Odd blogging behaviour noted

I have found the reaction of the Right to the photos released the other day that show Hezbollah fighters in residential areas puzzling. The damning proof – Hezbollah wanted civilians targetted breathlessly shrieks one such headline that I found, though there are many of a similar tone. The Sun Came Up This Morning! Lance Bass is Gay! Right-Wing Blogger Manages to Create a Reference to Kennedy Misdeed!

I mean, why is this news – we know that is the way terrorists operate. So why do some bloggers feel the need to wave this as if it is some kind of victory in an argument? Is it supposed to convince me somehow that killing more civilians is the answer to the problem?

Have those on either side of this argument completely lost touch with one another? I think that most of us on the peaceful middle ground side and those on the bomb Hezbollah into the earth side want the same thing in the end – an end to killings in Israel and Lebanon and the long-term establishment of peace. It’s not like when I write that I think a military solution to this problem is untenable and unlikely to work that I’m really saying “go Hezbollah!”

Is that how I’m being heard on the right?


5 thoughts on “Odd blogging behaviour noted

  1. Some of the actions the IDF have undertaken in the past few weeks have been indefensible so many of its supporters have to “frame” criticisms of their actions as anti-Israel, anti-semitic or pro-Hezbollah. It really is their only “defence”.

    For the folks on the right they are just following George Bush and his “you are with us or agin us” refrain.

    What I find more disappointing is these accusations are being made by progressives against fellow progressives who have had the temerity to criticise the Israeli government and some of the actions of the IDF.

    It is a desperate tactic by people who deep down know that some of what the IDF has done is wrong but they cannot admit it to themselves, they cannot come up with plausible explanations for those actions and they want to silence any criticism.

    In the MSM such tactics work but with the internet such tactics fail every time which is why those accusations are getting more and more shrill as time goes on.


  2. What annoys me is that the with or agin us (WOAU) tactic admits no shades of grey. I have absolutely nothing against the Jewish people, in fact my experiences at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, as well as an understanding of history, have made me quite sympathetic to their experiences. However, I find the actions of the Israeli government deplorable. I can, with no moral uncertainty whatsoever, support one while disagreeing with the other. I guess I have more than binary code running in my head.


  3. ottlib:
    What I find more disappointing is these accusations are being made by progressives against fellow progressives who have had the temerity to criticise the Israeli government and some of the actions of the IDF
    This doesn’t actually disappoint me. First, it shows that the progressive community is indeed full of ideas and discussion – good luck finding that in the megaphone foolishness in some, ahem, other places. Ultimately, what this really shows is that the issue is contentious and that at the end of the day no one of us is going to solve a conflict that began in 1947, or earlier depending on how you read it.

    Flash: WOAU (I’m going to use that from now on!) is designed to admit no shades – it’s a two-option multiple choice that forces you to commit. It disarms or subverts reasoning when making the choice, and then having made it, harnesses it for the “right” side.

    What happens in any discussion of Israel is even worse — the anti-Semite card is played just about every time, and even when it isn’t, it hovers there waiting.


  4. Kevvyd:

    I liked your post, it was insightful. I’d like to point out a similar phenomenon which reasonable right wing bloggers are subject to by “progressives”: just as your criticism of the IDF’s bombing as a solution to the problem is wrongly characterized as “Go Hezbollah”, any position that does not call for an immediate ceasefire under any circomstances is apparently equivalent to the advocation of the death of Lebanese children at the behest of George W. Bush.

    Further, any position the government takes on foreign policy or otherwise that isn’t directly opposite to the decisions of the purely evil Bush administration is necessarily the result of it. This is endlessly frustrating.

    I am generally right wing, however I appreciate the positions of people along the political spectrum, and recognize the assumptions and biases on all sides (including my own). Hindsight often proves me wrong, and my greatest quality is ironically my humility. I think a bit more humility balanced against the polarization in the blogosphere could go a long way.


  5. Olaf,
    Thanks for this. I have a feeling that in a lot of things we might disagree, me being pretty much solidly lefty, but we would agree that the world is such a big and complicated place that it seems foolish to hold hard to something as intangible as an idea or opinion.

    I do not doubt that the same kind of (ir)rationalizations that I see from the right occur with similar frequency from the left – my bias would make it a little more difficult for me to identify all but the most obvious of these.

    I actually agree with you, which might surprise some readers, when you see this as a problem:

    any position that does not call for an immediate ceasefire under any circomstances is apparently equivalent to the advocation of the death of Lebanese children

    If this issue had been on my radar before the bombings began, I would have argued that a military strike is doomed to failure, and the only possible outcome would be a strengthened Hezbollah and isolated Israel. At this point, however, the die has already been thrown by the IDF and it is hard to imagine that an immediate ceasefire would result in anything but a Cold War-style face off between an occupying IDF and an emboldened Hezbollah. There is evidence that an unacceptably large portion of the population of southern Lebanon has been trapped by the immediate Israeli strikes on transportation infrastructure, so it might be that a stand-off is in their best interest. However, I can’t see how it would last when Israel and the US have already made it clear that there will be no negotiating with Hezbollah.

    The real problem is that Hezbollah is like a fish swimming among the population – you move the population and it will move with it. It would be preferable for Hezbollah to walk out into the open on a battlefield and duke it out directly with the IDF, but they are not suicidal (at least as an organization), so it isn’t going to happen. If the IDF actually allowed a cease-fire in order to let the civilians out, the Hezbollah would likely flee with them. And I can’t help but think that the heavy-handed methods of the IDF, or the methods that are being portrayed as heavy-handed by the media, have increased the support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and maybe elsewhere in the Arabic world.

    Now that the battle has begun I have no idea how it can possibly end, and I hate to say it, but I think that a cease-fire might actually make things worse in the long run.

    Can it possibly be that I’m starting to agree with Condoleeza Rice and Peter “Handupme” Mackay? Someone, quick, talk me out of this. This is a plea for help!


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