Also: more cancel-culture revisionism
I’ll take a shot at answering Jesse’s question about kids being maimed and killed not making Israel safer. To do a throat clear, I’m a non-Jewish American, would probably be considered a moderate on the situation (I’m for a 2-state solution on 1967 borders and am against settlements) but am a lifelong student of military history and know every single war involving air powers since aerial bombing was invented.
This is not making me trying to influence anyone here’s moral judgements, but what Israel is doing not surprising in an air superiority military sense involving an enemy dug into tunnel networks. Seeing as no one cared about civilian deaths in the campaign against ISIS, because the whole world was against ISIS, it may surprise you that 10’s of thousands of civilians were killed in the campaign to destroy ISIS, including 10,000 in Mosul alone. Mosul had a bit over 10,000 fighters who weren’t dug into tunnel networks. Hamas has 50,000+ dug into the most advanced tunnel system maybe in the history of warfare under a densely packed city-state.
Israel’s main strategy is, and logically has to be if they want to destroy Hamas, the complete destruction of those tunnel networks, the creation of which was where most of the “humanitarian” resources actually went over the last 16 years.
In aerial bombing campaigns, even with guided bombs, even when the enemy is completely on the surface, you will get kids being blown up. Again, another throat clear, I’m not justifying this, I’m just describing recent aerial bombing campaigns. Israel is in a pickle. They (from their strategic perspective) need to clear those tunnels. The normal strategy would be to go in on the ground, block every tunnel entrance and let all of Hamas die of thirst, but they can’t do that because Hamas has hostages, including foreign hostages. So they need to clear the tunnels bit by bit in the worst tunnel warfare ever. To avoid that, they seem to be trying via bunker buster to blow up tunnel sections from the sky to minimize the amount they need to go into individually. The tunnel systems they can hit are all under civilian areas, ingeniously placed by Hamas under places they know will cause the most international backlash via civilian deaths if Israel bombs them. Using human shields, Hamas is trying to demand the IDF go into one of the worst deathtraps ever, because “from the Al-Qassam Brigades to the Zionist soldiers, the Al-Qasdam Brigades love death more than you love life.”
I can go on but I’ve already written an essay here, but if you want an example of trying to destroy an enemy army dug into tunnels, look up Iwo Jima and Okinawa, neither of which had tunnels as advanced or extensive as Hamas does. During WW2, the doctrine of Total War meant on all sides, there wasn’t an expectation of preventing civilian casualties if there was a military purpose. If you want to see what true carpet bombing looks like, true indiscriminate destruction to dig out an entrenched army from tunnels, look at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The United States turned those islands into the surface of the Moon.
Hi. I've read some of the responses below regarding Hamas/ Israel. It looks like those with more of a military bent have responded. I'm weighing in as an Israeli citizen who lives in Jerusalem.
1) "Proportionality"--I don't think that this word means what you think it means, at least not in warfare. Jesse, you honestly sounded like the crazy trans activists you complain about who throw around empty phrases and /or redefine words to suit their agenda, and ignore any evidence that they don't like. The goal of war isn't to be proportional. The goal or war is to win. You're a journalist, and a good one. Look that one up. Speak to people who really know this area. There are no shortage of journalists, legal and military experts and pundits from the left and the right who, even as they come to different conclusions, are honest brokers. (Consider Haviv Rettig Gur, Yossi Klein Halevi, Gershon Baskin* to start.) Wildly different conclusions but each come from a position of caring about Israel (and living here).
2) Speaking of honest brokers, why *would* we listen to the UN or other Palestinian apologists? They condemn us constantly while flat out ignoring mass murders going on in other places (e.g. China, Syria or Sudan). They appointed Iran to be the head of the UN Human Rights Council. They literally couldn't manage to condemn Hamas for the October 7th attacks! But we're supposed to take them seriously, assume that they have our best interests in mind? We should have faith that the UN and/or others have condemning us have looked at the situation, considered them carefully and genuinely believe, based on an in-depth analysis of both sides and the needs, safety and security of both? Maybe you can be that delusional. We can't afford to be.
