New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, seen above being pied by student activists at Brown University last spring for “his sickeningly cheery applaud for free market capitalism’s conquest of the planet,” among other offenses, is shamelessly warmongering again.
In his column today he effectively endorses Israeli terrorism against Palestinian civilians. He says he hopes Israel’s goal is to “educate Hamas.” Then he explains that by “educate,” he means inflict massive collateral damage on the civilian population around Hamas, as Israel also did with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006.
Israel’s counterstrategy was to use its Air Force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future.
Israel’s military was not focused on the morning after the war in Lebanon — when Hezbollah declared victory and the Israeli press declared defeat. It was focused on the morning after the morning after, when all the real business happens in the Middle East. That’s when Lebanese civilians, in anguish, said to Hezbollah: “What were you thinking? Look what destruction you have visited on your own community! For what? For whom?”
In Gaza, I still can’t tell if Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas or trying to “educate” Hamas, by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population. If it is out to destroy Hamas, casualties will be horrific and the aftermath could be Somalia-like chaos. If it is out to educate Hamas, Israel may have achieved its aims. [emphasis added by Glenn Greenwald]
Watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has put out an alert urging folks to contact the Times’ Public Editor with their complaints. In the absence of a gooey pie to the face, Friedman and his enablers at the Times’ opinion page need to hear from us.