The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Israel Overkill

WWII suicide bombers and modern day Arab suicide bombers are worlds apart. What sets them apart is that Arab terrorists have been successful and they have a community that believes they are making a noble sacrifice. I don't think you're going to see any extremist Muslim deciding that his/her suicide bombing is ineffective; every life they take is supposed to be some sort of statement to the world that they will attempt to win at any cost.

While I'm sure members of the IDF and Israel are not proud of killing civilians and mourn to some degree, I have to think that most take the stance that you do (edit: this was a blog comment response to Matt Rutta), that it is an accident when civilians are killed but that is a by-product of war.

What troubles me is that it really isn't an accident. Israel knows full well that the areas that they bomb are heavily populated and that the civilian death toll will be high. Yes, Hezbollah does use "human shields" if you mean attacking from public spaces and they are endangering their own people. However, Israel being the obviously stronger party in the mix might take care to notice that their campaign against Hezbollah has resulted in the deaths of about 50 Hezbollah guerrillas, ~ 20 Lebanese soldiers, and 700+ and growing civilian deaths.

At this point calling this an accident is becoming a joke, regardless of how Hezbollah chooses to wage war; Israel is supposed to be better than this. Carpet bombings leveling entire towns and the use of white phosphorous is overkill. At this point if you can justify the staggering accidental deaths of civilians as a unfortunate product of war and the leveling of cities because guerrillas are launching rockets from the centers of towns, you might as well completely destroy Lebanon if that is your mentality. From their justification, what is sparing anyone in Lebanon? Guilty by geographic proximity.


  • At 11:14 AM, Blogger Sean said…

    I agree with you: civilian casualties should be accepted plainly at face value as a fact of targeting Hezbollah, though it should be noted that the Israelis have been relatively consistent in utilizing leaflets and transmission systems to warn populations to evacuate a targeted area before engaging in a heavy commencement of fires.

    When one is attempting to destroy weapons systems that are actively targeting one's own people and military infrastructure, there are few alternatives. However, in my view this idea of force escalation only perpetuates a conflict, and Israel is straddling a line it should not be straddling. Either it should have sent in a small team to attempt a rescue of its captured soldiers, or it should have targeted and obliterated all of Hezbollah' infrastructure and resources in one fell swoop: shock and awe.
    The back-and-forth engagements of what can only be characterized as a devastating skirmish (for both sides) have accomplished little.


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