Monday, March 29, 2004

Conservative Fiction

Joel Mobray, who brags "his start with" them, idiotorializes:
As we’re learning from the 9/11 commission, if the United States hadn’t squandered its many opportunities to kill Osama bin Laden before 2001, there’s a good chance 3,000 Americans would not have perished on September 11th.
What credible or informed person would make such an assertion? This loosely knit organization, and its plan for 9/11 which was years in the making, would have toppled like dominoes had its leader been killed? To support his nonsense, Mobray adds,
Israel is finally starting to figure out that terror is a top-down plague, not some grassroots “uprising.” If only they had killed the head of Hamas and his minions years ago, many of the 377 innocent Israelis Hamas slaughtered might be alive today.
Perhaps Mobray somehow missed the fact that assasssination is not a new tool in the Israeli anti-terrorism kit - it's one they have applied for years? With former Prime Minister Ehud Barak bragging of his covert missions to assassinate Palestininans, when serving as a young commando in the IDF - most notably the 1973 assassination of three organizers of the Munich Olympic Games massacre? That being about five years before Israel made the choice to fund Hamas in the hope that it would grow and thereby weaken the secular PLO, instead of stamping it out in its formative stages? (And let's not forget that it wasn't Israel who first started the "top down" notion that executing leaders of resistance groups in the Holy Land would end their violence - Britain created that model. And Britain arrested and executed a lot of people without ending either terrorism or resistance to the Mandatory Government.)
In 1938 alone the number of Palestinians killed in action by the British was conservatively estimated at not less than one thousand, while 54 Palestinians were executed by hanging, and 2,463 Palestinians were detained. The Palestinian population at the time did not exceed one million. In spite of all these measures the Palestinian rebellion continued unabated during 1938, and several areas of the country, including the Old City of Jerusalem, fell under rebel control.
Additionally, Israel's history suggests that assassinations are often followed by a spike in violence, which in theory will precede a lull. In "big picture" terms, we're still waiting for the lull. In "real world" terms, an assassination of Bin Laden might have accelerated the 9/11 attack plan - while there is considerable evidence to demonstrate his knowledge and approval, there does not appear to be any evidence that Bin Laden was actively involved in that plot.

Mobray also displays abject ignorance over North Korea:
If we had dropped a daisy cutter on Kim Jong-Il’s North Korean palace in 1994 instead of signing a worthless nonproliferation treaty, more than two million North Koreans would be alive today—and they’d be breathing freedom. Would some civilians have died? Of course. But nowhere near two million. Not even close.
Well, we can start with the thirty-seven thousand or so troops we had stationed near the DMZ, and about half a million South Koreans in Seoul. (We couldn't have moved our thirty-seven thousand troops without triggering a "preemptive" strike by the North, because they know that we would only move them to remove them from harm's way in an anticipated battle.) North Korea probably could also have lobbed some missiles into Japan. But hey - that's still less than two million. Unless you count the North Koreans, South Koreans, and U.S. soldiers who would have been killed in the subsequent war which only somebody like Mobray would be too dumb to anticipate following such a strike.

But I guess all is fair in the Brooks/Safire school of editorializing, where all opinions are valid, and you can make stuff up as long as you do so to make a joke or if it may "resonate" as true.


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