Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, whose country holds Union’s rotating presidency, says ‘EU condemns the loss of lives caused by disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defense Forces and the humanitarian crisis it has aggravatedSomehow, the international community has decided that there is just one proper response to having enemies rain down rockets on civilians sleeping in their beds and they have carefully calibrated what that response should be. And going after the means by which Hezbollah receives more arms and transports them around southern Lebanon is not on the list of appropriate responses. This makes me so very angry. As if rocket attacks on any other countries' homes, restaurants, hotels, etc. would not provoke similar "disproportionate" responses in all these countries tsk-tsking at Israel. Who says that if someone strikes you, you can only strike back just as hard as they struck you and no harder?
When people see the pictures of the panic in Beirut and hear that the airport has been attacked, they're seeing pictures of a city that doesn't look much different from ours and picturing our own airports. Well, don't forget that Hezbollah has been using that airport to receive shipments of rockets and other arms from Iran. They have been using thoses roads and bridges in Iran to position their rocket launchers and move them around after they set off their attacks. That is why Israel is going after those places. And if Israel really wanted to be disproportionate, think of what they're truly capable of doing to Gaza or southern Lebanon. Then you'll appreciate how they're fighting with one hand behind their backs because they won't, like their enemies, deliberately attack their enemies.
Tammy Bruce has a great righteous post about all the phony moral equivalence in so many of these international responses that we've heard in the last couple of days.
And this from Spain, the new standard-bearer of How to Surrender to Terrorists As Quickly As Possible When They Bomb You:Of course, all these leaders coming out begging Israel to pull back said nothing when day after day, week after week, Hezbollah and Hamas were sending rockets into Israel. Somehow, that was just part of the background of news from Israel and not worth any expressions of sympathy, support or condemnation. As a reader wrote into Instapundit, how come there were no calls from the Red Cross to try to visit the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas? No calls for the Geneva Convention to be respected? As Glenn answers, that's easy - the Geneva Convention is only for the Israelis and the United States. We have lowered expectations for Islamicists."In my view, Israel is making a mistake," said Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. "It will only lead to an escalation of the violence."
This comment is especially important as it furthers the 'moral equivalency' argument pushed by leftists around the world. By referring to an "escalation of the violence" he's saying that Israel's defense response to being attacked and their search for kidnapped soldiers is the 'moral equivalent' to the terrorist attacks which caused the need for Israel to respond in the first place. To him, the two are morally the same. This is rank nihilistic moral relativism and explains in great part why terrorists around the world still believe the terror tactic will work--because it has against countries like Spain, which drown in their own indistinct and cowardly muck.
I wish that the next time some leader comes out and starts talking about Israel's "disproportionate response" that the journalists would ask them what their definition of a proportionate response would be if some terrorists were sending rockets into their own cities. Perhaps their own citizens might be interested in knowing how these intrepid leaders would respond if they were being attacked. I bet they wouldn't be concerned about no stinkin' proportionality then.
UPDATE: The Neo-neocon has some more thoughts about how risky it is to buy into this whole concept of proportionality in warfare.
It's in the interests of those with less power, and fewer arms, to advance the doctrine of "proportionality." This evens the playing field, something like a handicap in golf, and makes the game better sport for those with fewer skills. The concept of proportionality comes, no doubt, at least partly from fear of a truly disproportionate response; from some sort of concern for the weak. But it also comes from a disproportionate concern that weaker, third-world countries shouldn't be disadvantaged in any way because of their weakness, that they should be allowed to attack a stronger nation with relative impunity because, after all, they're weaker; and, after all, they're "brown;" and, after all, the West is imperialist and guilty; and, after all...and on and on.
But war is not a game of golf. And leveling the playing field doesn't make for more fun. It makes for the emboldenment of tyrants in the third world. It makes for lengthy, drawn-out conflicts that never seem to end or be resolved. It buys time for countries such as Iran to gain power and become contenders by acquiring the most disproportionate weaponry of all, the nuclear variety.