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Author Topic: State of war between Israel and Lebanon  (Read 33025 times)
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Ari
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« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2006, 09:43:10 AM »

Shad0wfax, I don't agree with your first point.
Consider this: When a country (or terrorist group or whatever) decides to wage war or attack another country, they've already decided that a state of war is acceptable to them, and they are generally aware that the other side will not sit around and just suffer the attacks without any kind of reaction. based on previous reactions, they consider the repercussions of their actions, and find them tolerable. Anything else is just being naive.
Now, since this level of repercussions is acceptable to them, then actually reacting to their attacks on the level they expect can never be enough to stop the attacks, so the reaction has to be disproportionate in order to have any kind of effect. You can't wage war on a country, and expect your foe to play along by your rules. If wars worked out that way, WWII would never have ended.
There are 2 ways to end a war you don't want:
A) Negotiate peace
B) Make it not worthwhile to the other side to fight you

I'm sorry, but Israel has tried option A for 8 years and all we got in return were suicide bombs and katusha rockets.
When option A is exhausted, you turn to option B.

Quote from: Ivar

What I wonder is:
When such terrorist extremists (who were not affiliated to Arafats government) did these suicide killings, why did Israel blaim Arafat for it?
They knew full well that Arafat had no control over these fundamentalists.
Wasn't this a great opportunity to identify a common enemy and work with Arafat to get them out of the way?
Maybe I am oversimplifying it, but it doesn't seem like they've tried this approach.
Instead they held Arafat prisoner in his own "country", within the boundaries of his estate.
I never followed the logic as to how that would result in a positive resolve.

Well, I have to say that up until 2 years ago, I'd say the exact same thing. I was pissed off at my government for what I called "playing into the hands of Hamas" by stopping negotiations every time a bus exploded in Jerusalem or a bomb exploded in the market place, but over the years, it became evident that when Arafat really wanted, he could control Hamas and stop them from carrying out their attacks. Phatah has 9 brigades of trained soldiers equipped with APCs and guns that Israel supplied them with, so that they could control the areas within their jurisdiction, but they refused to take action against they're own people, just like Lebanon refuses to take action against Hezballah.
Just so you know, before Israel was founded, when the British controlled Palestine, We too engaged in various acts against them. Mostly these were attempts to smuggle guns and Jews from post WWII Europe, but some small groups like the Etzel and the Lehi engaged in terrorist attacks against the British (using tactics similar to those of the IRA in Northern Irland). These acts were not endorsed by the majority of the Jewish population back then, and in what became known as the "Season" a lot of Etzel and Lehi members were extradited to the British authorities.
The point is that Arafat's claim that he didn't have control over Hamas was actually quite convenient, seeing as how he threw away the best offer he'd ever get from Israel.
At that point, I stopped believing him.
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Ari
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« Reply #61 on: July 21, 2006, 09:50:39 AM »

Quote from: kreatorb
The offer from Ehud Barak was a last ditch attempt before an almost certain election defeat (who knows if the next government would honour this deal?  If they did not it would surely rebound on Fatah).. Also, I think the Palestinians felt they were negotiating from a position of overwhelming strength and wanted every little bit they could wring out of it.  In retrospect, turning the deal down was probably a mistake.

But - I think if this deal was offered again it would be accepted.

I would like to believe so, but after so many killings and with Hamas in power now, agreeing to nothing less than everything in exchange for an ambiguous "Hudna", and that's just as a beginning, I don't see this offer returning to the table anytime soon.

The Palestinians have managed to destroy completely what little trust there ever was between us, and since we see today what they do once they get their land back, I don't think we'll be offering much at this point.
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kreatorb
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« Reply #62 on: July 21, 2006, 10:24:21 AM »

Israel did swing sharply to the right when Ariel Sharon came into power - many say that he provoked the Palestinians to achieve his political aims (I agree with them).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Aqsa_Intifada#Sharon_visits_the_Temple_Mount

So again, it's not totally one sided.
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Ari
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« Reply #63 on: July 21, 2006, 11:21:32 AM »

Ariel Sharon came into power only a year or so after the Palestinians began their acts of violence. Israel swung right as a result of that.

