Why Is This Not Obvious?

Larison dissects some more idiotic analysis of Turkey’s reaction to the flotilla:

    More recently, the strong reaction in Turkey to the Israeli interception of a convoy organized by Turkish groups with aid for Gaza underlines the possibility that Turkey is moving decisively away from its longtime partnership with the United States. ~Walter Russell Mead

It seems fair to say that Mead has completely misread the situation. Why has there been a “strong reaction” to the raid on the aid flotilla? It isn’t because Turkey is “moving decisively away from its longtime partnership with the United States,” and it isn’t even because the AKP government is bent on undermining the relationship with Israel. There has been a strong reaction because eight Turkish citizens were killed on a Turkish-flagged civilian ship in international waters by the armed forces of its ostensible ally while on a basically peaceful aid mission. Name me a government that would not have a strong reaction to such an episode. For that matter, the aid mission was an effort to breach an inhumane blockade that probably cannot be legally justified. If partnering with the U.S. means ignoring gross, violent provocations against its citizens, no democratic government in the world would be able to maintain such a partnership for very long.

The contortions we have to go through to justify what can not be justified is just insane. Turkey isn’t acting irrationally- she just had a bunch of her civilians killed by an ally who refuses to apologize, refuses to investigate, and is now leading a PR effort to trash them. This isn’t rocket surgery.

Although I can name one government that would not have a strong reaction to her citizens being killed or having their eyes shot out by canisters of tear gas. The United States. We’re totally cool with it. They had it coming. I bet they even had granite countertops.

69 replies
  1. 1
    maya says:

    Turkey should just get over it. We did.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    I don’t recall much more than rhetoric when the Israelis bombed the American ship (back in the 1980s?) either.

  3. 3
    Rob says:

    Well if Israel does it, sure its fine! Imagine the reaction if any other country got caught spying on the US as much as Israel has.

  4. 4
    Emma says:

    I’ve come to realize that nothing will change until we are faced with a real war — all-out, Israel and us versus all of them — and even then, our government might go for broke anyway.

    I hope it happens after I’m dead. I have no wish to live in a post-nuclear war society.

  5. 5
    saucy says:

    Are granite countertops a sign of liberalism/treason now? I missed this particular conservative trope.

  6. 6
    GambitRF says:

    Juan Cole points out that a Jewish organization in Germany is planning an aid flotilla

    http://www.juancole.com/2010/0.....anned.html

    I can’t wait to hear about how they don’t count as real Jewish people or something.

  7. 7
    KXB says:

    In a way, the way AIPAC owns Congress is an argument for term limits. If Congressmen were limited to 5 terms, and Senators to two – they would seem to lower the need to hit up donors for money.

  8. 8
    Bo says:

    rocket surgery“?

    I like that! LOL!

  9. 9
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    Although I can name one government that would not have a strong reaction to her citizens being killed or having their eyes shot out by canisters of tear gas. The United States. We’re totally cool with it.

    Why do you hate America, Cole?

  10. 10
    celticdragonchick says:

    @debbie:

    I don’t recall much more than rhetoric when the Israelis bombed the American ship (back in the 1980s?) either.

    The ship was the USS Liberty in 1967.

    Try to even bring that up on most open forums, and prepare to be labeled as a Nazi fellating whore who also fucks Saudi Muslim terrorists while taking even more money from them to spout anti Jewish propaganda.

    I wish I was kidding. That very tactic has been used against the actual survivors of the ship…as well as the Head Naval Counsel for the Naval Board of Inquiry Captain Ward Boston when he testified before the State Department in 2004 that he and Admiral Kidd were ordered by President Johnson to ditch their findings of premeditation and absolve Israel.

    The polite ones will merely suggest you ar a “troofer” who also goes on pilgramages to Roswell, NM, but they are the minority.

  11. 11
    JohnR says:

    @saucy:

    It’s a Malkinism. Can’t give you the link right now; it was when the Evil Liberals devilishly used that kid to push health care reform, and MM discovered that that the house he lived in had *gasp* granite countertops, indicating that he was well-off enough that he had no reason to need taxpayer-funded healthcare and thus everything he said on that topic was a Liberal Lie. Or words to that effect. She truly is a vicious little monster.

