Jeffrey LewisCondi Rice goes Kissinger over Rantisi Assasination

The White House has expressed concern about the killing of Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, but affirmed Israel/’s right to defend itself.

The concern expressed by the White House has a Kissengerian amoralism to it. Here is Condolezza Rice, condemining Israeli executions of Hamas leaders:

The president has said repeatedly to the Israelis that they need to take account of the consequences of what they/’re doing. And certainly, given that we had just talked about trying to get the road map under way in the Middle East, trying to get the Gaza disengagement plan underway, then the timing is not helpful. But we understand that the Israelis have to defend themselves. It/’s just extremely important that the Israelis also keep in mind the long view here.

Compare her remarks with the condemnation offered by Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson:

I can understand that Israel is criticizing Hamas and attacking Hamas, but we can never accept these executions. They are extrajudicial actions, illegal and disgusting.

This amazes me: Rice seems not at all bothered by the ethical component. Her complaint is entirely couched in the language of consequentialism; there is no moral objection to the killings, just a vague sense of regret that executions may have unpleasant consequences. I wish I had time to track down the entire interview.

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