Anyway, why is it so understandable, that as a result of someonevisiting a holy place (to Jewish and Muslims alike), even if he is considered a war criminal by some, people start rioting and lynching soldiers and then proceed to kill and injure thousands of civillians for 6 years? would you act that way, were your religeous places visited by someone you hate? Would you start killing for that reason? why yes? why not? and if not, why is it ok for someone else to do so?

Why shouldn't Israelies who have suffered death and abduction and injury not start spreading violence around them just because they think Arafat is a terrorist and shouldn't be allowed inside Israel?
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Ivar
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« Reply #64 on: July 21, 2006, 11:32:56 AM »

Of course
Such long conflicts are rarely one-sided.

It seems like there is political stress in the middle east for ages now.
Sooner or later it must be put to a stop.
I fear that both parties involved will not solve it themselves for various reasons (mostly religious).

I don't like the approach of marching in the region with a huge army (led by UN) and demand total obedience from both sides.....but it maybe the only way forward (i.e: the last resort). If the UN does not interfere...so many more will die!
Perhaps the international community (via the UN) needs to decide who gets what territory and demand obedience to that choice by the parties involved.
It's like solving a dispute between 2 children who don't want to budge from their respective sides. It sounds "absurd" by putting it like that...but what else is possible....other than a massive war which cost so many lives AGAIN.

By your rules Ari, if this army would be vast and big enough.....both sides will not find it worthwhile to counteract.
Important thing is that this time, it will have to be the UN that is in charge (and not just the US with some backing of the UK)!
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kreatorb
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« Reply #65 on: July 21, 2006, 11:50:27 AM »

The trouble started before Sharon became Prime Minister - when he visited the temple 6 months prior.

Sharon's visit was implying that this holy place is Israeli and will forever remain so.  It was a cynical power play and everyone fell for it.  

In a conflict that is all about land and religion - I can see why the situation exploded.
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Ari
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« Reply #66 on: July 21, 2006, 01:06:27 PM »

Quote from: kreatorb

Sharon's visit was implying that this holy place is Israeli and will forever remain so.

Can you honestly make a direct logical connection between the first part of that sentence and the second?

The holy places are supposed to stay universal. Anyone can and should be able to visit them be he Muslim, Christian or Jewish. Every year we have thousands of Christians who come to Jerusalem to visit the holy places. Shouldn't we take offence at that? Shouldn't we fear they're trying to claim these places belong to them and will forever remain as such?
Would you understand a Catholic Christian taking offence at a Jew visiting the Vatican?

Why do you understand the sudden spread of violence? would you react the same?
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Alison
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« Reply #67 on: July 21, 2006, 01:55:56 PM »

Quote from: Tom
Quote from: Alison
Quote from: Tom
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Besides, why have them if you don't want to use them?

You're not serious, are you?  What country ever wants to use nuclear weapons?


A country run by fundamentalists/lunatics who see greater rewards in dying because they belief you will be rewarded with a wonderful spiritual life if you die furthering their religious cause.


Touche.  Point taken.  But I wouldn't lump Israel in that "lunatic" group.  I believe that the countries that currently do have NW's, don't wish to use them at any cost.


No, I didn't mean to lump Israel into that group.  Sorry, if anyone assumed I was talking about Israel being fanatical.  

I'm not so sure about N. Korea being mentally stable, but their problem definitely isn't being inflamed by religious means.

I fear those countries where they use fanatics as weapons against persons, and ideals that don't mirror their own objectives.  Those leaders often find themselves at odds with those same fanatics, when they stray too far from the hard line of the religious left.  Nukes in the hands of governments like these should scare everyone.

