...It's hard to measure what the Shin-Bet does: Their results are so incredible, it's tough to argue. When I was in Israel for a couple of years, there were a couple months where there was a bomb or two a day. I've heard bombs go off, I've seen smoke from a suicide bomber. My friends were at bombings, my cousin's brother-in-law was in a coma for a year, my wife was shot at, a car blew up in front of my cousin on the highway, and a guest who ate here recently was shot in the back repeatedly while trying to run away from a gunman. When you know and experience all that, and you read of the sheer numbers of attacks they foil a day, it's tough to complain about the treatment of terrorists. There are mind-boggling numbers: stopping over 250 attacks in a week, finding a 48-kilo bomb and defusing it in a crowded neighborhood, catching an attempt to bomb a major gas facility next to a highway (estimates were that 10,000 would have been blown to pieces if at rush hour), etc. They find bombs every day. They stop would-be bombers all the time. In a country where everyone has experienced an attack and everyone knows a victim, it's hard to worry about levels of interrogation of a terrorist.
My friends serve in the army. One walked out of his bunker to start his shift as a guard. The bunker blew up behind him, and his commander was killed. My best friend, meanwhile, had one job where he explained his duty: Stall the terrorist, get off a couple shots to warn the students inside the school, and try to take as long as possible to get killed. He also said that doing border duty makes you feel for and understand why the Palestinians feel so pathetic and hateful - and you want to just let them through faster. Until one tries to stab your friend or blow up the guard bost.
While all these examples are true, it's not a particularly dangerous country. But that's because the Shin Bet is so successful. It's hard to argue with success when it comes to saving lives.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
There is an interesting discussion over at the Inter-Galactic Jester regarding torture, and I posted a comment there in the midst of the discussion. I've decided to repost the comment here, though it's worthwhile to read through the always smart discussion that is going on over there. Check it out. [Previous post on this subject here.]