Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What was wrong with that last article?

The article doesn't answer why it's "right" to bomb civilians. I understand that Hezbollah's strategy involves routinely using civilians as human shields, but there's a reason for that: they are a militia, formed in 1982 to provide underground resistance against the then (and still partial) Israeli invasion of Lebanon. They cannot compete against the third best army in the world, on any battlefield and must resort to underground, guerilla-type sorties. Even when a similar organization, Hamas, gained legitimacy by being elected in Gaza, Israel and the U.S., refused to recognize them as such and engage any kind of diplomacy with them. They were akin to the French Resistance in WW2.

What the US and Israel fail to understand (in the case of the Israel, they ignore, but in the case of the George Bush-led US, they are simply deluded) is that Hamas and Hezbollah are popular movements, composed and endorsed by the Arab street. If you destroy them without resolving the underlying principles which caused them to emerge, others will spring up in their place. Democracy isn't simply about the choice of the people, especially if the people feel they're being treated unjustly.

Which leaves one fact, unaddressed: that the US and Israel have now deemed it acceptable to kill civilians, in order to get to terrorists. This appalling slide down the moral spectrum is unprecedented and the world is failing to see this. Even if you are Israeli, and I understand that they've gone through a lot with weak, disingenuous Palestinian leadership as well as openly hostile Syrian and Iranian neighbors, the motives behind this attack strike against the very basis of even our most generous definition of morality: even if your aim is to destroy evil, take care lest you become what you seek to destroy.


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