Monday, July 24, 2006
Shocking and, Definitely, Odd
I had always thought that Jeralyn Merrit of TalkLeft was about as far to the left as a person can run without going completely over the horizon. I mean that in a nice way. What is shocking, and, yes, exceptionally surprising, is that she is taking it on the chin on her site for a post about Israel’s military actions that didn’t blame the conflict on Israel. To be fair, most of the commentary is of the polite variety (none of the Protein Wisdom v/ Insane University Professor variety drama)--but there is definitely some snark amidst the “violence never solved anything” naive grade school talk.
Firstly, violence, as Heinlein pointed out, has been a tremendous force for solving problems throughout human history. In fact, some problems can only be handled with some level of violence--and for those unwilling to face that truth, violence will usually solve their problems, too. Just not in the way that they may ultimately be comfortable with. An obvious example: if violence weren’t used to thwart Japan’s plans for regional domination in World War II, what would the Pacific rim look like today?
Unyielding violence on one side of an argument must be met with reasoned, purposeful violence to be diminished. Terrorists don’t stop being terrorists just because we renounce our militaristic ways; they just gain ground when we refuse to push back. Israel is in a position where pushing back is, in my mind, the only reasonable option. That is neither antagonistic nor is it anti-Islamic. Anyone reading through the archives of this site could find that I favor a two state solution, that I had hoped that the “roadmap to peace” would actually wind its way to its stated destination, that I don’t hate Muslims, that I don’t think that Israel is above reproach, or that I favor military action where it isn’t necessary.
But I do support Israel’s right to defend herself, I so support Israel’s right to exist, I do wonder how Muslims can continue to support the nihilistic goals of Hamas and Hezbollah, and I do believe that there are times when war is necessary.
Secondly, my boss (the VP of this and that for the company I work for) considers herself to be a Buddhist. She considers herself to be a pacifist and made some of the funniest imaginable faces when I told her that I was a moderate Republican. Of course, the faces she made were even more interesting when she noticed the tattoos and found out about the oddly placed piercing, but that’s another story entirely. The point is this: when Israel was bringing troops up to the Lebanese border, even my boss was supportive of their military action. Even she recognized that Israel was fighting for her existence and that there was no one left for the Israelis to negotiate with.
This woman (who was opposed to American military action in Iraq, seems pretty iffy America having gone into Afghanistan, and who hates George Bush with the kind of passion that I reserve for, say, Michael Moore) bordered on bloodthirsty in her feelings about the Palestinian terrorist organizations.
Somehow, that seems worth noting to me.
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