Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lack of perspective

One of the reasons that Mark Steyn and Jonah Goldberg are two of the best commentators at work today is that they see trends and can analyze how seemingly unconnected events inform us about the world. Case in point -- Steyn's weekly column for the Chicago Sun-Times from Sunday. Read the whole piece. Here's an excerpt:

. . . when an army goes to war against a terrorist organization, it's like watching the Red Sox play Andre Agassi: Each side is being held to its own set of rules. When Hezbollah launches rockets into Israeli residential neighborhoods with the intention of killing random civilians, that's fine because, after all, they're terrorists and that's what terrorists do. But when, in the course of trying to resist the terrorists, Israel unintentionally kills civilians, that's an appalling act of savagery.

Speaking at West Point in 2002, President Bush observed: "Deterrence -- the promise of massive retaliation against nations -- means nothing against shadowy terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend." Actually, it's worse than that. In Hezbollahstan, the deaths of its citizens works to its strategic advantage: Dead Israelis are good news but dead Lebanese are even better, at least on the important battlefield of world opinion. The meta-narrative, as they say, is consistent through the media's Hez-one-they-made-earlier coverage, and the recent Supreme Court judgment, and EU-U.N. efforts to play "honest broker" between a sovereign state and a genocidal global terror conglomerate: All these things enhance the status of Islamist terror and thus will lead to more of it, and ever more "disproportionately."

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