That seems to be the Palestinian problem right now.  Without an "outside" enemy to direct the people's attention to, their differences result in violent confrontations amongst the factions.  Hamas has been very obscure about recognizing Israel's right to exist, and the US will not deal with them until they do.  The Palestinians do not have a central government responsible for all of the people, and you cannot look to one person to speak on behalf of all the factions.  Check out this article:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/4061982.html

I don't trust regimes that glorify suicide missions as the way to solve any kind of problems with neighboring countries, or peoples. Knowing they have nuclear capabilities makes me fear for any kind of future world for the next generation.
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shad0wfax
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« Reply #68 on: July 21, 2006, 02:16:44 PM »

I re-afirm myself in what I said: If retaliation greatly surpasses the agression, it becomes agression. If a burglar steals me $100, I cannot pretend stealing him $1000 in order to 'make justice'. If maintaining this very basic moral rule is to be naive, then I am naive. I prefer being naive than a moral monster.

Things are getting spectacular dimensions. Israel's government is preparing a large-scale military operation and hasn't stablished a temporal limit for this. UN is already talking about a humanitarian disaster in Lebanon. What have lebanese civilians done to deserve this? Hamas' and Hezbollah's actions are immoral, but also Israel's reaction is disproportionate and deeply unjust. You cannot pretend to appear to be better of more just than your opponent if you are inflicting even more pain than him. All the world but Israel's and US' governments see this clearly.

PLEASE STOP THIS!! To hezbollah: stop firing rockets and free the prisoners! To Israel's government: stop this offensive which causes hundreds of civilian deaths and severe pain to thousands of innocent civilians! Stop this crazyness at once!!

In addition to the moral repulse, it should be evident that all this is very stupid from a strategic point of view, because those violent reactions are only 'justifying' more violent reactions and creating the conditions for a large-scale military conflict in all the region (involving also Syria, Iran and maybe also Egypt and other countries).
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Ari
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« Reply #69 on: July 21, 2006, 03:28:08 PM »

Your analogy isn't a good one, nor is it correct on it's own.
When someone commits a crime, for example, steals 100$ from me, his punishment, if caught, won't be to simpley return the money, especially when it's not his first crime. He'd do time in jail, and perhaps also fined ten-fold. This is true in every judicial system including your own, I hope.

Granted, there are things that you shouldn't do, such as punish someone physically for a non-violent crime. But if someone commits the same crime over and over again, you can be lenient for only so long. In the US you've got the ever growing in popularity "3 strikes - you're out" system, which, personally, I would like to see instated in Israel too.

If the judicial system worked the way you seem to propose it should, criminals would just commit more crimes, especially theft and burglary, since at the very most, they'd have to return what they stole.
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« Reply #70 on: July 21, 2006, 04:33:25 PM »

Incidently, the other day, a Lebanese official said that should Israel invade southern Lebanon, the Lebanese army would join the fight against Israel.

What strikes me as ironic is, how come all of a sudden they do take responsibility over their land? They claim they don't have the power to fight Hezbollah (which I don't quite believe, plus, Israel'd be more than willing to help them crush the Hezbollah if they asked us to), but they do have the power to fight Israel.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1693012.htm
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shad0wfax
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« Reply #71 on: July 21, 2006, 06:33:06 PM »

Of course, I was referring only to criminal responsibility, not to the civil responsibility to pay for the damages which are consequence of the criminal behaviour, which of course are always to be repaired in every legal system I am aware of. That is, in every legal system, besides repairing the damages caused by the criminal behaviour, there's a punishment to be imposed for this criminal behaviour in itself (stealing, killing, raping and so on). But there's a complex topic here -foundation and justification of criminal punishment-. Keeping it simple, there are two main points of view: a) retributory or deontologic punishment theories; b) utilitaristic punishment theories.

a) The first kind of theories put the nucleus of punishment in justice, proportionality and deservation. So the punishment you are justified to be imposed is limited and determined by the kind of damage you've made, and its finality is to pay for your crime; that is, to re-adjust equilibrium between you and the society. It's based in the idea of human dignity: No one can be used as a mean to obtain a valuable social end, no matter how good it can be, because human dignity is the most important thing. Persons have dignity, things have price. Every person has the same value and nobody can be sacrified for any ends. This is is a central idea of Kantian thought: punishment has to be just, not exemplificatory nor utilitaristic.

