Do Arab & Muslim Lives Matter?

-

john bolton xt.jpgWhen John Bolton, who now said he is considering a run for the US presidency, was set to testify in July 2006 before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his failed effort to get the Senate to confirm his nomination as US Ambassador to the United Nations, I got an early copy of his “prepared remarks” for the hearing. These remarks were handed to me as I walked in to the meeting.
Then as Bolton walked in, we were hurriedly given an updated set of remarks. I knew something must have changed — and I went through the material page by page until I realized that what had been struck was a zinger that Bolton had been saying in the press frequently with regard to the Israel-Lebanon War.
What was struck was this line:

But it is a mistake to ascribe a moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts, the very purpose of which are to kill civilians, and the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths as a result of military action taken in self-defense.

Bolton, strangely, was going out of the way to argue that the value of innocents killed on one side of a military equation were not equal to the lives of those on the other side. In other words, for Bolton, innocent life does not equal innocent life.
Those attacked — in this case an attack against Israeli military troops who are deployed both for security and occupation can justify Israel’s response that kills and wounds many uninvolved with the attack in question. No need to justify, to rationalize, or even to express remorse. Bolton’s argument goes that those killed by way of Israel’s counter-response were in the way and are not the equivalent of lives lost, though far fewer by any measure, on the Israeli side.
This dismissal of the value of Muslim and Arab lives by prominent voices has spread to America — and this trend is deeply, profoundly anti-American, but it is real nonetheless.
Whether it is the efforts to demonize those who would place a Mosque to promote cultural understanding near Ground Zero in New York or the crazy pastor who wants to get headlines by a Koran-burning, it is now a fad of the pugnacious, jingoistic right wing to flirt with racist, bigoted anti-Arab, anti-Islam symbolism that reminds one of the fears that led to the internment of Japanese Americans, as Nicholas Kristof points out in an article asking some of these same questions.
And now the editor in chief of one of Washington’s most venerable rights-concerned journals of opinion, Martin Peretz, has written clearly that he doubts that Muslim lives are worth much and that in his gut he doesn’t believe Muslims deserve the protections of American laws and civil rights.
Nick Kristoff writes:

For a glimpse of how venomous and debased the discourse about Islam has become, consider a blog post in The New Republic this month. Written by Martin Peretz, the magazine’s editor in chief, it asserted: “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims.”
Mr. Peretz added: “I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”

One of my late mentors, Hans Baerwald, taught me that the only way to get a real rather than shallow sense of a political system’s norms and operating behavior was to watch it under stress.
With commentary like that we have seen from John Bolton, Martin Peretz, Richard Cheney, Liz Cheney, Glenn Beck, and saw in the political maneuvering of Cheney Chief of Staff, David Addington, we unleashed an America that defiles key aspects of its own DNA and that is less-trustable by the rest of the world today.
To take this further, I think the debate today is not about the treatment of Muslims of those of Arab descent, but about the United States itself.
John Bolton and Martin Peretz, in undermining America’s core values of a big-tent approach to accommodating and absorbing other societies, are not performing a patriotic duty — but are displaying the opposite of American patriotism.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

84 comments on “Do Arab & Muslim Lives Matter?

  1. Ross B says:

    Israeli Company Hired by State Government to Spy on Pennsylvanians and Other Americans
    by Dave Lindorff
    The surprise disclosure that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through its state Homeland Security Agency, along with a number of local police departments in the state, have been employing a private Israeli security company with strong links to Mossad and the Israeli Defense Force grows increasingly disturbing when the website of the company, called the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, is examined.
    ITRR

    Reply

  2. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Frankly, I’m offended by the question and even moreso by the answer, since facts on the ground indicate that to those with the most power to kill, the answser is No. But then, that’s the fundamental mindset of all wars, that the lives of some others are worthless and worth the price for the “cause celebre”.

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    Cee,
    What we have is a failure to communicate.
    I am not a Truther. I am incapable of thinking this way. Coincidence and complexity and odd matters don’t make me think of an intelligent designer. They make me think that any event will have such a set of co-events.
    Any. Event. Will. Have. Identifiable. Weird. Coincidences. Always.
    Think Glenn Beck and his amazement that at the precise moment he was about to speak, a flock of geese flew in V-formation over his head and I guess they didn’t shit on him. This is apparently the word of the deity. I’m not so into deities. And CT is pretty deitific stuff.
    Every truther argument has been taken on and explained to my satisfaction. As far as I’m concerned, the rest is nonsense.
    There are clear individual and group motivations and explanations for the series of events. There’s plenty to damn the US gov’t and the Bush admin for not thinking the unthinkable that had already been thought. The gross incompetence is real. The lack of concern is real. And the post-apocalyptic gaming they undertook is also real. You don’t have to add in forethought to have a really damning case against our govt.
    There is no reason that the US gov’t would have wanted 9/11. There is no reason that the Israeli gov’t would have wanted 9/11. The damage to the world economy, to the domestic economy. The chain of events required to use the 9/11 bombings as a casus belli is so long that no one would have given this forethought. There were far easier ways to get the US into war without knocking out the domestic airline industry, the US economy, and the financial system.
    So, once again, will we ever get done with this nonsense?

    Reply

  4. Cee says:

    We ever gonna get done with this nonsense?
    Questions,
    I wish.
    On September 11, at least five different “war games” were being conducted by the military and intelligence agencies. These exercises included simulations of 9/11 type events, a plane into building scenario near Dulles Airport in Virginia, and deployment of fighters to northern Canada and Alaska (which reduced the number of fighters that were available to protect the US?). It seems that these exercises were the means used to paralyze the air defenses, thereby ensuring the success of the “attacks.” The British Navy was conducting exercises in the Indian ocean near the Middle East. A biowar exercise was also about to start in New York City.
    Who has the power to coordinate all of these exercises? Osama bin Laden? Saddam Hussein? Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah? Dick Cheney and the White House National Security Council?
    It is difficult to believe that it is a bizarre “coincidence” that the military and CIA were conducting wargames similar to 9/11 on September 11, 2001. While it seems likely, if not blatantly obvious, that these war games were one of the means used to confuse the air defense system for sufficient time to allow the World Trade Center to be attacked, the war games do not answer the question of how the air defenses were suppressed for another half hour after the second tower was hit (at which time everyone knew that an attack was in progress). The Air Force had another half hour after the second tower to scramble interceptors to defend the Capitol (the plane that is alleged to have hit the Pentagon made its 180 degree turn over Ohio to head back toward D.C. about the time that the second tower was struck).
    Perhaps a complete investigation would reveal if the national order to ground all aviation (an unprecedented directive from the Transportation Department) also included military airplanes as well — especially given the chaos and confusion that morning, a stand down of key fighter interceptors would have been easily concealed. But the information about the wargames suggests that a “stand down” order was NOT issued that morning — the confusion from the war games was how the defenses of New York and Washington were interfered with sufficiently to ensure the success of the attacks. It is unlikely that the “inside job” conspirators would have risked the success of the operation on whether fighter plane pilots would have obeyed orders to do nothing as American cities were burning. It would be like asking a firefighter who had trained their entire adult life to “stand down” when their neighbor’s house was burning and the inhabitants trapped inside (or worse, asking that firefighter to “stand down” from protecting the next house on the block from catching fire from the first burning house). In this analogy, the firefighter would probably ignore orders from his or her boss to stand down, and would seek to rescue the neighbors without worrying about the consequences until later. The wargames provide a much better explanation for why there was an apparent stand down and failure to respond in time.
    If a genuine investigation with subpeona power is ever held, the full details of the 9/11 wargames would need to be declassified and discussed in public — who scheduled them, who set up the scenarios, the full communications records from the participants, the radar tapes (if they still exist) that were used as part of the simulations, and the identities of those officials who deployed part of the fighter defense fleet to northern Canada and Alaska at the very time that warnings were being sounded that a terrorist attack was imminent.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If you wanna read a shameless essay of pure unadulterated horseshit consisting of “poor we misunderstood maligned Jews, always the victim”, read Oren’s tearful testimony of Jewish victimhood in today’s opinion section of the Los Angeles Times.
    Its a pathetic write, barely worthy of wiping your ass with. But it pretty clearly demonstrates the pat Israeli argument, that the poor Israeli Jews have done nothing wrong, and those nasty heathen Palestinian sandniggers are murdering Jews left and right and pissin’ all over the peace process and Israel’s gracious charity.
    Of course, the Times doesn’t offer an opposing piece in rebuttal. No suprise there. But its sad that Israel has to resort to having their Ambassador pen such a bit of ridiculous and obscene literary groveling. Its pathetic that the country needs to frame such a disingenuous narrative. Its every bit as disgusting as Nadine’s steady litany of Hasbarist crap.

    Reply

  6. Kathleen says:

    Israeli soldiers shoot live rounds at Gaza demonstrators . Shooting at Peaceful demonstrators
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBUDcM6MEaA&feature=player_embedded

    Reply

  7. JohnH says:

    B’Tselem directly answers Steve’s question: Israeli policy is designed to devalue Palestinian life. “the slaying of Palestinian civilians is rarely punished even when there is evidence of criminality in the killings.
    ‘This policy permits soldiers and officers to act in violation of the law, encourages a trigger-happy attitude and shows a flagrant disregard for human life,’ the report cautions.”
    http://news.antiwar.com/2010/09/14/israeli-rights-group-slams-army-over-civilian-killings/
    Of course, we already knew that from Israel’s longstanding history of massacring civilians, most recently the Samouni family in Gaza, where the IDF herded 100 family members–all non-combatants–into a building then began shelling it, killing 21. But Qibya (1953) and Sabra and Shatilla (1982) follow exactly the same pattern.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “……. (actually faux-progressives) ……”
    Thats comical coming from some sack of of shit that originally came onto this site claiming to be a left wing progressive. Everthing this person has ever told us about itself has been a lie.

