Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
What Is A Proportionate Response?  
User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 938 times:

Michael Douglas asked it in the American President and many A.netters have suggested in recent days that Israel should respond "proportiontely" to Hezbollah. So what exactly would a proportionate response against a terrorist militia like Hezbollah entail? I leave that an open question for everyone here.

I for one agree with Charles Krauthammer's take on it:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2006/07/27/AR2006072701725.html


When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, it did not respond with a parallel "proportionate" attack on a Japanese naval base. It launched a four-year campaign that killed millions of Japanese, reduced Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to cinders, and turned the Japanese home islands into rubble and ruin.

Disproportionate? No. When one is wantonly attacked by an aggressor, one has every right -- legal and moral -- to carry the fight until the aggressor is disarmed and so disabled that it cannot threaten one's security again. That's what it took with Japan.

Israel's response to Hezbollah has been to use the most precise weaponry and targeting it can. It has no interest, no desire to kill Lebanese civilians. Does anyone imagine that it could not have leveled south Lebanon, to say nothing of Beirut?

Had Israel wanted to destroy Lebanese civilian infrastructure, it would have turned out the lights in Beirut in the first hour of the war, destroying the billion-dollar power grid and setting back Lebanon 20 years. It did not do that. Instead it attacked dual-use infrastructure -- bridges, roads, airport runways -- and blockaded Lebanon's ports to prevent the reinforcement and resupply of Hezbollah.

The result? Unexpectedly high Israeli infantry casualties. Moral scrupulousness paid in blood. Israeli soldiers die so that Lebanese civilians will not, and who does the international community condemn for disregarding civilian life?

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 935 times:

Haven't we asked and answered this very question umpteen times over the past two weeks?

I doubt we need yet another thread on it. Seems compulsive.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 917 times:

Having in mind that both the Hezbollah and Hamas deliberately set up their fighting positions and ammo dumps in populated areas, to have a maximum number of civilians killed in an retaliation attack, I think that on one hand Israel is forced to kill civilians, but on the other hand it might also be a bad tactics, since every Lebanese or Palaestinian civilian being killed or injured is a propaganda success to Hezbollah and Hamas.

Both Hezbollah and Hamas have also in the past been using civilian vehicles or ambulances to transport troops and weapons, as well as children and mentally handicapped people as walking bombs.
I personally know a Palaestinian woman (though I haven't seen her for years), who during the occupation of Lebanon in the 1980s as a teenager was handed a rifle by her father and told to take on the israeli army, while her father was sneaking away. Fortunately her mother had more common sense and got her away.

Israeli soldiers and civilians have been killed through such attacks, so the Israeli military have every reason to be suspicious and to shot at the slightest sign of danger.

At the moment I think whatever the Israeli military do is wrong, either ethically or tactically, like being between a rock and a hard place.

Another thing is that due to the experiences of the Shoa there is a mentality never to be the victim anymore, rather use to much force than to be herded like sheep to execution again.

I think the solution should have happened a long time ago, like the Israeli government discreetly (as not to make the Lebanese government to appear like Israeli lackeys), maybe with the help of third party countries, having offerede to help thelebanese government to restore it's souvereignity and to help in the disarming of Hezbollah.

Another problem is the open sore of Palaetstinian/Israeli relations.
I know that Israel is per definition the last refuge of Jews and that the goal of Zionism was to make sure that one country exists where Jews will NOT be the minority, living at the whim of the majority.

But there have been attrocities happening in the past, starting with the fanatics of Irgun and the Stern gang to the massacres in Palaestinian refugee camps by Lebanese Christians under the noses of Israeli troops.

I think Israel has a chance if they offer a humanitarian alternative in the Mddle East to the various authoritarian regimes and show that a democracy works. But for this Israel might have to become more multicultural, this also means a change of citizenship laws. Now the danger will appear again that Jews in Israel might become a minority again.
Another option would be to actively help to improve the lives of the often impoverished decendants of the Palaestinian refugees in other Middle Eastern countries and also the Palaestinian territories. As I said, if economically well off, most of these people, who by now have never lived in what is defined as being former Palaestine, will not want to move if they are integrated in the Jordanian, Lebanese, European etc. societies. I wonder e.g. how many Palaestinians living here in Europe, who are settled into the local societies, like owning businesses or having stable jobs, will want to move back?

In the long run I'm thinking of something like a Middle Eastern EU, remember, not too long ago Germany and France were mortal enemies, with a major war every generation. The same applies to the UK and France or the UK and Spain.
Important are business contacts, free travel and personal contacts, like e.g. marriages over religious and ethnic lines.

Jan


User currently offlineTurbo7x7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 266 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 906 times:

President George W. Bush has pledged that democracies are the answers for a dysfunctional Middle East. But right now, America's closest ally, Israel, is bombing two of the newest democracies - Lebanon and "Palestine-in-Gaza" - while the third, Iraq, is also awash in bombs and vicious sectarian violence.

Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter):

I for one agree with Charles Krauthammer's take on it:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn....html

Well, instead of consulting a Jewish-American conservative pundit who will obviously have an emotional bias, let's take a look at the Law of Armed Conflict [LOAC]:

Military Necessity: Requires combat forces to engage in only those acts necessary to accomplish a legitimate military objective. Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. In applying military necessity to targeting, the rule generally means target those facilities, equipment, and forces which, if destroyed, would lead as quickly as possible to the enemy's partial or complete submission.

Distinction: Means discriminating between lawful combatant targets and noncombatant targets such as civilians, civilian property, POWs, and wounded personnel who are out of combat. The central idea of distinction is to only engage valid military targets. An indiscriminate attack is one that strikes military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction. Distinction requires defenders to separate military objects from civilian objects to the maximum extent feasible.

Proportionality: Prohibits the use of any kind or degree of force that exceeds that needed to accomplish the military objective. Proportionality compares the military advantage gained to the harm inflicted while gaining this advantage. Proportionality requires a balancing test between the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated by attacking a legitimate military target and the expected incidental civilian injury or damage. Under this balancing test, excessive incidental losses are prohibited. Proportionality seeks to prevent an attack in situations where civilian casualties would clearly outweigh military gains. This principle encourages combat forces to minimize collateral damage--the incidental, unintended destruction that occurs as a result of a lawful attack against a legitimate military target.

It's important to understand there isn't any requirement for proportionality when it comes to ATTACKING the enemy. You attack them as hard as possible, until they surrender, at which point other protections apply to them as prisoners.

So I would say that it's legitimate to criticize Israel for ignoring the concept of PROPORTIONALITY (destroying huge chunks of Lebanon's infrastructure, such as the Beirut airport, and certain key roads/bridges making it harder for non-combatants to vacate the war zones).

On the other hand, Hezbollah is clearly violating the concept of DISTINCTION.


IMHO, the occupation of Lebanon in the early 80s gave rise to Hezbollah in the first place, and a re-occupation will make it stronger than ever. They will find it easier to recruit and obtain financial support. Especially among the 500,000+ refugees who are fleeing the conflict area.

In any case, if the crisis doesn't cool down as we get closer to the midterm elections, we will see our President hum a different tune altogether. . .  Yeah sure


User currently offlineMrmeangenes From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 566 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 863 times:

I think,were we to examine the matter closely,the definition of "proportionality" depends on whose ox is being gored.

To those who dwell in cozy ivy castles-well removed from the fray-proportionate response consists of turning the other cheek indefinitely;however, be invaded by some cheeky ignoramus - who doesn't BEGIN to understand their importance - the castle dweller is apt to call for naval bombardment.



gene
User currently offlineSonic99 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 848 times:

Quoting Turbo7x7 (Reply 3):

Your post was very enlightening Turbo.  thumbsup 


User currently offlineJpetekYXMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 4391 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 843 times:

A proportionate response is actually targeting HEZBOLLAH. NOT crippling the entire nation, bombing the hell out of Beirut, blasting the airport, killing hundreds of innocent civilians in areas that bombs should have been no where near, bombing UN observers. I could go on and on.

They should have stuck to the south.

and P.S: to compare the pearl harbor attack to this is absolutely nuts.

[Edited 2006-07-28 22:58:54]


The Best Care in the Air, 1984-2009
User currently offlineKay From France, joined Mar 2002, 1884 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 825 times:

RJpieces, why is a 16yr old so enthusiastic about Israel's war?
u're so present all the time, so one-sided, don't u have girls to chase?


proportionate? how about letting my pro-US anti-hizbollah parents live their retirement without dying from israel's bombs, how about that?

Sorry to shock u, but for some people, this event IS affecting their lives, not just their TV programs.


Kay


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 8 hours ago) and read 774 times:

Quoting Turbo7x7 (Reply 3):
It's important to understand there isn't any requirement for proportionality when it comes to ATTACKING the enemy. You attack them as hard as possible, until they surrender, at which point other protections apply to them as prisoners.

So I would say that it's legitimate to criticize Israel for ignoring the concept of PROPORTIONALITY (destroying huge chunks of Lebanon's infrastructure, such as the Beirut airport, and certain key roads/bridges making it harder for non-combatants to vacate the war zones).

I do not understand the above paragraphs. The first states that the principle of proportionality does not apply to "ATTACKING" the enemy, but the second seems to impose precisely that principle on Israel's attacks.

I wonder if there could be clarification provided.


