Let’s Hear that John Bolton Line Now: The Deaths of Innocent Lebanese Not Equivalent to the Deaths of Innocent Israelis

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An Israeli air strike has killed 54 civilians — including 37 children. This after the strike against a UN observation facility where UN staff were killed — and also after hundreds and hundreds of other innocent Lebanese have been killed in the exchanges between Hezbollah and Israeli military forces.
Tension is heating up — finally — between American negotiators and Israeli, but this is long overdue.
But back to John Bolton, who was part of a UN Security Council statement today expressing “extreme shock and distress” over the killings.
At his Thursday Senate confirmation hearings, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee majority staff passed out Ambassador Bolton’s “official statement”. In that opening statement, there appeared a controversial and provocative sentence that asserted that Israelis and Lebanese who become innocent casualties in this war are not morally equivalent. His argument is that Israeli innoncents are more important than Lebanese innocent casualties because the Israelis were attacked by Hezbollah.
It was a shocking sentence, and the moment I saw it, I blogged about it directly from the Senate Hearing Room.
The sentence read:

But it is a mistake to ascribe a moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct resulte 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.

Now, some have misunderstood what happened next. My surprise did not come when John Bolton read a script that was different than the one in hand. What happened was that just as John Bolton was beginning to read his statement, a new statement was distributed — with only this line of text removed.
That is important as it highlights something that the Department of State was not ready to clear — and shows something about John Bolton’s views and personality that State was not ready to sign off on.
After this huge tragedy today — 37 innocent children — in a crude aerial assault, does John Bolton stand by the statement he wanted to give?
Someone in the press ask him.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

53 comments on “Let’s Hear that John Bolton Line Now: The Deaths of Innocent Lebanese Not Equivalent to the Deaths of Innocent Israelis

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    Reply

  2. americana says:

    What if the Native American’s tried what Israel has done:
    Seek to reclaim their homeland currently occupied by invaders who killed and terrorized their people into near extinction.
    Commit terrorist acts against the current government until they submit.
    Seek the help of foreign governments in declaring the land their sovereign state.
    Establish a new government and make the head terrorist Prime Minister.
    Displace all the current residents/owners of the land.
    Create refugee camps for the displaced and curtail their movement by use of checkpoints.
    Take away the freedoms of the refugees and restrict their ability to get to work, to the market, to the hospital, to family or friends.
    Harass them and belittle them. Use brutality and random violence to keep them in line.
    Do you think for a moment that American’s would take that lying down? The world asks the Arabs to take it and like, when Americans wouldnt think of doing the same for the people whose land we are on.

    Reply

  3. americana says:

    What if the Native American’s tried what Israel has done:
    Seek to reclaim their homeland currently occupied by invaders who killed and terrorized their people into near extinction.
    Commit terrorist acts against the current government until they submit.
    Seek the help of foreign governments in declaring the land their sovereign state.
    Establish a new government and make the head terrorist Prime Minister.
    Displace all the current residents/owners of the land.
    Create refugee camps for the displaced and curtail their movement by use of checkpoints.
    Take away the freedoms of the refugees and restrict their ability to get to work, to the market, to the hospital, to family or friends.
    Harass them and belittle them. Use brutality and random violence to keep them in line.
    Do you think for a moment that American’s would take that lying down? The world asks the Arabs to take it and like, when Americans wouldnt think of doing the same for the people whose land we are on.

    Reply

  4. MP says:

    Marky writes: “There are no 2000 year absentee land leases.”
    Except, of course, Jews have been living on that land all along. If Native Americans had been dwelling in “Central Park” all this time, we might have a different situation on our hands.

    Reply

  5. marky says:

    At the heart of this matter is the question of Israel’s legitimacy. To me, Israel is fact on the ground, a state which has thrived for almost 60 years and which I have no desire to see end.
    However, I do not see the state of Israel as any more legitimate than Iraq or Yugoslavia: to me, the creation of Israel was an extremely unwise decision by the Western powers which was guaranteed to cause strife. The Jews have no more claim to that land than the Native Americans have to Manhattan Island. There are no 2000 year absentee land leases.
    I understand that many vehemently disagree with me, but it is undeniable that there is not a uniform opinion among people of good will that the creation of Israel was a well-considered decision.
    I believe that radically new approaches to drawing the boundaries in the ME must be considered. The current boundaries will not stand.

