The shocking silence from No 10 (and blogs)

From the Times of London

It is a case of the Blair that didn’t bark. Why hasn’t the Prime Minister publicly condemned the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza? Most British — and many Israeli — citizens are horrified when they see the devastation wreaked by Israeli bombings.

The world will be full of sympathy for the benighted residents of Lebanon who had thought, at last, that their country had secured itself a stable, peaceful democratic future. Half a million of them have been forced from their homes because two Israeli soldiers were taken hostage. That hardly looks like justice.

Journalist groups condemn Israeli attack on Lebanon tv stations

This is why the US is losing its credibility

The Israeli bombing of Lebanon by warplanes, artillery and naval ships has become indiscriminate. Western TV stations are all showing clearly that the targets attacked have nothing to do with Hezbollah. They are targeting Lebanon’s infrastructure, which was built after the civil war. The targets being hit are civilian. Dozens, including women and children, are being killed on a daily basis.

Yet the liberal blogosphere is conspicuous by its silence.

It’s been crickets from them. Oh, a few gasps about the invasion, but no direct criticism of Israel that I’ve seen.

“I’ve noticed some clucking in the right-wing wrongosphere about silence from the major left-wing blogs on the situation in the Middle East,” [Matt] Stoller [of MyDD] wrote on Saturday. “There hasn’t been silence, but there has been humility in the face of a fast-moving situation that is difficult to understand.”

Au contraire, The august Times of London, hardly a bunch of lefties, seems to have no problem understanding it. So why can’t netroots? Stoller’s comments are evasive.

Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of the The New Republic and a general critic of bloggers, rejected the “complexity” explanation.

“Why would you expect complexity from bloggers, left, right, or Martian?” Wieseltier wrote in an email to the Forward. “They are not in the complexity business on any issue. Maybe the problem is not complexity but complication — the way in which sympathy with Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah, and therefore with the use of force, might complicate their lives in progressiveland, where they live.”

He’s wrong on the first point, plenty of blogs run in-depth articles with lots of complexity. But his second point, that these liberal bloggers back Israel but won’t say so in public, is quite on target. It also demonstrates how tepid and hypocritical the Anti-war Lite stances of these blogs are. Y’know, they sort of oppose the Iraq War, saying, golly, we need a better, smarter war without Bush in charge, like this is some daring, heroic stance for them to take. Yet now they tacitly back the grotesque invasion of Lebanon by Israel, oblivious and uncaring that both wars are fueled by the imperialist policies of the US.

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