineteen Eighty Four, in which he states that the poorer lower classes have the power to topple the Party. If they have the power to topple a party they have the power to put a party in place. This is what Lenin and Hitler did; they used the power of the poor.

[1] Pg. 478

[2] Pg. 414

[3] Pg. 453

[4] Pg. 450

[5] Pg. 450

[6] http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/resource/document/DOCNAC7.htm

[7] http://dmorgan.web.wesleyan.edu/materials/weimar.htm

[8] Pg. 512

[9] Pg. 515

Hot Summer Nights

Hot Summer Nights

Blitzkrieg of Southern Lebanon

Daniel Whalen



In March of 2003 the United States invaded the country of Iraq and since that invasion the Middle East has been in a perceptual state of never ending war. During the American occupation of Iraq there was to be another conflict erupted and for thirty-four days brought the world to the brink of global war. This conflict would pit a regional power against a well-trained paramilitary group that would be armed with some of the best weapons available. In 2006 Israel invaded Southern Lebanon, a reign Israel occupied between 1982-2000, mostly as a security zone on the border of Lebanon and Israel. This would be similar to Charlemagne’s Spanish March, in that it would keep clashes between Israeli forces and militia forces out of Israel. Israel claimed it was tired of being a prisoner of the status quo, a preverbal stalemate with Hezbollah that involved occasional prisoner swaps. Prior to this conflict Hezbollah is seen as negative within Lebanon and Israel had some support over the globe. As the conflict evolved that support would fade, it is important to know way.

This particular conflict in Lebanon was not between the government of Lebanon and Israel, but from the militant group Hezbollah based in Southern Lebanon, which is similar in many respects structurally to that of the Irish Republican Army, with a political wing and a paramilitary wing. Hezbollah however has the militant wing and political wing operating under the same name, where as the Irish Republican Army has the political wing operating under than name Sinn Fein. This political wing maintains a sizable network of charitable and civic organizations that build schools and hospitals, even fields candidates for elected office within Lebanon[1]. Hezbollah since the pull out of the Israeli Defense Force in 2000 has had a minor skirmish war of sorts with the Israeli Defense Force that has a method to it’s madness and keeps this skirmish war a literally unknown conflict, never reported in the media. There were rules to this skirmish war, a quid pro quo approach in that whenever Hezbollah attacked Israeli positions the IDF would attack command and control positions of Hezbollah. Also allowable with the rules of the game was prisoner exchanges[2]. It helped keep an uneasy peace between the two and helped the Israelis out of Lebanon.

The Lebanese government might have unaware of what Hezbollah was doing along the border the country shared with Israel and many of the businesses in Beirut was preparing for what was expected to be a record summer of tourism, giving a much needed boost the emerging economy[3]. One could safely assume that the Lebanese government was unaware of what was going on at the border because in Southern Lebanon Hezbollah enjoyed overwhelming popular support from those living in Southern Lebanon[4]. When a groups such as Hezbollah has support from the people in the region of a country it operates a lot of things can go unnoticed by those outside that region. Staying is one place Hezbollah could ratchet up any descent and keep news from going out of the region. Because of this the Lebanese governments attempts to disarm Hezbollah proved futile, which added to the political pressure within the government to improve things in the country in order to weaken Hezbollah’s grip on the south and keep Hezbollah from building on what little support the group has in the remainder of the country[5]. The coming summer season was predicted to be record setting economically, many hoped would be after years of war. With an economic boom the Lebanese government could have gained some support in the country to tip the balance in it’s favor over the influence of Hezbollah by proving things are improving and life is going to be better. Most importantly Lebanon was starting to lose the stigma of the civil war that plagued the country for years, causing many wealthy Arabs would vacation in Lebanon as an alternative to traveling to American or Europe where it was becoming troublesome to visit due to the heightened security in the post 9/11 world[6]. It was far easier to travel to Beirut where Arabic was spoken and the warm Mediterranean Sea is welcoming like any other vacation spot.

There was a subtle build up triggering to the invasion of Southern Lebanon by the Israeli military. Prior to the major conflict in the month of May Hezbollah fired upon an Israeli border post, leaving a wounded Israeli solider in its wake. In response the Israeli Defense Force shelled with artillery twenty positions used by Hezbollah as command and control for the paramilitary wing of the group. In response Hezbollah launched another rocket attack into Israel[7]. The thirty-four day war started shortly after that with a Hezbollah raid across the shared border and capturing two Israeli soldiers prisoner with the hopes of a prisoner exchange at a later date, which was within the rules of the game[8]. However the Israelis government felt the rules of the game need to be changed and a strong message needed to be sent to Hezbollah stating that the state of Israel was not going to tolerate the status quo any longer. Israel always agreeing to prisoner exchanges, doing so can be perceived as weakness by many hardliners within Israel who want an eye for an eye. With the American military not far away in Iraq, the Israeli government must have felt pressure to project strength within the region. Hezbollah may not have been looking for an escalation to what would become the conflict because the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah said “The prisoners in our hands will not return to Israel except through indirect negotiations and exchange of prisoners and peace[9].” Hezbollah is in the habit of relying on others to negotiate for on their behalf and always looked to free political prisoners that were being held in Israeli prisons. Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert ruled out any negotiations and went as far to file a complaint with the United Nations wanting the enforcement of resolutions forcing the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah[10]. This is a bit hypercritical because Israeli government has a long history of never compling with the resolutions filed against Israel by the United Nations. Prime Minster Olmert would go one to say that “’Israel will not be held hostage’ by terrorists…” adding that Israel is “…not looking for war or direct conflict…” with Hezbollah[11]. The Israeli government saw itself at the crossroads with some tough decisions to make, but there is only one remaining action Israel can take. However while Prime Minster Olmert was making the case of a defensive fight while Israeli tanks and bulldozers were crushing suspected Hezbollah hideouts in Southern Lebanon[12]. Olmert went as far as to vow that Israel ”…will not hesitate to take severe measures against those who are aiming thousands of rockets and missiles against innocent civilians for the sole purpose of killing them[13].” It is always easy to talk like the victim when one is taking action against ones enemy at the same time. It was clear however that Prime Minster Olmert was not in a position of strength within the Israeli government, even though he was trying to project strength.

Half a world away Americans were occupied with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Support for Israel was in the background as support for the American soldier was on the rise and the American economy was starting to show signs of slowing down. War wariness spreading across the United States and the world at a quickening pace, the last thing people were looking for was another conflict in the world, especially one in the Middle East. This is something important the Israeli government overlooked when the decision was made to march the Israeli Defense Force into Southern Lebanon to free the two captured Israeli soldiers. The Israeli government took a lot of things for granted when it made that fateful decision. The Israeli government had reason to take things for granted, the President of the United States George W. Bush and his administration would give Israel the proverbial green light early on in the crisis claiming it was within the American ‘war on terror’ which is what the Israel ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, would claim saying Israel “is actually doing its work in the war against terror[14].” Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice would add to that by saying that a “…cessation of violence is crucial, but if that cessation of violence is hostage to Hezbollah’s next decision to launch missiles into Israel or Hamas’s next decision to abduct an Israel citizen, then we will have gotten nowhere[15].” Secretary Rice advocating for new rules to the game along the Lebanese-Israeli border on the behalf of Israel, doing so behind the guise of the Bush administrations war on terror. Secretary Rice would brush off criticism the United States was receiving around the world for its support of Israel’s military action, going on to say any promise of a cease-fire Hezbollah and Israel is a “false promise” from Hezbollah[16].  It was clear the United States would go against any calls for a cease-fire because the United States was exporting many of its state-of-the-art weapons to Israel[17]. Other countries however were not fully behind Israel, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed at a G8 conference, which took place as the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel was just beginning, that he was under the impression that the goal of Israel was to“…go beyond just recovering their kidnapped soldiers[18].” It is easy for President Putin to say that because as the days went by the Israel Defense Force was mounting forces for a major land invasion into Lebanon that could have dragged the whole region into a large-scale conflict, for what would be the second stage of Israeli offensive against Hezbollah. It is clear that President Putin had received some very good intelligence.   

