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Sound Familiar?
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mark Steyn:
But, when an army goes to war against a terrorist organization, it's like watching the Red Sox play Andre Agassi: Each side is being held to its own set of rules. When Hezbollah launches rockets into Israeli residential neighborhoods with the intention of killing random civilians, that's fine because, after all, they're terrorists and that's what terrorists do. But when, in the course of trying to resist the terrorists, Israel unintentionally kills civilians, that's an appalling act of savagery.
Yeah, after all, they're terrorists, what do you expect?

Oh, and it's "disproportionate" as well.
"Disproportion" is the concept of the moment. Do you know how to play? Let's say 150 missiles are lobbed at northern Israel from the Lebanese village of Qana and the Israelis respond with missiles of their own that kill 28 people. Whoa, man, that's way "disproportionate."
I won't belabor the points. I've been on them for a couple of weeks. But suffice it to say, I'm with Dale about his concerns that this is 1930 redux.
 
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So many Hitlers, not enough wars, eh? Look, Bush 41 advised in 1990 that dealing with Saddam was necessary, as Saddam was akin to Hitler. His son’s decision to take that particular tyrant out for good saw more Saddam-as-Hitler comparisons; but we’ve done that, and so the modern incarnation of The Fuhrer is now gone. Except he isn’t, because apparently there are an endless supply of Nazis, who are spotted whenever Muslims in the ME engage in acts of terror.

It is always 1938, and Munich is ever nigh.

That’s a great recipe for never-ending, and bankrupting warfare.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Well Mona Hitler is NEVER dead. He lives in any of us. If the Left/Libertarian view is that "Hitler was unique" then I’m afraid you’re wrong. It’s one of the many reasons that I am NOT a libertarian. I understand that Evil is resident in humans, combine that Origianl Sin with a Totalitarian Philosophy, be it Fascism, Nazism, Communism or Shiism and you will have sa recipe for Munichs and wars. Not everyone IS Hitler, Mugabe, Milosovic, Franco, but some people ARE...Just because EVERYONE’S not Hitler doesn’t mean that NO ONE is.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Hitlers?

This has nothing to do with Hitler. It has to do with terrorists being excused for being terrorists while a nation-state is held to a different standard ... and how that works to the advantage of the terrorist and, in a rational world, shouldn’t.

It’s also about not understanding the concept of proportionality.

However, in your case it seems its about understanding the post at all.

Hitlers?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Terrorism (n): Targeting civillians to pressure political change.

Guilty: Israel, Hamas, etc.
 
Written By: Nicolai Brown
URL: http://www.ameswire.com
Israel, really Nokolai....Be more specific please, an assertion is not the same thing as a fact.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I liked this post and Dale’s previous one on this subject, which seem pretty clear to me. For those here that hold the same view as Nicolai above, would you mind providing your definition of "targeting civilians"? I have trouble understanding your viewpoint and think it might be that you define it differently than others do. For me:

  • "Targeting civilians" means using weapons on non-combatants with the objective of killing those non-combatants.

  • It does not mean using weapons on military targets with the objective of destroying them and accidentally killing non-combatants in the process.

  • It does not mean using weapons on military targets, missing the target, and accidentally killing non-combatants.

  • It does not mean using weapons on military targets with the objective of destroying the target, with full knowledge that the enemy has purposefully put non-combatants in harm’s way, and then killing those non-combatants when destroying the target.

If you agree or disagree with some or all of these points, explaining that would help me and others better understand and appreciate your view. I think most people here have the same view I do, although there may be some differences which would also be interesting to think about.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Scout:

You, like McQ, suffer from black/white syndrome: Either Israel is deliberately targeting civilians (black) or it is completely blameless (white). The truth is in the middle: Israel is - in many cases - recklessly disregarding whether civilians are going to be killed.

From the Observer:

As international outrage over civilian deaths grows, the spotlight is increasingly turning on Israeli air operations. The Observer has learnt that one senior commander who has been involved in the air attacks in Lebanon has already raised concerns that some of the air force’s actions might be considered ’war crimes’.

Yonatan Shapiro, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot dismissed from reserve duty after signing a ’refusenik’ letter in 2004, said he had spoken with Israeli F-16 pilots in recent days and learnt that some had aborted missions because of concerns about the reliability of intelligence information. According to Shapiro, some pilots justified aborting missions out of ’common sense’ and in the context of the Israeli Defence Force’s moral code of conduct, which says every effort should be made to avoiding harming civilians.

