Moral Inversion at the New York Times

Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times columnist who never apologized for supporting terrorist—funder Sami Al—Arian, now attacks Ehud Olmert for defending his people, delivering a stunning first line in his column today:

"As I see it, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is shooting Israel and America in the feet (and Lebanon in the stomach) each day that he continues his onslaught, with President Bush enthusiastically providing the ammunition."

Unless you subscribe to the Times or pay $50 a year for Times Select, you can't read the article. But consistent with fair use copyright limitations, let's examine his contentions.

Kristof implicitly says that Israel is metaphorically harming America by responding to Hezbollah attacks. He doesn't explicitly state his rationale, but it may relate to his view that Hezbollah is winning the public relations battle and will end up stronger than ever.

Then he counsels the need for a diplomatic settlement and relies on Edward Walker, whom he notes was a former Ambassador to Israel. What he does not note is that Walker was also US Ambassador to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and that he is the president of the Middle East Institute, which is a Saudi—funded think tank. If reasders were informed of these facts. they just might be led to question the objectivity of his views.

Regardless of any bias, Kristof's solutions would only worsen the problem of strengthening Hezbollah. Kristof would compel Israel to exchange prisoners with Hezbollah, give up Shebaa Farms, and offer an Israeli promise not to breach Lebanese territory or airspace unless attacked.  Furthermore,

Hezbollah would commit to becoming a purely political force and to dismantling its militia, with its weaponry going to the Lebanese armed forces. Israel would resume talks with Syria on the Golan Heights, the U.S. would resume contact with Syria, and Syria would agree to stop supplying weaponry to Hezbollah (or allowing it in from Iran). Syria and Hezbollah would then pledge cooperation with a robust international buffer force along the border. Some of this may have to come in stages: for example, with Hezbollah first leaving the border area and then giving up its weaponry.

But, it's odd for Israel to hand over Shebaa Farms to Lebanon, since old maps show pretty clearly that it was Syrian. But Syria, seeking to make mischief, has said that it is Lebanese, and it certainly is not Israeli.

How would this strengthen Hezbollah and weaken our ally, Israel? Hezbollah would be handed a clear—cut victory.

By invading Israel, by attacking, murdering and kidnapping Israeli soldiers from Israeli territory, Hezbollah would receive prisoners held in Israeli jails (including Samir Kuntar, who invaded a kibbutz in Israel in 1983, shooting Danny Haran in the head and then cracking his 4—year old daughter's skull with a rifle butt—killing her).

And Israel would give up territory captured from Syria in a war with that nation, showing the Islamic world that a terror group can effect a change in borders.

This would be a particularly damaging development since many borders in the region are artificial and the problem of irredentism is ever—present. Islamic extremists aim for the return of a caliphate, which would sweep away all borders and recreate an expansionist Islamic empire. Syria would also gain from this act of terror.

Instead of being penalized for supplying arms to Hezbollah and for helping it gain power during Syria's colonization of Lebanon over the last 15 years, Syria would be offered help in regaining the Golan Heights from Israel that it lost in the 1967 War. All that for merely supplying Hezbollah with arms, regardless of the innocent Lebanese killed because of Hezbollah.

What would Israel get in return? An international force along the border, promises that Syria would no longer supply arms to Hezbollah, and the evolution of Hezbollah into a political force—stripped of weapons.

All these promises have been made before, of course, and a lot of good they did Isarel. UNIFIL existed between Lebanon and Israel and did not stop attacks from Hezbollah. Instead UNIFIL was used by Hezbollah to prevent Israeli responses to its attacks. UN Resolutions are already on the books that required Hezbollah to disarm and become a political force. These Resolutions were agreed to when Israel withdrew from Lebanon.

These Resolutions were also ignored by Lebanon and Hezbollah.

So what does Kristof offer to all the sides? Syria gets back part of the Golan Heights without any agreement with Israel regarding its demilitarization or cutting off support for terror groups within the region (Don't forget that Damascus is the nerve center for Hezbollah and many other terror groups.)

Hezbollah and Lebanon merely can make the same promises that they ignored in previous years and get murderers released and borders changed, according to Kristof's recommended course of action. And Israel gives up territory on the Golan Heights, an area from which it was routinely attacked by Syria in years past until it was captured, at the cost of much Israeli blood, in the 1967 War. The loss of the prime defense positions along the Golan Heights would make Israel very vulnerable to a Syrian invasion.

Thanks, Mr. Kristof, for your geopolitical wisdom. No wonder you supported Sami Al—Arian.

Ed Lasky is the news editor of The American Thinker.

Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times columnist who never apologized for supporting terrorist—funder Sami Al—Arian, now attacks Ehud Olmert for defending his people, delivering a stunning first line in his column today:

"As I see it, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is shooting Israel and America in the feet (and Lebanon in the stomach) each day that he continues his onslaught, with President Bush enthusiastically providing the ammunition."

Unless you subscribe to the Times or pay $50 a year for Times Select, you can't read the article. But consistent with fair use copyright limitations, let's examine his contentions.

Kristof implicitly says that Israel is metaphorically harming America by responding to Hezbollah attacks. He doesn't explicitly state his rationale, but it may relate to his view that Hezbollah is winning the public relations battle and will end up stronger than ever.

Then he counsels the need for a diplomatic settlement and relies on Edward Walker, whom he notes was a former Ambassador to Israel. What he does not note is that Walker was also US Ambassador to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and that he is the president of the Middle East Institute, which is a Saudi—funded think tank. If reasders were informed of these facts. they just might be led to question the objectivity of his views.

Regardless of any bias, Kristof's solutions would only worsen the problem of strengthening Hezbollah. Kristof would compel Israel to exchange prisoners with Hezbollah, give up Shebaa Farms, and offer an Israeli promise not to breach Lebanese territory or airspace unless attacked.  Furthermore,

Hezbollah would commit to becoming a purely political force and to dismantling its militia, with its weaponry going to the Lebanese armed forces. Israel would resume talks with Syria on the Golan Heights, the U.S. would resume contact with Syria, and Syria would agree to stop supplying weaponry to Hezbollah (or allowing it in from Iran). Syria and Hezbollah would then pledge cooperation with a robust international buffer force along the border. Some of this may have to come in stages: for example, with Hezbollah first leaving the border area and then giving up its weaponry.

But, it's odd for Israel to hand over Shebaa Farms to Lebanon, since old maps show pretty clearly that it was Syrian. But Syria, seeking to make mischief, has said that it is Lebanese, and it certainly is not Israeli.

How would this strengthen Hezbollah and weaken our ally, Israel? Hezbollah would be handed a clear—cut victory.

By invading Israel, by attacking, murdering and kidnapping Israeli soldiers from Israeli territory, Hezbollah would receive prisoners held in Israeli jails (including Samir Kuntar, who invaded a kibbutz in Israel in 1983, shooting Danny Haran in the head and then cracking his 4—year old daughter's skull with a rifle butt—killing her).

And Israel would give up territory captured from Syria in a war with that nation, showing the Islamic world that a terror group can effect a change in borders.

This would be a particularly damaging development since many borders in the region are artificial and the problem of irredentism is ever—present. Islamic extremists aim for the return of a caliphate, which would sweep away all borders and recreate an expansionist Islamic empire. Syria would also gain from this act of terror.

Instead of being penalized for supplying arms to Hezbollah and for helping it gain power during Syria's colonization of Lebanon over the last 15 years, Syria would be offered help in regaining the Golan Heights from Israel that it lost in the 1967 War. All that for merely supplying Hezbollah with arms, regardless of the innocent Lebanese killed because of Hezbollah.

What would Israel get in return? An international force along the border, promises that Syria would no longer supply arms to Hezbollah, and the evolution of Hezbollah into a political force—stripped of weapons.

All these promises have been made before, of course, and a lot of good they did Isarel. UNIFIL existed between Lebanon and Israel and did not stop attacks from Hezbollah. Instead UNIFIL was used by Hezbollah to prevent Israeli responses to its attacks. UN Resolutions are already on the books that required Hezbollah to disarm and become a political force. These Resolutions were agreed to when Israel withdrew from Lebanon.

These Resolutions were also ignored by Lebanon and Hezbollah.

So what does Kristof offer to all the sides? Syria gets back part of the Golan Heights without any agreement with Israel regarding its demilitarization or cutting off support for terror groups within the region (Don't forget that Damascus is the nerve center for Hezbollah and many other terror groups.)

Hezbollah and Lebanon merely can make the same promises that they ignored in previous years and get murderers released and borders changed, according to Kristof's recommended course of action. And Israel gives up territory on the Golan Heights, an area from which it was routinely attacked by Syria in years past until it was captured, at the cost of much Israeli blood, in the 1967 War. The loss of the prime defense positions along the Golan Heights would make Israel very vulnerable to a Syrian invasion.

Thanks, Mr. Kristof, for your geopolitical wisdom. No wonder you supported Sami Al—Arian.

Ed Lasky is the news editor of The American Thinker.