The Two-Sided Fallacy

Statement by foreign ministers of 3 European powers calls on both sides to address humanitarian needs.

That was the headline on a recent news item. It was the usual call for a truce.

“Hmmm,” I said, to no one in particular since I was alone in the room. “Why ‘both sides?’”

Am I missing something here?

Israel has honored how many cease fires? I’ve lost track.

Hamas has honored none. That’s easy to remember.

So why do they find it necessary to tell it to ‘both sides’ when they only need to be telling it to one?

I’ll leave the question of the Europeans’ holy terror of the monster they have nurtured in their bosom for another blog. Maybe I’ll see if I can get a soundtrack from some old creep flick to play in the background. For now, I’ll just say they’re a bunch of hypocrites but since they don’t hurt Israel directly, their damage potential is more emotional than real.

But they do hurt Israel indirectly. That emotional appeal is powerful stuff and that leads to all kinds of mischief, and the worst is that there are two sides here; two equal entities on an equivalent footing.

Whatever the complexities of history that led, finally, to the creation of Israel, there is only one fact that should merit attention. Instead of sitting down for peaceful talks and negotiations, the Arabs started a war in 1947. And, whatever the complexities, the Palestinians are the unfortunate inheritors of that war, passed down from generation to generation.

Israel, of course, remains the victim, no matter how powerful its army might be, and no matter that the chance that it could lose is nil. It still has no choice but to fight or give in to the bully.

So, what’s this ‘both sides’ crap?

It’s one of the most pernicious aspects of political correctness that one could imagine. It belongs in a Kindergarten. And it’s a Kindergarten mentality. What always amazes me is how so many supposedly intelligent people actually have no grasp of reality. Perhaps most of us need to escape into fantasy ideas in order to spare ourselves the pain of actually having to make a moral judgment.

What always amazes me, also, is how many of those people actually believe that they are the most upstanding of the moral.

I never cease to be amazed by human nature either. Some of us will believe anything.

Back to the wars.

The Palestinians (they have inherited the mantle, remember) have had the crap beaten out of them how many times? I lost count.

Israel has lost none. That’s easy to remember too.

So, why ‘both sides?’

How are they, in any way, equivalent in anything?

They are not equivalent in military might, not even if you toss the rest of the Arab armies into the mix. Far from it.

Neither are they equivalent  in anything at all that you could identify as “moral.”

I would never have voted for him, but Mitt Romney was dead right on in his assessment of the two cultures. One is the progenitor of much of what we claim to be Western Civilization. The other remains steeped in tribal hatreds that go back for centuries and engages in barbarism. That’s a generality, I admit, but the common people don’t make the policies or the decisions; they are the victims of those who do, so I’ll continue to speak in generalities and avoid the stupid sanctimony of whether or not we regard the other as human.

Subhumans are far less dangerous.

That is abundantly true, as a mere glance at the daily headlines can attest, and it’s always the human beings on the other side doing the carnage. The constant attempt on the part of Western “intellectuals” to excuse and apologize for it is a symptom of misplaced guilt.

It’s also a basically racist idea, camouflaged as concern for humanity, especially the “downtrodden.” And the downtrodden are not easily recognized as the victims of their own leaders since that would be admitting that they were less than honorable, so the “liberals” look around for the “cause” and, behold. There stands mighty Israel. An easy target.

The racist idea is that these little brown folks are really too simple and backward to have their own agendas and ideologies. They only react to us as though they are fractious children, asserting their independence. The thought that the kids might be psychopaths is never entertained.

There is nothing equivalent in the two sides, and only one is making war, so why is there always an appeal to ‘both sides?’

Why the constant confusion between offense and defense?

Why do people mistake body counts for “proportion,” which is a subject in cooking and art schools?

Why do people think that the bad guy must be the one who kills the most?

Like I said, a Kindergarten mentality. Unfortunately, it infects too many people who should know better.

Why do supposedly intelligent people refuse to check out history for themselves and simply accept whatever narrative requires the least necessity to take sides?

God forbid we should have to actually make a real commitment to anything.

As long as world leaders continue to indulge themselves in this “two side” fiction, they will never find a solution for this problem. It’s up to the kids on the playground to duke it out until one can’t fight any more. Either militarily or politically.

Bullies cannot be tolerated. If you don’t fight and beat them, they’ll plague you forever. Ask the people who have to keep running to bomb shelters every few years.

Unfortunately, it isn’t a playground fight and the kids have real bombs.

The causes are not even important any more. It should be a matter of common decency to talk out your differences, dropping bombs is dirty pool, even if they can’t hit the side of a barn.

I’m also amazed at how many “pacifists” seem to approve of it.

They diddle themselves by calling homicidal maniacs “freedom fighters” so they can go on pretending that there are two equal sides.

Then, along comes Obama with his tremendous appraisal of Israeli success in building a vibrant, strong democracy – and he undercuts it with the same old two-sided boilerplate call for Israel to “make the necessary concessions” without ever stating what they might be, other than the subliminal suggestion that the Israelis should get rid of Bibi because he’s too strong to have to surrender.

Hey, he said it. I didn’t.

Well, it’s only human nature, after all to want peace and quiet. Let’s hope that Israel’s leaders can put it aside and keep beating the crap out of the bullies.

Screw the two-sided fallacy.

About the Author
Ted Druch was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has engaged in a number of questionable activities beginning with a year-and-a-half long stint at the Timothy Leary commune in Millbrook, NY in the late 60s; Eschewing academia, which he found boring and stultifying, populated as it was by academics and intellectuals, he began a life as an itinerant handyman and ended up as a world traveler and raconteur; His novel, King David's Harp, is due out as soon as he can find a publisher. A series of detective novels featuring Joe Gold, a Jewish Sam Spade type will be released shortly.
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