Monday, July 24, 2006

The Nonsense of Proportionality

"The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility." -- Admiral Sir John A. Fisher.

The current infatuation of the UN and much of the world with accusing Israel of violating the mythical rule of proportionality in warfare is part of the continuing attacks on Israel where it is held to a standard to which no other nation in the world is held. Indeed no other nation could long survive if it folowed these mythical stanards that the ret of the world blithely ignores - except of course, when they accuse Israel of violating them.

What is the proportinate response when an attacker hurls hundreds of missiles into your territory, all of them deliberately aimed at civillian targets? What is the porportionate response when an attacker crosses your border and kidnapps your soldiers, demanding that you release thousands of convicted criminals or terorist detainees in return for their release? Wouldn't you block roads, airports, and ports, knowing the intention of the kidnappers to move them out of the country? Would you not use as much force as necessary to end the conflict as quickly as possible and to bring security to your borders?

If the proportion of Hezballah is accepted, then for every Israeli killed in this conflict, 1000 Arabs should be killed. After all, Hezballah is arguing that each Israeli soldier os worth a thousand Arab terorrists. Obviously, Israel is clearly behind if this calculation is the correct proportionate response. With 37 Israelis killed and only 381 Lebanese (unfortunately including innocent Lebanese civillians but certainly this number includes a great many Hezballah members), clearly Israel has a lot of catching up to do to ensure its response is "proportionate".

Sadly for those who argue that Israel is disproportionate, it is not adopting the Hezballah calculation for 1000 Arbas for every Israeli. Instead Israel is trying to limit civilian casualties (while Hezballah is actively seeking to attack civillians) while attacking an enemy that hides among civilians and places its weapons and arsenals in mosques, hospitals, schools and private homes. The 'brave' guerrillas of Hezballah hide behind the skirts of their women and the toys of their children

Israel's response may not be "proportionate" but it is moral.

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