Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Proportionate Response

Posted by Teresa at 9:18 AM
Here's a great blog posting from Michael Totten about those calling for a
"proportionate response" from Israel. A snippet:

The “disproportionate response” crowd doesn’t seem to mind
that Israel struck back at Hamas per se. They aren’t saying
Israel should only be allowed to negotiate with its enemies or
that any use of force whatsoever is wrong. They’re clearly saying
Israel should use less force, inflict less damage, or both.

One problem here is that it’s not at all clear how they think
Israelis should go about doing it. The weapons used by each
side can’t be the same. No one has ever said Israel ought to
put its superior weapons systems in cold storage until Hamas
can develop or purchase something similar. Presumably Israel
is allowed to use its superior technology as long as the casualty
count on each side is proportionate.

Has there ever been a time in Western civilization (or of all civilization, for that
matter) when a country has been asked only to defend itself proportionately?
To me that is an absolute recipe for endless war and no one coming out a winner.
If you are only killing the enemy in order get a "proportionate" body count than
he will just come back a few months later and attack again.

In the left side of the political aisle so much surrounds fairness in economics and
now it has seeped into moral assessments in war. I think one of the reasons why the
left may see Israel's action as immoral because they are richer and have a better
military than the Gazans. Thus, they view it as a rich country taking advantage
of a poor territory. Also with the left the rich country obviously has financial motives
in my mind when they attack, not the poor country. And I think the same logic goes
with the war in Iraq. However, when judging if an military action is immoral or moral
you must asses both sides intentions, goals, reasons, etc. Because with this type
of logic no military action Israel takes (or America for that matter) will ever be
"proportionate" enough or moral.
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