    Reply

  9. truth squad says:

    It is an utter stretch that told by the poster above at 9:46 that “Even the most conservative evangelical Christians don’t advocate executing homosexuals . . .” Evangelical christians are advocating against homosexuality and are implicated in laws calling for the death penalty. When confronted, these so-called christians dissemble
    http://www.politicalarticles.net/blog/2009/12/02/evangelical-republicans-behind-kill-the-gays-law-in-uganda/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/world/africa/04uganda.html
    It is a sad and desperate poster who seeks to compare standards of American politicians, even bottom of the barrel types like Bolton and Cheney, with current Saudi standards.

    Reply

  10. WigWag says:

    In this post, Steve asks the provocative question,

    Reply

  11. Neo Controll says:

    Nadine cites “Palwatch” From their website:
    “To contribute in the US please send your IRS recognized tax-deductible donation to The Central Fund of Israel* with a note advising

    Reply

  12. nadine says:

    Meantime the Palestinian Authority shows its hand by calling all of Jewish history a lie yet again. They really know how to prepare the ground for peace, don’t they? What an inspiring display of good faith:
    “PA TV: Jewish history is false
    PA TV documentary shows visuals of Jews praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem:
    PA TV narrator: “They [Israelis] know for certain that our [Palestinian] roots are deeper than their false history. We, from the balcony of our home, look out over [Islamic] holiness and on sin and filth [Jews praying at the Western Wall].”
    Note: the program was broadcast on the Jewish New Year in Sept. 2010 ”
    video at http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=488&fld_id=493&doc_id=3111

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Geez. Whatta week. Wig-wag accidentally lets fly that he-she-it has been misrepresenting (lying) her/him/itself, and Nadine finally admits to Netanyahu being a slimey backstabbing piece of shit with no interest in peace, who is purposely taking advantage of the President Of the Untited States.
    (A president, I might add, of a country that ships BILLIONS of dollars annually to this racist little fascist country whose leader is committing the action that Nadine so accurately describes)

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Both Abbas and Netanyahu are playing the same game, which is called, “Placate the moron in the White House and set up the other guy to take the blame when the talks fail.”
    Hey, check it out. The bigoted jackass Nadine has finally admitted that Netanyahu doesn’t negotiate in good faith, and scapegoats the Palestinians when his lack of honesty derails any prospects for peace. Who woulda thought that Nadine would ever actually admit what a fuckin’ scumbag Netanyahu is?
    Good for you, Nadine, honesty becomes you. (Even when its an accident, occurring only because you are too terminally ignorant to actually think through what you’re saying)

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I am still hopeful……”
    “…….After some initial reticence and backsliding – Harry Reid for example – Democrats have figured out that the battle against hate and intolerance is a battle they can fight and win. The continuing Republican dalliance with the most frightening and disturbed characters in the US political spectrum is succeeding in reminding disenchanted Democrats and sensible moderates why they had to throw these dangerous characters out on their asses in 2008”
    Damn. And here I have been thinking that Dan was getting a firm grasp on reality. Apparently not. He doesn’t seem to grasp the power of the right wing marketing campaign, nor the damage Obama’s political cowardice has done to the enthusiasum of the left wing voter. I need not even go out on a limb to predict dismally low voter turnouts on the left. In fact, I will go further, and predict that the turnout will be a RECORD low.
    Obama has set the progressive movement back years, and it may never recover. Many first time voters have been sorely stung by Obama, and the youthful response to such rejection is often “Why bother, been there, done that.” And those voters that are older, more experienced and savvy, cannot help but see how far this posturing piece of shit has strayed from his campaign platforms. In many areas, he might just as well be a declared Republican, considering all the cowardly ass-licking he has done on a full range of issues.
    Dan can “hope” to his heart’s content. After all, that what this bag of wind campaigned with, right? A pocketful of “hope”?
    How’s that worked out for us, Dan, all this hopey changey horseshit??
    File this post away Dan. We’ll discuss it again, I’m sure. But I gotta tell ya, I’m getting mighty sick of telling you “I told you so”.

    Reply

  16. nadine says:

    “My guess is that they can actually come up with a nice and complicated-sounding formula that allows building for both/all sides, that satisfies developers, construction workers, voters, and ethno-identified single issue voters.
    Make everyone happy, make Egypt happy, make peace sound like a non-losing proposition for all candidates concerned.
    It could actually work.”
    questions, can I pleeeease have some of what you’re smoking? It must be damn fine stuff. Best in the world, to judge from the results.
    Both Abbas and Netanyahu are playing the same game, which is called, “Placate the moron in the White House and set up the other guy to take the blame when the talks fail.”

    Reply

  17. kathleen says:

    similar conversation over at Mondoweiss
    Is Muslim life actually

    Reply

  18. Kathleen says:

    Have folks read this one by Jeff Kaye and Jason Leopold
    Government Report on Drugging of Detainees Is Suppressed
    http://www.truth-out.org/government-report-drugging-detainees-is-suppressed63256#comment-221216

    Reply

  19. JohnH says:

    Oh but Kathleen, Bush, Cheney and the neo-con-men do passionately about the lives of Iraqis! How many times did they tell you about freedom, democracy and human rights in Iraq? And you still didn’t get it?
    They cared so passionately that they had to kill as many as they could so as to save them, like the good Christians they claim to be…

    Reply

  20. questions says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/10/AR2010091002671.html
    As things come up, I will keep posting them. Perhaps someone will read some of this and rethink some basic assumptions about the world.
    Link for above post — avoiding the multi-link consequences…..

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    On negotiations:
    “No such projects have been announced since the Biden visit. But Ir Amim, a nonprofit Israeli group that advocates sharing Jerusalem, got hold of the Oct. 7 agenda for a major committee and sent it around to journalists. It shows plans for moving ahead with 813 units for Jews and 549 units for Palestinians in a southeastern part of the city known to Israelis as Givat Hamatos. It abuts the Palestinian village of Beit Safafa.
    Efrat Orbach, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, said the agenda was a preliminary one and it was now unlikely that the meeting would discuss those projects. She did say, however, as did a spokesman for the Jerusalem municipality, that there remained plans for more housing units in that area.
    On Monday, Mrs. Clinton suggested that the two sides could find a creative solution to the impasse

    Reply

  22. Kathleen says:

    You ever see any coverage on Faux, MSNBC, CNN of Iraqi people being asked if they think that Bolton, Bush, Luti, Hannah, Cheney, Feith, Wolfowitz, Wurmsers, Ledeen care about Iraqi lives the way this group cares about Israeli lives, and access to oil.
    Ask them. Ask those who have lost hundreds of thousands of family and friends in Iraq if this group of thugs cares about their lives.

    Reply

  23. JohnH says:

    As usual, Nadine writes the bizarre and absurd; “Muslim life is cheap for everybody in the world, so long as it is destroyed at the hands of other Muslims.” That’s why Muslim societies have some of the lowest homicide rates in the world–much lower than the US–because they don’t value the lives of other Muslims! What BS!

    Reply

  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If you need to believe that the “hijackers” weren’t really on the plane, if you need to believe that the planes never hit……….”
    Once again, the asshole “questions” offers premises that I have never presented. Its called “straw”. And it is the standard sleazy tactic used to camoflauge the REAL pressing questions about what occurred on 9/11. Isn’t it interesting that this Gumbi-like jackass, that can’t seemn to form a solid opinion on ANYTHING, is so firmly on board with the official narrative about 9/11, even employing common fantasies that are injected into the argument to discredit those looking for answers?

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    Hey Ross B, you and POA can join a club! Have fun together!!

    Reply

  26. Ross B says:

    Finding Mohammed Atta’s wallet on the streets of Manhattan along with the claim Building 7 collapsed from something other than a planned demolition doesn’t even qualify as part of a manufactured Disney fantasy.

    Reply

  27. questions says:

    Oh people….
    ALL life is cheap at times, and dear at others.
    We in the US tolerate huge amounts of inequity in order to keep our system level, flat, moving, safe, within a parameter set.
    We allow people to die young, to be imprisoned under horrific conditions, to be hunted down, to be shot and beaten, to be illiterate, to suffer, to go without treatment, to be in pain, to suffer suffer suffer and die.
    We allow this to happen to Christians. Is, therefore, Christian life especially cheap to our Christian leadership?
    Or are there other ways to tell this tale?
    When we’re in conflict, when we have found equilibrium, when we’re in resource competition, when we might be in resource competition, we allow a whole lot of death to happen and we encourage a whole lot more death. It’s convenient to do so.
    Let’s get off this exceptionalism kick, the world at war kick, the civilization in battle kick….
    What we witness elsewhere we, too, practice. All of it. The visibility of the death and destruction may be lesser domestically than abroad, but death and destruction is everpresent nonetheless.
    And POA, the website links to a BBC article and another. Challenge those if you need to. I left the links out because of the issues with posting multiple links here.
    If you need to believe that the “hijackers” weren’t really on the plane, if you need to believe that the planes never hit, if you need to believe that Israel ordered the hits so that they could guarantee US involvement in Iraq, if you need a deity to order the world (be it a malignant or benign deity) so be it. Enjoy your “theories.” And the more scorn heaped on you, the more true your positions are, of course. And the more you deny of “officialdom” the more true you are, and the more bizarre your “findings” the more true they must be. What a system!
    Oh, and probably the CIA set up the debunking websites just so that I could post links here so that you would know, in a coded way of course, that I work for the government of Israel and I spend my days lurking on this website looking for strategic places to post links. All I ever write about is how Israel didn’t plan the 9/11 bombings and so clearly I’m paid to do that. And when I write about other issues I do so in coded fashion just to make it seem like I have some concern other than what my handlers tell me to do. But since I never write about anything besides Israel’s innocence, of course, there are no other posts. Save those that act as my cover. But they aren’t really posts, they are “posts.” Or something……..
    Why don’t you just go back to being betrayed by gender confusion? It’s more fun to read those horrified posts!

