Battlepanda: Proportionality? What are you, a bigot?


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Proportionality? What are you, a bigot?

Richard Cohen wonders if those who don't think Israel should flatten the country of Lebanon in retaliation for two soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah might be hiding something:
The dire consequences of proportionality are so clear that it makes you wonder if it is a fig leaf for anti-Israel sentiment in general. Anyone who knows anything about the Middle East knows that proportionality is madness. For Israel, a small country within reach, as we are finding out, of a missile launched from any enemy's back yard, proportionality is not only inapplicable, it is suicide. The last thing it needs is a war of attrition. It is not good enough to take out this or that missile battery. It is necessary to reestablish deterrence: You slap me, I will punch out your lights.
As John pointed out in derision, it's the same approach that worked wonders in Iraq, right?
The only way to ensure that babies don't die in their cribs and old people in the streets is to make the Lebanese or the Palestinians understand that if they, no matter how reluctantly, host those rockets, they will pay a very, very steep price.
Nice. Israeli babies die in their cribs, but the Lebanese merely "pay a steep price." Kind of like how those who cancel their holiday plans at the last minute gets their deposit taken.

But wait! Cohen saves the best for last. Here he is, airily rationalizing away the injustice suffered by the Palestinians...
Israel is, as I have often said, unfortunately located, gentrifying a pretty badneighborhood. But the world is full of dislocated peoples, and we ourselves livein a country where the Indians were pushed out of the way so that -- oh, what irony! -- the owners of slaves could spread liberty and democracy from sea to shining sea. As for Europe, who today cries for the Greeks of Anatolia or the Germans of Bohemia?

Who indeed! I guess history is just all water under the bridge for Cohen, right?
These calls for proportionality rankle. They fall on my ears not as genteel expressions of fairness, some ditsy Marquess of Queensberry idea of war, but as ugly sentiments pregnant with antipathy toward the only democratic state in the Middle East. After the Holocaust, after 1,000 years of mayhem and murder, the only proportionality that counts is zero for zero. If Israel's enemies want that, they can have it in a moment.
That's right. Your eyes doth not decieve you. A mere two sentences after he suggested that the Palestinians should just get over being kicked out of their homes already (a sentiment I'm somewhat sympathetic to), Richard Cohen had the temerity to drop the H bomb. Not to mention the 1000 year of oppression the Jews suffered at the hand of (mainly) the Christians. Remind me again, how does this relate to Israel's right to turn the clocks back 20 years in Lebanon? I just don't see it. Maybe I should just STFU if I don't want Richard Cohen to think that I'm an a-a-a-anti-semite (notice how Cohen cleverly never used that term in his column...yay for plausable deniability.)

Oh, I forgot. It's the rabid anti-Israel left that's been "intimidating moderates into silence."