Nicholas Goldberg says that Israel and the US see the world "without nuance."
In a recent commentary in the Sunday Los Angeles Times, Goldberg takes Israel —— along with the big Satan —— to task for their inability "to make distinctions among terrorists." An example of the sort of nuance that Goldberg thinks Israelis and Americans are unable to see is that while one Hamas thug, Abdulaziz Rantisi, is "loud, bitter and fiery," another —— the recently departed Hamas "spiritual leader" Sheik Ahmed Yassin —— had a voice that was "soft, almost childlike."
One might be tempted to believe that Goldberg is being ironic, but he's as literal as a truck bomb. He notes with perfect seriousness that Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, "has a chubby, babyish face and unusually twinkly eyes," while the late Yassin "had limp hands and sad eyes." All of this jaw—dropping nonsense is a prelude to Goldberg's declaration that Israel's failure to —— in some unspecified way —— respect and act on such nuances among terrorists is "worrisome."
What significance should one take from the appearance of such a bizarre analysis in one of the nation's major papers? Well, first off, it is yet one more bit of evidence that leftists will always blame anyone but the terrorists for terrorism. Just as Richard Clark denounces George W. Bush, not Atta and company, for September 11, and Howard Dean holds Bush, not the Madrid bombers, accountable for March 11, Goldberg blames Israel and the US, not Hamas, for the elusiveness of Middle East peace.
Such inverted left—thought is a matter of habit and instinct. Thus, Goldberg doesn't flinch in writing that it is simplistic to view the likes of Rantisi and Yassin "as Bush sees them" —— as mere "brutal and wanton killers." Let's back that up and run it by again: for Goldberg, men whose reason for being is to kill Jews ought to be seen with nuance, as three—dimensional human beings. But George W. Bush, for his view that a terrorist is a terrorist, is a one—dimensional, unnuanced dunce.
Goldberg's upside—down thinking is just one more instance of the left's unwavering instinct to criticize Israel and the US, even on crazy, inconsistent grounds: for targeting terrorists and for attempting to fence them out; for rushing to war and for failing to send off troops even sooner. Likewise, Goldberg doesn't "feel sympathy for Yassin" yet thinks Israel's elimination of the terror kingpin was "provocative, macho and arguably illegal."
Goldberg's argument, though incoherent, manages to encapsulate a great deal of leftist gut—level sentiment: the unshakable belief that standing up to terrorists will only provoke them; the feeling that "macho" is bad; that the powerful are by definition the wrongdoers. Goldberg's characterization of Israel's defensive measures as "arguably illegal" —— unaccompanied by even a scintilla of legal analysis —— demonstrates too, that for the left—thinker, supporting arguments are unnecessary clutter.
If Goldberg's piece reveals much about left—thought generally, it speaks volumes about the Los Angeles Times. Goldberg is the paper's op—ed editor.
No wonder, then, that an unnuanced thinker like Robert Scheer has free rein there. And that academically—dressed neo—Nazi arguments like that of New York University's Tony Judt —— calling for the termination of the Jewish State —— are welcome on the Times op—ed page, as if within the scope of reasonable discourse.
A newspaper that descends that far into the moral and intellectual abyss in one section may be expected to lose its way in others as well. And so it has. An example was the recent Times front—page story of a teenage Arab boy caught by the Israelis wearing a vest with an 18—pound bomb. The incident was, by any objective measure, an attempted mass murder. It was possibly also child abuse, as the boy was reportedly retarded. But the Times, locked into its tunnel—vision demonization of Israel, focused instead on that country's supposed Machiavellian plans to use the incident for P.R..
Yet again in the Times' morally inverted universe, the victim becomes the villain. And yet again the paper demonstrates a worldview that is anything but nuanced.
Steven Zak is an attorney and writer in California