Shapiro said: ’Some pilots told me they have shot at the side of targets because they’re afraid people will be there, and they don’t trust any more those who give them the coordinates and targets.’

He added: ’One pilot told me he was asked to hit a house on a hill, which was supposed to be a place from where Hizbollah was launching Katyusha missiles. But he was afraid civilians were in the house, so he shot next to the house ...

’Pilots are always being told they will be judged on results, but if the results are hundreds of dead civilians while Hizbollah is still able to fire all these rockets, then something is very wrong.’

So far none of the pilots has publicly refused to fly missions but some are wobbling, according to Shapiro. He said: ’Their target could be a house firing a cannon at Israel and it could be a house full of children, so it’s a real dilemma; it’s not black and white. But ... I’m calling on them to refuse, in order save our country from self-destruction.’

Meron Rappoport, a former editor at the Israeli daily Haaretz and military analyst, criticised the air force’s methods for selecting targets: ’The impression is that information is sometimes lacking. One squadron leader admitted the evidence used to determine attacks on cars is sometimes circumstantial - meaning that if people are in an area after Israeli forces warned them to leave, the assumption is that those left behind must be linked to Hizbollah ... This is problematic, as aid agencies have said many people did not leave ... because they could not, or it was unsafe to travel on the roads thanks to Israel’s aerial bombardment.’
Does the highlighted assumption mean that Israel is "targeting civillians"? Does giving orders based on faulty or poor intelligence that causes a pilot to hit an innocent house mean Israel is "targeting civilians"?

It kind of reminds me of that scene from Full Metal Jacket where the gunner on the helicopter is shooting randomly and yells the following:
Anybody who runs is a VC. Anybody who stands still is a well-disciplined VC.
So is Israel "targeting civilians"? Technically speaking, no. Does that mean it is without blame? Hardly. It is bombing with reckless disregard as to whether those who it is killing are innocent, non-combatants. In essence, it has a policy of kicking respnsbility down the chain of command - to the individual pilot or soldier. Almost mafia-like. "Just take care of the problem, I don’t care how you do it."

Such a policy enables Israel’s apologists to claim that Israel is not deliberately targeting civilians. And in a sense, that is true. But it is a meaningless statement, morally speaking. As I have said before, under this "logic," if I drive my car through a crowd of people, but I don’t want to hurt any of them, then I am not deliberating targeting anyone. But if I end up killing 10 people, then I have still committed an immoral act, I have still committed a crime, notwithstanding that I wasn’t deliberately targeting anyone.

And then we get this bit of disingenious tripe from - no suprise - Steyn:
But, when an army goes to war against a terrorist organization, it’s like watching the Red Sox play Andre Agassi: Each side is being held to its own set of rules. When Hezbollah launches rockets into Israeli residential neighborhoods with the intention of killing random civilians, that’s fine because, after all, they’re terrorists and that’s what terrorists do. But when, in the course of trying to resist the terrorists, Israel unintentionally kills civilians, that’s an appalling act of savagery.
Who says what Hezbollah is doing is "fine." Name one serious, prominent Israeli critic who says what Israel is doing is "fine." What a load of crap. This is of course the same kind of attitude that some in the United States have used to justify torture. "The terrorists torture, so why can’t we"?

Of course, if you don’t know the correct answer to that question, there is no reasoning with you.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
You, like McQ, suffer from black/white syndrome:
I always love it when MK says things like this. It usually means precisely the oppostite is true or he’s projecting again.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well, I’ve seen enough leftist rhetoric to tell when they’re trying to force something to be accepted as the standard "narrative". In this case, it’s "both sides kill civilians, therefore both sides are equally culpable".

It doesn’t really matter if it’s stated baldly (Nicolai Brown), or with various nonsensical "justifications" such as:
Such a policy enables Israel’s apologists to claim that Israel is not deliberately targeting civilians. And in a sense, that is true. But it is a meaningless statement, morally speaking. As I have said before, under this "logic," if I drive my car through a crowd of people, but I don’t want to hurt any of them, then I am not deliberating targeting anyone. But if I end up killing 10 people, then I have still committed an immoral act, I have still committed a crime, notwithstanding that I wasn’t deliberately targeting anyone.
The difference between a provoked act and a deliberate act of negligence is completely beside the point, of course, because it interferes with the narrative.