Israel for the most part depends on support from the United States and her allies, however Israel’s invasion of Southern Lebanon started an erosion of that support in the West. A lot of the erosion of support had a lot to do with Israel’s actions within the conflict. In the Lebanese village of Qana the world saw the worse in the Israeli Defense Force’s strategy. Using airstrikes the Israeli Defense Force more than 100 civilians in the village of Qana, horrifying the world[19]. This attack did not come with prior warning and should have been expected as the Israeli air force was leveling the countryside of Lebanon and taking out important infrastructure. The Israeli air force even bombed a United Nations mission in Southern Lebanon[20]. It could have happen anywhere, but for the poor people of Qana it happen to them. A weekend prior to the attack Israeli warplanes launched a missile attack on two Red Cross ambulances, hitting one in the center of the cross[21]. An attack on any Red Cross vehicle or camp is unprecedented. Israel would later claim that many of the houses were destroyed because of “munitions” stored in them, killing the people residing in these houses[22]. Many in the international community, who would condemn this attack, would not believe however this claim put forth by Israel[23]. Even average citizens in Israel would feel bad about these attacks, but would blame Hezbollah for hiding weapons in civilian centers[24]. Outrage of this attack would lead to protests in Beirut, with many burning American flags in protest of the Bush administrations support for Israel and Israel’s actions in the conflict. The rage of the people would force Secretary Rice to cancel a trip to negotiate a cease-fire in Beirut[25]. With many news agencies around the world reporting that more than half of the causalities being children, it was becoming hard for the world to see Israel’s actions as being justified[26]. With Israel’s claim’s of Hezbollah storing weapons there, even claiming that Hezbollah would use United Nations outposts as weapons caches[27], Israel was slowing isolating itself in the world, bringing down the United States with it. Israel was doing everything it felt possible to rid itself of a enemy that has log plagued them, by any means necessary. In doing so Israel was making a lot more new enemies that were growing tired of Israel doing things on its own.    

The great Sun Tzu said, “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.” Hezbollah lied in wait for the Israel Defense Force in Southern Lebanon, much the Vietcong in the Vietnam War, in complex tunnel systems that were in the hills of Southern Lebanon[28]. The Lebanese army, unlike Hezbollah, was not equipped like a modern army making it unable to fight in any large-scale combat mission[29]. The Lebanese army was estimated 38,000 men that are meant to keep the peace within Lebanon, were as Hezbollah has unknown numbers of men and weapons[30]. One thing that gets overlooked often is that Hezbollah does have is a formidable fighting force that is well drilled and well armed[31]. By well-armed Hezbollah had modern Russian made weapons, which many suspected was given to Hezbollah by Iran and Syria to use against their common enemy, Israel[32]. With these weapons, especially sophisticated Russian antitank weapons, Hezbollah was able to inflict serious damage to the Israeli Defense Forces modern state-of-the-art weapon systems, including the Israeli Merkava tank[33]. Israel would complain about, indirectly, how they felt the Russian government was complacent in Hezbollah gaining Russian weapons unhindered[34]. This would make Iran and Syria the proxies for Russia, giving the situation a Cold War feel, pitting the United States and Russia in a proxy war. It could be that Israel was not happy with how the Russian weapons performed against their modern weapons. Israel would also add the claim that Syria gave Hezbollah Russian anti-personnel weapons such as 220-millimeter and 302-millimeter missiles with anti-personal warheads on them[35]. Hezbollah would take farther steps to modify the weapons by packing the missiles with ball bearings to inflict even further damage[36]. Tactics used by Hezbollah would get Hezbollah compared to other guerrilla groups such as the Vietcong, because they use flexible tactics and a lack of fear of the Israeli Defense Force[37]. In war fear can be a powerful weapon, but with proper training fear can be over come easily. It is also hard to beat people that believe in a cause or a message. The reason the American army struggled in Vietnam and conflicts since is because an armed force cannot defeat an idea. Hezbollah believes they are the defenders against a foreign invader, that foreign invader being Israel.  

As the conflict progressed Israel tried to inflict as much damage as it could before any cease-fire would take effect. This escalation could be credited for the Israeli’s bombing Qana. As the escalation progressed the world become more outraged, turning to the streets to voice condemnation for Israel. What would help fuel protests and outrage was the impact on the global oil market this conflict had[38]. A increased fear of Iran withdrawing the oil it produces from the global market in protest of Israel was seizing the world with fear that oil prices would skyrocket, with gas prices hitting four dollars a gallon in the United States[39].  Also fueling the fire against Israel was the possibility of war crimes charges against many of the belligerents. Louise Arbour, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia said the action of “Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians…[and] is unjustifiable[40].” The International Red Cross, who had two ambulances bombed by Israel, would further that sentiment by saying Israel violated the Geneva Conventions and their protocols of warfare[41]. No matter how negative the views of the conflict were as many as 90% of Israelis supported the conflict, with protests against the war drawing about 2000 people within Tel Aviv[42]. There would also be rallies supporting Israel in England drawing estimated crowds up to 5000 people[43]. However despite the rallies of support there were many more protests against the Israeli action. There would be rallies with as many as 7000 people in cities across the United Kingdom[44]. With the United States House of Representatives voting 410 to 8 in support of Israel, there would be rallies in Washington D.C. against Israel[45]. A protester in Israel summed it up best when he said “the Israeli government thinks bombing Lebanon they will make peace, but they did it many times before and it didn’t work[46].” Iraq still a war zone and the forgotten conflict in Afghanistan waging on the world was getting sick of war, with the many in the world blaming the United States. The protests in Israel were also anti-United States rallies[47]. It was hard for the United States, because of the Bush administration, not to be blamed for the conflict. Israel claiming it was doing its part in the ‘war on terror’ made a direct connection with the United States and the ongoing conflicts of the United States. It would be hard for anyone to argue that there was not an anti-Muslim feel about these conflicts.

In the end the Israeli government agreed to a cease-fire, with an international peacekeeping force in Southern Lebanon. After thirty-four long days of fighting Lebanon was reduced to a state of rubble, shattered lives, and a weakened economy. Israel would eventually get the two soldiers back, but did the means justify the end? The conflict changed the way many around the world view Israel. Since the conflict the Lebanese government has struggled mightily, many Arab countries have new governments emerging, and the United States elected a President that does not view Israel the same way as President Bush did. The world is changing also because shortly after the war many countries around the world fell into economic collapse. Israel has had a valued alliance with the United States, but new global powers like China and a couple of old powers like Russia and Germany, Israel may find it hard to find new allies[48]. Importantly peoples views of Israel have changed, Israel is no longer the victim as many are starting to see Israel as the aggressor.  



“Acts of War Raise Risk to Region.” BBC, July 13, 2006, sec. Middle East. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5177346.stm.

“CNN.com – Anderson Cooper 360° Blog-Seeing Red in Israel”, July 31, 2006. http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2006/07/seeing-red-in-israel.html.

“Deaths Rise as Israel, Hezbollah Trade Attacks.” Msnbc.com, n.d., sec. Mideast/N. Africa. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13853565/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/deaths-rise-israel-hezbollah-trade-attacks/.

