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  • “Is Thinking Now Obsolete?”

    Posted by Jonathan on August 5th, 2014 (All posts by )

    From Thomas Sowell’s latest column:

    Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.
     
    Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel’s military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict.
     
    Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler’s forces?
     
    Talk-show host Geraldo Rivera says that there is no way Israel is winning the battle for world opinion. But Israel is trying to win the battle for survival, while surrounded by enemies. Might that not be more important?

    Worth reading as is everything that Sowell writes.

     

    19 Responses to ““Is Thinking Now Obsolete?””

    1. Grurray Says:

      Hamas could have accepted the Egyptian sponsored cease-fire on July 15.
      Instead they rejected it, only to accept it again yesterday after all their strategic assets were used or destroyed and thousands of Palestinians were killed.

      If world opinion won wars, then Hamas may have won. However, it doesn’t, and now Hamas has suffered a stunning defeat.

    2. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Geraldo Rivera reaffirms that he’s an idiot. But in his defense, when you’re a celebrity all that matters is public opinion. You whole livelihood rests on it. So his worldview is skewed that way.

      Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler’s forces?

      We covered WII history to a degree in HS, but not in a lot of depth. It was mainly causes and effects, not much on the actual war. My children seem to have gotten much less history. I doubt most people have any idea how much killing US and Allied forces did of enemy combatants and civilians. Tens of thousands a day was not unusual. Cities lost sectors and whole towns were laid waste in a single raid. The Boomers and their children live in freedom and prosperity because our parents and grandparents did that. Those that did not – Chinese, Koreans, Poles – died by the millions instead.

      I don’t take pleasure in the killing of WWII, any more than I believe Roosevelt or Truman or Churchill did. But I’m grateful they did it. And the world is a safer, freer, more prosperous place because they did.

    3. Sgt. Mom Says:

      My daughter and I are also wondering if the pro-Palestinian protests are getting more and more radical and violent because there is an increasing amount of push-back against the ‘poor-prosecuted-pitiful-Palestine meme’ by pro-Israeli commenters, bloggers and editorial-writers. People are stepping up and pointing out the fraudulent pictures of casualties, likening the Paleo tunnel systems to the London Underground, and calling BS on inflated claims of a civilian death toll.

    4. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Grurray: “Hamas could have accepted the Egyptian sponsored cease-fire on July 15.”

      The joke is that Egypt is not a neutral in this conflict. They hate Hamas, which is a unit of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptians are trying to destroy the Brotherhood. The Saudis also loath the Brotherhood and want to see Hamas destroyed.

      We are seeing a new alignment emerge in the Middle East. Israel is aligned with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan against the Brotherhood and Iran. I don’t know if we can expect formal treaties and diplomatic recognition for a very long time. But, the Gaza war is the first practical demonstration of cooperation on security issues of mutual concern.

    5. Robert Schwartz Says:

      I wonder if Geraldo Rivera’s wife agrees with him on this issue?

    6. veryretired Says:

      This bizarre fixation on Israel, and condemnation of anything and everything it does in defending itself, has been going on for decades. It is a symptom of the larger moral inversion that percolated through the west, and the world, perpetrated by those whose only value is power over others.

      I was talking to my son the other day, who just graduated from college, about what was taught about history during his years in school. (We were watching a documentary about WW1 and WW2, and their inter-connectedness) He said there was very little in either high school or college, even though both places he went were fine private schools which claimed a classically liberal curriculum.

      Great cultures are not normally destroyed by assaults from without unless they have been undermined by internal rot. The west and its pervasive world culture has been weakened and enervated by internal corruption, even as it was destroying external enemies it could easily recognize.

      It will be a terrible day when the average citizen realizes the level of betrayal and cynical corruption with which the tranzi elites have undermined our civilization.

      The ferocity of that retribution will be awful, and awesome, to behold.

      And please, don’t think I am being naïve. I have infinitely more confidence that my neighbor the plumber can recognize, and eradicate, an infestation of intellectual and moral termites than all the over-credentialed elites can find their asses with both hands. Even when those asses are being handed to them.

    7. Grurray Says:

      “The joke is that Egypt is not a neutral in this conflict. They hate Hamas, which is a unit of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

      The final outcome is still up in the air, but it’s pretty clear that Obama definitely lost. Obama stood with the Brotherhood in Egypt and was on the wrong side, and now he sided with Hamas and was humiliated. For a man who was supposed to change history, he’s sure on the wrong side of history a lot.