    Reply

  28. nadine says:

    “Especially for Muslims? Looking beyond Muslims, for
    whom else is Muslim life cheap? For leftists in the West? Probably. For people on the right? Probably” (Paul Norheim)
    The answer is, Muslim life is cheap for everybody in the world, so long as it is destroyed at the hands of other Muslims. Did you hear anybody in the Arab League or anywhere make a big fuss over the dead of Saddam’s campaigns, or the Algerian civil war, or the Lebanese civil war? No.
    Muslim life is valuable only if killed by the right people. One Palestinian life taken by an Israeli is worth about 1000 Palestinian lives taken by other Arabs, as measured by column-inches.
    Certainly the Islamists don’t value Muslim life. Is it not their boast that “We will win because we love death as you love life”?

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    “Posted by WigWag, Sep 13 2010, 10:27AM – Link”
    —————————————-
    WigWag, I have to say that your ad hominem attack on
    Steve Clemons – disguised as a hypothetical and “absurd”
    demonstration of his own method – was despicable.
    As for Peretz’ “apology’, it is dishonest when it doesn’t
    include “the other” important sentence: “Frankly, Muslim
    life is cheap, especially for Muslims.”
    Especially for Muslims? Looking beyond Muslims, for
    whom else is Muslim life cheap? For leftists in the West?
    Probably. For people on the right? Probably.
    And of course it is cheap for Peretz too. Yes, WigWag,
    especially for people like Peretz and yourself.
    If not, you would not have recommended a treatment

    Reply

  30. JohnH says:

    As usual, Nadine chooses to believe a self serving “investigation,” which managed to identify fewer than two-thirds of the victims. B’Tselem did much more comprehensive research and provides real information, which confirms what I said: the IDF kills mostly women, children, the elderly and infirm. The Goldstone Report also confirmed this.
    http://www.btselem.org/English/Press_Releases/20090909.asp
    Nadine also chooses to ignore particularly egregious cases, such as the Samouni family, where “Twenty-nine members of the family, all of them civilians, were killed in the Israel Defense Force’s winter assault – 21 during the shelling of a house where IDF soldiers had gathered some 100 members of the family a day earlier.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/family-who-lost-29-members-in-gaza-war-we-envy-the-dead-1.5943
    The massacre of the Samouni family was not an aberration. The same happened in Qibya (1953) under Ariel Sharon’s command. And it happened in Sabra and Shatila (1982) when Sharon was defense minister.
    When you realize that the IDF has a long standing track record of massacres or presiding over the massacre of innocent civilians, you have to ask the question: who are the real terrorists?
    The answer is pretty clear.

    Reply

  31. nadine says:

    Speaking of dumbfucks, JohnH is lying again.
    Actually, Israel has quite detailed knowledge of the casualties of Operation Cast Lead, disproportionately young and male, about 65 – 75% of whom have been identified as combatants. Considering the efforts that Hamas went to in order to disguise their combatants as civilians, and to use civilians as human shields, this indicates that Israel made a rather careful attempt not to indiscriminately blast civilians.
    Since the Israelis can read Arabic, they do not buy the attempts to pass off the same guys who are praised as dead militants and ranking members of the Al Qassam Brigades on Hamas websites as poor innocent dead civilians. Naturally, all the human rights purist brigades buy such claims lock, stock and barrel.
    ICT report on Operation Cast Lead casualties here, including comparison with lists compiled by other sources: http://www.ict.org.il/Portals/0/Articles/ICT_Cast_Lead_Casualties-A_Closer_Look.pdf
    In order to objectively decide whether “proportionality” was observed or “collective punishment” was imposed, you have to reconstruct the context, the objectives, and the action. It certainly helps if you know something of military matters and refuse to buy ludicrous tall tales.
    Unfortunately most of the judgments out there are by people who couldn’t weigh the evidence if it bit them in the butt, who were only concerned with rushing to condemn Israel as fast as possible.

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Who runs that website, questions?
    Interesting that when you click on “About911myths” you get…
    “There is currently no text in this page….”
    But hey, its the gospel to you, isn’t it?

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    These are the people that this cowardly piece of shit Obama has virtually guaranteed will soon be in power…..
    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/blogs/archive/2010/09/13/quot-young-guns-quot-take-aim-at-middle-east-peace.aspx
    “Young guns” take aim at Middle East peace
    Three Members of the House of Representatives – Paul Ryan (R-WI), Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) – have published a little book outlining their plans for America, and the world, if the Republicans re-take Congress in November.
    The book is called “Young Guns” in honor of the movement within the GOP that the three proudly lead. Fred Barnes (editor of the far-right Weekly Standard) writes in his introduction to the book that Ryan, Cantor and McCarthy are the future of the GOP.
    The future of Young Guns and its three honchos is unquestionably bright. I’m convinced Eric Cantor will be speaker or majority leader the next time Republicans control the House. When that happens, Paul Ryan will be chairman of the House Budget Committee and will be in line to become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee…. As for McCarthy, he’ll be right behind Cantor in the leadership, either as majority leader or whip – and someday if Cantor steps aside, even House speaker. All the while, he’ll be fixated on how to win more elections, more often. In short, Young Guns is not only here to stay, but to succeed.
    Wow. Barnes does not even mention the “Young Gun” in line to be speaker if the GOP succeeds this year, John Boehner. He goes right to the speakerships of Cantor and McCarthy. Given that the last ten speakers served an average of seven years, Barnes is assuming the Republicans will control the House for, at least, the next 20 years.
    No doubt, Barnes hopes that two decades in power would be enough time for conservatives to dismantle the entire safety net, continue the redistribution of wealth from millionaires to billionaires, get rid of consumer protection and environmental protection laws, abolish labor unions, and achieve the American Eden that existed before FDR.
    I’m not exaggerating. On page 131, Paul Ryan specifically writes that America began its descent even before FDR with the Progressive era of 1900-1920 (those Progressives abolished child labor in factories, created the national parks and enacted “pure food” laws).
    Ryan writes: “Progressivism marked the point at which some politicians and intellectuals began to question the meaning of the Constitution and the self-evident truths of America’s founding.” (p. 132)
    We all know where that led…the five-day work week, Social Security, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and Medicare.
    The whole book is about getting back to the way we were before those reforms destroyed everything (the “Young Guns,” like Glenn Beck, think reform is a four letter word).
    But the Guns reserve a few pages for another priority: avoiding peace abroad.
    With the US involved in two wars, the book devotes a grand total of nine of its 191 pages to foreign policy. These pages are authored by Eric Cantor – who has no more foreign policy expertise than the other two, but as the Gun most fervent in his opposition to the Arab-Israeli peace process and negotiations of any sort with Iran he can claim the role of the Guns’ Guru on world affairs.
    Cantor’s take on the Middle East is that it is a region where pure good confronts pure evil.
    “No one needs to tell me about the bad guys out there. But being an American Jew has given me a unique perspective on the good guys.”
    “…I subscribe to the fundamental soundness of what the author Primo Levi said when he was asked what he learned from the Holocaust. He said, ‘When a man with a gun says he’s going to kill you – believe him.'”
    And, surprise surprise, the “men with guns” are Muslims.
    Cantor seems to believe that the Middle East conflict is one of those rare international conflicts where one side is 100% right and the other is 100% wrong. For Cantor, there is no West Bank occupation, no settlements, no Palestinian grievances. Hence, there is no need to negotiate.
    There is no need to go on. On domestic policy, these Guns say what they believe – that the rich should go untaxed, that all regulation of any sort should be abolished, that the military is pretty much the only government institution worth preserving, and that the poor, the elderly, and the sick should rely on their church or their neighbors for assistance. I have no doubt they believe this selfish nonsense, designed to redistribute as much national treasure as possible to their friends and supporters.
    On foreign policy, though, it’s all pander. I don’t doubt that Eric Cantor views the Middle East entirely through the lens of the Israeli Right. But the others are just going along for the ride. They think that the way to win over pro-Israel donors and voters is by advocating positions (they sure aren’t policies!) they think will pay off.
    Sad to say, if they became policy, these positions would be disastrous for the United States – and even more disastrous for Israel. But what do they care? They have a campaign to run. They think they will have 20 years in the majority, to fine tune their simple minded positions into simple-minded policy.

    Reply

  34. JohnH says:

    Nadine’s justification for Israeli pogroms in Lebanon and Gaza, which kill almost exclusively women, children, the elderly and infirm:
    “invading a terrorist stronghold where the terrorists are using the civilian population as human shields, … if a cop shoots him and kills the hostage by mistake, it is considered justifiable homicide.”
    Only problem–Israeli doesn’t get the terrorists, only the women, children, elderly and infirm.
    So who’s the real terrorist?

