July 31, 2006
A Sweet Family
I had to take a couple of days off to put down an attempted mutiny by my brain. But I see that during my absence, this recent column by John "I Give Nepotism A Bad Name" Podhoretz has been widely celebrated:
What if the tactical mistake we made in Iraq was that we didn't kill enough Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them and make them so afraid of us they would go along with anything? Wasn't the survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35 the reason there was an insurgency and the basic cause of the sectarian violence now?
I'm not really in a position to criticize here, given the massive bloodshed that was required to quell my own mental insurgency. But I do think it's worth recalling something related.
John Podhoretz is the son of Midge Decter. Back in May, 2004, Decter frankly explained the real reason we attacked Iraq:
"We're not in the Middle East to bring sweetness and light to the world. We're there to get something we and our friends in Europe depend on. Namely, oil."
So there you have it, straight from the world's most appealing family: we invaded Iraq for the oil, but we may have made a mistake by not killing millions when we got there.
BONUS: Decter's daughter is married to Elliot Abrams, making him John Podhoretz's brother-in-law. Abrams, now on the National Security Council, pleaded guilty to misleading Congress over Iran-Contra. He also tried to cover-up the 1981 El Mozote massacre in El Salvador, in which 900 men, women and children were slaughtered.
I imagine big family occasions with this merry clan are really something.
"Has the caterer gotten here yet?"
"No. Let's drop napalm on his town and then move house to house, shooting any survivors."
"Sounds good! What about the band? Are they going to play standards, or more contemporary stuff?"
"I don't know. Let's pay a proxy army to rape and murder all the women and then go on a bloody rampage, killing thousands more."
July 27, 2006
The Creatures Outside Looked From Pig To Man, And From Man To Pig, And From Pig To Man Again
Hezbollah? Or U.S. "supporter" of Israel?
...much of the world believes this evil ideology can be negotiated with. They believe it can be placated. They believe it can be bought off. They believe it can be reasoned with...
[But] no amount of concessions will appease the beast...
Only death and destruction...will quench the beast's appetite for blood and power.
U.S. "supporter" of Israel? Or Hezbollah?
This enemy is the greatest danger to our future generations...
Our primary assumption in our fight against [this enemy] is that [our enemy] is aggressive from its inception...Therefore our struggle will end only when [our enemy] is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated.
We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation...and regard all negotiators as enemies.
July 26, 2006
Woody Allen Has Bad Manners
Here's Woody Allen philosophizing about life in a new article in the Washington Post:
"You do the best you can within the concentration camp...It's very hard to keep your spirits up. You've got to keep selling yourself a bill of goods, and some people are better at lying to themselves than others. If you face reality too much, it kills you...It's just an awful thing, and in that context you've got to find an answer to the question: Why go on?"
Here's my objection to this. It's not that Woody Allen is necessarily wrong about reality. Though I don't think he's correct, I accept there's certainly a rational case to be made that he is.
However, if you truly believe thisÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âthat life is mostly hideous suffering and then we dieÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬ÂI think it's good manners to keep it to yourself. If you live in a sanatorium for people with tuberculosis, is it really necessary to constantly go around telling everyone else there, "We all have incurable TB, and IT'S HORRIBLE"? They may well be aware of this already, and be trying to deal with it in their own way. Or maybe they're not aware, in which case you should just leave them in peace. All you're doing is (I guess) making yourself feel briefly better.
Then there's this:
"It's like the two trains at the beginning of my movie Stardust Memories. There's a train with these gorgeous winners on it, and a train with all the losers in it. You want to be on the train with the winners, but five minutes later, you're pulling into the same depot. My 70-plus years will be spent better than those of a beggar on the streets of Calcutta. But we'll wind up in the same place."
Again, perhaps this is true. But while this perspective may not sound so bad coming from a beggar on the streets of Calcutta, it's a little grating when it comes from someone rich and famous. Better for the rich and famous who believe this to remain discreetly mum.
Beyond that, Woody Allen might find life a little more tolerable if he spent more time thinking about the world, including the trains with all those ugly losers, and less time thinking about himself.
