Saturday, July 29, 2006

Surprayse, Surprayse!

“A public opinion poll is no substitute for thought”

- Warren Buffett

It now seems that the tide of popular opinion in the Arab world is turning against Israel. About an hour ago I read this snippet from the New York Times posted on a read-worthy blog bylined “Stop the ACLU”:

“Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements.”

As Gomer Pyle often said, “Surprayse, surprayse.”

Another recent public opinion done in Lebanon showed Hezbollah enjoying eighty-seven percent support.

“Surprayse, surprayse.”

I’m not entirely sure what the media’s message is in all of this, but I’ll take a guess. It’s time for Israel to hoist the white flag and surrender.

I wonder what a poll done in Germany in 1939, 1940, or 1941 might have looked like. I’d be willing to bet der Fuhrer’s numbers were somewhere in the stratosphere. The trains were running on time, the economy was booming, and the Third Reich was expanding east and west across Europe. And I’d guess that they got even higher when things got worse and the all out bombing of Germany’s industrial cities began. I’d even be willing to bet that a lot of folks at those times got part time jobs at places like Dachau and Auschwitz to support the national effort.

What do you suppose public opinion polls done in Japan might have looked like as the American military noose tightened on the home islands in the forites? Does anyone seriously believe they would have produced pro-American results?

I occasionally make hit and run raids into enemy territory on the blogosphere, posting comments in response to something they’ve written on their turf. Few, if any, have anything kind to say in return. I’m considered either stupid, arrogant, uninformed, and unenlightened. Some say I’m a lunatic. The responses don’t have to make sense, and often don’t. They've never surprised me, but they always raise the question. Have I provoked them into doing something out of character or have I just unmasked what’s really there?

Israel’s response to Hezbollah’s provocative act of war has only revealed the character of the conflict and the enemy.

About a week ago one of Fox’s talking heads asked an Israeli defense official for any comment he might have about Hezbollah statements and public opinion polls done in Lebanon and the Arab world. He handled the question much more diplomatically than I would have, saying that the opinion of others meant little to Israel at that point. They had more pressing issues at hand.

There is a war going on. The sides have been drawn; the die is cast. Israel is fighting for its national survival. Does anyone seriously believe under these circumstances that they should be the least bit concerned with public opinion polls?

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