Saturday, July 29, 2006

Moral equivalence

One of my co-workers is quite upset about the whole Lebanon thing and keeps drawing my attention to articles and editorials calling for Bush and Blair to call for an Israeli ceasefire.

I shrug. I don't engage. She was complaining yesterday about a story that US planes carrying bombs to Israel and stopping to refuel in Britain. What did I think of the US re-arming Israel?

I shrug. Well, Syria and Iran are rearming Hezbollah - I say, drawing some kind of moral equivalence.

Of course, I don't think there's any kind of moral equivalence. Israel is a recognised (by most), democratic state defending itself against terrorist agression.

Do I think Israel is over-doing it? Yes. Do I think Bush is egging them on in some kind of proxy war with Syria and Iran? Yes.

But so long as Israel is besieged by death-cult Islamists like Hezbollah or Hamas, I'm not going to criticize. The Lebanese government (which includes members of Hezbollah) is weak and has allowed a terror state within a state to continue and flourish. I don't think the massive bombing of all of Lebanon is the right way to deal with it, but I'm not sure what is.
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2 comments:

Sam said...

Bombing basements full of children in Belfast and Derry wasn't the answer in Northern Ireland, so I'm guessing that such a policy isn't such a good idea in Lebanon either. Of course, with a real, honest-to-God Northern Irishman in your household, I may be speaking out of turn.

Hezbollah is such a complicated entity to try to come to terms with. It's salved much hurt in Lebanon, but inflicted an enormous amount of pain in Israel, too.

The hand-wringing about this new war is, of course, over the disproportionate response. If I shoot a pistol through your living room window, is it proportional or morally equivalent to burn my apartment building to the cround?

Well, if you're the IDF then yes...yes, that is a proportional response. But the reality is that the way Israel has created a tolerable amity with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon, is through diplomacy and relative restraint. It's worked before, it can work again. If only the region had an honest broker to work with, like a James Baker or Warren Christopher. But what do I know...I'm from Texas.

Vol Abroad said...

Well, I don't know about burning an apartment block with lots of other people, but burning out your house might be an equivalent.

And as for the good Hezbollah do see this post