July 24, 2006
We're Making Real Progress!
Here's the famous story of George Packer's from March 2, 2003:
Bush is a man who has never shown much curiosity about the world. When he met with [Kanan] Makiya and two other Iraqis in January, I was told by someone not present, the exiles spent a good portion of the time explaining to the president that there are two kinds of Arabs in Iraq, Sunnis and Shiites.
Now, here's a Newsweek story about the recent G-8 Summit:
[Bush, Blair and Chirac] quickly agree on how to proceed against Hizbullah, while keeping the pressure on Syria and Iran. "Chirac was very strong in recognizing that Hizbullah and Syria and Iran are part of the Shia arc in the Middle East," Bush says later.
You see, he's learning! True, according to the CIA Factbook, Syria is 74% Sunni, 16% Alawite, Druze, and other Muslim sects, and 10% Christian. So Bush doesn't know who or where different kinds of Muslims are. But still, after a brief 5 years of our "war on terror," he has learned they exist!
This is exactly the kind of effort that should be praised in three year-olds and the president of the United States. Yes: Russia is big and China is big. That's very, very good. Tomorrow, we will move onto tying your shoes.
July 23, 2006
So Much Arab Consciousness In Need Of So Much Searing
Here's Reuven Erlich, the head of something called the "Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies" in Tel Aviv:
...we have to sear into the Lebanese consciousness the steep price they will pay for provoking and harassing us.
But are the Lebanese the only Arabs who need to have their consciousness seared? I think not! A few years back, IDF chief of staff Moshe YaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢alon explained that Israel had to:
"sear deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people."
Which lucky contestant will be next to have their consciousness seared?
July 22, 2006
Finally, Some Intellectual Consistency From Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens spent an enormous part of his pre-September 11th life criticizing Israeli policies in the mideast and supporting the Palestinian national movement. He co-edited a book with Edward Said, wrote countless articles, gave a million speeches, etc.
Then on 9/11 he realized the secular progressives he'd worked with for decades had been harboring a secret desire all along to live in a caliphate ruled by Osama bin Laden. It seemed like a strange thing for secular progressives to want, particularly the women, but that just underscored how dangerous they were.
Of course, Hitchens' new allies were the exact same people he'd excoriated for decades on Israel/Palestine. The question then became how long he'd hold onto his previous views on this issue, since they were now glaringly anomalous. For a while he gave it a shot. Here he is in December, 2003:
HITCHENS: I think a second term for [Bush] is more likely to lead to pressure being brought upon the Israelis than the election of any feasible or possible Democratic candidate... it's a great deal more likely that the regime change forces in the case of Iraq, in Washington, will be helpful in the solution of the Israel-Palestine dispute.
Right. It's just this kind of clear-sighted, 100% accurate prediction for which Hitchens is justly famous.
In any case, as anticipated, he's now given up the ghost completely. Dennis Perrin explains:
In the final spasms of our friendship, Hitchens and I exchanged numerous emails about his apparent lack of interest in the continuing woes of Palestinian life...Amid all this bluster, Hitchens never really answered why he was largely silent on Palestinian suffering.
Or at least Hitchens didn't until he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal last Tuesday. Says Dennis:
Titled "The Politics of Sabotage," the piece exposes a part of Hitchens that he's been trying to suppress or explain away, namely, giving the Israeli state the benefit of the doubt when it's engaged in full-scale aggression...Hitchens finds that Israel's "blowing up of [Lebanon's] bridges and the other interruptions of all air and sea traffic possess a certain grim rationale"...
So committed is Hitchens to this premise that he writes "the former Israeli fans of Vladimir Jabotinsky are saying in public that Israeli colonization of Arabs is demographically impossible and morally wrong."