Or, as a lot of people have pointed out in respect of the calls for a cease-fire, there WAS a cease fire, on October 6th. It was a cease fire which featured thousands of Palestinians from Gaza working in Israel, legally. Earning better salaries. Using that money to build homes and raise families. And, sadly, using the opportunity to collect intelligence information which it fed back to Hamas. Hamas used this information to simply devastating effect when it broke the cease-fire on October 7th. Now they want a new cease-fire? I bet they do. Fuck them.
3) And speaking of people showing us who they are (and the importance of believing them)... Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran have flat out told us who they are. They have admitted--proudly--that their goal is the destruction of Israel (and the West) and the annihilation of Jews. They have admitted that, if they have a chance, there will be another October 7th, and another and another. Hamas has admitted that they use civilians as human shields and they have no responsibility for the welfare of Gazans. They're a psychopathic death-cult. It's a shame that the Gazans chose such a shit government, but they did (after we withdrew completely from Aza, by the way). We're supposed to accept periodic massacres and constant rocket attacks in order to spare the poor, poor Palestinians? Thanks. Tried that. Didn't work. Not again.
To wrap up, a quote from Golda Meir. “If we have to have a choice between being dead and pitied, and being alive with a bad image, we'd rather be alive and have the bad image.” While you might see things differently (FWIW, you do come across here as trying very, VERY hard to be one of the 'good, it's just cultural!, not like THOSE Jews, Jews) from what I can see, folks only like us when we're dead and/or battered victims. Fuck that too.
(For the last point, I recommend Dara Horn's "People Love Dead Jews". )
* Re: Gershon Baskin, I was seriously injured in a suicide bombing attack in 2002. A few years later, I was invited to participate in one of his initiatives "Warriors for Peace". This brought together former terrorists and victims of terror for dialogue. I went to a few events. The last event I went to was a group 'discussion' between Israelis and Palestinians in which the Palestinians went off about how Israelis were so terrible and the Israelis were expected to agree. And I realized that the initiative was doomed. Baskin was also an architect of the Shalit deal, which gave Hamas the brilliant idea that, if they kidnapped enough of us, we'd give up with a mild whimper. So I'm not a big fan.
This was a good episode but Jesus Christ, sometimes I DO want people to be sent to Rikers. If you have a years long rap sheet of assaulting people, I seriously don’t care what happens to you as long as you are out somewhere you can no longer assault people. Prison is a good option in times like this. I live in Seattle, a city notorious for being full of people like the ones referenced in Brooklyn, where there is little to no interest shown in the welfare of people attacked in public, or who feel unsafe....going to work. I am strongly considering moving somewhere else (Bellevue!) because I have run out of patience for this permissive culture of violence. I am 31 and am not some sort of “conservative reactionary,” no matter how people try to brand me. Jesse, I wish you would take a slightly less ambivalent stance on issues like this, it just makes you look like a coward.
“A senior Hamas official yesterday called for the 'annihilation' of Israel and promised to repeat the horrific attacks of October 7 'again and again'. 'Israel is a country that has no place on our land. We must remove that country,' said the terrorist group's former Foreign Minister Ghazi Hamad”
Yeah, for sure it won’t make Israelis safe by doing everything to strangle Hamas. No problem with more murder, rape and kidnapping toddlers.