    Reply

  6. facts says:

    You don’t agree that Israel’s response is immoral.
    I oppose and deeply resent our complicity in providing to Israel the means* to engage in what I consider immoral acts.
    We’ll have to leave it at that.
    * http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0B10FC3F5B0C718EDDAE0894DE404482

    Reply

  7. larry birnbaum says:

    facts, well, sure. I’m not going to debate at this time the aims of these peoples, organizations, and governments and whether those aims are good or bad, or moral or not. I’m simply talking about means. Your original claim as I took it was that Israel’s reaction to the threat it faces was immoral. (Actually you didn’t mention the threat, only the response.) I don’t agree, and I don’t see how the fact that the Palestinians and Lebanese also feel threatened or that Hezbollah miscalculated is material to this question.

    Reply

  8. facts says:

    Hezbollah’s past clearly reveals that they mounted attacks and felt empowered even prior to being in possession of longer range missiles. They feel empowered by their arsenal the same way Israel feels about being in possession of hundreds of F16s with laser guided ‘precision’ ammunition. Lebanese and Palestinian civilians feel threatened with equal legitimacy.
    According to Hezbollah officials, they did not expect this overwhelming response and were angling
    for leverage to facilitate a subsequent exchange of prisoners.
    http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/07/25/D8J37I5O1.html

    Reply

  9. larry birnbaum says:

    facts, I think I made it clear through my use of the term “subsequently” that the Hezbollah missile attacks were not the initial provocation. I think it would be ridiculous to argue however that they did not feel empowered to engage in their initial provocation precisely because they had this arsenal of missiles aimed at Israeli civilians, or to argue that Israelis wouldn’t feel legitimately threatened by this arsenal and want to do something about it once it was established, in actual fact, that Hezbollah would actually use this threat to support provocative actions.

    Reply

  10. facts says:

    Israel has violated Lebanese sovereignty with impunity for years. There’s also a documented record of prisoner exchanges. You’re presenting
    a false alternative.
    The hundreds of missiles did not get fired until after Israel started pulverizing Lebanese infrastructure. You’re objections to ball bearings are understood. I assume you feel the same way about cluster munitions.
    http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/24/isrlpa13798.htm

    Reply

  11. larry birnbaum says:

    I’m not sure what you think I’m obfuscating. The Israeli attacks are killing hundreds of civilians and destroying a great deal of civilian infrastructure. That may seem disproportionate to you. The alternative is to allow a sworn enemy, who attacked them without provocation, and who subsequently fired hundreds of missiles with the intent of killing civilians (hence ball bearings in the warheads), to continue to threaten them. You think this is an acceptable trade-off. They don’t.

    Reply

  12. facts says:

    The IDF at present seems to represent a different Israeli government than the one you keep referring to, Larry. They’re destroying a country, killing hundreds of innocents in the process. Obfuscation is not an option anymore. The world is an eyewitness.
    Israel’s ambassador to the UN stated at the Pro-Israel rally:”To the people who claim that we use disproportionate force, I have only this to say: You’re damn right”

    Reply

  13. larry birnbaum says:

    That’s sick as well. However I’d make the point that the Yesha Rabbinical Council isn’t the government of Israel, and that isn’t in fact the policy of the Israeli government, while Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government and, de facto, the government in south Lebanon, and that the converse is, demonstrably, its policy.

    Reply

  14. reader says:

    Yesha Rabbinical Council: During time of war, enemy has no innocents
    The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that “according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as ‘innocents’ of the enemy.”
    All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians,” the statement said.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/1,7340,L-3283720,00.html
    A chilling reminder that fanaticism isn’t limited to one side.