These former Jabotinsky fans are part of Kadima...to say that Kadima has renounced colonization is simply false, as continued settlement of the West Bank (establishing "final borders") immediately shows. And at last look, I've seen no indication that Kadima plans to give up East Jerusalem...That Hitchens blames Hamas and Hezbollah for derailing something that doesn't exist -- de-colonization -- and that he confuses political pragmatism and necessity for state morality (another phantom concept), merely deepens his deceit, whether intentional or unconscious. Hitchens may not see himself becoming an Israeli state apologist, but after reading this piece (which I'll send to anyone who wants to read it), I can see why the Wall Street Journal might happily differ.
The rest, all worth reading, is here.
Filthy Armenian-Lover Chris Floyd Finally Pays The Price For Supporting The Dirty Armenians
For too long Chris Floyd has been able to get away with his hysterical apologetics for the genocidal raping Armenians. True, I can't remember him ever mentioning Armenia or Armenians, but that doesn't mean he isn't the world's #1 supporter of the Armenian dogs in their conspiracy to enslave humanity.
Thus, I'm pleased to see his site has been hijacked by "macriti," who's been an anti-Armenian freedom fighter since way back. I've taken a screenshot, below, but please pay a visit yourself so you can see the price that will be paid by ALL those who collaborate with the Armenian pig-apes.
July 21, 2006
A World Of Opportunity
A while back I noted the way leaders generally perceive it when we get killed by the Official Enemy. It's all very sad, of courseÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âthey weep at the loss of every human life!ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âbut it's also an opportunity.
September 11, 2001? According to Condoleezza Rice, it was an "enormous opportunity."
An Al Qaeda bombing in Kenya in 2002, which killed a bunch of Israelis? According to former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it was a "golden opportunity."
The invasion of Iraq, which has killed unknown numbers of Iraqis? According to Osama bin Laden, it's a "golden and unique opportunity."
And now, according to the Washington Post, there's a new opportunity on the horizon!
The U.S. position reflects Bush's deepening belief that Israel is central to the broader campaign against terrorists...
"[Bush] thinks he is playing in a longer-term game than the tacticians," said the former official, who spoke anonymously so he could discuss his views candidly. "The tacticians would say: 'Get an immediate cease-fire. Deal first with the humanitarian factors.' The president would say: 'You have an opportunity to really grind down Hezbollah. Let's take it, even if there are other serious consequences that will have to be managed.'"
Here's a picture of one of the Israelis who died in Haifa to provide this wonderful opportunity:
Here's a picture of a Hezbollah missile strike that killed two Israeli children, aged 3 and 9. Just before their deaths, they told their parents that they didn't think like tacticians, and thus hoped someday to give their lives to provide George Bush with a splendid opportunity:
July 20, 2006
Letters To Sign
The new organization Just Foreign Policy has put together several worthwhile petitions on U.S. policy in the mideast:
Okay, the last one is made up. But the rest are all well worth signing, as applicable. And as I think about it, the last one might be worth signing too just to be on the safe side.
July 19, 2006
I Like This Guy Stirling Newberry
There has been, in otherwords, the creation of a whole parallel world, filled with parallels to science, popular culture and scholarship. In no small part it has been funded by the loose dollars created by 37 years of reactionary government ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ give crazy rich people money, and they will start funding other crazy people to create a tapestry that conforms to their tastes of the world...
This change is most obvious by the falling away of the children of Nixon and Reagan. Wesley Clark, as with many other things, was ahead of the curve...But there were other defections ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ libertarian types such as Jude Wanninski, even neo-cons such as Fukuyama, one of the most reliable of purveyors of sloptimism for the right wing world view.
The only other use of sloptimism previous to this was also Stirling Newberry's, here:
That there will be another recession eventually is a metaphysical certainty, we have not repealed the business cycle, and we should not: a bear market is the process of returning money to its rightful owners, when all of the sloptimism of "buy! buy! buy!" goes away.
Thank you, Mr. Newberry. As a long-time sloptimist myself, this kind of thing makes me feel extremely sloptimistic.
July 18, 2006
Emily Litella Speaks Out On The Situation In The Middle East
Your heart just has to break to see these Shiite children in Lebanon smiling and writing "messages" on the rockets that soon will devastate Israeli homes. What kind of sick society produces little girls who exult in the infliction of pain against people they've never met?
