The Shooting of One More Young Black Man: Whats’ Wrong With Us?

I am an American by choice. It’s possible that this fact allows me to keep my eyes wider open to this country’s race history than is possible for Americans by birth. I am quite sure none of my ancestors owned slaves; I am sure none stopped a person of any race from eating lunch at the public counter. I am not affirming this, just speculating forcefully. This does not protect me from the collective sort of guilt that comes from supporting a polity that descends directly from the oppressor polity of yesteryear. At any rate, I am one of those Americans who believe that America never really closed the book on the two and half centuries of atrocities that was black slavery, nor on the century of injustice that was legal segregation and systematic persecution of blacks, of black males, especially.

One of my WASP friends says that 500,000 white men’s deaths in the Civil War was a sufficient price to pay for the ill-treatment of the past. I don’t think it fixed the problems left behind by this ill-treatment. As a conservative, I believe that good things and bad things happen through the family. It seems self-evident to me: When people are not allowed to form normal families, bad behavior gets transmitted through the generations until something virtuous intervenes to break the chain. For one hundred, two hundred years, you ask? Why, yes.

Yes, I am talking about reparations. Why not? The unspoken notion that coming to this land of opportunity in chains vs elbowing one’s way aboard an immigrant ship amounts to a small difference is stupid and morally bankrupt. The people who want to lead peaceful and productive lives in this country will not have the moral high ground until these monstrous historical injustices are righted, once, for good. In the meantime police officers and other officials don’t know whether they should act according to what their reason tells them or in some other, ill-defined away.

All this to talk about the protests, the riots, and the lootings in Ferguson Missouri where a police officer shot an unarmed young black man to death ten days ago.

This is one situation where rationality, judgment is needed. First things first. Many police agencies in the country seem to be operating under fudgy guidelines about using firearms on citizens. That’s intolerable. Police violence and, possibly, even more so, the pervasive threat of police violence are not trivial matters. The fear of those we hire to protect us undermines severely the pursuit of happiness, one of he foundations of our society. In a period when crime by criminals has been decreasing steadily in our society at large, there is zero excuse for criminal behavior by our police, Even tolerance for accidental shootings is too broad.

Uniform law enforcement dogma in this country should be strictly that officers do not discharge their weapons except to protect lives, their own included. The threat should be unambiguous. Yes. officers would die. I know that this sounds callous but it’s their job to risk death in the street, like soldiers. It’s not a bad job overall. I doubt there would be trouble recruiting for it under narrower strictures for firing on civilians. Law enforcement officers should know every time they fire on someone that they are probably losing their job. Life against job; it’s not a bad bargain.

By the way, my father who was a Paris cop told me something I never forgot when I was 14 and he was reading law in preparation for a promotion exam. He said that cops who don’t have the option of using force become better cops, that they find alternative ways to win confrontations with the bad guys.
(He passed the exam; thank you for asking.)

Is it likely that police officers throughout this country are more likely -other things being equal – to shoot at a black suspect than at a black suspect? I would guess so. The second day of protest in Ferguson turned into looting. A young black man dies, others get a mountain bike, their sisters get platform shoes. (I watched looting scenes on MSNBC; all the looters shown were black.) The victim of this particular shooting was a hoodlum, a large hoodlum. (The same video that shows that he did not rob a shop minutes before he was killed shows him manhandling the diminutive shopkeeper.) The weekend following the Ferguson shooting seven young black men were shot to death in Chicago. They were shot by other young black men of course, as is almost always the case. Police officers operate under the impression that African-Americans are more likely to be criminal – and, by extension, more dangerous than whites. Go figure!

Digression: A month ago, I spotted four young black men on my street trying to hot wire an old classic American car. The car was in some disrepair. The young men wore full ghetto outfit. It’s a rare thing in white-and-brown Santa Cruz. Here, one only sees pale imitation of ghetto dress on downtown whiggers on skateboards. UC students who are black wear normal semi-hippie outfits, like everyone else. I called the police. It turns out, it was their car that would not start the natural way. Did I jump the gun, (so to speak)? Did I profile racially? What would you have done? And, incidentally, I would not know how to hot wire a car. Do you?

