Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived
A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?
Update: seemingly not
Update: Oh yeah!
Thursday, June 29, 2006
A comment on Gideon Shalit
First of all, that poor kid and his family. I hope against hope that this ends up all right.
Second, this is bringing a few uncomfortable home truths into the light. David Bernstein (the worst blogger on the Volokh Conspiracy and a man who occupies the curious position of being both a myrmidon of free speech against campus political correctness and a leading light in the campus anti-Semitism police. But nevertheless, someone who has to be taken seriously as representing at least some part of public opinion) has suggested that instead of invading Gaza, the IDF ought to threaten to carry out a massacre of prisoners if Shalit is harmed (to "retrospectively institute the death penalty for terrorists" in Bernstein's post, but I don't think any of his commenters were fooled).
This is of course insane; the current policy of invading Gaza is somewhat dodgy with respect to the Geneva Conventions but it is at least consistent with the actual aim; find Shalit. To simply threaten to carry out a massacre of prisoners if he is harmed is surely to send the message to the terrorists that IDF soldiers are valued much more highly than civilians, and that imprisonment in an Israeli jail is basically a death sentence. I cannot think of a worse policy for a country which is constantly under threat from suicide bombers to carry out.
The element of home truth, however, is that Bernstein's reaction to this (and the reaction of Israeli and worldwide popular opinion) rather exposes the pious lie that civilian deaths are in some way more morally important than soldiers. This has always been bullshit - people are people, and no doctor on earth has said "congratulations Mrs Davies, a bouncing baby combatant". The IDF is prepared to move heaven and earth and David Bernstein is prepared to counsel war crimes on behalf Gideon Shalit precisely because he is a soldier, and the military defends its own. This isn't a criticism at all, because it could not be any other way.
this item posted by the management 6/29/2006 04:09:00 AM