THE PLANK JANUARY 6, 2009
I think I need to work on my writing skills. Last week I wrote a blog post expressing some skepticism about Israel's incursion into Gaza. Matthew Yglesias then wrote a post painting me as a bloodthirsty warmonger ("Jon Chait had a post the other day explaining that the kind of bloodshed and suffering the Israelis are afflicting is okay") -- a characterization I disputed. Then yesterday I wrote another post expressing skepticism about sending ground forces into Gaza. ("Bottom line: A ground assault looks like it will bring marginally greater benefits but massively higher costs.") Now Yglesias follows up with a post again describing me as a supporter of the operation (I'm described as one of three "fans of this attack.")
I guess, despite my stated objections, I've been forcibly conscripted into support for the Gaza incursion. Maybe I should stop trying to fight this and just roll with the flow. But if I'm going to be attacked by liberals as an advocate of a military invasion that I think will probably backfire, I should at least be getting some countervailing benefits. Where's that all-powerful Israel lobby that has Washington trembling at its feet? My mortgage isn't going to pay itself, you know.
To be serious for a moment, it's true that I've devoted some space to arguing with Yglesias on the topic of whether Israel is the moral equivalent of Hamas. But there's an enormous gap between these two different arguments. You can question the wisdom of Israel's response to Hamas without going so far as to morally equate it with a terrorist organization.