Just on the subject of treatment with Suboxone (I am an Addiction Medicine Provider, this is what I do for a living every day) I think to some degree your comments on Suboxone are confused with Methadone. You don’t have to come to the clinic at a certain time to get it. Getting Suboxone is a lot like having an appointment at your Primary Care clinic. Initially, yes, until you are induced (that is you get “over” from a full opiate agonist like Fentanyl or Heroin on the Suboxone which is tricky for biochemical reasons I won’t get into here) on to the Suboxone, you might have frequent appointments, like every 2 or 3 days, and get your 2 or 3 days of medication at the pharmacy to take home. But that is the first maybe 2 weeks. And you make those appointments like you would any other clinic appointments, when you can get on the schedule that is convenient for you and as they are available. Methadone is the thing where you show up every morning super early (typically) to get your dose. Once you are induced on Suboxone, you typically for a while, have a weekly appointment and go to the pharmacy and get your Suboxone to take home. Then it goes out to 2 weeks if all is going well. Then probably a month if you remain stable and it is all going okay. Addiction is a bio-psychosocial disease and also requires other facets of care which need to be in place too. So medication alone doesn’t do the trick typically. But it is hard to get off opiates without it. As to the whole “if people don’t want to get clean you can’t make them…” thing. I have found that often people think that they don’t want to get clean, and then once they are forced to and they are out of that fog for a few weeks and realize how much better they feel physically and mentally, and they are on a good dose of Suboxone and the cravings are controlled and they are not sleeping on the streets and having withdrawals and living in fear of assault or arrest and having to do sex work etc…. They are really happy to be clean. They realize it was a delusion that they didn’t want to be clean. So you are doing them a favor forcing them to see what being clean looks like. Because often they have completely forgotten. This can be a tough population to work with. They are not always the most sympathetic population. But nobody at age 5 says “Oh, I know what I want to be when I grow up, an Opiate Addict!”. As Jesse would say, “It’s complicated”. And since treatment is really the only way to both restore their lives and get them back to making a positive contribution to society, and protect us from the negative consequences of addiction, I think coercing them into treatment if they won’t go is often necessary.
Facebook is not a safe space to say this, so I will say it here:
What the fuck was Hamas thinking? What did they think the outcome was going to be?
The blood of all dead Palestinian kids is on their hands. I know so-called "honor culture" is disparaged in modern American society, but what Hamas did was an insult that had to be repaid with blood, and they had to have known this going in.
There was no universe where October 8th wasn't going to see massive, massive payback from a smart, organized, very well armed, and very angry nation who could push them right into the sea if it wanted to.
Please be aware that it’s a war crime to use hospitals as military command and control centers. Which Hamas has done for years. And to use ambulances as personal vehicles to escape in a war (Hamas fighters) and to use parking lots next to schools as missile launching pads.
Hamas is the architect of Gazas problems. Steals resources and aid continuously.
My current neighborhood and past one had a similar situation - frequent violent fliers and people too up their own asses to recognize that these folks had been offered endless resources (and frankly, completely evaded and consequences).
One of these people finally escalated this month and was released twice for harassment before attempting to kidnap someone. And I’m pissed it had to go this far and I’m unfortunately sure he’ll be out again. An attack on multiple people, including a baby and an elderly person, in broad daylight in a nice neighborhood.
And I’m tired of being told by white liberals that it’s racist that I want to feel safe. I’m sure there are POC saying this stuff too but I live in Missouri.
Jesse. Israel basically built Iron Dome as a purely defensive system against Hamas and Islamic jihad. They allowed Gazan workers into Israel to work to boost the Gazan economy. (Yep those guys mapped out cities and kibbutzim for October 7). So what happened? Israel naively slept while the depraved Hamas savages did October 7.
So Israelis don’t care about anything but removing Hamas. Your armchair sighs are a bit annoying.
During the summer of 2020, a progressive bakery had a sign that said if you were mugged by the Black man, don’t call the police. Save a Black man’s life.
All I could think of was the next old woman who falls as a result of the next mugging and that ends were life as an independent person.
I’m sure the bakery would offer her reparations.
Jesse, if you see this comment, I recommend that you read Locked In by John Pfaff. This book provides a corrective to Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Pfaff shows that “mass incarceration” is largely driven by violent offenders filling up state prisons rather than federal drug prisoners. The progressive prosecutor movement (of which Pfaff is an advocate), is underpinned by the explicit philosophy that more VIOLENT offenders must be released from prison earlier (or be diverted from prison) in order to meaningfully reduce the number of people incarcerated to end so-called “mass incarceration” in the United States.