    Reply

  15. larry birnbaum says:

    Nancy, my point was not meant to endorse Bolton, but simply to say that I thought Steve had misunderstood and misrepresented his stand in this instance. He implied that Bolton thought some lives were worth less than others — in effect that he was the worst kind of racist. I thought that was unfair. Also your post raises questions of ownership and territory in online discussions. Steve doesn’t require registration or login to comment on his blog.
    Daveport, I haven’t read Dershowitz’s article though I’ve heard about it in a scattered way. Again I’m sure he isn’t talking about the values of the lives lost but about legal responsibility for those deaths.
    I was listening to the BBC yesterday and they were interviewing I think a UN person providing assistance in southern Lebanon. This person made the point that the UN was not in fact going to assist in civilian evacuation because this might be viewed as leaning politically towards one side. I can’t imagine they simply dreamed this up on their own. So my inference is that the UN is not going to help evacuate civilians from a war zone because one of the combatant sides wants them to be there. That’s pretty sick, don’t you think?

    Reply

  16. Daveport says:

    Larry Birnbaum:
    Although I respect your opinions, I don’t think you are up to date on what’s been going on lately. The fact that such a statement was ever included in Bolton’s speech is critical and the fact that it was removed is quite illustrative of the many points Steve has been trying to make on this blog. Did you not know that Alan Dershowitz, the respected Harvard legal mind, wrote an oped piece a week or so ago in the LA Times which focused on the very statement Bolton made. He spent several paragraphs arguing and justifying why in fact one such death (Israeli)is more tragic than the other (Lebanese). When I read Steve’s post and considered the White House’s overwhelming attempt to bring the pro-Israel people on board for Bolton (Dershowitz is one of these people), it all made sense. Oh, and for the record, I am not antisemitic- I love my American and Israeli Jewish friends of which I have always had many. I just do not support Israel all of the time. I especially don’t support them at a time when their actions are exceedingly excessive and the consequences of their actions are most unfavorable to the U.S. as well as the rest of the Middle East. Whether you like it or not, to me, one innocent civilian’s life is just as important as another’s if it is tragically lost. To argue that one is more valuable than the other is rather inhumane and disgusting. Just ask the mothers of all the people who’ve died in Lebanon, Israel, and Iraq in the past week. I don’t think any of them would argue in favor of Bolton’s very clear point.

    Reply

  17. karen says:

    Marky;
    I forgot to mention that your comment was an excellent analogy. It’s somehow OK to attack people if you give them fair warning to get out first? (I guess NYers and those in DC better start packing!)

    Reply

  18. karen says:

    “Bin Laden has warned that the US will be attacked again. Does he need to specify a target before he can invoke the Zionist excuse?”
    Just wondering.
    Posted by marky
    Marky: The answer to satisfy your curiosity is this: He HAS specified a target-or rather 2 of them!! Below is an excerpt from Bin Laden’s ‘Letter to the American People’ from Nov 2002 and the link to the full letter…
    “…we call upon you to end your support of the corrupt leaders in our countries. Do not interfere in our politics and method of education. Leave us alone, or else expect us in New York and Washington.”
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/worldview/story/0,11581,845725,00.html

    Reply

  19. Nancy/Ca says:

    Um Larry,you’ve obviously wandered onto the wrong blog for you if you feel the need to defend John Bolton! Or you are seriously not aware of this man’s past record!? Hopefully you are not one of those paid to defend anything re.Israel on foreign affair blogs that the English Press found out about?

    Reply

  20. larry birnbaum says:

    Steve,
    I believe you are simply misreading Bolton’s statement here. He is not talking about the values of the lives lost. He is talking about the culpability of the agent whose actions resulted in their deaths.
    You have plenty of legitimate arguments to make about Bolton without stretching a point in this way. And you’re smart enough that I imagine you might have at least thought about this point; to my eyes the post seems very close to disingenuous.
    My guess by the way as to why this sentence was removed is that it is both liable to being misread this way — although, I’ll be honest with you, I think it’s a stretch to do so — and that it’s very tasteless for him to harp on this in the context of what’s happened. So it would have been a sign of poor communication skills and lack of judgment for it to be included. If it was struck by him, good for him. If someone else made him take it out, well, that’s basically been your point about him all along, that he’s not suited to a diplomatic post. That’s a perfectly reasonable point for you to take without deliberately misreading the guy to a point, frankly, that’s close to slanderous.