I’ve now spotted this attempted meme in comments on four different blogs (including appearances such as "Blewyn" on this QandO thread), and in several articles and blog posts. It appears that the left has now agreed on their narrative. They want it to become the "Bush lied, people died" of this year. Whether or not it bears any resemblance to reality is completely beside the point for them.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
It is bombing with reckless disregard as to whether those who it is killing are innocent, non-combatants.
Were it reckless disregard, MK, the body count would be a lot higher. And the sorties used to drop leaflets would be dropping high explosive instead.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
In this case, it’s "both sides kill civilians, therefore both sides are equally culpable".
Of course, I have said the opposite. What Hezbollah is doing is worse. But that does not mean Israel is acting morally or legally. Why is those so hard to understand?

I suppose it is because there are many on the right who are seemingly incapable of understanding nuance. Almost 6 years of Bush will do that to you. Incapable of understanding that the crimes of a terrorist organization do not necessarily justify all actions of a nation state responding to said organization. I certainly wouldn’t expect Billy to understand.

The funniest part of Billy’s post is that one of the "lefties" noted in an article he links to - a meme carrier, if you will - is none other than that pinko-commie Pope Benedict.
The difference between a provoked act and a deliberate act of negligence is completely beside the point, of course, because it interferes with the narrative.


Wow. I have heard a lot of BS from Israel-is-never-wrong crowd, but I have yet to hear of a "deliberate act of negligence."

A deliberate act of negligence? That’s kind of like a purposeful accident. Oh Billy. Stick with your BDS obsession. Your a little out of your league here.

And whether Israel was provoked or not is really beside the point. I don’t remember reading the law of war that says it open season on women and children as long as the nation in question was "provoked." Why don’t you cite it for me?

TIA.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Who says what Hezbollah is doing is "fine."
You for instance.

Or at least your silence on that issue while you tirelessly criticize Israel under the disproven canard of "our tax money only going to them" stands as your tacit approval of the issue.

Otherwise show disapproval right now MKKK. Are you capable of writing a sentance showing that you feel Hezbollah is wrong WITHOUT throwing in a "but"???
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Were it reckless disregard, MK, the body count would be a lot higher. And the sorties used to drop leaflets would be dropping high explosive instead
I see. So how high does it have to be? So if Israel kills six or seven hundred civilians with reckless disregard to whether they are innocent, they are not acting with reckless disregard, because they have killed only six or seven hundred.

Interesting argument. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client is not guilty of manslaughter in the deaths of the 10 people he killed, because if he was really acting with reckless disregard as to the value of their lives, he would have killed ten times more!"

Or how about this one:

"I wasn’t trying to hurt that b*tch. If I was, I really would have f*ck*d her up."

Wow.
You for instance.

Or at least your silence on that issue while you tirelessly criticize Israel under the disproven canard of "our tax money only going to them" stands as your tacit approval of the issue.

Otherwise show disapproval right now MKKK. Are you capable of writing a sentance showing that you feel Hezbollah is wrong WITHOUT throwing in a "but"???
Tell you what, I will the minute one of the familiar Israeli apologoists here admits that what Israel is doing is immoral and criminal. Unlike you, Shark, I am capable of holding the view that each side has some culpability in this fight, even if Hezbollah has more.

Black and white, Shark, black and white.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
LMFAO, thanks for answering my question. I mean, I always knew the answer but it’s GREAT that you put it out there for all to see and know you by.

Appreciate it MKKK.....thanks pal.
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Wow. I have heard a lot of BS from Israel-is-never-wrong crowd, but I have yet to hear of a "deliberate act of negligence."

A deliberate act of negligence? That’s kind of like a purposeful accident. Oh Billy. Stick with your BDS obsession. Your a little out of your league here.
As usual, mkultra is completely clueless.

Billy Hollis’s analogy had Israel acting with provocation and you driving your car through a crowd of people as a deliberate act of negligence.

But you took it 180º out of phase.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Don’t worry, Steverino. mk was just trying for another one of those famous rhetorical "gotchas" that substitute for facts or rational argument. His incessant pressure to find those substitutes often leads to over-reach.

