Charge Your Voice

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

We're sorry, BUT...our ends justify the means

"Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed ``great sorrow" today for the airstrikes that destroyed houses in the Lebanese town of Qana and killed dozens of people, many of them children, but said he would not halt the army's operation ... "

--> The difficulty for a leader who on one hand expresses regrets over the agonizing deaths of children, but on the other hand says that it must go on....represents a dichotomy and split-tongue that gaurantees he will be viewed as a hypocrite by many. He represents the philosophy that the ends justify the means, that any action towards the achievement of one's goals is therefore justified. This is a slippery slope to base declarations of intent on.

While I do not take sides in this conflict, the formal position of the Israeli cabinet, at present, is difficult to justify. A cease fire is being treated as a peace agreement. Cease fires are intended to be temporary, with the possibility of permanence, mostly so that civilians like women, children, the elderly, etc. can escape the war zone while both sides stand down in a face off and then return to battle. A peace agreement, of course, would mean that the opposing armies had reached resolution and declared an end to conflict amongst themselves, gauranteeing their own safety. In the event of a cease fire, which I presently advocate for, a 3-day cease fire allows Red Cross and humanitarian workers to shuttle those out who need to escape, or allows people to leave by foot or vehicle on their own accord without fear of fire.

It is important to consider that the enemies of Israel have taken life, but do not treat it in as casual a manner. It may be retaliatory, but not an act of 'regretable' habit. Disproportionate inneffectiveness on the part of Israel indicates that while heavy displays of armament may be a feel good policy for an Israeli state that is used to feeling threatened with anhilation, effective war is much more reasoned and an excercise in mental scrutiny. Only the equivolant of a child leader always believes that there actions are justified without careful consideration. The restraint that Israel has been encouraged to display, at this point, has been used to more advantage by the opposition in the public domain.

It is true that this arguement can be broken down, diced, and found wanting. The point is that war is public opinion and other matters even as it is territory won and lost. Leaders are analyzed as they make their decisions and faux pas, and these are crucial. They indicate a leaders state of mind, whether it be rational, arrogant, selfish or altruistic. If the Israeli cabinet wasn't as emotionally driven in a conflict that requires reason, I might be more generous with my commentary. As it stands now, I believe that their course of action will be the catalyst for a major shift of power in the Middle East because Israel failed to address grievances for which the only recourse was war, and those who aspire for this shift of power in the region, far from the battlelines, will take advantage of the results for their own profit. The army may win against Israel, but they will not bring peace.

2 Comments:

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