Fools who see no evil

With images of death and destruction in Ukraine competing with images of death and destruction in Gaza, Americans probably are struggling to keep their wars straight.

Not to worry. You don’t even need a score card to tell the bad guys from the good guys.

Russia and Hamas are the evil twins, Israel and Ukraine are democracies. Everything else is bloody detail, though you’d never know it from the whimpering of American and European officials.

Their premature calls for a cease-fire in Gaza and the reluctance to slap tough sanctions on Russia capture the fatal weakness of western civilization. With the darkest forces on the rise, the free world offers only faint-hearted resistance.

Despite the clear Russian role in shooting down the Malaysian airliner, Europe and Washington proceed like mewling bureaucrats. They plan meetings that will lead to more meetings; any actions will be too little, too late to change Vladimir Putin’s murderous ways.

Similarly, the sole focus on Palestinian casualties is misplaced. Counting every corpse as a civilian is folly in a land where there is no regular army, only terrorists who fire from schools, mosques and hospitals.

Besides, Hamas aims rockets at Israeli cities, hoping to kill civilians. Their incompetence doesn’t make them any less evil.

Yet the moral and geopolitical dimensions of these conflicts escape President Obama and his Old Europe peers. Their fecklessness reflects a confusion that is both simple and profound.

Simple in that Russia and Hamas are enemies of life and liberty, the basis of western civilization, and they must be checked if not defeated. Profound in that, where principle demands support for Ukraine and Israel, western leaders offer a mushy uncertainty.

The stakes couldn’t be higher, but instead of a Churchill, we are led by a gaggle of Chamberlains.

To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in the New York Post, click here.