The Trouble With Middle East Op-Eds

Tim Kowal ghettoizes reams of foreign policy opinion:

People make flip assessments about domestic policy because, well, it’s domestic policy, and we’re going to have opinions about where we live.  Besides, we’re forced to be somewhat engaged and to develop our ideas because, at least to some extent, we all reap the consequences of those policies.

Not so with what goes one half a globe away, as most of us have no first-hand knowledge about what’s going on.  And the problems are toxic, complex, and decades old.  It’s as if you tried explaining over the phone to your 80 year old blind grandfather how to assemble a neutron bomb.  At best, it’s futile.  At worst, it’s dangerous.  This is generally what I think of eight minute radio segments and 500 word op-eds on the middle east.

E.D. Kain nods. And I take the general point. But this was a post by Jonah Goldberg, for Pete's sake. It describes the attack on the Mavi Marmara as an attack by Turkey against Israel. It describes the blockade of Gaza as one constructed by Hamas, without any assistance from the Israelis. Its core argument - that once any conflict with terrorists is enjoined, it can never be ended for fear of giving terrorists a victory - is so absurdly ahistorical and illogical it can only come from the template of an ideology that requires barely any actual analysis of events or people on the ground whatsoever to make Solomonic judgments.

I guess my point is: not every foreign policy op-ed is at this level of agit-proppery.