Mainstream U.S. politicians and press are engaged in their usual tolerance of Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza, hitting the usual talking points by condemning Hamas as “terrorist” and accepting the mass killings of civilians and children with a shrug.
Paul R. Pillar, Consortium News
August 3, 2014 | Applying a familiar label or phrase can be a substitute for good analysis, or for any analysis at all. The application activates a set of presumptions associated with the label or phrase while brushing aside any other relevant facts that may contradict those presumptions. The current conflict in Gaza has stimulated a surge in application of such rote phrases to one of the belligerents: Hamas.
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Besides the familiar label of “terrorist group,” which ignores other dimensions of Hamas as well as ignoring who is applying most lethal force against civilians, there also is the catchphrase that Hamas is “dedicated to the destruction of Israel.” It is not just the Israeli government that keeps uttering that phrase, or even commentators seeking to justify Israel actions; one sees it in mainstream press in what are supposed to be objectively reported articles.
Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies.
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