silver sage

opinions from the high desert

Out of Disproportion

By Ben Stein

Published 7/21/2006 12:09:46 AM

The American Spectator

So, now I see that some commentators are saying that Israel’s bombing
of Lebanese Hezbollah strong points and neighborhoods is
“disproportionate.” The Israeli campaign, so this story goes, is
bullying and terrorizing the Lebanese populace, and this is (so the
argument goes) typical Israeli thug behavior.

Hmmm.

Let’s
see. In World War II, the Germans bombed exactly no United States
cities or towns. We bombed the hell out of them, day and night, for
more than two years, including helping the British with firebombing
Dresden, one of the most appalling civilian killings by a free people
of all time.

Was it disproportionate? Well, no. The Nazis had
bombed our allies, the British, in terror raids for years. They had
started a world war. They had created a genocide unspeakable in human
history. So, yes, there was horrible killing, but is anyone now saying
it was disproportionate? Maybe a few, but not many.

The Japanese
bombed exactly zero U.S. cities except for a few stray bombs on
Honolulu. We firebombed every city we could find and used the atom bomb
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Was this disproportionate? No, because the
Japanese had started a world war and caused unspeakable suffering
through Asia and the Pacific. Bombing was what it took to end the war
in both Europe and the Pacific.

Now, Israel is bombing Beirut.
The Lebanese have been sheltering Hezbollah killers who have been
rocketing and bombing Israel for ten years almost every day. The
Lebanese have admitted the terrorists into dominant positions in their
government. In every way, Lebanon has made itself a haven for
terrorists bombing civilians day in and day out in Israel. Is Israel
finally standing up and saying enough “disproportionate”? Yes, if you
think Israel and Jews should be permanent victims who suffer, bleed,
and die in silence the way the Nazis preferred. No, if you believe Jews
have the same rights as other people to defend themselves.

Look,
if the Israelis wanted to inflict a lot of casualties from the air,
they could. They have the second best air force in the world. Clearly,
they are showing restraint. Three hundred dead is a lot, and every
human’s death is sad unless he’s a terrorist, but we were killing
30,000 in a few hours in World War II and glorying in it. No news shows
were showing German civilians getting fried and saying how sad it was.
It was war against butchers and war is horrible, but it’s war, and to
defend human decency, sometimes war is necessary.

By any
historic measure, Israel’s response to a decade of torment is extremely
restrained — maybe too restrained. And it can stop any time the
Hezbollah says they will use peaceful means to get their aims. I don’t
hear them saying that. What I hear is a thousand Hezbollah rockets
falling on exclusively civilian targets in Eretz Israel. There’s your
answer about whether Israel’s response is disproportionate.

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July 22, 2006 - Posted by | Israel, News and politics, Social and Politics

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