User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6924 posts, RR: 34
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 2 hours ago) and read 761 times:

Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter):
When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, it did not respond with a parallel "proportionate" attack on a Japanese naval base. It launched a four-year campaign that killed millions of Japanese, reduced Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to cinders, and turned the Japanese home islands into rubble and ruin.

Good analogy. For those who believe in "proportionality," they probably believe that Doolittle's Raid was a proportionate response for Pearl Harbor.

War is, by nature, disproportionate!

Iwo Jima is probably the best example in the era of modern warfare of the disproportionality of it all. 48,000 total casualties, including 6800 American KIA, on a flyspeck of an island only 8 square miles.

Proportionate, my ass. It's now 2006, and you have an undefined enemy who won't fight in the open, won't play by any rules of warfare as we have known them for a few centuries, and will never stop their hard-coded intent of destroying Israel even after the Israeli rockets stop flying and they achieve a 'cease fire.' Why can't people acknowledge that?

Quoting Turbo7x7 (Reply 3):
Well, instead of consulting a Jewish-American conservative pundit who will obviously have an emotional bias, let's take a look at the Law of Armed Conflict [LOAC]:

Not applicable in a Fourth Generation War. The old rules no longer apply. It's no longer an exercise of conventional arms by state-sponsored armies.


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 1 hour ago) and read 752 times:

Great.

Let's follow Charles Krauthammer's advice and reduce Beirut to a parking lot.

While we're at it, lets drop nuclear bombs on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan.

Have we left anyone out?

If so, please add to the list.

Anything to make Charles Krauthammer feel like a real man again. Nothing like bombs falling 10,000 miles away to make a bunch of schlamazels and schlamiels feel like studs.


User currently offlineNeilYYZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 1 hour ago) and read 741 times:

Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter):

I for one agree with Charles Krauthammer's take on it:

As do I, read it in the Toronto Sun yesterday.

Quoting JpetekYXMD80 (Reply 6):
A proportionate response is actually targeting HEZBOLLAH. NOT crippling the entire nation, bombing the hell out of Beirut, blasting the airport, killing hundreds of innocent civilians in areas that bombs should have been no where near, bombing UN observers. I could go on and on.

Israel is targeting Hezbollah, they just happen to entrench themselves with civillians, if the government of Lebanon would take a stand and remove Hezbollah then this would be moot in the first place. They are not crippling the entire nation, as was stated in the article, if they wanted to set Lebanon back 20 years they could have wiped out the power grid, road and runways can be paved with relative speed compared to restoring an entire power grid in a developing country. The UN observers, while unfortunate, had no business being there in the first place. The UN observers are observers during peace time, they should have been evacuated long ago, I don't recall there being much peace in that region lately. They are unarmed and ill prepared to be in that situation. The UN was still there so that the UN could say that they had a force on the ground, it's a shame that 4 people had to die before the UN realized that it had no place being there after the initial attacks broke out.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 1 hour ago) and read 741 times:

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 10):
Anything to make Charles Krauthammer feel like a real man again. Nothing like bombs falling 10,000 miles away to make a bunch of schlamazels and schlamiels feel like studs.

Your comment is quite unnecessary, I'm afraid, because it seems to me to be a personal attack. To those who don't know, Krauthammer was paralyzed years ago over much of his body as a result of a tragic accident and, as I understand it, is a paraplegic.^1

With respect, I think it is inappropriate to refer to his heritage, as well. It would also be inappropriate to criticize stridently anti-Bush reporter Helen Thomas, who has consistently questioned the President's failure to "impose" (my word -- not hers) a ceasefire in Lebanon, for hers.
_______________________________________

1. Reference:

In the article found at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer061801.asp, Krauthammer, in criticizing a fictional portrayal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, wrote: "I've been in a wheelchair about as long as was FDR and I cannot think of a more grotesque abuse of his disability. FDR would never have said or done anything remotely like this. He never talked about his disability with anyone -- his family, his wife, even his mother -- let alone did stunts for war counselors and generals. If anyone dared broach the subject with him, FDR would freeze him out."

[Edited 2006-07-30 18:13:53]

User currently offlineJpetekYXMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 4391 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 717 times:

Quoting Slider (Reply 9):

War is, by nature, disproportionate!

All this talk for a proportionate response does NOT call for a response of equal proportion, but of justified and adequate proportion to complete the mission.

Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 11):

Israel is targeting Hezbollah, they just happen to entrench themselves with civillians

I wish I could totally believe that. I'm not saying Israel is intentionally bombing civilians. I am saying they have been too bomb-happy and knee-jerk in their selection of targets and strategy.

And AerospaceFan, you're writing on an internet forum and not in a scholarly journal, whats with the footnotes?



