MaxSpeak alerted me to a Forward article about the supposed silence of the liberal blogs about the Lebanon crisis. The article’s author interviews a few of the “major players” in the liberal blog world and nary a one felt comfortable taking on the issue. But one of the dumbest statements came from Kos in his Why I Won’t Write About the Israel/Lebanon/Palestine Fighting. He writes that he is:
…Steering clear of this morass of a mess of a disaster of a quagmire of a sinkhole of a clusterfuck that is completely FUBAR.
Did you notice how a guy who says he “won’t write about” the Lebanon crisis has just made quite a statement about it? So if you’ve bothered to go that far, why couldn’t you actually take a minute away from Democratic political campaign analysis to write about a subject which could conceivable envelop the world in war? I call this a cop out.
Me? I grew up in a war zone. And there was one clear lesson I learned — there will never be peace unless both sides get tired of the fighting and start seeking an alternative.
I take it back. With platitudes like that maybe it’s better he doesn’t write about the Mideast conflict.
It’s clear that in the Middle East, no one is sick of the fighting. They have centuries of grudges to resolve, and will continue fighting until they can get over them. And considering that they obviously have no interest in “getting over them”, we’re stuck with a war that will not end in any forseable [sic] future. It doesn’t matter what we bloggers say. It doesn’t matter what the President of the United States says. Or the United Nations. Or the usual bloviating gasbag pundits.
This passage is so monumentally stupid (MaxSpeak calls it “idiotic” which suits me fine), so patently cynical, so absolutely wrong. It makes someone like me–who’s devoted a good part of his life and blog to the proposition that bloggers CAN make a difference in this conflict; and that what the President of the U.S. and the UN certainly can make a difference–so mad I could spit. Kos’ defeatism is a recipe for inaction, silence and continuing the morass of a status quo that currently reigns.
I take special umbrage at Kos’ statement: “It doesn’t matter what we bloggers say.” It DOES matter what bloggers say about the Lebanon crisis as well as any other important social or foreign policy issue. If what Kos said were true then what would be the point of anyone writing political blogs? Liberal bloggers should be writing about every important issue of the day including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If we heed Kos’ advice then we basically cede the territory to the partisan pro-Israel blog world, the Pajamas Media and Little Green Footballs. Is that what we want: a blog space free for their propaganda to go unanswered and unchallenged? Whatever happened to presenting a policy alternative to the right?
When two sides are this dead-set on killing each other, very little can get in the way.
And I, for one, sure as heck have no desire to get sucked into that no-win situation. I just hope that war-fatigue sets in at some point.
Why is Kos’ cynicism so damaging? Because of his huge audience. When he talks people listen. Sometimes they shouldn’t, but they always do no matter what he says. If he got off his duff and devoted some time and space to this issue he could open hearts and minds. But enough about what Kos could do but won’t. That’s a waste of time.
The Israeli-Arab conflict IS solvable. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter believed it and made enormous strides toward that end. Neither one succeeded completely (Clinton especially saw great disappointment). But their efforts meant something. They provided something that their successors will build on when they finally DO solve it. And I hope no one pays attention to Kos’ statement: “We’re stuck with a war that will not end in any forseable [sic] future.” That’s bullshit. The war in Lebanon will end. The entire Israeli-Arab conflict WILL end sometime in the foreseeable future. And those who help end it will do so despite the inanities of people like Kos.
I think his attitude toward the current crisis derives to some extent from his political orientation. He and his site are committed to the Democrats taking back Congress and the White House. Anything that does not contribute in some tangible way to that goal is of low priority. The Democrats have a very serious problem when it come to Israel. They do not present an alternative to current White House policy. That’s because the Democrats are bought lock, stock and barrel on this issue by Aipac and its donors. Since the Dems can’t score points against Republicans over Lebanon, Kos’ position is “let ’em all go hang themselves for all I care.” As Max Sawicky so cogently says:
The unified Democratic response of support for Israel points up the limitations of the uncritical anti-war “netroots.” You can’t be serious about politics if you’re not serious about policy, particularly in the realm of potential problems percolating in the ME.
I couldn’t agree more.