Hot New Guardian Pundit: Novelist Alice Walker and Holocaust Survivor Helped Arm Terrorists

  terrorists under the bed

Not meaning what you think he meansPeople (mostly liberal elitists) were a little disappointed when the Guardian announced that Redstate.com cofounder and former George W. Bush speechwriter Josh Treviño would be joining its team of U.S. columnists. This is because back in June 2011, as unarmed activists (including the novelist Alice Walker and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein) set sail on a flotilla to protest Israel’s then-four year blockade of Gaza, Josh Treviño tweeted that he would be TOTALLY COOL with the IDF killing Americans aboard because Free Gaza Flotilla participants “adhere to our enemies.” But see, all these excitable liberals can chillax because he didn’t MEAN it; all he MEANT was that the Free Gaza activists were actively helping arm terrorist groups so if they did happen to get shot by the IDF, everyone would probably be ok with it, so what’s the big deal? Oh, and by “everyone” he means him, Hillary Clinton, Rick Perry, and “the broad sweep of American opinion.” So can we all just calm down so he can write for the Guardian now?

[On] 25 June 2011.. I posted this on Twitter:

“Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.”

I realise that this statement left a sizable number of people appalled that I, by their reading, urged the Israeli Defense Force to shoot Americans participating in the second incarnation of the Gaza flotilla.

I urged no such thing. I intended no such thing. But sufficient numbers believe I did, and in cases of widespread misapprehension of meaning, the fault always lies with the writer.

The Gaza flotilla of 2011 was a follow-up to the first one in 2010, in which a collection of activists sought to run the Israeli maritime blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

So much to say about this! Choices, choices. We’ll start by noting that the Gaza Strip is actually for all practical purposes Israeli controlled, rather than Hamas controlled, before moving on to marvel at the fact that HE’s marveling at the fact that people think he was ok with the IDF shooting unarmed Americans when all he did was tweet that he was ok with the IDF shooting unarmed Americans.

Though [the activists'] proclaimed intent was merely to facilitate movement of consumer goods by sea, those goods already circulate, albeit imperfectly, through Gaza’s land borders with Israel and Egypt.

Sorry, quick interruption! Consumer goods did not at the time already circulate with Gaza’s land border with Egypt and Israel, imperfectly or otherwise, and had not since the blockade was imposed in 2007, but we’ll leave it at that and move on.

The primary outcome would have been the opening of Gaza’s port to the commerce of war: Hamas would have been able to resume uninspected seaborne shipments of arms and ammunition from Iran and elsewhere. (The most famous incident in this vein, the Karine A affair of 2002, was merely one of many.)

In this light, the Gaza flotillas sought to render aid to a known terrorist group – and, in my view, its participants were morally complicit in that. Moreover, in these circumstances, Israel was within its rights to prevent the breach of its blockade and to defend itself by force, if necessary, in so doing.

In sum: the activists wanted to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, which somehow would have made Israel open the Gaza port to anyone bringing anything through this port uninspected, which means that someone could have subsequently brought weapons through this port without an inspection, and therefore, ergo de facto, the activists were bringing weapons to Hamas,  meaning that they were just begging the IDF to shoot them. Got it.

…So what I intended to convey, then, was exactly what Hillary Clinton, Rick Perry, and the broad sweep of American opinion historically affirms: that US citizens on the Gaza flotilla of 2011 were responsible for their own fate, and that Americans utterly out of sympathy with their de facto assistance to a terror group would not be moved if the worst befell them.

That is what I intended. It is not what I accomplished.

In the ensuing Twitter back-and-forth with multiple outraged interlocutors, I focused on defending the rational integrity of my case – without pausing to consider that it was badly marred by its lack of rhetorical integrity. In succeeding, to my mind, in the sphere of argument, I missed the point: which is to succeed in the sphere of communication. Winning a process victory means little if no one else is convinced. My approach was tailor-made for the Romney campaign, perhaps, but not for the real world.

