Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Would You Give the Electric Chair for Spitting on the Sidewalk?

No, of course you wouldn't. That'd be ridiculous. It's entire out of proportion to both the crime and what is necessary. It'd probably deter spitting, but you'd see it as monstrous.

And, by the same token, would you kill a whole family if someone within it committed a crime? Or maybe a whole village? A whole town? No, of course you wouldn't. Not only are you still disproportionately punishing, but now you're engaged in collective punishment as well.

So why, exactly, is Whatzisname approvingly quoting some guy who says that disproportionate collective punishment is a-okay? Does this mean that we should firebomb Osaka for some bad sushi? Maybe wipe out the Chinese because your pet died a while back? Should Americans be put to the sword because of Abu Gharib?

There are good reasons why collective disproportionate response is almost universally seen as ethically unacceptable. I do still think that Hamas was unutterably stupid for engaging in their brinksmanship. I also still cannot and will not endorse this nonsense, especially from an-increasingly-deserving-of-scare-quotes "liberal". Being a liberal takes more than a party membership.

Especially one who can't figure out that saying this:

Although Hamas won the Palestinian elections, it took Gaza by force, in the process hurling rival Fatah members down to their death from high-rises and shooting others in the knees with the declared aim of maiming them. Some democracy.

In any case, Israel in fact “recognizes,” de facto, Hamas’ rule in Gaza, which is precisely why it is justified in attacking the Hamas-ruled Strip, recognizing that it is indeed being governed by a terror entity. Israel did not launch the operation because Hamas is in power there – rather, it did so because Hamas is a terrorist organization that has deliberately targeted civilians with thousands of rockets over the past 8 years.
Do either of these men seriously understand what they're doing by acknowledging that governments can be so easily labelled "terror entities?"

(Nobody tell Noam Chomsky; he'd die laughing!)

Sure, they're probably just being intellectually dishonest. They're only focusing on the civilian mortality numbers, and deliberately avoiding the civilian casualty numbers, which are catastrophic. They're playing that ridiculous game of insisting that the other guy's choices excuse your own. And whatzisname is pulling that stupid trick of whining about the term 'militant' to try to distract from real issues.

But it's also possible they actually believe this stuff. And I, for one, wouldn't want either Israeli or Canadian leaders advised by men who think that decimation is a policy.

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