July 28, 2002

Today's Seattle Times letters page is a fascinating (and sometimes repulsive) study in contrasts regarding the Israeli attack on the Hamas asshole they wasted last week.

I'm not going to quote all of the items, but there is a radical polarization in the letters, and for the most part the Times did a good job of alternating anti-Israeli and anti-Palestinian pieces. (They alternate until the last two, both anti-Israel and the last anti-Bush as well). Regular readers know exactly where my sympathies lie, but here's a snippet from the next to last, and most offensive, of the letters:

When a Palestinian blows himself up with a home-made bomb, killing Israeli soldiers and civilians, he is a terrorist; but when Israel, with a U.S.-supplied F-16 fighter jet, bombs a house, killing one Hamas leader, over a dozen innocent Palestinians and injuring well over 100 Palestinian people, Israel is just acting a little out of line.

You're damn right that when a Palestinian walks into a crowded restaurant and blows himself up, killing scores of totally innocent people, he is a terrorist. There is no strategic advantage to blowing up innocent civilians.

Israel's targeting of the MILITARY LEADER OF HAMAS (note the title) resulted in some unfortunate additional deaths. It is regrettable that the children died, but the rest of the people who were killed got what was coming to them. Surrendering a known murderer to the Israelis would have prevented the deaths, as they Israelis would have had no reason to attack if Shahadeh was in custody or dead. Absent those conditions, Israel was totally justified in the course of action they took. Hamas has declared war on Israel; people die in wars, sometimes even innocents.

And of course, we have the "US-supplied F-16" trope. If the fighter had been a Soviet Su-27, would the deaths have been justified? How about if it was a French Mirage or Rafale? The fact that this writer found a need to tie the US in speaks volumes to his mindset about how the world works.

posted on July 28, 2002 04:25 PM


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