Wednesday, September 19, 2007

United We Stand

From a piece by Ken Silverstein in the online-edition of Harper's:
Daniel Pipes–who . . . has signed on as a foreign policy advisor to Rudy Giuliani’s campaign–essentially argued for war crimes against Palestinians, and there was no cry of protest from the media or anywhere else.

“Believing that if you don’t win a war, you lose it, I have long encouraged the Israeli government to take more assertive measures in response to attacks,” Pipes wrote on his blog on September 6.
In a Jerusalem Post piece six years ago, “Preventing war: Israel’s options,” I called for shutting off utilities to the Palestinian Authority as well as a host of other measures, such as permitting no transportation in the PA of people or goods beyond basic necessities, implementing the death penalty against murderers, and razing villages from which attacks are launched. Then and now, such responses have two benefits: First, they send a strong deterrent signal “Hit us and we will hit you back much harder” thereby reducing the number of attacks in the short term. Second, they impress Palestinians with the Israeli will to survive, and so bring closer their eventual acceptance of the Jewish state.
The Geneva Conventions label collective punishments as a war crime. “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed,” according to Article 33. “Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”
(Emphasis added.) Silverstein also notes in his piece that the Obama campaign had a campaign ad taken down that had appeared as a random, pop-up “sponsored link” on’s web page for the controversial book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy: "Obama’s campaign released a statement saying that while he had not actually read the book, its conclusions were 'dead wrong' and that the senator 'has stated that his support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, which includes both a commitment to Israel’s security and to helping Israel achieve peace with its neighbors, comes from his belief that it’s the right policy for the United States.'”

Obama can't really be faulted for his campaign's extravagant caution (i.e., to ensure that not even a randomly appearing ad would appear on the same Amazon web page as a book critical of U.S. policy towards Israel): see, e.g., Abe Foxman on Jimmy Carter.

Oh, and another of the foreign policy luminaries Giuliani has named as an advisor to his campaign? Norman Podhoretz, the cuddly grandfather figure of the neoconservative movement, who, undaunted by our never-ending glories in Iraq, "hopes and prays" that Bush bombs Iran posthaste.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, if there's one thing that the Jewish/Arab conflict has taught us, it's that the policy of “hit us and we will hit you back much harder” reduces violence.