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As everyone will recall, the right wing, and its dead-end supporters in the blogosphere, had a conniption when Harry Reid noted the obvious and stated, "This war is lost, and that the surge is not accomplishing anything, as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday."  Numerous right wing bloggers claimed, even supposedly reasonable ones like the "esteemed" Perfesser Volokh, that Reid's statements "will have grave [a] cost" and "distress and delight must be caused by statements that represent that the Congressional majority actually believes the war to be lost."

Meanwhile, as everyone will recall, last summer, Israel fought a disastrous war against Hezbollah that did not accomplish the goals that it was supposed to accomplish -- destroying Hezbollah or at least weakening its ability to attack Israel from Northern Lebanon.  How does Israel deal with this?  Join me on the flip to see:

Israel appoints a commission to investigate responsibility for the disaster.  The commission issues a report, the Winograd Report, you guessed it, concludes that Israel basically lost the war.

Now, let's turn to the typical reaction to Reid's comments from the "reasonable" right winger, Perfesser Volokh after quoting the reactions to Reid's comments from Al Jazeera and the Iranian press:

As I have said before, it may well be quite proper -- and certainly constitutionally protected -- for people to criticize the war; and sometimes the benefits of such criticism, even of the "war is lost" variety and even when said by leading U.S. politicians, outweigh the costs. Yet it seems to me hard to doubt that this statement will have grave cost.

If Napoleon was right that "In war the moral [meaning 'morale'] is to the material as three to one," then it seems to me that Reid's statements may prove highly objectively costly, chiefly by strengthening the enemy's morale as well as by weaking our own soldiers'. Likewise if Churchill was right that even statements that "weaken confidence in the Government" and "make the Army distrust the backing it is getting from the civil power" may prove to be "to the distress of all our friends and to the delight of all our foes" (Speech in the House of Commons (July 2, 1942)). How much more distress and delight must be caused by statements that represent that the Congressional majority actually believes the war to be lost.

Maybe, as I said, the benefit of the statements exceeds their harm. And maybe the harm will be modest, because everyone -- among our enemies as well as among our military -- has already assumed that the Democratic leadership thinks this. Yet my suspicion is that the harm will be quite substantial indeed.

Now, let's take a look at how Hizbollah reacted to the Winograd Report:

"I will not gloat," he said. "It is worthy of respect that an investigative commission appointed by Olmert condemns him."

"Even though they're our enemies, it is worthy of respect that the political forces and the Israeli public act quickly to save their state, entity, army and their existence from the crisis," Nasrallah told the crowd.

The Hizbullah leader went on to say that the Winograd report ended the argument about who won and lost the war. "There are those in Israel who say they won and there are those who say they lost. This committee has concluded that they lost," he said, noting the word 'lost' appeared more than a hundred times in the report.

"The most important thing that Winograd has concluded is that Israelis say: 'We were defeated,'" exclaimed Nasrallah.

The Shi'ite Muslim cleric ridiculed Defense Minister Amir Peretz. "Peretz said that 'Nasrallah would never forget the name Amir Peretz.' I say to him, you were right, I will not forget that name."

So, it seems that, to use the eminent, reasonable Perfesser Volokh's words, the Winograd report is having a "grave cost" and the enemies of Israel are taking "delight" in it and "distress . . . must be caused by statements that represent that the [Israeli Government] actually believes the war to" have been "lost" and according to Hizbollah "ended the debate."  Surely this will embolden Israel's enemies.  Hizbollah and Israel are still at war, so it is no "excuse" that Reid said this while we are still at war.

So, why does Professor Volokh hate Israel?  Why does he think Israel is so stupid to issue such a report?  Where are the other right-wingers denouncing Israel's government for issuing such a report that is causing "delight" to Israel's enemies????

Originally posted to NewDem on Wed May 02, 2007 at 11:18 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nicely done n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Treg

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Wed May 02, 2007 at 11:20:05 AM PDT

  •  Not Sure (0+ / 0-)

    How are you drawing conclusions about what Volokh thinks about Israel using his comments regarding ... Harry Reid?  That is just plain strange, unless I have missed something here.

