542 Comments

They miscalculated, that's for sure. But that doesn't answer the question. We all knew Hamas was awful, worse in every way than the PA. Israel propped Hamas up nonetheless.

I suspect we both agree on the true reason, Netanyahu was pretty explicit and there have been leaks. This why I have little patience with 'but Hamas is so awful' arguments. Yes, they are. But Israel chose Hamas. Once the true significance of that sank in I could no longer be as pro-Israel as I once was.

There are two tells in arguments I believe are lopsidedly pro-Israel: they avoid discussing ongoing settlements, and they don't come to grips with the cynicism of supporting Hamas.

I think you can tell I want peace and a two-state solution. I want both Israel and Palestine to prosper as independent states. Netanyahu has led Israel to an abject dead end, but Israel is a democracy. Israelis chose this path. They had options then, they have options still.

Expand full comment

Since you asked: IDF allows channels for evacuation to the coast, with checkpoints to weed out known Hamas militants. NGO's provide support at the coast, Palestinian Israelis perform detailed vetting, and US and European ships support seaborne transfer to a suitable port. The main thing is to plan for proper housing when they arrive in the West Bank--I think the local populace might welcome them, which makes it much easier.

I don't know what the capacity for this would be, but I think it would help and provide some sort of idea where Gaza civilians might escape. The challenge would be keeping it from becoming a stampede.

Expand full comment

"Has Israel conducted warfare in the most scrupulous manner possible? Probably not."

Are 15,000 Palestinian deaths - 6,000 of which are children - a "scrupulous" way to conduct warfare?

You answer: "Probably not." My answer: Absolutely not!"

Innocent Palestinians shouldn't have to pay the price for failed Israeli intelligence and Israels failure to secure its borders or respond quickly to the attack. I'm astounded that any human being would think Israeli's murder of so many Palestinian civilians is acceptable. And I am not anti-semitic.

Expand full comment

My earliest significant political memories:

- my father's WWII neck wounds, which needed cauterization as shrapnel emerged, his 3-month breakdown in a dark bedroom while we crept around

- rattling and jittering dishes and silverware, small frequent tremors from testing rockets and weapons at nearby Martin Marrieta, and holding my little sister's hand during a particularly loud roar of a rocket

- drop-and-roll in dry street gutters, duck-and-cover drills in my classrooms, the classroom posters, and later the warnings of encroaching communism in my 5th and 6th grade classrooms

- the news of JFK's assasination shared across my lunchtime playground

- gritty black-and-white TV images of crowds of people attacked and dragged down by dogs with gaping mouths, or knocked flying on concrete and asphalt streets by blasts of water from firehoses

Expand full comment
founding

My earliest public memories were of the civil rights act, the rebirth of the Confederacy as the republican party, the trap LBJ was in on the Vietnam war — cunningly laid by Nixon, Jenner, McCarthy et al, from Ww2 through the 50’s — wherein victory was not feasible, but neither was withdrawal, because the US political third rail at that time was losing a country (any country anywhere) to world communism. Either way the Republican party won.

Then it was the corrupt treason of Nixon (at least, of his team even if he himself was not fully aware) secretly sabotaging peace negotiations to prevent Humphrey from winning in 68. And then of course Watergate… and the Republican party seizing control of what from 1932 had been the key element needed by any party to prevail — the solid south, with its disproportionate representation in Congress, purchased by selling its soul to the white supremicist plurality of Americans. But the Republicans were deceived. The GOP thought it had captured a deciding minority block in a new new deal type national coalition— but what actually happened was the minority block captured the GOP.

I was 18 when it seemed karmic virtue had triumphed — Nixon forced out of office for his deeds, and the Nation, in revulsion, had re-embraced the rule of law. At 18 I actually thought this was hsppening.

68 now and sadly wiser. In a few months we will see the denouement of this multi decade course of events. The arc of history, as we should have expected, bends not toward justice but toward despotism.

Expand full comment

Israel needs to do something for the Gaza Palestinians while they are finishing the job of wiping out Gaza (because hardly anything less will do). Here's my suggestion:

Set up safe evacuation zones on the gaza coast. There the evacuees can be sorted out. The ones who are safe to live in the Greater Israel zone may be brought to homes set up in the West Bank for them. The focus will have to switch from facilitating Zionist zealots there to resettling future citizens of aPalestinian nation. Israeli Palestinians get to referee the evacuees.

This step will make peace with Israel palatable for Saudi Arabia--even for less noxious nations in the area.

Expand full comment

And now, yesterday, Representative Jayapal was likewise caught in a trap. How does one reconcile support for Hamas and support for women's causes? Perhaps if she were a more articulate orator and could come up with a concise statement, something like "There were some very fine people on both sides", salvation would be hers.

Expand full comment
Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

"Israel must destroy Hamas."

A deeper analysis doesn't support this conclusion. Read Israel’s Impossible Dilemma in the Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2023/12/israel-hamas-war-truce-fighting-resumes/676230/

Expand full comment
Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

People want EV range because their IC cars have range. But

- Most people have more than one car in the household

-Most driving is short range trips

I'm pretty typical. A 75 mile range covers me almost all the time. Plug in at night like a cell phone. No on-the-road charging. No obsessive checking of charging stations.

For infrequent longer trips use the other car, maybe once a month.

I don't buy an EV because the prices are too high, driven by the huge battery pack.

