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Candide Recommends: Friday, July 21, 2006
A Festivus of Israel Apologists
  • The Israel apologists are out in force. Jacob Wiseberg says don’t blame Bush for for Israel’s attack on Lebanon, in Slate. He only wants to blame “Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.” Notice the absence of Israel (Weisberg in full here…) . The piece is a variation on the theme of David Brooks’ latest column, “The Fever Is Winning,” where the same blind spot for Israeli actions and responsibility lays the blame for the entire crisis at the foot of goons on the other side of Israel’s borders. And Michael Walzer does the same in the New Republic, going as far as theorizing about just war and shrouding Israel in the myth. Leave it to Paul Krugman to set a few myths straight: “Would the current crisis on the Israel-Lebanon border have happened even if the Bush administration had actually concentrated on fighting terrorism, rather than using 9/11 as an excuse to pursue the crazies’ agenda? Nobody knows. But it’s clear that the United States would have more options, more ability to influence the situation, if Mr. Bush hadn’t squandered both the nation’s credibility and its military might on his war of choice.”
  • But it may be too late if all they want is war with Iran or Syria. In a double-teaming for war on the New York Times Op-Ed page, Ted Koppel uses the proxy words of others basically to say that the United States is not only already at war in Iran, in Lebanon and Iraq, but that the Iraq war should be seen as the principal front of that war. So: forget the WMD rationale, forget the get-rid-of-Saddam rationale, forget the democracy-in-Iraq rationale. We’re in Iraq to stop Iran. (Koppel’s full column here). While Koppel takes on Iran, Thomas Friedman, his lust for war apparently still intact, goes after Syria; he doesn’t call for war exactly so much as a gradual set of steps toward war, if his proposals fail: “It is time that The World of Order got its act together. This is not Israel’s fight alone — and if you really want to see a “disproportional’’ Israeli response, just keep leaving Israel to fight this war alone. Then you will see some real craziness. George Bush and Condi Rice need to realize that Syria on its own is not going to press Hezbollah — in Mr. Bush’s immortal words — to just “stop doing this shit.’’ The Bush team needs to convene a coalition of The World of Order. If it won’t, it should let others more capable do the job. We could start with the elder George Bush and Bill Clinton, whose talents could be used for more than just tsunami relief.” So, is this the first time the word shit appears on the New York Times Op-Ed page?
  • Israel’s attack on Lebanon is inspiring a new round of aggressive invasions, such as a possible Turkish intervention in Iraq to quash Kurds. The Counterterrorism Blog writes: “ Turkey is currently making a lot of noise about launching a cross-border incursion into Iraq to engage the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in combat operations. On July 18, Professor Sedat Laciner published an article in the Turkish Weekly comparing the situation that Turkey faces from the PKK to the threat Israel faces from Hamas and Hizballah. After stating that Western countries have defended Israel's right to self-defense, Prof. Laciner asks, "But, does the right of self defence just belong to Israel in the Middle East? For example, doesn’t Turkey have such a right?"

In Other Worlds

  • The blogosphere in India is roaring over the Indian government’s ban, or censorship, or blockage, or block-headed attempt to shut-down, more than a dozen web sites as part of its block-headed response to the terror attacks in Mumbai. The slavishly dedicated DesiPundit has the run of links to the whole story…
  • Doris Lessing on D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover: “We are among the ruins," says Lawrence, opening the tale which is supposed to be all about sex, and announcing what I think is the major theme of the novel, usually overlooked. It is permeated with the first world war, the horror of it. And against the horrors, the rotting bodies, the senseless slaughter of the trenches, the postwar poverty and bleakness - against the cataclysm, "the fallen skies", Lawrence proposes to put in the scales love, tender sex, the tender bodies of people in love; England would be saved by warm-hearted fucking.” See the essay in The Guardian…




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