Greenwald vs. Goldfarb
Glenn Greenwald today accuses Michael Goldfarb of bloodthirstiness in the death of Nizar Ghayan (or Nizar Rayan, as some have it). Goldfarb’s offending post was not a mindless advocacy of violence, but rather a reflection on the fundamental difficulty of fighting a fanatical enemy:
The fight against Islamic radicals always seems to come around to whether or not they can, in fact, be deterred, because it’s not clear that they are rational, at least not like us. But to wipe out a man’s entire family, it’s hard to imagine that doesn’t give his colleagues at least a moment’s pause. Perhaps it will make the leadership of Hamas rethink the wisdom of sparking an open confrontation with Israel under the current conditions. Or maybe not, and the only way to stop Hamas is to eliminate its capacity for violence entirely. Or Israeli leaders can just try to find a diplomatic solution — as a majority of Democrats apparently favor. It worked so well with the last cease fire.
The notion that the obliteration of Ghayan’s entire family might “give his colleagues at least a moment’s pause” is enough to inspire 1,500 words of Greenwaldian gibberish, including a shot at Glenn Reynolds for displaying a “wretched mindset” by suggesting that the Israelis are “civilized people and not barbarians.” One mercifully brief slice of moonbat pie:
If you see Palestinians as something less than civilized human beings: as “barbarians” — just as if you see Americans as infidels warring with God or Jews as sub-human rats — then it naturally follows that civilian deaths are irrelevant, perhaps even something to cheer. For people who think that way, arguments about “proportionality” won’t even begin to resonate — such concepts can’t even be understood — because the core premise, that excessive civilian deaths are horrible and should be avoided at all costs, isn’t accepted. Why should a superior, civilized, peaceful society allow the welfare of violent, hateful barbarians to interfere with its objectives? How can the deaths or suffering of thousands of barbarians ever be weighed against the death of even a single civilized person?
Wait a minute: Who is ultimately responsible for the plight of Gazans? Has it been non-stop misery since 1967? Or at some point over the past four decades, did the Palestinians in Gaza actually have a better life under Israeli occupation than they have had under Hamas rule?
This war was not caused by any genocidal ambition of the Israelis, but by the genocidal ambition of Hamas. Excuse me for repeating myself:
You cannot negotiate with a shark. To the extent that Hamas represents any coherent political philosophy, that philosophy can be summed up in two words: Kill Jews.
And, to further repeat myself, the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas by a landslide majority. The Gazans fully intended that there should be consequences to their election of genocidal terrorist leaders and their only disappointment is that the consequences are not (yet) what they intended, namely the death of every Jew in Israel.
You will perhaps be surprised (or perhaps not) that Greenwald imagines it is supporters of Israel who need a lecture about “excessive tribalistic identification.” Sending suicide bombers to obliterate Shiri Negari and 18 other passengers on bus 32A — that’s not “excessive,” eh?
Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom has related thoughts.
(Cross-posted at The Other McCain.)
Robert Stacy McCain