Wanted: An Israeli Sherman! Ctd

Nov 26 2012 @ 11:51am

Walter Russell Mead defends himself from my criticisms:

[W]e’ve gotten in trouble with the calm and level headed management over at the Dish because we thought it was worth explaining why, as a matter of political reality, so many Americans are unshocked by what so many people around the world see as unacceptable Israeli violence in Gaza. We pointed to a long established tradition in American culture and political thought—one of four described in Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed The World. This tradition believes that when a country or its citizens is attacked it has the right and even the duty to crush the offenders without regard to what defenders of just war theory consider the proper limits of force. The VM piece—like the book on whose analysis it is based—didn’t endorse this approach but tried to show dispassionately and clearly what it is, how it works and why, to those who think this way, it makes sense.

Just go read the original piece and see if you believe that Mead is merely describing and analyzing rather than endorsing Jacksonian mass violence. You may also notice that Mead does not actually link to that piece in his rebuttal (a revealing omission when you are defending your own argument). As one reviewer put it of one of his books, he offers a "robust celebration of Jacksonianism as it historically was … an admiring portrait of a tough, xenophobic folk community, ruthless to outsiders or deserters, rigid in its codes of honour and violence". And that's why he loves Greater Israel: its ruthlessness, contempt for just warfare as developed in European civilization, and its barbaric doctrine of creating "deterrence" by mass murder and a stifling blockade.