Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This is why I love Bill Maher!

Somehow, Bill Maher always has the ability to say what's on my mind. It's quite incredible! Today, Bill Maher wrote an incredibly insightful post on Huffington Post, that just summed up my opinion of the prez in a nutshell. Go read it yourself! Memorable quote:

I have to say, watching George Bush talk about Israel the last week has reminded me of a feeling that I hadn't felt in so long I forgot what it felt like: the feeling of pride when your president says what you want your president to say, especially in a matter that chokes you up a bit. I surrender my credentials as Bush exposer - from the very beginning - to no man, but on Israel, I love it that a U.S. president doesn't pretend Arab-Israeli conflict is an even-steven proposition. Lots of ethnic peoples, probably most, have at one time or another lost some territory; nobody's ever completely happy with their borders; people move and get moved, which is why the 20th century saw the movement of tens if not hundreds of millions of refugees in countries around the world. There was no entity of Arabs called "Palestine" before Israel made the desert bloom. If those 600,000 original Palestinian refugees had been handled with maturity by their Arab brethren, who had nothing but space to put them, they could have moved on -- the way Germans, Czechs, Poles, Chinese and everybody else has, including, of course, the Jews.

Oh how I love Uncle Bill! I cannot wait for Real Time to come back on the air! Alan Dershowitz also was busy on HuffPost, issuing a challenge!

In today's Wall Street Journal I have an article demonstrating that Hezbollah and Hamas actually want Israel to kill Lebanese and Palestinian civilians (see 'Arithmetic of Pain') . I challenge the readers of this post to come up with a better alternative for Israel than to try to destroy Hezbollah's rockets, even at the cost of some civilian casualties.

My argument is that by hiding behind their own civilians, the Islamic radicals issue a challenge to democracies: either violate your own morality by coming after us and inevitably killing some innocent civilians, or maintain your morality and leave us with a free hand to target your innocent civilians. This challenge presents democracies such as Israel with a lose-lose option and the terrorists with a win-win option. I challenge the readers of this post to recommend to Israel better ways of responding to this challenge. What would you do? What would America do? What should a democracy do?

I issue that challenge to Culture for All readers. Can you think of a solution to this quagmire, different from the path Israel is taking?


felix said...

One way of dealing with this problem, which doesn't involve war, is for western countries to adopt a policy of deporting radical islamists. We have a kind of double standard going on. Lebanon has so many resident radical islamists (called Hezbollah), that the group has its own army that runs all South Lebanon. In other words, if the local radical islamists are our enemy in Afghanastan and South Lebanon and we want them killed in those locals (which I agree with), then why allow radical islamists to reside in the west.

It is a double message. It's OK for radical islamists to live in London, Paris, and the USA, but they have to be fought in other countries. Start denying the green cards and deporting the radical islamists already here and this can have a big impact all over the Muslim world.

MechanicalCrowds said...

Felix, off topic but good point.

I think Israel made the right move if:
1) They are going to get rid of Hezbollah, and not gonna kill civilans for nothing.
2) They are doing their best to minimize civilian casualties.
3) They are gonna give all the land back once this is done.

felix said...

On your last point, unless Lebanese army takes control of South Lebanon (which looks unlikely), Israel will again have to create a buffer zone in South Lebanon.