El Husseini, Rola. “Hezbollah and the Axis of Refusal: Hamas, Iran and Syria.” Third World Quarterly 31, no. 5 (July 2010): 803–815.

Erlanger, Steven, and Hassan M. Fattah. “Israel Suspending Lebanon Air Raids After Dozens Die.” The New York Times, July 31, 2006, sec. International / Middle East. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/31/world/middleeast/31mideast.html.

Erlanger, Steven, and Richard A. Oppel Jr. “A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons.” The New York Times, August 7, 2006, sec. International / Middle East. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/07/world/middleeast/07hezbollah.html.

“Hezbollah Seizes Israel Soldiers.” BBC, July 12, 2006, sec. Middle East. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5171616.stm.

“Hezbollah Sharply Rejects Cease-Fire, Say It Will Continue Rocket Strikes | Fox News.” Fox News, July 17, 2006. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,203908,00.html.

“Hezbollah Warns Israel over Raids.” BBC, July 12, 2006, sec. Middle East. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5173078.stm.

Hoge, Warren. “Attacks Qualify as War Crimes, Officials Say.” The New York Times, July 20, 2006, sec. International / Middle East. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/20/world/middleeast/20nations.html.

“Israel Complains Hezbollah Used Russian-Made Missiles | Fox News”, August 18, 2006. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,209162,00.html.

“Israel Floats Idea to End Lebanon Fighting.” Msnbc.com, n.d., sec. Mideast/N. Africa. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13897540/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/israel-floats-idea-end-lebanon-fighting/.

“Israel Gears up for Massive Ground Assault as World Dithers | Current Affairs | DW.DE | Null”, July 22, 2006. http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,2107137,00.html.

“Israel Rejects U.N. Involvement in Peacekeeping Force, Probe of Mission Bombing | Fox News”, July 28, 2006. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,206035,00.html.

“Israeli Warplanes Strike Targets Deep in Lebanon.” Msnbc.com, July 31, 2006, sec. Mideast/N. Africa. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14100258/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/israeli-warplanes-strike-targets-deep-lebanon/.

“Lebanon’s Two Fighting Forces.” BBC, July 22, 2006, sec. Middle East. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5205930.stm.

“Little Dissent as Israelis Support War.” BBC, July 23, 2006, sec. Middle East. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5208718.stm.

“Mideast Conflict Impacts Oil Prices Worldwide.” Msnbc.com, July 14, 2006, sec. NBCNightlyNews. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13864423/ns/nbcnightlynews/t/mideast-conflict-impacts-oil-prices-worldwide/.

Norton, Augustus Richard. Hezbollah: A Short History. 1St ed. Princeton University Press, 2007.

Pear, Robert. “Rally Near White House Protests Violence in Mideast.” The New York Times, August 13, 2006, sec. Washington. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/13/washington/13protest.html.

Philipp, Peter. “Opinion: United States Is Doing Too Little, Too Late | Current Affairs | DW.DE | Null”, July 26, 2006. http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,2110333,00.html.

“Protests in UK at Israeli Action.” BBC, July 22, 2006, sec. UK. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5203450.stm.

“Rally Offers Support to Israelis.” BBC, July 23, 2006, sec. UK. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5206954.stm.

“Rice Urges ‘urgent and Enduring’ Mideast Peace.” Msnbc.com, July 25, 2006, sec. Mideast/N. Africa. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14018618/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/rice-urges-urgent-enduring-mideast-peace/.

Rutenberg, Jim. “Despite Joint Statement on Mideast, Strains Emerge as U.S. Supports Israel’s Campaign.” The New York Times, July 17, 2006, sec. International / Middle East. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/17/world/middleeast/17diplo.html.

Ryan, Rachel. “Propaganda Wars Fight for Headlines in the Middle East | Germany | DW.DE | Null”, August 15, 2006. http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,2135841,00.html.

Tavernise, Sabrina. “A Night of Death and Terror for Lebanese Villagers.” The New York Times, July 31, 2006, sec. International / Middle East. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/31/world/middleeast/31scene.html.

[1] Rola El Husseini, “Hezbollah and the Axis of Refusal: Hamas, Iran and Syria,” Third World Quarterly 31, no. 5 (July 2010): 803–815.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Augustus Richard Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History, 1St ed. (Princeton University Press, 2007), 132.

[4] Ibid., 133.

[5] Ibid., 132.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid., 134.

[8] “Hezbollah Seizes Israel Soldiers,” BBC, July 12, 2006, sec. Middle East, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5171616.stm.

[9] “Hezbollah Warns Israel over Raids,” BBC, July 12, 2006, sec. Middle East, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5173078.stm.

[10] Ibid.

[11] “Hezbollah Sharply Rejects Cease-Fire, Say It Will Continue Rocket Strikes | Fox News,” Fox News, July 17, 2006, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,203908,00.html.

[12] Ibid.

[13] “Rice Urges ‘urgent and Enduring’ Mideast Peace,” Msnbc.com, July 25, 2006, sec. Mideast/N. Africa, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14018618/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/rice-urges-urgent-enduring-mideast-peace/.

[14] “Hezbollah Sharply Rejects Cease-Fire, Say It Will Continue Rocket Strikes | Fox News”; Jim Rutenberg, “Despite Joint Statement on Mideast, Strains Emerge as U.S. Supports Israel’s Campaign,” The New York Times, July 17, 2006, sec. International / Middle East, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/17/world/middleeast/17diplo.html.

[15] Rutenberg, “Despite Joint Statement on Mideast, Strains Emerge as U.S. Supports Israel’s Campaign.”

[16] “Israel Gears up for Massive Ground Assault as World Dithers | Current Affairs | DW.DE | Null”, July 22, 2006, http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,2107137,00.html.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Rutenberg, “Despite Joint Statement on Mideast, Strains Emerge as U.S. Supports Israel’s Campaign.”

[19] Sabrina Tavernise, “A Night of Death and Terror for Lebanese Villagers,” The New York Times, July 31, 2006, sec. International / Middle East, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/31/world/middleeast/31scene.html; “Israeli Warplanes Strike Targets Deep in Lebanon,” Msnbc.com, July 31, 2006, sec. Mideast/N. Africa, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14100258/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/israeli-warplanes-strike-targets-deep-lebanon/.

[20] “Israel Rejects U.N. Involvement in Peacekeeping Force, Probe of Mission Bombing | Fox News”, July 28, 2006, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,206035,00.html.

[21] Tavernise, “A Night of Death and Terror for Lebanese Villagers.”

[22] Ibid.

[23] Steven Erlanger and Hassan M. Fattah, “Israel Suspending Lebanon Air Raids After Dozens Die,” The New York Times, July 31, 2006, sec. International / Middle East, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/31/world/middleeast/31mideast.html.

[24] “CNN.com – Anderson Cooper 360° Blog-Seeing Red in Israel”, July 31, 2006, http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2006/07/seeing-red-in-israel.html.

[25] Erlanger and Fattah, “Israel Suspending Lebanon Air Raids After Dozens Die.”

[26] “Israeli Warplanes Strike Targets Deep in Lebanon.”

[27] “Israel Rejects U.N. Involvement in Peacekeeping Force, Probe of Mission Bombing | Fox News.”

[28] Steven Erlanger and Richard A. Oppel Jr, “A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons,” The New York Times, August 7, 2006, sec. International / Middle East, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/07/world/middleeast/07hezbollah.html.

[29] “Lebanon’s Two Fighting Forces,” BBC, July 22, 2006, sec. Middle East, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5205930.stm.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Erlanger and Jr, “A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons”; “Acts of War Raise Risk to Region,” BBC, July 13, 2006, sec. Middle East, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5177346.stm.

