Ed Driscoll

"'Disproportionate' in What Moral Universe?"

Speaking of Charles Krathammer, in his latest Washington Post column, he writes:

What other country, when attacked in an unprovoked aggression across a recognized international frontier, is then put on a countdown clock by the world, given a limited time window in which to fight back, regardless of whether it has restored its own security?

What other country sustains 1,500 indiscriminate rocket attacks into its cities — every one designed to kill, maim and terrorize civilians — and is then vilified by the world when it tries to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure and strongholds with precision-guided munitions that sometimes have the unintended but unavoidable consequence of collateral civilian death and suffering?

To hear the world pass judgment on the Israel-Hezbollah war as it unfolds is to live in an Orwellian moral universe. With a few significant exceptions (the leadership of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and a very few others), the world — governments, the media, U.N. bureaucrats — has completely lost its moral bearings.

The word that obviates all thinking and magically inverts victim into aggressor is “disproportionate,” as in the universally decried “disproportionate Israeli response.”

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.

The only member of President Bush’s first term who garned anything approaching what might loosely be called “respect” from the left was Colin Powell. But ironically, the central tennent of the so-called “Powell Doctrine” (it was actually originally shaped by Caspar Weinberger, but why quibble?) is this:

The Powell Doctrine simply asserts that when a nation is engaging in war, every resource and tool should be used to achieve overwhelming force against the enemy.

Which is the only way to ensure victory. But of course, who in the Middle East, the UN or Europe wants Israel to actually achieve victory?

For more thoughts and links on proportionality, don’t miss this post by The InstaProfessor.