Mailvox: too close for comfort

Hacker objects:

“The use of the term “Ethnic Cleansing” by VD is, I submit, disingenuous on his part. While his definition is a correct one, it’s not a common one or one that’s generally understood.”

It is not disingenuous, it is linguistically precise rhetoric. In case you hadn’t noticed, I regularly use words that are neither common nor generally understood.

As usual, those with a weak logical case attempt to linguistically clean the language to their liking. Hence Malkin’s attack on the term “concentration camp” being used for literal concentration camps and so forth.

Those who are attempting to disguise or explain away their actions always try to hide behind euphemisms. Their apologists will often fiercely attack those who speak plainly. If President Bush were to send in the U.S. Army to “evacuate” the six million Jews in the United States to Israel, I have no doubt that the term “ethnic cleansing” would be among the calmer and more gentle terms slung about.

And yet, that is precisely what Ariel Sharon has ordered the I.D.F. to do to a Jewish population that at .66 percent is not significantly smaller in percentage terms than the 2 percent of the American population represented by American Jews.

The Gaza expulsions are an ethnic cleansing. It is possibly the most humane ethnic cleansing since Ferdinand and Isabella expelled 200,000 Jews from Spain, but it is, nevertheless, an ethnic cleansing.

More manipulation

From Debkafile:

The uniformed men had braced for violent resistance. Instead they were greeted with prayers, laments, outpourings of bitter outrage and chorused recitations of Psalms. The soldiers must have asked themselves: What happened to the “violent extremists,” the loonies they had been taught for more than a year to confront? And why were 40,000 combat troops called up to evict a few thousand civilians, half children, who had clearly no plans of physical resistance?

Police commissioner Moshe Karadi confessed his surprise at the sparse violence in most places. If the present pace is sustained, this part of the operation could be over much sooner than expected and with a lot less pain….

There are three possible motives behind the decision to deploy excessive force:

1. The IDF is ignorant of civilian life, especially in Gush Katif – an illogical assumption.

2. Poor intelligence – impossible since the soldiers have been living and operating in the enclave 365 days a year and are familiar with every home and grain of sand.

3. This leaves the third premise, that the operation’s military planners were under orders from their superiors to deploy a colossal force for reasons of their own. Chief of staff Lt. Gen Dan Halutz and police commissioner Moshe Karadi take their orders directly from the prime minister Ariel Sharon and defense minister Shaul Mofaz. The question therefore, is what game were they playing?

There are two hypotheses:

One, As a veteran general, Sharon is accustomed to commanding large bodies of men. In his mind, Gush Katif was no different from any other front.

Two, Or else, the political campaign to discredit and demonize the substantial opposition to the prime minister’s evacuation plans was best served by inflating the size of the force required to handle it.

The local media played a key role here. Day and night, they harped on the grave menace posed by so-called right-wing extremists to elected government, senior officials including Sharon and democracy at large. The threat was built up to monstrous proportions. Nothing less than full mobilization would have served to match it. To pursue this tactic, prime minister used the armed forces as a political instrument rather than for their dedicated mission of defending the nation against its enemies. Israel’s Supreme Court of Justice played into his hands by declaring the IDF’s mission was to defend democracy, which in fact was not threatened.

Not just the local media. Those NRO writers about whom I wrote below appear to be doing their part to demonize the Jewish settlers.

Defending democracy. We seem to be hearing that phrase a lot recently.

The wisdom of Meng-Tze

Vox, she mentions that she didn’t appreciate her comments getting into your column on WND without her permission.

King Hûi of Liang once asked Mencius, “Why is that dog wet? And why, venerable sir, does it stink like the flesh of rotting swine left three days in the field?”

Mencius answered, “Your majesty, the little dog, which in its foolishness attempts to piss on the big dog, should not be surprised when the golden showers arrive.”

Jews against Jews

Jonathan Podhoretz on the ethnic cleansing of Gaza:

I have a nephew who is serving right now in Gaza. It’s his job, his duty, to help manage the forcible evacuation of the setlements. As it happens, he does not agree with the policy. But he is a soldier, and a good man, and he is doing his duty. When those resisting the evacuation — most of whom are now not residents of Gaza but people who live outside Gaza and have come in to take a stand — throw paint and sand and kick and fight, they are throwing paint and hurling sand and kicking and fighting against my nephew, an Israeli born and bred. So while I feel immense sympathy for the Gazans and certainly think that opposition to the evacuation policy is more than a respectable position, the behavior of those who are injure and provoke my nephew and his brethren in the Israeli military is, quite simply, beyond disgusting. They deserve no sympathy for their conduct. They are not pursuing civil disobedience. They are behaving in appalling fashion, as Sharpton-like goons and hooligans, and I hope they serve a nice stretch in jail.