    Reply

  35. questions says:

    http://www.911myths.com/index.php/No_hijackers_on_the_passenger_manifests
    and:
    (note that I deleted URLs buried in the pieces below so I could avoid triggering the 2 URL rule here.)
    http://www.911myths.com/index.php/Hijackers_still_alive
    “The “still alive” claim has a powerful list of supporters, then, and so you might expect it to be supported with a substantial amount of evidence. But then you’d be disappointed, because there is nothing of the kind. In fact the claim is only sustainable because not a single one of its proponents actually tells you all the details you need to know.
    They tend not to dwell on the fact that all of these stories originated before the FBI released their full photo list on September 27th, for instance. They rarely point out this CNN report, released on September 16th, for instance, that identified the wrong individuals for Wail al-Shehri, Abdulaziz al-Omari and Saeed al-Ghamdi. These misidentifications caused those innocent people to come forward and say “it’s not me, I’m still alive” – but they’re not the individuals later identified by the FBI. ”
    “There’s a detail often missing in references to the BBCs story on this issue, too. They’ve subsequently said it was all just confusion over identities.
    A five-year-old story from our archive has been the subject of some recent editorial discussion here. The story, written in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, was about confusion at the time surrounding the names and identities of some of the hijackers. This confusion was widely reported and was also acknowledged by the FBI.
    The story has been cited ever since by some as evidence that the 9/11 attacks were part of a US government conspiracy.
    We later reported on the list of hijackers, thereby superseding the earlier report. In the intervening years we have also reported in detail on the investigation into the attacks, the 9/11 commission and its report.
    We

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “What size, what distance, what sensitivity, what humility, what land is acceptable….”
    A slum in Gaza would undoubtedly be to Nadine’s satisfaction. Gotta keep them heathen sand niggers with their own kind, you know.

    Reply

  37. philip smucker says:

    Fear not. Bolton is is a dolt with no chance of winning a Senate seat. His only lifeline is Fox News.

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Al Qaeda is the visible tip of a rather large Salafi iceburg; Osama bin Laden is the man who acted on what millions of little Muslim boys are taught every day”
    Meanwhile, the bigoted wretch Nadine has nothing to say about little Israeli Jewish teeny boppers being recruited to learn the fine art of active bigotry, property defacement, and ethnic/religous hatred.
    Just like the sick and twisted self-degrading and self-destructive crap Wig-wag offered on this thread, Israel has embarked on the same path. How long can a nation last that actively trains their youth to practice hatred and bigotry?

    Reply

  39. questions says:

    nadine,
    It’s: Too close to Ground Zero
    It’s: Too large an edifice
    It’s: Triumphalist
    It’s: On Hallowed Ground
    It’s: Insensitive to the victims…..
    Which is it?
    What size, what distance, what sensitivity, what humility, what land is acceptable….
    Indeed, the story changes routinely, the emphasis shifts from one characteristic to another, size or distance, emotional content or triumph….
    When I see so many versions of the objections I start to wonder if the objection to the mosque has anything actual in its content or is more a shapeshifter able to become whatever the speaker at the moment would like it to be.
    The mosque is a building. That’s all. Just a building. Not even fully a mosque. A community center. Down the block from a strip joint or more. As for size, look at the other buildings in the area. It’s likely fairly contextual.
    As for triumph, what triumph? The people who will join the center, take part in programs there are Americans. They happen also to be Muslim. They are citizens.
    This isn’t some long ago designated sacred space, there already is such a space and a time anyway. It’s not like 9/11 is going to be paved over in space and time.
    Indeed, if there’s any paving being done, it’s being done by the pubs who are pushing more hatred and more anger and more division over a space and a time that should be more about mutuality in suffering and an attempt to make the future better.
    But if you can game a few votes, go for it….

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “What attacked on 9/11? 15 Saudis and a few others…….”
    How do you know that? Considering that a number of the named hijackers weren’t actually involved, and are still alive, you really have no idea WHO hijacked those airplanes, do you?
    And can the shit about “conspiracy theory”. It is a known FACT that a number of the hijackers were mis-identified. So it is a known fact that you cannot HONESTLY make the statement I quoted from you. Unless you want to purposely spread propaganda, and a myth. Which, incidently, I DO think is your intent.

    Reply

  41. nadine says:

    “The point remains that the issue is far more a political one than “Islam” as a whole.” (questions)
    The point remains that there is no separation between mosque and state in Islam, and that is especially true of the Islamists who are striving (with or without violence) to replace all other systems with Sharia. So I’m afraid you missed the point, questions.
    It would be nice if there were an vibrant moderate Islam that accepts the separation between mosque and state, but unfortunately, there really isn’t. The Quietist school of Shia Islam comes close, but that doesn’t answer for the Sunnis. Sunni countries with secular nationalist governments have basically bludgeoned or co-opted the local Islam into compliance.
    That’s why you don’t hear more from moderate Muslims saying, ‘Screw Sharia! We like democracy’ — they haven’t got a theological leg to stand on and the radicals would threaten their lives.
    “the fact is that declaring a Muslim-free zone is pretty dumbfuck when you get down to it.”
    Nobody has declared it a Muslim-free zone, questions. Muslims are free to enter it and work there, and the modest mosques which were there before 9/11 have remained open. But nobody wants a large triumphalist mosque which will be an irresistable target for a radical takeover (not that a fake moderate like Imam Rauf, who is sort of a Tarik Ramadan Mini-Me, would resist such a takeover very hard).
    You liberals have just decided it is your moral duty to make yourselves clueless about the most likely scenarios so you can pride yourselves on your superior tolerance.

    Reply

  42. questions says:

    nadine, I did read the book. The point remains that the issue is far more a political one than “Islam” as a whole.
    As for who builds the mosque, I personally don’t care. I don’t cathect religious sanctity to landforms or historic spaces of any sort. I would guess that many of the steps I’ve taken over the course of my life have been on the same spot as horrific tragedies and amazing joys at some other time.
    I can separate out a lot of stuff rather than mushing it all together.
    The anti-mosqueteers are mushers. All life and all death and all that is holy holy holy seems bundled together with all that makes them feel impotent all that frightens or reminds them.
    I don’t do iconic thinking, I don’t worship spots or spaces, I don’t keep destruction-mementos, make sacred that on which the ashes of the buildings fell. I don’t blame all people who resemble in some way some characteristic of someone who caused a trauma. I can individuate.
    15 Saudis, some other guys, some money people, and whatever else you feel like tossing into the stewpot killed, maimed, destroyed, terrified, and horrified a few cities, a lot of people, some property. It was awful. It was traumatic.
    And beyond that, making sacred and non-Muslim some chunk of property seems completely out of reason to me.
    Not just because there are already strip clubs and a Muslim meeting place there, but far more because sacred spaces is a bad bad idea, I am perfectly fine with what ever denomination of Islam’s building whatever they build.
    And remember, I have some tangential connection to the trauma of the day, tangential, but real.
    Of course, even if I didn’t have that connection, the fact is that declaring a Muslim-free zone is pretty dumbfuck when you get down to it.

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    “What attacked on 9/11? 15 Saudis and a few others, not Islam as a whole. They used the name of Islam, but did so as a political tactic.”
    That’s not an accurate summary of the position of Al Qaeda vis-a-vis the rest of Islam. You really should read Lawrence Wright’s “The Looming Tower”. Al Qaeda is the visible tip of a rather large Salafi iceburg; Osama bin Laden is the man who acted on what millions of little Muslim boys are taught every day.

    Reply

  44. nadine says:

    “Who is trying to build a mosque? Near as I can tell, it’s a Sufi imam, not a Wahabi son of the chief builder-family for the Saudi regime.” (questions)
    Would it bother you if it was? Or would you still be pumping for Imam Rauf’s right to build if he was openly (instead of clandestinely, as he has given reasons for believing) a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and its spinoffs, Hamas and Al Qaeda?
    Now Imam Rauf says we have to build the mosque, or the radicals will be really upset. Nice civilization you got there, wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to it. You know those Muslims, gotta walk on eggshells around them. So touchy, any little thing is apt to set off the violence.

    Reply

  45. questions says:

    nadine,
    it’s the use of the word “decency” that’s the problem here.
    What is offensive about a mosque in this situation? To get to an offended feeling, you have to conflate things that shouldn’t be conflated. The liberals you keep moaning about see that there are things that shouldn’t be conflated. Some conservatives seem to see this point as well. Opportunists and the unthinking don’t the leaps in logic. So here goes.
    What attacked on 9/11? 15 Saudis and a few others, not Islam as a whole. They used the name of Islam, but did so as a political tactic.
    Who is trying to build a mosque? Near as I can tell, it’s a Sufi imam, not a Wahabi son of the chief builder-family for the Saudi regime.
    “Islam” is as complex as “Christianity” or “Judaism” and “Islam” is as incapable of action as is either “Christianity” or “Judaism” so being anti-Islam doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
    No one person speaks for any of these complex systems of belief and practice, and so no one person who practices Islam of one sort or another bears responsibility for the 9/11 attacks beyond the plotters and payers and pilots.
    The whole anti-mosque brouhaha is a reverse synecdoche or whatever substitution relation that covers using the whole to substitute for the part. Hmm. Stereotyping? Prejudice? Whatever it is, the point is that all-of-Islam is not guilty and all-of-Islam should not be paying a price for what 19+ people did.
    Now of course bunches of people are upset about the mosque. They are conflating categories that should be separate, they are cathecting, they are dumping all kinds of bad feelings, anxiety, and hurt into a stew pot the way that wounded people do. And they are being played by some pretty good media manipulation.
    I think it’s a bad idea to give in to this side of our psyches. I think playing on the wounded feelings is bad. I think making a mosque into a scary-boo-demon-go-bump-in-the-night construct is poor public policy, poor behavior, and it’ll likely make other kinds of prejudice easier and safer.
    It’s just a bad idea to stoke this fire. But it’s good for a few votes, and a few votes it’ll get. Really really sad.
    Meanwhile, Dude, you HAVE no Qua’ran is catching on! Lovely to see the skateboarders riding in to save us all from our stupidity.

    Reply

  46. nadine says:

    “Say, I have an idea for a compromise.
    Instead of a mosque at Ground Zero, how about we say that it’s just
    fine for them to build an Islamic community center – much like the
    YMCA or a Jewish community center, where one of the principle
    backers of the Cordoba House project goes to swim for exercise –
    where people of any faith or no faith whatsoever can go, and they
    can’t build it right at Ground Zero, but instead at least two blocks
    away.
    Deal?”
    Clever, sconosciuto. But you have a teensy little problem — which is that the YMCA multi-faith elements of the proposed “community center” exist only in the minds of the project’s liberal backers. The actual plans call for a mosque that can hold 1000 worshipers and a community center for the Islamic community.
    It’s rather like calling Imam Rauf a “moderate” when he is allied with board members of the Holy Land Foundation and other Hamas front groups, and refuses to call Hamas a terrorist group.
    An exercise in liberal self-delusion.

