The Closet Moderate: Odobenus Rosmarus Friedmani

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Odobenus Rosmarus Friedmani

Here at TCM, we like to take time out to recognize people with particularly moronic understandings of foreign policy. Over at the ol' blog, we called out Max Boot for his particularly asinine understanding of what motivates rogue states. With regard to the Israeli invasion of Gaza, we'd like to recognize Tom Friedman, who, having gone for some time without saying something completely idiotic celebrates Israel's foreign blunder by exposing his ass-mouth to the world on the NYT editorial page. It takes serious chutzpah to score the Lebanon War as a win for Israel when even the Israelis don't think so.

Sure, Nasrallah said it sucked, but what was he going to say to the Lebanese people? "Your house got bombed, and it was awesome. For me. I am now basically in charge of everything." Now, that would've been closer to the truth, but since when do politicians OR terrorists tell the truth? Friedman's walrus-faced idiocy fits into a larger pattern of American journalists and pundits taking Arab figures at face value when it suits them to do so and implying that they're shifty towel-heads with a religious love of lying to everybody all the time when that's more useful. Deadlines are a bitch, huh?

Anyway, Olmert is now 0-2 when it comes to stupid wars designed to convince people he's not a wuss or a schmuck. Of course, he preempted any possibility of success on that front when he bragged that he'd forced Secretary Rice to abstain from a vote condemning the invasion. Other relevant facts: She'd help draft the resolution, and it passed 14-0 with only the US abstaining. So, you embarrassed the US Secretary of State to no effect? Good for you, buddy. The cherry on top was the "IN BEFORE TEH LOCK" nature of the unilateral ceasefire Israel declared on January 18th, 2009.

But I'm being unfair. If an asshole's asshole had an asshole, that thing (we'll call it sphincter^3) would be Hamas. Not good dudes. And Bibi Netanyahu, the major threat to Olmert's government, certainly puts the Jackass-O-Meter solidly in the red. So what's a guy to do? A word of advice: don't try to out-asshole them, Olmert. Two years ago, your Minister of Defense couldn't even use binoculars. You don't have a chance against these grizzled douchebags.

Tactically, you can see the logic behind the invasion of Gaza. Hamas rockets are falling on Israel. Israelis are understandably pissed about this. If you go in, beat the shit out of Hamas and get out before the new US President gets into the Oval Office, you might be able to stop the rockets long enough to fend off a challenge from the war-loving, Palestinian-hating Israeli right.

The problem is that strategically, it's a non-starter. Even if you wreck-up Hamas real good, you haven't actually decreased the demand for a Hamas-like organization. In fact, you've probably increased it. As Bob Pape famously noted, when you blow up someone's house and family it generally doesn't make them like you more. They become dependent on their government for just about everything, and the whole "I have a lot to lose by attacking these fuckers" factor isn't so much there anymore.

So, even in the ideal "red-assed beating" scenario, you've probably increased the demand for terrorism, murdered a whole mess of people, radicalized a whole bunch of their friends and relatives, pulled the rug out from under the moderates, and created a pretty unlivable situation for the people who are still there. Long-term prospects for peace? Not so good. But wait! What about the short-term prospects for Kadima?

Oh.

1 comment:

Silent Cal said...

C'mon, don't bag too much on Bibi. I like that guy -- he's from Cheltenham (kind of) and he don't take no shit.