As completely expected, the national media, almost universally liberal, is camping in Ferguson day and night. They are clinging to an exhausted, obsolete narrative of injustice for which they have no substitute. The liberals’ lack of liberal imagination is striking. They are helped by the usual racial and misery pimps and extortionists from outside the town. The old civil rights aristocracy is humming along, terrified that one in their own midst will start speaking aloud about black social dysfunctions. The television commentator Juan Williams, a black man, does it all the time but he is not part of this aristocracy; he is a marginal figure; he can be ignored, so far. The total amount of intellectual cowardice in the coverage of the Ferguson shooting is overwhelming. It’s overwhelming on issues of race in today’s America in general.

Yes, young black men often act as if they felt disenfranchised. They are, I think. Black spokespersons have been railing for thirty years or more about police not looking like the “community” they police. In general, I think the idea that black cops are more likely than white cops to defuse problems involving African-Americans seems reasonable. It does although the veteran black state police officer put in charge of keeping order in Ferguson after a few days did a piss-poor job of it. The liberal press pointed out that Ferguson Missouri population is 2/3 black. It makes me wonder why the town’s black population did not use its large majority to vote out the white municipality and to create an all-black (or nearly all-black ) police force a long time ago. No one, not one, in the media has wanted to raise that simple, self-evident question. We are still not talking clearly in this nation when racial matters are involved.

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The Moral Thing to Do in Iraq

Bombing ISIS is the moral thing to do. That’s true even if the Obama Administration orders it. That’s true even if the current situation came about as a result of President Obama’s past indecision or of his reluctance to leave American troops in Iraq. That’s true even if the current situation is ultimately due to the Bush Administration’s failed policies.

Invading Iraq to destroy the butcher Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do even if it did not turn out well. Incidentally, the invasion of Iraq was approved 297 to 133 (House) and 77 to 23 (Senate). I think that’s enough to have made it legal.

ISIS needs killing like no one in my living memory. The peaceful Kurdish entity is worth saving even if the rest of Iraq crumbles. It’s intolerable for the civilized to stand by while ISIS is slaughtering the defenseless religious minorities within its reach.The ISIS terrorists would need killing even if they had done none of the above.

The word “Caliphate” ISIS has adopted contains a political program of aggression toward the Infidels. That includes us and Europe. ISIS will attack us as soon as it can unless it’s reduced by military action to the handful of bandits and fanatics they were when they started. It’s easier to do it now than it will be tomorrow, much easier than the day after tomorrow.

I know I am repeating myself. Some things need repeating. Many people are too distracted by daily life to remember well even the obvious.

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Wonderful California Guys

A younger man who is a foodie alerted me a few years ago to a local guy – also young – who was making “charcuteries.” The word designates pork preparations in general or preparations where pork enters. Foie gras is a noble kind of charcuterie: One pig, one goose liver . (OK, that was an old French joke.) In the singular, the word means “pork butcher,” in the plural, it designates the plurality of such products. “Charcutier” is the craftsman that makes the stuff. It’s a high skilled occupation, at least in France.

Even after fifty years in the US, I was skeptical. It would be like announcing the arrival on the baseball scene of a killer French pitcher: possible, not likely. I was intrigued nevertheless. I made myself go to the Farmers’ Market – the kind of place I normally dislike – which was the only venue for the guy’s talent. He gave me a sample of his rabbit pâté. It was simply second to none. Wisely, in a masterful show of cultural sensitivity, I refrained from thinking of the provenance of the rabbit meat he used. I shut my mind to the thought that it was right after Easter. I decided it was just a coincidence.

I know what you are thinking: An old man’s failing memory made him confuse what he was tasting with the age-old glory of French charcuterie. Not so, not so. My gustatory memory is perfect, I believe. It’s true that I have trouble recalling names though. Two evenings ago, I even called my wife “Marie” ( with French inflexion). Her name is “Krishna” and she is from India. The evening ended badly. The narrow mindedness of women never ceases to amaze me!