So the idea that you would do something deliberately, yet the act could nevertheless include a negligent outcome, never came to his mind. He merely saw something that looked superficially like a faux pas, so he pounced on it without thinking.

Par for the course. mk is mk, and serves a useful purpose on this discussion forum - that of displaying a consistent example of how nonsensical leftists can be. I hope he never leaves.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
mkultra,

I appreciate your response. I’m not sure why you assumed to ascribe the black/white view of blame to me, it’s possible I wasn’t clear in my explanation. You’re obviously passionate about your views, to your credit, which is why I wanted a better understanding of your position. I wasn’t discussing blame, I was trying to better understand the phrase "targeting civilians". It appeared that it was being defined different ways in the debate.
Either Israel is deliberately targeting civilians (black) or it is completely blameless (white).
You’ve hit on what I see as the semantic problem in this debate. Consider my view, that there are two separate ideas in your statement:

  1. Either Israel is deliberately targeting civilians or not deliberately targeting civilians.

  2. Either Israel is blameless, completely responsible, or somewhere in between.
I factored out the issue of blame because it is closer to what the actual debate is about. (The actual debate is about morality.) The phrase being used, however, is "targeting civilians". With potentially differing definitions of that phrase, real debate is confusing. I’m still not quite sure what your definition is but I now have a better idea.

I agree with you that once blame is considered, it becomes a gray issue. I’m defining blame as "fault", or "to have caused to be in a negative way". To me there is no doubt that if an Israeli-fired weapon kills a non-combatant, Israel represents some portion of the gray. It’s completely logical because Israel fired the weapon, the weapon killed a non-combatant, a dead non-combatant is negative — Israel has some blame. What we’re all debating, really, is the amount of blame each side has in mixing the gray, and then viewing that through the lens of morality.

Let me provide the simplest example of "targeting civilians" I can think of: "There is a non-combatant. Kill him."
One squadron leader admitted the evidence used to determine attacks on cars is sometimes circumstantial - meaning that if people are in an area after Israeli forces warned them to leave, the assumption is that those left behind must be linked to Hizbollah ...
Does the highlighted assumption mean that Israel is "targeting civillians"?
This, I think, is your strongest point. No, it does not mean that Israel is targeting civilians. Yes, it does mean that Israel has blame in the death of non-combatants in these instances. I think this is strongest of your examples because Israel appears to have the largest component of blame versus other examples.
Does giving orders based on faulty or poor intelligence that causes a pilot to hit an innocent house mean Israel is "targeting civilians"?
No, Israel is not targeting civilians in this instance. They are targeting a house that faulty intelligence says is a legitimate target. If the intelligence said that the house was innocent, it would not be targeted. However, Israel does have blame in the deaths of the non-combatants in the innocent house.
So is Israel "targeting civilians"? Technically speaking, no. Does that mean it is without blame? Hardly.
Here is where we agree. Separating the two issues makes it clearer.
It is bombing with reckless disregard as to whether those who it is killing are innocent, non-combatants.
You’ve inserted some hyperbole here that I assume is caused by your passion over the issue. They are bombing with complete regard to non-combatants. However, knowing that non-combatants will be killed by attacking a legitimate target does not necessarily mean that attacking the target is immoral (this is the essence of this debate). It does mean Israel shares blame for the deaths. It does not mean Israel targeted civilians.

In your quoted example, specifically about bombing cars and the assumption leading that, I have no trouble seeing immorality in the act as described. It may or may not be a reasonable assumption at the beginning that everyone in the area is a combatant, but once it is known that the assumption is false, I believe there is a moral obligation to revisit the assumption. So we agree there. I will hold that if a weapon is seen fired from a specific car, that car becomes a legitimate target. And I hold that if Israel stopped bombing cars altogether as a result of revisiting their assumption, and Hezbollah began using cars to move weapons and material knowing they wouldn’t be bombed, then the legitimacy of bombing cars becomes a gray area that requires more information and thought. Other circumstances surrounding this issue could also gray the area.
Such a policy enables Israel’s apologists to claim that Israel is not deliberately targeting civilians. And in a sense, that is true. But it is a meaningless statement, morally speaking. As I have said before, under this "logic," if I drive my car through a crowd of people, but I don’t want to hurt any of them, then I am not deliberating targeting anyone. But if I end up killing 10 people, then I have still committed an immoral act, I have still committed a crime, notwithstanding that I wasn’t deliberately targeting anyone.
I may need you to explain this further, as I don’t understand it’s relation to the issue. Your car scenario is correct as you’ve outlined it. But if someone in the center of the crowd is lobbing grenades into another crowd and killing them, and you drive your car directly at that person with the intention of killing him to make him stop, and you also kill innocents in the crowd, then the immorality of the act is no longer black and white.

