The New York Times, never able these days to sort Good from Evil with any consistent accuracy, reverted to form again in their latest opinion piece.
Writing for the Times, author Noah Feldman falsely insulted the elected government of Israel, the victims of more than a thousand cross-border missile attacks by Hezbollah, and – of course – the Bush Administration in a gross misrepresentation of the current climate in the Middle East, and the courses taken to address it.
Sniffs Feldman: “Destabilizing the old order really has changed the rules of the game. We are now witnessing the most serious regional test so far to the wisdom of starting down this uncertain path.”
“The old order”, as Mr. Feldman so fondly labels it, was one of dictators and torture prisons – not ‘torture’ as the NYT calls it, where a few people break the law and humiliate prisoners through ridicule, but REAL torture, where limbs are sawn off and prisoners murdered. The “old order” continues in Iran and Syria, where teenagers are murdered for things which are not even misdemeanors in the West (courtesy – BBC), and writers are arrested for discussing social problems in their nation (courtesy Al-Jazeera). In generations past, the public would furiously demand to know why we waited to respond, but Feldman thinks responding at all to evil is an “uncertain path”.
Like so many Liberals today, Feldman is unable to recognize, much less state, the obvious. He claims that “The most important new feature of the present situation is the strange hybrid character shared by Hamas and Hezbollah: both are simultaneously militias and democratically elected political parties participating in government”, but fails completely to mention that both of these so-called “militias” have long histories of kidnapping of civilians, torture, terrorist atrocities and murders. It would appear that the combination of, say, ‘U.S. Marines’, ‘Beirut’, ‘1983’ would ring no bells for this guy. Certainly he goes well out of his way to imply a moral equivalency between the government of Israel defending itself against unprovoked missile attack, and a non-government organization which has seized a nation’s territory for the express purpose of attacking Israel.
Feldman stupidly thinks that the legitimate government of Iraq should be compared to the junta style in Lebanon, claiming that “The model of Islamist organizations that combine electoral politics with paramilitary tactics is fast becoming the calling card of the new wave of Arab democratization.” I rather doubt that the millions of Iraqis and Afghans who participated in free elections, at great personal risk from terrorists still operating in their countries, felt that they were electing a pseudo-republic which planned to rule by coercion and threat, as is the practice with Hezbollah. I further doubt that any objective review of the official government policies in Baghdad, Kabul, or even Riyadh or Amman would reveal much similarity to the deranged venom coming from Hezbollah or its sponsors, the mullahs in Teheran.
Feldman sneers at pretty much everyone in the region, when he claims that the recent election of Hamas and Hezbollah to political position “calls into question the viability of Middle Eastern democracy as a peaceful practice”. I have already noted the clear chasm between the practices both of the new governments and many current administrations, against the vicious predatory pattern of terrorist groups.
Having crossed the line from accidental misstatement to deliberate lie, Feldman plunges on, claiming “Israel has targeted not only Hezbollah leaders and strongholds but has also bombed infrastructure that sustains daily life for everybody in Lebanon.” If that claim were true, Israel would have been poor in its targeting, as major roads, hospitals, water and power supplies, and civil government buildings have been left untouched. Only Hezbollah facilities and sites from which weapons have been launched have been attacked. Feldman in that statement is out and out lying, and he knows it.
Having plunged into clearly partisan propaganda and deliberate deceit, Feldman tries to counter the obvious problem that Israel was the victim from the start, rather than the provocateur. Feldman writes, “Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza last year on the theory that disengagement would lead to fewer attacks on it, not more. Right-wing Israelis argued that withdrawal rewarded Islamist violence and that rockets would soon be fired into Israel from the very areas being vacated. Now those critics claim to have been vindicated”. Since Israel withdrew as part of an agreement which was promised to protect Israeli lives, and since Hezbollah did exactly what the conservatives in Israel warned they would do, to claim they were anything but right is impossible. Further, Feldman once again ducks Hezbollah’s responsibility for the crisis, since the terrorists not only held territory they had promised to give up, and did not withdraw their armed forces but instead obtained more and heavier arms and immediately used them in regular attacks on known innocents and civilians in Israel, anyone noting the chronology of the past half-decade would not only understand Israel’s need to finally oppose Hezbollah at the source, but would be amazed at the long forbearance by Israel while it waited for the other side to keep its many promises, or at least for the U.N. to keep maybe a few of its own “solemn” assurances.
I had to laugh when I read Feldman’s claim that “In the past, crises involving Israel were addressed by dealing with the regional Arab powers, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, all of which exerted influence of different kinds on the actors.” Given that most Arab powers have officially established a doctrine demanding the destruction of Israel, and almost none have rescinded such policies, and given the many wars begun by Arabs specifically against Israel, and given the many targeted attacks on shopping malls, busses, schools, and other innocents, to pretend that the Arab position is at all honorable is disingenuous at best.
Feldman, notes the squib at the end, is a law professor. His words confirm he is not very good at comprehending History, especially the Military sort. And the New York Times, as always, cannot stand with America or her allies, when there is a chance to attack her instead.