Spade meet spade
: Am I blind? Perhaps I just have a narrow world view but I can’t find one blogger who is siding with the Palestinians against the Israelis. (Can you?)
So how come Bush is finding it so hard to call a terrorist a terrorist?
I feel a need to restate the obvious, following George Orwell’s “famous dicta” as paraphrased by Norman Podhoretz (see below): “There comes a point when the primary duty of an honest man is to restate the obvious.”
The painfully obvious:
Terrorists are the enemy. Terrorists are our enemy. Period.
: In the Jerusalem Post, Norman Podhoretz takes George Bush to task for waffling not just on the politics of the war in the Middle East but also on the language of it. Never, says Podhoretz…
…did he permit himself to be bamboozled by the idea so dear to so many denizens of those communities that “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Taking the opposite position, he declared repeatedly that terrorism was itself evil, under any and all circumstances. From which it followed that there could be no such thing as a good terrorist.
Right. It has become known as the Bush doctrine: a terrorist is a terrorist; anyone who harbors a terrorist is a terrorist. Unless, apparently, his name is Yasser.
Podhoretz says it with greater subtlety. He complains about Bush falling prey to the phrase “circle of violence” to describe what’s happening over there in hell now.
A linguistic child of the concept of moral equivalence, the words “cycle of violence” allow of no distinction between terrorist attacks and retaliation against them. They allow of no distinction between the deliberate murder of civilians and the inadvertent harm done to civilians in a military action. And in the context of the “Arab-Israeli conflict” (itself a deceptive label for what should actually be called “the Arab war against Israel”), to speak of a “cycle of violence” is to conjure up a Hatfield-McCoy type of feud between equally irrational parties….
Bush’s occasional surrender to the “cycle of violence” cliche has, in short, marked the limit of his power to resist political speech that defends the indefensible, and befogged the incandescent clarity about terrorism he began to achieve after September 11.
Podhoretz says Bush is leaving it to Donald Rumsfeld to be honest and blunt, as he was just the other day
Sounding like Bush when he had been at his best, Rumsfeld declared: “Murderers are not martyrs. Targeting civilians is immoral, whatever the excuse. Terrorists have declared war on civilization, and states like Iran, Iraq, and Syria are inspiring and financing a culture of political murder and suicide bombing.”
Amen. Amen. Amen.
Bush’s word waffling worried Podhoretz greatly:
As a Jew, I tremble for the harm that may come to Israel through President Bush’s loss of clarity — and with it his ability to restate the obvious. But as an American who believes with all his heart and soul in the necessity of my country’s war against terrorism, and in the justice of our cause, I also worry about the moral and intellectual and strategic damage done to that cause by the refusal to face the plain truth that the despots who tyrannize over most of the Muslim world hate the United States, “the Great Satan,” even more than they hate Israel, “the Little Satan.”
The pen can be mightier than the sword. It can also be weaker.
Is Yasser Arafat a terrorist?
: That is the simple question of the day.
I just watched an anchor on FoxNews go ballistic on the point.
The pressure is on from the right to get George Bush to hold to his own Bush doctrine and declare that those who harbor (or sponsor or breed) terrorists are terrorists.
The diplomatic, strategic, and tactical complications are obvious.
But the line is clear: We were attacked by terrorists. Terrorists are our enemy now, too.
Is Yasser Arafat a terrorist?
: He‘s back.