A skewed sense of proportion

A lot of the people calling for a ceasefire in Lebanon are all using the same stock phrases, and one that sticks out to me is that Israel’s response is “disproportionate.” This annoys me on a variety of levels.

The first is to say “well, duh.” When someone hits you, you don’t carefully measure how hard you hit them back. You respond to aggression with DISproportionate force. You make it more painful for them than their own blows to drive the point home: attacking will cost you, and cost you dearly. As Sean Connery spelled it out in “The Untouchables:” “You wanna know how you do it? Here’s how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way.”

The second thought I had is that what Israel is doing IS proportionate. The difference is that it’s more compressed in time. Hezbollah has been carrying out terrorist attacks for years. Israel is simply repaying those years of attacks in weeks.

The third thought I had was a most cynical one, but one I think that the “proportional response” advocates would approve of. All Israel has to do is to bring balance to the chaos on both sides. Reducing their attacks on Hezbollah would be a bad idea; it would only encourage them. So to equalize matters, Israel should conduct bombing raids on its own territories. If the Israeli Air Force were to bomb a few of its own military bases, along with a couple airports and bridges and highways, that might satisfy some of its critics.

Nah, that won’t work. Dead Israelis are not tragic, but “unfortunate.” It won’t satisfy those critics.

The conscience of a coward
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