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July 26, 2006
New York Times op-ed praises Hezbollah
A New York Times op—ed :praises Hezbollah for fighting under Islamic laws re: advance notice, discrimiantion in selecting targets, and proportionality. How obtuse can the New York Times editorial board be when choosing to run an op—ed that actually praises Hezbollah for its principled fighting tactics?
In a piece comparing Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, Bernard Haykel, a professor of Islamic Studies at New York University, points out the serious "selling points" of Hezbollah (such as successfully sending rockets into Israel), among them:
This seems to be a willful misrepresentation of history from a professor at a major American University. How would Haykel judge the surprise suicide truck—bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 that took the lives of 241 Americans?
Or the bombings of our Beirut embassy that killed 63, of whom 17 were Americans?
Or the attack on the French barracks in Beirut in 1983 that killed 58 people?
Or the bombing of our embassy in Kuwait?
Or the kidnapping, torture, long—term captivity and ultimate murder of Beirut station chief William Buckley?
Or the number of Americans taken hostage in Lebanon in the 1980s?
Or the hijacking of TWA Flight 847, in which US sailor Robert Stethem was beaten, shot, and thrown out of the aircraft onto the tarmac of the Beirut airport?
Or Kuwait Flight 221, which resulted in two USAID officials being killed?
Or the 1990 murder of Colonel William Higgins?
Or the blowing up of a Jewish community center in 1994, killing 85 innocent people?
Or the murder and kidnapping of Israelis that precipitated the current conflict?
Or the indiscriminate mass missile attacks currently hitting Israeli cities?
Where were the principles of advance notice, discrimination in selecting targets and proportionality? Or does Hezbollah hold these principles in abeyance when the targets are Americans or Israelis? Or does this particular professor of Islamic Studies join so any of his colleagues in willfully whitewashing Islamic extremism?
Is this a manifestation of academic freedom: the freedom to miseducate your students and the readers of the New York Times?