[32] Erlanger and Jr, “A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons”; “Israel Complains Hezbollah Used Russian-Made Missiles | Fox News”, August 18, 2006, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,209162,00.html.

[33] Erlanger and Jr, “A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons.”

[34] “Israel Complains Hezbollah Used Russian-Made Missiles | Fox News”; Erlanger and Jr, “A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons.”

[35] Erlanger and Jr, “A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons.”

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid.

[38] “Mideast Conflict Impacts Oil Prices Worldwide,” Msnbc.com, July 14, 2006, sec. NBCNightlyNews, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13864423/ns/nbcnightlynews/t/mideast-conflict-impacts-oil-prices-worldwide/.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Warren Hoge, “Attacks Qualify as War Crimes, Officials Say,” The New York Times, July 20, 2006, sec. International / Middle East, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/20/world/middleeast/20nations.html.

[41] Ibid.

[42] “Little Dissent as Israelis Support War,” BBC, July 23, 2006, sec. Middle East, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5208718.stm.

[43] “Rally Offers Support to Israelis,” BBC, July 23, 2006, sec. UK, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5206954.stm.

[44] “Protests in UK at Israeli Action,” BBC, July 22, 2006, sec. UK, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5203450.stm.

[45] Robert Pear, “Rally Near White House Protests Violence in Mideast,” The New York Times, August 13, 2006, sec. Washington, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/13/washington/13protest.html.

[46] “Little Dissent as Israelis Support War.”

[47] Ibid.

[48] Germany is considered by many to be the lone economic power in Europe. Germany also supplies many countries with state-of-the-art German weaponry, one of those countries is the United States.

The Israeli-Arab Conflict

Central Connecticut State Univeristy

The Israeli-Arab Conflict

A look at the major events in the conflict since the Second World War


Daniel F Whalen


A brief look at the two major wars, the founding of the PLO, and the peace process

Throughout the course of history no area in the world has seen so much strife and conflict as the area in which the nation of Israel now sits. Since the Hittites this region has seen more conflict than any other. Most recently the conflict stems from two parties, or ethnic groups, that want the land to be their own country. These two groups, the Palestinians and the Israelis, claim this region as their homeland. In more recent times the conflict between the two groups flared up shortly after the end of the Second World War. In the conflict there have seemed at times that peace is at hand, but this peace never amounts to a sustained peace.

After the end of the Second World War there were a great number of displaced Jews from Europe, most of whom had survived the horrors of Nazi occupation and the concentration camps. Without an actually country of their own the Jews tried to find a country that would allow them residence within their borders. With not result they decided to settle in what they consider their historical homeland, which was known as Palestine at that time. This land area of Palestine is where in the Bible the lands of Judah, Canaan, and Israel sat. To many religions this is the land of Abraham, but for the Jews it is the land of David the Biblical king of Judah and then the Kingdom of Israel. This would be the claim the Jewish people would use as for the founding of modern Israel.

The Israeli-Arab Conflict as it is today started in or about the year 1948 when the Jewish Provisional Government declared its independence when the British would start their withdrawal after the end of the British Mandate for Palestine[1]. For centuries prior to World War One this region was under the control of the Ottoman Empire and with the Ottoman defeat in the war the region that is modern day Israel and Jordan was given the British to administer. Britain however grew wary of the situation in what was then Palestine and found its self caught in a three-way conflict between them and the Jewish and Arab populations[2]. In the year 1947 Britain handed over the mandate to the newly formed United Nations[3]. It was with this that the United Nations General Assembly voted to divide Palestine into two states, UN Resolution 181, one under the control of Palestinians and the other under the control of Jews[4]. This would leave Jerusalem under international control however[5]. With the United States and the Soviet Union voting for this partition along with parts of South America and most of Europe[6] it would seem that there should not be a problem. However all of the Arab nations that were members of the United Nations at that time voted against the resolution[7]. Britain however abstained from the voting, most likely due to the past mandate. It is suggested since then that the reason the Europeans voted in favor of this because of guilt over the Holocaust. This is possible because most of Europe and the United States did look the other way when the Nazi regime rounded up the Jews for forced labor and death camps. Whatever the reason the European powers had for voting for this they did not foresee the level of violence that would overcome the region.

The Jewish Government at the time would accept the Resolution, for a number of reasons but primarily for strategic reasons[8]. The Palestinians rejected because the unbalanced distribution of land. On May 14th Israel declares its independence thus forming the State of Israel. It would be the next day that five Arab nations, Egypt, Transjordan (present day Jordan), Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, would invade Israel in support of the Palestinians and the Palestinian militia[9]. One would think the onslaught of Arabs would be too much to the Israeli forces to handle, but it is important to keep in mind that most of the Jews in Israel came from Europe.   They had experience fighting the Nazis in resistance movements, which is invaluable military experience. Many had been trained by the British; they were also much better armed and motivated fighting for their new country[10]. Many of the Arab countries prior to this were colonies to various European powers, for example Egypt was a colony of Britain, but did not receive the level of training as compared to European armies. The exact reason why the Arab countries would reject the Resolution and invade the newly declared Jewish state is unknown, but there was plenty of hostility between the Jews and Arabs prior to this because the Jews formed armed mobs and militias that went about “cleansing” the land of Palestinian towns and villages[11]. Cleansing is a term used the Israeli military, it means more or less to massacre[12]. A lesson they learned from the Nazis. This hostility would continue and involve the whole region.

There would be relative peace after this brief war. The peace, or calm in the action, would last for the better part of two decades. That is not to say that both sides, the Israelis and Arabs got along.   Actions would be taken by the Arabs to press the Palestinian issue. The most notable of actions was the founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in year 1964. The PLO is more or less an umbrella, or bloc, organization containing smaller Palestinian organizations brought together as one larger group. For the first few years after it’s founding the PLO was mainly under the direction of the Arab League[13]. The original doctrine of the PLO was to drive the “Jews into the sea.[14]” This is a bold statement for an organization that did not have a standing army or funds to arm an army. This maybe why over time the PLO would become a loose collection of political and more associated with terrorist organizations. It would not be until Yasser Arafat takes control of the PLO that the PLO sees some political success. Today one hardly hears of the PLO.

Perhaps the most important part in this conflict that has had long term effects that resonate to today was the Six Day War in June of 1967. This was a quick war in which Israel military, Israeli Defense Force (IDF), dispatched of the Arab armies with ease. Israel attacks Egypt, Syria, and Jordan for reasons known to them. By the end of the six days of battle Israel close to tripled the size of its territory. From Egypt Israel seizes the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank for Jordan[15]. It was said in peace negations Egypt would regain the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights would be returned to Syria[16], however Israel would remain in control of these territories along with the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Gaza Strip and West Bank would become the strongholds for the Palestinians; almost like the ghettos the Jews were forced to live in during the Second World War. It can be said that the one thing the Jewish people took out of the Holocaust was how to isolate people they wanted to have limited contact with.

Another war of importance in this conflict would be the Yom Kipper War fought in October of 1973. Much in a the way many feel the Second World War was a extension of the First World War, the Yom Kipper War is seen as a extension of the Six Day War. With Iraq taking the place of Jordan, the belligerents remained the same other wise. This war would start with an Egyptian invasion of the Israeli occupied Sinai Peninsula. With great success the Egyptians would halt their advance and would dig in to hold their positions, leaving Syria to invade from the North from the Golan Heights. Once the IDF regained its wits it repulsed the invading armies and drove deep into Syria and Egypt. These two crushing defeats for the Arab nations at the hands of the IDF are nothing short of embarrassing. It is clear that there is not a balance of power in this region with the Arab armies being routed all the time.

