Wanted: NY Times reporters; degree in stupid required

The New York Times periodically pops up with articles in which its perplexed employees report that the incarceration rate in the US is up but, for reasons they cannot fathom, crime is down. Life is so difficult if you’re absolutely certain that “A” and “B” can’t possibly be related or, even worse, that “A” can’t possibly have a causal relationship to “B.” Incomprehensible causality is again on display at the NYT, this time with regard to Israel:

Suicide bombings in Israel have dropped off so significantly that the nation’s security officials now dare to speak openly of success. But the very steps they are taking to thwart bombers appear to collide head-on with the government’s agenda of achieving peace with the Palestinians.

The separation barrier along the West Bank has drawn international criticism. Israeli security officials say it has proved helpful.

It is a classic military-political dilemma. The progress in stopping suicide bombers, the vast majority of whom cross into Israel from the West Bank, has brought enough quiet for Israel to resume peace talks with the Palestinian leadership there.

But the current calm is fragile, and to maintain it Israeli security officials say they must continue their nightly arrests and sometimes deadly raids in the heart of the West Bank — tactics at odds with a peace effort that envisions a separate Palestinian state, an eventual Israeli withdrawal from much of the West Bank and, in the meantime, a gradual transfer of authority to the Palestinian police.

“The price of staying out” of the West Bank, said one senior Israeli military official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of military restrictions, “might be one that we don’t want to pay.”

The military’s faith in its efforts comes across in its charts showing a steep decline in suicide bombings — from a high of 59 in 2002 to only one in 2007, and one so far this year.

The poor reporter seems so bewildered.  Why is it that Israel, having finally stemmed the horrible attacks on her children, is loath to enter into negotiations with Palestinians, negotiations that invariably followed a set pattern:  (1) Palestinians killed Israelis; (2) Israelis gave lots of money and/or land and/or freed dozens or hundreds of suicide bombers, while getting nothing in return; and (3) Palestinians, flush with the success of their tactics, killed more Israelis.

I get the feeling that the Times‘ reporter saw nothing wrong with that decades old status quo and thinks it unconscionable that Israeli is changing the terms, so that the Palestinians’ sole negotiating tactic isn’t simply ever more dead Israelis.