    Reply

  21. david says:

    Didn’t get any reaction to this when i posted it several days ago. a great dylan song from one of his best records, interestingly (and fittingly) titled “infidels.” seems as pertinent today as ever. i think he’s spot on.
    NEIGHBORHOOD BULLY
    Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man,
    His enemies say he’s on their land.
    They got him outnumbered about a million to one,
    He got no place to escape to, no place to run.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    The neighborhood bully just lives to survive,
    He’s criticized and condemned for being alive.
    He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin,
    He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land,
    He’s wandered the earth an exiled man.
    Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn,
    He’s always on trial for just being born.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,
    Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
    Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.
    The bombs were meant for him.
    He was supposed to feel bad.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
    That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him,
    ‘Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
    And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    He got no allies to really speak of.
    What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love.
    He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
    But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace,
    They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease.
    Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly.
    To hurt one they would weep.
    They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone,
    Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon.
    He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand,
    In bed with nobody, under no one’s command.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    Now his holiest books have been trampled upon,
    No contract he signed was worth what it was written on.
    He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth,
    Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    What’s anybody indebted to him for?
    Nothin’, they say.
    He just likes to cause war.
    Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed,
    They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.
    What has he done to wear so many scars?
    Does he change the course of rivers?
    Does he pollute the moon and stars?
    Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill,
    Running out the clock, time standing still,
    Neighborhood bully.
    Copyright © 1983 Special Rider Music

    Reply

  22. Little says:

    Condoleezza Rice is a disaster for the US’s image in the Middle East. The sight of this woman prancing around, grinning like an idiot at every opportunity is an insult to those whose people are dying. At least secretaries of state from the past, such as Henry Kissinger and Warren Christopher, had the grace to look worried and concerned for the cameras.
    John Little Cronulla

    Reply

  23. haji says:

    Den,
    Of course, and I said as much. No matter what, it is a sad, wreteched, despicable event that should never be allowed to happen. But when assigning moral blame, one _must_ make an inductive attempt to identify the _intent_ of the attacker.

    Reply

  24. Den Valdron says:

    Seems to me that in either case, dead is dead. I don’t see them there children ‘popping’ back to life any time soon. I don’t see them being any less dead, for whatever moral game gets played. I don’t think that mothers will weep less.

    Reply

  25. haji says:

    Matthew:
    Wait.. are you talking about Lebanese prisoners, or just Shia prisoners? If you are referring to just a sect of a religion, your argument is clearly nonsensical. But if you are referring to Lebanese prisoners, you _might_ have a point.
    The problem is, I remember seeing that Israel had admitted to holding 3 Lebanese before this began, but that Nasrallah and Co accused him of holding 4. One of those 3(or 4) is Samir Kuntar, a hero to the Shia you support. Are you familiar with him?

    Reply

  26. MP says:

    Matt writes: “If someone breaks into your house (Israel) because you are holding hundreds of Shia hostages (prisoners), then maybe you don’t have the right of self-defense. A country as lawless as Israel makes a bad subject for legal metaphors.”
    Unless, of course, you’re holding those prisoners for reasons of self-defense. You can’t get out of this maze by calling one side “lawless” and the other side as blameless. It is always possible to justify one’s actions by pointing to antecedents by the other side. I tend to see the Israeli side; that’s my bias, if you will. But I would say that a majority of the folks posting on this site are biased in the other direction. For example, UN resolutions are listed at length, but somehow 181 is always left out. And it’s pretty clear, from their charters, that neither Hamas nor Hizbollah recognize this legality. This conflict won’t be over until both sides can set aside the past (without disregarding it) long enough to allow new behavior, attitudes, and agreements to take root. In this regard, I’ve never seen the utility in not talking with one’s adversary simply because he’s a terrorist. If he’s your adversary, you have to engage him–talk with him–but you don’t have accept everything he does or wants. That is, talking with your enemy isn’t the same as appeasing him.

    Reply

  27. blintz says:

    Yeah, Where’s the Outrage, I agree with you that Israel really screwed themselves by their response to the taking of two their soldiers; Hezbollah is celebrating. And, if I may correct for all what is undoubtedly an error in your typing. In your reference to the UN resolution you typed “It’s Israel’s fault that Lebanon cannot/will not abide by UN resolution 1559,” while you actually must have meant, if your comment is to be coherent, “It’s Lebanon’s fault that Israel cannot/will not abide by UN resolution 242.”
    Cheers.