Instead, the widespread impression has arisen that I actively urged the IDF to shoot Americans, that I welcomed their death, or that I hoped for that outcome. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Exactly. What he INTENDED to say wasn’t what he said, which was “Dear IDF, if you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza Flotilla — well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me” because “they adhere to our enemies.” He MEANT to say that the people on the Free Gaza Flotilla were actively aiding terrorists and therefore DESERVED to be shot because Israel has a right to defend itself. This is entirely different! Also, he focused on rationalizing the killing of a Holocaust survivor and Alice Walker instead of winning the argument, and ok, so that part was his fault but it doesn’t mean he WANTED the IDF to shoot Alice Walker and the Holocaust survivor; just that they were practically BEGGING to be shot by making Israel allow Iran to ship weapons to Hamas after they were done delivering humanitarian aid. Anyway he’s SORRY, ok? Not for his ideas, but for the way he said the ideas, so NOW is it OK with you liberals if he writes for the Guardian?

[The Guardian]

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About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

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114 comments

    1. Boojum

      My approach was tailor-made for the Romney campaign, perhaps, but not for the real world.

      Am I the only one who thinks that this is an explicit acknowledgement that these are non-congruent sts?

      1. Callyson

        Winning a process victory means little if no one else is convinced. My approach was tailor-made for the Romney campaign

        I think this means that whatever flaws this guy has, even he realizes how ridiculous Mittens and Lyin' Ayn Ryan sound…

          1. Beowoof

            Don't forget to say he got them from Matalin, who in turn got them from George HW Bush, who got them from Barb, who got them from the Quaker Oats CEO.

    1. Terry

      Velcro, because enemies turn into friends and back into enemies. It's too changeable of a situation to commit to superglue.

      1. MacRaith

        There is no better way to demonstrate the absurdity of neocon rhetoric than to simply present it unedited. Why do you think they're always complaining about being "taken out of context" when they are quoted verbatim?

      2. Lascauxcaveman

        NYT had Billy Kristol on staff for awhile, didn't they?

        Maybe it's more about bringing down the reading grade level.

        1. sullivanst

          So?

          The Guardian Is Not The New York Times. There never used to be an obsession with "balance" in English newspapers.

          1. Calapine

            Agree, and would like to add:

            If they worry about including an alternate viewpoint, why hire a damn redstate crazy?

            Aren't there any "normal" right-wingers left to pick from…?

    1. Terry

      He was drunk one night in the clubhouse and a Ryder Cup groupie was there, one thing led to another….

  1. Serolf_Divad

    Dear IDF, go ahead and kill anyone you want for whatever reason you want because… I mean… hey, why not?

        1. Calapine

          Sooo…if Sarah's reading list includs "everything", does that mean there is a good chance she is mulling over de Sade's diaries this very moment…?

          How hot!

          1. kittensdontlie

            A mere mortal brain cannot resist the abolute sucking vacuum elicited from the Palin cranium cavity. Never. Ever.

    1. Beowoof

      I am pretty sure with out those big scam dollars coming in, she won't be able to afford to pay anyone to read it for her.

  2. EatsBabyDingos

    Rick Perry? Known twat-waffle? Why not cite Mr. Ed? I'd believe the horse over the horse's ass.

  3. noodlesalad

    Hillary Clinton said the Flotilla "wasn't helpful." I missed the part where that translates to "fire at will," but I tend to always miss that part of the wingnut memo. Does this mean that, when Verizon customer support isn't helpful, I can ask Mossad to take out the call center?

    1. PsycWench

      Every semester I get a few evaluations saying that I wasn't very helpful. I better start wearing bullet-proof clothing to office hours.

    2. James Michael Curley

      Please do so.

      I have greatly wished for a return to days before the breakup of AT&T because the world was much more organized when we had one monolithic phone company to hate.

