I have never liked Bill Maher. The fact that he passes for a representative of the left in the U.S. is in itself an indictment of the shallowness of our political culture--of our culture. After this puff piece on the Huffington Post though, I refuse to believe that anyone serious can take him seriously.
I Love Being on the Side of My PresidentWhere to begin? With the overt racism? With the casual dismissal of the the blood being spilt? With the failure to even pretend to confront the specifics of the situation? With the depth of ignorance? With the trivializing of massacre? No Lebanon...just Arabs? No Palestine...just Palestinians. The same argument was used to justify the genocide against Native Americans. With the mindless repetition of propaganda? With the confusion of is and ought? Surely he can't be arguing that the deportation of the Jews is a good precedent. But that's what he says.
[Obligatory sexual innuendo deleted] ... I love it that a U.S. president doesn't pretend Arab-Israeli conflict is an even-steven proposition. Lots of ethnic peoples, probably most, have at one time or another lost some territory; nobody's ever completely happy with their borders; people move and get moved, which is why the 20th century saw the movement of tens if not hundreds of millions of refugees in countries around the world. There was no entity of Arabs called "Palestine" before Israel made the desert bloom. If those 600,000 original Palestinian refugees had been handled with maturity by their Arab brethren, who had nothing but space to put them, they could have moved on -- the way Germans, Czechs, Poles, Chinese and everybody else has, including, of course, the Jews.
How about with the advocacy of a war crime? "Deportation or forcible transfer of population" is a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Article 7 Sec. d.
He is in this sense "a good American" in good company with torture aficionado Alan Dershowitz, who in the LA Times this weekend argues that all civilians deaths may seem equal but some are more equal than others, dutifully echoing the earlier statement of official U.S. policy by U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and the celebration of the bombing as the "birth pangs" of a new Middle East by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a celebration for which Billmon has found the perfect illustration.