28 June 2006

Shouting or talking?

Actually, the article by Simon Tisdall is titled Shouting not talking. Its general drift is that talking is better than shouting. Unfortunately, while the idea itself is excellent, the article is less so.

The article, with its unforgettable imagery (that "sending barbed words crashing like unguided artillery shells" will be pretty hard to get rid off, I swear), says some thing that are easy to agree with, like:

Palestinian violence against Israelis, including rocket attacks launched from Gaza, is not and cannot be justified. It must cease - because it is wrong and because it hinders the realisation of Palestinian aspirations.


The story is depressingly familiar: many deaths, disproportionately on the Palestinian side, both military and civilian; more destruction, more traumatised children, more ruined schools and broken homes; thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of refugees pushing across the border into Egypt; and, in all likelihood, the death of the very soldier Mr Olmert wants to save.

Otherwise, it is the usual mealy-mouthed jumble of platitudes and, yes, barbed words. True, they do not crash like artillery shells, but still... To start with the sentence that is chosen as a subtitle:

Israel is in danger not of obliteration by 'Islamic extremists' but of delegitimisation by its own polices and actions.

That's one brilliant start of an article on peace and war. Do we need or ask for a confirmation of our legitimacy (even if it is to appear in Guardian)? I doubt, but Mr Tindall knows better how to start talking. And when started, he does not care much for logic or common sense:

But all the angry adjectives in the world cannot hide the fact that Mr Olmert also carries heavy responsibility for the latest mayhem, as well as the plight of Cpl Shalit.

To make it clear - this "latest mayhem" is the IDF incursion in Gaza that started today. Granted, it is Olmert's ultimate responsibility. But how Olmert is framed as guilty for an attack on a border post inside the Israeli territory and the resulting killing and kidnapping - it is a mystery that only a Guardian scribe could possibly clear.

It is his policy that keeps Gaza under siege and almost constant bombardment.

Yep, and the steady rain of Qassams that already took 12 lives is also instigated by this pesky Olmert, of course. In Guardian book there is no chicken, only an egg...

And more and more of the same. So it is better to finish by this quote:

Mr Olmert should stop shouting and start talking.

Mr Olmert has decided that it is time to stop both shouting and talking. Cannot say I am happy with this decision, but I suspect that nobody is. Nobody is happy about a war.

Apparently Mr Olmert realized, unlike Mr Tisdall, that talk is cheap. Which the quoted article proves to my full satisfaction.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com