July 30, 2006

War is Hell. Losing is Worse 

Israel bombed a building in Qana, Lebanon, and the strike resulted in the death of a large number of non-combatants, including several children (for the identification of the victims as non-combatants, it appears we have to trust local sources).

The reactions around the world are as predictable as the swing of a pendulum: "firm condemnation" of Israel, not a word about Hizballah's widespread practice of using civilians as cover and even propaganda tools. Tigerhawk explains why, too:
Why? The dual racism that holds Israel to a higher standard than the rest of the world, and Arabs to a lower one. And, by the way, no profession is more culpable in the perpetuation of this dual racism than journalism.
Killing non combatants is a tragedy, but one made necessary by the horrible reality of war. Wretchard:
The only good thing about war is the day of victory; the only justification. When victory itself is deemed illegitimate, when there are no surrenders, only ceasefires then what we have isn't peace, but conflict without end. A kind of torture extended by the presence of a hovering doctor.
In the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of non-combatants were killed and maimed, and everyone - except the most slimy revisionist from the safety of their ivory towers - regards that as being fully justified. My little village in Italy was subjected to American bombing and strafing runs in the attempt to destroy the two railway bridges over there; the bombing were ineffectual because the Germans blocked the valley with two AA batteries, but my grandparents lost their home and were nearly killed. But guess what, they were happy when the Nazis finally surrendered.

A reader at the Belmont Club:
There is no answer to how you "feel", at least not one to share. Every man deals with his pain, guilt, and grief privately. With whom could he share? The mark of Cain, you know.

Another question worth pondering would be: Would you prefer to kill their kids or have them kill yours? This question assumes all other things being equal. Are they?
This is the kind of decision that men, from time to time, have to make. Pretending that the decision is not needed, or it can be deferred indefinitely, is a pathetic escape from reality and bound to end in even more misery and pain for all involved.

Some will suffer either way. Do you want it to be us or them? Do you want it to be a few now, or many later. There is no third way.


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