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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dick Gets It Right For a Change

After calling the state of Israel a "mistake" last week, Richard Cohen of the WaPo makes good by debunking the "proportional response" criticism that has been levelled against Israel during the coflict in Lebanon.
Says Cohen:

The list of those who have accused Israel of not being in harmony with its enemies is long and, alas, distinguished. It includes, of course, the United Nations and its secretary general, Kofi Annan. It also includes a whole bunch of European newspapers whose editorial pages call for Israel to respond, it seems, with only one missile for every one tossed its way. Such neat proportion is a recipe for doom.
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.

Israel has been in dire need of such deterrence ever since it pulled out of Lebanon in 2000 and, just recently, the Gaza Strip. In Lebanon, it effectively got into a proportional hit-and-respond cycle with Hezbollah. It cost Israel 901 dead and Hezbollah an announced 1,375, too close to parity to make a lasting difference. Whatever the figures, it does not change the fact that Israeli conscripts or reservists do not think death and martyrdom are the same thing. No virgins await Jews in heaven.

Roger that: You slap me, I punch your lights out. Being a Christian, I am not sanguine about this, but with this enemy, sadly, it is the only rational response. Anything less is suicide. As I've said before, I fear a muslim act or acts in this war that unleash the full fury of the West and make Israel's "disproportionate" response look like a Sunday picnic in comparison. Maybe if Israel succeeds in crippling Hezbollah, worse measures won't be necessary later. (On the other hand, maybe we'll all keep fighting over this region until Christ returns....)


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