Thursday, January 08, 2009

Moral Equivalence

With the predictability of a daily sunrise the bulk if the world's media outlets continue to trumpet the immorality of Israeli military operations in the Gaza strip citing the horrific suffering of an "innocent" civilian population. These assertions bear closer scrutiny.

RESIDENTS at certain addresses in the Gaza Strip have been receiving unusual phone calls since the Israeli air assault began on Saturday -- a request that they and their families leave their homes as soon as possible for their own safety.

More unusual than the recorded message is the Arabic-speaking caller, who identifies himself as being from the Israeli defence forces.

Dipping into their bag of tricks for the updated Gaza telephone numbers, Israel's intelligence services are warning Palestinian civilians in Gaza living close to Hamas facilities that they may be hurt unless they distance themselves from those targets.

In some cases, the warning comes not by telephone but from leaflets dropped from aircraft on selected districts [or via text messages to cell phones].

Such warnings clearly eliminate the element of surprise, but for Israel it is of cardinal importance to minimise civilian casualties, and not just for humanitarian reasons.

Contrast these data with the scene observed in the above video. Clearly, these are not isolated events. They are however, unlikely to dissuade many who are predisposed to condemn Israel for disregarding the plight of the "innocent Arab population" a majority of which incidentally voted for candidates affiliated with HAMAS, a terrorist organization whose charter explicitly commits it to the murder of all Jews:
Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant states the following: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.

So long as the myth prevails that a foe who is committed to your death can be negotiated with, the bloodletting will recur with boring predictability.



Rose said...

I've been trying to figure out how many rockets you could lob into an American city, how many schools you could bomb, how many people you could kill or maim, before the American public would wake up and demand action, would demand retaliation, and set about putting a stop to the attacks.

sadly, we may be at a point where it would take alot.

But the Israeli's, in deference to us, I think, have suffered thousands and thousands of attacks, and have acted with great restraint.

They can't afford to continue to exercise that restraint. Their window of opportunity is narrowing - 12 days now.

I hope they take out Iran's nuclear facilities before they are forced to quit.

The rest of the world knows it has to be done. they just won't do it themselves.

Kritisk tänkare said...

However intermittently critical of Israel (the Pollard affair, arms sales to China etc), I've
never hesitated about the right of Israel as a sovereign nation, and as a member of the UN, to retaliate against terrorists attacking from a neighbor state.

By the way, I defended Turkey's right to go after the PKK gerilla inside Iraq, because the Iraqi government was unable to stop the PKK from attacking Turkey from Iraqi territory. A nationalist must defend the right of every state to defend itself. Period.

Of course criticism is in order if a state defending itself breaks international law, but occasional transgressions can't be used as an alibi to condemn the state's legitimate actions in self-defense.

Surely the allies in the second world war committed horrendous war crimes, for instance fire bombings of German and Japanese cities, but the war itself against Nazi tyranny and imperialism was legitimate.

Conclusion: war is no picnic.

Anonymous said...

Since when did war become this sanitized, harmless thing where only materiale and possibly the occasional (really, really) bad guy gets killed?

Didn't we firebomb Dresden and Tokyo in WWII? Wasn't that deemed "necessary" in order to win the war (and subsequently, defend ourselves as a nation and people)?

War is ugly. War is cessation of all diplomacy. If politics is still involved, you are not prepared for war. Vietnam, and subsequently, our occupation of Iraq, have proven that war must be the two do not and can not go hand-in-hand.

War means killing. War means people dying. War is awful; yet, so long as there are people willing to wage it against you, you must be prepared to wage it back, tenfold. Proportionate responses lead to bloody knife fights. Disproportionate responses lead to you pulling a pistol when your enemy pulls his knife. It might not be fair, but in the end, you win.

HAMAS pulled a knife. Israel pulled a gun. They are being ridiculed for their "disproportionate" response, but they will win, as long as they are allowed.

That war has become so sanitized that no one can stomach the fact that bad things happen to innocent people is just further proof that we need to do something about the violence inherent int eh Middle East, and start witht he culprits:

HAMAS, Hazbollah, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban should see their last days soon, if we are so adverse to war. Otherwise, it will come on it's own timeline, and when it comes, it will come BIG TIME.

Anonymous said...

Third paragraph, last sentence, should read:

"Vietnam, and subsequently, our occupation of Iraq, have proven that war must be the FAILURE of all dimplomacy; the two do not and can not go hand-in-hand.

Kritisk tänkare said...

War crime tribunals are demoralizing to the younger generation, because they remind us of the hypocrisy of not indicting all war criminals.

Either we do away with all Geneva conventions and laws of war, or start indicting even the heads of state of the victorious side in a war. If they commit crimes like Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Should we not have tried the Nazi leaders? Maybe not. Instead we (the allies) should have just shot them or hanged them without any pretense of rule of law, and left the telling of their horrendously cruel crimes to the professional historians.