The debate is really about morality, as you’ve shown. Israel is not "targeting civilians". They are not saying, "There is a non-combatant. Kill him." But Hezbollah is. The immorality of this act is great. Thus, for each specific event, I and others begin with Israel having less blame and Hezbollah having more, then adjust our views according to the event.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
It is always 1938, and Munich is ever nigh.
Except for the anti-war contingent. Then, it’s always 1968, and Vietnam is ever nigh.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Billy Hollis’s analogy had Israel acting with provocation and you driving your car through a crowd of people as a deliberate act of negligence.
Enough now. Words have meaning, you know.

There is no such animal as a deliberate act of negligence. It is a legal and logical impossibility. One cannot be deliberately negligent.
So the idea that you would do something deliberately, yet the act could nevertheless include a negligent outcome, never came to his mind
It never came to my mind because it is impossible. One is negligent when one has a duty to engage or to refrain some certain conduct and one fails to do so not because of intentional or deliberate conduct, but because of a lack of deliberate or intentional conduct. Indeed, negligent conduct is associated with unthinking or nondeliberate conduct. If I read end your car because of my inattention, i.e., my negligence, my insurance pays you. If I do it deliberately, I go to jail.

Can I give you a more simple example? Do you need one?

What you are talking about, Billy, is recklessness. Recklesness is engaging in conduct being aware of the risk of harm, but deliberately ignoring the risk. At some point the risk becomes so manifest, so likely, we cross the line into knowing conduct.

And no, I am not jumping on a faux pax. Imprecise or incorrect use of language, prticularly legal language, evidences muddy thinking. Poor reasoning. Illogical thinking. That is why I call it to your attention. Because I think that is the problem, not some innocent misuse of the language.

And you have yet to address the substantive point or take a position. Do you think that Israel is engaging in behavior that is morally indefensible? That’s the debate here. If not, why not? We all agree that Hezbollah is. But what about Israel? If it kills civillians who refuse to evacuate a specific village, is that morally defenisble? Are you prepared to offer more than snark and BDS ramblings?

I’m going to guess no. But you might surprise me yet. Are you capable of actually stepping up to the plate and explaining your position?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I agree with you that once blame is considered, it becomes a gray issue. I’m defining blame as "fault", or "to have caused to be in a negative way". To me there is no doubt that if an Israeli-fired weapon kills a non-combatant, Israel represents some portion of the gray. It’s completely logical because Israel fired the weapon, the weapon killed a non-combatant, a dead non-combatant is negative — Israel has some blame. What we’re all debating, really, is the amount of blame each side has in mixing the gray, and then viewing that through the lens of morality.
Actually, many are not debating that point at all. There is a sizeable contingent that believes that Israel has the legal justification to kill civilians because they are either (a) being used as shields; (b) enabling Hezbollah because they are not actively trying to kill Hezbollah, or (c) are not leaving the areas where Hezbollah exists.

Indeed, I wish we were debating that question. But there are many who comment here who believe that Israel is literally incapable of doing anything morally wrong. My goal is simply to get them to admit that there is a debate to which you refer.
You’ve inserted some hyperbole here that I assume is caused by your passion over the issue. They are bombing with complete regard to non-combatants. However, knowing that non-combatants will be killed by attacking a legitimate target does not necessarily mean that attacking the target is immoral (this is the essence of this debate). It does mean Israel shares blame for the deaths. It does not mean Israel targeted civilians.
But that’s the question. What is a legitimate target? What makes it legitimate? And who gets to decide that? That is the problem here. My point is that if there really is evidence that some Israeli pilots are refusing to hit targets because they don’t know whether they are "legitimate," then we have a problem. Indeed, that means there are probably many more pilots hitting similar targets who don’t have the same qualms.
The debate is really about morality, as you’ve shown. Israel is not "targeting civilians". They are not saying, "There is a non-combatant. Kill him." But Hezbollah is. The immorality of this act is great. Thus, for each specific event, I and others begin with Israel having less blame and Hezbollah having more, then adjust our views according to the event.
You and others? You walk alone among those on the right, my friend, at least on this blog. You walk alone. The Israeli apologists who comment here will never admit Israel is capable of anything immoral. They will make snarky remarks, and question your sanity and blah blah blah. But the idea that will actually look at facts and adjust their views accordingly, well, that is a fools’ notion.

