The Neighborhood Bully
As much as it pains me to admit, there are occasions in which the 43rd president of the United States is, well, right. And I will give Dumbya and his administration props on the U.S. response to the United Nations Security Council's lame-brained condemnation of Israel in the wake of the Gaza attacks.
The U.S. was the lone "no" vote to the resolution, which condemned Israel's "disproportionate" military response to Palestinian attacks originating from the Gaza Strip. Ten countries voted to approve the resolution, with four nations -- Great Britain, Denmark, Peru and Slovakia -- abstaining.
"The draft was reworked repeatedly to address concerns that it was too biased against Israel. Language was added calling for the release of an abducted soldier and urging the Palestinians to stop firing rockets at Israel.
"Nonetheless, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said it was still unacceptable because it had been overtaken by events in the region -- including the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah militants on Wednesday -- and was 'unbalanced.'
'''It placed demands on one side in the Middle East conflict but not the other,' Bolton said. 'This draft resolution would have exacerbated tensions in the region.'"
The resolution smacks of bona fide U.N. logic:
1. Israel pulls out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, a show of good faith setting the stage for the Palestinians to practice self-governance.
2. Palestinians vote in a government of committed terrorists, the Hamas organization.
3. Palestinian terrorists kidnap an Israeli soldier and send crude, makeshift rockets into Israel.
4. Israel responds -- as it has to so many times over the decades -- with a shit-pounding ferocity in hopes the ostensibly peace-loving people of the Gaza Strip will leave them alone.
5. The Zionist-hating gang at the U.N. crafts a broadside of thinly veiled anti-Semitism, tsk-tsking those wicked Jews.
Speaking in Germany today, President Bush made a simple statement that is hardly brilliant (I don't think I could ever accuse this president of brilliance), but, for some inexplicable reason, something with which most of the world doesn't agree.
This is the statement: "Israel has the right to defend herself."
Judging by the reactions of American mainstream media and much of the globe, however, that right is hardly a given.
Dig the media spin:
A July 1 New York Times story by Ian Fisher offered this less-than-unbiased view on the situation:
"Nearly a week after the attack in which the Israeli soldier was taken, the Israeli military operation has not yet created a full-blown crisis for the 1.3 million people who live in the already poor and violent Gaza Strip.
"But aid groups worry that one could come more quickly now than it might have under other circumstances. Gaza has already been squeezed financially ... since Hamas, classified by the United States and the European Union as a terrorist group (emphasis added), took power in January elections and the West cut off financial aid."
Umm... is there a legitimate disagreement about whether Hamas is a terrorist organization? Does Ian Fisher know anything about the history of Hamas?
Good God almighty, I know I'm sounding dangerously close to a neocon, but there is a friggin' gulf of difference between our nation's war of choice in Iraq and Israel's necessary reaction to daily provocation from neighbors committed to its ultimate destruction.
And yet ... and yet the media bias continues. By way of example, The Washington Post's Anthony Shadid, Scott Wilson and William Branigin today report on Hezbollah recently firing missiles into Israel's resort city of Haifa, that country's third-largest city:
"Although no casualties were reported in the attack on Haifa, Israel's ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon, said the southernmost strike to date represented a 'major escalation' of the fighting."
Nice. The writers make the inference, of course, that it's somehow befuddling that the ambassador could call the strikes a "major escalation" since there were no casualties. Incompetent terrorism should get a free pass?
In perhaps the first and last time this blog turns to Charles Krauthammer for wisdom, I offer this astute essay of his from Time:
"What is so remarkable about the current wave of violence in Gaza is that the event at the origin of the 'cycle' is not at all historical, but very contemporary. The event is not buried in the mists of history. It occurred less than one year ago. Before the eyes of the whole world, Israel left Gaza. Every Jew, every soldier, every military installation, every remnant of Israeli occupation was uprooted and taken away.
"How do the Palestinians respond? ... On the very day of Israel's final pullout, the Palestinians began firing rockets out of Gaza into Israeli towns on the other side of the border. And remember: those are attacks not on settlers but on civilians in Israel proper, the pre-1967 Israel that the international community recognizes as legitimately part of sovereign Israel, a member state of the U.N. A thousand rockets have fallen since.
"For what possible reason? Before the withdrawal, attacks across the border could have been rationalized with the usual Palestinian mantra of occupation, settlements and so on. But what can one say after the withdrawal?
"The logic for those continued attacks is to be found in the so-called phase plan adopted in 1974 by the Palestine National Council in Cairo. Realizing that they would never be able to destroy Israel in one fell swoop, the Palestinians adopted a graduated plan to wipe out Israel. First, accept any territory given to them in any part of historic Palestine. Then, use that sanctuary to wage war until Israel is destroyed."
" ... Consider the history of the past 12 months. Gaza is free of occupation, yet Gaza wages war. Why? Because this war is not about occupation, but about Israel's very existence. The so-called cycle will continue until the arrow is abandoned and the Palestinians accept a compromise--or until the arrow finds its mark and Israel dies."
Yep. That's pretty much what's at stake.