Aug. 6, 2006

Not Enough Dead Arabs?

A truly frightening glimpse into the neo-conservative mind-set is Norman Podhoretz's piece in the New York Post, featured on Uruknet; Too Nice to Win?

Apparently, Israel's problem is that it is just too darned soft-hearted;

If Lebanon's 300-plus civilian casualties are already rocking the world, what if it would take 10,000 civilian casualties to finish off Hezbollah? Could Israel inflict that kind of damage on Lebanon - not because of world opinion, but because of its own modern sensibilities and its understanding of the value of every human life?

What's more, Norman has a little friendly suggestion for the US in Iraq;

What if the tactical mistake we made in Iraq was that we didn't kill enough Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them and make them so afraid of us they would go along with anything? Wasn't the survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35 the reason there was an insurgency and the basic cause of the sectarian violence now?
Thanks, Norman, we'll take that under advisement for our next invasion. He also indulges in a little bit of historical perspective;
Could World War II have been won by Britain and the United States if the two countries did not have it in them to firebomb Dresden and nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Bad examples, Norman, both of them. The war in Europe was pretty much won when Dresden was firebombed, a gratuitous act of carnage probably meant to scare the bejeezus out of the Russians more than anything else. And as for Hiroshima, John Denson makes the case better than I can, in this excellent essay on the Hiroshima Myth.

Why should we care about the murderous ravings of some crank? Who is this Norman Podhoretz anyway? According to his bio in Wikipedia, Podhoretz is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Project for a New American Century, and a 2004 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He's one of the leading ideologues of the whole Clash of Civilizations/ World War IV mythology.


Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of neocons, but I think he's not saying what you think he's saying.

you know who said...

Dear Sir,

Having visited Dresden several times, let me say that this is precisely the type of bad press that the town elders have been trying to stem for years.

Unexploded ordinance is being exhumed on a daily basis, and new, phony, recreation architecture has more than compensated for the liquidation of the region's cultural heritage.

As a wise old fool once said, "Whatever cannot be immitated must die" --and the replica of old Dresden that stands atoped the scorched remains of the old city today, is just as good as any other tangible illusion of civilization in this veil of tears.

Yours, with tongue in cheek,

John Pauper Lingam Hieronymous Bosch

Lauri said...

Oh G-d, I'm not sure what to say other than I want to go on record as both a Jew and an American in saying this man (in his at-face-value meaning) doesn't speak for me or ANY Jew or American I know.

Anonymous said...

Probably an interesting (re-)source for your current blogging ...

Rabbinic Council Says
Dead Lebanon Kids
Not Innocent
By Rev. Ted Pike

Yesha Rabbinical Council is the recognized authority on Jewish religious questions in Gaza and the West Bank. This week it decreed that at least 56 Lebanese citizens of Kfar Qanna, including at least 34 children, targeted by an Israeli air strike, were not "innocent."

"The Yesha Rabbinical Counsel announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that 'according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such thing as 'innocence' among the enemy.'" 1

The council's edict reflects existing Israeli military/religious law. The chaplain for the IDF forces says, "In war, when our forces storm the enemies, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakah to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians that are ostensibly good." 2

Such official standards come from binding Jewish law, or Halakah, contained in the Babylonian Talmud. The Talmud is the highest religious and ethical authority for the state of Israel and religious Jews. The Talmudic 'proof text' for Yesha's decision came from treatise Abodah-Zarah 26b, where Rabbi Simeon Ben Yohai says: "The best among the gentiles deserves to be killed. The best of snakes ought to have its head crushed."