b) The utilitaristic theories do not focus primarily on justice, but in acheiving some social valuable consequences (order, stability, security). The main idea is not to make criminals to pay for their crimes, but to prevent the comission of crimes. So punishment are not related to the entity of the agression, but to their frequence or to their risk of comission: most frequent crimes, or those the authority wants to erradicate, will have the greatest punishments. This kind of theories also can be used for pre-emptive actions or punishment to innocent people if this can drive us to our goal. In general terms, US criminal law system is based in this view (their use of death penalty or the system "3 crimes - out" shows this kind of thought). I personally dislike this system very much, because is deeply unjust, treats persons as a means and not as an end in themselves, becacuse permits some people to be sacrified for the benefit of the rest, and doesn't use the parameter of the entity of the agression to calibrate the punishment, hence eliminating human dignity. I believe that everybody has the same value, the same dignity, which should be inviolable, and I believe in equality and justice, and the prohibition to be used as a mean. Only the guilty should pay for their crimes and only in a proportional terms to their offence, respecting their dignity and their rights (a just trial, no Guantanamo-like prisons and so on). This is what allows to ditinguish between the civilized man and the beasts: civilized men shows respect for the other even when they have to punish for an illegitimate agression; they respect the basic rights even to the people who haven't respected ours (someone put us a bomb, but we arrest him and judge him according to the law and respecting his rights). The other alternative (responding to an illegitimate aggression with another illegitimate aggression), just puts all of us in the same level of animality. No illegitimate agression is justified, even when we have been victims of an illegitimate agression.
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Marten
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« Reply #72 on: July 21, 2006, 09:52:11 PM »

shadowfax,

Let me see if I understand your opinion correctly.

If you have been wronged, and it is not possible to mete justice upon the wrongdoer without doing more damage than has been done to yourself, and you have every reason to believe that future hostilities are inevitable, then... you should do nothing at all?

To put it another way:  Wasps have built a nest under the eve of your home.  You are content to try to avoid them, but the situation becomes too dangerous and one of them stings you.  You should only kill the wasp that stung you, and still try to live peacefully with the nest and with danger still lurking close by every day, yes?

That is the situation Israel is in.

The people attacking Israel do so from highly populated civilian areas.  Israel cannot strike back without causing civilian casualties.  (Side note:  In war, there's not really any such thing as civilian casualities.  The world has become a bunch of pansies in this regard; if the civilians are tolerating war being done from their side, then they are supporting the war.  The wasps that don't sting you are helping build the nest.)

Small "eye for an eye" offensives against the terrorists won't accomplish anything.  You say punishment needs to be just; I say it needs to be effective... because I'm not so much interested in justice (life is not fair); I'm interested in results.  I'm not saying that the end justifies the means, but I am saying that if the end does not accomplish the goal, seek a new means.

Please note that none of the above should be construed I really want to take any "side" in the battle between Israel and Palestine.  The world made a big mistake by effectively robbing the people who already lived in Jerusalem, and giving their land to Israel.  The Palestinians made a mistake by letting it happen, then attacking Israel after they were already set up in place.  Israel has furthered the damage by trying to expand its borders beyond the ones that the world defined.  Israel's nuclear weapons aside, it's entirely possible that the world may one day wake up and realize its original mistake, and seek to rectify it.  I don't think it's likely... but there is still a tiny little chance it could happen.
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Alistair
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« Reply #73 on: July 22, 2006, 03:41:35 AM »

Some thoughts (becuase it's impossible to read thsi thread and NOT reply to it- sign of good debating I guess):

Quote
Why shouldn't Israelies who have suffered death and abduction and injury not start spreading violence around them just because they think Arafat is a terrorist and shouldn't be allowed inside Israel?

I would have thought that was kind of obvious, if not more difficult in reality than in practice- violence begets violence. I daresay there's Lebanese and Palestinians who have exactly the same opinion. Ergo, vicious circle of violence that plagues the region. Point is, you CAN'T justify killing people because people of yours were killed.