    Reply

  28. Matthew says:

    Haji: That’s a stupid argument. At best it’s imcomplete. If someone breaks into your house (Israel) because you are holding hundreds of Shia hostages (prisoners), then maybe you don’t have the right of self-defense. A country as lawless as Israel makes a bad subject for legal metaphors.

    Reply

  29. haji says:

    “And in both cases, the actor responsible is the same person: the perpetrator of the crime.”
    should read:
    “And in both cases, the actor responsible is the same person: the man who broke into your house.”
    ie, there is a difference between moral and physical causality.

    Reply

  30. marcus alrealius alrightus says:

    Dirk – To make it easier for the rest of us to read these comments please use tinyurl.com when posting links.

    Reply

  31. haji says:

    You’re joking right? There is a clear _lack_ of moral equivalence between the targeted killing of civilians without tactical military significance and the innoportune killing of civilians in a military strike of self-defense.
    When someone breaks into your house, and attacks you and your family, and you respond by shooting the perpetrator, if your bullet misses him and strikes your child, and then he kills another of your children, there is a clear difference in the moral significance that should be attached to each act. In both cases, a poor, innocent civilian was killed. And in both cases, the actor responsible is the same person: the perpetrator of the crime.

    Reply

  32. High Me says:

    A United States Senator – regardless of the support or lack of support he might get from certain factions of his supporters – should always consider the needs of the very country he has been elected to serve over the needs of a foreign entity. He is not a member of the Israeli Knesset. He’s a member of the U.S. Senate. Perhaps, someone should remind him of this little fact.
    Posted by Davenport at July 31, 2006 09:28 AM
    I suggest that it would be best if Jesse Jackson, with a big smile, reminded Schumer of this little fact.

    Reply

  33. Where's the Outrage Against the US? says:

    I don’t understand why there’s so much more rage against the Israeli Army in Lebanon on this blog than against the US Army activities in Iraq. Has anyone here looked at the Iraqi Body Count lately?
    If a pan-Islamic terrorist group was firing over the US border right now from Mexico or Canada, and those governments were deemed too weak to fight the militias, you can bet that the US response would be far harsher and longer. It’s easy to forget that from the comfort of your US homes.
    Israel has a record of being far more cautious about civilian deaths than does the US. Remember the ‘Jenin Massacre’ (which was eventually proved a hoax)… it was one such example of the Israelis using ground troops rather than air power to protect civilians because of high population density.
    Let’s face it whenever the Israelis act militarily they will be condemned because their enemies have weaker weapons systems.
    Hezbollah will be celebrating the coming ceasefire. When they started firing the rockets in to Northern Israel months ago, they knew the consequences could be severe for the Lebanese people. In an organizational sense they continue to be uncaring about civilian death. It’s simply a tool for them. They’ll be happy with their enhanced status.
    This is all a very grim calculus, which I am really loathe to participate in. I dislike Bolton just as much as the next TWN reader, but the fact is the Israelis have the higher moral ground here. It’s Israel’s fault that Lebanon cannot/will not abide by UN resolution 1559. And there is a fundamental difference between the Israelis who target terrorist primarily and Hezbollah that targets civilians primarily.

    Reply

  34. Marcia says:

    Schumer has stated the test for Bolton, Israel. Allegiance to a foreign power comes before consideration of Bolton’s total inaptitude in representing the US at the UN. Speechs mean nothing. Just watch what they do. Hagel is a republican, Spector is a republican, their indecision is normal, there is no reason to expect anything from them.
    The democrats are preparing to roll over once again as usual. It is disgusting! We have become the country where everything is for sale, and they are selling us out.

    Reply

  35. MP says:

    “As the Lebanese pull the mangled bodies of their children out of the rubble of Qana, and the Palestinians bury their dead in Gaza, I could forgive them for thinking that the only way to bring fairness and justice to a world now ruled by the morally obtuse and the politically purblind is through violence and extremism.
    Posted by Jean at July 31, 2006 11:18 AM”
    Except, of course, that is precisely what got them there to begin with.

