Wednesday, August 02, 2006

No People Are People In The Middle East

Generally I don't bother with tearing up rightwing blog entries. Partly because my blog reading time is limited and I don't want to waste it reading RNC talking points. In part also because many other bloggers, such as TBogg and The Editors, do a much more entertaining job of eviscerating the numbskullery than I do.

However, every once in awhile its interesting to see how the other side gets down so I took a cruise around the shallow end of the bloggy ocean earlier today. I happened across Randian objectivist blog Atlas Shrugs, whose blogger, Pamela, is doing some kind of propaganda photo journalism piece for the Olmert government. Actually, it appears she's wandering Israel in an attempt to show the people under the duress of war, which is laudable, and also to get her wargasm on over Israel's military might, which is scary and pathetic. In any case, while most of her observations, incredibly biased as they are, seemed pretty banal, there was one passage that really caught my eye:

Next stop was the Patriot Missile Base in Haifa, again no photos. Again, extraordinary people. Another young, fabulous Captain explaining that they will not use Patriots to shoot down Katushyas. Why use to a million dollar missile to shoot down a thousand dollar rocket that they have thousands of? The Patriots are for the Iranian missiles.

Let me see if I've got this straight: launching a military assault on Lebanon, killing hundreds of civilians, destroying Lebanon's infrastructure and leaving a fourth of the Lebanese population displaced is an acceptable cost for keeping the Israeli people safe but launching some million dollar missiles is just too costly? Personally, I don't really think "fabulous" is how I'd describe this particular IDF officer. I think "dangerously disturbed" sounds a little better. I mean, my God, he's quibbling about the hardware cost of protecting the Israeli people while participating in a war that is supposed to be accomplishing that very goal? I guess this just demonstrates yet again that, to the Pro-War crowd here and abroad, the Lebanese people have no value. Their lives are not even as valuable as some Patriot missiles. That actually explains nicely the difference between humanitarian aid for Lebanon and military aid for Israel from the U.S.: it's just a matter of risk management on the value of assets.

I have to assume that this IDF officer doesn't really intend to convey the notion that the Israeli people are not worth protecting to the tune of $1 million per missile. Instead, I think it's a tacit admission that Hezbollah's rocket attacks, while certainly serious, are not the existential danger to Israel that American conservatives would like us to believe. Captain Fabulous' assertion about the Patriot missiles definitely gives the impression that the IDF, if not the Israeli people at large, are not seeing the same war American conservatives are seeing. I also think it's pretty clear that Israel's motives are not as self-defense oriented as is being claimed. I think perhaps the good captain, and his unwitting spokeswoman, may have given us a glimpse behind the curtain on this conflict.

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