January 12, 2009
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Letters to the Editor
I am astonished that “Equal rights for enemies?” was reprinted in the
One purpose of these rules is to protect civilian populations. The closure of the borders of the
No one should question that the Israeli military is killing civilians. Even the Israeli government cannot deny this fact, as it has refused to allow the international media to enter the war zone with the hope that the utter brutality of the onslaught is unreported.
It was so disappointing to see that the author stooped so low to suggest a motive of “anti-Semitism” for those of us who are condemning the slaughter in the
It baffles me that anyone would support this disastrous attack in the
Equal rights for enemies?
has every right to exploit its military advantage against Hamas — victory requires it Israel
January 12, 2009
KANNAMACHI, Japan - It seems that whenever Israel responds to violent overtures from groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, leaders of the international community are quick to assign equal condemnation to Israelis and Palestinians regardless of whether one is legitimately acting in self-defense.
Whether it is the result of latent anti-Semitism, the desire to avoid inflaming fundamentalist Arab passions or simply an unrealistic belief in equality, world leaders are focusing too much on buzzwords.
In the case of Israel, the buzzwords are the "disproportionate" and "excessive" use of force - terms used in the 2006 Lebanon war and most recently spoken by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in response to Israel's Gaza offensive.
This is a particularly puzzling criticism. Would the international community truly prefer a proportionate or equal response? If Hamas launches three crudely fashioned rockets into
The notion of "proportional" response lacks both merit and logic. In war, there are winners and losers, and the only palatable means of victory come from a disproportionate use of force. Victors are inherently more skilled in combat, tactics and the effective deployment of (generally superior) technology.
It does not make sense to demand a technologically or militarily superior belligerent to refrain from fighting to its full potential simply because it is able to enact "disproportionate" damage on a weaker foe.
Should the United States have refrained from using the atomic bomb because
The notion of "proportional" responses is further baffling in that such occurrences actually prolong conflicts.
One need only look to the warfare in World War I. Equally manned belligerents, using the same tactics, the same weapons and the same defenses, resulted in both sides being bogged down in interminable trench warfare. No side could gain the upper hand, and thus the conflict continued in an endless back-and-forth.
To be sure, discretion is the better part of valor. The use of retaliatory military force must not be reflexive. If peaceful solutions fail, however, the use of force is a viable option that may have to be employed.
Certainly, an indiscriminate carpet-bombing or use of nuclear weapons on
In the 2006
Hamas is owed nothing, of course. But in order to further peace negotiations, civilians and moderates must be given any support necessary from
World leaders must condemn Hamas for abandoning its truce with
Allan Richarz is a writer and teacher working near
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs