Seeing yet another news article with some diplomatic popinjay bleating about Israel's "disproportionate" response to being attacked, one is led to ask what exactly it is that such people mean by a "proportionate" response, and why exactly it is that any nation is obliged to respond to foreign aggression in a "proportionate" manner - whatever that is. Do people who insist on "proportionality" in warfare actually believe that the way to deter foreigners intent on lobbing missiles at you is to restrain yourself to only the weapons your attackers have at their disposal - as if one were abiding by rules of fair play in a tennis match - or is it that they simply don't believe Israel has a right to respond in an effective manner? Is this merely the brain-rot initiated in Vietnam by Robert McNamara run amok?
The idea of "proportionality" has no place whatsoever in warfare, and to pretend otherwise is either foolishnesss or disingenuity: warfare is fundamentally about using brute force to get the enemy to do what you want - in other words, intimidation by killing, or by the plausible threat of killing - not some athletic competition to be policed for unsporting methods such as steroid use, and a party which establishes a reputation for a swift and overwhelming response to aggression is much more likely to be left alone than one which tries to act in conformance with what European windbags seem to consider "proportionate"; Israel is no more obliged to restrain itself to exchanging the odd missile with Hezbollah than the United States was to dealing with September 11 by crashing a few jets into downtown Kabul. The only worthwhile measure of "proportionality" in a military conflict is whether or not the actions being carried out suffice to achieve the ends for which they are undertaken - and by that method, Israel's response cannot be characterized as "disproportionate": indeed, I'll go so far as to say that the more likely problem in the current conflict is that the Israeli government, burdened by delusional notions of "proportionality", will avoid going all out to crush Hezbollah rapidly, opting instead for the kind of "proportional", half-hearted actions which achieve little even though they bring just as much international condemnation as the more effective measures left on the table.
Then again, what am I saying? These are the same Europeans who drag their citizens to court for "disproportionately" [sic] defending themselves against intruders into their own homes ...
PS: Hezbollah agrees with me!
A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrillas did not expectSo, there you have it - a blatant admission that the reason why Hezbollah felt emboldened to provoke Israel was that it expected "the usual, limited" (in other words, "proportionate" [sic]) response.
Israel to react with an all-out offensive after the capture of two soldiers, the first acknowledgment by the group that it had miscalculated the consequences of the raid two weeks ago.
Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of the Hezbollah's political arm, also told The Associated Press in an interview that the Shiite militant group will not lay down arms.
"The truth is — let me say this clearly — we didn't even expect (this) response ... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Komati.
He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel after the two soldiers were seized by guerrillas on Israel's side of the border on July 12.