09 March 2009 - Another reason to cheer the demise of the New York Times
New York Times columnist Roger Cohen is cheered by the fact that western countries are beginning to see terror groups like Hamas and Hizbollah as legitimate parts of Middle Eastern political systems.
Britain aligned itself with the U.S. position on Hezbollah, but has now seen its error. Bill Marston, a Foreign Office spokesman, told Al Jazeera: “Hezbollah is a political phenomenon and part and parcel of the national fabric in Lebanon. We have to admit this.”
Precisely the same thing could be said of Hamas in Gaza. It is a political phenomenon, part of the national fabric there.
The use of "Hallalujah" in praising Islamist terror groups is either an attempt to be cute or a betrayal of Cohen's total ignorance about radical Islam. And never mind the fact that both groups are armed and funded by an outside imperialist force--Iran--or that both hold hostage their respective populations (Lebanese and Palestinians, respectively). No--their use of force against civilians entitles them to recognition.
Israeli force, on the other hand... even in self-defense...
Speaking of violence, it’s worth recalling what Israel did in Gaza in response to sporadic Hamas rockets. It killed upward of 1,300 people, many of them women and children; caused damage estimated at $1.9 billion; and destroyed thousands of Gaza homes. It continues a radicalizing blockade on 1.5 million people squeezed into a narrow strip of land.
At this vast human, material and moral price, Israel achieved almost nothing beyond damage to its image throughout the world. Israel has the right to hit back when attacked, but any response should be proportional and governed by sober political calculation. The Gaza war was a travesty; I have never previously felt so shamed by Israel’s actions.
"Sporadic" rockets? Try thousands of rockets and mortars over a sustained 7-year period. 1,300 people? Women and children? Estimated by whom? Blockade? I have never previously felt so shamed by America's "newspaper of record," not since Bob Herbert's bogus claims of racism and phallic imagery in last year's American presidential campaign. Cohen's swallowed the propaganda and regurgitates it for all to see.
Newspapers of all political stripes are suffering, but the Times's indulgence of this sort of terrorist fantasy is the main reason many readers like myself have become former readers. When you hold yourself out as the most objective source of news in the country, and then deliver garbage no different from what is screamed by foaming-at-the-mouth protesters in Harvard Square, you deserve to fail.