  12. 12
    celticdragonchick says:

    @saucy:

    Are granite countertops a sign of liberalism/treason now? I missed this particular conservative trope.

    It was a favorite complaint of Michelle Malkin when she stalked families who had the nerve to talk about their economic hardships with children who benefitted from S-CHIP.

    She actually tresspassed on private property and peeked into windows to tell her readers about the growing menace of communistic S_CHIPpers with nice counter-tops.

  13. 13
    wilfred says:

    The contortions we have to go through to justify what can not be justified is just insane.

    Welcome to Palestine, John.

    This particular jinn is out of the bottle and on the intranets. The Israeli narrative could never withstand questions like those posed around here and elsewhere. That’s why they were never asked.

  14. 14
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @saucy:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/b.....con-a-h/#C

    Counter tops- as in “But what are their counter tops made of?” or “X has insulted Rush Limbaugh! Check their countertops!” Twelve-year-old Graeme Frost spoke publicly with gratitude that S-CHIP helped with medical expenses after a car accident left him with severe injuries, and wished the same for other children. Wingnuts immediately piled on to this dangerous kid and trashed his family, going so far as to look in the windows and see – gasp! – countertops that appeared to be made of granite. This obviously made his family unfit to receive any public benefits. (The counters were concrete, but no matter, it’s still a scandal!) Now used to show the idiocy of the wingnuts trying to discredit anyone who says something they don’t like, using completely irrelevant and often false information.

  15. 15
    Jim says:

    I think the use of the term “she” to describe a nation is weird. I prefer the more indefinite “it” or “they”. What is the historical custom that says a nation ought to be referred to as feminine? It just looks strange in print.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    ‘Zactly.

    Although I can name one government that would not have a strong reaction to her citizens being killed or having their eyes shot out by canisters of tear gas. The United States. We’re totally cool with it. They had it coming. I bet they even had granite countertops.

    We’ve been pointing that out over and over here. It’s not just Israel. Any citizen who gets in the way of any of our hawk allies, be they democracies or death squads, aid activists or nuns, protesters or engineers, the U.S. doesn’t give a shit when U.S. citizens opposing some allied militarists rape or kill them.

    North Korea captures two journalists straying over the border, and they send a former President to get them out.

    El Salvador’s government death squads shoots 4 nuns, who gives a shit? They were probably running guns or having sex with rebels. Guatemalan genocidal (literally) death squads torture a nun and throw her into a pit of dead bodies? Well, these things happen. Israel shoots U.S. civilians repeatedly over the years, and runs over one with an armored bulldozer, fuck her. Colombia’s state-linked paramilitaries use information provided by the U.S.-equipped national intelligence agency via illegal spying to threaten U.S. and international human rights activists — well, hey, you shouldn’t be getting in trouble in the first place. Etc., etc., etc.

  17. 17
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    : @Jim: Ships, countries and oceans.

    It’s traditional, stemming from roots in other languages where almost everything has gender.

  18. 18
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Emma:

    I hope it happens after I’m dead. I have no wish to live in a post-nuclear war society.

    I want the society where we get Mad Max, Thunderdome and Tina Turner in a 70 pound chain mail dress. :)

  19. 19
    ericblair says:

    @KXB:

    In a way, the way AIPAC owns Congress is an argument for term limits. If Congressmen were limited to 5 terms, and Senators to two – they would seem to lower the need to hit up donors for money.

    This I doubt. You’d have term-limited congresscritters angling for AIPAC wingnut welfare sinecures on their way out and it would make things worse. Plus, it seems to me that all term limits do is benefit machine political parties that can rotate their candidates effectively between offices at the expense of the outsider candidates who get kicked to the curb after their terms are up.

  20. 20
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:

    El Salvador’s government death squads shoots 4 nuns, who gives a shit?

    I might be mistaken, but I’ll wager far more Congresscritters were outraged by that than the murder of Rachel Corrie. Could be wrong, though.

  21. 21
    Comrade Dread says:

    There are certain states that can do no wrong.

    If the United States government were sane, she would spend more time getting on better terms with Turkey and Iran and less time courting (and handing over dollars to) the Israelis and the Saudis.