With regards to Alison's comments (and indeed other comments others have made), one thing I don't like is countries being generalised. Palestine and Lebanon for one. Not only countries, but their people. Something I hear bandied around a lot (especially since 9/11) is that "countries are fanatical". I'll tell you now, there's a lot of Palestinians, Lebanese, even Israelis who don't care for warmongering. Sure, they care about their God, but they don't all fall into the 'fanatic' umbrella. This myth that the Middle East is full of fanatics seems to me a justification of ethnic cleansing (of one form or another. To put it another way, mass homicide). As in, they're fanatics, suicide bombers, aggressors- so we can kill them en masse and that's perectly acceptable. Iraq falls under that line of logic to a fair extent, IMO (after we got past WMD's and Saddam).

*That said*, there are a lot of extremists- I'm just sick of hearing people justfying preemptive strikes/etc based on capabilities, and generalisations like 'countries are dangerous with fanatics'. Words are the most dangerous tool/weapon of all, IMHO.


Quote
I re-afirm myself in what I said: If retaliation greatly surpasses the agression, it becomes agression. If a burglar steals me $100, I cannot pretend stealing him $1000 in order to 'make justice'. If maintaining this very basic moral rule is to be naive, then I am naive. I prefer being naive than a moral monster.

I actually really like this quote. To me, that's my thoughts. Except to take it one step further- a terrorist/fighter kills my mother, so I kill their brother/father (or not even theirs, since I have no idea who they are- but just a random couple of 'their' people). (In turn, they'll kill 3 of my people, etc etc.)

To me, that's how it works. Retaliatory strikes don't always kill 'more'- but they still kill. And how often do we hear on the news that it's civilians and children who die?

Quote
In addition to the moral repulse, it should be evident that all this is very stupid from a strategic point of view, because those violent reactions are only 'justifying' more violent reactions and creating the conditions for a large-scale military conflict in all the region (involving also Syria, Iran and maybe also Egypt and other countries).

Totally agree, Shadowfax. You've said many highly intelligent comments on the matter.

Ari:
Quote
In the US you've got the ever growing in popularity "3 strikes - you're out" system, which, personally, I would like to see instated in Israel too.

I abhor the 'three strikes' notion. Basically, you commit 3 not very serious crimes, and go to jail for a very long period. To me, it's totally disproportionate, and reminds me of the UK in the middle ages where boys were sent to jail for stealing bread. If you're poor and steal bread, jail is way out of proportion with what you've done, and so the logic continues.

We had it in the Northern Territory with Aborigines (but that's another story). It was a complete failure. To me, it's morally reprehensible, and sadly in line with other US 'justice' methods- such as a closeness of the state and the judiciary (and the church/judiciary), and capital punishment.

Quote
Israel'd be more than willing to help them crush the Hezbollah if they asked us to.

(I wonder how that would work, exactly?)

Good on you for looking at our public news service from Australia though, Ari Cheesy You have good taste.


Marten:
Quote
To put it another way: Wasps have built a nest under the eve of your home. You are content to try to avoid them, but the situation becomes too dangerous and one of them stings you. You should only kill the wasp that stung you, and still try to live peacefully with the nest and with danger still lurking close by every day, yes?

Personally, I don't like that analogy. I don't believe in violence against animals, and I'd chase them away or smoke them, not kill them.

Quote
The people attacking Israel do so from highly populated civilian areas. Israel cannot strike back without causing civilian casualties. (Side note: In war, there's not really any such thing as civilian casualities. The world has become a bunch of pansies in this regard; if the civilians are tolerating war being done from their side, then they are supporting the war. The wasps that don't sting you are helping build the nest.)

That's a load of crap! If you're a family who doesn't believe in war in a heavily populated area of extemists, do you speak out, or do you act as if you're "helping" the war effort?

