Responding to Idiots on Twitter

One of @ChipAphelion‘s early critiques of Twitter had to do with the idea that the character limit inherently stifled your ability to give fully thought out, reasoned analysis and instead reduced your argument to vaguely abbreviated bits.  Obviously, he’s correct (but if his tweet count is an indication, he’s overcome that particular problem).  Anyway, he’s not the idiot I’m referring to in the title.

That idiot is Anthony De Rosa, who describes himself as “Reuters columnist, social media editor, host of Reuters TV Tech Tonic.”  This is the kind of person who calls everyone who reads his twitter profile a “dummy,” so you know the kind of antagonistic-just-for-the-sake-of-being-a-dick-because-I’m-so-edgy-and-real-and-hardcore person we’re dealing with.  The kind I fully believe needs to be ignored.  The kind that responding to on Twitter becomes an exercise in self-aggravation because you’d need 100 tweets just to really flesh out all the arguments against him, and the average Twitter user has an attention span of 1 tweet.  Nevertheless, Dani Klein (someone I have never met in real life despite the fact that we apparently live in the same neighborhood; yay, social networking!) specifically asked for people to respond to De Rosa’s inflammatory tweet:

with this:

So because I don’t want to reduce my argument to a series of sure-to-be-ignored tweets that will get lost in the noise of @ replies he’s getting, I’d rather write it out in full, clearly, for a sure-t0-be-ignored blogpost.

Let’s break this down, bit by anti-Israel, hateful, purposely antagonistic, trolling bit:

If Iron Dome is so successful…

What does “so successful” mean?  The IDF posts daily recaps along the lines of this:

that show that while Iron Dome is extremely successful, it’s not nearly perfect.  So, De Rosa’s premise that implies that Israel’s defense system is working, so really Israel has nothing to be upset about, is flawed, because it’s simply not factual.  It’s actually flawed in another way, too.  Aside from the fact that despite Iron Dome, rockets are still hitting Israel by the dozen, daily, even if Iron Dome WAS perfect, the premise is flawed.  As one response tweeted, if a criminal fired a gun at an NYPD Officer who was wearing a vest, and the vest stopped the bullet and didn’t harm the officer (not fully accurate, but for the sake of the argument, go with it), would you ignore the attempt on the Officer because the defense worked so well?  Of course not.  And you certainly wouldn’t use body armor as an argument to defend the use of firearms by criminals (unless you were a dick and troll, like De Rosa).  “Hey, let all the criminals have guns and shoot indiscriminately at police officers without any sort of repercussions, because they have body armor, so they shouldn’t care.”  Sounds absurd in that context, no?  Well, it’s just as absurd in the rockets from Gaza context, too.

…what’s the purpose of killing so many in retaliation…

Here De Rosa lets his bias show through simply in his choice of language.  You see how he categorizes Israel’s action as retaliation?  He’s attempting to delegitimize the action.  If this is retaliation, then the otherwise ridiculous notion of proportionality and equality of casualty counts come into play.  “You harmed me X, I get to harm you back X, and anything more is unjustified and unfair.”  That’s the basic premise, in De Rosa’s warped thinking, of why Israel is wrong, and he’s shown it by calling it retaliation.  De Rosa wants you to think there should be a natural limit on what Israel can do.  Almost a one-for-one type thing.   (Which, by the way, even if true, is sick in the head).

But it’s NOT retaliation.  What Israel is doing isn’t “getting Hamas back.”  They are trying to destroy a terrorist infrastructure by destroying the rockets that are fired, the launchers that fire them, the warehouses that store them, the tunnels that smuggle them and the terrorists that plan the whole thing. The people that are targeted aren’t innocents, and they are usually not even low-level foot soldiers. Those guys die because they are inevitably near exploding rockets  and targeted infrastructure sites. The guys that are targeted assassinations are higher-level planners, and are as much a part of the terrorist infrastructure as the launchers and rockets.  But, of course, De Rose wilfully ignores this point, and calls the action “retaliation” in an effort to make Israel look like the evil actor here.

Of course, his question is his bias, too.  “What’s the purpose of killing so many?”  Well, killing people ISN’T the purpose, as evidenced by all the actions the IDF takes to avoid it.  Of course, those are ignored by media members like De Rosa (or worse, turned around and criminalized, and called “psychological warfare” and “indimidation” by Hamas and her mouthpieces like Reuters).  But when you frame the question like that, you ignore all that and demonize Israel.

…especially “human shield” casualties?

And here’s the capper.  See how he puts human shield in quotes?  As if every time Israel calls for the world to recognize that Hamas uses it’s civilians as human shields, it’s not really true, it’s just what Israel calls it.

But there’s a deeper, and even worse, implication here.  What De Rosa is suggesting is that Israel should allow Hamas to get away with using civilians as Human Shields!!  What Israel does to minimize unintended civilian deaths (which he, in the same breath, dismisses and ignores) isn’t enough.  Israel should stop the operation completely because there’s just no safe enough way to do it.  Think about it: De Rosa is blaming the death of human shields on the shooter and completely absolving the one who hides behind it!

Worse yet, if he had his way, and Israel called off its military because there’s no perfect way to preserve innocents, what message does that send to Hamas?  It basically tells them that his is a perfect strategy that should be continually employed to protect it’s terrorists and installations.  Keep firing rockets at Israel, you can’t be harmed if you put a child next to you!

Of course, to an Anti-Semite, Jew and Israel hater like De Rosa, that’s exactly the perfect solution.

2 responses to “Responding to Idiots on Twitter

  1. Great post. Though I must say I also enjoyed this succinct twitter reply: https://twitter.com/Mobi_WanKenobi/status/271257908375855104

  2. Excellent post!

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