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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.


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» The Glittering Eye linked with Misunderstanding “proportionate force”

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» The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 07/26/2006

Comments (25)

Playing with 'prorpotionate... (Below threshold)

Playing with 'prorpotionate' responses is an invitation to another Viet Nam. All it does is draw out the misery a lot longer, and ups the death count.

Hizbollah has been attempti... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

Hizbollah has been attempting genocide for thirty years. The world should be grateful that the Israeli response to attempted genocide has been so disproportionate.

If the Israeli response were "proportionate" to the Hizbollah provocation, then all of Southern Lebanon would be a glassed-over desert, sown with salt.

After all, that is what Hisbollah would do to Israel -- or us -- if given a chance.

These people screaming abou... (Below threshold)

These people screaming about the Israelis being 'disproportionate' still can't face the truth:

Israel is fighting for its very existence; to keep their people alive. Hezbollah has been attacking Israel for years, and wants to drive the Jews into the sea; if they can't kill each and every one first.

I knew I'd seen that quote ... (Below threshold)

I knew I'd seen that quote before.


or if i screwed that up:


Hmmmm.Strange how ... (Below threshold)


Strange how all those people screaming about "disproportionate" responses all seem to have forgotten that Hezbollah is a terrorist group.

Like the descriptive blurb CNN uses to describe Hezbollah including the phrase "provides social services" instead of "deliberately kills Israeli children".

The whole world seems to be... (Below threshold)

The whole world seems to be headed over the deep end to me. Children are no longer taught discipline and responsibility in the home or schools. Our laws appear to be skewed in favor of the rapist, robber, murderer and gang member. The defense usually includes ' a troubled past' or 'it's the parents' fault'. When countries are attacked we are led to believe sympathies should lie with the attackers. What has happened to victims' rights?

Hmmmm.ROFLMAO!!</p... (Below threshold)



Ok. Now I've seen everything. On FoxNews @ 8:23am they showed a parade in Lebanon, I assume from stock footage, that showed Hezbollah parading down the street amongst a large crowd.

The vastly amusing bit was with the Hezbollah Interpretive Dance Troupe. Abut a dozen men all dressed in black hanging from an overhead wire by ropes, in odd formations, rappelling down to street level.

You know I must admit that I had never expected a terrorist group to offer an interpretive dance troupe. Just how is interpretive avant-garde dance connected to terrorism?

As odd as the middle east has always been, there seems to be plenty of room for new oddities.

"Proportionate" would be fo... (Below threshold)

"Proportionate" would be for every rocket impacting in Israel, the Israelis lobbed a 155mm cluster munition back at some town in Lebanon. "Proportionate" would be for every suicide bomber popping off in Israel, the Israelis firing a cruise missile at some packed venue in Gaza.

The Israelis (and us Americans) are always being blamed for "indiscriminate civilian bombing." The next time the situation calls for American or Israeli air attacks, perhaps we should *really show them what "indiscriminate civilian bombing" actually looks like*. Bring in the B-52s and just "Dresden" a whole enemy town. Blast it flat. Leave no two sticks still nailed together, and not a single person alive.

Then, at least, everyone would clearly understand the difference between "indiscriminate civilian bombing" and the sort of precision-targeted, highly-selective attacks such as we're seeing by the Israelis here ... in response to the indiscriminate civilian attacks that has been the *forte* of The Religion Of Peace(TM) for the last 40 years.


Israel should immediately w... (Below threshold)

Israel should immediately withdrawl and stop all the air raids. Then they can start sending suicide bombers into busy marketplaces and the like. Would that be more "appropriate" and "proportionate"?

Somehow I don't think those advocating "proportionate" response would accept this.

Regarding the response of I... (Below threshold)

Regarding the response of Israel to the border incursion, kidnappings, and rocket bombardment from Lebanese territory, France's Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy condemned Israel's attacks as "a disproportionate act of war."

I wonder if the French government still regards the mighty Allied Invasion of Normandy (that saved their sorry French butts) as using disproportionate force?

sanssoucy, you read my mind... (Below threshold)

sanssoucy, you read my mind!

"proportionate force" is really a kind of self-esteem idea that infiltrated the public schools in the 70s. "Running up the score" by a superior team is not allowed; coaches are sanctioned if they do.

