Monday, January 5, 2009

What If They Gave a War, and Nobody Cared?

I can characterize most people's reactions to what's happening in Gaza in two words: "What, again?" Of course there are exceptions--we know one person who's in the American version of the Israeli reserves. He's rather committed to that side. But for the rest, it's a version of Middle East Burnout, I think.

I'm intrigued by the semantics. If Hamas is indeed the duly elected government of Gaza, shouldn't the dudes firing rockets be called "soldiers" instead of "militants"? At what point is a terrorist a "freedom fighter" or terrorism "armed resistance"?

I don't love Hamas. They grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, and those guys are nuts. They make Arafat's Fatah look like the Cub Scouts. But a 100-to-1 mortality rate isn't much of a battle, is it? I can't find any similar rates in this list of battle death statistics; he tends to lump such incongruous ratios under "massacres."

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