    Reply

  47. nadine says:

    “I am still hopeful. The longer this latest round of anti-Muslim hysteria has gone on, the more damage it has done to the national Republican Party, as recent national polling appears to be showing. The Republicans’ dumb decision to ride the tiger of hate has given the far right a permission slip for public extremism, and has flushed more of them out of hiding.” (Dan Kervick)
    You have no idea how silly this sounds. There is no anti-Muslim hysteria, it is a pure creation of the liberal media. They had to seize on some crackpot preacher with 50 followers to fill their stereotype of the hick right-wing fundie Islam-hater, and they are working to magnify this nobody into a major force.
    Their reason is obvious: the Dems got nothing going into the election. The economy sucks, Obama’s foreign policy is a joke, all his major legislation is unpopular and the Dems are running away from it. They are running on fumes, so sliming Republicans (and 70% of the American people!) is all they got. But it’s not true. From CNN:
    ” Far from the media frenzy dominating headlines, from the so-called

    Reply

  48. nadine says:

    “What about this historical fact do you not understand?
    “The earliest inhabitants of Palestine were the Canaanites. The land was conquered by numerous invaders, including (in the fourteenth century B.C.E.) the Philistines, who gave the country its name”
    or this…….
    “From the fifteenth century until the end of World War I, the region was part of the Ottoman Empire. Changing provincial and administrative boundaries within the empire blurred Palestine’s separate existence.” (Carroll)
    You disappoint me, Carroll. I had thought you were the one anti-Semite on TWN with some brains. But you are as a clueless as the others. “Gave the country its name? To whom? When? Where?” The Philistines didn’t even rule what is called Palestine today, but an enlarged version of Gaza (Ashkelon and Gath, which still exist, were Philistine cities). They disappeared by the 8th cen bce, and were remembered after that for their wars with the Israelites – you know, David and Goliath, Samson and Delilah, those? The name of the rest of “Palestine” was “the Land of Canaan” at the time.
    That article is using “Palestine” as a geographical convenience because it is the traditional Christian name for the region, since it was the Roman provincial name, which Christians remembered and used. The Romans changed the province’s name from “Judea” to “Syria Palestina” in the 2nd cen ce after they crushed the Second Jewish Rebellion.
    As the article itself points out, Palestine was not a separate province after the first couple of centuries of Arab rule, nor under Ottoman rule from the 16th century on, but merely part of Southern Syria.

    Reply

  49. DonS says:

    Kotz; whatever.
    As far as shifting ground, I guess my logical leaps were a bit too facile for you to follow. I often forget to show all my work. Make no mistake, Bolton’s sole intent in the omitted sentence was to justify Israeli action in any and every way he could. I simply highlighted the historical rhetoric up which that assertion is based.
    Bolton would always prefer we watch the monkey and pretend we don’t see the organ grinder.

    Reply

  50. Carroll says:

    Posted by larry birnbaum, Sep 13 2010, 1:19PM – Link
    This is a misreading of Bolton’s point. He is not saying that the
    lives of the innocent civilians killed don’t have equivalent value in
    both cases. He’s saying that the actions that led to their deaths
    aren’t morally equivalent
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    LOL…nice try. BUT …we all know that before the ‘actions’ comes the “motivations” for those actions.

    Reply

  51. questions says:

    I really think we need to get off the modernity kick!
    Think about the amount of death and destruction that modernity chooses to mete out via resource distribution.
    Think about the wars modernity fights against other modernity or non-modernity.
    Think about wealth and health distributions that the most modern of us choose.
    We’re just as fratricidal as ever.
    Look at the fight over SoSec, think about what raising the retirement age will do to heavy laborers.
    Look at the distribution of life span, of prenatal care, of education, of prison time….
    We’re just as fratricidal, life is just as cheap….
    There’s no winner in all of this.
    People are territorial and tribal frequently. They are generous sometimes, as well.
    I root for generosity and I’d way prefer it if we could stop being so tribal.
    But to argue that some are more tribal than others, more fratricidal than others, is not a helpful or even accurate assessment of the problems of the world.

    Reply

  52. larry birnbaum says:

    This is a misreading of Bolton’s point. He is not saying that the
    lives of the innocent civilians killed don’t have equivalent value in
    both cases. He’s saying that the actions that led to their deaths
    aren’t morally equivalent.

    Reply

  53. Kathleen says:

    “US Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his failed effort to get the Senate to confirm his nomination as US Ambassador to the United Nations”
    I watched that hearing. I believe it was several days. Can’t exactly remember. But one thing I clearly remember was when then Senator Biden was demanding the NSA intercepts allegedly having to do with wiretapping of Powell and other power players negotiations with Iran etc by Bolton and the thugs. I remember Biden’s blood vessels on his temple were about to explode when he continued to demand that Bolton/Bush/Cheney release those intercepts. I remember Senator’s Kennedy, Chaffee, Kerry and a few others looking pissed enough that I almost thought they were going to jump over the tables and give Bolton an ass whooping. They were sure fired pissed off.
    Even Voinovich looked deeply concerned about the arrogance and alleged spying on Powell etc.
    Bolton was his arrogant smug ass self. That is what I remember about those hearings.
    Were those NSA intercepts ever released? The Senate Foreign relations committee had every right and responsibility to access those intercepts.
    Bolton probably stuck them up where the sun does not shine. He not only does not care about American soldiers sent to their deaths and life time injuries due to their lives they certainly do not care about Iraqi lives lost.
    http://dir.salon.com/story/opinion/blumenthal/2005/04/28/powells_revenge/index.html
    The Generals Revenge
    “The Bolton confirmation hearings have revealed his constant efforts to undermine Powell on Iran and Iraq, Syria, and North Korea. They have also exposed a most curious incident that has triggered the administration’s stonewall reflex. The Foreign Relations Committee discovered that Bolton made a highly unusual request and gained access to 10 intercepts by the National Security Agency, which monitors worldwide communications, of conversations involving past and present government officials. Whose conversations did Bolton secretly secure and why?
    Staff members on the committee believe that Bolton was likely spying on Powell, his senior advisors, and other officials reporting to the secretary of state on diplomatic initiatives that Bolton opposed. If so, it is also possible that Bolton was sharing this top-secret information with his neoconservative allies in the Pentagon and the vice president’s office, with whom he was in daily contact and well known to be working in league against Powell. If the intercepts are ever released, they may disclose whether Bolton was a key figure in a counterintelligence operation run inside the Bush administration against the secretary of state, resembling the hunted character played by Will Smith in “Enemy of the State.” Both Republican and Democratic senators have demanded that the State Department, which holds the NSA intercepts, turn them over to the committee. But Rice so far has refused. What is she hiding by her coverup?”

    Reply

  54. Kathleen says:

    “Bolton, strangely, was going out of the way to argue that the value of innocents killed on one side of a military equation were not equal to the lives of those on the other side. In other words, for Bolton, innocent life does not equal innocent life.”
    Uh that has been obvious along time about Bolton, Feith, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Bush, Ledeen and the rest of the murdering thugs team. Iraqi lives do not count. Literally. “we do not count”
    As a youngster I was obsessed with reading about WWII. I kept thinking (as most of have) Why were people sitting on the sidelines as millions of Jews, millions of Poles, gypsies and others were being slaughtered? Why?
    And now after watching two wars that our country were unnecessarily involved with and started during my life (I am 58) The reactions of many during Vietnam (persistently out on the streets) And the lack of reaction, concern about the hundreds of thousands of deaths that have taken place in Iraq as a direct consequence of the illegal and immoral invasion. I am in shock. But I get it about WWII and the slaughter that took place. Many people do not give a rats ass if it is not happening to them. The neo, theo, oil cons get this. And move forward towards getting their way with Iran.
    Frightening!

    Reply

  55. WigWag says:

    “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims.” (Martin Peretz as quoted by Tahoe Editor)
    Peretz may be guilty of an overgeneralization, but his comment embodies an important truth that Bolton and many others correctly acknowledge while Kristof, Clemons and their ilk avert their eyes.
    The number of Muslims who have been killed by Muslims because they are Muslim vastly outnumbers the Muslims who have been killed by Christians and Jews.
    The facts pointing to a dysfunctional and pathologically fratricidal relationship between millions of Muslims are impossible to avoid. The number of deaths arising out the Shia-Sunni dispute is enormous. The number or deaths resulting from frictions between Turkish and Kurdish Muslims or Arab and non-Arab Muslims is very large.
    There is nothing particularly unique about this. A few hundred years ago, Catholics were burning Protestants at the stake and Protestants were lopping off the heads of Catholics and parading them on spears all over Europe. Fortunately for the Christian world, Christians learned to make peace with their ecclesiastical differences and also learned to accommodate the newly ascendant secular values of the enlightenment.
    Intracommunal hostility between Muslims today is no less pervasive and no less severe than the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants 400 years ago.
    The problem is that the Christian world has successfully if imperfectly adapted to modernity while the Muslim world has not. If anyone were to suggest Jewish (or Muslim) life was cheap in 16th century Spain, that Catholic life was cheap in Elizabethan England or that Protestant life was cheap during the Catholic rampages against the Huguenots in France, would anyone view this as a controversial statement?
    If Christian sects were stoning so called adulterers to death, mutilating women’s genitals, forcing women to wear the veil, marrying off their preteenaged girls to old men and rallying around propaganda like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Steve Clemons, Nick Kristof and others would be falling all over themselves to decry the barbarity of it all. But when Muslims engage in this behavior, they avert their eyes.
    Maybe Marty Peretz was right; Muslim life is cheap at least to people on the so-called left.

