Friday, June 03, 2011

Idiotic analogy of the day

From Bob Burnett in the HuffPo:

Since 1948, when the United States recognized the state of Israel, twelve US presidents have shaken the hands of Israeli leaders and pledged "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part." Sadly, this once happy marriage is in trouble. It's time for the US to reconsider its commitment to Israel.

During the last week of May, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington, making visible the cracks in the US-Israel marriage that had long been apparent to diplomatic observers.
The analogy is ridiculous - unless you are dying to see a "divorce."

Israel and the US have common interests and goals. They have more in common, in fact, than the US has with most countries. That's what makes them allies!

Allies are not "married" to each other. The US does not always agree with its other allies in Europe and North America, and has serious disagreements with its putative Arab and Islamic allies in the Middle East.

If Israel is "married" to the US, then are Canada and Great Britain jilted lovers?

By framing the straw man argument in such a fashion, Burnett sets up his "solution" - divorce.

The US is in the position of a husband who, after a long relationship, finds that he and his wife have grown apart. Is it better to separate and face lives of painful isolation or should the couple stay together for "appearances"? That's the dilemma America faces. Our marriage with Israel no longer works. The policies of the current Israeli government are detrimental to the best interests of the United States.
Of course, Burnett came up with his "solution" before he came up with any of his "evidence" - tedious, tendentious arguments that note that Israel and the US sometimes disagree. As if that never happened before: US/Israeli relations were much worse in 1956 and in 1981.

There is another illuminative angle to this article. If you actually accept Burnett's stupid analogy, it tells us a lot about Burnett.

From Burnett's perspective, he must believe that the US would be better served by "marrying" someone else. Who might that be? People who openly insult the US all the time? An Arab world whose alliance with America is based on backing the strong horse rather than any shared values?

We also learn that Burnett's concept of marriage is very skewed. If one is to believe Burnett's analogy, then the wife in the marriage must always do what the husband wants, or else he will divorce her.

This is not marriage - it is slavery.

If Burnett's real-life marriage is anything like his published ideas about marriage, I feel very sorry for his wife.