And look at the woman in the background, presumably their motherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âclearly she approves! Sadly, until the Arabs let go of their culture of incitement and rage, I'm afraid there's no concession Israel can ever make that will bring peace with these people.
Those aren't Lebanese girls writing on Hezbollah rockets, but Israeli girls writing on Israeli shells?
July 17, 2006
I, Water Vapor
The influence I (and most everyone else) can have on the ever-greater catastrophe in the mideast is minimal. So why do so many people feel compelled to learn as much as possible about what's happening? For myself, I've decided it's so that in 2009 when terrorists set off the atomic device ten blocks from my house, I can—just before I turn into a puff of water vapor—shout "I understand EXACTLY why this is happening!"
(Joke recycled from here.)
1. Jonathan Versen, who partly grew up in Beirut, says: "The Middle East is not a dream someone else is having"
2. Chris Floyd: "...since we do live in a world dominated by vicious (not to say vacuous) sectarian folderol, we should at least try to deal with the actual reality in front of us, not the heat mirages thrown off by warring sects."
3. Amal Saad-Ghorayeb points out some boring old facts:
The prisoners Hizbullah wants released are hostages who were taken on Lebanese soil. In the successful prisoner exchange in 2004, Israel held on to three Lebanese detainees as bargaining chips and to keep the battle front with Hizbullah open. These detentions have become a cause celebre in Lebanon.
4. Egypt's Mahmoud Sabit sez: "In a Fragile Situation, Engage Hamas"
July 16, 2006
There's a strong case to made that America is the luckiest country that's ever existedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âlucky in geography, lucky historically, and lucky in leaders. We've certainly had our share of horrible presidents, but when it really mattered we got George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and FDR. None of these great leaders were what you might call great human beings, but saying that's like observing that boiling water isn't frozen. As leaders go, they were about the best you can hope for.
Our run of luck may be over, though. Lots of other countries have gotten horrible leaders at critical times, and we've certainly joined the club now. There may be some way we could have a worse president for this moment in history than George Bush, but I'm not sure how. We rolled the dice and lost really big, with lots more losses to come.
July 15, 2006
William Kristol Sends In His Audition Tape For Crazed Iraqi Strongman Position
Here's some of the great work done by the previous Crazed Iraqi Strongman:
Back in the 1980s, in a relaxed meeting with a group of visiting journalists from the Gulf States, Saddam related an illuminating anecdote. "When I was a child, a man walked through my village without carrying a weapon. An old man came up to him and said, 'Why are you asking for trouble?' He said, 'What do you mean?' The old man replied, 'By walking without a weapon you are asking for people to attack you. Carry a weapon so that no blood with be spilled!'"
-- Out of the Ashes by Andrew and Patrick Cockburn, p. 104
Now, here's some impressive political philosophy from William Kristol, who's apparently auditioning for the now-open Crazed Iraqi Strongman position:
Weakness is provocative. We have been too weak, and have allowed ourselves to be perceived as weak.
The right response is renewed strength...
July 14, 2006
The Lighter Side Of Widening Slaughter In The Middle East
You know the funniest part about Israel's attacks on Lebanon and the likelihood of a much wider war in the mideast? Of course, it's hard to choose because there's so much funny about it. But I think the top contender clearly is that, before the invasion of Iraq, the people pushing war kept telling us how "the road to Jerusalem runs through Baghdad."
In other words, invading Iraq would show the dirty ArabsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âwho only understand forceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âthat we and Israel couldn't be pushed around. Then the Palestinians would knuckle under in the West Bank and Gaza and we'd all live happily ever after.
One excellent example from a September, 2002 issue of the New Republic can be found here. As you'd expect, it's written by Martin "I Have Literally Never Been Correct About Anything In My Entire Life" Peretz:
The road to Jerusalem more likely leads through Baghdad than the reverse. Once the Palestinians see that the United States will no longer tolerate their hero Saddam Hussein, depressed though they may be, they may also come finally to grasp that Israel is here to stay and that accommodating to this reality is the one thing that can bring them the generous peace they require.
