Sunday, August 06, 2006

Dry Eyes, Girded Loins

By James Wolcott.

Digby notes the fungus spread of the right wing's new talking point regarding the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon: the scenes of civilian casualties are staged photo ops by Hezbollah intended to prey upon the squeamish consciences of the Western media. Therefore we shouldn't be guiled or swayed by shots of limp, dead children in grieving arms. They're just propaganda props, bloody ragdolls served up for camera consumption ("The Palestinians, and by extension their rollicking sidekicks around the Muslim world, are the masters of dead-child porn"), and that pretentious quack Shrinkwrapped, for one, refuses to mourn the dead children in Qana, because that would only serve to weaken the will, milken the coffee, and soften our resolve to See This Through: "Our mourning, the appeal to the best within us, is a weapon that our enemy uses to weaken our ability to fight. The Arab propaganda machine, schooled in the ways of Goebbels, aided and abetted by fools in the Western media, are doing all they can to create the illusion of moral equivalence and stop the Israelis from their systematic destruction of Hezbollah's terror capabilities."

Yes, the warbloggers have taken their extra-strength Krauthammer fortitude pills this week, and it's matters nil whether the civilian casualties in Lebanon are innocent victims or Hezbollah crash dummies, for they shall not be moved nor distracted, their eyes shall remain fixed on the horizon, intent on victory.

So when word came of an Israeli strike on a farm warehouse in northeastern Lebanon that killed over thirty Syrian Kurds who were loading fruits and vegetables on to trucks, I wondered how long it would take for the Pajamas Media droogies to starting hanging ironic quotation marks about the Lebanese "farm" and its "workers."

Didn't take long. That moral paragon Roger L. Simon immediately poked his head right through a hole in the boardwalk,
ironic quotes dangling from his ear lobes:

"Another Israeli 'massacre' is being reported this morning, this time of 'farmers' on the Syrian border, according to Reuters. Will this be Qana II? The media sharks are undoubtedly circling. What we hear at first will not likely be accurate - the casualties in Qana have been officially reduced from a high of 57 to 28 to no great notice - but death in double digits is death in double digits. No matter too after several weeks of war that the number of 'civilian' dead on the Lebanese side is still only about a third of those who died on 9/11* - and those occurred in minutes and were deliberate and not collateral. This is supposedly brutal carnage committed by Israel, if we are to believe the press."

But of course we're not to believe the press, not even the press that corrects the number of dead in the Qana strike, just as it corrected the death toll on 9/11, and post-Katrina. We're only supposed to believe the Israelis and their sympathizers in the press and the blogs, everyone else having it in for them.

After delivering one of his trademark beats-me, your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine shrugs ("No one really knows what is happening and how it will turn out"), Simon nevertheless urges everyone on the boardwalk to stand firm and let Israel bomb whatever it needs to bomb with our anxious blessings: " strikes me that we are now at a moment that is going to take great courage on the part of the Israelis on both military and diplomatic fronts - and great courage in the latter from the US, because Israel has no choice but to continue in the face of what will undoubtedly be mounting negative public opinion. This is a time for all friends of freedom to hold their noses and pray. It is not the moment for second-guessing. It is a moment for pressing on."

Pressing on, even if destroying bridges prevents humanitarian aid from reaching Lebanon and leaves daughters "
screaming their grief" over their slain father:

"Standing there this morning, hearing the tale of the poor dead man Joseph Bassil, a Christian who was taking his early morning exercise under the bridge as was his custom at 7.15am, a supposedly safe area, when it collapsed on top of him, killing him instantly, with a sound to end all sounds said it all. No Hizbullah, no trucks filled with arms, just attacks on Lebanon's civilian population and the nation's infrasture. Is Lebanon just to be made into another prison like Gaza, is this the aim of these senseless attacks? It is as every single Christian Lebanese resident of the area told me this morning, terrorism perpertrated by the state of Israel in league with America to sow fear and dissent amongst the population. Muslim, Christian, Palestinian, UN, mother, child, it seems Olmert-Peretz-Halutz and the military industry complex alongside the US does not seem to care. Is Israel fighting Hizbullah or fighting Lebanon? From here the answer is quite clear. And I just heard 20 plus Lebanese were killed in an air raid in a village in the Beqaa on the Lebanese-Syrian border. Congratulations pilots in your planes, it's so easy to push a button and drop a bomb and kill innocent farmers. Tell me this is not clearly a war against the Lebanese people?" (from Beirut Live)

*What idiotic moral yardstick is this? Lebanese civilians weren't responsible for 9/11, neither was Hezbollah, so why draw the analogy? Is 3000 dead the Roger Simon cut-off point for how many civilians it's acceptable for Israel to kill?


At 4:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And where are the crying eyes for the Israelis, Jew, Arab, Christain, Muslim, and others who have been rocketed indiscrimately by the filthy vermin ON PURPOSE?!?!?!

Is Israel to go back to sitting within its borders and responding PROPORTIONATELY every time the vermin decide to send in another suicide bomber, rocket, kidnappers, or assasination team?

Where is you sense of justice??

Don't even start to try and justify these murdering vermin by claiming any land was stolen.

It is an easily proven LIE!!!

At 11:36 AM, Blogger orangeducks said...

* The reference to 9/11 was not a comparison by "moral yardstick". You missed the point entirely (I'm shocked - SHOCKED I TELL YOU!!)

The comparison to 9/11 demonstrates what happens when Israel takes tremendous care to avoid civilian casualties (typical of Westernism), relative to what happens when jihadists take tremendous care to maximize civilian casualties (typical of Islamism).

Your evasion of the photo issue is telling. I'd like to point out that it is difficult to KNOW anything about the "ground truth" in Lebanon or anywhere else as long as the media distorts, or allows distortion of, information.

You may ridicule this view as a mere "talking point" if you like. But some of us consider truth and reality to be important in forming our judgments. Others, like you, I suspect, only want your self-righteous emotions soothed, and your ignorant guilt alleviated.

So keep harping about this poor farmer or that poor child and forming your judgments between those blinders.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will be considering questions like:

Why should Israelis have to tolerate persistent rocket, kidnapping, and suicide bombing attacks, even after turning over lands to Arabs that were supposed to facilitate the "roadmap" to peace?

Why do jihadists feel motivated and authorized to expand their religious ideologies through violent terrorism?

In what morale universe to so-called "liberal" thinkers side with a group that adheres to doctrine calling (and resulting in) stoning of women and slashing the throats of young girls at the first sign of personal, sexual activity?

Why is it that people in crowded cafes only roll their eyes in annoyance when they hear someone cry, "Praise Jesus!", but immediately hit the deck in terror the second they hear someone cry "Allah Akbar!"?

Why is it that Western "artists" make a living degrading Christianity and get paid millions to do so in the West, but any artist who draws a cartoon of Mohammed or writes a book critical of Islam or makes a movie critical of Islam is either killed or in hiding?

And most importantly, why are some among us so BLINDED, IRRATIONAL, and DENSE, that they fail to even ask themselves these very basic questions?


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