Bloggers react with outrage to the suicide bombing in Israel on Monday. They also wonder why the Pentagon has war plans for everything—including invading Canada—and whether the White House tried to downplay the presence of gays at its annual Easter egg roll.
Tel Aviv terror: A Palestinian suicide bomber killed at least nine people and wounded doznes at a falafel restaurant outside a Tel Aviv bus station Monday, the first attack since Hamas took over the Palestinian government just more than two weeks ago. Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade both took responsibility for the attack, which Hamas defended, saying Palestinians were in "a state of self-defense."
"Sure," writes Jewish blogger Meryl Yourish. "Self-defense. In Tel Aviv. At a bus station. At a falafel shop. Those are dangerous people, falafel-eaters." "Will this show the world their true faces?" writes Holly on The Moderate Voice of Hamas.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, reportedly condemned the bombing, but no one seems to be buying that. At Captain's Quarters, Ed Morrissey has a name for this pattern of one group attacking while one or two others condemn: the triangle offense.
"As I have written before, this triangle offense allows the supposedly moderate Fatah and the political Hamas to deny any responsibility for attacks while the radical IJ carries them out," he writes. "This strategy gives at least one and usually two factions deniability that is transparent to everyone except European diplomats, Russian autocrats, and the Middle Eastern kleptocrats that just pledged millions of dollars to keep the Palestinians in business against the Israelis."
Captain Ed is referring to Iran's pledge Sunday to give the Palestinian government $50 million in aid. Sister Toldjah explores the Hamas-Iran connection in detail, culling recent reports from the BBC and elsewhere.
As for the attack itself, Neo-Neocon links to a Jerusalem Post article and notes that a security guard may have saved lives by detaining the suicide bomber outside the restaurant: "The article doesn't mention it, but it's virtually certain that that guard was one of the victims. But he was also a hero; no doubt about that."
Bloggers are also eager to see how Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister-elect, responds to the first attack of his tenure. "The real question," writes New Jersey blogger Lawhawk at A Blog For All, "is whether he will carry through with what must be done - finish the security fence and go after the terrorists who perpetrated this latest attack. And that means doing more than firing artillery against empty buildings or fields."
Read more about the bombing.
Iran tomorrow, Canada the next day? The initial reaction to Seymour Hersh's New Yorker report of Iran war planning was largely outrage at the Bush administration. But as the debate continues—the Washington Post and the New York Times ran op-ed contributions on the subject over the weekend—bloggers wonder: Shouldn't the Pentagon have plans for everything?
That was conservative Jonah Goldberg's point when he debated liberal John Aravosis of AMERICAblog on Howard Kurtz's Reliable Sources on CNN Sunday. "After all preventing states like Iran -- indeed, specifically Iran -- from getting nukes has been the core of American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War," Goldberg writes at The Corner on National ReviewOnline. "I should hope, I said, that the Pentagon has plans to attack Iran, North Korea etc. Heck, it's their job." To illustrate his point, Goldberg mentioned that the Pentagon even has plans to attack Canada.
That provoked surprise north of the border—"I wonder if the US has plans for war with Mexico as well," writes Canadian blogger Red Tory—and a snarky response from Steve Young of the Huffington Post. "Perhaps it was a White House or Pentagon-inspired leak meant as a first salvo to warn Canada to keep Universal Healthcare north of the border," Young cracks.
But there are Canadian invasion plans, although they're a bit moldy, having been conceived in 1935. Goldberg links to a newspaper account of them here; the invasion plan itself can be found here. Read more about Iran war planning.
Easter Bunny controversy: About 100 gay and lesbian families attended the annual White House Easter egg roll Monday, seeking to show that they should be welcome. The Family Pride Coalition was behind the showing, which drew the ire of some conservatives for politicizing a family event.
Several couples reportedly said they encountered no interference once they obtained tickets. But some bloggers wrote about reports that the admittance procedure was curiously altered, causing those who camped out longest for tickets—including some of the gay couples—to be admitted later, after First Lady Laura Bush had left.
"Nice move, Bush Admin, to deep-six the visibility of the LGBT families," writesPam's House Blend, an LGBT blog.
But Discarded Lies doesn't see what the big deal is: "Since there were no invitations given to anyone, since the Bushes have made it known that they will not stop gay parents from attending, and since tickets are open to anyone willing to stand in line, how are gay parents 'crashing' this party?"
Read more about the Easter egg roll.