Peace in the Israeli-Arab conflict is possible, but it will come at a high price for all those involved. The fighting has gone on for such a long time it is only natural that the belligerents grow disgusted of it. There are renewed calls for a two state solution to the conflict.   From all outward signs the majority of Palestinians seem to favor that. There are issues that need to be resolved first and issues that stand in the way. An important issue that stands in the way is demographics[17]. There are an estimated five millions Jewish people in Israel and the occupied territories, with about 1.3 millions Arabs in Israel and an estimated 4 million in the Gaza Strip and West Bank alone[18].   What makes this an issue is that the infra-structure for the Palestinians to support so many people in a small amount of space just is not able to do it. In news footage of the Gaza Strip and West Bank the Palestinians live in near squalor conditions. The occupied territories are designed now to keep the Palestine’s in them and out of Israel, similar to the ghetto system used by the Nazis.

Another issue that has to be resolved is the question of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories and the IDF withdrawing from the occupied territories. Even moderate voices within the Israeli government believe that the Jewish settlements should be abandoned and the IDF’s presence in the occupied territories should come to and end[19]. Doing this would not only be symbolic, but would show the Arab governments that the Israelis are willing to live peacefully. This would also put pressure on the Arab countries to live peacefully and not be the aggressor.

Lastly is the issue of American involvement in the region. Many around the world view the United States as a strong supporter of Israel. The United States needs to settle on its foreign policy, oil policy, and strategic polices for the region before anything between the Israelis and Arabs can be settled[20]. Since the 1991 Gulf War the United States has been involved in the geo-politics of the Middle East. Also with the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States only went farther in destabilizing the region. Since that invasion Iran has stepped up anti-Israeli rhetoric, calling for an end of the state of Israel.

Chances for peace in the Israeli-Arab Conflict seem to be fleeting, although many people are hopeful that peace can be achieved. There was the symbol of future peace when Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands at the White House while Bill Clinton was President in 1993 when both accepted the Oslo Accords. In the United States and around the world the footage of this must have been shown a millions times. But when there are symbols of peace they seem to be false or halfhearted attempts at peace. The problem they will continue to have is that on both sides each new generation is exposed to greater violence. Once the violence can end peace will be closer.


Bard, Mitchell Geoffrey. Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. 3 ed. New York: American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (Aice), 2006.

“Dis73a03 Yom Kippur War.” USC – University of Southern California. http://www.usc.edu/dept/ancntr/Paris-in-LA/Database/Case-DB/Arab-Isr-67-73/dis73a03.html (accessed May 10, 2010).

Drummond, Dorothy W. Holy Land, Whose Land? Modern Dilemma, Ancient Roots (2nd ed. Revised). 2nd ed. terre haute: fairhurst press, 2004.

Farsoun, Samih K., and Christina E. Zacharia. Palestine and the Palestinians. Boulder: Westview Pr (Trd), 1997.

Gopin, Marc. Holy War, Holy Peace: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2002.

University of Colorado . “HISTORY OF THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT.” HISTORY OF THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT. http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_1982_s10/Conflict%20Timeline.pdf (accessed April 21, 2010).

Herzog, Chaim. Heroes of Israel: Profiles of Jewish Courage. 1st ed ed. New York – Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1989.

LeBor, Adam. “Zion and the Arabs.” World Policy Journal 24, no. Winter 2007/2008 (2007): 61-75.

“Our Documents – Press Release Announcing U.S. Recognition of Israel (1948).” Welcome to OurDocuments.gov. http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=old&doc=83 (accessed May 1, 2010).

Qumsiyeh, Mazin B.. Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle. London: Pluto Press, 2004.

“START | Terrorist Organization Profile.” START | Home. http://www.start.umd.edu/start/data/tops/terrorist_organization_profile.asp?id=4182 (accessed May 1, 2010).

“UN General Assembly Resolution 181.” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/UN+General+Assembly+Resolution+181.htm (accessed April 21, 2010).


[1] http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=old&doc=83

[2] World Policy Journal p.64

[3] Ibid p.64

[4] http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

[5] ibid

[6] http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/UN+General+Assembly+Resolution+181.htm

[7] ibid

[8] http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_1982_s10/Conflict%20Timeline.pdf

[9] http://youth.najah.edu/article_view.asp?newsID=3661&cat=6

[10] World Policy Journal p. 66

[11] Sharing the Land of Canaan

[12] ibid

[13] umd

[14] umd

[15] Colorado

[16] Chaim Herzog, Heroes of Israel p. 253

[17] Sharing the Land

[18] Ibid p. 198

[19] Holy Land, Whose Land

[20] ibid

Elements of Failure


Kelo vs. City of New London


The other day while at the gym I overheard a man complaining about how the town of Ellington, via eminent domain, took a segment of his front yard to have a traffic rotary built.  This is considered a typical use of eminent domain and how most people in the United States in envision the government use of eminent domain.  However in the post-war World War II era the use of eminent domain has taking a radical shift in its implications, cultivating into what would become the landmark case of Kelo v. New London.  This shift has to do with economic issues, such as job creation and the increase of tax revenue.  Although the need for municipalities to increase tax revenues is the primary reason for this shift has taking place in the use of eminent domain.  Cities and towns see tax revenue drying up so local governments have no issue with taking land from person A and giving it to person B because person B usually is a business that will develop that land increasing the value of that land, which in turn brings in more tax revenue than what was previously there. 

For many in the United States the Kelo decision would be a welcome outcome, for many others the decision would take what they held as sacred and place it in the crosshairs of any entity that saw a value in the land their homes stood on.  Across the United States in any given year there could be as many as ten thousand cases in which governments are using the power of eminent domain to take land from tax paying homeowners or business owners and handing that land over to development companies or wealthier business owners claiming that doing so will increase tax revenue for the city or town and spurring economic growth[1].  Businesses and their supporters would point to changing market conditions and the need for economic growth should take precedence over everything else, even if it takes from person A and gives it to person B[2].  The Kelo decision would swing the pendulum into an area that would let a segment of the population infringe on the rights and liberty of another, however the pendulum was starting to swing that way for some time.

To get to the Kelo decision one must take a look at how the process of Prior to the Civil War the concept of eminent domain was limited to the federal government in that the government could take land from a private owner for use to build a project that would benefit the general public, like a road or bridge.  What gave the federal government the right to do this was the 5th Amendment[3], however the government had to give just compensation.  The first change to eminent domain, or the takings clause, would not come until the 14th Amendment when it was decided by the Supreme Court that the states, and local town governments, have a right to take land via eminent domain under the equal protection clause[4].  It would not be until after the Second World War, which ushered in a period of unprecedented prosperity in the United States, that the takings clause would again change.

The United States since the beginning of the 20th century has promoted urban renewal by means of urban redevelopment.  One such project that succeeded in urban redevelopment, and did not need to use eminent domain, was the building of Grand Central Terminal in New York City, The New York Central Railroad already owned the land the new terminal was built on.  However projects like the Terminal are rare because the land the Terminal was built on so there was no need to use eminent domain to acquire land.  With successes like Grand Central Terminal comes a need to continue that success.    Railroads are what most people think of when they think of eminent domain, the greedy railroad baron trying to steal land from honest Americans.  With an increase in industrialization and changes in the national economy it would not be the greedy railroad robber-baron trying to get peoples land for nothing by eminent domain, it would become corporations wanting the land to build factories, hotels, and office space.

