Monday, July 31, 2006

The American Left and the Middle East: the case of Paul Krugman. I believe that Krugman is one of the sharpest columnists; his criticisms of the Bush administration have been quite effective. But you have to understand that American liberals are willing to tolerate from Israel what they would never tolerate from their own American government. Look at Krugman: "There's no question of this war having been sold on false pretenses; unlike America in Iraq, Israel is clearly acting in self-defense." And in case you missed that point, he later repeats it: "Again, Israel has the right to protect itself." As for the violence and destruction, this peaceful American liberal is willing to even provide a road map of bombings and devastationn: "There is a case for a full-scale Israeli ground offensive against Hezbollah. It may yet come to that, if Israel can'’t find any other way to protect itself. There is also a case for restraint-- limited counterstrikes combined with diplomacy, an effort to get other players to rein Hezbollah in, with the option of that full-scale offensive always in the background." Now don't you think that I was expecting Krugman to say anything different. I have lived too long in the US to harbor any illusions about the American left on the question of Israel. Basically, the difference between the American Left and the American Right on the subject of Israel is in the degree to which they want Israel to kill Arabs and grab their lands. They usually engage in oneupmanship here.