Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What is proportionate response

Much of the talk around Israel’s action is about non proportionate response. But what is proportionate. Considering the amount of missile’s Hezbollah launches against Israel. Is proportionality a function of capability and armament rather then moral intent. If Hezbollah launch 500 missiles what is the moral proportional response. 500 missiles or what ever will equal the Hezbollah missiles effects. Every Hezbollah missile is sent with the intent to kill does the fact that they are not as deadly due to design compared to Israeli F-16s make them less blame worthy?

Is proportionate response measured on a moral or a numerical level.?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

proportionate response...You kill the enemy before he kills you..You win wars not by dying for your country but by getting the other bastard to die for his.

planetpotato said...

And why should a response be proportionate in the first place? If you were an Israeli living under the fear of missiles landing on your cities, you would want a response that dealt with the threat. This "proportionate" thing is a nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I think it is only relevant in regards civilian infrastructure and innocent civilians - I think the question is what proportion should Lebennon be punished for allowing Hezbollah in governement with seemingly free range to import weapons...through civilian airports/ports? (and not take steps to disarm them)

Lebennon made its bed and lay down with Hezbollah - and the most significant thing is it is still lying with them - Hizbollah having spark a war are still in government!

This has gone almost undiscussed in regards proportion

phdbird said...

Is proportionate response measured on a moral or a numerical level?

In some ways I think it's both...

On a moral level, while it's horrific that those soldiers were kidnapped, they would have been trained to deal with hostage situations. The Lebanese and Palestinian civilians who are being bombed did not choose a life of combat for themselves. I don't know much about international law but could Israel be committing war crimes? Israel is a state, Hezbollah is not. A state should not be punished for an errant group's actions.

On the numerical level, Israel could be shooting themselves in the foot. By killing masses of innocent civilians they will probably turn moderates against them. It gives the impression that they believe Israeli lives are worth more than those of their neighbours. Even for people who believe they have a right to defend themselves it's very hard to justify their response. Why target civilians, not Hezbollah?

Simon said...

culabula. Don't forget that Hezbollah are in the Lebeenze cabinet anf Lebbanon has not complied with a UN reslution to disarm Hezbollah

phdbird said...

I know alright. But Sinn Fein are TDs in Ireland. How fair would it be if an IRA splinter group undermined British security and the rest of us were bombed because of it? Collective punishments are a war crime.

Anonymous said...

If Israel were deliberatly targeting civilians then they are not very good at it ..they could take lessons from Ben Laden...300 dead after 9 days of "CARPET " bombing is a very poor result..

Simon said...

culabula Hizbullah are in the cabinet. an unlike Sinn Fein have renoucned violance. Also the rest of the government has not asked them to leave the cabinet. If Sinn Fein was in power with Fianna Fail and launched missiles at Liverpool. Would Fianna Fail stay in government with them?

phdbird said...

If Sinn Fein was in power with Fianna Fail and launched missiles at Liverpool. Would Fianna Fail stay in government with them?

Fair point, I don't think they would. People should be asking questions of the rest of the Lebanese government.

But still, the government have not declared war. A group, outside the government (albeit with links to some) has committed these actions.

Simon said...

outside the government But they are inside the government.

I don't think Israel is right in what they are doing but the Lebanees government have a case to answer and Hizbollah are the villians in the piece.

Remember if an army or a terrorist organisation put military hard ware in civilian areas and use them as human shields. And then an army bombs them. They not the bombing army is guilty of war crimes. This is what hizbollah is doing with Families having a missle as a guest in their homes.

Put it this way. If a missle is on the roof of a families house is it a legimate target?

El mathodor made this point in another post. And it is the very thing I was trying to say.

Just as a matter of interest, people rightfully criticise Isreal for its pretty merciless use of its considerable fire-power, and the humanitarian outcome it produces.

However, if those who attack Israel had equal fire power, who would be the most vicious? Is hizbollah (sp?) simply constrained by means, rather than having any moral high ground? After all, it too is pretty merciless in using the firepower it has at its disposal. Likewise, does Isreal come in for greater censure simply because it is militarily able to inflict more damage than its opponents, and is a sovereign state?

If all things were equal militarily, is one better than the other?

Simon said...

I don't think Israel is right in what they are doing but the Lebanees government have a case to answer and Hizbollah are the villians in the piece.

Remember if an army or a terrorist organisation put military hard ware in civilian areas and use them as human shields. And then an army bombs them. They not the bombing army is guilty of war crimes. This is what hizbollah is doing with Families having a missle as a "guest" in their homes.

Put it this way. If a missle is on the roof of a families house is it a legimate target?

El mathodor made this point in another post. And it is the very thing I was trying to say.

Just as a matter of interest, people rightfully criticise Isreal for its pretty merciless use of its considerable fire-power, and the humanitarian outcome it produces.

However, if those who attack Israel had equal fire power, who would be the most vicious? Is hizbollah (sp?) simply constrained by means, rather than having any moral high ground? After all, it too is pretty merciless in using the firepower it has at its disposal. Likewise, does Isreal come in for greater censure simply because it is militarily able to inflict more damage than its opponents, and is a sovereign state?

If all things were equal militarily, is one better than the other?

phdbird said...

outside the government But they are inside the government.

What I mean is that I don't believe that the people in government actually commited the acts, but they are linked to those who did. And that the whole government is not linked to Hizbollah.

I don't think Israel is right in what they are doing but the Lebanees government have a case to answer

I agree, I think I said that in my last post. The rest of the Lebanese government should be confronted.

Hizbollah are the villians in the piece.

Definitely. They are hi-jacking the Lebanon. They care as little about the Lebanese people as as the Israelis. Hizbollah will use the casualties of the Israeli campaign as martyrs for their cause. They will turn out propaganda and some Lebanese will find it hard to find sympathy in their hearts for Israel after the suffering they're going though. That's why the campaign is so ineffectual - it's unrealistic to think that they can wipe out Hizbollah in this way and so many innocent lives will be lost in the process.

The reason why people are vocal about their criticism for Israel's campaign is that Hizbollah is an extremist group. They are unscruplous and incredibly dangerous. But nations are held to a higher standard - they are expected to comply with international law and military action is expected to be incisive. Civilized nations shouldn't stoop to Hizbollah's level. Israel have the high moral ground, but they are being criticised due to the disproportionate response. Which I suppose makes these posts go full circle.