Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Middle East: 4

Today is Tuesday, 8 August 2006.

Just war theory is slippery as an eel. There are as many theories as there are people wishing to justify or condemn particular wars. However, “proportionality” has traditionally played a major role.

Simply put (and a bullet in your head or a rocket down your chimney is a simple thing): proportionality asks the question: Do the human sufferings of a war outweigh the human benefits to be gained? If they do, the war is unjust.

Already, you see the problem. Don’t the benefits for US always outweigh the sufferings of THEM? Or so the argument goes.

There is no doubt that Israel is attempting to defend itself against Hezbollah, a neo-fascist, racist organization which would like nothing better than to exterminate all Jews in this world. Self-defense.

(By the by, one should note that many, if not most, conservative Christians have a similar, but more extensive, neo-fascist, racist agenda: they await Judgment Day, when all Jews will be consigned permanently to Hell, a sort of Eternal Holocaust. That’s why many conservative Christians support the State of Israel --- their version of the requirements for apocalypse demands a “Jewish State” before Jesus comes back and sends all the Jews to Hell.)

Alas, the means the Israeli government has chosen is war not only against Hezbollah, but also against the people and nation of Lebanon, since Hezbollah has insinuated itself into the interstices of Lebanese society. The Israeli government has ordered all civilians out of southern Lebanon (and anywhere else it chooses), and declared all those who remain in the free-fire zones as fair game. (A maneuver copied from the USA/USE/USSA war against the people of Vietnam.)

The Israeli government has destroyed the road bridges in the north which connect to Syria. This has the effect of impeding ground supply of Hezbollah from Syria, and of choking off life-giving relief supplies for Lebanese civilians. It has destroyed bridges to isolate the city of Tyre, where it has declared all vehicles moving in the streets may be assumed to be aiding Hezbollah, and therefore fair game. It has destroyed the last major crossing of the Litani River, isolating southern Lebanon.

“Oh, but we’re using precision weapons”. No such thing. Precision simply means more bucks expended in hopes that the bangs will be more exactly deposited on the intended target. No guarantees. Thus, CEP. “In the military science of ballistics, circular error probability or circular error probable (CEP) is a simple measure of a weapon system’s precision. It is defined as the radius of a circle into which a missile, bomb, or projectile will land at least half the time.” [Wikipedia]

And no bomb is smart enough to know if a car or apartment building is really filled with Hezbollah or desperate civilians.

Does the use of such methods constitute war crimes? Undoubtedly. Is the use of such methods accepted as standard operating procedure the world over? Undoubtedly.

Has the principle of proportionality been violated? Undoubtedly. Is such a violation accepted as standard operating procedure the world over? Undoubtedly.

International law is for losers (to whine by). The race belongs to the strong. “Justice” is in the eye of the victors.

How little progress the human race has made since we climbed down from the trees.
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To be continued.
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On this day in history:

1974 – In a televised address, Richard M. Nixon announces he will resign as president, effective at noon EDT the next day

2 Comments:

Anonymous John McKenna said...

Proportionality can also be viewed as "Does your suffering outweigh my suffering?" If yes, the war is just. If no, the war is unjust until I make you suffer more.

This is an interesting take on supposed-support of Israel - that it must exist and be a firm entity so God can wipe it (an all Jews) out on Judgement Day. I have yet to hear that as a reason for supporting either side of this conflict. Again, I say, interesting take on it.

Your point for this whole post is what? Why even discuss/debate the topic of war theory? There is no logic to any of it. You are wringing your hands about war, which is probably one of man's earliest "activities." Boo, hoo. Get over it.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Richard Kern said...

War, the inevitable condition - get over it.

Extinction - If not me, who - If not now when.

A small talent for war. (The Twilight Zone)

All of that evolutionary energy into developing a large and complex prefontal cortex in order that we should speedily effect our own extinction. That Gaia sure has a hell of a sense of humor.

On the other hand, the amount of consideration expressed in the sentiment that war is inevitable, get over it requires little more than reptilian development.

7:12 PM  

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