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The Sentinel Endorses ...

As the idiotic destruction continues in Beirut, with innocent people being blown up and an entire nation being bombed into oblivion, our local newspapers are basically egging it on. The dunderheads can't seem to learn. They got it wrong on Iraq and they're getting it even more wrong on the developing Israeli war into Lebanon.

Take today's editorial in the Sun-Sentinel, which bascially urged Israel to bomb faster than it has been, since a dastardly peace might soon take hold:

"If Israel is serious about degrading Hezbollah's ability to mount future attacks against Israeli civilians, it is running short of time. That's why the Lebanese offer [to provide security troops in the area] must be met with caution."

The editorialists are purely Israeli-centric and utterly blind to the suffering going on in Lebanon, making the piece sickening and shameful. Worse, it's flat-out moronic. This thing isn't about being conservative or liberal, or right or left, or even pro-Israel or pro-Arab -- those are the labels that cloud things up. It's about logic and intelligence. If Israel could simply "disarm" Hezbollah, it might be worth a go. But it can't. It's trying and it's getting its ass handed to it. Fifteen IDF soldiers were killed yesterday in what has been a woeful ground operation. Hezbollah, meanwhile, is disarming all over Haifa. Israel, at best, is only on its way to another incredibly painful and horrific occupation, which we here in the United States, ass-deep in Iraq, should now truly be able to understand. It's the editorialists -- and the scurrilous Bush Administration -- that can't grasp it.

The big picture is that this is a Goddamn cycle of violence that's been going on for six decades. Israel is only inspiring a new generation of Arabs to hate it enough to kill themselves to hurt it. But the Sun-Sentinel isn't the only newspaper deaf and dumb to that obvious reality. This comes from a Miami Herald editorial published on July 21:

"That is why it makes no sense to call for an instant cessation of hostilities that would leave Hezbollah free to move back in southern Lebanon and free to renew hostilities at a time of its choosing. Instead, Israel and the international community should focus on a larger solution that removes Hezbollah from the southern border region next to Israel."

What, exactly, is going to "remove" Hezbollah? You think Israel has a giant bottle of terrorist-proven cleanser? That editorial is the work of deadweight office wumps who have absolutely no idea what's happening outside the walls of One Herald Plaza. Every reporter in that building should be ashamed of it.

So how about the Palm Beach Post? Is it any better? Well, yes. The editorial that ran yesterday on the matter was much more nuanced than the others and indicated that the writer had some understanding of history. It's weakness was that it was so nuanced that it lost any hint of power.

Where do we turn for some hard-nosed common sense? A letter to the editor appears right next to the horrid Sun-Sentinel editorial. The author of the letter, Jerry Robinson of Coconut Creek, writes:

"Israel is armed to its teeth with U.S. weaponry and munitions. They can pulverize and bully people like a weak Lebanon and a bunch of impoverished refugees without an army in Gaza. But Israel has not figured out how to solve problems through negotiations. Force will only create more violence -- like in Iraq. Will people never learn?"

If the Sentinel and Herald count for anything, probably not.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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