Legalizing recreational cannabis and other forms of drug possession, expunging people’s records for drug possession, and decriminalizing theft under $1000 accompanied this as low hanging fruit, but low-level nonviolent offenders are not the primary focus of progressive prosecutors. They want to reduce the number of people who are behind bars. Period. They understand that we must dramatically reduce prison sentences for people who are often repeat violent/gun offenders in order to meaningfully reduce the prison population. This was a more popular position when the violent crime rate in this country was at all time low in the 20-teens, now it’s a tougher sell, but it’s still the objective they are just quieter about it.
Then, just because somebody is incarcerated on a nonviolent drug offense for their third strike, it doesn’t mean they committed only nonviolent offenses because people plea down! That guy who is saying he was locked up for 30 years because he ONLY had some cocaine on him might have also robbed someone with a gun while also being in possession of cocaine, but drug possession is the offense that he pled guilty to. I’m not saying crooked cops have never overcharged anyone and that prosecutors didn’t collude with them, but barely anybody is serving out a prison sentence for the most serious crime they were arrested for & convicted of, since almost everyone pleas down.
Don't you love comments that begin with "I love you guys but" -- so here goes. I love you guys but. No it isn't cancel culture to fire someone who blames Israel for the attack by Hamas. That is such a gross distortion of reality it is actually the "harm" that so many on the left claimed they were experiencing. This is some sick cosmic joke that we are in a place where we can't tell the difference and I fear that is how bad things happen in history - people lose perspective from too many boys who cried wolf. At any rate, I would not want someone working for me who thought Manson's murder of Sharon Tate was justified. I would not want someone working for me who said that the Columbine shooting was justified.
Cancel culture was dangerous not so much because people were losing their jobs but because of its vast institutional support that led all the way up to the POTUS. A line from the blue-checks on twitter (RIP, thank you Elon) all the way up to government saying what people could and couldn't say, what people could and couldn't think.
Maybe under Conservatives we would get there again vis a vis Israel - looks like Nikki Haley wants to do just that but at the moment people, especially Jewish people, are well within their rights to protect themselves and their business from fanatic cult members who have been radicalized online.
We HAVE to be able to tell the difference.
I don't really have the emotional energy to fill this thought out, but it is a strange bit of cognitive dissonance for Jesse that he thinks both a) sometimes involuntary detention, whether inpatient treatment or incarceration, is necessary for the safety of the community; and b) "how could Israel possibly be made safer by destroying Hamas?"
Katie is right: antisocial behavior will always exist, and sometimes people will be unreasonable and unwell. When it's a single person threatening others with shoves or knives, you can put them behind bars; when it's 20,000 people with rockets and machine guns and mortars, you have to do a little more than that.
To Katie’s point about how difficult it is for opioid addicts to get treatment. I’m a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Va. I worked as the chief clinical officer for a medium sized opioid treatment center. It is not by any means difficult to get on opioid replacement therapy. There are multiple treatment centers in all US cities. Admission criteria is very simple for clients seeking service and you can self report the admissions criteria which basically means if you show up they will treat you. Yes you cannot get it RX’d by your PCP in most cases but to say that it is difficult to get RX’d methadone or buprenorphine is not true. Additionally in my state Medicaid now pays for opioid treatment therapy! Love the show and think the world of K&J. Thank you for all you do.
I can think of a number of examples in which real-world issues conflict with, or at least complicate, leftist cultural and political analysis. The fact that "anti-asian hate" is often centered in the black rather than white population. The fact that not every kid who gets irrevocable gender treatments is well-assessed, or really "knows themself." The fact that making it known you won't be prosecuted for retail theft tends to encourage retail theft. Etc. It is WILD to me how often leftists respond to these situations like some people on the Greenpoint subreddit apparent did: by acting as though the only appropriate response is to IGNORE IT AND HOPE IT GOES AWAY. When did so many on the left become so childish?
I spent a good two minutes while Katie was talking thinking “wow, is she like, *really* stoned? Is she code-switching to the North Carolina accent? Why is she talking so slow?” … I had accidentally turned the listening speed on to x.75