2006-08-18 / Editorial/Opinion

From The Editor's Desk A Progressive By Any Name Is Still A Liberal

John Paul Culotta, who pens "The Progressive" column for this paper may call himself a progressive, but he is a good old main-line Liberal down to his bones.

In this week's edition of The Wave, he takes me to task for taking the New York Times to task for its one-sided reporting of the war between Israel and Lebanon. In that column I said that the Times has to show a little balance in its coverage, something that has been lacking over the past several weeks and continues even today.

Witness the front page of Sunday's edition of the Times. The lead story was about a joint plan put forward by the United States and France for a multinational force to patrol a cease fire. The subhead, however, states, "Presence of Israeli Troops and Prisoner Exchange Are Unsolved Issues."

Right under that story, above the fold, however, was another story. Entitled "Charity Wins Deep Loyalty for Hezbollah," the story makes the terrorist organization that has promised to destroy every Jew in Israel into a cross between the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

What claptrap.

Sure, the terrorists do work in the community to build up loyalty. So did the Black Panthers in Oakland, California at the same time they were killing white police officers and robbing banks.

That's the way it works. The Panthers never got traction because most of the black population disagreed with the organization's aims. Hezbollah works because all Moslems have been taught from the cradle that all Jews have to die before they can be successful.

Culotta spews the Liberal gospel in his column. There are no bad people and if we could only understand them, we could work out our differences.

"History demands that all people understand each other's perspective and history before any settlement of conflict can be obtained," he writes. "Conflict generally leads to more conflict."

A line of Liberal politicians from Koch to Dinkins to Mark Green to Ruth Messinger all proved that the old saw was not true and almost destroyed New York City by following that line.

Remember the Korean Boycott, the riots in Brooklyn, the burning of a Jewish-owned store in Harlem? The people who did those things weren't interested in the background and history of those they harassed and murdered. They were interested in power and revenge.

Nationalism is never rational and neither is religion. Both blame all their ills on others and there is a built-in need to remediate those ills at any cost no matter how long it takes. Remember, the Israeli-Arab conflict did not begin this year. It did not even begin in 1948, with the UN's recognition of a Jewish state. The roots of the conflict are lost in antiquity and predate the Crusades and the coming of Christ.

Does Culotta really think that Hezbollah is interested in negotiating a modus vivendi with Israel? If he does, then he is like that scientist in the movie "The Thing That Came To Earth."

You'll remember the giant carrot that was killing all of the airmen and the trap they set for the monster.

At the last minute, the scientist runs forward, yelling "don't destroy him. We can learn from him. I can talk to him."

The carrot kills the scientist and begins to eat him when the airmen spring the trap and kill it.

Culotta is like that scientist. He has no idea of the world he lives in and neither do his fellow liberals. Hezbollah wants just one thing from Israel and that is its destruction.

Culotta says in his column, "The New York Times is considered our nation's newspaper of record. As such, there is no need for anyone to defend this paper from silly attacks regarding its coverage of the situation in Lebanon."

Where has he been for the past two years? Take a look at the track record the Times has run for those years and tell me that the newspaper of record does not need some criticism. Even its own public editor understands that the paper's credibility needs a massive rebuilding job.

Obviously, satisfied with the paper's ultra-liberal stand and staff, Culotta does not understand that.

Culotta likens Hezbollah to the Ku Klux Klan.

"Our nation had for many years violent racist groups operated within our borders," he wrote. "It took many years for this nation to eradicate and make ineffective the Ku Klux Klan. I doubt that we would have approved of another nation destroying our infrastructure to destroy that organization."

Does Culotta mean to say that, had the KKK started throwing missiles at Canada and raiding Ontario to kidnap Canadian citizens, the U.S. Government would have stood by, shrugged its shoulders and said, as Lebanon did, "there is nothing we can do?"

I think not. The fact is, the legitimate government of Lebanon is either unable or unwilling (or both) to stop Hezbollah because of political considerations. It hangs by its fingernails as it is.

In ending his column, Culotta spews the Liberal mantra that the whole problem in the Middle East is due to America's actions in the region, not to the Arab world's determination to destroy Israel or to those nations who kept the Palestinians in rags to satisfy their own need to have Israel as a scapegoat.

"As a result [of the reluctance of the U.S. and Israel to negotiate with terrorist states] Arab support for Hezbollah increased. Violence again breeds violence," he writes. "Sustainable peace is achieved through negotiations. An attempt to destroy Hezbollah before peace negotiations may appear to be logical, but do not address the causes of the conflict - a belief that the western nations and Israel are exploiting Arab land and resources and supporting corrupt leaders. Many Arabs support Hamas and Hezbollah because of simple things such as clean streets, health care delivery and the desire for better living conditions. Their supporters do not consider them as terrorist organizations."

It is clear from reading his column that Culotta believes that neither Hezbollah nor Hamas are terrorist organizations. In fact, that reading tends to show that he thinks of them as a kind of benign, activist Salvation Army group.

That, however, is far from the truth and Culotta and other Liberals like him have their heads in the sand. We can only hope that they get their heads out of the sand before somebody sets their backsides on fire.

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