"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A few questions as Israel lights up Hezbollah

I've been in Toronto the last few days seeing family, which has been great since I won't get to see many of them again for awhile after moving to San Diego. Time not spent with the family has been devoted to repacking my truck and searching for places to live. But I've kept my eye on the news as well, and in between Craigslist postings, I have a few questions on the continued Israeli-Hezbollah conflict.

Are we putting
limits on Israel's war on terror that we'd never accept on our own? Yes. No one called for a "proportionate" response against Afghanistan after 9/11. We dismantled al Qaeda's infrastructure and the country that harbored it. We didn't negotiate prisoner exchanges - we captured those we didn't kill with no thought of trading them back for concessions. Is it hypocritcal to ask Israel to exercise a restraint we didn't? Yes.

Does the media report anything
close to the facts or cling to anything resembling impartiality when it comes to Israeli military action? No. Hezbollah and other terrorist groups know that the media is predisposed to criticize Israel, and that many Westerners glued to their TVs are suckers for whatever the BBC or CNN tells them. They know how to manipulate information and that Western news agencies won't waste too much time digging deeper for the other side of the story. And they know that we're exceedingly good at drawing a moral equivalency between Israel's defensive actions and Hezbollah's indiscriminate terrorist campaign. Does the media aid and abet terrorist causes by allowing itself to be used this way? Yes.

Finally, have we reached a point in Western
development where we no longer have the gonads to exercise force in the defense of self- or global interest? We're certainly heading in that direction. Unfortunately, radical Islamists and other evildoers have already recognized this and are exploiting it. Israel is one of the few Western-type nations that hasn't succumbed to it, but the rest of us have. Let's hope the process is not irreversible.

I will be driving to San Diego for the rest of the week, so blogging will cease until I have a place to live out there. Until then, I pray that Israel's efforts bring her lasting security, and that Hezbollah's fighters are reduced to a bad memory.

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