Monday, June 28, 2010

Friedman moves even farther to the dark side
27 June '10

Thomas Friedman is judged by many to be both knowledgeable and fair-minded about the Israeli-Arab conflict. After all, he’s been to the region many times and has been writing on the subject for years. He served as a correspondent in Lebanon from 1979 to 1989, and his book “From Beirut to Jerusalem”, published in 1989, is considered a classic.

But his most recent piece in the NY Times shows that he’s prepared to pour blood guilt on Israel with the rest of the mob:

Israel today is enjoying another timeout because it recently won three short wars — and then encountered one pleasant surprise. The first was a war to dismantle the corrupt Arafat regime. The second was the war started by Hezbollah in Lebanon and finished by a merciless pounding of Shiite towns and Beirut suburbs by the Israeli Air Force. The third was the war to crush the Hamas missile launchers in Gaza.

What is different about these three wars, though, is that Israel won them using what I call “Hama Rules” — which are no rules at all. “Hama Rules” are named after the Syrian town of Hama, where, in 1982, then-President Hafez el-Assad of Syria put down a Muslim fundamentalist uprising by shelling and then bulldozing their neighborhoods, killing more than 10,000 of his own people.

In Israel’s case, it found itself confronting enemies in Gaza and Lebanon armed with rockets, but nested among local civilians, and Israel chose to go after them without being deterred by the prospect of civilian casualties.

There is absolutely no similarity between Assad’s mass murder and Israel’s self-defense — not in the intentions of Assad and Israel, and not in the degree of civilian damage.

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