You could go on citing things like this until the sun explodes. So I'll just provide one more, from a New York Republican activist. This deserves a Special Jury Prize for having been written in October, 2004:
Indeed the road to Jerusalem led through Baghdad. Without Saddam, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be solved under Bush's second term. And peace can begin to spread in the region, backed by 3 Democracies.
Right on! Furthermore, with people as wise and informed as this in charge of our foreign policy, I see nothing but even greater success ahead!
ALSO: Be sure to read Dennis Perrin's exegesis of the current embarrassing performance of liberal radio.
July 13, 2006
Will No One Rid Me Of This Troublesome Work?
I've sadly had to spend a great deal of this week doing actual work, rather than frittering my life away here. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say this is the greatest injustice any human being has ever experienced.
However, Dennis Perrin has been picking up the slack with some particularly interesting stuff. For instance:
While there may be a higher rate of racists and gangbangers in today's military (though how you accurately measure this escapes me), the fact that they are in uniform is nothing new. I experienced this reality in my first days of boot camp, where white kids from the sticks or sheltered suburbs were thrust into close contact with black kids from urban areas and brown kids from the barrio. Insults and fights were common early on, which were immediately broken up by our Drill Sergeants, who put the fear of raging Christ into some of these punks. Our DS's saw combat in Vietnam, so dealing with domestic knuckleheads was nothing to them...
One DS in particular, who was maybe 5'7" in his boots, but served two tours of 'Nam with the 82nd Airborne, invited a bigger, racially obnoxious trainee to take a swing at him. The rest of us stood at parade rest in front of our bunks while the DS removed his rank from his collar and taunted this thug, who clearly felt the pressure to act, but remained frozen, unsure of what would happen if he did. It was perhaps the first time in his young life that he failed to react to such a challenge, because the look on his face as he backed down revealed a mix of fresh confusion and fear. The kid may not have liked black people, but he sure as fuck wasn't gonna push his hatred to the point of having a smaller man whip his ass all over the barracks. Our DS probably didn't change that kid's racist mind, but he kept him honest, and forced him to march with, run with, and clean M-16s with trainees of darker complexions. A hardass version of sensitivity training.
The rest, including Dennis' encounters with white supremacists and black nationalists, is here.
Also, don't miss this post about the latest iteration in the ongoing Israel/Palestine/Mideast nightmare.
July 11, 2006
WE MUST ACT NOW TO DESTROY ROTARIANISM
I'm pleased to see Slate has put up this piece of mine about the terrible menace posed by Rotary clubs. I've been trying to warn everyone about the EXTREME DANGER OF ROTARIANISM for years, and I'm happy the world is finally waking up.
July 08, 2006
The Iron Law Of Generosity
The manipulative detainees at Guantanamo Bay reportedly used the generous civil liberties protections we gave them to plot their suicide pact. Are you surprised?
I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you want to understand the world, you will never go wrong by consulting the Iron Law of Generosity.
July 06, 2006
A Handy Guide To Understanding Fascism
Many young people come to me and ask: what is fascism? It's a question that political philosophers have studied for decades.
In the end, though, the answer is really quite simple. Here's a handy guide to understanding what fascism is, and just as importantly, what fascism is not.
IS NOT FASCISM
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Using an attack on a large, prominent building as an excuse to clamp down on civil liberties
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Calling for the execution of the editor of a large newspaper
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Threatening a Jewish family until they flee their city
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Imprisoning citizens for years without charges
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Government lawyers claiming a country's leader has the authority to "crush the testicles" of a child if necessary
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Sending mean emails to Lee Siegel
You see? As I said, simple. I hope this clears things up.
July 05, 2006
"You May Now Pity My Husband"
Funniest Mimi Smartypants ever?
Nora appears at my bedside at 1:30 in the morning, stage-whispering "Mommy" over and over again and scaring me half to death because she is not so much a get-out-of-bed kid as she is a lie-there-and-yell-for-assistance kid. What could the problem be? "I have to go potty," she whispers dramatically. She has to go potty. She got out of bed and walked past two toilets in order to tell me this.
