Dave Schuler at The Glittering Eye finds the extremism evident in far too many blogs to be unrealistic.
People seem to be advocating mindlessly extreme positions as the minimally acceptable policy. Only a pure market health care system is acceptable. Only a totally socialized health care system is acceptable. Abolish the minimum wage. Double the minimum wage. Nuke all Arabs. There is no terrorist threat. Nothing is Bush’s fault. Everything is Bush’s fault. 9/11 changed everything. 9/11 changed nothing.
He observes that in real life, workable approaches are neither burning hot nor bitterly cold. Hard to get a crowd roaring with that kind of approach, but he's absolutely right.
Michael J. Totten publishes a lengthy interview he conducted with Major Tal Lev-Ram, Spokesman for the IDF Southern Command. It dates from June, but it's still interesting. What I found most striking was the Palestinians' use, not only of human shields, but young teenagers for planting charges, moving weapons.
"It’s a problem," he said. "Sometimes we see resistance. But it’s difficult to judge from our perspective. We see a lot of cases where Katyusha or Qassam rockets are fired from within populated areas. More than that, they came up with a system that was based on the fear that we would find the exact location of the rocket launchers. So they place the launchers with a timer. And ten, eleven, and twelve year old children come and take the launcher away afterwards. Often we’re faced with fourteen or fifteen year old youth who come, armed, and place charges along the fence. When we see them, even when we see that they are armed, if they are only fourteen or fifteen we only shoot to scare them. We don’t actually fire at them. Of course, only if there is no immediate danger to our forces."
"About a month and a half ago," he said, "another event that shows you the dilemma here: Two terrorists with an RPG tried to shoot a tank. We shot back. In the same house the mother of them, and a cousin, were in the same house. They fired five meters away from where the mother and cousin were standing. The Palestinian headline said that a mother and child were killed. The child was twenty two years old. And he was a member of Hamas. So, I am not happy about the mother. But, this is my right. You know? In the houses of Hamas militants, and all the other terrorist organizations, there are storages of weaponry. That’s because in the past we would avoid attacking houses with families. Which raises the question: Sometimes we as the IDF care more about the families and the children than he who would put them in danger. In a house, let’s say of three floors, a whole floor may be used as a storage."
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