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Dead Children Equations

shystee's picture

Via Shake's Sis, our Ambassador to the UN John "I am the Walrus" Bolton:

…"I think it would be a mistake to ascribe moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts," he added, while defending as "self-defense" Israel's military action, which has had "the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths".

First equation:

Dead Civilians (killed in acts of terrosism) [are not equal to] Dead Civilians (killed in "self-defense")

As Shake's points out: "It’s not about ascribing moral equivalence to civilians who die, but to the people who killed them." So:

Israel (who killed 183 Lebanese civilians in recent fighting) [is morally better than] Hizbollah (who killed 12 civilians in recent fighting)

If you accept the frame, the premise of this old chestnut that maintains you can put dead children into a moral equation, what Bolton and the Right-WIngers are saying is that Israel has moral superiority even though it killed 10 times more innocent people.

The basis of the Israel's moral superiority seems to me a childish "well, they started it" and "we didn't do it on purpose".

How about this moral equation:

Killing innocent civilians is always wrong

Once a nation (or a terrorist group) is responsible for killing innocent women and children it abandons any claims to moral superiority. Israel and Hezbollah have their own arguments to justify their actions, but in the end all you get is dead people who have never done anything to anyone.

The death and destruction is abstracted into a rhetorical war, distracting from the bloody reality. The counter-argument to the "moral equivalency" chestnut, which the Lebanese President has used, is to say that Israel's response is "disproportionate" to the provocation.

(bombing civilian infrastructure and heavily populated areas) [is morally inferior to] (kidnapping of 1 or 2 soldiers and launching fireworks of mass destruction)

In Gaza and in Lebanon recenetly Israel has been engaging in Collective Punishment. Israel's strategy, apparently, is to punish entire populations by thirst, hunger, fear, death and injury for the actions of groups that are a small subset of those populations.

The ultimate goal of this strategy is to make life so difficult for the Lebanese and Palestinians that they will somehow change the behavior of the terrorist groups in their midst. I don't know how this is supposed to happen in reality. For one thing, Hezbollah is far stronger militarily than the official Lebanese army.

Of course Israel has the right to exist and to want to live in peace, but these tactics of revenge and punishment do not work, as these past decades have proven. Israel has been making life miserable for the Palestinians ever since I can remember and they have not yet "broken the will" of their terrorists, they actually motivate their continued existence.

The Bushies are happy to let the bloodbath worsen as they twiddle their thumbs and spread the blame to Syria and Iran. Total war in the Middle East is what the Neocons have always wanted.

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