July 26, 2006

The Middle East is Not a Morality Play

The Middle East is Not a Morality Play

Paul Mirengoff, a lawyer in DC with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, writes for the blog Power Line. You heard him on The Encyclopedia of American Conservatism and The Republican Coalition. (And if you didn’t hear him, you know you can listen to all of our shows online, right? Right?) Paul, in his response to On David and Goliath, cautions against applying any narrative — biblical or literary — to a very real conflict.

I would say that there are no Davids now. Israel was David at one time, although there was no Goliath, only the large number of (weak) opponents gave Israel underdog status. But now Israel is a regional superpower, with the US behind it.

Fatah and Hamas are terrorists who don’t stand and fight, so they are disqualified, I should think. We’ll see if Hezbollah, terrorists to be sure, stand and fight, but in any case that organization appears to be a creature of Syria and Iran.

Having long ago lost its underdog status, Israel’s best case for sympathy and support today (which is compelling to me) is that its enemies are our enemies. For those who won’t be persuaded by this argument, Israel is left to point out that Hezbollah started the fight. Hezbollah, I imagine, gets some David mileage from those inclined to sympathize, but for the reasons mentioned above, that mileage is undeserved.

In the end, I think this struggle should be viewed more as a geo-political one in the context of a “clash of civilizations” and less as a morality play.

Paul Mirengoff, Power Line, in an email to Open Source, July 26, 2006

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