View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Beloved by All 

The Denver Post this morning ran a wire service piece by Knight-Ridder. It seeks to present the warm, human, populist side of the inspiration to mass murder that was Sheik Yassin.

Yassin called for violent resistance to Israeli occupation, but he wasn't simply a Palestinian Osama bin Laden, as Israeli leaders prefer to cast him. The elderly, partially blind quadriplegic was the beloved leader of a popular movement to create an Islamic Palestinian state.

I'm sorry, come again? In what sense, exactly, is this different from Osama bin Laden? Doesn't bin Laden also call for violence against the West? Doesn't he also seek to establish a universal Islamic state? And for all we know, bin Laden may in fact now be a blind quadriplegic. Not like we've seen much of him lately. In any event, that just goes to show how much even the disabled can accomplish in today's society. (Okay, that's not a dig at the disabled. It's a dig at the politically correct who want to tell me that a disability really isn't, while then playing on my sympathy to get me to like a guy who thinks his religion wants me dead.)

Many world leaders didn't view him as an acceptable wartime target and were outraged over his assassination.

And many did. Naturally, the reporter makes no effort to look up what the laws of war actually say about these things. Look, wartime efforts were made to assassinate Hitler. The US killed Yamamoto during WWII. Political leadership is always a legitimate target during war, if you can count him as political leadership. The Europeans opposed this because it might make the Palestinians mad. They should have issued their communique from Stockholm.

He also spoke of a new, unusual role for Hamas in the event of an Israeli withdrawal, one in which the group might lay down its arms and participate in elections. "We will not allow chaos to take place" on Palestinian streets, the sheik said.

Tell me, what, exactly, about maintaining order has anything, anything at all, to do with elections. The fact that Hamas thinks it's ready to step up from street gang to police force doesn't mean that it's ready to lose an election. In fact, several days ago, Ma'ariv ran a report about PA security and leadership rats in Gaza who were fleeing the sinking ship and signing up with Hamas. This sounds like a declaration born of confidence, rather than conciliation.

Until his death, he lived for four decades in a single-story house with a roof made of corrugated steel and plastic sheeting. He raised 11 children there, including two sons who were injured in the attack that killed him.

Mao also lived in a simple house all his life. The fact that people have their eyes on something other than the material doesn't keep them from being evil, malicious, murdering tyrants. This equation of a monkish vow of poverty with other, spiritual values, is thoroghly misguided.

By the way, take a close look at the author's name.

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