As urban renewal hit full steam state and local governments face the problem land was limited, so to make up for the lack of land the governments would look for areas within cities and towns that were blighted.  Now in most blighted neighborhoods most of the people may not have much and are willing to take the compensation offered.  However there would be some whose property was in good shape, or better, but unfortunately fell into the blighted zone.  In Washington D.C. one case like this would arise in 1954, Berman v. Parker.   In the District of Columbia there arose a need to improve blighted areas because these substandard areas could be “…injurious to the public health, safety, morals, and welfare…” of the citizens within these areas[5].  The District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency was given the authority to take in possession of properties for redevelopment and in doing so blighted a neighborhood that the Berman’s department store stood.  The Berman’s store was in better shape compared to the rest of the neighborhood in which the overwhelming majority of buildings were beyond repair and still had outside toilets, some even lacked electricity[6].  Without dissent the Court affirmed the decision of the lower court stating it is “…fruitless…” to define the limits of eminent domain, which the Court defined as a police power.  It was, and is; in the eyes of the Court a police power municipal governments need to insure “public safety, public health, morality, peace and quiet, law and order[7].”   The Court further explains it is not the responsibility to of the “…courts to oversee the choice of the boundary line…nor size of a particular project area[8].”  The Court explains why takings such as this are important to the public, but gives a stinging rebuke to the Bermans and others that may want to challenge the takings clause in the future with the final sentence of the opinion.  The Court said in that rebuke “The rights of these property owners are satisfied when they receive that just compensation which the Fifth Amendment exacts as the price of the taking[9].”  This one sentence is very powerful and it alone, despite the precedents the court used, explains what eminent domain is and will be in the future.  It more or less says to take the money that is offered as compensation, do not dispute eminent domain because the government will always win.

Like the Berman case, there is another that the Supreme Court used in the Kelo decision as a precedent was the case of Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff from 1984.  Even though the Midkiff case is an eminent domain case it is nothing like the Berman or Kelo case.  The Midkiff case had to deal with breaking up a long-standing feudal tradition in Hawaii were that 47% of the land was owned by 72 private landowners who leased the land to tenants[10].  The State of Hawaii contended that because of the vast amounts of land these 72 landowners held the value of land was overly inflated and limited growth within the state.  The State wanted to take possession of the land to sell to private individuals; therefore the Hawaiian Legislature enacted legislation to seize the land from the landowners[11].  The landowners claimed they wanted to sell their land but federal tax code would inflict substantive monetary costs, making leasing the land more profitable for them[12].  Like the Kelo case the state of Hawaii wanted to give the land to private homeowners, however many of these homeowners already were leasing the land from the landowners.  It would be because of this that the Court would “…have no trouble concluding that the Hawaii Act is constitutional[13].”  The Midkiff case lacked the usual elements of an eminent domain case in that the land was not blighted and in some cases the renters improved the land.

A case that gets a single mention in each, the Supreme Court decision and the Connecticut Supreme Court, decision is Poletown Neighborhood Council v. City of Detroit.  The Poletown case is from 1981 and was decided in the Supreme Court of Michigan, never made it to the United States Supreme Court.  The Poletown case is very much like the Kelo case, in that a corporation is involved.  By time Kelo was argued in the United States Supreme Court Poletown would be overturned by the Supreme Court of Michigan in 2004 with the Wayne County v. Hathcock case[14].  The details of the Poletown case are eerily similar to that of the Kelo case, which makes one wonder why the Connecticut Supreme Court did not reference it more in the decision it rendered, the Poletown case deals with many of the same elements as Kelo.  The Poletown case revolves around a neighborhood of mostly Polish immigrants that was blighted by the city and taken by eminent domain by the city of Detroit to be given to General Motors, so that a factory can be built on the land. Michigan Supreme Court decided that the land should be given to General Motors because the plant would “…alleviate and prevent conditions of unemployment…” in the state and any “…benefit to a private interest is merely incidental[15].”  To make the point clear the Michigan Supreme Court quoted former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Cooley from an eminent domain case just over a century prior that said “…the most important consideration in the case of eminent domain is the necessity of accomplishing some public good which… the law does not so much regard the means as the need[16].”

The Kelo case is similar to that of Poletown in that a private corporation is involved in that the private corporation will be receiving the taken land to develop for its own need.  In Poletown General Motors was directly involved in the need to take the land, in Kelo Pfizer Pharmaceutical was involved, however Pfizer’s amount of involvement may never be truly known.  It would be safe to say Pfizer was very involved in the process, to the point that some felt there was a backroom deal between Pfizer and then Governor John Rowland[17].  It would be the State of Connecticut issuing the funds, seventy million dollars, to New London and New London Development Council to move forward with what become known as the Fort Trumbull Project, that was to be injection of jobs and tax revenue into the city of New London, with Pfizer building a new state-of-the-art research center next to the proposed project[18].  The land for this proposed project consisted of a scrap metal yard, water treatment plant, residential housing, and abandoned AMTRAK station, and the closed Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory totaling ninety acres of undervalued waterfront property[19].  Not the most attractive pieces of land, certainly showing the elements of a dead city, and one could question why anyone would want to live in this neighbor, but yet a home is a home.

At the core of the defense were a small number of homeowners, nine in total. Some like Suzette Kelo lived there a short while, Kelo herself had just bought her house in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood 1997, a year prior to the project being announced.  Others like, Wilhelmina Dery, lived in the neighborhood for long periods of time.  Dery herself was born in the house she lived in, and would die in that house[20].  It is east to see why Dery would choose not to sell her house; it would be tough for her to replace all the memories.  Suzette Kelo on the other had could have should with the possibility of making a profit, granted it would be at taxpayer expense.

The question in the Kelo case was far beyond that of public use, because to many involved it was exactly how the land would be used.  Many felt the land was going to be used for the benefit of Pfizer, not the public, because Pfizer asked for a hotel, upscale condos, and office buildings be put on the land.  These are all things that were worked into the final proposal, giving the Fort Trumbull project a direct similarity to the Poletown case.  The proposal from the New London Development Corporation would have in one parcel of the project close to ninety thousand square feet of “…high technology research and development office space…located close to other research and development facilities, including those of Pfizer[21].”  New London is not known for high technology research, there are other areas in the state that may fit that description, and New London would be more suited for naval research and development with the Electric Boat Shipyard across the Thames River.  Another issue involved in this project was doubt of any success, Pfizer included or not, because of a number of failures the New London Development Corporation has had since it was formed in 1990[22].  This feeds in the publics beliefs that Pfizer was indeed the entity behind the project with its self interests being served.

New London is a dying city, if not a dead one already.  With the United States Coast Guard Academy and Connecticut College takes up the vast amounts of the land in New London, neither of which is taxable.  Including the parks and churches fifty six percent of the land in New London is nontaxable, leaving the city to struggle to find ways to bring money in[23]. With limited tax revenue coming into the city, the city struggles to pay for services such as police, fire and education.  There is a negative impact to the citizens of New London, an impact that was starting to be felt within the city.  Not helping New London, to the north two casinos were opening up on Native American reservation land.  Growth was all around New London, but not in New London.  There were few options for New London, and the city government knew something would have to be done soon to help the city.

It could be said the Supreme Court may have had the best of intentions in mind when it affirmed the ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court, helping a city that is dying a slow death rebuild and prosper benefiting those who live in the city.  Cities over time become stagnate and need to find sources of increased revenue.  However its borders limit a cities growth, which means they have to take from one and give to another to generate new streams of tax revenue.  However what the Supreme Court failed to do was protect the rights of citizens, who put time and effort in making a home a home.  It is a difficult balance that the society needs to maintain.  With history as a guide we can see that many times the Supreme Court has not always made the best decisions, sometimes choosing a perceived benefit over actual law and actual benefits.  Today in the city of New London the neighborhood that was fought over, the piece of land the Supreme Court said there would be perceived benefits of tax revenue and job growth, is nothing but a empty plot of grass, void of any buildings, jobs, and increased tax revenue.  It seems everyone in New London knew this project would be a failure, except the Supreme Court.