      How many more innocent people died because Hamas terrorists were emboldened to press on with their cynical, destructive, and worthless strategy because Kerry rubber stamped Hamas’ demands in the negotiations?
      Far too much suffering has now resulted from the Obama Administration’s senseless worldview.

    8. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I’d laugh, long and hard, about Obama’s discomfiture and bad taste in choosing to stand with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, save that he also dragged along our national prestige and credibility along with it. Likely, Americans will die for this miscalculation.

      But not to worry – the Lightbringer will blame it on Bush.

    9. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >> Far too much suffering has now resulted from the Obama Administration’s senseless worldview.

      It’s the worldview of the Left in general. They will learn nothing from this.

    10. MikeK Says:

      “I was talking to my son the other day, who just graduated from college, about what was taught about history during his years in school.”

      I mentioned this here several years ago (and got an angry retort from a participant) when I described several items of false information that were in my daughter’s study guide for her final exam in “American History Since 1877.” One untruth was that “The Silent Majority” was made up of white people who refused to accept the Civil Rights Act. No mention of Nixon or the Vietnam War. These kids are being taught lies as truth.

      Some of it is ignorance and stupidity but some is just dishonest with an agenda.

    11. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Hussein Obama loves the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian Khomeinist revolution. That is all you need to know about his foreign policy.

    12. Texan99 Says:

      One of the things I most appreciate about Israel is that it’s uninterested in vacuous public statements. The U.S. and Europe can flop around and say all sorts of crazy, meaningless, self-important nonsense, but Israel is staring death in the eye, and will act, or not act, on the basis of what it needs to do to survive, not what it needs to do to move the needle on the polll. It’s refreshing to watch a government that doesn’t confuse words with action.

    13. Mike K Says:

      “It’s refreshing to watch a government that doesn’t confuse words with action.”

      I do wonder if the 2005 evacuation of Gaza was wise and what the motivation was. Maybe it was, as Johnson said of second marriages, a “triumph of hope over experience.” Sharon was being terribly battered by the world media and politicians. I looked at The Wikipedia article about the withdrawal but it is very biased against Israel. As is the case with most political issues, Wiki is unreliable. Too many leftist editors.

    14. Robert Schwartz Says:

      MikeK: “I do wonder if the 2005 evacuation of Gaza was wise”

      A lot of Israelis regret it. I think that it was a good idea in a perverse sort of way. It showed everyone in Israel that the left and the peace process were delusional. The left has now been reduced to shadow of its former self. It is a complete turn around from the way things were 30 years ago when the left dominated Israeli politics.

    15. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>The left has now been reduced to shadow of its former self. It is a complete turn around from the way things were 30 years ago when the left dominated Israeli politics.

      I look forward to that day here.

    16. Knucklehead Says:

      The mother of a brother-in-law (rest her soul) was a German girl from Cologne during WWII. She was strongly anti-American (government, she was never anything but kind and gracious to me) because of her belief that the bombing of Cologne was disproportional and… unforgivable. But at least she’d had some level of exposure to it so some sort of justification for her feeling.

      I have a friend now who, while otherwise sensible, believes the Israeli response in Gaza is far beyond anything that could possibly be justified. The rockets Hamas fires are no significant danger to Israelis or Israel. They should be able to find the tunnels and destroy them without invading. He rates the killing of civilians, especially in schools or hospitals, as beyond the pale. The fact that Hamas hides behind women and children in schools and hospitals is immaterial. That should be off limits. These are his opinions, not mind. It is as if Palestinians are children and cannot be held to full account for their actions. And certainly not responsible for Hamas.

      When I ask if Israelis should live their lives, forever, with missiles fired at them and air-raid alerts and dashes into bomb shelters I get nothing but an annoyed shrug and, “They’re going too far. Children, women, schools and hospitals are off limits.”

      I personally don’t fathom it. If I were emporer, when going to war, the enemy would be blasted in every way possible until they could no longer continue and surrendered unconditionally. But that’s me.

    17. Knucklehead Says:

      BTW, Dresden, not Cologne.

    18. MikeK Says:

      “It is as if Palestinians are children and cannot be held to full account for their actions.”

      And blacks, and Hispanics, and the poor, and the drug addicted, and the …..

      This is the left in a nutshell. They don’t even see how racist, elitist, condescending, ignorant this is. Charles Murray has nailed it.

    19. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Michael Hiteshew: “I look forward to that day here.”

      Don’t hold your breath. The difference between Israel’s electorate and America’s is that the Israeli’s lives depend on it. It sharpens the mind considerably.