Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I am going to be in meetings most of the day, but I will leave you with some reading that should highlight the bright moral line that has been exposed by the recent events in the Middle East.

Dennis Praeger comments on the "decent" vs the "indecent" left:
But we now have a bright line that divides the decent -- albeit usually wrong -- Left from the indecent Left.

The Left's anti-Israel positions until now were based, at least in theory, on its opposition to Israeli occupation of Arab land and its belief in the "cycle of violence" between Israel and its enemies. However, this time there is no occupied land involved and the violence is not a cycle with its implied lack of a beginning. There is a clear aggressor -- a terror organization devoted to Islamicizing the Middle East and annihilating Israel -- and no occupation.

That is why the Israeli Left is almost universally in favor of Israel's war against Hezbollah. Amos Oz, probably Israel's best-known novelist and leading spokesman of its Left, a lifetime critic of Israeli policy vis a vis the Palestinians, wrote in the Los Angeles Times:

"Many times in the past, the Israeli peace movement has criticized Israeli military operations. Not this time. . . . This time, Israel is not invading Lebanon. It is defending itself from daily harassment and bombardment of dozens of our towns and villages. . . . There can be no moral equation between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah is targeting Israeli civilians wherever they are, while Israel is targeting mostly Hezbollah."

While Ralph Kinney Bennett has this to say at TCS:
Maybe, as this terrible business in Lebanon unfolds, we'll finally get it:

Guerrillas like to hide behind civilians.

Muslim guerrillas take it a step further: "Civilians" are a weapon to them -- as much a part of the fight as the AK-47 or RPG they carry.

Those who have visited any Hezbollah installation in Lebanon over the years always remark on the fact that there are families, women and children, in and around the place. "Secret" bases are usually hidden in plain site. Houses or apartment buildings become weapons storage or even operations centers. An innocent shed or garage may contain a Toyota or a missile launcher.

Seldom, if ever, has a guerrilla movement been able to so openly and exquisitely weave itself into the fabric of a society as Hezbollah has done in Lebanon.

If the civilians in and around what are in effect operational bases happen to be of Hezbollah's own brand of Islam they automatically become a part of the "sacrificial," suicidal equation. Often without choice or foreknowledge, they die an "honorable" death in the battle against infidels or apostates.

If the civilians happen to be of some other persuasion, Islamic or otherwise, their deaths are not even worth a shrug. However, these mangled bodies and wailing women with arms outstretched do provide an immense propaganda payoff, especially in the Western "crusader" media -- which still places a quaint value on human life.

Is it possible that some on the left are finally going to "get it"? Is it finally going to penetrate their thick skulls that there is a fundamental difference between the Islamofascist terrorists and the people that fight them?

There is indeed a 'bright line' that should be obvious to anyone who looks at the situation, but don't hold your breath that the extreme left will be able to see it. Even in the comment section of this blog; in almost any post that points out the moral differences between the Israelis and Hezbollah/Hamas, there is the leftist who continues to mindlessly apply the old template. You know, the template that maintains that Israel is the "occupier" and "oppressor"; that Israel isn't any different than the Palestinians or Hezbollah and that they target civilians, too. The same template that proclaims that George Bush is as much a terrorist--even worse--than Osama Bin Laden; blah, blah, blah. The moral equivalency template.

Back last August when the Israelis withdrew from Gaza I said:
I am hopeful that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza will clarify for the whole world the real motives of the Palestinians. I don't believe that their leaders really want their own Palestinian state--they could have had that long ago. What they want, pure and simple is the destruction of Israel, even if it means continued suffering for their own people.

At least the suffering of these settlers in being evicted from homes they have lived in for decades will make it easier to Israel to defend itself without all the irrational screams of "occupiers!" being hurled their way from the rest of the world.

Ok, maybe that's is too much to hope for. Nevertheless, what the Palestinians do with this gift will be revealing.... [but]I believe they will squander it in order to continue to express their hatred of the Jews. That hatred has been the dominant focus in their culture for some time, and they are not about to give it up for a Palestinian state-- or for Peace.

Perhaps the rest of the world will begin to notice that.

Well, many are finally beginning to notice the bright line. But the minions of the political left are still funbling around in moral darkness.

The best explanation for this is at One Cosmos where Bob discusses the left's broken moral compass:
The philosopher Michael Polanyi pointed out that what distinguishes leftist thought in all its forms is the dangerous combination of a ruthless contempt for traditional moral values with an unbounded moral passion for utopian perfection. (This is all explained very clearly in a nice introduction to Polanyi’s thought, entitled Everyman Revived.)

The first step in this process is a complete skepticism that rejects traditional ideals of moral authority and transcendent moral obligation. This materialistic skepticism is then combined with a boundless, utopian moral fervor to transform mankind. However, being that the moral impulse remains in place, there is no longer any boundary or channel for it. One sees this, for example, in college students (and those permanent college students known as professors) who, in attempting to individuate from parental authority and define their own identities, turn their intense skepticism against existing society, denouncing it as morally shoddy, artificial, hypocritical, and a mere mask for oppression and exploitation. In other words, as the philosopher Voegelin explained it, the religious hope for a better afterlife is “immamentized” into the present, expressing the same faith but in wholly horizontal and materialistic and terms.

What results is a moral hatred of existing society and the resultant alienation of the postmodern leftist intellectual. Having condemned the distinction between good and evil as dishonest, such an individual can at least find pride in the “honesty” of their condemnation. Since ordinary decent behavior can never be safe against suspicion of sheer conformity or downright hypocrisy, only an amoral meaningless act can assure complete authenticity. This is why, to a leftist, the worst thing you can call someone is a hypocrite, whereas authentic depravity is celebrated in art, music, film, and literature. It is why, for example, leftist leaders all over the world were eager to embrace a nihilistic mass murderer such as Yasser Arafat--literally. Yuck.

Yuck, indeed. Bob goes on to further expose the destructive cynicism and boundless moral fervor of the left, both anchored with its primordial envy.

Finally, ShrinkWrapped sees this primordial envy as the place where the left and the Islamists intersect:
They both believe in managing envy by using the tribal template. They are both terrified of a future in which they cannot compete and in which they may lose their privileges. They have differing, and mutually exclusive, ideologies, but they agree on the basic problem and the basic solution, which is why so many on the far left have found a home in alliance with radical Islam.
Today, it is the Jew and the American both who are the objects of envious hatred. Americans (and Australians, and some Europeans) are all Jews now.

The suicide bomber is the epitome of the tribal system gone into nihilism: If I cannot have what you have, you will not have it either. We will all be equal in death!

It really is a very bright line.

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