    (And, for the record, I say that as someone who does want Israel to survive and thrive via a two-state solution at peace with the Palestinians and her neighbors.)

    But I’m also a patriot, and I can recognize that the best solution to fighting radical Islam that the Saudis fund is going to be moderate states like Turkey and pragmatic Shias like the Iranians.

  22. 22
    liberal says:

    @ericblair:
    From what I’ve read on the “experiment” as conducted with term limits on the California state legislature, the main effect is that term limits decrease the amount of institutional knowledge within the legislature itself. That results in the latter relying on…lobbyists. Chalk another one up to the law of unintended consequences.

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    Britain, of course, has much greater concern for the treatment of its civilians captured on the flotilla.

    I was then taken off the ship at Ashdod where I was asked to sign a deportation orde. It claimed that I had entered Israel illegally and agreed to be deported. I told the officer that I, in fact, had not entered Israel but that the Israeli army had kidnapped me from international waters and brought me to Israel against my will; therefore I could not sign this document.
    __
    My passport was taken from me. I was told that I would go to jail. Only then were my hands freed, I spent more than 24 hours with my hands cuffed behind my back, with nothing to eat, and barely anything to drink.
    __
    Upon arrival at the prison I was put in a cell with three other passengers. The cell was roughly 12ft by 9ft. I spent more than 24 hours in jail. I was not allowed to make a single phone call.
    __
    The British consulate did not come and see me. I did not see a lawyer…
    __
    …There was no hot water for a shower. The only meal was frozen bread and some potatoes. The only reason I believe I was released was because the Turkish prisoners refused to leave until and unless the other nationalities (those whose consulates had not come and released them) were set free.
    __
    I was taken to Ben Gurion airport. When I asked for my passport, the Israeli official presented me with a piece of paper and said “congratulations this is your new passport”. I replied “you must be joking, you have my passport”. The Israeli official’s response: “sue me”.
    __
    There I was asked again to sign a deportation order. Again I refused. I was put on a plane headed to Istanbul. Masked Israeli soldiers and commandos took me from international waters. Uniformed Israeli officials locked me behind bars.
    __
    The British government did not lift a finger to help me, till this day I have not seen or heard from a British official.
    __
    The Israeli government stole my passport. The Israeli government stole my lap top, two cameras, 3 phones, $1500 and all my possessions.
    __
    My government, the British government has not even acknowledged my existence. I was kidnapped by Israel. I was forsaken by my country.

    Hey, look on the bright side Mr. Jamal Elshayyal, so-called British citizen (how can you be really British with that foreign background) — Israeli authorities were magnanimous and restrained enough not to shoot you repeatedly in the head and back or tortured you until you died of an unfortunate undiagnosed heart condition.

    [Actually, given that he’s a producer for Al Jazeera, he could have been handed to the U.S. authorities in Iraq to keep imprisoned without charges, or maybe held in Guantanamo, for presumed collaboration with terrorists.]

    Maybe the British House of Commons can nominate a panel to rob him of his rights of citizenship, learning the lessons of the Israeli Knesset in how to treat these upstart pro-terrorist civilian aid thugs.

  24. 24
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Tangentially related, Helen Thomas is now out of a job.

    WTF

  25. 25
    liberal says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    But I’m also a patriot, and I can recognize that the best solution to fighting radical Islam that the Saudis fund is going to be moderate states like Turkey and pragmatic Shias like the Iranians.

    Actually, the best solution is to get the US back to the foreign policy enunciated by Washington in his Fairwell Address, and by John Quincy Adams in one of his speeches. That way, the number of occasions in which we would have to fight anyone would be drastically curtailed.

  26. 26
    kay says:

    This is a very generous offer.

    The EU will check the cargo in return for the lifting of the blockade.

    “On Sunday, the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, went further, suggesting a European Union role in checking cargo on board ships heading to Gaza in return for the lifting of the blockade.

    Mr. Kouchner was speaking after a meeting in Paris with his British counterpart, William Hague.

    “We can check the cargo of ships heading toward Gaza — we can do it, we want to do it, we would gladly do it,” Mr. Kouchner said, according to news reports. There was no immediate response from Israel or from the Hamas authorities in Gaza.