A few years later, the same guy has a busy kitchen and shop with several permanent employes in an up-and-coming location on the outskirts of Santa Cruz. He sells a wide variety of wildly inventive sausages and pâtés, with a twist. His pork rillettes, a French classic, incorporate Indian flavors. At first taste, I was nonplussed and disappointed because my brain was stupidly seeking the ancestral flavors. I persisted. Now, French rillettes made in France would seem bland to me. The Santa Cruz charcuterie is a stellar success in the midst of what is otherwise mostly a local entrepreneurial desert.

Here is another bastard who is contributing to growing income inequality even in the heart of this Green People’s Socialist Republic! I mean that it looks like his business is making money while most of the charcutier’s high school classmates who stayed home are still earning $9/hour in presumptuous retail boutiques downtown. The charcutier made one mistake, though. He should have consulted me. (Of course, he did not know me in time for this.) He calls his shop “El Salchichero” like a vulgar Mexican chorizo maker. If there ever was a business that cried out for a pretentious French name, it was his. Not his fault. When he began he probably did not know how successful he would be with the local yuppies. Anyway, bless his heart and I am sure he does not mind the advertising. By the way, for my birthday, El Salchichero gave me some sweetbread pâté. I bet you can’t figure out what it is, even with Google’s help. I didn’t even know it existed. It was delicious.

It’s an ordinary late morning on a weekday. The sun is just breaking out through the coastal fog. I am walking to the gym. Moving across the street in the opposite direction, I spot an unusually shaped vehicle or contraption. It’s a young man on a bicycle. His shirt is off. He is playing the guitar and singing while pedaling. If the girls aren’t crazy about him, they must be crazy!

I am at the beach (as usual). My granddaughter is learning to boogie-board in the shallow waves. (She is not even six, what do you expect, Olympics-level surfing?) I watch vaguely a bunch of older kids in the higher breaking waves. One, a tall, athletic boy of about twelve seems a vigorous swimmer but there is something wrong with his boogieing style. He is not catching as many waves as the others and he gets shorter rides. I focus on his boogie-board. Well, the truth is that he does not have one. He is surfing with the help of something much smaller, something flat and a solid dull red. I wade in to see better. That boy is boogie-boarding on a regular, rectangular, plastic cafeteria tray. Astonishing, exhilarating! The kid is wearing a full wetsuit, a fairly expensive item. It’s not necessity that guides him but a sheer instinct of inventiveness not emasculated by vetoes, or admonitions, or advice. This kind of stuff does not happen in France, or in Germany, or in Japan, or in India. This is a great country and a great state. No wonder almost everything is invented here (not necessarily by the California-born though).

There is an older guy I often meet for coffee at Lulu Carpenter’s, downtown. We talk about books. He is a voracious reader who has proscribed television from his house. Out tastes overlap but not too much, making the conversation worth it. For years he has been a firm supporter of my writing endeavors, including my latest book, I Used to Be French…. (See below). My literary friend, X, is an astute investor who never made the mistake of leaving California and its increasingly pricey real estate. He made it a life-long practice to buy low and not sell. He is also a crafty handyman. He restores and repairs his properties himself. What costs another landlord $500, will set him back $78. He has prospered. One of his skills is plumbing.

My plumber reading buddy is having an interesting problem, as he ages and his joints begin to bother him, what he could easily charge for a plumbing intervention has become almost insignificant in context. So, he refuses most plumbing jobs except those that are exceptionally well paid. But he has not been able to keep the knowledge of his skills from his many friends, including me. The bank, my wife and I (in this order) own a beautiful but hundred-year-old, small Victorian. When something goes wrong there, we automatically call our friend X.

It’s not that we have not tried to leave him alone. We called on others in the past. One of our past plumbers was OK but he was afraid of cramped, dark spaces. The guy who installed new plumbing in our current house was OK too but his hands were trembling and he was openly leering at my then-teen-aged daughter. The last plumber we called was an eager Brazilian immigrant with a freshly painted truck who showed himself unable to diagnose a faulty brand new faucet. He assured us that the finger-thin flow of water it delivered was “normal nowadays.”