Besides, you're also unfairly assuming they have complete knowledgeand freedom of thought. I would say it's safe to assume some propaganda and bias in the region (the countries we've mentioned many times). So, the average 'civilian' has probab;y had military/religious progaganda fed down their throats. I hoenstly don't think a 15 year old boy who's been brought up in a non-extemist household would be wanting to sent rockets over a border. You can't fault these people for what's been forced upon them. It comes across as brash and arrogant, and very 'white man'-ish. (Those darkies shouldn't help those terrorists!)

That's a scarily right-wing POV coming from you, Marten. Smiley

I won't reply to the rest, since it wasn't so bad, and I don't want to spend my WHOLE Saturday posting.

My 3 cents Wink

Regards, and I don't mean anything to be offensive against anybody- just debating-
- Alistair
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Marten
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« Reply #74 on: July 22, 2006, 04:33:58 AM »

Quote from: Alistair
Marten:
Personally, I don't like that analogy. I don't believe in violence against animals, and I'd chase them away or smoke them, not kill them.

Except that wasps aren't animals, they're insects Smiley  Though, point taken; terrorists are animals.

Quote from: Alistair

That's a load of crap! If you're a family who doesn't believe in war in a heavily populated area of extemists, do you speak out, or do you act as if you're "helping" the war effort?


Seriously, there is one particular "conservative" rule I stand by, and it is this:
If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  I don't care what excuses a person has.  You're either a solution person or a problem person.

Granted, there are many problems in this world, and shades of grey enter the equation because some people are "problem" people on some topics, and "solution" people on others.  But when sides have to be taken, there is no fence-sitting.  If you want to know why, read this article.

(This discussion now satisfies Godwin's Law.)

P.S.:  This article about internet arguments is an entertaining read.  Fancia and I probably will derive slightly more amusement from it than others here, though. Wink
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shad0wfax
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« Reply #75 on: July 22, 2006, 07:30:55 AM »

Marten: punishment or other forms of violent reactions are not the only way. There's not a "law of the nature" for why this is the only possible situatuion. There're lots of sensible things and policies to do: increase controls, promote social integration, collaborate in the international arena, and so on. and Only when it comes to use violence because there is no other way (there's been an illegitimate agression), you shoud act between the parameters of justice, respect and proportionality.

Let me put an invented (hypothetical) example for all who feel attraction for the "utilitaristic model", based on the idea of effectiveness and results. It's invented but examples like this are usually used in the discussion in the realm of moral philosophy. Suppose someone (your government, for instance) says to you: this is the situation. There are a group of 1,000 persons who are in a situation of severe destitution and in a high risk of dying of hunger/disease or whatever, and the only way (or the most effective way) to avoid this is to kill YOU, a innocent person. You're not responsible for the situation of those 1,000 people, that's right, but if we don't kill you, they will surely dye, and as long as you're only one and they are 1,000 and they are also innocent, it's right to kill you, and you have to agree that we have the right to kill you, and those 1,000 people have the right to claim your death.

If that were the case, you will face a dilemma: a) if you defend an utilitaristic theory, you'd have to say: yeah, that's right, I see I have to be killed for the sake of those poor people, so come on, kill me!. or b) you could say that this is unfair, because although that those 1,000 people could die, you're not responsible for their situation, and your life is just as valuable as the life of each one of those 1,000 persons. You're innocent and you have to be considered as an end, not as a mere mean, hence violating your human dignity. You are an equal, not an inferior that can be sacrified for the benefit of others.

As long as you want to be honest, consistent and not cynical (saying that "death is good for the others, but not for me" -BTW, just like the nazis when they claim for example that "all jews must be exterminated", but wouldn't accept THEMSELVES to be exterminated in the case they were jews-), and you endorse an utilitaristic view, you must opt for the first horn of the dilemma.