I can’t say that I’m surprised. NRO’s Jews think that the Jews of Gaza should behave like good little Germans and obey the authorities, which is exactly the line taken by Mordechai Rumkowski, who hoped that cooperation would save the Jews of the Lodz ghetto. It didn’t.

Now, there are significant differences. The Jewish settlers are not being dragged off to Auschwitz and the Jews of Lodz were not compensated to the tune of 300 grand for their humble habitats. But the correlation is real nevertheless and it’s truly appalling to see how these supposedly conservative Republicans are openly supporting this overt ethnic cleansing.

As for the actions of Mr. Podhoretz’s relative, I seem to recall that with regards to matters such as these, the argument that a man simply doing “his job, his duty” is considered no defense.

Furthermore, the settlers are obviously engaging in pure civil disobedience. They are rather well armed, after all, and are capable of delivering more than a few kicks and grains of sand should they have chosen to resist violently.

Jonah Goldberg isn’t sympathetic either:

John Pod’s post reminds me again of how subdued the support for the Gaza Jews has been among the supposedly irredeemably Zionist corners of American media and politics. Indeed, I think we may have hit another tipping point yesterday. Several friends of mine and emailers — some Jewish, some not, but all pro-Israel — have started expressing attitudes along the lines of what John says below. The Gaza settlers have made their point and they’re starting to look bad.

I suspect he may be surprised about this. The Christian Right is unlikely to harbor much enthusiasm for Ariel Sharon now, and even if their support for his government is not completely withdrawn, it will be markedly more lukewarm than before.

UPDATE: ETHNIC CLEANSING: “The systematic elimination of an ethnic group or groups from a region or society, as by deportation, forced emigration, or genocide.”

My use of the term is correct.

More Lisa Lisa

DH was kind enough to email me: “She fights back…. Apparently she has her own blog – boy did she give you the business!

This is “the business”? I get far worse in my fantasy football league and we haven’t even DRAFTED yet. Anyhow, here’s her explanation for her inanities of last week’s response:

My original post will be in blue and my futher thoughts will be in regular print.

First: the point where I was going, and where I arrived at the end of this random, small, newsgroup post were two different places. As I said before, halfway through my thoughts I decided it was a waste of time…. I should have just deleted the whole thing….

But my base thinking was that one couldn’t pinpoint it as the influx of WOMEN in the work force, more just the influx of PEOPLE in the workforce.

“Yes. It’s defintely the influx of WOMEN into the workforce that caused this low ‘real wage.’ It’s not:
a) the exponential increase in child births. I meant the baby boom of the 40’s & 50’s that put alot of peole into the workforce in the 70’s and 80’s.
b) the exponential influx of immigrants (both legal and illegal) After WWII, there has been a huge influx in immigration. I’m not just talking about lettuce pickers in the San Juaquin valley. I’m talking about the influx of hi tech workers from Asia and then later, India .
c) the increase in the retirement age, thus putting exponential increases of people working later in life in the work force It is a known fact that people are, infact, working later in their lives, with many returning to the work force after retirement.
d) the exponential growth of corporations in this country I’m not entirely sure where I was going with this point (remember, I was workign against the clock, I knew the moderators would close this obvious flame bate thread). But I think I was thinking of the dot com bubble. That there were in the late 90’s an INCREASE in companies…. dot coms popping up everywhere, and then when that bubble burst, that would cause a decraese in real wages –i.e people being laid off.
e) drops in economy because of exponential offshoring of jobs This one was rather obvious. If you’re laid off, I’d say that’s a big drop in your real wages.

a) It still doesn’t compute. The US birth rates in the 1950s, while higher than the 1930s and 1940s, was still much lower than the rates from 1910 through 1925. The increase was not only not “exponential”, but in percentage terms it was still a decrease, for this time frame as well as the 1970-2000 period I cited.

b) The amount of immigration did increase, but the total, let alone this increase, was far smaller than the increase in additional women working. Furthermore, as I already explained, immigrants offer more consumption in addition to more production. Domestic women only offer more production.

c) This is simply wrong. Lisa Lisa might wish to try researching the requisite labor statistics instead of relying on what someone’s mother’s friend read in the New York Times’ Style section about how hip and cool older people are working at Starbucks these days.

d) I’m also at a complete loss. I have no idea where she was going either.

e) Again, the economy did not drop, it more than doubled. Jobs going offshore are lost, but jobs are not a zero-sum game since new jobs are created all the time. Since most new jobs are created by small companies and most offshoring is done by large companies, the correct question is to ask if one trend outweighs the other. Lisa Lisa hasn’t even begun a reasonable analysis.

Think before you spout off. Think before you write. For the love of sweet Cthulhu, most people writing on the Internet would do well simply to try thinking at all!