    France has been seeking a more prominent role in Middle East diplomacy. President Nicolas Sarkozy called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek his agreement on an international role in an investigation into the killings aboard the Turkish vessel.

    There has been no formal response from Jerusalem so far. ”

    Someone want to tell me why Israel wouldn’t grab that?

  27. 27
    El Cid says:

    @liberal: You are correct, but the U.S. did nothing significant happened when it mattered. It urged the death squad El Salvadoran dictatorship to carry out an investigation, it did, it found mixups it regretted, kept on slaughtering civilians, and eventually a UN Truth Commission was formed after the conclusion of the war. Big deal.

  28. 28
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:

    Israeli authorities were magnanimous and restrained enough not to shoot you repeatedly in the head …

    Don’t forget that (Brazilian?) guy the Brits executed on a London subway a couple years ago, and the fact that the murderers who did it got off completely.

  29. 29
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:
    I’m just saying that at least in the case of Central America, there were some Congresscritters who were concerned.

    It would be interesting to tally up the number concerned about these recent Israeli things. My impression is that when votes are taken, there’s a handful of people, maybe Ron Paul, a couple people with Arab roots, maybe (or maybe not) Maxine Waters.

    All I’m really saying is that if one thinks it was an uphill battle re Congress and Central America, it might appear doubly so re Congress and Israel.

  30. 30
    El Cid says:

    @kay:

    Someone want to tell me why Israel wouldn’t grab that?

    Because their need to inspect cargo is a public relations tool, not a security need. Israeli policymakers want to maintain the blockade and suffering of Gaza, and its humbling reliance on a trickle of international aid appropriated by Hamas instead of domestic production and rebuilding, not simply make sure there are no weapons.

    The Bush Jr. zombies didn’t invade Iraq because they thought it had WMD. They used WMD as the justification for the invasion of Iraq the administration wanted.

  31. 31
    Bill H says:

    This isn’t rocket surgery brain science.

    Fixed.

  32. 32
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Sorry if this has already been mentioned:

    Linky

    Brad Sherman (D-CA) wants to prosecute Americans who were on the Gaza aid flotilla.

    That’s Congressman Brad Sherman, of the United States, hoping to lock up a few of his own citizens in order to defend the interests of a foreign country.

    Un-fucking-believable.

  33. 33
    liberal says:

    @kay:

    Someone want to tell me why Israel wouldn’t grab that?

    Because states want as full control as possible.

    In this case, Israel wants to continue committing its war crime of collective punishment of Gaza. Letting in more quantity/broader selection of non-weaponizable goods isn’t compatible with that.

  34. 34
    El Cid says:

    @liberal: I’m not disagreeing — yes, there was much more concern in Congress when allied Central American regimes assassinated U.S. citizens than when Israel kills or maims them. But outraged Congressional reactions, when they do exist, don’t change actual U.S. foreign policy establishment activities.

    That there are differences in the reactions by average Americans and Congress is real; that there is a uniformity in ignoring these reactions in all but pro forma ways by administrations is also real.

  35. 35
    MBSS says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    In May 1968, the Israeli government paid US$3,323,500 as full payment to the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3,566,457 in compensation to the men who had been wounded. On 18 December 1980, it agreed to pay $6 million as settlement for the U.S. claim of $7,644,146 for material damage to the Liberty itself.

    here’s a 100 grand, sorry for killing you.

    oopsie.

    mea culpa.

  36. 36
    valdivia says:

    @kay:

    for the same reason they just rejected an offer to have an American oversee the Israeli investigation. The Bibi govt )this includes Barak) are total paranoid idiots.

  37. 37
    El Cid says:

    @liberal: De Menezes’ direct shooters were not charged, but the police department was, and found guilty.

    In July 2006, the Crown Prosecution Service, which like the IPCC operates independently of the Met, announced that it would not carry forward any charges against any individual involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.
    __
    The Met[ropolitan Police Authority] did, however, face criminal charges under sections 3(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for “failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Jean Charles de Menezes”.[48] The decision not to prosecute individuals was made on the grounds of insufficient evidence.[49] The family of Menezes are appealing against that decision in the High Court.[50]
    __
    The Metropolitan Police Service entered a not guilty plea to the charges, “after the most careful consideration”.[51] The trial started on 1 October 2007.[52]
    __
    On 1 November 2007 The Metropolitan Police were found guilty of the above offences, and were fined £175,000, with £385,000 legal costs.[53] The Met published a terse release about this decision.[54] and Len Duvall, Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, asked that the full report on the investigation be published.[55]

  38. 38
    liberal says:

    @valdivia:
    I don’t think it’s a new development with the right-wing governments of Israel. After all, what about the attack on the Liberty, making the reasonable assumption it was purposeful and not a mistake?

