On Proportion

A lot of the pro-Palestinian and pro-Lebanese pundits, when all their other attacks on Israel peter out, and when forced to confront the inarguable fact that Israel’s military operations are a response to attacks instigated by Hamas and Hizbollah (effectively the “Palestinian Authority” and government of Lebanon, respectively), decry the IDF’s actions as “disproportionate”. This proves two things: That these pundits are tools, and they don’t understand what asymmetric warfare is all about.

The conflict against Hamas and Hezbollah has many parallels with the conflict in Viet Nam against the Viet Cong. In all three instances, small, irregular groups attempted, or are attempting, to wage a war of attrition on a larger, better equipped, country. In all three cases, the militant groups are backed and supported by governments not their own.

A regular, standing military force can be attacked at it’s bases, it’s barracks, and it’s installations. Militant groups, by and large – and the Viet Cong, Hamas, and Hezbollah, in particular – don’t live on bases and don’t wear uniforms. They look like everybody else, and live just like everyone else around them. They don’t sleep in barracks – they sleep in houses and apartments. And, sadly, when you kill them, you kill the people around them. It’s a sad fact of war, and life, and death. Any thoughts that Israel is being irresponsible when attacking militants fade in contrast to the tactics of the militants themselves. Suicide bombs and Katyushka rockets are indiscriminate in the extreme, and, in the case of the latter, utterly random and for all practical purposes undirected.

Does Hizbollah warn Israelis before launching rockets at them? Do they drop leaflets warning them to leave the area or seek shelter? Of course not. Do they even make an attempt to target military or government targets? Not at all.

Israel, like it or not, has one of the best-equipped, best-trained military forces in the region. If they wanted to kill every Palestinian, they could – probably in well under seventy-two hours. If they wanted to make every city, town, and village in Lebanon look like Dresden in 1945, they are more than capable of doing so, quite quickly. But they haven’t, and they aren’t going to, because they aren’t stupid.

Stupid is distorting the truth of the matter and, yes, just plain making stuff up, like the claim, oft-reported in recent days, that Israel is dropping “chemical weapons” on Lebanon, and that “thousands are critically ill” from breathing the conveniently-unidentified “weapon”. Stupid is saying Israel is in violation of the Geneva Convention because they’re “targeting civilians”. There have been, in the last week, about three-hundred reported “civilian” deaths in Lebanon, as a result of Israeli attacks. Even supposing – in an environment where a dead militant is a dead civilian unless he dies with a weapon in his hands – that they’re all really civilians – , for a week’s fighting by one of the world’s most advanced militaries, one which launched literally thousands of combat sorties with it’s air force of quite advanced F-16s – being stupid enough to believe that a “war on the people of Lebanon” has produced so few casualties with so much effort is to do a great disservice to the men and women of the IDF. Just tonight they’re said to have dropped twenty-three tons of bombs – most likely twenty-three two-thousand-pound precision-guided munitions – on a single target, and, if Hizbollah’s spokespeople are to be believed, failed to kill a single person. A single one of those twenty-three bombs on a school, a market, or an office building could easily kill far more than the three-hundred people so far dead. Heck, twenty-three bombs landing on random houses could easily kill more than three-hundred people. There’s no war on the civilian population; stop being stupid.

Published in: General, History | on July 19th, 2006| Comments Off on On Proportion

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