can we shut up about rick warren now?

Without equivocation, incoming White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today that President-elect Obama will overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

“Thadeus of Lansing, Mich., asks, ‘Is the new administration going to get rid of the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy?'” said Gibbs, looking into the camera during a YouTube Q&A. “Thadeus, you don’t hear a politician give a one-word answer much. But it’s, ‘Yes.'”

Executive orders do not require Congressional approval, so unless Obama’s spokesman is full of shit we can finally bid adieu to one of history’s most irrational political compromises. The Petty Queer Establishment would be wise to recognize it and drop their foolish snit over an inaugural invocation.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Republicans mount much opposition.

aimless absolutism

Ah, the Middle East, where context and perspective go to die — along with innocent civilians.

It appears Israel is waging a counterproductive offensive in Gaza, one not incidental to upcoming national elections. But theirs is a strategy doomed to fail in the long-term.

Israeli leaders who believe Hamas can be bombed into moderation are hopelessly naive, writes Jeffrey Goldberg.

This is a false and dangerous notion. It is true that Hamas can be deterred militarily for a time, but tanks cannot defeat deeply felt belief.

The reverse is also true: Hamas cannot be cajoled into moderation. Neither position credits Hamas with sincerity, or seriousness.

That said, I don’t understand how anyone claims solidarity with the fanatical thugs who comprise Hamas. The Palestinian women and children are the victims, and Hamas is the victimizer.

Israel is not bombing innocent civilians because their God tells them to. They are killing them, however, baited by a government that is willing to sacrifice the welfare of its people to further a nihilistic mission. It’s what radicals do.

Too often it works. Absent total annihilation, Hamas will survive — and perhaps even thrive. Sometimes, the ends justify the means. I’m not sure that’s going to be the case here.

Certainly Israel has a right to defend itself, and a steady barrage of rocket attacks is difficult to tolerate. It would be intolerable, if more than a dozen civilians had been killed by these rockets since 2001 (according to Alan Dershowitz).

Hamas would’ve happily killed a million Jews, but they are as feckless as they are ruthless. Maybe Israel should be thankful for small favors.

Don’t misunderstand: I have no sympathy for Hamas. There is no nobility in extremism. And I’m always going to side with governments that don’t execute people like me for being a person like me. (Seeing some of the militant pro-Palestinian protesters makes me wonder if they really think they’d be welcome on the streets of Gaza.)

I support Israel, but that shouldn’t mandate blind allegiance. Hamas wants the IDF to kill Palestinian children. It’s good for propaganda.

So why be an enabler?