Indeed, these are the same people for the last threee years who have been saying how great things are going in Iraq. So what do you expect?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Except for the anti-war contingent. Then, it’s always 1968, and Vietnam is ever nigh.
Actually, for the American voter, it is 1998, impeachment is Iraq, and they understand that the Iraq war was a mistake.

Americans understand the Iraq war was a mistake. They know that we need to get out within the next year. They get it. Only those such as Billy do not.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mkultra, thanks for the clarifications. After this, I realize your position is different from mine but not as far away as I first believed. I am a moral absolutist but recognize that on the universal scale of good and evil, many individual actions can be endlessly debated as to where they fall on the scale. Do you identify yourself as an absolutist or relativist? Since you’re open to debating the morality of certain actions it doesn’t seem that you are an extreme relativist, which is one of the stereotypes of those on the Left.

A few thoughts:
Indeed, I wish we were debating that question. But there are many who comment here who believe that Israel is literally incapable of doing anything morally wrong. My goal is simply to get them to admit that there is a debate to which you refer.
I see what you’re driving at. While there are likely those who have that belief, I submit that most do have an internal debate on Israeli actions. It’s just that they find Hezbollah’s targeting of Israeli civilians and using Lebanese civilians as human shields so greatly immoral that they side with Israel in nearly every case. Nothing Israel has done to date rises to the depravaty level they have internally required for Israel to be more immoral than Hezbollah.

I believe that if Israel began a scorched earth campaign and stated its intent was to kill every citizen of Lebanon, most Israel supporters would condemn them. (And yes, some minority of supporters would support even that action.)

I personally find that Hezbollah’s use of innocents greatly skews my opinion against them, and I have no problem putting them on the evil half of the moral absolutist scale. I am in the group that believes that as long as Israel is attacking legitimate targets, does not target non-combatants, does not lose moral perspective on killing non-combatants, and is defending itself rather than exacting revenge, they are behaving in a morally justified fashion even if non-combatants are killed.
What is a legitimate target? What makes it legitimate? And who gets to decide that? That is the problem here.
A good point worthy of discussion and important to the debate. Hopefully Israel is debating this to keep themselves on the side of morality, because Hezbollah certainly is not. I always have to defer target legitimacy questions to those more versed in military matters. I can usually then make a personal morality judgement once I understand the military value.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Do you think that Israel is engaging in behavior that is morally indefensible?
No.
Those who support them, or who suggest a moral equivalency between terrorists who target civilians and soldiers who defend civilians, are morally obtuse—or worse.
I realize that when people die, those of you on the left can’t see beyond that. The sheer horror of it grabs your attention and fogs your thinking. The left has never been very good at long term analysis and this is a great example of it. You see the immediate, and jump to unwarranted conclusions.

Many, many people have explained this to you and others, mk, and there’s no hope that you’ll ever get it, because that angst you feel over death, and the indoctrination of the leftist media and the resulting glorification of the "downtrodden" terrorists, apparently prevents you from looking at the problem any more deeply. But for those who are not as far gone as you, I’ll try to restate it in very simple terms.

Israel lives every day knowing it has implacable enemies that are devoted to its complete destruction. It has tried land-for-peace, and a wide variety of other "peace plans" that have been foisted on it. It treats its Arab population reasonably well.

It fights when it must, but anyone who has studied war (which I’m pretty sure you have not) or even dealt with a schoolyard bully understands that when you fight, you must fight to win. Fighting half-heartedly is worse than useless - it virtually guarantees future defeat. But, even so, Israel does not target civilians except as a undesirable and unfortunate side effect of their military actions.