At the first alert then, we call X. He comes quickly with his toolbox and fixes the problem or advises on how to fix it easily and cheaply. He wants no payment. He does the same for his other close friends, for some of his friends’friends, and for some poor old people, I suspect. He is much less interested in a little more money than he is in the bragging rights inherent in calling himself a “charity plumber.”

California guys, salt of the Earth, inimitable though everyone is the world tries to imitate them!

El Salchichero is located on Swift Street, in Santa Cruz, California.


My latest book:

Jacques Delacroix: I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography

is available from me by email at:

or at:

Please, send me $17 so I can buy fishing bait. Please, add $1.60 for taxes and $4 to help support the US Post Office. Total: $22.60

I will be glad to deliver myself around Santa Cruz , California, free of postal charge. (Two copies minimum, please, unless you are house-bound or exhausted by love.)

The book is also at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz, California

The print copy is also available through Amazon for $17-plus. Just search for: Jacques Delacroix within Amazon. Make sure it’s on or click “All departments.” Here you go!
Here is the impossibly complicated hyperlink just in case. You should not need it.

This is cheap for much entertainment and even a little bit of enlightenment. The book contains many items of esoteric high-brow trivia you will be able to use to make yourself sound brilliant and humiliate your pretentious rivals at cocktail parties (Marin County) and at barbecues (elsewhere).

The electronic version is also available in the Kindle Store at:

(You don’t need to have a Kindle to read it. It works on other devices.)

The electronic version costs only $7. ($4 for me. Every time you buy one I can afford another cappuccino.)

Other unimportant news: My slim collection of stories and essays in French will be on Amazon (electronic only) soon. It’s entitled: Les Pumas de grande-banlieue.

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Publishing Event: I Used to Be French….

I may have provided incomplete or too complicated information on how to get my book. Below is better info.

Print copy from me: Just email me at:

From Amazon both electronic and print versions:

The print copy is available through Amazon for $17-plus. Just search for: Jacques Delacroix within Amazon. Make sure it’s on or click “All departments.” Here you go!

Here is the impossibly complicated hyperlink just in case. You should not need it.

This is cheap for much entertainment and even a little bit of enlightenment. The book contains many items of esoteric high-brow trivia you will be able to use to make yourself sound brilliant and humiliate your pretentious rivals at cocktail parties (Marin County) and at barbecues (elsewhere).

The electronic version is also available in the Kindle Store at:

(You don’t need to have a Kindle to read it. It works on other devices.)

The electronic version costs only $7. ($4 for me. Every time you buy one I can afford another cappuccino.)

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World War One Forever

This week is the anniversary of the entry of Great Britain into World War One, conventionally considered the real, irreversible beginning of that four-year-long deadly war. The social damage of the war extended much beyond its formal end in 1918. Here is a personal memoir, an excerpt from my book: I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography.

I was born 24 years after my maternal grandfather’s death and physical disappearance at the theatrical mass killing of the battle of Verdun. That was like an eternity to a child but like an instant for older adults, including my own widowed maternal grandmother and the tens of thousands of widows of her generation. The damage they had suffered was irreversible. It went well beyond mere grief, they knew well. Providence was not going to produce hearty males in numbers sufficient to replace the two millions who had been killed or made severely invalid. In many cases, the women’s lives would be sterile in every way. There was little talk on the subject of this great absence except on special commemorative days and on November 11th, the anniversary of the World War One Armistice. That was when small children were dragged to suburban cemeteries through interminable Metro and bus trips. There, they were expected to pray on the tombs of unknown relatives including for those who had no graves of their own like my maternal grandfather. I did a mediocre painting of such a childhood cemetery visit when I was in my sixties. In spite of its artistic mediocrity, looking at the painting inspires in me a sort of revolt of the heart.