A Chevy Bolt variant with 75 mile range and a way lower price? That would do me fine, and I think a lot of people will eventually come to the same conclusion.

Bonus: It would weight a lot less and perform better than a 250 mile range Bolt.

Expand full comment
founding

PHEVs are the way to go... electric for most day to day and commuting but gas for longer trips. Toyota Rav4 Prime is fantastic-- 40+ miles on the charge. The Chevy Volt (2nd gen) as a really nice car, nice design, and go 50 miles on electric.

Expand full comment

Earliest political memory: Second grade me debating my best friend on the school bus on Nixon vs McGovern. Her parents voted for McGovern. My parents voted for Nixon. I’m not sure what effect that had on my political outlook. By college I was left of center (but I did vote for Reagan in my first presidential vote in 1984).

Expand full comment

My first conscious memory of politics was the miasma of Nixon's second presidential term. It shaped much of my thoughts both about how corrupted and corrupting our government could be. Having seen examples of bad behavior, criminal activity, and flat out lying when you're six or seven years old doesn't give you much promise or hope. Also, having grown up with the fortune of some good, though disappearing, social programs (e.g., public education, financial aid for college, etc.), it further cemented my belief in progressive policies...ones that helped lift us up, not push us down, as some so-called conservatives set out to do. The advent of Reagan put us on a 40-plus year path of making us a crueler place, all in the guise of "taking back" or "restoring values" or "making..." This reverse engine is not putting us anywhere better, in my opinion, and having witnessed so much corruption and outright lying for most of my life makes me skeptical we'll ever outgrow it.

Expand full comment

My earliest political memory is the assassination of President Kennedy. I was six years old. My memory of that day is vivid even now. It was a beautiful autumn day in Little Rock. I remember the dress I wore and that my hair was in a pony tail. When I arrived home from school, I heard my mother crying. I rushed into my parents’ bedroom and found her sitting on the side of the bed with her head in her hands, and she was sobbing. I thought one of my grandparents must have died. When I asked why she was crying, she told me that President Kennedy had been shot and was dead. I said, “But I thought you didn’t like him.” My mother was Pentecostal and my father a Southern Baptist, and they believed that Catholicism was paganism! She told me not to walk by St. Edward’s on my way to school. She said I was to walk on the other side of the street. Of course, I curiously walked right past the church every day. I loved to get a peek of the stained glass windows if the church door was open.

She affirmed that she didn’t like him then said, “But he was still our President, and now he’s gone.” From that day on I watched the evening news. I listened to Chet Huntley and David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite. In 1968, I thought the world was coming to an end! Martin Luther King’s assassination then Robert Kennedy’s and the trouble at the Democratic Convention. News of the war in Vietnam Nam was constant. Every morning my parents turned on the radio in our kitchen, and day after day I heard about the number of soldiers killed and the number taken prisoner.

I have paid attention to the news continuously since that awful day in 1963. When I get down about all that goes on in the world, I remember 1968 to remind myself that things have been dire before in our history.

I appreciate all of you at the Bulwark!

Thanks,

Carlene

Expand full comment

Something EV bears don’t realize though is that EV vehicles are MUCH heavier than combustion, with the latter needing to become lighter to get better gas mileage. The problem though is 1) EV’s are going to put immense pressure on the roads and bridges that are not designed to have every car weigh more, esp in traffic; and 2) the inequality in crashes with one car being much lighter than the other. Will we be willing to replace roads and bridges at a greater pace and cost and will we be willing to figure out a way to keep people who can’t afford electric vehicles to not be at a disadvantage on the road as EVs become more popular? Time will tell I guess. Personally, I wish more money would’ve been directed toward better public transportation. We have buses nobody rides while streets are clogged and no efficient public transportation. We have a train into the airport in Seattle, but it doesn’t go out far enough to be useful to most people. Instead, people like Elon Musk are billionaires because we couldn’t come together to build something for everyone - what an example of Rugged Individualism as we sit gridlocked in our cars.

Expand full comment

When I was 8 years old, my mother kept me home from school (but not my older sister---even then, mom knew that I was fascinated by politics) to watch the Watergate hearings. It was the end of the school year, and I remember that, by the time that John Dean started testifying, summer vacation had already started. I didn't understand everything that happened, but I understood the gravity of the situation. Mom kept saying that we were watching history being made. It certainly molded my view of impeachment in general: Trump #1 was iffy, a serious transgression but not one that I think rose to level of an impeachable offense. Trump #2 was a slam dunk, a series of impeachable offenses that were played out in public. I watched both hearings religiously.

Biden's "impeachment"? I don't even read headlines anymore. James Comer is Lucy, and impeachable offenses are the football he keeps pulling away at the last minute.

Expand full comment

My earliest political memory is Kennedy’s assassination followed not too long after by the assassinations of King and Robert Kennedy’s, protests against the Viet Nam War, then Watergate and Richard Nixon. That was a lot to take in. I’ve been a Democrat all my life because I believe in what Kennedy, King, and Robert Kennedy were trying to accomplish. The more i’c

Ve learned about what LBJ was doing domestically the more I’ve learned to respect him in spite of Viet Nam. Conversely, the more I’ve learned about Nixon and his dirty tricks, the less respect I have for him. That said, I genuinely believe society works best when there is a dialogue between liberal and conservative voices. Government by extremist sucks and the adoration of DT by extremists epitomizes that.

Expand full comment