More Idiocy From Abroad

Mr. Fisk is at it again.

Terror, terror, terror. Like a punctuation mark, the word infects every Israeli speech, every American speech, almost every newspaper article.

Yeah, kind of hard to think about other subjects with all those suicide bombers dissassembling themselves and those in their immediate environs every couple hours. Just what is it that we’re supposed to discuss amidst the flying body parts?

When will someone admit the truth: that the Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in a dirty colonial war which will leave both sides shamed and humiliated?

We do admit that it’s a colonial war, Bobby. It’s an attempt by the Wahabbi empire to colonize Jewish Palestine, replacing its inhabitants with more lunatics.

Just listen to what Sharon has been saying in the past 24 hours. “Arafat is an enemy. He decided on a strategy of terror and formed a coalition of terror.” That’s pretty much what President Bush said about Osama bin Laden. But what on earth does it mean? That Arafat is actually sending off the suicide bombers, choosing the target, the amount of explosives?

Yes, that’s right, Bob. [rolling eyes heavenward]

He’s picking the targets, calculating the charge size, lovingly packing each bomb and attaching them to the strap, choosing the wardrobe, and kissing each Islamakazi’s forehead as he sends him out to get his virgins. After all, if he’s not doing all that, he can’t be said to be responsible, right?

You know, it’s just like when George Bush pores over relief maps of Afghanistan, calling in orders to the pilots as he watches via cockpit camera.

“No, not that hill–the one over there, to the right. Wait for it…wait for it…now!”

If he was, then surely Sharon would have sent his death squads after the Palestinian leader months ago. After all, his killers have managed to murder dozens of Palestinian gunmen already, including occasional women and children who get in the way.

His “death squads”? His “killers”?

Yes, he probably would, except that Mr. Powell has been holding him back. Though he may not be doing so any longer.

Now we have an Israeli officer ? according to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv ? advising his men to study the tactics adopted by the Nazis in the Second World War. “If our job is to seize a densely packed refugee camp or take over the Nablus casbah, and if this job is given to an (Israeli) officer to carry out without casualties on both sides, he must before all else analyse and bring together the lessons of past battles, even ? shocking though this might appear ? to analyse how the German army operated in the Warsaw ghetto.”

Pardon? What on earth does this mean? Does this account for the numbers marked by the Israelis on the hands and foreheads of Palestinian prisoners earlier this month? Does this mean that an Israeli soldier is now to regard the Palestinians as sub-humans ? which is exactly how the Nazis regarded the trapped and desperate Jews of the Warsaw ghetto in 1944?

Yes, I remember how those crazy Jews were strapping bombs to themselves and detonating them next to women and babies. It’s in all the revisionist history books, doncha know?

No, Bob, it just means that they are looking to all historical instances of urban warfare for guidance as to the best tactics to win. They don’t intend to lose. It doesn’t mean that they’re going to make the Palestinians into lampshades.

But now everyone is cashing in on the “war against terror”. When Macedonian cops gun down seven Arabs, they announce that they are participating in the global “war on terror”. When Russians massacre Chechens, they are now prosecuting the “war on terror”. When Israel fires at Arafat’s headquarters, it says it is participating in the “war on terror”. Must we all be hijacked into America’s dangerous self-absorption with the crimes of 11 September?

Yes, we are so dangerously self absorbed. We can’t be bothered with sending brigades of philosophers to Afghanistan–all we can do is selfishly liberate it. Just what are we thinking, to want to prevent more terrorism at home, when we should instead be taking anger management courses?

I’m sorry, but this stuff just defies parody.

Must this vile war between Palestinians and Israelis be distorted in so dishonest a way?

Well, you’re the expert, Bob. You tell us.

Democracy Restored In The District

A federal judge has overturned an outrageous federal law that prevented DC residents from circulating petitions to legalize drugs in the district. I admired Bob Barr during the corruption battles of the nineties, but he is behaving despicably with regard to the Constitution in his insane War on (Some) Drugs.

Why just imagine what might happen if drugs were legalized in the District of Columbia. Thousands of people might use drugs. Why, even the mayor might start usi…

Oh. Never mind.

The Spin And Lies Continue

Now we have Krugman doing it.

The group’s efforts managed to turn Whitewater ? a $200,000 money- losing investment ? into a byword for scandal, even though an eight-year, $73 million investigation never did find any evidence of wrongdoing by the Clintons.

“never did find any evidence…”

It continually amazes me how these flying Clinton spinmonkeys are so blithe about their willful mendacity on the editorial pages. Now that lie will be sitting there in the archives of the Paper Formerly Known As The Paper Of Record in perpetuity. But they’re shameless.

No, Paul. Now you’re calling Mr. Ray a liar. He said himself on the teevee the other night that he had enough evidence to prosecute. He just chose not to. Prosecutor’s discretion, you know…

I think that it’s your pants catching on fire here…

Alterman Ego

Instantman points out a particularly odious and mindless piece by Eric Alterman (but you have to forgive him–after all, as Mark Twain once said about someone else of similar cerebral propensity, “I’d brain him, if he had the material for it”) about the unfair balance between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian pundits.

He writes this as though it’s some kind of Olympic ice-skating contest. As though we all know that there are no objective measures of morality, both sides should be assumed to be of equal weight on the ethics scale (and we certainly can’t expect the judges themselves to be objective), so we have to at least make sure that we minimize the stacking of the deck so that both sides have equal punditry numbers and quality of spinning and support.

Well, Eric, I’ll surprise you here. While roughly half of my ancestors are of Jewish descent (if I’m to believe the tales told to me in my childhood), I think that Israel sucks in multiple ways. It is a socialist nation. It can sustain such socialism only through the largess of American foreign aid and implicit defense. It is a religious state, that imposes unacceptable (to me) strictures on freedom. It continues to subsidize collectives called kibbutzim (though not as much as in years past) in a vain effort to sustain the socialist vision that led to its founding. It is a fractious country, unable to maintain a coherent policy because it is ruled by a multi-party parliamentarian system, derived from failed European models.

Oh, sorry. I know that someone like you considers all of this a compliment–not criticism, so what’s a guy to do, Eric? When one can’t even criticize the state of Israel without sounding like a defender of it to socialist journalists, is it surprising that your little enemies list is so skewed?

But the reality (yes, I know, a vile and unfamiliar concept to writers for The Nation) intrudes. I have to conclude that, for all its flaws, it’s the only nation in that region of the world that has any hope of providing a glimmer of freedom and prosperity to its people, including its Arab citizens.

Israel occasionally kills some civilians accidentally in the process of hunting down cold-blooded murderers. Some Israelis even occasionally kill Palestinians deliberately, but when this occurs, they are brought to trial, and at least a semblance of justice.

Their enemies, on the other hand, vow that all Israelis must die. This is not just the rantings of a few hotheads, but the official policy of their governments (though it’s usually spoken and written only in Arabic, for local consumption). They deliberately target civilians, including women, children, and even babes, in their maniacal hatred of Jews. They suck at the teat of the long-vanquished Nazis, and mourn their passing, and lust to finish the job that they once started. They deny a voice to their own people, filling them instead with an irrational hatred of all things not them, and thus deflect their peoples’ righteous anger from their own failings and despotry.

In light of this, what’s surprising, and dismaying, is not the imbalance of pundits in favor of Israel, but the fact that there are any on the other side.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!