Friday, January 2, 2009

Krauthammer 1/2/09

In the Gaza Conflict One Side Is Right and the Other Is Wrong

My take on Charles Krauthammer's latest. His column was published in the Washington Post.

Summary: Score: Israeli's right; Palestinians wrong. Because the Hamas* government DELIBERATELY targets civilians; the Israeli government does not.

Did the Palestinians begin building the state that is supposedly their great national aim? No. No roads, no industry, no courts, no civil society at all. The flourishing greenhouses that Israel left behind for the Palestinians were destroyed and abandoned. Instead, Gaza's Iranian-sponsored rulers have devoted all their resources to turning it into a terror base -- importing weapons, training terrorists, building tunnels with which to kidnap Israelis on the other side. And of course firing rockets unceasingly.
My Views: Last month, Hamas announced that the end of the truce with Israel. In response to unceasing rocket attacks, Israel invaded the Gaza Strip. It's announced intentions was to destroy Hamas' offensive capability.

I don't understand why the outrage is directed against Israel. The reasons normally given are that Israel uses disporportionate force and does disporportionate violance. This reason is just wierd.

I think Colin Powell summarized war best. Wars aren't supposed to be cliffhangers that drag on into tiebreaks. Wars, if they must be fought at all, ought to be short. You win it quickly and get out. Terrorists and terrorist governments need to understand that if they do bad things, they will get hurt. A lot. If morality does not stop them from doing bad things, then at least that will. That point has done more for peace than anything else.

* Hamas is the ruling party in the Gaza portion of Palestine.

Charles Krauthammer is a more establishment columnist. He came to punditry by way of psychiatry (at Massachusetts General Hospital) via the New Republic Magazine. He appears on TV where you never see his wheelchair. Here's his Wiki bio.

He wrote a book which is pictured at the right. I am drawn by the substance and the thinking than any particular writing flair.