War is not a game; it is a fight for existence. It's a matter of all necessary means to subdue the enemy.

God bless Israel.

Proportionate response is i... (Below threshold)
Robin Goodfellow:

Proportionate response is imbecilic. It is vengeful yet not authoritative, and for these reasons it assumes a key role in perpetuating the cycle of violence. It is no more morally defensible than terrorism or revenge.

Proportionate response is merely fancy talk for an-eye-for-an-eye, following that path leads to a world of anarchy and chaos.

The critics are absolutely ... (Below threshold)

The critics are absolutely correct. Israel's response has been completely dispropotionate to a large scale and I agree it should stop.

they are showing far too much restraint their enemy has not shown. Their restraint runs the risk of allowing their enemy to remain active and drawing out the conflict for many more years and many more casualties. IMHO, they should escalate the level of their military actions to the proportionate level of attacks they have experienced and to the level their opponents have expressed.

hezbollah has proclaimed they will not stop until Israel ceases to exist. I believe Israel should escalate their campaign until Hezbollah ceases to exist.

Screw proportionate - nuke ... (Below threshold)

Screw proportionate - nuke Iran. Here's the deal Condi & Bush need to make: Israel desimates Hizbollah and Syria and we eliminate Iran's military capability. Would resolve most middle east problems including the mess in Iraq. Only acceptable "cease fire" is when these Islamo-fascists have nothing left to fire!

Hey "Robin Goodfellow" why ... (Below threshold)

Hey "Robin Goodfellow" why don't you go stand inbetween the 2 parties and see which ones blows your goody two shoes ass off first. Boo Hoo.

Here's Ben Stein's take on ... (Below threshold)

Here's Ben Stein's take on "disproportionate":

Hmmmm.1. People, e... (Below threshold)


1. People, especially Russians, should consider what the Russian Army did to Grozny in Chechnya. That city was severely damaged with a civilian casualty count that's estimated to be above 50,000.

2. It's a shame but the American ideal of precision and minimal collateral damage & civilian casualties has really spoiled the world. It wasn't all that long ago when dumping a couple hundred tons of bombs to nail one target was normal.

3. Curious how the world condemns the violence in that area by accusing Israel of crimes while *not* accusing Hezbollah of crimes.

If all they're really conce... (Below threshold)

If all they're really concerned with is proportion, then Israel should stop this precision-strike nonsense and start lobbing missiles into Lebanon willy-nilly and not even care where they hit. That would make the jihadi-apologists happy, right?

"what Israel is doing IS pr... (Below threshold)

"what Israel is doing IS proportionate. The difference is that it's more compressed in time."
Wow! A great analogy. Perfect for what is going on now. A well-written article.

Disproportionate will be wh... (Below threshold)

Disproportionate will be when Israel kills 100,001 of the terrorist (all Islam is terrorists) for each Israeli killed. One hundred thousand (100,000) to one (1) would be proportionate if you consider nominal worth to the world.

Ed, terrorist? No they are ... (Below threshold)

Ed, terrorist? No they are peace fighters! Don't you read the papers?

Go IDF...

Hmmmm.And don't fo... (Below threshold)


And don't forget that they "provide social services". Something CNN includes on every descriptive blurb they run about Hezbollah.

I wonder how it would look if they were to apply the same principle to serial killers?

"Ted Bundy, serial killer but he also helped disadvantaged boys .... "


Ed....."3. Curiou... (Below threshold)

"3. Curious how the world condemns the violence in that area by accusing Israel of crimes while *not* accusing Hezbollah of crimes."

That would be balanced. We all know how "balanced" the news media, the EU, the UN and the moonbat left are......What do you expect??


Even some liberals refer to... (Below threshold)

Even some liberals refer to the WW II as the "Great War' We all know how liberals talk up the "Greatest Generation" of GI's, Marines, sailors, and airmen and the great endeavor that was WW2. You never, outside of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hear them talk about the disparity of casualties between American and German or Japanese civilian populations. There were almost no American civilian casualties while there were hundreds of thousands of German and Japanese civilian casualties. Indeed we even targeted civilian centers for the purposes of breaking the enemies will to fight on. So much for the concept of proportionality. A concept that only someone who wants to lose a war or in Israels case its very existance, would advocate

Good point Scrapiron, and a... (Below threshold)

Good point Scrapiron, and a worthy goal.






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