Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."



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Comments

Tom Strong

It hurt Israel, it hurt Lebanon, and it hurt us. It helped Iran.

And this is untrue?

amba

As I wrote at the time, I believe Israel was in a damned if you do, damned if you don't position. Their peace overtures had been interpreted as weakness to be taken advantage of, while their foe, Hezbollah, was hidden among civilians. Absolute no-win situation. Israel would have been hurt no matter what it did. They killed Lebanese civilians, whom they did not want to kill, rather than further expose their own. It was ugly. I think the U.S. was right to support them, because I think that besides hurting Israel, Lebanon, and us, it also hurt Hezbollah.

Tom Strong

They killed Lebanese civilians, whom they did not want to kill, rather than further expose their own.

That's the part of your interpretation I would challenge. I don't see how Israel's actions effectively protected its citizens. They incited a huge swath of the Muslim world, at least some of whom were not supporters of Hizb'allah. Not to mention the rocket attacks, and that their soldiers remain in limbo.

Moreover, I think the emotional divide over Israel and Palestine forced a false dichotomy over the situation. Why were Israel's only choices to murderously strafe Beirut or to wimpily remain complacent? Because both those interpretations had been forced upon the situation by outside observers.

Which is to say, the PR would have been negative either way. But if Israel had acted more cautiously, they may at least have created some positive results to counteract the PR. I don't see how their strafing of Beirut resulted in any net positives.

Tom Strong

Also, I think one can recognize that Israel was in a no-win situation - and still point out that they may have done a better job at cutting their losses.

Not unlike the debate on Iraq. It seems highly likely that our situation there is also no-win. But of our remaining options, some still may be better than others.

amba

I just wrote a long response to you but then lost it because of TyoePad's screwed-up commenting system.

The gist of it was that morally (don't know about strategically) Israel should have gone in on the ground and taken more military casualties to spare Lebanese civilians. (Maybe that would have also been more precisely effective against Hezbollah, but I don't know enough to know.) We and they have both been depending too much on air power to cut military losses. It's probably unrealistic, though, to expect a country that can do that not to do it, especially when no sacrifices have been asked of the civilian population and higher military casualties will have a political cost.

That said, it's bullshit to say that Israel would have served its own survival better by being nice. Israel can never be nice enough for the Muslim world, except by acqiescing in its own destruction. Granted that insofar as Israel had any chilly Muslim "allies," or countries willing to tolerate its existence, it no doubt alienated them, or gave ammo to the Islamic radical factions within them. But that's always about to happen at the drop of a feather anyway. Israel cannot protect itself by "nice" behavior. That was pretty much proven by Hamas' and Hezbollah's emboldened response to its withdrawals.

amba

Oh, and: it really bothered me that Jewish groups raised money for Israeli rocket victims but none for displaced and bereaved Lebanese civilians. They really missed a chance to live up to their own ideals there.

Tom Strong

it's bullshit to say that Israel would have served its own survival better by being nice. Israel can never be nice enough for the Muslim world, except by acqiescing in its own destruction.

Who's saying Israel has to be nice enough for the Muslim world? I don't have any illusions that if Israel puts down its arms, Hizb'allah and company will suddenly become as friendly as a puppy.

But again: what exactly did Israel gain by its actions? Did they actually build on their "don't f**k with us" reputation? I don't think so.

Had they not acted as they have, yeah, Iran and Hizb'allah and Al Qaeda would have gloated. But they're gloating anyway.

What would be different, though, is that Lebanon - newly democratic Lebanon - would be less completely dominated by Hizb'allah, would be that much closer to an alliance with the West, would simply be less damaged and less freaked out. Israel's bombing and the US acquiescence - after all the Republicans crowed about Lebanese independence and credited Bush with it - set that cause back a long way.

Tom Strong

As long as the West continues to act as if the only thing that matters in the Muslim world are the actions and opinions of murderous terrorist sects, we will continue to legitimize those sects, despite our own best interests.

We have to fight those sects, yes - but we also have to build up the good guys, the Kurds and the Jordanians, the Iranian dissidents and the Lebanese - however we can. As long as we kill our allies in order to get at our enemies, the greater good will stagnate.

Tom Strong

OK, let me just say, before someone tars and feathers me for the previous statement: I recognize that our government, and Israel's, are both now doing better in the above regard than they have often done in the past.

Relatively speaking.

But I think there's still a lot of room for improvement.

David

"Did they actually build on their "don't f**k with us" reputation? I don't think so."

I do. After all the crowing about its victory, Hizbollah and Lebanon face a long, costly and excruciating rebuilding. Despite -- perhaps even because of -- the relative ineffectiveness of Israel's bombardment of Lebanon, their willingness to execute it, to admit and analyze mistakes, and to retool, shows not only that they are willing to pursue and attack enemies in their host states, but they likely learned more about the enemy in this war than the enemy learned about Israel.

If -- when -- there is another confrontation, Israel is positioned to conduct a far superior military campaign. Its foes are not.

BrianOfAtlanta

Given Clark's track record of generalship in the former Yugoslavia, he's the last person who should be criticizing the military strategy and tactics of others. His comments, especially on the subject of Afghanistan, demonstrate the same level of military genius that he applied in Kosovo. Maybe he will turn out to be a more deft politician than he was a general.

karen

It hurt Israel, it hurt Lebanon, and it hurt us. It helped Iran.

I thought hizbullah WAS Iran... and maybe there was actual hope to get the captured soldiers back, too- it was personal. Did they ever get their boys back?

I was talking to a JWitness today, a man i admire that's from Canada and he served in Korea. Of course, his answer to the cause of our ~mess~ in this war and the ME was translated w/the NTestament(and Old, we talked of Nebachanezzar's(sp) dream and the interpretation by Daniel and how it pertains to today... anyway, i'm so confused for an answer i think i've forgotten the question.

In the end, his thought was for the UN to denounce all religions. He's interesting, intelligent and maybe a tad tetched. Like the Friedman in Texas!!!

Icepick

Karen, did your JW friend want the UN to denouce all religions, or all FALSE religions?

David, last I heard, Nasrallah was still in hiding. I think the fact that he's scared to show himself in public (or was for a long time after the fighting stopped) shows that Israel's don't fu*k with us reputation isn't all THAT damaged.

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