Just when you think that the New York Times can’t get any worse in its anti-Israel campaign, out comes Steve Erlanger with this despicable piece of news that doesn’t even have the courtesy label “analysis” that spins the deaths and capture of Israeli soldiers by Hezbullah as granting Ehud Olmert “a deeper political consensus.”
I kid you not.
War Gives Israeli Leader Political Capital
JERUSALEM, July 15 â€” The raid into Israel from southern Lebanon by the Shiite militia group Hezbollah has provided the new government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a deeper political consensus, allowing him to prosecute a war that is widely supported by the Israeli people.
[…] Freeing the soldier and stopping Qassam rocket fire into Israel were the stated goals, but neither had been accomplished, and international criticism was mounting.
So was internal criticism of Mr. Olmert and his inexperienced defense minister, Amir Peretz, the head of the Labor Party, after the initial surge of solidarity that followed the soldierâ€™s capture, itself viewed as a humiliation for the army, which had received clear warnings of the plot from domestic intelligence.
Then Hezbollah killed eight Israeli soldiers and captured two.
[…] â€œThe Hezbollah issue helps the Olmert government a lot, because Hezbollah gave them a wonderful option to do something the army was already prepared to do, with a well-constructed operational plan on the shelf,â€ said Ron Pundak, director general of the Peres Center for Peace and a former Israeli negotiator with the Palestinians.
â€œGaza looked to be what Lebanon was in the past, a swamp or pond with very deep mud, where once youâ€™re back in itâ€™s hard to get out,â€ Mr. Pundak said. â€œBut now they have, not carte blanche, but a clean table.â€
Lebanon has allowed Mr. Olmert, who did not hesitate to authorize the largest air campaign over Lebanon since the 1982 war, to broaden the issue for Israelis and the international community from captured soldiers to a two-front war against radical Islam. With Hezbollah a well-armed Iranian-sponsored militia to Israelâ€™s north, and Hamas running Gaza, Israel is arguing that it is doing necessary work supported, quietly at least, by moderate Arab governments and many Lebanese.
Isn’t it just dandy that Hezbullah happened along to rescue the Olmert government from the swamp that is Gaza? Isn’t it wonderful that so many people have been killed or wounded, both in Lebanon and Israel, just to rescue Olmert’s “political capital”?
Could this reporter be any more post-modern? Could this article be any more depraved? Just imagine the conversation. I did.
“I’ve got an angle for the story. Let’s write an article that points out how great the Hezbullah action is for Olmert. The issues are clear-cut: A terrorist group crossed the border into Israel, killed some Israeli soldiers, captured the ones left alive, and brought them out of Israeli territory to hold them hostage for a prisoner exchange.”
“But that’s exactly what happened in Gaza.”
“No it’s not. Gaza is a swamp. No clear-cut boundaries, Hamas is part of the palestinian government, no quick end in sight. Don’t you see the differences?”
“No. It’s pretty much exactly the same. A terrorist group crossed the border into Israel, killed some soldiers, brought the survivor back over the border and is now holding him hostage for a prisoner exchange. What’s the difference?”
“Don’t you see! The world knows that Hezbullah is at fault here! There’s even a UN resolution demanding they disarm! It’s an absolute win for Olmert that Hezbullah was stupid enough to do this! Get it?”
“Uh, no. The world pretty much was blaming Hamas for what they did, too.”
“Yes, but don’t you see? There was no end in sight! Quagmire! Rockets falling anyway!”
“Uh, no, I don’t get it.”
“Oh, never mind. I’m going to pitch this one to Pinch. He’ll understand.”
Shyeah. The war with Hezbullah is a good thing politically. Only a northeastern media elite could think that way.
And my journey rightward continues.