Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Rantisi's Finest Hours

Go away for the weekend, and while I'm away this site actually has a few visitors. No idea if there's any meaning to that, but I'll be writing something anyway, even if that fact drives people away. It's been an eventful weekend, but I've only got time for a couple of things.

First, Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi completed his studies in rocket catching last Saturday, with the Israelis providing his final exam. Since I don't want to get into the habit of speaking ill of the dead (I was not exactly kind to his predecessor) I would like to take a moment to assure Dr. Rantisi's supporters that his finest moments are yet in the future, as in his new role as plant food he will do more good than anything he accomplished in life.

The other item is the Star Tribune's confusing George W. Bush with the Islamic fascists we are fighting, accusing him of waging a holy war against Islam, leastwise the title of the editorial gives that impression. What's in the editorial, is actually a list of complaints. The first paragraph repeats a couple of tired old liberal dogmas: the invasion was unilateral and that Bush's actions have given the jihadis more of an excuse to attack the United States. Earth to Tribune, they didn't need an additional excuse! Jihadis have been killing Americans since at least the World Trade Center bombings in 1993, and there is the small matter of what happened in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. It's a funny world the Strib's editorial board lives in, where defending one's self is too dangerous because it just encourages the attacker... . The next thing they complain about is the President's press conference:
In his press conference this week, both in the opening remarks and in responses to questions, Bush refused to yield a whit to critics of the U.S. action in Iraq. He refused to admit to any error and responded over and over with a handful of generalizations: "America's objective in Iraq is limited, and it is firm. We seek an independent, free and secure Iraq. . . . A free Iraq is vital because 25 million Iraqis have as much right to live in freedom as we do. A free Iraq will stand as an example to reformers across the Middle East." It all amounted to a mantra: We are right; we will persevere, we will prevail.
It obviously never occurred to the Star Trib that the reason the president repeated himself is because the press kept asking the same damn question (slightly reworded) over and over again. Perhaps if the press had actually asked worthwhile questions, the answers would have been more illuminating.

Next, the Star Tribune complains about how Bush's support of Israel's position on the so-called "right of return" for the Palestinians will make the Arabs hate us more. With all due respect, they already hate us, and perhaps one of the effects of this unilateral action by Israel will be to shock the Palis to some semblance of sense. A large part of the Middle Eastern problems are due to the unwillingness of the Palestinians to negotiate in anything resembling good faith, and this Israeli action may very well drive home the cost of not talking. After going on in this vein for awhile the editors bless us with the following:
There are pragmatic reasons why some of what Bush gave Israel Tuesday will be part of a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. But it should have come about through negotiations. The way Bush has chosen to do it is essentially saying, again, to radical Islam, "Bring it on."

In other words, after spending the whole column complaining about Bush's position editors concede that he is probably correct. They just don't like his style. Yep, lots of substance to their complaints, isn't there?

Update: This is being posted a day late after Blogger decided that the only proper response to input was no response at all. Given my less-than-vast readership, I don't expect any negative effects, but any case I apologize for my slowness.

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