Wednesday, January 07, 2009
I recall seeing a day or so ago an HBLer post excitedly to the effect that perhaps Dr. John Lewis' recent talks in Israel might have influenced its recent decision to conduct a military offensive in Gaza.
That would be good news, and an excellent start towards Israel finally developing the backbone it should already have, as occupier of the moral high ground in its conflict with the "Palestinians". But it would be just a start. Israel has already shown that it is not pursuing victory:
Earlier today, Israel ordered a pause in its Gaza offensive for three hours to allow food and fuel to reach besieged Palestinians, and the country's leaders debated whether to accept an international cease-fire plan or expand the assault against Hamas.Recall that "Palestinian" civilians -- freely elected Hamas (but no, this is not the only reason that they are fair game) -- the instigators of numerous such attacks against Israel -- as its governing party in 2006. And note further how Americans once responded to an unprovoked attack several decades ago, as described by John Lewis:
With criticism rising of the operation's spiraling civilian death toll and Gazans increasingly suffering the effects of nonstop airstrikes and shelling, Israel's military said opened "humanitarian corridors" to allow aid supplies to reach Palestinians.
Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner said the "recess in offensive operations" was aimed at allowing in supplies and fuel and would last from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m local time (6 a.m. to 9 a.m. EST). He said similar lulls in the coming days would be considered.
However, Lerner said that even during the pause "for every attack against the army, there will be a response." Gaza residents reported scattered gunfire and explosions even after it was supposed to have gone into effect, but the scale of fighting appeared to drop. [bold added]
Americans mount a vigorous offense against the center of the enemy's power. Waves of bombers obliterate dozens of enemy cities. His food is choked off, his military is decimated, his industry is bombarded, his ships are sunk, his harbors are mined -- his people are psychologically shattered. In a single night, a hundred thousand civilians die in a firestorm in his capital. Americans drop leaflets telling the enemy population which cities could be next. Civilians are immersed in propaganda from their government, telling them that they are winning the war -- yet they cower defenselessly while American bombers level their homes.And, as if the contrast between what I suspect Lewis might advocate and what Israel is doing is not obvious enough, Hosni Mubarak, practically dares us to put two and two together and say, "four!"
One of our generals announces his personal goal: to "kill the bastards." [bold added]
Israel's leaders -- including the top troika of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak -- were to discuss whether to broaden the operation in Gaza or move to accept a plan being proposed by Egypt and France to end the fighting.But "military action" (which includes killing people), specifically to render Gaza innocuous to Israel is the way to "deal with" the "causes".
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said the initiative calls for an immediate cease-fire by Israel and Palestinian factions for a limited period to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and an urgent meeting of Israel and the Palestinian side on arrangements to prevent any repetition of military action and to deal with the causes. [bold added]
The "Palestinians" -- to the degree they support, aid, or fail to resist Hamas and renounce terrorism -- are the cause of the problems here, and Hosni Mubarak is not merely aiding them, he is lying. And he looks "good" doing it thanks to altruism, the irrational doctrine that need trumps all other considerations.
Remember this the next time someone claims that there is no rational basis for morality. The twin spectacles playing out in Gaza -- of "military action" without the objective of victory, and savages being spared by diplomacy of the annihilation they deserved long ago -- are being made possible by this demonstrably wrong, immoral, and impractical idea.
PS: Lewis comments on a previous speaking engagement in Israel at Capitalism Magazine.