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In a perfect world...

Reader comment on item: Lessons of the War in Gaza
in response to reader comment: The difference between the military and the police

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Aug 17, 2014 at 12:54

In a perfect world, I imagine disagreements would be settled in a soccer match between the two parties. It's absolutely bizarre that today, in an age of torture, beheadings and runaway barbarism in wars, rebellions, police actions and interpersonal disputes, the international community is ever refining its definition of what is "proper" conduct between belligerents -- with Israel being the only country in the world expected to abide by such guidelines.

Israel has linked arms firmly with the United States, which is the only nation they really have to be answerable to in wartime (Yes, the Gaza action is a war, not a police raid). This is simply a pragmatic matter, with no moral strings attached. US President Obama has been trying to play cat-and-mouse with Israel, dangling promised weapons in front of Israel to make them reach for them. Obama is under no compulsion to do this, since the US is powerful enough to be independent of world opinion: I believe it's a purely personal matter, a case of the bully trying to throw his weight around. Sometimes Israel gives in to this sort of thing; and sometimes it doesn't -- and very often, the US has to back off in its own interest.

Israel has not gone whole-hog steamroller into Gaza, for three reasons:

1. moral concern for (the rare) truly innocent civilians

2. Barack Obama's game, and

3. practical self-interest.

When push comes to shove, #3 should trump the others.

Submitting....

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