Berman V. Parker, 348 US 26 (Supreme Court 1954).

Berman V. Parker, 348 US 26 (Supreme Court 1954).

“Bill of Rights Transcript Text”, n.d. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html.

Cohen, Charles E. “Eminent Domain After Kelo V. City of New London: An Argument for Banning Economic Development Takings.” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 29, no. 2 (Spring 2006): 491–568.

“Eminent Domain – 60 Minutes – CBS News”, September 28, 2003. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7380308n&tag=mncol;lst;1.

“FORT TRUMBULL PLAINTIFF DIES: [5 NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT/SPORTS FINAL Edition]”, n.d. http://0-search.proquest.com.www.consuls.org/hartfordcourant/docview/256969587/135404C5AAB37FA166B/7?accountid=9970.

Hawaii Housing Authority V. Midkiff, 467 US 229 (Supreme Court 1984).

Kelo, Susette, Thomas B Metzloff, Sarah Wood, Todd Shoemaker, Duke University. School of Law., and Distinctive Aspects of American Law (Project). Kelo V. City of New London 545 U.S. 469 (2005). Durham, NC: Distinctive Aspects of American Law Video Project, Duke University School of Law, 2006.

Kelo V. City of New London, 268 Conn. 1 (Supreme Court 2004).

Kelo V. New London, 545 US 469 (Supreme Court 2005).

Poletown Neighborhood Council V. City of Detroit, 410 Mich. 616 (Supreme Court 1981).

Saginor, Jesse, and John F. McDonald. “Eminent Domain: A Review of the Issues.” Journal of Real Estate Literature 17, no. 1 (January 2009): 3–43.

STEWART, GEOFFREY T., JERILYN BOWIE-HILL, ANNE K. KEATY, and RAJESH SRIVASTAVA. “The Influence of Kelo V. City of New London, Connecticut on the Use of Eminent Domain in Place Marketing and Economic Development.” Marketing Management Journal 18, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 179–190.

[1] “Eminent Domain – 60 Minutes – CBS News”, September 28, 2003, http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7380308n&tag=mncol;lst;1.

[2] Geoffrey T. Stewart et al., “The Influence of Kelo V. City of New London, Connecticut on the Use of Eminent Domain in Place Marketing and Economic Development,” Marketing Management Journal 18, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 179.

[4] Jesse Saginor and John F. McDonald, “Eminent Domain: A Review of the Issues,” Journal of Real Estate Literature 17, no. 1 (January 2009): 3.

[5] Berman V. Parker, 348 US 26 (Supreme Court 1954).

[6] Berman V. Parker, 348 US 26 (Supreme Court 1954).

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Hawaii Housing Authority V. Midkiff, 467 US 229 (Supreme Court 1984).

[11] Charles E. Cohen, “Eminent Domain After Kelo V. City of New London: An Argument for Banning Economic Development Takings,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 29, no. 2 (Spring 2006): 512.

[12] Hawaii Housing Authority V. Midkiff, 467.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Cohen, “Eminent Domain After Kelo V. City of New London,” 515; Saginor and McDonald, “Eminent Domain,” 11.

[15] Poletown Neighborhood Council V. City of Detroit, 410 Mich. 616 (Supreme Court 1981).

[16] Ibid.

[17] Susette Kelo et al., Kelo V. City of New London 545 U.S. 469 (2005) (Durham, NC: Distinctive Aspects of American Law Video Project, Duke University School of Law, 2006).

[18] Ibid.

[19] Kelo V. City of New London, 268 Conn. 1 (Supreme Court 2004); Kelo V. New London, 545 US 469 (Supreme Court 2005); Kelo et al., Kelo V. City of New London 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

[20] “FORT TRUMBULL PLAINTIFF DIES: [5 NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT/SPORTS FINAL Edition]”, n.d., http://0-search.proquest.com.www.consuls.org/hartfordcourant/docview/256969587/135404C5AAB37FA166B/7?accountid=9970.

[21] Kelo V. City of New London, 268.

[22] Kelo et al., Kelo V. City of New London 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

[23] Ibid.

What is Good Customer Service?

Through out my life I have worked a wide variety of jobs, but none strike me more then when I have worked a customer service position.  I worked at one place that prided itself on quality customer service.  One would assume that quality customer service would mean that we the consumer/customer would come first and that at the end of that call that the customer would feel like what ever the issue it was resolved.  However what the company may consider quality would shock us.  In this article I will highlight how over the years I have worked in customer service how it has changed.

When I first worked in a customer service call center I had little, if any, training.  The company was a heating and cooling company and they just had me sit with a few people and listen to their calls.  This approach worked well, I was able to pick up the essence of the job and what the company was trying to do.  It was a smaller company, but they wanted their customer service people to have a personal touch with the customer, this the customer appreciated a lot.  The customer felt they knew the customer service representative and knew when they called in they would get some one who would treat them with respect. The company did not monitor the calls, nor did the company grade the representative.  The goal was to have a happy customer, quality was measured by that customer not calling back about the same issue.  Needless to say there were very few call backs, except for those who had credit issues.  When new upper management came in and wanted scripted openings and closings with branding the customers complained and were unhappy with the new corporate style of customer service.  The company has since lost a large number of customers.

Now there would be another company I would work for, a large utility company.  When I started there I had 3 straight months of training which took place in a class of other newly hired customer service representatives.  We would be given Powerpoints and other work in a classroom.  If we were lucky one of the trainers would take a couple calls.  In the first month the trainer took a total of six calls for use to hear, with the call on the sound system and the computer put on the overhead project for use to see what the trainer was doing on the computer.  The projector was barely in focus and it was hard to hear the caller and what the trainer was saying.  Then they had us pair up and take calls for a total an hour in the classroom.  After that without any more prep at the end of the first month of training they had us take customer calls on our own.  It is important to keep in mind that the training was a rushed and very little effort was made to see if the class fully understood what to do.  They did test us, but multiple choice test is easy to pass.  This companies idea of quality was much different than the first company.  It was not so much is the customer was happy, it was more of if certain things were said.  The call would be monitored and scored on what was said.  The call could go bad, but if the representative said “Thank you for calling Company X” they call was considered to be a quality call.  If the representative repeated what the customer said often that was considered quality, also it was important to ask the customer a series of “verifying” questions to make sure they were who they say the are.  This questions including asking for the address, name, phone number and last four of the social security number.  One would think just asking for the last four of the social security number would be enough.  Needless to say the customer would become frustrated during these questions, not a one that I had was in a good mood after all those questions.  Then after business was conducted and the customer wanted to get off the phone we had to repeat everything that was done, noting it on the account while the customer was on the phone, then thank the customer for calling the company.  By time I got to “Thank you for” I was hung up on.  But if the attempt was not made to say “Thank you for calling Company X” the call was considered a epic failure.  The customer could get off the phone with the sense that nothing was done, but if the representative branded the call with the company name the call was of the highest quality.  The company would record all the calls and have the representative listen to a few each month and point out the lack of branding and would encourage more branding in the call.  Keep in mind this company had a monopoly in the state it was in.  As long as the representative noted the account and send the branding the call was a success.

Why do companies decide what the customer considers to be good customer service and why is the customer now secondary in the scheme of things?  These are two questions that will require research to answer.

