The “D” word came up again today in the news. This time it was the Lebanese prime minister who said it.
According to Brunei Direct:
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told CNN’s “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer” that the Israeli attack had opened “the gates of hell” with what he called a disproportionate response to Hezbollah’s Wednesday raid. [emphasis added]
The whole business has driven me to create a new graphic for the occasion.
The idea of a “disproportionate response” from Israel has been floating around a lot lately. Try using Google News to search for “disproportionate Israel Lebanon”, and you can click through the resulting links until your arm is crippled from carpal tunnel syndrome. The EU, the French, and the British left-wing press are all prominent proponents of the concept, but UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Capo of the World Mafia, has been the most notable. The first instance I noticed was Kofi Annan’s initial response to the crisis on July 13th:
I condemn all actions which target civilians, or which unduly endanger them due to their disproportionate or indiscriminate character. I would like to remind the parties that under the law of armed conflict, attacks must not be directed against civilian objects. In particular, they have an obligation to exercise precaution and to respect the proportionality principle in all military operations so as to prevent unnecessary suffering among the civilian population. I call on all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law and international agreements. [emphasis added]
If you could cut through all the Kofi-speak to the heart of the matter, what do you think would be a “proportionate” response to the provocations Israel has endured? Do the Israelis have to fire Qassam rockets into Gaza at Hamas? Do Jewish kids have to strap on bomb belts and blow themselves up in Ramallah?
Do Israeli commanders have to get on the phone to UN headquarters and clear their orders with the General Assembly before having their subordinates carry them out?
“So what do you think, Kofi — can we use a 1000-kilo bomb to take out this particular missile launcher? No? Artillery shells only? Right-o; will do.”
As someone recently said, it’s like a bank robbery — when the call comes in that three men are robbing a bank, then the cops can only send in three patrolmen to stop them.
Or imagine that you’re woken up in the middle of the night by a burglar in the living room. You grab your twelve-gauge and creep down the stairs very quietly. But when you flip on the light and surprise the burglar, he’s armed with only a knife! What do you do? Why, you drop the shotgun, rush to the kitchen, and rummage through the drawers for a knife. And not just any knife — it has to be no longer or sharper than the one the burglar has!
Of course, if you’re a British householder, you don’t have the shotgun to grab in the first place. Not only that, you can’t pick up a knife of any size to confront the thief with; otherwise you could end up in court on serious charges yourself. No, all you can do is sit down on the couch and say, “Help yourself, mate. Can I get you a cup of tea?”
Come to think of it, the UN prescription sounds like modern British law writ large, scaled up to resolve international conflicts. Lie down, be non-threatening, let the thugs take whatever they want, and wait for the coppers in the blue helmets to arrive. If they ever do. And, when they do arrive, prepare to be cited for human rights violations if you failed to provide your enemies with the proper handicapped accommodations.
I say, “To hell with all that! Bring on the Disproportionate Response!”
As an American, I recognize my constitutional right to take whatever measures are necessary to protect myself, my family, and my home. If someone comes after my wife and child, tearing him limb from limb would not be disproportionate. If I showed mercy, and subdued him by other means, that would be my prerogative. But I am in no way required to.
It’s the same for Israel. Personally, I think the Israelis have shown remarkable restraint in the face of intolerable provocation. They not only bend over backwards — and take extra casualties — to avoid hurting civilians, they rush the enemy wounded to Israeli hospitals and give them the best treatment Western medicine can provide.
Based on what’s been done to them, they’d be justified in clearing Lebanon and Gaza of people and paving both places over. They haven’t; but that’s their prerogative.
I don’t think Israel’s enemies have seen even the beginnings of “disproportionate”.
Steal the graphics for your sidebar! Fight back against Kofi-speak!
And thanks to Naval Air Station Lemoore for the fist-and-lightning-bolt graphic.