Friday, August 04, 2006

On Comments and Cowardice: aka "This is Not a Political Post"

I have received my first "hate comment." Two of them, actually, from the same person.

I'm not sure if that's a step up in blogging or not.

But apparently I have a new reader who always posts as "Anonymous" and leaves nothing but insulting, sarcastic posts, all related to the war between Israel and Hezbollah. In particular, he or she takes issue with my post on sending the IDF a virtual hug. This commenter is not interested in having a mature conversation about the issues, but rather wants to bash me (and always includes my children) for writing this one post in support of the IDF.

Anyone who reads this blog ought to know by now that this is not a political blog. I don't post political commentary because I have no desire to engage in political wars of words on my blog. There are other blogs devoted to politics, including this particular war.*

This blog is not one of them.

I see my one pro-IDF post as a parallel to my stand that while I do not support America's war (or is it a "police action" like Viet Nam?) in Iraq, I do support our troops. Not to do that, in my opinion, is tantamount to betrayal of fellow American citizens who are putting their lives on the line (and sadly, losing them at an alarming rate). Personally, I would rather our troops leave Iraq and come home, and the U.S. can suck it up and call this a failed whatever-it-is and admit that maybe we didn't have any business being there. This is my opinion, to which I have a right, and I have no desire to debate that with anyone.

As a Jew, and as a person who feels a strong connection with Israel, I believe absolutely and completely that Israel has not only the right but the obligation to defend herself. Israel neither started nor welcomed this war, and it seems to me that if Hezbollah really cared about its people the way they want us to think, they wouldn't be using civilian neighborhoods as bases from which to launch rockets.

It's the old "actions speak louder than words" at work again.

That said, while I support Israel's right to defend herself, I also think the method this time was flawed. When guerrilla fighters are launching rockets from behind innocent human shields, I don't believe air strikes are the answer. There is no possible outcome aside from massive civilian casualties.

But I am not the one making decisions (probably a good thing) and I am not going to withdraw support from Israeli soldiers who are quite clearly defending their homeland when my reason is a disagreement with military policies.

As I see it, there is a clear difference between supporting a war and supporting the people who have no choice but to fight in that war. And before anyone - particularly my insulting commenter - digs out the "I was just following orders" line, I will also say that there is a clear difference between being at war and trying to wipe entire populations off the face of the earth.

Note that Hezbollah has a stated goal of eliminating Israel completely: men, women, children, babies. The more Jews killed, the better, in their view. And this is when they're not at war!

Which brings me back to my insulting commenter, who doesn't have the courage to post as anything other than "Anonymous" and takes aim at me simply because he or she thinks I'm an easy target. This morning, he or she wrote this, in part:

"So what you're saying is that you support the IDF and want to send them hugs and chockies and lots of Pollyanna goodness from your safe little hole in Minnesota provided that you don't have to think about the reality of what you're supporting? Those little kids in Quana could have been yours. And unlike yours, they didn't have the chance to stay "out of it" as long as there are dingbats like yourself supporting their mass murder from afar. Your god must be so proud."

So much anger. I would suggest therapy, but more than likely, this person wouldn't be honest with the therapist.

There is power in sarcasm because then then the person doesn't have to acknowledge their true feelings. It's a known psychological defense: sarcasm covers anger and most often, anger covers hurt.

I wonder what he or she is hurt about? Dead children in Lebanon? If so, why isn't he or she also hurt by the death of innocent Jews? Or dead children in Darfur? Or Nigeria? What about the 275 MILLION children who witness war in their own homes due to domestic violence?

Or is he or she hurt because the innocent children who tragically died in Qana didn't take out any Jews with them?

The commenter has one valid reference in a part of the comment I didn't quote: this is unconscionable. I do not support it or condone it. It is an insult to all of humanity. But I also need to be clear that supporting the men and women who are fighting and dying to defend Israel against rockets and bombs intended to kill as many people as possible is quite different from supporting kids - Israeli or Lebanese or any other - who are taught to hate.

I don't support hate in any of its disguises. I can only hope that my anonymous commenter will someday learn the same. And until then, find someone else's blog to insult.

Shabbat shalom.

* The blogs linked herewithin are the opinions of those individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent or reflect the values and opinions of this blogger (me).

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