Friday, January 2, 2009

More Good Commentary on Gaza

Yesterday I noted the article by Robert Lieber.  Today, both Michael Gerson and Charles Krauthammer have excellent columns on the Gaza situation.  Gerson echoes what I wrote earlier (although he is nicer about it) about the misuse of the term disproportionate, saying

"disproportionate," which betrays a misunderstanding of proportion's meaning. The goal of military action, when unavoidable, is not to take one life in exchange for each one unjustly taken; this is mere vengeance. The goal is to remove the conditions that lead to conflict and the taking of life.
He also forthrightly states that
There is no question -- none -- that Israel's attack on Hamas in Gaza is justified.
It's good to see a journalist taking such a clear postion.

Krauthammer, who I recently criticized for his gas tax idea, points out the clear moral differences between each side, in contrast to some who try to draw a false equivalence between accidentally killing civilians and deliberately targeting them. He notes that

At war today in Gaza, one combatant is committed to causing the most civilian pain and suffering on both sides. The other combatant is committed to saving as many lives as possible -- also on both sides. It's a recurring theme
It shouldn't even be necessary, but Krauthammer gives examples of the different behavior and attitude of Israel vs. Hamas.  As he says,
Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel-Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating.

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