Absence can be felt as keenly as pain. Perhaps, the absence of hundreds of thousands of grandfathers was like the kind of pain amputees are said to suffer in their missing limbs. There was a solemn underlying sadness all around that was not explained by anyone or by anything and that was part of normalcy. The perpetual sadness induced a degree of emotional unresponsiveness, including to small children. It was the kind of neutrality you expect to find in many (but not all) old people. Paradoxically, precisely because of the scarcity of old men, I grew up in an old society, one that had aged before its time. I realized bit by bit, and first on the occasion of my visiting non-belligerent Sweden at seventeen and then, the US, that the “war to end all wars” had broken a central spring of French society. One hundred years later, I think it’s still broken. It’s a society that has not felt young since the summer of 1914. It’s a society where still today, many of the young sound old.

The second, lighter shadow over my childhood is related to the first. In World War One, Frenchmen did their patriotic duty and died in vast numbers as a result. (So did the British and, even more so, the Germans.) The French victory tasted worse than had many past defeats. When the guns of war begun booming again, not much more than twenty years later, the pre-World War Two French had not recovered. It’s a well accepted fact that many left for war with the firm intent to come back, no matter what. In addition, their military leadership was so incompetent that it suggests a subtle form of treason. (This is extensively if soberly described in the American journalist and historian William Shirer’s The Collapse of the Third Republic

The French defeat in the early phase of World War Two was swift and ignominious. The resulting four years of Nazi Occupation produced even more ignominy with many more collaborators with the Germans than resisters and some resisters who were also collaborators ( I mean such as former Socialist President François Mitterrand, decorated by both the Vichy pro-German government and by the Resistance). Thousands of quite real French resisters were only impelled by their addiction to another totalitarian ideology, communism. When the Allies – with a token French force – finally liberated France, there was a brief domestic bloodbath of enacted recriminations and then a massive cover-up. Most French Jews survived yet every one had Jewish neighbors who did not come back, neighbors “disappeared” with the participation of the French police. In my childhood, my mother spoke openly about those crimes, my father, much less although he was personally clean himself. Most people around us said nothing at all on the topic ever. Children don’t understand history, even recent history but they can often catch the smell of history, especially when its stinks.

I grew up in a society that felt guilty, and with good reason. [As I said,] my father behaved better than most Frenchmen but guilt and shame are contagious. To an extent, I was reared to become a man by men who had lost much of their manhood. My childhood was surrounded by vicious whispers and by heavy silences. On a national level, there was a general conspiracy of half-muteness about who had taken advantage of the Nazis’ presence to do what to whom. After World War Two, the new French Republic raised from the dead by De Gaulle through sheer willpower never cleared its decks. Both De Gaulle’s nationalist followers and their Communist allies, each for their own reasons, preferred a make-believe reconciliation with the collaborators. In consequence, oppressive, silent evil was all around and inside French society. One prominent politician and gross World War Two criminal was unmasked, tried and convicted only in the 1990s, 45 years late, a lifetime late. He had occupied the highest positions in the French national police and been a cabinet minister several times in the interim. There was a massacre of Algerians in the middle of Paris in 1961 under his watch. In the seventies an alert journalist even discovered and denounced the continued existence of an old Nazi occupation period locational file on Jews in the basement archive of the Paris police. No one had thought to destroy it. Perhaps, no one had wanted to. I don’t know.

Jacques Delacroix: I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography

is available from me by email at:

The electronic version is also available with Amazon at:

Posted in Current Events, Socio-Political Essays | 4 Comments

Righteous Bombing

Heavily armed extremely brutal fanatics threaten and take concrete steps to massacre members of religious minorities. Those who have the power to stop them, wealthy democracies, dither until the actual massacre begins. At the same time, a brave and peaceful small country is in danger of being eradicated by the same monsters. Then the armed democracies suddenly take necessary but insufficient military measures to stop the fanatics. Wait a minute; I have seen this movie before. That was around 1940 and immediately thereafter.

