Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Being an anti-Israeli bigot means...

...never having to abase yourself ala Mel Gibson. Just ask Tom Ricks and Hugh Hewitt:

HH: ....I want to spend the vast bulk of our time on Fiasco and Iraq, but first, yesterday, you were on with Howard Kurtz' Reliable Sources, CNN, and in response to a question, you said that some military analyst had told you that Israel had, "purposefully left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon." That was reported on Powerline, Rush Limbaugh read it on the air today, quite a controversy. Anything to add to it, Thomas Ricks?

TR- Yeah, I wish I'd kept my mouth shut. What I said was accurate, that in an off-the-record conversation with some military analysts, a couple had said to me that they thought it was a smart strategy to leave some rocket pockets in place to help the Israelis shape public perceptions, and give their forces more freedom of maneuver in Lebanon. They weren't saying it was a bad strategy. They thought it was pretty intelligent, if it were the case. But I've since heard today from some very smart, well-informed people, that while such a strategy might be logical, and even morally defensible, that they thought the Israeli public just wouldn't stand for it, and they also expressed personal dismay to me that I had passed on the thought, which they thought was irresponsible.

HH: Do you want to name any of the analysts?

TR: No, it was an off-the-record conversation, and I want to honor that confidence.

HH: Okay, last question. Do you think they were leading you on at that point, or just telling you what they honestly meant?

TR: No, I think...I know from the context of the conversation, it was about many different things. That came up as a part of the conversation. These are very good, smart, retired U.S. military officers.

HH: Okay, Thomas Ricks, let's get to Fiasco, because that's really what I want to talk about, the Iraq war.

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