Foreign Affairs

Pat is Wrong About Gaza

The moment Israel began its war of defense against the missiles being fired at her citizens from Hamas launching pads in Gaza, the United Nations, the communist and dictatorship countries, the Europeans and the Arab/ Muslim states began their predictable condemnation of Israel. Though not as severe as those just mentioned, Pat Buchanan embarked on a journalistic blitz with the similar goal of stopping Israel from defeating its terrorist attackers and asking the upcoming Obama administration to declare it will not support Israel.
 
Buchanan ("Bush, Obama, and the Gaza Blitz", 12/30/08, HUMAN EVENTS) questions “the wisdom of so savage a retribution for rockets that killed not one Israeli.”  That, of course, is just wrong.  At least 14 Israelis had been killed by Hamas rockets since 2001, and the Hamas attacks had intensified to more than sixty rockets per day just before Israel counter-attacked by airstrikes.

Had Israel’s interest been retribution, it could have quickly leveled all of Gaza. Instead, Israel first confined its attack to military and launching sites and the Hamas leadership engineering the rocket and suicide bomb attacks.

Now, as the ground incursion proceeds, Israel is continuing to take humanitarian measures above and beyond the call of its duty.  As Shimon Peres said last weekend, “The operation was planned carefully and the army was true to its principles: namely, to be precise in its targets and careful not to hit civilian life. There is a problem because many of the bombs were stored in private houses. We have contacted the owners of the houses, the people that dwell there, and told them leave it. You can’t live with bombs. We have to bring an end to the source of the bombs.”

Clearly this operation is being run as a defensive measure only, with the aim of once-and-for-all sparing Israeli children, schools and townsfolk from daily shelling. But in a twisted move, Buchanan accuses Israel of a "premeditated and planned blitz" — as if Israel cunningly forced Hamas to shell Israeli citizens.
 
Buchanan is incorrect in stating that no Israeli has died from the 5,000 bombs of Hamas. But beyond that, he is well aware of the dozens of Israelis who have been permanently blinded and crippled by Hamas rockets and the hundreds of children terrorized and scarred for life after being repeatedly shaken from their sleep beds as they run through the night to bomb-shelters.  Are ruined lives and suffering by a population not reason enough for a country to respond conclusively?  
 
Regardless of how many are killed, when a foreign entity invades a country and its citizens within, that country’s government must respond to those acts of war by doing whatever must be done to stop the invasion from happening again. Would Pat Buchanan be as accepting if the target was Arlington, Virginia and the maimed shoppers from Tyson’s Corner? But so lightly does he evidently feel about Jewish suffering that the rationale he gives for Israel’s strong response is "crass Israeli politics".
 
The following question needs to be asked of the Arab/Muslim countries as well as the Europeans: What is the appropriate number of Jewish lives that must first be lost before retaliation is permissible — is it five, or 25, or should the bar be set at six million?
 
Naturally, as Buchanan knows, when a first-rate military power decides to finally unleash a portion of its power, the explosiveness of its bombs may seem “savage” in comparison to the Katyusha type rockets used by lesser powers.  

While working in the White House, Pat Buchanan ignored the accusation by Leftists and Jesse Jackson that America was guilty of using disproportionate power when freeing our students in Grenada.  He rebuked the Leftist notion that a first-rate military power is somehow required to reduce itself to a third-rate backward power so as to be “fair.” No nation should, in the name of proportionality, accede to reducing its military power to that of its enemy unless it desires a never ending, ongoing conflict of parity.    
 
Buchanan asks “Obama to denounce the collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.”  Buchanan, not a man of the Left, uses the all too familiar phraseology employed by the Left whenever it wishes to stop the U.S. and our allies from using air power.  Israel has pinpointed it targets to military sites, but Hamas is barbarically, and cynically, placing its Gazan citizens at launching sites so critics of Israel, including Buchanan, can talk of collective punishment.  

This is a ruse that Buchanan did not fall for back in the days when he wrote of the cynical ploy of the communists in Southeast Asia using their own people as shields and their exploitation of the media and cameras for their propaganda and appeals to “humanitarianism”.
 
His accusation that “Israelis have a policy of withholding from the innocent of Gaza the necessities of life” is libelous. To her own detriment, Israel has allowed fuel, food and electricity into Gaza all the years Hamas has been shelling her, even though those necessities were directed by Hamas, and before that the Palestinian Authority, first to the terrorists striking at Israel. Instead of raising false claims against Israel, the more important question is why Israel has succumbed to an excessive compassion that has supplied Hamas with the very rope used to hang Israel.
 
Buchanan is quick to grant blanket “innocence” to the Arab Palestinians living in Gaza, though they willfully voted for Hamas that campaigned on its charter to destroy Israel and destroy the Jews living in Israel. Much of that population is joyously engaged in raising an entire generation to hate Jews, Christians and infidels and has decided to use its energy and finances not to build a Gazan/Palestinian Arab State but to wipe out Israel — and later the West.
 
Hamas and Hizbollah are Al Quaeda by a different name. Israel has been the first target of the jihad whose ultimate goal is to destroy America, the Great Satan. In our war against terror, Buchanan writes that we should not be an Empire but a Republic, i.e., we engage in no nation building and fight only those who have attacked us. Yet in her war against terror, Buchanan condemns Israel though it has expressed no territorial ambitions for Gaza and is limiting its fight to only that entity which continues to, even today, attack her.
 
Buchanan asserts that “our values” are at stake and “Obama should declare the United States will no longer support Israel with tax dollars”. In other words, he is asking that as a condition for Israel receiving continued American support, Israel choose the welfare of the Hamas-supporting citizens over the lives of her own people, who look to the army as the single entity that will protect them.  

I cannot believe that Buchanan’s values require punishing a nation for choosing the survival of its people over others who have voted to destroy it. It seems to me that it is Pat who has veered from the real conservative position — neo, regular and paleo.

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