    Hunh.

    I do love, however, watching so-called "libertarians" like Volokh twist themselves into contortionist poses in order to justify support for authoritarianism, George Bush, the Iraq War and the Republican Party project.

    It is ridiculous and exposes them as shallow thinkers and people of low morals.

    Middle Class Mother-F!cking Warrior

    by bink on Wed May 02, 2007 at 11:20:29 AM PDT

    •  Tongue in Cheek (0+ / 0-)

      I am saying that Volokh is quick to call Reid a traitor and implying that he is aiding the enemy by making one comment (that is true).  But he does not say a word when Israel issues a whole report detailing how and why Israel lost a war, and Hizbollah -- the enemy in that war, not some media outlet -- says that they are delighted by it, and Volokh doesn't say a word.

  •  Excellent diary. Thanks. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Reading what Conservatives routinely spout (0+ / 0-)

    its clear that they are in real longterm trouble both intellectually and philosophically.

    We have all seen for years that talking points are still the same as reality to them. But that wasn't really as dangerous as this new trend that is utterly destroying them. Taking the talking points delusion and fusing it to 'admitting you have been wrong (when you have been undeniably wrong) and changing course (in a way that could help you and your cause right its ship tremendously) is an unforgivable sin if it gives anyone you oppose or disagree with or hate in any way even a smidge of satisfaction'.

    In the same way that playing video games is the same thing as storming the beach at Normandy to warbloggers and having a yellow ribbon sticker on your SUV is the same as joining the Marine corps and going out on daily patrols in Anbar province to Bush-Rove Republicans, movement conservatives will continue to destroy themselves by going along with Bush's insanity rather than stop doing something that is killing them. Why? Because if it makes anyone to the center left to left of them happy, it must be avoided at all costs.

    They really have become so out of touch that they believe their own bullshit. That Al-Qaida, and people who don't agree with them on policy issues, are the same thing. And that saving face is more important than saving your political, maybe even your actual, life.

    Look at Alberto Gonzales. he's killing Bush. A total cancer. But he can't be fired because it would "make Democrats happy". Its insane. Reagan would have fired Gonzales ages ago. So would have Bush's father. But movement conservatives have become Coulterized. It's political suicide, but it has happened.  

    Israel's sin to the conservative movement in this case is that, no matter how rough life is in the middle east, in this case it was willing to admit reality even if it makes them look bad. Even if it makes people who hate Israel happy. Even if it makes the politcal opponents of those in charge unhappy.

    But the Israelis are trying to do something vitally important here, something that is important to all movements, governments, and beliefs:

    "if somebody doesn't say 'this was a fuck-up' after a fuck-up happens... it will happen again the same way."

    Because you can't change something that has gone wrong without admitting that it was a mistake or a blunder. You can't stop drinking until you admit you are an alcoholic. You can't change a failing government problem unless you acknowledge its a failure and is hurting you.

    But Israel having any kind of self-examination is like treason to them. Because conservatives conflagrate those who want to destroy Israel with those who want the government of Israel to have different policies, and see losing face as the same thing as losing a war. That is insane, but that is where conservatism is.  

    I have to wonder if, say, the government of Israel was suddenly Labor from top to bottom and it was clear this was more than a temporary shift in the powers that be, if the right wouldn't suddenly become huge rhetorical supporters of suicide bombings and rocket attacks.  

    They have descended that far down the rabbit hole of blending critics with criminals and admitting reality with surrender.

    Your Playstation isn't Parris Island, HALO isn't military service, and SUV magnets aren't medals.

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed May 02, 2007 at 11:42:46 AM PDT

  •  There are of course differences between (0+ / 0-)

    Israel and the US.  Primary one is that the inquiry happened and report issued AFTER the end of hostilities, not while they were ongoing.

  •  I stopped reading at Perfesser. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rusty Pipes

    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

    by deathsinger on Wed May 02, 2007 at 12:21:51 PM PDT

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