    Reply

  36. USA says:

    Schumer said, point blank, that he will vote for Bolton because the interests of Israel supercede the interests of the United States.
    I think I will defer to Mel Gibson for any further comment.

    Reply

  37. sandstone says:

    well, at least they all know where there funding is coming from…that is what this is about- money and whether they will get any or not.

    Reply

  38. Jean says:

    “those of us who are appalled at Israel’s current behavior have no reliable representation”
    I’d say kick the bastards out and elect someone else, except that NO American politician or candidate dares criticize Israel. Here’s Ned Lamont, the “progressive” antiwar darling of the netroots, on Israel’s massacres in Lebanon:
    “I’ve been very clear from the get-go that [I’m] a supporter of Israel…I don’t think it’s for the United States to dictate how Israel tactically defends itself.”
    http://www.forward.com/articles/8190
    As the Lebanese pull the mangled bodies of their children out of the rubble of Qana, and the Palestinians bury their dead in Gaza, I could forgive them for thinking that the only way to bring fairness and justice to a world now ruled by the morally obtuse and the politically purblind is through violence and extremism.

    Reply

  39. Jeff Carroll says:

    Attempts to hang this albatross around Bolton’s neck are doomed to fail as long as Congressional Democrats are boycotting al-Maliki for expressing pro-Lebanese sympathies.
    Unfortunately, those of us who are appalled at Israel’s current behavior have no reliable representation on the Hill.

    Reply

  40. Punchy says:

    Mr. Clemons;
    What do you think of the head-spinning announcement from Schumer that he’ll support Bolton now? Can you believe this crap?
    So…Bolton is LOSING Republican support and GAINING Democratic support…I cannot believe what I am typing…talk about Twilight Zone….

    Reply

  41. Davenport says:

    Steve:
    I wish that Mr. Blitzer had mentioned your post to Senator Schumer last night on CNN. As reported by RAW STORY the topic of Mr. Bolton’s confirmation did come up and this was one of the comments Senator Schumer made:
    “Well, let me say this. There’s a good part of Bolton. He’s been a staunch and very good defender of Israel at the U.N. There’s a bad part of Bolton. He seems to have a “go at it alone” attitude at a time when we need the nations of the world on our side.”
    Not to be too simplistic, but shouldn’t this simple statement be enough reason for any reasonable elected U.S. official to vote against Bolton? Although the U. S. should continuously consider the needs and interests of those states we choose to call our allies, our own needs and interests undoubtedly come first. A United States Senator – regardless of the support or lack of support he might get from certain factions of his supporters – should always consider the needs of the very country he has been elected to serve over the needs of a foreign entity. He is not a member of the Israeli Knesset. He’s a member of the U.S. Senate. Perhaps, someone should remind him of this little fact.

    Reply

  42. Jean says:

    Sadly, Bolton only articulates, if clumsily and “ineffectively”, the actual policies and views of not only the Bush administration, but the vast majority of members of Congress, who provide the military aid and political cover for Israel’s continuing crimes against humanity.
    I can’t stand John Bolton, but I hope he’s confirmed, since I’d rather see America’s foreign policy pushed by an ineffective bully than an effective one.

    Reply

  43. Linda says:

    Steve,
    Not only should the press ask Bolton that question, but FR Committee has not yet voted on Bolton confirmation. Am I correct that any memmber of the Committee could still ask that question of Bolton in writing?
    Has anyone ever broken down the estimates of civilian deaths (“collateral damage”) in Iraq since 3/03 to know how many children have been killed? And do we really need an exact figure or a good estimate to understand why they hate us or anybody hates anyone enough to kill children? Most of the arguments made in the UN, in legislatures, and even on this blog get bogged down in trying to find the justification and moral high ground. There isn’t any. A three-year old child, whether Lebanese, Israeli, Iraqi, or American, is a three-year old child who doesn’t hate or kill or know his/her nationality or religion. They have to be taught by parents and teachers and religious leaders.
    Not that the above is a very original idea as Rodgers and Hammerstein said it very simply in
    “South Pacific”:
    You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear,
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year to year,
    It’s got to be drummed
    In your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.
    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.
    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
    Before you are six or seven or eight,
    To hate all the people your relatives hate,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught
    Somebody also might want to ask Hillary how big a village it takes to do that teaching.