    Reply

  56. Carroll says:

    Posted by nadine, Sep 13 2010, 3:26AM – Link
    What about this historical fact do you not understand?
    “The earliest inhabitants of Palestine were the Canaanites. The land was conquered by numerous invaders, including (in the fourteenth century B.C.E.) the Philistines, who gave the country its name”
    or this…….
    “From the fifteenth century until the end of World War I, the region was part of the Ottoman Empire. Changing provincial and administrative boundaries within the empire blurred Palestine’s separate existence.”
    Or is it that you now want the history of Palestine to begin in the 15th century Ottoman’s rule?….or with the British Mandate?
    I know you get your history from the zion notebooks but the rest of the world doesn’t.
    Every single history of the world refers to Palestine (the modern name) as a region and country, despite all the name changes that came about from various conquers. Palestine in geography and as a distinct country area existed since the Philistines.
    It is amusing how the Jews try to deny history and claim there was no Palestine when in reality the Jews were just another tribe coming and going in Palestine like the Romans and Turks and all the others.
    You’d be better off arguing “all the tribes passing thru” than trying to deny an ancient country that actually existed..but then if you want that argument you would have to talk about the majority tribe that was there when the UN gave part of Palestine to the Jews…wouldn’t you?
    The problem with the zionist is lying…they lie themselves into a corner.

    Reply

  57. DonS says:

    Peretz statements “Muslim life is cheap . . . is a statement of fact” and “there is no hatred in my heart” is both gratuitous and disingenuous, and unverifiable at the same time. It is also taking much license to equate Kristof’s comment [about Muslims failing to critique other Muslims] with Peretz’ own regarding the “cheapness” of Muslim life.
    Thanks for reprinting this Tahoe. Methinks the lady/Peretz protests too much. The very fact that he has back peddle on one of his ugly comments says more for what is really in his heart than all his protestations to the contrary.
    The folks who like to try to walk the fine line between inciting hatred and intolerance while claiming they are the soul of opposite virtues must have some very powerful neural circuits to block their blindness. Or they just don’t care; except to do damage control when someone with a little bigger verbal clout calls them out.

    Reply

  58. Neo Controll says:

    Wig Wag, the nasty, shoots an ad hominem, totally unrelated to anything but threat and vengeance, across the bow of the SS TWN. Proving once again that in WigWorld, the source of all scolding about ‘civility’, the reward for actual civility is more nastiness.

    Reply

  59. Tahoe Editor says:

    An Apology
    Martin Peretz
    September 13, 2010
    Nicholas Kristof and I do not see the world

    Reply

  60. Carroll says:

    Posted by WigWag, Sep 13 2010, 10:27AM – Link
    Isn

    Reply

  61. DonS says:

    “Steve, do you really want to appoint yourself as a moral arbiter? ”
    It doesn’t matter, wig wag, whether one calls Bolton immoral, out of touch, grandstanding, jingoist, or just plain nuts. He represents a dangerous fringe, and seeks to incite more fringe thinking.
    You can say, ah ha, more histrionics. But, your persuasiveness notwithstanding, you can’t argue facts alone with a bomb thrower like Bolton for whom every bottom line is “bomb ’em”. To quote you, “but it is impossible for a serious person to take it, seriously.”
    I know you dispute that Bolton and his ilk represent a fringe. But that’s the argument, isn’t it? And facts alone don’t verify his fringe status. Any more than you need a bushel of facts to know Hitler was fringe. Or Pam Geller. Or Beck. That fringe figures continue to seek acolytes just means they’re playing their self aggrandizing destructive roles and destructive messages to the hilt.
    It’s truly pathetic when hate and destruction pass for moral clarity. The old adage ‘pot calling the kettle black’ applies in spades to you accusations.

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “hy is Steve Clemons a traitor to the gay community?”
    Well, no matter, Wiggie. It doesn’t matter what you lie about being, your attacks on Steve are as despicable as ever. Male, female, its of no consequence. You’ve shown us the essence of what is inside the rancid casing that surrounds your sick twisted mind. You might be able to hide the physical reality of what you are, but your nature has been exposed for all of us to see.

    Reply

  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    WIGGIE!!!! Welcome back! What are you today??? Male??? Female??? Right, left????
    I love a good mystery! Lie, lie away, it-person.

    Reply

  64. WigWag says:

    Steve, do you really want to appoint yourself as a moral arbiter? Do you really think that you have some type of special access to the truth that is obscured to people like Bolton, Peretz, Cheney or anyone else? Has it occurred to you that questioning the ethics of those who hold a differing opinion from yours rather than confronting the content of what they claim, is both intellectually lazy and even worse, unconvincing to all but those languid enough to adopt the same approach to intellectual discourse as you do?
    Within the past several months you have written some truly brilliant posts but you have also written a fair number that rely on nothing but histrionics; this is one of them. The dispute over the Mosque/Cultural Center near Ground Zero seems to have especially unhinged you. Your posts about the Mosque/Cultural Center were largely devoid of facts but filled with innuendo and accusations; mostly against those who disagreed with you. Rather than crafting an intelligent argument, you decided to throw stink bombs; your thesis relied almost entirely on the accusation that those who opposed the Mosque/Cultural Center were bigots. Is it any wonder than you failed to convince anyone who wasn’t already convinced? Most Americans recognized that your argument (and the argument of your fellow travelers) was fatuous and laughed it off.
    One might have thought that in light of your failure in making your point about the Mosque/Muslim Center you would go back to a strategy that you’re good at; arguing the facts. Instead, with this post, we can see that hysteria still reigns; the best you can do to counter those who believe that we are confronting a clash of civilizations between the Muslim world and the Christian/Secular world is to reprise your strategy from the Mosque/Cultural Center dispute and call your opponents names. Who exactly do you suppose you will convince with your shallow and hollow accusations of bigotry? Given the collapsing support for your point of view about the Middle East and given the fact that the number of people who agree with you is now so diminished that it represents little more than a fringe, wouldn

    Reply

  65. Paul Norheim says:

    Dan Kervick said. “After some initial reticence and backsliding –
    Harry Reid for example – Democrats have figured out that the
    battle against hate and intolerance is a battle they can fight
    and win.”
    Really?
    “The continuing Republican dalliance with the most frightening
    and disturbed characters in the US political spectrum is
    succeeding in reminding disenchanted Democrats and sensible
    moderates why they had to throw these dangerous characters
    out on their asses in 2008.”
    I hope your optimism is justified, Dan. And yes, Bloomberg’s
    speech was good – a display of political and moral clarity,
    America at it’s best.
    Personally, however, I regard it as a bad omen that Geert Wilder
    took the trip over from Amsterdam at 9.11.:
    “On September 11, 2010, 2,000 people gathered close by the
    site of a planned mosque near the site of the World Trade
    Center attack, where they were addressed by Wilders who flew
    from The Netherlands to urge the crowd: “This is where we
    have draw the line. We must never give a free hand to those
    who want to subjugate us,” Wilders added. “Draw this line so
    that New York… will never become New Mecca.”
    Wikipedia:
    Geert Wilders (born September 6, 1963) is a Dutch politician
    and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV), the third leading
    political party in the Netherlands. Born in the city of Venlo,
    raised as a Roman Catholic and having left the Church at his
    coming of age, Wilders attributes his politics to his support for
    what he calls ‘Judeo-Christian values’. He formed many of his
    political views on his travels to Israel, as well as the
    neighbouring Arab countries. (…)
    Citing irreconcilable differences over the party’s position on the
    accession of Turkey to the European Union, Wilders left the
    VVD in 2004 to form his own party, the Party for Freedom. He
    advocates banning the Qur’an, taxing women who wear the
    headscarf, ending immigration from Muslim countries, and
    banning the construction of new mosques. He has also spoken
    in an international conference. In the international press he was
    called The Netherlands’ “most inflammatory public figure”.
    Wilders has pleaded, for instance, for a hard line against what
    he called the “street terror” exerted by minorities in Dutch
    cities. His controversial 2008 film about Islam in the
    Netherlands, Fitna, has received international attention. On 21
    January 2009, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ordered his
    prosecution for what it said was “the incitement to hatred and
    discrimination”.
    Wilders was also controversially banned from entering the
    United Kingdom between 12 February 2009 and 13 October
    2009, with the Home Office viewing his presence as a “threat to
    one of the fundamental interests of society”. The ban was
    overturned after Wilders appealed. (…)
    In March 2010, it was announced that a documentary film
    about Geert Wilders was due to be released in the United
    States; Wilders himself was writing a book and producing a
    sequel to his film, both to be released after the parliamentary
    elections in the Netherlands in June 2010. Wilders’ gains
    toward becoming next Dutch prime minister according to polls
    in March 2010 have triggered concerns of political violence in
    the Netherlands or against Dutch nationals according to the
    country’s National Anti-terrorism Coordinator.”

    Reply

  66. sconosciuto says:

    ” it seems a very unwise electoral policy to keep calling the 70% of
    Americans who oppose the Ground Zero Mosque bigots.”
    Say, I have an idea for a compromise.
    Instead of a mosque at Ground Zero, how about we say that it’s just
    fine for them to build an Islamic community center – much like the
    YMCA or a Jewish community center, where one of the principle
    backers of the Cordoba House project goes to swim for exercise –
    where people of any faith or no faith whatsoever can go, and they
    can’t build it right at Ground Zero, but instead at least two blocks
    away.
    Deal?

    Reply

  67. questions says:

    Steve, dude,
    Fear not, there’s a new generation of political activists on… skateboards!!??
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/9/12/901356/-Skateboarder-Thwarts-Extremist-From-Burning-The-Quran
    Dude, you have no Qu’ran!!