  39. 39
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:
    Huh, that’s interesting.

    I like the “lack of evidence” bit. As if it wasn’t at a minimum an airtight case of negligent homicide.

  40. 40
    celticdragonchick says:

    @liberal:

    Don’t forget that (Brazilian?) guy the Brits executed on a London subway a couple years ago, and the fact that the murderers who did it got off completely.

    Proof that broken clocks are right twice a day, that atrocity was one of the few things that Alex Jones investigated and got right(virtually everything reported intially in the news was dead wrong, and it was never corrected in television broadcasts. )
    Unfortuately, the things he gets right are used to reinforce the 95% he gets farcically wrong.

  41. 41
    El Cid says:

    @valdivia: I don’t see why. When international commissions do find Israelis clearly responsible for killing civilians (even UN officials — see the UN investigation of Israeli’s 1996 shelling of the Qana refugee camp in Lebanon, Israel said, ‘sorry, we had bad maps’), nothing happens. The only consequence Israel gave a damn about was when Hezbollah drove them militarily out of South Lebanon, which of course drove Israeli policymakers to be more paranoid and more militarist and more expansionist in the settlements, including a newer phase of an attack against Israel’s own Arab citizens.

  42. 42
    El Cid says:

    @liberal: I don’t really know what to say, because I tend the think the policies and authorities are more at fault than the police and soldiers who are explicitly and implicitly trained in them.

  43. 43
    PeakVT says:

    @El Cid: The UK has always been in the tank for Israel, though they are wise (or frugal) enough not to put their cash on the line.

  44. 44
    geg6 says:

    @GambitRF:

    Self-hating Jews. That’s what they are. Or will be. Whatever kind of words that Jews use to disparage other Jews they don’t agree with. Kinda like how AIPAC characterizes J Street.

  45. 45
    celticdragonchick says:

    @MBSS:

    I really love how the apologists for that argue that the pilots and torpedo boat crews were utterly blind and incompetent, since that is what they would have to be to not recognize the huge white US naval identification numbers on the bow (clearly seen by the topedo boats who closed in to machine gun US sailors trying to get on life boats), the US flag flying constantly until shot away and then replaced with an even larger 5 by 8 foot flag, the grey paint typical to US ships and the fact that the USS Liberty was 300% larger then the ship she was claimed to be mistaken for…not to mention actual testimony before the State Department from the Chief Naval Counsel for the Board of Inquiry that the investigation was poisoned from the very top.

    But you are an anti Semetic bigot who fucks Nazis and mooslim terrorists if you start to bring up Occam’s Razor.

  46. 46
    EconWatcher says:

    Israel has a legimitate need and interest in making sure arms and explosives are not shipped into Gaza. But they are the classic boy who cried wolf.

    The list of items they won’t let in is incredible and obviously reflects an effort to torment and deprive (apparently in order to reduce support for Hamas–which will be just as successful as our fifty-year effort to bring down Castro with an embargo). Dried fruit, certain spices, musical instruments, etc.

    They have a legitimate security need, but no one will or should take them seriously when they’re using it as a pretext like this. A better illustration of stupidity and short-sightedness is hard to find (at least since January 20, 2009).

  47. 47
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:
    In practice, unless individuals are punished, the incentives to change the behavior won’t be there.

    Furthermore, while I agree that the institutions are more at fault than the individuals, that doesn’t mean the individuals have no responsibility or moral agency.

  48. 48
    liberal says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Israel has a legimitate need and interest in making sure arms and explosives are not shipped into Gaza.

    If we’re to be fair about it, why don’t the Gazans have a legitimate need and interest in making sure war materiel is not shipped to Israel, from e.g. the US?