    Reply

  44. Paul says:

    Steve — You properly say “someone in the press ask him.” May I add as a friendly amendment “someone in the Senate call him back and ask him.” Best wishes. Paul.

    Reply

  45. Dirk says:

    Interesting: Russia just published a list of groups it considers as terrorist organizations, but Hamas and Hezbollah are not on it.
    The EU considers Hamas as a terrorist organization but does not list Hezbollha as a terrorist group.
    I can’t verify this but the comments in the Yahoo article suggest that only the US, UK, Israel and Canada consider Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060728/ap_on_re_eu/russia_terrorist_organizations;_ylt=AiltUoSVntd62NCjd38QHnd0bBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTBjMHVqMTQ4BHNlYwN5bnN1YmNhdA–

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  46. Carroll says:

    Two shipments of jet fuel to Isr..300 million
    One Blown Up Gaza Power station….45 million +
    Aid to Lebanon…………………30 million
    Two shipments of Missiles………??? millions +
    ..and this is just 18 days…but what the hell, it’s just us American taxpayer’s money. We could have cured that so called short fall in SS twice over with what has been spent on Iraq…three times over if we could find the money we stole from Iraq.

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  47. David Johnson says:

    “Has America no conscience? Where is the outrage?”
    America lacks a government that responds to the will of the people, rather it responds to the ‘opinion’ of the people by constantly portraying the Israelis as the oppressed. “Today we’re all Israelis” declared Hillary Clinton. Fox news camps out in Israel and constantly portrays Israel as responding to those hateful terrorists controlled by Iran and Syria.
    Meanwhile the United States ‘quietly’ speeds more guided bombs to Israel. The latest invention by the United States should be called the “Moral Bomb” (a recent advancement to the Holy Hand Grenade) No matter how its used or who it kills, you can still blame your enemy for making you drop it.
    Coming soon… the economic bailout of Israel because of the damage Hezbollah inflicted on it.

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  48. Carroll says:

    “Has America no conscience? Where is the outrage?
    Posted by Easy E at July 31, 2006 12:17 AM”
    There is plenty of outrage out here…or maybe not outrage, maybe I should say shock. I went to a small dinner gathering tonight and the deaths of the children in the Israeli bombing was mentioned. The reaction was interesting to watch. Most people, after they commented on it, or after someone else said something, would look down or away from whoever they were engaged in talking to about it….a picky litle observation perhaps, but a typical human tic signaling shame or embrassment.
    I don’t know how we can be shamed any more than we already have …but I am sure the rulers of Isrmerica won’t stop here. Why should they? No one has stood up and made them.

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  49. Easy E says:

    Has America no conscience? Where is the outrage?

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  50. Matthew says:

    Marky identifies the slippery slope: If bin Laden warns the people of NY, and the city doesn’t empty out, do we then blame NYers for their own deaths? (I think not.) Even assuming that the Israeli tactic of warning civilians to clear towns shields them from war crimes, the fact that the IDF previously destroyed the bridges and highways one might use for an escape, does not. And if giving a warning is sufficient, I guess Ilsamic Jihad can just call in a general threat to Sderot and be in the clear, right? (I don’t expect any Israel apologist agreeing with that.)

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  51. marky says:

    I have another question. Does Bolton subscribe to the Israeli view that if civilians are warned of an impending attack, then Israel is not culpable for their deaths if they stay? This harks back to the King David Hotel attack, which was preceded by a warning by Jewish terrorists that an attack was forthcoming.
    So.. Bin Laden has warned that the US will be attacked again. Does he need to specify a target before he can invoke the Zionist excuse?
    Just wondering.

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  52. MT says:

    Well, the innocent Lebanon were warned. The Israelis have no idea their neighbors dislike them that much.

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  53. steambomb says:

    Better yet Steve. You get a digital movie camera and take someone with you and you ask him. You know too well that no one in the MSM will ask him. Just a humble suggestion. I am not in washington.

    Reply

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