Comments: Israel: Up close

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I have not posted about this Israel stuff because I've come to a conclusion thaty is almost too obvious to put down.

Our illegal pre-emptive war against Iraq simply changed all the rules. Or rather it tossed the rule book out - so that now we are in some new time age where attacks on civilians are okay, provided you are fighting for some kind of higher good.

At this point I'm more sad than angry.

Posted by jason at July 27, 2006 01:21 PM

That's quite a stretch, even w/me being against the Iraq war. As if Palestinian/Arab terrorism against Israel is anything new, or that civilian casualties in war are either.

I think this letter to the NY Times (as noted by James Taranto) sort of answers your point about Iraq, though:

For 50 years, the great powers have failed to enforce agreements in the Middle East, where the parties seem unable to keep any agreement. The powers should have done so by force if necessary.

In that context, the invasion of Iraq was an expensive and disastrous diversion. Look at the cost and sacrifice involved. "Nation-building" has not worked. In fact, it seems to have made the problem of terrorism worse.

A cease-fire in Lebanon would be a step toward establishing the stability that is necessary for the development of national cohesion and indeed democracy.

John Wilson
New York, July 25, 2006

To which Taranto retorts: So according to Wilson, "great powers" should "enforce agreements" "by force if necessary"--except when they actually do, as in the case of Iraq.

Posted by Hube at July 27, 2006 01:43 PM

I think the "rules change" that relates back to Iraq is the rule of general restraint by the more powerful party.

Posted by jason at July 27, 2006 02:00 PM

Jase: What "restraint" did we show when we attacked Afghanistan in response to 9/11?

Posted by Hube at July 27, 2006 02:02 PM

I think going after the Taliban and Osama was justified and legitimate. (if only we had finsihed the job...*shakes head* )

It was going into Iraq and doing so without it being viewed as legitimate that screwed us up - and is continuing to screw us up. (and no, it was not legitimate no matter how much Bush says it was)

The doctrine of preemption is nothing more than the law of the jungle - or a return to a Hobbsian state of nature where we everyone is "red in tooth and claw".

We might not have "liked" Saddam. He might even have been a threat - but we tossed the natural restraint to the wind when we went in.

Posted by jason at July 27, 2006 03:43 PM

Wonderful article! I appreciate good writing and this is just that; really good writing. You kept me interested from the first sentence to the last and I agree completely on each point you¡¯ve made here.

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