Video: Ron Paul laments Israel's "preemptive" war

Not so much moral equivalence as moral indifference: In almost seven minutes, he can’t muster so much as a pro forma condemnation of Hamas. Just what you’d expect from a guy who once asserted in the same breath that (a) he wouldn’t act to stop Iranian nukes and (b) Iran presents no threat to its neighbors. You’ll find that same logic at work here as he rues the spread of “preemptive war” — evidently 3,000 rockets fired into Israel don’t count as a first strike — before reminding America that Middle Eastern warfare is a bloody fact of life. In other words, this might not have happened if Bush hadn’t mainstreamed preemption by invading Iraq. Even though it’s been happening for centuries.

He doesn’t touch on proportionality but it’s clear enough where he stands given his passing reference to thousands of Qassams as “a few small missiles.” The one point I haven’t seen anyone raise on this subject is that the ethic of proportionality tacitly guarantees Hamas’s survival, which in turn guarantees that a two-state solution is impossible. Realistically, there’s no circumstance in which a months-long campaign to destroy the group would be a “proportional” response; the only one that would qualify is if Hamas somehow raised an army to invade and conquer Israel. So long as they’re incapable of doing that, useful idiots like this will criticize Israel for overreacting. And if they ever are capable of doing it, rest assured, they’ll give them moral cover then, too. Proportionality operates in only one direction.

Other bits and pieces to watch for: Ron Paul, who voted for the war in Afghanistan, whining about escalation in Afghanistan, plus his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it defense of Iran intervening on the side of Hamas given the fact of U.S. aid to Israel. Exit question one: He says the Palestinians are living in a sort of “concentration camp.” Whom, pray tell, does he imagine is playing the role of the SS in this analogy? Exit question two: Tangentially related, is it really true as Bill Kristol says that a heavy blow to Hamas in Gaza will be “a real setback for Iran”? Granted, it’ll make the Sunni states in the neighborhood a bit bolder in standing up to them, but how is it going to stop the nuclear program?