Sunday, July 23, 2006

lebanon israelProportionality seems to be the neocons' new four-letter word when it comes to the recent military action in Lebanon. The grounds for this incessant shrieking is that Israel has a right to defense and only through a swift, decisive military campaign will the Israelis be able to regain the fear of surrounding Arab States and avoid conflict of this size in the future.

That kind of talk is designed to sound pretty but to arrive at the truth of the situation some number-crunching is in order: 500,000 civilians are currently displaced in Lebanon, on the Israeli side 27 have been killed by Hezbollah seven of which were soldiers with 300 civilians and 60 soldiers wounded, on the other side Israel killed at least 271 and wounded 711 Lebanese civilians. And now Israel is amassing troops on the Lebanese border, aided by a fresh parcel of bombs from the U.S.

Let's for a second use one of the right's favorite analogies and compare Hezbollah, Hamas and their ilk to a disease. Doctors try and prescribe the least evasive treatment possible to their patients, flushing the virus from the body and sparing the immune system. What good can come from amputating a leg to rid the body of an infected toe?

As for the use of "overwhelming force" this isn't anything Israel hasn't already tried. But what if Israel, a nation more heavily armed than all of Europe, defended herself to the point of extinguishing Hezbollah. I'll do you one better, what if Israel eviscerates Hamas, the PLO and every other Palestinian aggressor out there? This would make little difference. There will be new terror groups to take their places, coiled and ready. If defense was truly her chiefest worry then she would attempt to quell the hatred that dwells in the majority of Arabs toward her, and a good place to start is by adhering to the basic tenets of warfare, namely proportionality.

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