Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Endless Frustration (Israel, Gays, and France)
Victor Davis Hanson is growing tired of rampant hypocrisy:
Israel? Most of us are tired of reading daily that Israel is making problems for us. It is a liberal democracy and currently in the throes of a national debate about whether to withdraw from a territory, Gaza, from which it was attacked in three wars. Its uniformed military targets terrorists; its main opponent's terrorists seek to kill civilians. We should have more confidence in its free press, elected officials, and voting citizenry to craft a humane policy - under threat of suicide murdering, no less - than in all the corrupt and fascistic regimes that surround it. It once took out - at great risk to itself - Iraq's nuclear reactor; it did not sell the reactor at great profit or take control of that country's oil.
There are certain hypocrisies that seem to endlessly frustrate me. The Pope was last week's example. The multi-culturalists are another never ending source. The Arab world continues to treat women as second class citizens, a notable (but probably not the worst) incident happened about 2 years ago in Saudi Arabia. A school caught fire and the religious police stopped school girls from escaping the blaze because they were not wearing the correct Islamic dress. They were sent back inside, and the firemen that tried to help them were stopped by the police. As a result 15 girls died, but to the cultural relativist it is just as good to lose 15 young lives as not. Hey respect the culture damnit! Please. And if you think they treat women badly over there you should see how they treat homosexuals:
If this caring world is worried about the injustice of a fence or Islamaphobia, then start slurring nuclear India for its $1 billion fence, which shuts off the entire (impoverished Muslim) country of Bangladesh - a far harsher blow to far more millions than Israel's so-called "Wall" aimed at stopping suicide killing.
If we hate the principle of "occupied lands," then let Europe cease trade with China and hector that dictatorial government about the cultural obliteration of occupied Tibet.
If we are truly worried about violence, then let the U.N. and the EU turn their attention to Nigeria, where thousands are murdered yearly.
If the death of tens of thousands of Muslims and the desecration of mosques bother the Arab League, then let them blast the Arabs of the Sudan, who are systematically and in the most racist fashion butchering black Muslims.
But if after all that we have still not gotten our bearings, then let us rail about Sharon and the "occupation," and thus enable the Arab world to forget its self-induced misery and find psychic reassurance, as Europe too often has, by blaming Jews.
The contrasting treatment of gay men in neighboring Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt is well known: Gays are beheaded or sentenced to long prison terms.
Inexplicably it is considered a "progressive" cause to support Palestinian statehood. Perhaps it's just my simplism, but what is so progressive about a state that tolerates terrorism but not homosexuality?
What seems less well known, however, is the appalling treatment of gays under Yassir Arafat's Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza. At least it was less known until Yossi Klein Halevi wrote about it in the August 19th New Republic. Palestine makes rural Texas look like San Francisco.
According to Halevi, one young man discovered to be gay was forced by Palestinian Authority police "to stand in sewage water up to his neck, his head covered by a sack filled with feces, and then he was thrown into a dark cell infested with insects." During one interrogation Palestinian police stripped him and forced him to sit on a Coke bottle.
When he was released he fled to Israel. If he were forced to return to Gaza, he said, "The police would kill me."
An American who foolishly moved into the West Bank to live with his Palestinian lover said they told everyone they were just friends, but one day they "found a letter under our door from the Islamic court. It listed the five forms of death prescribed by Islam for homosexuality, including stoning and burning. We fled to Israel that same day," he said.
The head of a Tel Aviv gay organization told Halevi, "The persecution of gays in the Palestinian Authority doesn't just come from the families or the Islamic groups, but from the P.A. itself."
Palestinian police have increasingly enforced Islamic religion law, he said: "It's now impossible to be an open gay in the P.A." He recalled that one gay man in the Palestinian police went to Israel for a short time. When he returned to the West Bank, Palestinian Authority police confined him to a pit without food or water until he died.
A 17-year-old gay youth recalled that he spent months in a Palestinian Authority prison "where interrogators cut him with glass and poured toilet cleaner into his wounds."
(via VodkaPundit)And of course, it wouldn't be real frustration without mention of Chirac and the 60th anniversary of D-Day.
This being Chirac's home turf, he got to set the stage, using $54 million of his taxpayers' money to make certain that the backdrop showed him to advantage. And an ahistorical stage it was. The flags of nations that had nothing to do with the landings were represented, to the surprise of those of us who do not remember Sweden as supporting the Allied cause during World War II. Even the E.U. flag was on parade, although it did not exist on June 6, 1944.
Of course we came across the ocean sacrificing thousands of American lives to free strangers from a brutal fascist, and today the Franco-Germany alliance opposes doing for the Iraqis what was done for them.
Then, too, watching the weight accorded in the ceremonies to the French contribution on that historic and bloody day, one could easily get the impression that the French self-liberated. Never mind that de Gaulle was not told about the invasion until June 4, or that only 500 of the 156,000 troops involved in the invasion were Free French fighters (who fought very well), far fewer than were then in the service of the Nazis in Vichy France.
...By way of reciprocation, Schroder thanked "France and its allies" and "Russia" for - in the words of CNN's Christiane Amanpour - "liberating" Germany from the Nazis. No mention of America. The implication that some foreign body had imposed Hitler on an unwilling German populace, and that France had "liberated" Germany probably came as no surprise to experienced CNN and Amanpour fans.
And they have the gall to claim the moral high ground. Using their most effective rhetorical device, Tu Quoque, they have the gall to shout "no blood for oil" at the United States when it was actually them trading Iraqi blood to secure their own oil.
I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.