Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chase Madar and the Return of "My Tax Dollars" (Part 2)

We continue with Chase Madar's latest litany of complaints about Israel and US aid to it with a Huffington Post favorite: unashamedly shilling for the genocidal BDS movement. He explains that because US aid is so "entrenched," then BDS won't touch it because it's too hard. So instead they try to inform (read, mislead) people about it just as Madar is doing in the hopes that it will stop in the long term. Yet again we see advocates of the poor suffering Palestinians relying on plans that take 50 years to work.

But I digress, because the most popcorn worthy part is yet to come. See, it's time for Madar to go after J Street for wanting peace yet not being against the aid. Oh poor J Street. You should have listened to me when I told you that trying to play both sides isn't going to work.
"At the risk of sounding literal-minded, any group plumping for enormous military aid packages to a country acting as Israel has is emphatically not “pro-peace.”"
When even J Street knows more about how the Middle East works better than you do, that's a sign that you should reevaluate your life. In the Middle East, you don't make peace with weak countries. You conquer them. Especially in the case of Israel. Even J Street knows that if the Arabs think that Israel can be conquered, they will try it. People make peace when they know they can't what they want through war, and when they feel secure enough to take risks for peace. US aid to Israel accomplishes both of these things. It worked during the first Camp David Accords to make peace between Egypt and Israel, and it will work now.

Madar continues to go down the list, refusing to comprehend why all these other organizations can't see what he sees: that arming Israel is making peace harder to achieve...somehow. Peace has always been in Israel's interests, and American aid has had nothing to do with progress or failure on the peace talks. Maybe Madar would say that it should, but it doesn't. American aid to Israel continues because it's in America's interests to do so. Maybe Madar thinks that if Israel has weapons it will feel like it just has to use them? We are left to keep wondering because he never explains it.

Alas, at this point he has proven me mistaken because he does finally bring up Egypt. Naturally, America is blamed for propping up an "authoritarian government," but nothing is ever done in a way that Madar might concede could make him look like a hypocrite. He whines that Americans are discussing ending aid to a dictatorial regime that kills its own people in the streets and does nothing for America...implying that this is also true of Israel. Unfortunately for him, it is not. But he can't stay on that for very long, he has to say that no one can criticize Israel in America...in the middle of an article criticizing Israel. Classic Huffington Post logic.

Madar continues in the classic vein of "throw mud at the wall and see what sticks" by trying to prove that American support for Israel is the source of all hatred against America ever now and into the future. He quotes a couple of generals who claim that American support for Israel makes their goals harder to achieve, and that the Arabs won't work with us because of it, two myths that have already been debunked, before trying a hilarious tactic (emphasis mine):
"Don’t believe the generals? Ask a terrorist. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks now imprisoned at Guantanamo, told interrogators that he wasmotivated to attack the United States in large part because of Washington’s leading role in assisting Israel’s repeated invasions of Lebanon and the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians."
Right. Ask a terrorist. Because even though Khalid Sheikh Mohammad killed thousands of innocent people, it never crosses Madar's mind that he might not tell the truth about something. Gee, if you're a terrorist who sees both Israelis and Americans as infidels, why wouldn't you want to destroy the alliance between the two of them, making them both easier to kill? Divide and conquer. Especially when you've got people like Chase Madar here to explain that if we just give the terrorists what they want they won't try to kill us any more. Brilliant!

Below the break comes yet another strawman.

"The Israel lobby wheels out a battery of arguments in favor of arming and funding Israel, including the assertion that a step back from such aid for Israel would signify a “retreat” into “isolationism.” But would the United States, a global hegemon busily engaged in nearly every aspect world affairs, be "isolated" if it ceased giving lavish military aid to Israel? Was the United States "isolated" before 1967 when it expanded that aid in a major way? These questions answer themselves."
I have read many articles defending aid to Israel, and I have never seen that argument ever used. The source that Madar has is AIPAC expressing concern about how America is sliding toward isolationism (which is true) and how that is bad for Israel. Aid is never mentioned. So although it is very impressive of Madar to knock down a strawman like that, it doesn't accomplish much for his overall point. But as long as we're discussing history, America's "isolation" in the region or elsewhere has never depended on support for Israel. We were involved before 1967, and we were much more involved after 1967. Can't say I expect Madar to know about all that though.

At this stage Madar retreats to the usual arguments we've heard a million times before about the peace process. The Palestinians have nothing left to give (not true) Israel will never negotiate because America won't threaten them (also not true), and therefore the whole thing is a big waste of time boo hoo hoo. He metaphorically tears his hair, oh woe is him! He can't understand why so few Americans agree with him, since it's just so obvious that it's in our "strategic self-interest" to throw the only democracy in the region under the bus just because they do one thing that we don't like! Because America has never made friends with countries that have problems, ever.

Finally, mercifully, he quotes Josh Reubner and signed off. Hopefully we won't be seeing him again any time soon.

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