I am not talking about Nazis, Jews, and Czechoslovakia, of course but about the so-called Islamic State in northern Iraq and in Syria (ISIS), about Iraqi Christians and about the Yazedi minority there. And, I am talking also about the de facto state of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. Don’t blame me for using a cliché, a tired comparison. It’s not my choice; it’s imposed on my mind by reality. Also, underlying the current Western inaction is the same collective state of mind that allowed Nazi Germany to rise from its ruins, to attack its neighbors, to prevail upon them and to make them die in large numbers. It’s the same Western mentality that made the insane but deliberate slaughter of the Jews of Europe finally conceivable and doable. Our societies are emotionally castrated. They don’t have even the primitive vigor of a male baboon coming to the aid of a bullied younger member of its band.

This is not politically correct language, of course. Let me add: Fuck feminism! It’s played it insidious part in our moral debacle.

There are reports that the ISIS monsters have kidnapped hundreds of Yazedi women. “To take them as wives,” a dingbat (female) main TV channel commentator added. Normally, I would dismiss the report as typical war propaganda. I won’t in this case because the ISIS scum are orthodox Muslims. I believe Islam explicitly allows the practice. The example comes from on high. The Prophet himself “married” the wives of his defeated enemies. How they must have enjoyed themselves being penetrated by those who had killed their husbands, their brothers, their fathers the same day or they day before! There is so far not a single feminist voice to affirm publicly that what’s going on over there is mass rape. I guess, they can’t do it because it’s a different culture and all cultures are equal.

I am not one of those who will reproach President Obama for finally doing the right thing and sending the US military to intervene. The president is a slow learner but it’s better than being a no learner. As I write, he ordered three airstrikes on ISIS military positions and two air deliveries of emergency supplies to refugees threatened with massacre on a mountain top. One of the strikes was against a (A) mortar position. I believe a dozen planes at most were involved in all flights over Iraq. We have hundreds of planes in the area. We could have thousands in a week if we wanted to. The Western allies have more. The ISIS forces move along roads and parade in columns of trucks and captured American armor. It could be a turkey shoot if we had the willpower. Those people need killing the way SS divisions needed killing between 1939 and 1945. And yes, Americans might die, members of the military all. That’s their job. That’s what they signed up for whether or not ISIS is currently a threat to the US. (I don’t know if it is. It has the potential and the ideological motivation though.) And please, don’t tell me that I don’t have any valid military idea because I did not serve. I did serve in a military, on an aircraft carrier, actually. I am familiar with how easy it is to send many well armed planes into the air and to retrieve them safely. Of course, I refer to an era when there weren’t even cruise missiles nor drones.

The persecuted minorities of northern Iraq deserve to be saved, whatever their immoral beleaguered government (our past creature) does or does not do in this respect. Autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, this haven of peace an safety, of tolerance and of prosperity in an ugly neighborhood deserves to be saved from the ISIS barbarians. Incidentally, many Americans don’t seem to know that Kurdistan is the best result of our best efforts in that part of the world. It’s really an American protectorate. Letting it suffer would again signal to our friends and to our enemies worldwide that America is spent, finished. I am thinking, as I write, not only of Islamist fanatics but also of authoritarian. gangster-run Russia, and, behind it of ever-expanding totalitarian China. Incidentally also, the Kurdish men have demonstrated much bravery in the past, military skills, and a willingness to die to defend their homes and their families. We couldn’t wish for better local allies.

In this case, there should be no moral dilemma even for liberals. Killing the men with the guns to protect the lives of children is ethical by all religious and humanistic standards. Destroying the beast in its infancy is not only recommended, it’s required. All Americans should push for the president quickly to escalate the number and destructiveness of the attacks on ISIS and to multiply by ten the mercy flights for its victims until the food and water thus deliverfed actually goes to waste.

“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm” (Winston Churchill.)

Historical notes.

Kurds are a large minority in Iraq and in Turkey, a smaller one in Iran and an even smaller one in Syria. Although most of them are Sunni Muslims, they have a distinct historical identity maintained over the centuries by a linguistic boundary, by the fact that their language is unrelated to Arabic or to Turkish. It’s a little related to Farsi, the main language of Iran; it’s an Indo-European language like Greek, English and French, for example. I have read widely about that part of the world. I can’t remember examples of Kurdish religious fanaticism. Saladin, the Muslim leader who finished off the Crusader Christian kingdoms of the Middle-East was a Kurd. He was reputed for his tolerance and his kindness toward his vanquished enemies.

The Christians of Northern Iraq have been there ever since there was a Christianity. They are also known as “Chaldeans” and “Assyrians.” The Muslim powers who ruled the region since about 700 let them be mostly unmolested. (The Prophet Mohammed recommended tolerance toward Christians who submitted.)

I don’t know what the Yazedis believe. Many Yazedis are reported to not know what they believe because they keep no written religious texts. What’s important is what they are not. They are not monotheists. As such, they can claim nor formal protection under Islamic law. They are this legitimate targets for booty, including sex booty, enslavement and persecution.

Posted in Current Events | 8 Comments

Three Necessary Questions About Gaza

In connection with the current endless crisis in Gaza, there are three big questions the liberal media forget to raise or to try to answer. Ignoring these questions is a test of the same media’s collective good faith. It’s a test also of the moral blindness of those who passively follow the liberal media.

The first question is this: If you don’t like the way Israel is dealing with the overt, continued threat of Hamas toward Israeli civilians, what would you have Israel do?

Keep in mind that, as I keep pointing out, a “proportionate response” is the best way to perpetuate the killing. Every police agency in the world will tell you that a massive, crushing response minimizes the number of victims.

The second question is even simpler, more elementary: Why does anyone accept the casualties numbers provided by the Gaza “Ministry of Health.”? It’s a creature of Hamas, lock, stock and barrel. It’s not my opinion, it’s a fact. The Hamas Party is the government of Gaza. It appoints all the principals in the Ministry. There is zero chance a brave Ministry official will stand up and affirm that the civilian toll from Israeli attacks is smaller then the Gaza government affirms. Hamas is a terrorist organization, it would not hesitate to eliminate such a dissenter. Everyone knows this. The liberal media ignore this basic fact. Note: I don’t doubt that the Israeli military actions cause many deaths, including of civilians. Yet, there are “many” and “many.”

Here is the third question. If peace is desirable in Gaza, there is a simple path to it. If Hamas wants peace, wishes to protect the lives of the Gaza population, why does not Hamas propose to destroy all its tunnels leading into Israeli territory under international control?

I ask because the tunnels dug by Hamas into Israel have no conceivable peaceful function. They are only intended to assassinate Israelis. I point this out because it’s possible that the Hamas tunnels into Egypt, in the south, by contrast may have commercial, non-terrorist functions such as a bringing food or fuel into Gaza bypassing the Israeli partial blockade of the territory. (Incidentally, why did not Egypt open its border to the Gazans trapped in an exiguous territory subjected to the horrors of war? That’s a subsidiary question only.)

Worst case scenario. Suppose Hamas proposes loudly to destroy its tunnels as a contribution to peace and Israel ignores the offer and continues to attack targets in Gaza. That would be a much greater public relations disaster for Israel than even the alleged mounting number of Gaza civilian victims in Gaza. It would be huge. (The sad but realistic thing is that there is a diminishing public relations gain from civilian victims. The first five dead Palestinian children induce huge emotion; that last five, after hundreds more, not so much.)

Not discussed in the media are new facts on the ground. Hamas used to occupy center-stage in the jihadist play. For a long time, it was the only Sunni jihadist organization perennially involved in military action against infidels (Jews, in this case). There is a new player in town casting a giant shadow on Hamas’ monopoly. The so-called “Caliphate” of ISIS in Syria and Iraq is covering itself with military glory while openly persecuting threatening schismatic Muslims (Shiites), all infidels, beginning with the old Iraqi Christian community, and even (recently) the United States itself.

Hamas had to do something to stay afloat in the minds of those who see themselves as radical Sunni Muslims, as soldiers of God, seventh century-style. Hamas was in danger of becoming a sideshow. It had to do something even to survive as an organization. The solution was to provoke Israel into killing many innocent civilians victims. It worked. Just look at the demonstration in France, in the UK, and even as far away as in Chile.

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