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Monday, July 28, 2014

A Deliberate Oversimplification

When the US or any other 'real' country makes the decision to embark on a military operation, the world may agree or disagree with their goals and/or objectives... but they generally stand back and watch to see how things will turn out.

However, no matter how legitimate the casus belli (the act or event that provoked or is used to justify war) Israel provides, the moment we make the difficult decision to launch a military operation, the US and other world powers ignore the seriousness of the provocation or legitimacy of the objectives, and immediately start focusing on how to stop the fighting as quickly as possible.

It doesn't matter that months (or even years) of violence were inflicted on Israel before we made a decision to respond with force. As soon as Israel responds, the world suddenly and miraculously awakes from its slumber and becomes fully engaged and focused on one thing: making Israel stop.

I live in a real country with a responsible government that takes the job of protecting its citizens quite seriously. We are not some kid wandering around the playground picking fights or 'not playing nicely with others'.  We don't want or need adult supervision to weigh and make considered decisions. And we certainly don't want or need some parent or authority figure to symbolically grab our wrist and drag us to a 'time out' the moment some 'squabble' erupts.

By necessity of the region in which we live, we have an extremely capable military.  But our achilles heel is that we have a very low tolerance for casualties.  Each of member of our armed forces is someone's son, husband, father, daughter, wife or mother. We do not send our soldiers lightly into harms way. The concept of 'cannon fodder' is alien to is. Every single casualty is a national tragedy. We know it... and so do our adversaries.

I mention this because when our government makes the difficult decision to launch a military operation, we do so only after all other options have been exhausted. And we do not appreciate being treated like impetuous playground ruffians or squabbling children who have to be reined in.

It is the height of paternalistic arrogance for the US and other countries to reflexively assume that we need adult supervision, and the height of ignorant hypocrisy for you to routinely use military force as an instrument of foreign policy while denying my country the most basic right of self defense.

In the current conflict, the time to attempt to be a playground monitor is long past (if it ever existed). You sat on your park bench sipping coffee with the other oblivious 'grown-ups' while we had our lunch money stolen, sand thrown in our eyes and our nose repeatedly bloodied.  You don't get to suddenly pop up and intervene when our antagonist's crying begins to disturb your pleasant afternoon in the park.

Although we hold ourselves to a higher standard than our antagonists, we will not tolerate such skewed prejudices from you.  If you don't demand adherence to the norms and conventions of warfare from our enemies, don't lecture us about international law.

We will act with maturity and restraint... and within the boundaries of international law and civilized behavior;  Not because you try to restrain us, but because we know what is right and can make measured, informed decisions without the need of adult supervision.

Now go back to whatever you were doing before you noticed the sound of fighting. This doesn't concern you.

And if you really want to act as if you are the only grown ups within earshot... well, you should have been paying closer attention for the past few years as we were being victimized by the neighborhood bullies.

This is our fight. We'll let you know when we're done.

Posted by David Bogner on July 28, 2014 | Permalink

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Agree with every word.

Posted by: Quietusleo | Jul 28, 2014 12:54:03 PM

Agree.

Posted by: Sarah B. | Jul 28, 2014 12:56:51 PM

Bravo!

Posted by: Elisson | Jul 28, 2014 1:00:16 PM

David,

While I do not understand the conflict(s) of the Levant, I wholeheartedly agree with your setiment. The US should mind its own business and take care of its own people. The US used to be on the path to greatness, but not it's just an embarrassment.

What every person wants, deep down, is peace and liberty. The ability to feel secure in one's own environment and to be happy doing what people do. I wish this for you and your family and to those around you.

Posted by: dmpawley | Jul 28, 2014 2:55:39 PM

Agree!! And am more than ashamed and embarrassed by this administration.

Posted by: Beth | Jul 28, 2014 2:57:01 PM

It's because they operate under the premise that Israel deserves to be terrorized. "You took his cookie so he hit you."

Posted by: Psychotoddle | Jul 28, 2014 3:07:22 PM

Amen, brother. I am deeply ashamed and horrified by the diplomatic tomfoolery of this administration, not to mention, its poor show of support for Israel, in general. Here's hoping the Israeli military grounds Hamas into powder once and for all.

Posted by: Erica | Jul 28, 2014 3:18:29 PM

Never mind Israel's enemies. It would be nice if the US and other international nags even attempted to hold themselves to the same wartime standards Israel already practices, let alone what they demand from Israel. How careful is President Obama about "collateral damage" every time he sends out a missile to wipe out one of his enemies? What are the records of civilian casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or any of the other conflicts the "good guys" have been involved with? The hypocrisy is staggering.

Posted by: psachya | Jul 28, 2014 4:00:36 PM

APPLAUSE!! APPLAUSE!! Agree 100%

Posted by: SaraK | Jul 28, 2014 5:25:25 PM

I`m more concerned with Israel cordinating policy with Egypt,than anything the US says or does. One thing that can be counted on is that Hamas will break agreements,and Israeli vigilance is needed at all times.

Posted by: ED | Jul 28, 2014 6:42:01 PM

Well said.

Posted by: Chantal | Jul 28, 2014 8:26:48 PM

Nicely done. Can I quote you on that?

Posted by: Avi | Jul 29, 2014 3:14:08 AM

I agree with your analogy, with your message, but I think that if you are attributing the motivation to "Paternalism," you are being far too generous. PsychoToddler comes closest to the truth, but leaves out the essence, which is that this comes back to simple anti-Judaism. The idea that Palestinian suffering is somehow an echo of Christ's suffering, and that Christianity has superseded Judaism is part of the theological underpinning of American Liberal Christianity's support for BDS. This is the base Obama's administration plays to. I need to make Aliyah, here I no longer have anyone I can vote for with a clear conscience.

Posted by: Rich | Jul 29, 2014 5:48:12 AM

Absolute solidarity with everything you've said, David. Unfriending long-known friends on facebook on a daily basis. Wish we hadn't changed our minds in 1988 and had made Aliyah. My thoughts with you, Zahava and your family.

Posted by: chairwoman | Jul 29, 2014 12:17:11 PM

While I agree with you on most of your points, I have some reservations on the idea that this is your own battle which is no concern of ours. You are adults and don't need any help or advice. Nor do our interests count. It's your problem.

Would there then be any problem should the US decide that it no longer had any responsibility for supporting Israel in any way? No responsibility to supply arms or sell them. No responsibility in international fora.

The US is the US and Israel is Israel and we agree to simply go our own ways?

If the US were to decide--rightly or wrongly--that the price of being Israel's ally and protector was too high a price to pay for the undoubted advantages, who would be hurt more? The US or Israel?

Could Israel long survive without any friends?

If Israel were to conclude that it could not, then it seems to me that the US must be able to tell Israel when it thinks the damage to its own international interests by Israel's actions are too high and exert the requisite pressure--call in the chips--when it concluded it must.

Again, I don't propose that it would be RIGHT to do so at this time. I agree with your sentiments about Israel defending itself and acting with great restraint, etc etc.

But if it came down to the terrible question of which was more of a threat to Israel's existence--the threat from Hamas rockets and tunnels or friendlessness on the world stage and unearned paraiahhood--which would be the best choice?

Posted by: Jeff | Jul 30, 2014 5:15:31 AM

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