Just watched Barney Frank’s embarrassing performance on Hardball tonight (scroll to 9:15 unless you can handle 9 minutes of Mrs. Alan Greenspan), and it is quite clear the spin is in for the flotilla mess, and it is all hands on deck to cover Israel’s ass. We are told we must remember this is the “Egyptian/Israeli” blockade, and then this absolute gem:
Frank: By the way, I don’t remember quite so much worldwide outrage when the North Koreans sank a South Korean submarine and 46 people were killed. There are people much more upset about Israel in a much more ambiguous situation…
Let’s take a moment to unpack that, shall we? First, it was an “ambiguous situation.” No. It really wasn’t. The flotilla was no secret, as we were publicly told it was nothing more than a PR stunt, they knew who was on it, they followed it for days, and then they decided to go cowboy and assault a Turkish flagged ship in the middle of international waters. A combination of a flawed mission and bungled execution of said mission then led directly to the deaths of nine civilians. There is absolutely nothing ambiguous about what happened. Ask the heads of every nation except the United States. Ask every member of the Security Council except the United States. There may be some ambiguity in the details regarding who shot first (my guess- the ones with the guns, and since the IDF is not flashing pictures of guns seized, that sort of narrows things down, doesn’t it…), but there is quite simply no ambiguity as to what happened in this overall situation. It is crystal clear.
Second, I just love the North Korea/hypocrisy angle (as Frank dutifully echoes Netanyahu’s hypocrisy charge), because this is PRECISELY the same sort of bullshit the neocons, the wingnuts, and the rest of the Bush administration apologists belched up for several years when we were caught torturing, degrading, and abusing prisoners and detainees- “Hey, why are you getting so worked up about waterboarding. Our enemies decapitate people!” Is Frank’s position now that anyone can kill as many people as they want to, as long as it does not go over the 46 killed in North Korea? Is that the new rule? Just like anything goes with prisoners- just so long as we don’t decapitate them? That was bullshit then, it is pure unadulterated bullshit now. We expect better of Israel than we do of North Korea, as we are repeatedly told they are the only democracy and bastion of decency in the entire Middle East.
And does Frank really want to compare Israel to North Korea? North Korea is a militant nuclear armed state that is indifferent to international law and routinely thumbs its nose at the international community, a nation who routinely acts in a belligerent manner, is led by an incompetent and warmongering lunatic, and….
Maybe Frank has a point.