While ignorant armies clash by night
This video isn't entirely relevant, but Helen Thomas is what I call a journalist (and I think that filming the White House Press briefings is such a good idea, compared to our system of non-attribution and rumours), and it sort of illustrates two points: Israel did frame the debate by filming the commandos boarding, knowing that all television news needed footage, and that some people will believe practically anything - or rather believe anything other than their side behaved badly). I was actually looking for the video I can't see on this page because I'm in the UK. (Why would Glenn Beck claim that other networks hadn't used the IDF videos? But then, why does Glenn Beck do anything?)
I'm not entirely happy with Gaza’s waves will crash on Turkey’s shore, David Aaronovitch's thoughts on the flotilla. For one thing, he uses terms like 'East' and 'West' rather atavistically, to be kind. (E.g. "For many years, to say that Turkey was an ally of the West was not to claim any great pleasure in the association.") What is the 'West' here? NATO? the EU? if either, why not use the name? It's more than 20 years since the Berlin Wall came down. There isn't an 'East' any more. Nor am I sure what the 'Pakistan-Taleban war' is. I'm sure Dave's thinking of the Ahmadi massacre, but I don't the background to that is anything like as simple as conflict between the armies of two bordering states. (From the comments, Pakistan terrorist violence spiked 45 percent in 2009. It all sounds horrific, and perhaps DA is just ahead of me here.)
Mostly, though, it's the first paragraph that I don't like: at least some of the passenger on board the flotilla are described as "fanatics who welcomed victory or martyrdom without discrimination." I accept the whole thing is a mess, and Palestine seems to attract fanatics, so DA may be right. I'd prefer to see some evidence first before concluding that he is, however. I mean, it's not surprising that armed troops boarding a ship in the middle of the night aroused violent hostility, is it?
(Conspiracy theory break. Are Israeli military commanders really that insane, blinkered, or stupid? Or was the point further polarisation of Israel-Palestine argument? I read somewhere recently (citation needed as they say on Wikipedia) that Jews in the US are less interested in Israel than previous generations were. Could the point have been to arouse anti-Semitism worldwide, and so make US Jews feel more Jewish than American? No, that's too loopy.)
Yet despite my reservations, the sensible side of Aaronovitch wins, which is to say that he supports bridge-building politics. Alliances are good things, Israel and Turkey should be friends. Not everyone thinks this way. "Latek" on Harry's Place (31 May 2010, 8:03 pm) wrote "Shocka! Relations between antisemitic Turkey and Israel may suffer. No big loss."
Flying Rodent said in the comments to the last post, "After following Aaro's tweets for a while, he seems like a very nice and rational man, doesn't he? I might have to buy his latest book, just to see what he has to say." Indeed.
@yorkierosie look, I think some of the people on the boats were very violent. It doesn't justify shooting nine of them
June 1st. And I only slightly disagree with him a bit later:
Same old same old between Israeli ambassador and John Humphrys. Ron Prosor throws in Gilad Shalit, JH offers 'a knife is not a weapon'. Eek.
Humphreys did say, "a knife is not a weapon, necessarily". The issue of the Red Cross and Gilad Shalit is of course a point against Hamas rather than against the Red Cross for being willing to co-operate with Hamas so as to treat their prisoners.
Title has not much to do with anything, just the best I had. Those are my thoughts, provisional and disconnected as they are. Yours?
I'll delete any comments I consider to be racist or excessively trolling, BTW.