Saturday, June 05, 2010

Sully on Krauthammer's "Derangement Syndrome"

So what the hell HAPPENED to Andrew Sullivan, anyway? I still don't get how the arch-Bush-apologist go to this point.


To read Charles Krauthammer today is to enter a twilight zone of an alternate reality. A country permanently occupying and colonizing a neighboring region, and treating its original inhabitants as dangerous interlopers, is the victim. An elite commando unit attacking a ship carrying toys and wheelchairs in the hours before dawn are those we should feel pity for. A country with 150 nuclear warheads and the strongest military in its region, the victor in every conventional war it has always fought, is somehow also always fighting for its very existence. A country backed by the sole superpower, supplied with aid by huge majorities in the US Congress, is facing extinction. Self-defense requires not civilly disabling and inspecting the cargo of an unarmed ship but raiding it at dawn and killing nine and injuring dozens. Basic human revulsion at a military that can kill over a thousand people - including scores of women and children in a trapped, impoverished enclave - can only be a function of anti-Semitism. A territory that is being systematically populated with Israelis in illegal settlements in contravention of the Geneva Conventions is merely a "buffer zone". You need to colonize buffer zones?

Invasion and occupation of neighboring countries is "forward defense". And asking that a two-state solution be moved forward by freezing illegal settlement construction and allowing a blockade that, while interdicting arms, doesn't seek to kill civilians and restrict the import of basic necessities is to deprive a country with 150 nuclear warheads of any legitimate form of self-defense.

This is a form of derangement, or of such a passionate commitment to a foreign country that any and all normal moral rules or even basic fairness are jettisoned. And you will notice one thing as well: no regret whatsoever for the loss of human life, just as the hideous murder of so many civilians in the Gaza war had to be the responsibility of the victims, not the attackers. There is no sense of the human here; just the tribe.

Something has been wrong here for a very long time, and now it is inescapable. Until the discourse is rescued from the victims of Israel Derangement Syndrome, Israel and America will slowly be drawn into wars they cannot ultimately win, lose every other ally they ever had, and embolden and fortify the very Islamist forces we are seeking to defuse and defeat.
Nothing to argue with here. Krauthammer's piece really is insane: the sort of "forward defense" he advocates is reminiscent of Stalin crushing Eastern Europe to keep his "buffer" against the West, and his version of "active defense" is near-Orwellian in its avoidance of anything like the words "attack" or "aggression"...despite the fact that it would just as easily justify a carpet-bombing campaign.

And then, naturally, he calls everybody who disagrees with him or criticizes Israel Nazis, who are absolutely panting for another Holocaust. Which is utterly offensive to both the Holocaust's survivors and everybody else. Nothing new there: it's Krauthammer.

Honestly. Krauthammer has been a nutball since the Cold War, but this is really beyond the pale.

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