If they never targeted civilians, that would be the same as declaring defeat. The terrorists would simply make sure that they were always protected by a civilian contingent.

But it doesn’t start fights, and is content to simply exist as long as its enemies will leave it alone, which they won’t.

Contrast that to the terrorist contingent. They start the fights. There is no outcome they are satisfied with except Israel’s destruction. They intentionally, repeatedly, maliciously target civilians. They don’t kill that many simply because they don’t have the means. If they had the means they would wipe every Israeli civilian in existence off the face of the earth.

The renege on every deal every reached. They manipulate the press unrelentingly to make themselves look better than they are, and their willing accomplices in the press allow that manipulation while holding Israel to a much higher and more cynical standard. And people like you are taken in by them, because you want to believe that those poor downtrodden terrorists are not really than bad, and BushCo’s allies the Israelis must, by definition, be reprehensible simply because they are Bush’s allies. (You can insert your snide comments about my supposed BDS obsession, but you refused the challenge I made about that, as I knew you would because you are afraid to attempt any defense beyond lawyerly nit-picking by going into substantive debate. Therefore I generally ignore your BDS blatherings, because you have zero credibility there, as virtually everyone on this forum knows.)

The quote above by Alan Dershowitz (a liberal, by the way) is his conclusion, and it’s hard for me to do better. Seeing these two parties, and believing that they are more-or-less equivalent, it morally obtuse. Israel makes mistakes, and no doubt regrets them. And they take actions they wish they didn’t have to take, because they no doubt know that those actions will lead to undesirable civilian deaths. But those mistakes and actions do not make Israel morally reprehesible - it makes them human. You expect perfection from them, but don’t insist on the same standard from the terrorists - a double standard for which the term "morally obtuse" is perfect.

In essence, you expect Israel to stick to your shining, perfect standard even if it means their destruction. And that is beyond morally obtuse. It is sick.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
The "shades of grey" fallacy is the new "black and white" fallacy. There’s just the three states: White, Black, and Grey. Except that there’s no "Black" and there’s no "White", and all shades of "Grey" are the same. So there’s actually just one.

Maybe both Israel and Hezbollah are both grey. But one side is a slightly stained mostly-white, and the other is almost-featureless black, with light touches of charity-light-grey.

Remarkably, the recent peddlers of the "all shades of grey are the same" argument have actually managed to find a position even more intellectually bankrupt than the two-state "black and white", the previous golden standard of weak thinking, collapsing the entire argument into a one-state "grey". Best of all, they get to think they are sophisticated and "with it", and even have the audacity to accuse some people of using "Black and White"-two-state arguments, which are still be an improvement over the one-state arguments they are making! (And I question someone seriously using a "one-state" argument’s ability to identify two-state thinking.)
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
Anonymous, I’m not sure if you were referring to my comments above since I was discussing "grayness" with mkultra, but in case you were I wanted to point out that I agree with you on this:
Maybe both Israel and Hezbollah are both grey. But one side is a slightly stained mostly-white, and the other is almost-featureless black, with light touches of charity-light-grey.
I said this out near the end of my last comment, perhaps not clearly enough.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Maybe both Israel and Hezbollah are both grey. But one side is a slightly stained mostly-white, and the other is almost-featureless black, with light touches of charity-light-grey.
But that’s not how today’s fashionable liberal (MK) is ever going to see it.

Ponder the following scenarios in which one side says to itself "Hey, man - all this violence is harshing my mellow. It doesn’t matter who started it, or who’s right or wrong. We’re going to stop fighting. If we’re attacked, we’re not going to respond." So there are two hypothetical possibilities:

1. Isreal declares unilateral cease-fire and withdraws troops. Does Hezbollah continue rocket attacks into Israel? Bet your *ss. Plus they follow it up with suicide-bombers in pizza parlors and machine-gun a few day-care centers.

2. Hezbollah declares unilateral cease-fire (shark pees himself in laughter). Does Israel continue attacks into Lebanon? No - they go on with their lives as they always have in the past when not actively being attacked.

That’s your difference, MK. Good guys and bad guys. To spell it out for you, Hezbollah, and all the rest of the jihadist Muslim filthy savages are the bad guys.

Of course, it’s not nuanced, but the Overhand Right of Common Sense never is.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://

 
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