I’m not taking credit for this, of course, but I was pleased to see the editors of the L.A. Times refer to Hamas as a “terrorist” group in this morning’s editorial:
President Bush is right to threaten to cut off U.S. aid to a Palestinian government controlled by Hamas. U.S. law and common decency preclude taxpayer money from going to a terrorist group that has vowed to annihilate Israel.
That’s much better than simply saying that certain countries have “branded” Hamas a terrorist group, as the editors said the other day.
Contrary to the views to the views of the paper’s business columnist Michael Hiltzik, whether you call Hamas a “terrorist group” is not merely a “minor issue of syntax and diction.” It is an important issue that sheds light on the editors’ world view and credibility. I’m glad to see them acknowledge the obvious . . . finally.
P.S. In the extended entry is bonus material for those not already sick of talking about Michael Hiltzik:
I should note that, in the comment thread to the post where he used the “minor issues of syntax and diction” phrase, Hiltzik accused me of deliberately misrepresenting his position in that post, in my post headlined “Michael Hiltzik Says That Whether or Not Hamas is a Terrorist Organization Is a ‘Minor Issue of Syntax and Diction.’” (Note: his accusation is not just that I got it wrong, mind you, but that I deliberately misrepresented it — in other words, that I lied.)
In that comment thread, I said that I believed my post was an accurate representation of his position, and if he was going to call me a liar, he should provide evidence of it. He has repeatedly refused to do so, but rather continued to repeat the assertion without explanation. (Classy, eh? “You’re a liar but I won’t explain why.”)
Since I honestly believe that I characterized his post accurately — and since he flatly refuses to explain how I am wrong — I have characterized it that way again. But you should probably be aware that he claims (however implausibly) that his post did not call the issue of what to call Hamas a “minor issue of syntax and diction.”
I encourage you all to read his post and my characterization of it, and see if I accurately represented his position. Since he won’t say, what do you think he meant with the “syntax and diction” comment?
Or, you can just skip it all entirely and forget about him. Your call.