January 4, 2009

Conservatives unhinged on Gaza?

As I noted the other day, I understand that few areas are more complicated than the chasm between Israel and the Palestinians. This conflict has the weight of ancient history and the weight of modern global politics all viewed through the lens of a particular Biblical view of the region. That last part, it seems to me, particularly muddles our ability to see this region and this conflict clearly.

Certainly smarter people than me know more about this conflict, but the recent Israeli attack on Gaza followed by their ground invasion makes me very, very uncomfortable. I certainly understand the problem of what Hamas is doing with the rocket attacks and those are clearly wrong. But punishing the entire Gaza community to get to those bad actors seems disproportionate.

What is worse is how many conservative Americans seem to be stoking this fire. Greenwald notes the response from former McCain/Palin spokesman and current Weekly Standard editor to a particular Israeli attack on a Gazan home that killed a top Hamas leader along with numerous family members.
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.
As Yglesias noted, this is the ethics of terrorism:
This kind of moral posture is not unheard of, of course. But it’s strange to see the ethics of Osama bin Laden being explicitly adopted by the organs of mainstream conservatism.
What else do you call the sentiment that killing a person's family will force someone else to change their politics? The fact that this comes from a leading conservatives suggests that the neo-con approach to the world--whatever we do is justified because we are us--is still very much alive and well. That sentiment, of course, justified the recent invasion of Iraq, torture and rendition, and the warrant-less wiretapping of American citizens--all justified because those making the decisions believe themselves to be morally justified to do immoral acts for you and I. From a moral perspective, it is shocking and horrifying. Made even more horrifying to see the conservative moral community endorse such actions.

15 days left in this disastrous administration, and hopefully only 15 days left in a world where neo-cons like Goldfarb's justification of terrorism and war crimes turns into policy.

5 comments:

Martin said...

Don't worry, President Obama will solve this and every other problem.

We should all be thankful for the problems in the world. Without them, we might never have been witness to the genius and glory of Barack Obama. The next four years will be the most wonderful in history. Prepare to be dazzled by the awesome Obama.

Streak said...

Stupid troll.

Mina said...

Whatever cause of the conflict, people in Gaza are taking the pain of war. And Obama is silent. In fact, he connives this war. He is in the side of Israel.

Streak said...

Mina, I am not sure I completely agree that Obama has been openly supportive. Bush has, I have no doubt, but Obama is playing this much to close to the vest for my own taste as well. I think he should be speaking out on this too, but also note the political realities for him. Most Americans support Israel, and certainly those in the political power centers do.

But I am not convinced that most Americans support this attack on Gaza. Unfortunately, it is out of sight, out of mind for most of them.

Streak said...

Until Blogger fixes the comment feed for those of us with substantial comments, I am adding this feature to the blog in hopes that it will spur some dialogue.