AntiWar.com – “Rationalizing Gaza: How They Do It” by Justin Raimondo – 05 Jan 09:

We all know the rationalization for Israel’s brutal invasion of the Gaza Strip. After all, it’s been reiterated endlessly over the airwaves by official and unofficial spokesmen for the Israeli government, on all channels, and with no rebuttal or skeptical perspective from Palestinians or, indeed, from anyone vaguely sympathetic to their plight. Their argument goes like this: if rockets were coming from Mexican territory and landing in San Diego, posing a threat to the life and safety of American citizens, we all know what would happen.

This is supposed to settle the question of the morality of the invasion, but it doesn’t. Because what we are seeing in this argument is a variation on the old cherry-picking technique of the neocons in the Bush administration, who utilized “talking points” that were very selective in their presentation of the facts to make the case for invading Iraq.

What the rationalizers leave out, of course, is the ongoing blockade of Gaza, imposed after Hamas took control in the wake of its overwhelming election victory – and an attempted (and partially successful) coup d’etat by the losers of that election, the Fatah organization of the late Yasser Arafat (now headed up by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas). The blockade itself was an act of war, by which the Israelis struck the first blow.… [read the full article]

Salon.com – “Orwell, Blinding Tribalism, Selective Terrorism, and Israel/Gaza” by Glenn Greenwald – 4 Jan 09:

Former McCain-Palin campaign spokesman and current Weekly Standard editor Michael Goldfarb notes that Israel, a couple of days ago, dropped a 2,000-pound bomb on a Gazan home which killed a top Hamas leader . . . in addition to 18 others, including his four wives and nine of his children. About the killing of those innocent civilians, Goldfarb writes (h/t John Cole via email):

“The fight against Islamic radicals always seems to come around to whether or not they can, in fact, be deterred, because it’s not clear that they are rational, at least not like us. But to wipe out a man’s entire family, it’s hard to imagine that doesn’t give his colleagues at least a moment’s pause. Perhaps it will make the leadership of Hamas rethink the wisdom of sparking an open confrontation with Israel under the current conditions.”

That, of course, is just a slightly less profane version of Marty Peretz’s chest-beating proclamation that the great value of the attack on Gaza is to teach those Arabs a lesson: “do not fuck with the Jews.”

There are few concepts more elastic and subject to exploitation than “Terrorism,” the all-purpose justifying and fear-mongering term. But if it means anything, it means exactly the mindset which Goldfarb is expressing: slaughtering innocent civilians in order to “send a message,” to “deter” political actors by making them fear that continuing on the same course will result in the deaths of civilians and — best of all, from the Terrorist’s perspective — even their own children and other family members.

To the Terrorist, by definition, that innocent civilians and even children are killed isn’t a regrettable cost of taking military action. It’s not a cost at all. It’s a benefit. It has strategic value. Goldfarb explicitly says this: “to wipe out a man’s entire family, it’s hard to imagine that doesn’t give his colleagues at least a moment’s pause.”

That, of course, is the very same logic that leads Hamas to send suicide bombers to slaughter Israeli teenagers in pizza parlors and on buses and to shoot rockets into their homes. It’s the logic that leads Al Qaeda to fly civilian-filled airplanes into civilian-filled office buildings. And it’s the logic that leads infinitely weak and deranged people like Goldfarb and Peretz to find value in the killing of innocent Palestinians, including — one might say, at least in Goldfarb’s case: especially — children.… [read the full article]

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