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Israel Inflicts an Enormous Strategic Defeat Upon Itself

"Justice" Minister Haim Ramon inflicts an enormous defeat upon Israel:

Legitimate targets II: Posted by Henry. The New York Times today.

"We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world," Justice Minister Haim Ramon told Israeli radio, "to continue this operation, this war, until Hezbollah won't be located in Lebanon and until it is disarmed." Mr. Ramon also raised the possibility of an expanded air assault, saying "all those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah."

And, of course, we have Jonathan Chait thanking God that Israel is fighting according to the just war tradition, and is trying to minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage as it responds to Hezbollah's crimes:

The Plank: Hezbollah began the crisis with an act of war that included a cross-border incursion and a kidnapping. Israel retaliated by attacking the parts of Lebanon's infrastructure that could be used to spirit the kidnapped soldiers out of the country, and followed it up by trying to destroy Hezbollah's artillery. In so doing they made every effort to minimize civilian casualties, including dropping leaflets warning residents to leave the targetted areas. Hezbollah has been lobbing rockets in the general direction of Israeli cities with no intent other than to kill civilians.

And Richard Cohen thanks God that Israel has thrown the just war tradition into the toilet, and is taking "disproportionate" action in response to Hezbollah's crimes:

. . . No, It's Survival: Israel may or may not be the land of milk and honey, but it certainly seems to be the land of disproportionate military response -- and a good thing, too.... Anyone who knows anything about the Middle East knows that proportionality is madness.... The only way to ensure that babies don't die in their cribs and old people in the streets is to make the Lebanese or the Palestinians understand that if they, no matter how reluctantly, host those rockets, they will pay a very, very steep price....

Israel is, as I have often said, unfortunately located, gentrifying a pretty bad neighborhood. But the world is full of dislocated peoples.... [W]ho today cries for the Greeks of Anatolia or the Germans of Bohemia? These calls for proportionality rankle. They fall on my ears not as genteel expressions of fairness, some ditsy Marquess of Queensberry idea of war, but as ugly sentiments pregnant with antipathy toward the only democratic state in the Middle East...