      1. Tangled sin tax

        Judge Green sure trashed Lily Tomlin's career. "Is this the party to whom I am speaking?" Loved to hear her cautioning customers about abusing their instruments.

    3. sewollef

      My N-Train wasn't "very helpful" in getting me into Manhattan this morning [belligerent b'tards].

      Perhaps I can sic the Israeli Defense Force on the MTA?

  4. DonnyKerabotsos

    Anyone who requires 18 paragraphs to explain a 23 word tweet probably shouldn't be a writer.

    1. viennawoods13

      Anyone who FAILS to explain a 23 word tweet in 18 paragraphs definitely shouldn't be a writer.

      1. sullivanst

        Oh he explained it, just not in the way he thought he was. He quite neatly explained why he shouldn't be given a platform anywhere, least of all the Guardian, because he's an insufferable bloodthirsty cunt.

  5. OkieDokieDog

    So he said he was cool with those (un)Americans getting shot all dead and stuff because they'd deserve it being all unAmerican and stuff, but he's kinda sorry (not really) that he said he would be cool with all that stuff. Yay Holy Land!

    So when is he going to skinny dip in the Sea of Galilee?

  6. MissTaken

    Some of my coworkers are 'not helpful' this morning. I'm not saying someone should shoot them, but if that *did* happen, I'd be cool with that.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      You could shoot all the ones that are 'not helpful,' but in the end, that just means more work for you, so be careful with that.

          1. Mittens Howell, III

            You could tell if they're illegitimate shootings, the body has a way to magically close the wounds up and stop the bleeding.

  7. actor212

    Y'know, he looks a little like the conspiracy nut character in a movie whom the, say, IDF sets up and then assassinates in order to send a message to an operative.

    1. new_pic_for_NEWTer

      Chet, you nailed it – cut right straight to the nub.

      Any and all freedoms lead to terror, so fire at will at everybody, everywhere, anytime for any reason.
      USA, USA, USA!*

      *Was that ok? …cuz I`m not American? I'll walk back from the USA chant if you are offended.

  8. Billmatic

    Alls I know is that anyone who cites Rick Perry as an authority on international relations has mental problems.

  9. Mittens Howell, III

    Everywhere like such as, I believe non-creepy, non-Republican Americans are AK-47 food. 'Cos Jesus said it.

    Nice catch Guardian.

  10. PsycWench

    "I focused on defending the rational integrity of my case – without pausing to consider that it was badly marred by its lack of rhetorical integrity"
    Pretty fancy-schmancy way of saying "I'm sorry if I offended anyone".

    1. sullivanst

      Of course, he did a piss-poor job of defending the rational integrity of his case, not that he could ever be made to realize this.

  11. rickmaci

    Does anyone have even the slightest clue about what this fool is trying to say? Not the sharpest knife in the old Wingnutlican drawer, eh?

  12. SorosBot

    So basically, this vile fascist bigot thinks that delivering humanitarian aid to Muslims should be a capital offense; but how dare anyone call him out for that, because with word salad he can claim that he said something very slightly different and is not the murderous vile piece of shit he really is.

  13. SexySmurf

    With all that navel-gazing and fifth-grade English skills, I'm surprised the Washington Post didn't snatch him up years ago.

    1. SorosBot

      Silly, of course they're your enemy; they are Muslims, and in right-wing land we're apparently at war with every single Muslim in the world because of the actions of a few extremists.

  14. SayItWithWookies

    I urged no such thing. I intended no such thing. But sufficient numbers believe I did, and in cases of widespread misapprehension of meaning, the fault always lies with the writer.

    It's Non-Apology Form #2 — say something horrible, then act like the outrage is over you saying something worse — in this case, just weaseling out of the "urge" or "intend" bit when "being okay with" is just as bad.

    See, Josh, you complete dumbass — people weren't outraged because you urged the IDF to kill unarmed Americans — they were outraged because you were okay with it. Now start over from that premise.