  49. 49
    El Cid says:

    @liberal: I don’t disagree. I just don’t remember enough details about the incident to recall what evidence there was of what, because it may have been a coverup, or it may have truly been unlikely to convict the officers responsible of their charge. It is being appealed.

  50. 50
    Svensker says:

    @kay:

    Someone want to tell me why Israel wouldn’t grab that?

    Because they do not want peace. And they have gone out of their heads.

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    @liberal:

    If we’re to be fair about it, why don’t the Gazans have a legitimate need and interest in making sure war materiel is not shipped to Israel, from e.g. the US?

    Because if they had that capability, they’d already have their own independent, viable state.

  52. 52
    MBSS says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    yes, that was obviously an accident and we are clearly antisemitic neo-nazis.

  53. 53
    Michael says:

    Israel cannot commit wrong. It can only BE wronged.

  54. 54
    celticdragonchick says:

    @MBSS:

    Dontchaknow. That. Too. Also.

    It is almost shocking just how effective the “Jew hating bigot” defense is when used to derail any critisism of the Israeli government. It is the ultimate Ad Hominum. The user is automatically excused from defending indefensible policies and forces you to prove that you are not a bigot for asking in the first place.

    I suppose I must hate North Koreans, Russians, Vietnemese, Chinese and occasionally myself and everybody around me because I am unhappy with things the respective governments do…but I gave up long ago on being able to have anything like a reasonable conversation on Israel.

    The fact that Sarah Palin actually had the Israeli flag in her office and on a lapel pin while running on the US Presidential GOP ticket tells you what you need to know about this facet of the Gods-damned culture war.

  55. 55
    soonergrunt says:

    @maya: You beat me to it.

  56. 56
    Leisureguy says:

    Turkey should study what happened in the aftermath of the unprovoked attack by the IDF on the USS Liberty, when Israel deliberately attempted to sink the ship and kill all on board, despite the ship flying an American flag and clearly not involved with the war on shore.

    More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident

    Plus just Google “uss liberty”

  57. 57
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:
    Fair enough. My observations of what happens to cops here that do bad things doesn’t make me optimistic.

  58. 58
    liberal says:

    @celticdragonchick:
    About the flag stuff, I think Glenn Greenwald discussed how weird the politics of a country is when its politicians make a show of displaying another country’s flag on a constant basis.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @liberal:

    In practice, unless individuals are punished, the incentives to change the behavior won’t be there.

    Yes and no — see the “a few bad apples” defense. Individuals need to be punished, but not necessarily the individuals who did the shooting because they are very easy to scapegoat as lone actors who of course were not acting as they should have.

    If all you do is punish the low-level individuals and don’t follow the chain of command up, you’re not going to create an incentive to do anything at all except cover up any orders from higher up.

  60. 60
    kay says:

    @Svensker:

    This conversation needs to change, IMO. It’s a negotiation. Benefits and burdens. The EU have made a very generous offer, probably through and with the help of the US, and both entities (US and EU) are accepting some very real risk and downside.

    Time for Israel to counter.

  61. 61
    Shade Tail says:

    @saucy #5:

    Are granite countertops a sign of liberalism/treason now? I missed this particular conservative trope.

    In 2007 (I believe; might have been 2006), then-12-year-old Graeme Frost was invited by Harry Reid to give an official democratic broadcast in favor of renewing the S-CHIP insurance program. He was the posterchild for this because he had been in a nasty car accident a couple years before and was only recovering because the hospital bills were covered by S-CHIP.

    The right was, predictably, outraged, and smeared young Mr. Frost and his family with lots of lies. They falsely claimed that his family was too well-off to qualify for S-CHIP, so they must have committed fraud.

    Right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin in particular sent her goons to stake out the Frost house, and they spied through the windows and generally invaded their privacy. Said goons saw the Frosts’ kitchen counters and claimed they were made of marble. They turned out to be granite. Basically, the Frosts had a very nice house for the area, because Graeme’s father was a self-employed construction contractor and was able to make a lot of improvements on the cheap.

    In summary, the whole “granite kitchen counter” meme is a poke at right-wingers’ tendency to make up a load of total bullshit in order to smear someone.

  62. 62
    cmorenc says:

    Can’t remember the source or exact quote, but it goes something like this:
    – it’s hard to make someone understand something when it’s part of their business to not understand it.