I think that this the kind of argumentation used by Israeli government. They say, in sum: The only way to stop terrorist strikes to innocent civilan people in Israel is to neutralize Hezbollah. This involves a quite important military operation and the death of hundreds or even thousands of innocent lebanese people is inevitable. But if we do neutralize Hezbollah, lots of thousands or even millions of citizens will have a better life (security, stability and so on). So it's right to kill those innocent people, and the citizens of Israel have the right to claim their death and the victims just cannot protest, because this is very egoistic and they should see that their death is right and good, because it's justified by a higher end.

I'd say to all the people who follows that kinf of argmentation: OK, if you think it's good (in some situations) to sacrifice innocent people, let YOU be the first one to be sacrified. I suspect that then nobody would still keep on thinking this way.

The bottom line is that sacrifice of innocent people is NEVER justified, and that's why no war, as long as it always involves the death of innocent people, is morally justified. You can say then that perhaps morality is not the most important thing in the world. But then I'd reply: OK, but then don't pretend to morally JUSTIFY your behauvior and assume that you're immoral.

Sometimes I have the impression that Israel's government really does think seriously that their people are really the chosen one by God, and hence the lifes of other people are just less valuable and imporant than theirs. Maybe all countries think that their people is more important than the rest (and that's why I am cosmopolitan and abhor borders, flags and so on, because I firmly think that all human beings are equal in rights and dignity, and there's only one mankind and one world to share), but this always reminds me the nazist thinking (believing that some race, or some people just is more important or valuable than the other).
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Alistair
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« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2006, 08:19:40 AM »

Just running with Shadowfax's argument (BTW, I totally agree again), it raises an interesting point, that we keep talking about borders and so on. I was very close to myself pointing out in my previous post that we are all humans, that it seems crazy to be talking about fellow humans in terms of the 'Israelis' and the 'Lebanese', etc etc. Especially when it comes to talking about justfiying killing races or certain group of people. If you follow the religious line (I don't, but I'm running with it for the sake of argument), we're all God's creatures, whether my definition of God is the same as yours- I don't get why one interpretation sees fit to kill another's (and then, vice versa).

One thing we musn't lose sight of in all of this is the net result = human deaths. No matter whether you're talking religious ideals or humanistic or moral.

And Marten, your post is more stirring trouble than anything (IMO), so I'll leave it alone Smiley

- Alistair
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Ari
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« Reply #77 on: July 22, 2006, 08:41:16 AM »

I see why you think your phylosophy applies here, Shad0wfax, but you've disregarded quite a few facts.

First, Lebanon is a sovereign country which on the one hand claims responsibility for it's land and will not tolerate another invasion. On the other hand, they are not willing to take responsibility of actions by part of their government and their people, so their situation is their own making.
If the Lebanese didn't cooperate with Hezbollah, allowing them to fire from within populated areas, there wouldn't be any bombings of civillian districts. This cooperation is effectively making them an accomplice to Hezbollah.
I promise you: If Lebanon started taking responsibility and started driving out the Hezbollah from their midst, Israel would stop bombing the area.

If you want to compare it to a person to person situation, consider this example:
You own a house, and one of your kids has a potato gun which he uses to fire on people passing by on the street. Several people have come up to your doorstep, knocked on the door and demanded that you stop your kid from shooting at people. You say you can't do anything about it and close the door.
Are you innocent? or are you an accomplice?
Now, suppose you hold a family meeting in which you decide to vote on what to do. In that vote there's a majority against doing anything, and so you decide to do nothing about the shooting, and your kid continues shooting at people. What does that make the people in your household?

Second, as long as there isn't an enforceable international law, the world is in a state of "international anarchy". The UN can pass as many resolutions as it wants. If it doesn't act upon them, they're not worth the paper they were written on. The only way for countries to settle their differences is between themselves.
Granted, the UN has agreed to send in forces, but UN forces have been in Lebanon for 20 years, and have never done anything to stop kidnappings and shootings. In fact, when 3 soldiers were kidnapped by Hezbollah in september 2000, UN forces were actually there and saw everything and did nothing (there's actually footage taken by them that shows how they just filmed the whole thing, and did nothing). So forgive us if we don't believe the UN can and will do anything in the event of another strike by Hezbollah.
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« Reply #78 on: July 22, 2006, 08:54:02 AM »

Alistair, the problem I have with your posts is that you tend to view the situation from the point of view of a father who's to kids are at each other's throats and he wants to separate them from each other.
You don't seem to care who's at fault, who started it and who needs to be punished. All you want is for the violence to stop and that both kids just go to their room and that's it.