  15. Dashboard Buddha

    If the “the broad sweep of American opinion” agrees with you, then I would guess that the broad sweep of Wonketeers think you're an insufferable douchebag.

  16. Chichikovovich

    One thing I've always admired about the Guardian (right down to the level of its play-by-play soccer commentators) is the excellent writers they feature. In the course of defending himself (badly) against the charge of holding immoral political attitudes, he acknowledges that he's a bad writer.

    Open and shut case. Fire his ass, Guardian.

    1. sewollef

      Please. Fire his ass.

      btw, he looks like a prick too. I didn't want to say that before, since it makes me look shallow and unintelligent, but fuck it, it's not been a great morning.

  17. frrolfe

    as a very, very longterm reader of the guardian, i am sickened that this craphead would be given space to publish his "thoughts". BTW, anyone who uses the term "interlocutors" is a pretentious wanker also, too. boycott the gruaniad sez i!

  18. pdiddycornchips

    My son wants to be writer. He's currently a student at a top university. After graduation, he'd like to write for a policy center or somewhere in print journalism. He figures after a decade or more spent honing his craft, he hopes to one day be considered for a position at one of our elite media organizations. I say if that's the goal, find a job tossing red meat at wingers and places like the CNN, the NY Times, WaPo and the Guardian will beat a path to your door.

  19. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    See, this is such a non topic. Clearly if it is legitimate humanitarian aid, the Israeli system will clamp down and prevent it from getting in. It is only the illegitimate humanitarian aid that the system will let get in and fertilize rebellion.

  20. Guppy

    If the American people are always completely totally cool with what Israel does all the time forever and ever, why are we wasting money with maintaining an embassy in Israel to begin with?

  21. sewollef

    "so NOW is it OK with you liberals if he writes for the Guardian?"

    No, it fucking well is NOT okay Guardian. Not in the slightest.

    The Guardian is/has been my newspaper of choice since I was knee high to a grasshopper back in the old country.

    And using the most polite language I can muster, I object most strenuously that 'my' newspaper is allowing this fucked up, neo-fascist c*nt to write for its American outlet. Remembering of course that 'my' newspaper is liberal in the European sense, which makes it trotskyist here in the US, so WTF?

    Not only that, but I will be writing to my MP about this, wait…. fuck, I don't actually live in the UK anymore. Bother and damnation!

    1. sullivanst

      Does Robert Fisk still write for The Independent? Just askin'…

      (The Indy used to be my paper of choice until they developed a penchant for chopping off the ends of articles, which eventually motivated my switch to The Guardian)

      1. sewollef

        As far as I know, yes, Fisk is still writing for the Indy.

        I kinda 'fell out' with the Independent after Russian 'oligarch' and conservative Rodina Party leader, Alexander Lebedev bought it. Can't put my finger on it, but I just don't trust him – he is ex-KGB after all. His son, Evgeny I trust even less.

        I so wanted The Independent to succeed though. As a designer I wasn't keen on the tabloid redesign at the time. It was meant to look like another of my favourite newspapers – Libération in France.

  22. fuflans

    In the ensuing Twitter back-and-forth with multiple outraged interlocutors

    that pretty much perfectly captures the downfall of western civilization right there.

  23. randcoolcatdaddy

    "Free Gaza Flotilla participants “adhere to our enemies.”"

    Is this an ad campaign for some new thing they're selling at Taco Bell?

  24. ttommyunger

    Not that there's anything new or groundbreaking about IDF Troops killing Americans, meh. (google: USS Liberty)

  25. ahnc

    Oh, this must be the "shoot them first, ask questions later" concept I hear so much about.

    Pew Pew Pew (diving for cover)

  26. DahBoner

    If Israel thinks The Guardian is a real, credible and immediate threat to the Jewish people and wanted to "take them out", I would be cool with that…

  27. deanbooth

    This is the same article he wrote about Trayvon Martin, with a bit of search and replace.*

    * I know nothing about this jerk. I'm just guessing.

Comments are closed.