    That’s devastatingly apt to attempting to make anyone strongly pro-Israel (or in a vulnerable position to those who are) understand any accurate perspective on this incident. They’re so strongly motivated toward seeing the incident in a frame where Israel is justified that they’re simply going to rationalize away or filter out any facts or ideas that contradict that perspective.

  63. 63
    Ruckus says:

    @liberal:
    Part of the rational may be that one has to “religiously” defend the only democracy in the ME so that one could also easily defend the use of preemptive force to create more democracies.

  64. 64
    SB Jules says:

    Why does Israel attack their friends? They’ve been vacationing in Turkey for years; Turkey took in the shephardic Jews that were expelled from Spain. I just don’t get it.

  65. 65
    HyperIon says:

    @cmorenc:

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
    – Upton Sinclair

  66. 66
    Ruckus says:

    @SB Jules:
    It is a head scratcher, isn’t it?
    Someone posted elsewhere, it’s fear. First you fear that which is truly fearsome. We all do this, of course it’s called survival. Then you add more things which may be fearsome. Pretty soon you not only hear monsters under the bed at night, you see them in the daytime. And pretty soon everyone and everything can be a monster. And fear runs your life.

  67. 67
    victory says:

    It’s actually rather logical that it’s Turkey’s fault or they are over reacting.
    This argument is coming from the side of the aisle who felt Harry Whittington should apologize to Dick Cheney.

    Should we really expect anything else from these people?

  68. 68
    Patrick Meighan says:

    “Brad Sherman (D-CA) wants to prosecute Americans who were on the Gaza aid flotilla. That’s Congressman Brad Sherman, of the United States, hoping to lock up a few of his own citizens in order to defend the interests of a foreign country. Un-fucking-believable.”

    He actually said that he wants to prosecute all Americans who were “involved with” the Gaza aid flotilla, as per his interpretation of the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Not just the Americans *on* the flotilla, but all those “involved” with it as well.

    Having read that news, I telephoned Rep. Sherman’s office this morning and I asked if Rep. Sherman considered American *donors* to the flotilla to be sufficiently “involved” as to merit prosecution (and/or, presumably, the death penalty). The field rep to whom I was speaking (a woman named Jessica Yas) said that she didn’t know for certain, and that the Congressman hadn’t yet laid out all the details about that. I informed Jessica that I, myself, happened to have made a small financial contribution to this particular aid flotilla (and to a couple of others like it in the past), and that I was curious if the Congressman intends to see me jailed and/or executed on account of those finncial contributions, and if so, whether I should proceed to Rep. Sherman’s office in order to turn myself in, or if instead he’s got some sort of blacklist going that I should be added to, or how this is all supposed to work. Jessica, again, said that she was not certain what precisely the Congressman had in mind on that score, and suggested that I just sit tight and see if I happen to be apprehended by law-enforcement officials.

    I responded by saying that it’s kind of important for me to know whether or not Rep. Sherman is planning to pursue my imprisonment or execution, because if so, I should use this time to set my financial affairs in order, and to consult with my clergy and especially to bid farewell to my wife and two young children before the Congressman has me taken from them in order to be jailed or executed. Given that, I asked Jessica, would there be some way for her to please check with the Congressman as to the specific fate that he envisions for me? Jessica Yas finally agreed to take my name and number and check with the Congressman about that, and to let me know the full extent of the punishment Rep. Sherman wishes to have inflicted upon me.

    I’ll certainly follow up if I hear back. In the meantime, if any of y’all wish to enquire with the good Congressman as to the legal jeopardy you may or may not be in, his DC office can be reached at 202.225.5911 (ask for Jessica!), and his field office in Sherman Oaks can be reached at 818.501.9200.

    Good luck, everyone.

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

  69. 69
    Steeplejack says:

    Never mind. Someone else answered Saucy’s question on counter tops way before me.

    Experiment: can I say “porn”?

    ETA: Why, yes, I can. Apparently WordPress recognizes Word’s “conditional hyphens.” Social¬ism here I come.

    ETAF: Hmm, but it recognizes them only in the original comment, not in edit mode. Bummer. Oh, well. Good to know.

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