The first rule of Middle East Fight Club is... no matter what, you must Fight...
It seems obvious to us that the second Israeli invasion of Lebanon has commenced.
Two matters concern us. The first is the notion of "disproportionate response". This bit of feckless nincompoopery has been espoused by some who don't quite feel they have the cover to directly criticize Israel, so they are doing in indirectly. Of course the response is disproportionate. If it weren't, you'd have a mere tit-for-tat response - surely this is apparent and inarguable. Additionally, this notion of having a "proportional" response serves to defang the Israeli Defense Force, as they possess the clear battlefield advantage. What country would neuter it's actions against an avowed enemy in order to have "parity" in response?
Hizbollah is more than willing to engage in a calculated, morbid, dead pool kind of exchange with Israel. Why wouldn't they be? When it comes to a large number of Western voices, only Israel is expected to meet any moral obligation in it's conduct. Israel must take care to avoid civilian casualties, and bear the criticism when they inevitably result, despite the fact that their enemies not only deliberately target civilians for maximum casualties, but cowardly hide among them to exact both maxiumum deference from Israel, and maximum public relations gain when Israel does take aim at them.
Are critics serious when they espouse a "proportional" response? What was the proportional response to the killing of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife? What was the proportional response to 9/11? What was the proportional response to Pearl Harbor? Proportional response is what is advocated by those so fearful of war that they will do anything to prevent it.
Which lead us to the more serious issue. That issue is - there must be War. The West, crippled by grievous wars of the past, has inculcated the notion that war must be avoided, at any and all costs.
This is mistaken. The following phrase is axiomatic:
A bad peace is worse than war.
State this to those haranguing the Israeli response, and you'll likely see surprise and disbelief, as well as various attempts to argue the tired, bankrupt notion that indeed, war is the worst fate to befall mankind. Listen for a while, as they spill out enough rhetorical rope. For the gallows man will remind them - this nation, the United States, was founded by men who understood the inarguable truth at the core of that statement. Those who signed the Declaration of Independence both understood, and underwrote, that political truth. To these men, whose names are among the finest citizens democracy has known, living under English rule was indeed worse than war, a war to free themselves and establish self-rule. By the way, the greatest document ever written by man not inspired by God is indeed the Declaration. Read it if you have not lately, it will remind you why this nation exists and of the principles it should always stand for.
In Israel, and Lebanon, there was a bad peace. In fact, to call it peace is something of a misnomer, and it only qualifies under the notion that things could be more violent than they were. So, Israel sits across the border from a militant enemy, sworn to it's destruction, stockpiling weaponry and launching attacks. That is a bad peace. Living under threat, under tyranny, and under oppression, that is a bad peace. American blacks in 1860 were living under a bad peace. To argue that war is always the greater evil is to be willfully ignorant both of the history of man, of war, and of the nature of how their rights to espouse such nonsense came to be guaranteed by their Constitution.
War is not the end of all things. Nations that would call themselves good nations must ensure that in War, they seek just war. That means war to a just end. Relativists cannot understand this concept, but non-relativists can. Not all aims are just, justice is not a matter of perspective. Arguing that a war cannot be just, or unjust, is to argue that a tree can exist, or not, when it is in total an apparent fact - the tree is, or is not, there. Our evaluation is that Israel is pursing a just war, and executing a just war. Moreover, this war will come, be it willed by the compunctuous West or not - it's only a matter of when. If Israel does not defeat Hizbollah outright, then the bad peace will return, and when that bad peace finally erodes back into conflict, matters will be worse.
There is a season for all things. The season of war is upon us.Posted by MEC2 at July 21, 2006 12:18 AM