This approach cannot apply here. There is no "father" here who can send the kids to their rooms.
Moreover, since all sides were "punished" the same way, you can be sure that the next day, they will be at each other's throat again, doing the same thing. Why? because all you did was break up the fight, not take care of the actual problem.

I'm sorry, but I think your approach is naive and unfair.
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shad0wfax
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« Reply #79 on: July 22, 2006, 10:22:34 AM »

Quote
Lebanon is a sovereign country which on the one hand claims responsibility for it's land and will not tolerate another invasion. On the other hand, they are not willing to take responsibility of actions by part of their government and their people, so their situation is their own making.
If the Lebanese didn't cooperate with Hezbollah, allowing them to fire from within populated areas, there wouldn't be any bombings of civillian districts. This cooperation is effectively making them an accomplice to Hezbollah.


All depends on one crucial point: if Lebanon really doesn't have the capacity or the means to control or neutralize Hezbollah, it cannot be taken as responsible for Hezbollah's actions. On the contrary, if Hezbollah's are simply acting under the passivity of Lebanon's government, which could control and stop this, then the lebanese government is acompplice.

But even in the latter case, this wouldn't justify a violent unilateral response from Israel, at least before trying all another legitimate alternative ways, for instance, to establish in southern Lebanon a multilateral international force under the command of UN, an option which has been systematically declined by the Israeli government.

Quote
You own a house, and one of your kids has a potato gun which he uses to fire on people passing by on the street. Several people have come up to your doorstep, knocked on the door and demanded that you stop your kid from shooting at people. You say you can't do anything about it and close the door.
Are you innocent? or are you an accomplice?


This is a quite classical example of responsibility for others' actions in torts law. In torts law, you are responsible for the damages made by persons who are under your authority and control (the simplest case is the responsibility for your minor children). So, if your kid is firing with his potato gun and you have the capacity of preventing this and you do nothing, you are responsible, of course. But if you, for some reason, has no possibility of control or no authority over the kid's actions, you cannot be taken responsible for his behauviour.

And whichever the case, the pissed neighbours wouldn't be allowed to 'take control over the situation' or 'make justice' on their own. They had to call for the help of institutions (police and courts). Whatever violent unilateral reaction would be considered in any legal system as a punishable criminal action.

Quote
suppose you hold a family meeting in which you decide to vote on what to do. In that vote there's a majority against doing anything, and so you decide to do nothing about the shooting, and your kid continues shooting at people. What does that make the people in your household?


This raises an interesting point: not everything can be decided by voting. Democratic decisions have limits, and you cannot "democratically decide" decisions against other people's basic rights or against human dignity (for example, decide killing another community or impose slavery). In a simmilar way, there cannot be a decision for what you decide not to be under the authority of law (also international law).

Quote
as long as there isn't an enforceable international law, the world is in a state of "international anarchy". The UN can pass as many resolutions as it wants. If it doesn't act upon them, they're not worth the paper they were written on. The only way for countries to settle their differences is between themselves.


NOOOO!!!!! This point of view is only shared by US' and Israel's govenrments. There IS an international law, it IS enforceable, there is NO international anarchy. And if international law, international treaties and UN resolutions are not as effective as they should be, it's in great part because US' and Israel's gonvernments (with the support of the US) haven't got an interest in their effectiveness (I'd say in fact  that there are a strong interest against their effectiveness, because for some reason they believe they are superior to the rest of the world). You simply cannot act against the real effectivenes of international law, and then say, when you act against it, that you are acting rightly because international law isn't effective. That's because it has been your fault that this is not effective, and there is a basic moral principle that settles that you cannot pretend to obtain a benefit from your own wrongdoing.
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