Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Joe vs the Arab, Friedman vs International Law

Child-reporter Joe the Plumber is in Israel because he has already sucked all the fame-blood from John McCain's varicose veins and he had to find a new country to ruin, or else he'd be forced to return to his rightful position as Governor of Alaska. Here he is in Sderot, Israel, telling Reuters how to do their goddamn job already, on behalf a Pajamas Media.

If you want even less nuanced "analysis" of the Slaughter of Gaza, here's Thomas Friedman's latest column, in which he writes, "look, if they didn't want us to bomb them, they shouldn't live in their homes!" Friedman wants to "educate" Hamas, the same way you might want to "save" an infidel, even if you have to kill him to do it. [Greenwald, as usual, has the best response.] Friedman describes Israel's war with Lebanon thusly:

Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future.
That was the education of Hezbollah.
In Gaza, I still can’t tell if Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas or trying to “educate” Hamas, by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population. If it is out to destroy Hamas, casualties will be horrific and the aftermath could be Somalia-like chaos. If it is out to educate Hamas, Israel may have achieved its aims.

The Palestinian death toll stands at 952, with over 400 of those deaths being women and children. One can't help but wonder what the "education" of their families might look like and result in. Juan Cole wrote last week about once such Arab who learned some lessons:

In 1996, Israeli jets bombed a UN building where civilians had taken refuge at Cana/ Qana in south Lebanon, killing 102 persons; in the place where Jesus is said to have made water into wine, Israeli bombs wrought a different sort of transformation. In the distant, picturesque port of Hamburg, a young graduate student studying traditional architecture of Aleppo saw footage like this on the news [graphic]. He was consumed with anguish and the desire for revenge. As soon as operation Grapes of Wrath had begun the week before, he had written out a martyrdom will, indicating his willingness to die avenging the victims, killed in that operation--with airplanes and bombs that were a free gift from the United States. His name was Muhammad Atta. Five years later he piloted American Airlines 11 into the World Trade Center.

We were going to include an extended bit about how Friedman said that the Arabs, concerning our occupation of Iraq, should "suck. On. This." because the USA is great! and then make the argument that, instead, he should "suck. On. This." and be "educated" by a group of abnormally large men right in his collective-punishment supporting mouth. Maybe we'll make that joke later.

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