Monday, May 31, 2010

The Idiocy of Andrew Sullivan - Israel Edition

Andrew Sullivan has a post up regarding the incident between the Israeli Navy and a ship full of Hamas-supporters & their useful idiots heading for Gaza. He links the video, and notes that the so-called "activists" attacked the Israeli commandos boarding the ship. After giving a mild condemnation of their violence, he then goes off the deep-end.

But the violence is not fatal to anyone and it is in response to a dawn commando raid by armed soldiers. They are engaging in self-defense. More to the point: theya r civilians confronting one of the best militaries in the world. They killed no soldiers; their weapons were improvised; the death toll in the fight is now deemed to be up to 19 - all civilians.
So in Sullivan-world, the fact that they didn't manage to kill any Israeli soldiers, and had "improvised weapons," means Israel is the bad guy here.
This is like a mini-Gaza all over again. The Israelis don't seem to grasp that Western militaries don't get to murder large numbers of civilians because they don't like them, or because they could, on a far tinier scale, hurt Israelis. And you sure don't have a right to kill them because they resist having their ship commandeered, in international waters. The Israelis seem to be making decisions as if they can get away with anything. It's time the US reminded them in ways they cannot mistake that they cannot.

It's a mini-Gaza alright, with clowns like Sullivan making the same illogical arguments all over again to attack our ally and excuse the actions of its enemies -- enemies that in most cases are also hostile to the U.S.

Let's dissect Sullivan's nonsense. First, he calls the attack on the Israeli boarding party "self-defense." As the video shows, the Israelis did not come in shooting. They were engaged in a standard naval action that involved stopping and boarding a civilian vessel that was trying to break a blockade. By attacking the commandos, the people on that ship immediately changed their status from civilian blockade runners to enemies. The "self-defense" here was Israeli commandos defending themselves when attacked. Killing enemies who attack you is not "murder," as Sullivan ignorantly asserts. Israeli forces have every right to protect themselves with deadly force, no matter what the type of weapons used against them. Sullivan is using the same ridiculously illogical argument about disproportionate force that was deployed by Hamas supporters during Israel's Gaza operation. If a police officer is attacked by a knife-wielding assailant, he doesn't have to pull out his own knife and fight on equal terms. He draws his gun and shoots to kill. That type of defense has long been justified in the U.S. and other countries, and I doubt even Sullivan would argue otherwise. But for some reason, he thinks Israeli military personnel should be held to a different standard.

Israel is for all intents and purposes in a state of war with the pseudo-state of Gaza. Gaza's rulers do not even recognize Israel's existence, and indiscriminately launch rockets at civilian targets within Israel. Far from "making decisions as if they can get away with anything," Israel has in my opinion been incredibly restrained in its actions in dealing with Gaza, and this incident is no different. Israel would have been within its rights to have simply withdrawn its commandos after being attacked, and sent that ship to the bottom, killing everyone aboard. But of course it didn't.  

For various reasons (good ones in my opinion), Israel has imposed a blockade of Gaza. There is no point in having a blockade if you allow ships full of enemy supporters to run the blockade and deliver contraband merchandise. Israel had a simple choice: let its blockade be violated, or intercept the ship. There was little reason to think that Israel would not intercept that ship, and it is quite possible that the attack on the boarders was pre-planned in order to create an international incident. Andrew Sullivan isn't a Hamas supporter, but he's a typical useful idiot for anti-Israel propaganda, even more valuable to Israel's enemies than voices that can be quickly dismissed as rabidly anti-Semitic or as known enemies of Israel.

So what should the U.S. do? Nothing. The U.S. should downplay this incident as much as possible, point out that Israeli forces came under attack first, and block any sort of meaningful international action against Israel. The people on that boat, a collection of terrorist supporters and useful idiots, are for the most part as hostile to the U.S. as to Israel. They are the same type that are quick to call necessary U.S. actions "war crimes," and who would like nothing better than to cripple U.S. operations with the same sort of restrictions they think Israel should operate under.