Why do you run anything by Jonathan Rauch? I know you guys are more interested in promoting Big Macs and drive-thru abortions than you are in advancing libertarian foreign policy, but I have yet to read anything even mildly liberty-oriented by Rauch. The absurd and revolting premise of today’s article is that U.S. and Israeli goals should be inseparable. The hell they should! If Rauch wants to move to Jerusalem and join the IDF, I will buy his one-way ticket and drive him to the airport. But I don’t owe the state of Israel (or Egypt, or the Palestinian Authority) any goddamn thing except nonaggression, and that goes for moral support, too.
Rauch pitches a hissy fit about world reaction to Israel’s assassination of Sheikh Yassin. As I wrote at the time, nary a tear crossed my cheek over the killing. Israeli depredations against regular Palestinians are an outrage, but taking out a murderer doesn’t much bother me–nor will it if Hamas returns the favor directly to Mr. Sharon. But the simpering statist Rauch is distraught that the Bush administration didn’t plant a wet one on Sharon’s backside after the attack:
- The United States vetoed the [U.N.] resolution [condemning the attack] but did not directly challenge its premises, which were that Yassin was a civilian, that civilians are subject only to civil punishment, and that extrajudicial violence of any sort is therefore illegitimate. Instead, the Bush administration said it was “deeply troubled” by the Yassin killing but that the resolution should also have mentioned Hamas’s attacks against Israel. See? Everyone is a terrorist, but the resolution should have named all the terrorists. Or something.
If those are the rules, then former President Clinton is a terrorist, for he, too, ordered a hit. Clinton attacked Osama bin Laden with a cruise missile and only narrowly missed. According to The New York Times, President Clinton’s national security advisers have testified to the September 11 commission “that Mr. Clinton wanted Mr. bin Laden dead.”
Newsflash: Clinton is a terrorist, as the Serbs and Sudanese can tell you. Sharon’s terrorism goes back decades, but includes such greatest hits as Sabra and Shatila. No decent person, ideology aside, should stick up for anyone who aggresses against innocent civilians. And let’s be clear about that term. Rauch:
- Hamas’s civilian operations, however, hardly made Yassin a civilian in any sense that mattered. To the contrary, he was head of a terrorist organization that is well on its way to operating its own mini-state in Gaza. State sponsors of terrorism and terrorist sponsors of states (Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Al Qaeda in Afghanistan) are two sides of one coin. None of these entities are or were “civilian” in the sense of being ordinary criminals.
Agreed–so I suppose Reason will hammer the warbots for calling the martyrs of Fallujah “civilians,” too, smearing everyone who disagrees, and promoting the indiscriminate murder of that city’s actual civilians in retaliation?
Of course you won’t. You guys carry Rauch’s column precisely because he’s an establishment sycophant, er, Beltway authority who lends your magazine some mainstream respectability by lacking any libertarian inclinations. But if you’re going to run such soporific, predictable, rah-rah Israel, statist tripe in your mag, I’ll just read The New Republic instead–they do it far better.