July 28, 2006

JOHN PODHORETZ WONDERS if Israel is too nice to win.

This reminds me of Josh Marshall’s 2003 worry that we weren’t killing enough Iraqis and that this would come back to haunt us. I think they’re both probably wrong. I certainly hope so.

UPDATE: Related thoughts from Bill Roggio.

And Jim Dunnigan looks at Hezbollah’s Iranian rocket force. I’m guessing that you can’t solve the Hezbollah problem without solving the Iranian problem.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Donald Sensing thinks that Israel is blowing it.

MORE: Josh Marshall now says I’m misrepresenting his column. Well, the post I link above contains a lengthy in-context quote, and observes: “Not that Josh wants people to die, he just thinks it has a valuable pedagogical function.” (Josh claims that I said he called for “the mass and indiscriminate killing of civilians at the outset of the Iraq War,” which is at least as much a misrepresentation of my post as he’s claiming for his; I don’t think that either Podhoretz or Marshall ever called for that).

I thought that was a fair reading of his column then, and I don’t believe he objected. Here’s another link to his original column, which I also linked along with the blockquote. You can decide for yourself whether I’ve misrepresented him, but it seems to me that it was a fair reading then, and that it’s a fair reading now. But if Josh meant something else by his language, he should say so. He links to other people who say that my reading of his language is wrong, so I guess he has disclaimed that meaning now, but I should note that those posts came after mine. So either I’ve been misreading him for three years (possible), or he is more worried about sounding bellicose now than he was in March of 2003. Your call, but I thought the latter, which is why I was tweaking him by bringing it up.

STILL MORE: Hmm. Marshall seems to have a problem making himself understood.

AND MORE: Dan Riehl thinks my reading of Marshall was excessively generous. “Marshall was invoking Nagasaki and Hiroshima as examples of how to win a war … and the hearts and minds which are left. But, as Reynolds duly noted, he was criticizing Bush’s plan, not necessarily advocating mass death.” Yes, Marshall — as I noted — wasn’t calling for more deaths, but rather expressing the worry that a war that didn’t involve massive casualties or damage wouldn’t have enough of a psychological effect to produce peace. That Marshall reads this as a claim that he was calling for more deaths is, well, not surprising since he applies similar misreading to my stuff.

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