    Reply

  68. Dan Kervick says:

    Paul,
    It’s not all of New York. The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has been an eloquent and stalwart defender of the free exercise rights of American Muslims. And Bloomberg is still a pretty popular guy.
    I am still hopeful. The longer this latest round of anti-Muslim hysteria has gone on, the more damage it has done to the national Republican Party, as recent national polling appears to be showing. The Republicans’ dumb decision to ride the tiger of hate has given the far right a permission slip for public extremism, and has flushed more of them out of hiding. After some initial reticence and backsliding – Harry Reid for example – Democrats have figured out that the battle against hate and intolerance is a battle they can fight and win. The continuing Republican dalliance with the most frightening and disturbed characters in the US political spectrum is succeeding in reminding disenchanted Democrats and sensible moderates why they had to throw these dangerous characters out on their asses in 2008.
    Thank God for Newt Gingrich. He’s just a vainglorious old codger trying desperately to stay young and relevant by shooting his mouth off with provocative, deep-end statements. But every time he flaps his aging gums lately, he sends the message that the extremist fringe has a foothold not just in the radio and TV studios of the entertainment right, but at the highest levels of the Republican Party. Newt presided over an earlier round of far right self-immolation in the 90’s, and it looks like he still has enough gas left in the tank for another round.

    Reply

  69. DonS says:

    “One can hardly infer from Bolton

    Reply

  70. Paul Norheim says:

    I disagree with Steve’s take on the Bolton quote about
    “moral equivalence”: there is a principal difference
    between targeting civilians deliberately, and military
    actions where civilians get killed inadvertently.
    Dan Kervick is right, however, when he shows how these
    distinctions are much less clear in examples like the
    invasion of Lebanon and Gaza.
    As for the rest of Steve’s post, Peretz’ comment, Terry
    Jones, The Cultural centre near Ground Zero… these are
    depressing signs. In Europe, Denmark, and especially
    Holland, were for a long time known for their religious and
    cultural tolerance. During the last ten years, they got
    screwed up, and have become more bigoted and
    chauvinistic than other countries in Europe. It looks like
    New York is going through the same transformation right
    now, and that is a tragedy with huge implications for the
    rest of the world.

    Reply

  71. nadine says:

    Kotz, those who have imposed on themselves as a moral duty the refusal to acknowledge evil, will always yield to it, since they have convinced themselves that it does not exist.
    I must read Berman’s “Flight of the Intellectuals” (I’ve only read reviews so far); he seems to have an explanation of the thinking behind this.

    Reply

  72. nadine says:

    No, Carroll, why should I be embarrassed when I am right, and you are either ignorant of the fundamental difference between a regional name used by the British and a country, or are trading on the still greater ignorance of most of the commenters here?
    Only Europeans used the name “Palestine”, recalling Roman Palestine. There was no province or country called Palestine under Ottoman rule. Go look at an Ottoman map; you won’t find it; the Ottoman borders were completely different. The Arabs didn’t even start calling the place “Filistin” until British influence grew in the 19th century and they picked up the name from them.
    The British created the Mandate of Palestine in 1918, ignoring the previous Ottoman boundaries. After the Arabs rejected the UN Partition Plan of 1947, those parts of British Palestine that did not become Israel were occupied by Jordan and Egypt and claimed by them. There was no country called “Palestine” on anyone’s map from 1948-1967, except for those Arab states who refused to write “Israel” and wrote “occupied Palestine” instead.
    So, just as I said, the West Bank was not Palestine from 1948 to 1967, but part of Jordan, and nobody said a single word about making it Palestine. Had it remained Jordanian in 1967, it would still be Jordanian today.

    Reply

  73. Ben Rosengart says:

    Not to entirely dismiss just-war theory, but it’s easy to narrate
    events such that your side’s violence is justified while the other
    guy’s is evil. Even when you’re right, it’s still worthwhile to put
    yourself in the other guy’s shoes from time to time.
    We in the U.S. are too cavalier about civilian deaths in
    Afghanistan and Iraq. Thank you, Steve, for highlighting this. I’m
    not knocking our armed forces, I’m knocking the D.C.
    establishment and the media.

    Reply

  74. Carroll says:

    nadine…you are an idiot and are embarrassing yourself.
    Ancient Palestine
    As a geographic term, Palestine can refer to “ancient Palestine,” an area that today includes Israel and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, as well as part of Jordan, and some of both Lebanon and Syria.
    The earliest known inhabitants of Palestine were of the same group as the Neanderthal inhabitants of Europe.
    By the 4th millennium B.C. Palestine was inhabited by herders and farmers. It was in the 3d millennium that most of the towns known in historical times came into existence. They became centers of trade for Egyptian and Babylonian goods. During the 2d millennium, Palestine was ruled by the Hyksos and by the Egyptians.
    Around 1200 B.C., the Philistines (“Sea Peoples”) invaded the southern coastland and established a powerful kingdom (see Philistia). The Hebrews in Palestine were subject to the Philistines until c.1000 B.C., when an independent Hebrew kingdom was established under Saul, who was succeeded by David and then by Solomon. After the expansionist reign of Solomon (c.950 B.C.), the kingdom broke up into two states, Israel, with its capital at Samaria, and Judah, under the house of David, with its capital at Jerusalem. The two kingdoms were later conquered by expanding Mesopotamian states, Israel by Assyria (c.720 B.C.) and Judah by Babylonia (586 B.C.).
    In 539 B.C. the Persians conquered the Babylonians. The Jewish Temple, destroyed by the Babylonians, was rebuilt (516 B.C.). Under Persian rule Palestine enjoyed considerable autonomy. Alexander the Great of Macedon, conquered Palestine in 333 B.C. His successors, the Ptolemies and Seleucids, contested for Palestine. The attempt of the Seleucid Antiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes) to impose Hellenism brought a Jewish revolt under the Maccabees, who set up a new Jewish state in 142 B.C. The state lasted until 63 B.C., when Pompey conquered Palestine for Rome.
    Christianity and Islam
    Palestine at the time of Jesus was ruled by puppet kings of the Romans, the Herods (see Herod). When the Jews revolted in A.D. 66, the Romans destroyed the Temple (A.D. 70). Another revolt between A.D. 132 and 135 was also suppressed (see Bar Kokba, Simon), Jericho and Bethlehem were destroyed, and the Jews were barred from Jerusalem. When Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity (312), Palestine became a center of Christian pilgrimage, and many Jews left the region. Palestine over the next few centuries generally enjoyed peace and prosperity until it was conquered in 614 by the Persians. It was recovered briefly by the Byzantine Romans, but fell to the Muslim Arabs under caliph Umar by the year 640.
    At this time (during the Umayyad rule), the importance of Palestine as a holy place for Muslims was emphasized, and in 691 the Dome of the Rock was erected on the site of the Temple of Solomon, which is claimed by Muslims to have been the halting station of Muhammad on his journey to heaven. Close to the Dome, the Aqsa mosque was built. In 750, Palestine passed to the Abbasid caliphate, and this period was marked by unrest between factions that favored the Umayyads and those who preferred the new rulers.
    In the 9th cent., Palestine was conquered by the Fatimid dynasty, which had risen to power in North Africa. The Fatimids had many enemies-the Seljuks, Karmatians, Byzantines, and Bedouins-and Palestine became a battlefield. Under the Fatimid caliph al Hakim (996-1021), the Christians and Jews were harshly suppressed, and many churches were destroyed. In 1099, Palestine was captured by the Crusaders (see Crusades), who established the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Crusaders were defeated by Saladin at the battle of Hittin (1187), and the Latin Kingdom was ended; they were finally driven out of Palestine by the Mamluks in 1291. Under Mamluk rule Palestine declined.
    Turkish Rule
    In 1516 the Mamluks were defeated by the Ottoman Turks. The first three centuries of Ottoman rule isolated Palestine from outside influence. In 1831, Muhammad Ali, the Egyptian viceroy nominally subject to the Ottoman sultan, occupied Palestine. Under him and his son the region was opened to European influence. Ottoman control was reasserted in 1840, but Western influence continued. Among the many European settlements established, the most significant in the long run were those of Jews, Russian Jews being the first to come (1882).
    Pre-Twentieth-Century History
    Palestine has since ancient times been a crossroads between Asia, Europe, and Africa. Its climate is arid. The southern half, the Negev, is desert, but in the north there are several fertile areas. The principal water source is the Jordan River, which flows south through Lake Tiberias into the Dead Sea.
    Palestine is of central importance to three monotheistic faiths: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. For 1,300 of the past 1,400 years, the land was under Muslim rule. Most European and North American Christians and Jews consider Palestine on both sides of the Jordan to be the Holy Land of the Old Testament of the Bible. Although the British initially designated the area of the Palestine Mandate to extend eastward to Mesopotamia (Iraq), by the early twentieth century most people took the Jordan River to be the eastern border of Palestine.
    The earliest inhabitants of Palestine were the Canaanites. The land was conquered by numerous invaders, including (in the fourteenth century B.C.E.) the Philistines, who gave the country its name. The Israelites, a confederation of Hebrew tribes, established a unified kingdom in the area under David and Solomon (c. 1000 – 922 B.C.E.), which subsequently split into the kingdoms of Israel in the north and Judaea in the south. From 587 B.C.E., Palestine became a province of the Persian Empire.
    The Romans crushed the Jewish revolts of 66 – 73 and 132 – 135 C.E., killing and exiling many Jews, and renaming the area Syria Palaestina.
    In 638 C.E. Arabian Muslim armies captured Jerusalem and replaced the Byzantine rulers of the area, which thereafter became known as Filastin. Arab geographers in the tenth century referred to Filastin as one of the provinces of Syria, but by the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the term was no longer used.
    From the fifteenth century until the end of World War I, the region was part of the Ottoman Empire. Changing provincial and administrative boundaries within the empire blurred Palestine’s separate existence. In an attempt to centralize government administration, the Ottoman Empire was divided into new administrative regions under the Vilayet Law of 1864. Under this arrangement the central and largest part of Palestine, as well as Transjordan, became part of the vilayet (province) of Damascus. The northern part of the country, including Acre, Haifa, Tiberias, Safed, Nablus, Jenin, and Tulkarm, was part of the vilayet of Beirut. Jerusalem, Gaza, Hebron, and Beersheba became the sanjak (district) of Jerusalem, which, because of the city’s special religious status and because of European interest, was established as an independent unit governed directly from Constantinople (now Istanbul).
    In classical or contemporary terms, it is also the common name for the area west of the Jordan River. The boundaries of two new states were laid down within the territory of the British Mandate, Palestine and Transjordan. The border was re-drawn so that both sides of the Jordan River and the whole of the Sea of Galilee, including a 10-metre wide strip along the northeastern shore, were made a part of Palestine with the provisons that Syria have fishing and navigation rights in the Lake.
    ____________________________
    The Encyclopedia of World History Sixth Edition, Peter N. Stearns (general editor),

    Reply

  75. Carroll says:

    “Mr. Peretz added: “I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”
    Well that’s the pot callng the kettle back isn’t it…lol…….no group in the US has abused the First Amendment more then the Peretz zios.