The Best Care in the Air, 1984-2009
User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1725 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 703 times:

Quoting JpetekYXMD80 (Reply 13):
I wish I could totally believe that. I'm not saying Israel is intentionally bombing civilians. I am saying they have been too bomb-happy and knee-jerk in their selection of targets and strategy.

I agree with your general assessment, but we simply do not know that one way or the other. Without access to the IDF Fire Support Plan and the Air Tasking Order, it is speculation and nothing else.

It really sets of my BS detector to read some of the comments on this forum in cases where people make absolute declarations about Israeli intentions or targeting priorities. We have no way of making such an evaluation.

If a building is hit and civilians are killed there are many, many potential causes for that ranging from the intentional targeting of civilians to bad intelligence to pilot error just to name a few.



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 663 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 12):
Your comment is quite unnecessary, I'm afraid, because it seems to me to be a personal attack. To those who don't know, Krauthammer was paralyzed years ago over much of his body as a result of a tragic accident and, as I understand it, is a paraplegic.

He is not a paraplegic, but is in a wheelchair.

And the comment is intended not at his disability, but at his status of armchair general and his intellectual cowardice. Like other armchair generals (mostly American) who have never known war, chattering about the morality or logic of bombing others to death makes them feel like the Big Man on Campus. On the other hand, there are those who, in spite of being paraplegic, are bigger men than those with all their limbs intact. Krauthammer is not one of them.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 12):
It would also be inappropriate to criticize stridently anti-Bush reporter Helen Thomas, who has consistently questioned the President's failure to "impose" (my word -- not hers) a ceasefire in Lebanon, for hers.

If only the other members of the so-called 4th Estate had the courage to ask the President this:

I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

Gosh, doesn't that make 75% of all Americans "stridently anti-Bush?"

Once again, luv, you fail to understand the role of the media in a free society.

By the way, just how intelligent were Israel's intelligent missiles?


User currently offlineDc863 From Denmark, joined Jun 1999, 1558 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 659 times:

I think they expected the IDF to break out the fluffy pillows.

User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 647 times:

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 15):
And the comment is intended not at his disability, but at his status of armchair general and his intellectual cowardice.

Thank you for your response. Not to disagree, but I do believe your use of the word "again" ("Anything to make Charles Krauthammer feel like a real man again.") seemed suspicious to me at the time.

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 15):
Like other armchair generals (mostly American) who have never known war, chattering about the morality or logic of bombing others to death makes them feel like the Big Man on Campus. On the other hand, there are those who, in spite of being paraplegic, are bigger men than those with all their limbs intact. Krauthammer is not one of them.

This is not a good argument, in my view. There are many, including respected peace activists, who appear to support Israel's military incursion. Surely, as peace activists, they are not "armchair generals", since their profession is that of peace. Further, your argument would serve to disparage the argument of anyone who has not served in the military and who supports any war on the basis of not having served in the military, and therefore proves too much. On the principle of equality of argument, would you discourage veterans, who have waged wars all their lives, from promoting peace?

As to the latter, you might argue that those who know war, know its cost. But this is an argument from expertise. Those who know foreign policy, know how it is conducted, and this is true regardless of whether they personally have served in the military. Thus, if you argue on the basis of military expertise, which bears little on civilian issues, you cannot in principle argue that civilian expertise should be denied, even if it bears little on military ones.

[Edited 2006-08-01 04:01:26]

User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5426 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 643 times:

In order to prevent a lot of duplication, and in order to prevent the arguments spiralling out of control, we have decided to create four official threads to deal with the current conflict involving Israel and Lebanon in the Middle East. Please find these discussions here:

Official Middle East Situation Report Thread

Official Sympathy For Israel Thread

Official Sympathy For Lebanon Thread

Official Middle East Conflict Discussion Thread



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Help - What Is File Shadowing? posted Tue Dec 12 2006 19:23:18 by Vio
What Is This. . . .? (Weird Google Earth Image) posted Tue Dec 12 2006 08:13:53 by Springbok747
What Is Your Personality? posted Thu Dec 7 2006 01:29:43 by KaiGywer
What Is This Residue From My Watch? posted Fri Dec 1 2006 20:28:17 by FSPilot747
What Is Scientology? posted Sat Nov 18 2006 22:14:52 by 9V
When You're Stressed, What Is Your Escape? posted Tue Nov 14 2006 13:08:34 by Itsjustme
What Is Arizona Thinking? Diamondbacks New Jerseys posted Thu Nov 9 2006 03:37:05 by Piercey
What Is The Price Of A Life? posted Mon Oct 23 2006 17:53:19 by PlymSpotter
CO AMC Gremlin, What Is With It? posted Sun Oct 22 2006 14:31:07 by Falstaff
What Is This Crap Music? Muse? Rant! posted Sat Oct 21 2006 21:29:34 by Speedbird747BA