Me: Uhhhh great, then go. That's why you are a big girl with a big-girl bed.
Nora: Do you want to keep me company?
Me: Not really!
Nora: Okay. I will come back and tell you how it went.
Me [some noise that roughly translates to oh my fucking god]
Previously on Mimi Smartypants:
Me: What is it?
Nora [not crying, but really close, with the chin-wobble and shiny eyes]: I don't want a brain.
Nora [crying now]: I DON'T WANT A BRAIN.
Me [confused, hugging her]: Well, um, it's kind of too late. You have a brain. Everyone has a brain. A brain helps you ______ [yadda yadda].
July 04, 2006
Happy Birthday, America!
Here's what Thomas Jefferson wrote ten days before his death in 1826:
May [July 4th] be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.
Jefferson was truly everything weird and horrible and wonderful about America all mixed up in one person.
Now I'm going to go celebrate our freedom to barbeque things.
July 02, 2006
Now Presenting Alan Dershowitz, Great Defender of...Alan Dershowitz
Please give a warm welcome to my friend Rob, whom I've been trying to get to write something for this site since 1978. As with other guest posters, if we treat him well, we may be able to lure him back for future appearances.
Well, many of us (cÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢mon, donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be shy, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s everybody, right?) have watched Alan DershowitzÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s transmogrification from publicity-seeking practicing lawyer to publicity-achieved celebrity legal commentator to strident tripwire of perceived anti-Semitism and offense to Israel.
Dershowitz was last seen piling on the strange Mearsheimer and Walt Israel Lobby paper (which is either tired academic research masquerading as a fourth-grade book report prepared the morning of class; or else, my opinion, a fine piece of straw-man propaganda written by the Israel Lobby). Now, Dershowitz turns his predictable attention to the case of the four Russians killed by IraqÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Al-Qaeda franchise.
Vladimir Putin, AmericaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s latest we-love-him-no-we-hate-him-no-we-love-him-no-we-hate-him-okay-itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s-complicated dictator, apparently told RussiaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s special forces to find the perpetrators and kill them, international law and the laws of hypocrisy be damned.
Sure, Putin most likely saw SpielbergÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s film Munich and missed the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œblood-will-have-bloodÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â message, and, sure, one wonders just what these Russian secret agents are going to accomplish that the U.S. military hasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t, and, yeah, DershowitzÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s claim that Putin is a lousy hypocrite for wanting to kill the same terrorists (Iraqi Al Qaeda) he welcomed to the Kremlin (Palestinian Hamas) is the usual reductionist bullshit practiced by those who need to support the killing of someone, somewhere. (See Jon and MikeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s piece "Why the _______ Hate the _________s"; hey, Putin probably mixes up Dershowitz and Woody Allen all the time.) But the real nugget of DershowitzÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s column is this:
I know this posting will stimulate the usual anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and anti-Dershowitz fulminations, along with some thoughtful responses. The knee-jerk reaction to anything I write about Israel simply confirms my point about the double standard.
Wow, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s great. Apart from the self-reinforcing last sentence--anyone who disagrees me only proves my point further--you have to love his viewpoint of those naysayers. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAnti-Israel,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â check. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAnti-Semitic,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â check. (In the interests of full disclosure, my late grandmother once referred to me as a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œself-hating Jew.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â CÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢mon, nana, shiksa chicks are where itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s at!)
So heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s claiming that anyone who disagrees with him is nothing more than...someone who disagrees with him? Or, to put it in mathematicalistics:
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Â°Ã‚Â Dershowitz = ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Â°Ã‚Â Dershowitz
Wow, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s nasty stuff. Tagging your opponents with the epithet of being your opponents. How will they ever recover? I imagine Chomsky is shaking in his human-skin boots.
I should be so brilliant. No, really, I should.
Rob Weisberg majored in political science at an elite college. That makes him the most qualified commentator on current events anywhere in the world. And he still thinks that people read newspapers and magazines about current events.