    Reply

  76. nadine says:

    In the case of invading a terrorist stronghold where the terrorists are using the civilian population as human shields, a better analogy than a home invasion might be a gunman who is holding a hostage in front of him while spraying bullets. If a cop shoots him and kills the hostage by mistake, it is considered justifiable homicide.
    I was agreeing with you until you began applying the argument to your history of the West Bank, in which you seem to forget that it wasn’t Palestine before 1967, but part of Jordan, and that Israel took it in the course of repelling a Jordanian invasion.

    Reply

  77. Steve Clemons says:

    Timothy — thanks. Will fix. Jet lag.
    Nadine — good to see you commenting. We see things differently, quite.
    best, steve

    Reply

  78. Anthony says:

    Bolton is honest. The rest of America’s security establishment on the other hand…

    Reply

  79. Timothy says:

    An excellent post. Peretz has just gotten worse and worse until he posted that thing you quote.
    But …
    You need to fix this post. In the paragraph about Peretz, you say:
    And now the editor in chief of one of Washington’s most venerable rights-concerned journals of opinion, Martin Peretz, has written clearly that he doubts that Muslim lives are cheap and that in his gut he doesn’t believe Muslims deserve the protections of American laws and civil rights.
    I don’t think you mean that “he doubts that Muslim life is cheap.” I think you mean that “he doubts that Muslim life is worth much.” That Muslim life is cheap is not what he doubts, but what he thinks is true. Or say, “he thinks that Muslim life doesn’t matter” or something.
    There are too many errors of this kind in blog-type postings. You are too good a writer to have something like this on your site. Please fix it.

    Reply

  80. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And what was Obama “saying” when he stood mute as Israel dumped white phosphorous on non-combatant women and children during Operation Cast Lead???
    Or what was Hillary “saying” when she stood before the public discounting the Goldstone report as “seriously flawed”??
    And what were BOTH of these posturing frauds “saying” with their refusal to strongly condemn Israel’s murderous and illegal aggression against the Freedom Flotilla???

    Reply

  81. Dan Kervick says:

    “But it is a mistake to ascribe a moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts, the very purpose of which are to kill civilians, and the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths as a result of military action taken in self-defense.”
    Frankly, that doesn’t seem like it ought to be that controversial a statement, Steve. It is an application of the old Doctrine of Double Effect, and some such distinction has been a standard part of just war thinking for a a long time, although modern refinements of the distinction would probably appeal to principles other than the double effect doctrine in its traditional form.
    The point of the distinction is not to claim that the innocent lives on both sides are of unequal value, or that they are not equally considerable from a moral point of view. Rather the question is whether the two different kinds of killings are equally morally culpable.
    Clearly not. Suppose an assailant invades my home and shoots up two members of my family in an assault involving the indiscriminate spray of bullets, and suppose I fire back in defense of my family and unintentionally strike two innocent passers-by on the street. Surely my own action is far less culpable than the assailants – and is even justifiable.
    The terrorism vs. conventional warfare frame perhaps confuses the issue. The same point could be made about two neighboring countries engaged in conventional warfare, in which one is the aggressor and the other is acting in self-defense against the aggressor, but in which both kill equal numbers of innocent civilians. As long as the actions taken in self-defense are reasonable and proportional in light of the severity of the attack, and as long as due and practicable measures are taken by the defender to avoid civilian casualties, those actions are justifiable.
    The more serious issue where recent Israel military actions are concerned is not these kinds of legitimate efforts at self-defense – and surely many of the Israeli actions can be justified in those terms. The more serious issue is rather the infliction of collective punishment: cases in which the Israelis can be seen as either *deliberately* attacking civilian neighborhoods, or else showing a reckless disregard for civilians out of the frank motive of finding the civilian punishment desirable as a means to furthering their military ends. There is good reason to think that in the Lebanon War in 2006 and later in Cast Lead, at least some Israeli actions, at the command level or in the field, were *intended* to inflict pain on the civilian population as a means of generating upward political pressure tactic against Hamas and Hizbollah. This is also known as state terrorism.
    Bolton’s point should be applied equally. If Israel launches attacks on the occupied territories, part of the very point of which is the aggressive expansion of Israeli territorial holdings and state support of an illegal colonialist movement, then Palestinians are justified in engaging in defense of their land. If innocents are killed in the course of those justifiable self-defense measures, then those killings are surely less culpable than the killings by Israel military forces that occur in the course of assaults that are aimed at conquering, holding and settling Palestinian territory, so long as the defensive measures are reasonable and proportional given the nature of the attacks, and not reckless given the means the Palestinians have available to them.
    This doesn’t apply to straightforward Palestinian terrorism, however, directed against non-combatants. Terrorism – the deliberate targeting of non-combatants – is just wrong.

    Reply

  82. nadine says:

    “But it is a mistake to ascribe a moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts, the very purpose of which are to kill civilians, and the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths as a result of military action taken in self-defense.” (John Bolton)
    Yes, Steve Clemons, I’m sure you do think this devalues “Muslim and Arab life”. That’s because John Bolton can tell soldiers from terrorists, while you can’t. That’s because John Bolton has a moral code while you have only moral equivalence.
    Moral equivalence apparently includes the duty to be unable to distinguish accidents from manslaughter or from first degree murder, since intent or even actions do not matter; only body counts. Or perhaps they do matter with regard to Americans, but not with regard to Arabs or Muslims. It’s so hard to keep up with the ever-changing rules of political correctness.
    Nobody has devalued Arab and Muslim life like the Islamist terrorists who have deliberately killed 100s of thousands of innocent Arabs and Muslims from Morocco to Pakistan; but while you can scarcely murmur against them, you find it easy to go into full-throated cry against a John Bolton.
    I do hope John Bolton is appointed Secretary of State in the next administration in January 2013.
    p.s. Surely you cannot be naive enough to believe that Imam Rauf is actually proposing the Ground Zero Mosque to “promote cultural understanding”. Doesn’t cultural understanding usually involve a modicum of sensitivity to the feelings of other people? Like the feelings of the thousands of New Yorkers who lost loved ones on 9/11?
    I know an election is coming up and you have to do your part, but it seems a very unwise electoral policy to keep calling the 70% of Americans who oppose the Ground Zero Mosque bigots.

    Reply

  83. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Bolton, strangely, was going out of the way to argue that the value of innocents killed on one side of a military equation were not equal to the lives of those on the other side. In other words, for Bolton, innocent life does not equal innocent life”
    Wheres the suprise in that? Considering that we have killed hundreds of thousands in these last nine years, this is not just one man’s opinion, it is also a matter of policy. Just because one sick criminal sack of shit mouths the words, that doesn’t absolve the other sick criminal sacks of shit that actually institute policy from guilt. So Bolton said it. Big fuckin’ deal. Is that any more despicable than actually acting on such a mindset? Obama doesn’t have blood on his hands? Or what about these bigoted bastards like Netanyahu, who have made it clear they consider Muslim lives far less valuable than Jewish lives? Or some posturing bag of trash like Hillary, who only cares about the lives of peaceful protestors if such concern serves a political purpose. Neda’s life is worth more than Tristan Anderson’s?
    Obama’s legacy, (because of his cowardice and lack of conviction, or concern for the desires of those that voted him into office), will be a return to power of these monsters like Cheney and Bolton. And so what, what REALLY are the differences between Obama and Cheney, or Bolton? Words are one thing, but policy is the real nitty gritty. And just like the last batch of criminal pieces of shit, Obama has drenched himself in blood, with his Secretary Of State greasing the skids for more of the same.
    Ho hum. So Bolton is a bloodsuckin’ vampire. Well, so is Obama, and Hillary will undoubtedly put BOTH of them to shame. Killing innocent Muslims is the crime. Justifying it by saying stupid and illuminating words hardly qualifies as equally as egregious. The only difference between Bolton and the rest of these bloodsuckers is he’s just a bit more honest in exposing his true character, and the perverse motives and prejudices such a character spawns. Its these sacks of shit, like Obama, that misrepresent themselves, who we REALLY have to worry about.
    We can SEE the monster in Bolton. But its the unseen snake that bites you.

    Reply

  84. Don Bacon says:

    SC: “we unleashed an America that defiles key aspects of its own DNA.”
    Au contraire, mon ami, religious hatred and even persecution has been a bedrock of America ever since Roger Williams was exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to Providence (RI) and Congregationalists thus spawned Baptists.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *