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Fine, then

Reader comment on item: Israel's Unnecessary War
in response to reader comment: You Misunderstood Me!

Submitted by a Filipino liberal (Philippines), Sep 19, 2006 at 05:56

Fine, I'll respond. Israel can say that they can respond to Hezbollah attacks, and they are quite right to do so, especially as Hezbollah started conflict by kidnapping the two Israeli soldiers (although if what I've heard is correct, Israel had been subtly provoking Hezbollah for some time already even after they pulled out of Lebanon, and this is what caused Hezbollah to kidnap the soldiers).

But they cannot kill civilians. Sure, they can say that Hezbollah was deliberately trying to kill Israeli civilians, but Israel was not trying to kill Lebanese civilians. My answer is: So what? Does "not intending to kill them" change the fact that they're dead? No. Is telling the relatives of the victims that they shouldn't be angry because Israel "didn't intend to kill them" fair? Of course not. Because as it is, even though Hezbollah may have been deliberately targeting civilians, and Israel was not, the plain fact is that Israel still killed more civilians and caused more damage, despite "not intending to kill them".

What makes it even worse is how Israel's war was supposedly not against the nation of Lebanon itself, but just against Hezbollah, an organization within the country. This makes killing Lebanese civilians even more unforgivable. The Lebanese Army did not respond to the invasion except to treat the wounded and dead, even though since Israel was the one invading and causing huge amounts of damage, they would have been well within their rights to do so and no one could blame them. Of course, one might say that they didn't respond because Israel is much stronger. But this only means that Israel is following a code of "might makes right", and does not improve their position in the slightest.

In general, I condemn the entire Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Contrary to what Israel seems to think, a just cause (putting down Hezbollah) does not justify killing civilians. The invasion put thousands of civilian lives, not only Lebanese but of other nationalities staying on their country (including Filipinos) and Hezbollah actually seemed more concerned abou the safety of non-Israeli foreigners in Lebanon than the IDF was. And besides, is putting down Hezbollah really a just cause? Although it's true that they hate Israel and don't want them to exist, until the last conflict's rocket attacks into Israel, their actions have been purely defensive, defending Lebanon against Israeli invaders, both in the '80s and in 2006 (as TIME Magazine has noted). After Israel pulled out, they stopped fighting, too.

Now, you might say that it's unfair to expect Israel not to kill civilians. Hezbollah sometimes stores arms and supplies in residential areas, probably as a deterrent to attacks (or to make Israel attack and be blamed for killing civilians). And stupidly enough, Israel actually takes the bait anyway. They may say that the deaths of civilians were justified in light of the achievement of objectives and Hezbollah's tactics. But apparently, IDF commanders have never heard of the "just was" doctrine, which says that it's better for a hundred of your combatants to be killed than for a single enemy noncombatant to be killed, which I think is fair. At least, it's fair as long as you say you're a moral nation and want to fight morally. To me, Israel can kill civilians, so long as they drop the "moral" front and come out and show that they are fighting immorally. Just like with the US, to continue to say you're the good guys and still kill civilians is like trying to have your cake and eat it too. No fair. And what worsens the matter is that the civilians are not even "enemy noncombatants" at all, because the stated enemy was Hezbollah, not Lebanon. They were just "noncombatants".

Israel and the US keep saying that although they do kill civilians, it's unintentional, unlike their enemies who kill intentionally. But in fact on many occasions, these two nations have killed civilians intentionally, a topic I will cover more later.

And in reponse to Infidel, although it's true that more Iraqis are being killed now by other Iraqis than by Americans, the fact remains that Iraq is still being occupied, and some Iraqis are still being killed by Americans up to now. You ever hear of Haditha? Of course not.

In fact, the Americans are probably thankful for the new sectarian violence, since it distracts the Iraqis' anger away from the Americans, and toward each other, which is probably how America likes it.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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