Conforming Carl Schmitt

Central Connecticut State Universirty

Conforming Carl Schmitt

Elitist Controlling the Mob

Dan Whalen




A look at how Carl Schmitt conformed to what Hannah Arendt had in mind as a member of the elite allying with the mob within a totalitarian movement,




Hannah Arendt and Carl Schmitt are two on different sides of the political and philosophical spectrum.  Even with these differences they make arguments that parallel each other.  They were and still are considered intellectual elites.  This is important because when Arendt in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism she speaks of an alliance between the mob, the disgruntled lower classes, and the elite, the intellectual.  In essence she is pointing the finger at those like Carl Schmitt.

It is interesting to point out that Arendt feels that the intellectual elite is part of the reason a totalitarian movement is able to grab a foot hold within in a country. She fails to disclose that she is part of the intellectual elite, but a Marxist bias does come out in her writing.  This is not to be confused with her critique of Stalinism.

The term elite is a broad term that can mean almost anything, but Schmitt does support her claim of an attraction between the intellectual elite and the mob as a clue to understanding the totalitarian movement[i].  He does seem to lean towards a totalitarian style government.  Schmitt says “A state standing above society could be called universal but not total, as the term is under stood nowadays[ii].”  This can be seen as a whitewash of what totalitarianism is, making totalitarianism seem as if it can be better than what it is known of being.  It places him on “the terrifying roster of distinguished men whom totalitarianism can count among its sympathizers, fellow-travelers, and inscribed party members[iii].”  Whitewash maybe to weak of a word, but what he is saying that within a totalitarian regime there will be a sense of universality that will be all in inclusive.  Everyone will be better off and equal within the state based on his theory.  It would be the Utopia Sir Thomas More[iv] wrote about, giving all those within the state the social and economic justice they are seeking.  This gives the mob Arendt speaks about hope if the message is relayed to them correctly.

The mob, whipped up in a frenzy unleashing its terror, well have to have an enemy, some entity that has denied them social and economic justice or is the way of it.  Schmitt would admit, “The actual participants can correctly recognize, understand, and judge the concrete situation and settle the extreme case of the conflict… Emotionally the enemy is easily treated as being evil.[v]”  How ever as Arendt points out “the European status quo was still the most serious threat to the ambitions of the mob.[vi]”  An enemy foreign or domestic would have to be created.  The concept of the domestic enemy does not elude Schmitt; he wrote “as the state is a political entity this requirement for the internal peace compels it in critical situations to decide also upon the domestic enemy.[vii]”  As for the Nazis there was not a shortage of people to be labeled as an enemy.  The enemy is the scapegoat of the totalitarian regime to distract the populous from the shortcomings and mistakes made by the regime.  Schmitt notes, “the distinction of friend and enemy denotes the utmost degree of intensity of a union or separation[viii]” and “without having simultaneously to draw upon all those moral, aesthetic, economic, or other distinctions[ix].”  The elite and the mobs “preference for terrorism over all other forms of political activity[x]” means they need an enemy so weak that there is little possibility for them, the enemy, to have any desire to fight back or resist.  This is why the Nazis chose the Jews within Germany, because their first enemy, the Communists, fought back.  As Germany occupied territory other groups became domestic enemies based on that territory, for example the Gypsies in Hungary[xi].  Also common for a totalitarian regime is an ideological enemy, for Stalin it was the United States.  The enemy is important not only for propaganda purposes but for their “desire to see the ruin of this whole world of fake security, fake culture, and fake life.[xii]”  The enemy is opposed to the realness of the totalitarian regime and its virtues.

With upheaval caused the mob under control from the elite is what causes both entities to form “an alliance because of their common antipathy toward the state[xiii]” and the elites “smugness of spurious respectability gave way to anarchic despair[xiv].”  The newfound status of the intellectual elite supersedes “the fact that their lives prior to their political careers had been failures, naïvely held against them by the more respectable leaders of the old parties.[xv]”  To have these new successful careers they need the mob to whip up support by any means necessary.  An example of which would be how Mafia heads, not to be confused with the mob Arendt is speaking of, transcend their lack of education to acquire wealth and power through brute force.  The mobs violence “become(s) a kind of philosophy through which to express frustration, resentment, and blind hatred, a kind of political expressionism[xvi]” which is the fuel the elite needs to push forward their platform which would other wise be quashed by the wealthy elite.  Plus the intellectual elite needs to use the mob because unlike the wealthy elite who have money and power they can use to garner influence within the political establishment.  Intellectual elite really cannot garner influence in the same manner.  Writing papers and journal articles can only do so much and hardly leave the realm of academia.  The sphere of influence is not that large, but with the power of the mob the sphere grows and expands into a stratum of society it had not reached before.  As it grows it is reinforced by means like propaganda, even if the messages meaning is distorted.

As I wrote this one story kept popping in my head and that was The Cave by Plato.  Reasoning being perception is everything because we all see things differently.   The intellectual elite would know this and in knowing this would know how to exploit it.  That is why the allegory of The Cave is so important.   The mob would be more or less the people bound in the cave and the intellectual elite are the people behind the mob projecting images on to the cave wall.  The only difference is the mob does not break free and see the light.  The mob is forever trapped in an

endless cycle, forever doing the bidding of the intellectual elite.   It is like the slogan “Stupid people in mass can be a very dangerous thing.”   The slogan was referring to the election of George W. Bush, but it’s meaning is timeless.   The mob is in effect mindless, lacking direction, until the intellectual elite gives it a mind.   That is why the alliance is needed between them and so important for both parties.   Carl Schmitt is, for lack of a better word, the poster child of the elite that Arendt is describing.  She to fits in that group, but to the other extreme.














End Notes

[i] Arendt,Hannah. The Origins of Totalitrianism, (New York: Schocken, 2004): 433

[ii] Schmitt,Carl. The Concept of the Political, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996): 24

[iii] Arendt,Hannah. The Origins of Totalitrianism, (New York: Schocken, 2004): 432

[iv] For this paper I will refer to Thomas More as Sir Thomas More and not St. Thomas More .  Referring to him as Saint gives the meaning of my words a religious context that is not desired.  Although Schmitt does reference religion in his text I reframed from using religion in my paper.

[v] Schmitt,Carl. The Concept of the Political, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996): 27

[vi] Arendt,Hannah. The Origins of Totalitrianism, (New York: Schocken, 2004): 436

[vii] Schmitt,Carl. The Concept of the Political, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996): 46

[viii] Schmitt,Carl. The Concept of the Political, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996): 26


[ix] Schmitt,Carl. The Concept of the Political, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996): 27

[x] Arendt,Hannah. The Origins of Totalitrianism, (New York: Schocken, 2004): 439

[xi] It is well known that the Nazi’s also had Gypsies and homosexuals among other groups in the concentration camps.   My Grandmother, a German born in Hungary, would rail against the Gypsies.  Other members of her, she came to the United States during the First World War, family that came after the Second World War felt the Gypsies were more of a threat than Jews because Gypsies never laid roots in the manner other Europeans had.  This was exploited by the Nazi occupation force to build support among the local population.

[xii] Arendt,Hannah. The Origins of Totalitrianism, (New York: Schocken, 2004): 435

[xiii] Schmitt,Carl. The Concept of the Political, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996): 41

[xiv] Arendt,Hannah. The Origins of Totalitrianism, (New York: Schocken, 2004): 433

[xv] Arendt,Hannah. The Origins of Totalitrianism, (New York: Schocken, 2004)  : 434

[xvi] Arendt,Hannah. The Origins of Totalitrianism, (New York: Schocken, 2004) : 439

Works Cited

Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism: Introduction by Samantha Power. New York: Schocken, 2004.

Schmitt, Carl. The Concept of the Political. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1996.