This past week could be described as the tale of two tapes. The video tells the story. In both cases, the images have led to public outcry. One shows a botched baseball call, the other shows what really happened on board a ship—a vessel that was up to no good.
In the case of Major League Baseball umpire, Jim Joyce—the poor guy simply got it wrong. There were two outs in the ninth inning the other day at Comerica Park in Detroit and Tiger pitcher, Armando Galarraga, was en route to a perfect game—as in retiring 27 batters in a row—no walks, no hits—nada. It’s a rarity (though there have been two already this year, making 20 in the history of Major League Baseball) and one of those moments etched in consciousness of the players and fans bearing witness.
So up comes Cleveland Indian, Jason Donald, and he hits a ground ball that pulls the first baseman off the bag, requiring Galarraga to cover in order to make the out. He did. Then the unthinkable happened. Umpire Joyce called the runner safe.
The video shows that not only was Jason Donald out, but it wasn’t really all that close of a play. Outrage followed. In fact, I dare say that no one seeing the video has felt anything less. Interestingly, the umpire, after seeing the video, sought the pitcher out and apologized to him (there’s the headline) and graciousness abounded. All those involved conducted themselves admirably.
But the ruling on the field stands.
Now, consider the other admittedly much more important and deadly serious incident caught on tape this past week. It shows Israeli soldiers boarding a vessel and being greeted by people wielding metal bars and such, requiring defensive measures by the soldiers. Nineteen died aboard the Mavi Marmara and a full-blown international incident was created.
With an immediacy that can only suggest careful preparation and anticipation, the spin-witch-doctors of the “hate-Israel” cabal began provoking denunciations. The world almost at once, with a complicit United Nations and American mainstream media primed and eager to help, morphed into one big angry mob.
The United States’ official response has been tepid at best and shameful at worst. Ignoring opportunities resident in its power to short circuit at least some of the U.N. propaganda machine, our leaders have largely sat idly by while our now apparently former ally takes a geopolitical beating.
But what about that video tape? Well, unlike the images of Jason Donald’s foot a step short of the bag, which have been seen and widely noted, the actual video of what happened in those fateful moments off the coast of Gaza has not been widely broadcast.
Let’s call it an inconvenient video.
It does not fit the carefully created and effectively orchestrated narrative promoted by the Islamist world. There was a time when we had vigilant leaders who were discerning enough to know what was “really” going on, but these days it appears that our “official” posture is to do little or less while a true friend is savaged.
Lost due to the cacophonous “cover” story are the real facts of the case:
• There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Tons of materials arrive there everyday.
• In fact, the Israeli authorities repeatedly offered to let the six ships dock at Ashdod, enabling an inspection. These offers were ignored—the point of the flotilla was to break the blockade.
• That blockade, by the way, was put in place in 2007 (with Egypt participating) in the aftermath of the rise of Hamas to political control of the 140-square mile area of Gaza. Thousands upon thousands of missiles have been launched against Israel from there. Hamas’ stated purpose is the destruction of Israel—which has a sacred and sovereign right and duty to self-defense.
• Blockades are widely recognized and accepted legitimacies in such cases of self-defense—we did it ourselves during World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
• The purpose of the “flotilla” was to, in fact, try to provoke an incident. Admittedly, this was successful—but what was Israel to do—let the ships through without inspection?
• The Israelis have regularly demonstrated the capacity to cede arguments, even territory, in the name of peace. It’s the other guys who always want to start something.
• The “flotilla” was sponsored by organizations including those long recognized by the United States as sponsors and supporters of terrorism.
Probably the most serious development in the past few days has been the appearance of the nation of Turkey’s emergent true colors. Long thought to be an ally of ours—even in NATO these days—the simple truth is that Turkey is moving down the path toward radicalization and Islamism at breakneck speed.
Soon there will be two potent powers for the Obama administration to appease in that region: Iran and Turkey. And recent history reminds us that these days we are a lot tougher on our friends than we are on our foes, or potential foes.
This world is changing rapidly before our very eyes—and not for the good.