Terrorism even a Pulitzer Prize winner can love

I have to say, when I first read this atrocious Tom Friedman piece in The New York Times, I was struck by the exact same thought expressed by Glenn Greenwald here: Friedman appears to be expressly condoning (celebrating even) the use of what (based upon Friedman’s assumptions as to Israel’s motivations) can only be called terrorism by Israel.

Here’s a small part of what Friedman has to say, as quoted by Greenwald, in discussing the motivation behind Israel’s unsuccessful 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Friedman’s hope that similar motivations are at play today in Gaza:

Israel’s counterstrategy was to use its Air Force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future.

Israel’s military was not focused on the morning after the war in Lebanon — when Hezbollah declared victory and the Israeli press declared defeat. It was focused on the morning after the morning after, when all the real business happens in the Middle East. That’s when Lebanese civilians, in anguish, said to Hezbollah: “What were you thinking? Look what destruction you have visited on your own community! For what? For whom?”

You get the drift? Contrary to conventional wisdom, according to Friedman, Israel actually won its war with Hezbollah, because in the process of fighting it they harmed Lebanese civilians badly enough to make their point.

And he’s hoping for more of the same in Gaza:

In Gaza, I still can’t tell if Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas or trying to “educate” Hamas, by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population. If it is out to destroy Hamas, casualties will be horrific and the aftermath could be Somalia-like chaos. If it is out to educate Hamas, Israel may have achieved its aims.

So there you have it. A columnist for none other than The New York Times, unapologetically making the case for deliberately harming civilians in the pursuit of political ends: in other words, engaging in terrorism.

It says something about just how pathetic our national dialogue has become on the issue of Israel and the Palestinians that something like this is not only tolerated — in the Gray Lady no less — but also widely celebrated as gifted punditry.

3 Responses to “Terrorism even a Pulitzer Prize winner can love”

  1. juliinjax Says:

    White Phosphorus, used “to illuminate” targeted areas during night bombings… remember Fallujah? I am soul-weary and truly disturbed by the lack of interest in the horrors perpetuated by the goliath which is the Israeli army. Watching Countdown and angry that KO can’t gush enough about Bellow Reilly and Sarah Impalin’, but can find no time to educate his audience about Gaza. What is with US? We saw what we did in Fallujah and did nothing. We will watch the Israelis decimate a trapped population by bombing, burning, starving… and we will look away again.

    As to Friedman: like T Boone Pickens, l agree with much of what he says about a greener future, but I wouldn’t trust either of them within the reach of a knife. Scary dudes who have really evil ulterior motives. Glad he has shown his true face, to snap people out of their Flat Earth spells.

  2. Chuck Says:

    This doesn’t have too much to do with the above, but I was thinking–dangerous I know–but I was thinking about Obama’s statement that he wanted to close Guantanamo and all the vacuous pundits yaking about what to do with the inmates. Well here’s my thought: give the whole thing back to Castro, we stole it 106 years ago anyway, and let the Cubans decide wht to do with that’s left.

    Unless that is, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Rice are put there in solitary for the rest of their lives. I might consider that as an alternative after Cuba takes over.

  3. Larkrise Says:

    People like Tom Friedman would not like to be viewed as lacking humanity, but that is exactly how he sounds. He has dehumanized those he perceives as the enemy. This is what Serial Killers do to their victims, they do not see them as human. The children of Gaza are not Israel’s enemy, any more than Jewish children were the enemy in Hitler’s Germany. Yet, how easily fanatics, and even the citizen on the street, slip into that mindset, justifying any atrocity as necessary. I was watching Senator Webb on Rachel Maddow. Not that he isnt a decent man or a fanatic, but he kept talking about how Iraq was a military blunder. What is constantly overlooked in discussing Iraq is the terrible cost to the civilian population that the war has produced. That is an afterthought in the Halls of Congress. It is far more than a military blunder. It has resulted in the deaths of at least a million people, U.S. statistics be damned. It has resulted in a refugee crisis, in a health crisis, in an economic crisis for the average Iraqi citizen. It has devastated a country. It is a HUMANITARIAN CRISIS. Real human beings have suffered from the stupidity of not only the Bush Adm., but the corporate-owned Media, and from millions of flag-waving fools, who voted for BushX2. Not until they got kicked in their pocketbooks, have they truly decided the war was a mistake. Mr. Friedman would do well to join with CARE in delivering supplies to the suffering population in Gaza. Maybe then, he could regain his humanity. Civilian populations have suffered on both sides of this conflict, but a dying child is a dying child, no matter into which tribe they were born.

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