Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Great Double Standard

The Muqata has a link to a worthwhile article which decries the double standard imposed on Israel.

Edward Morrissey: This is the soft nihilism of low expectations

...We want to see civilians spared the horrors of war, and we push combatants to take all possible steps to achieve that end. The Geneva Conventions have that explicit mandate, and the world should remain constantly — and consistently — vigilant.

Unfortunately, the global community has failed miserably at this task, and this war not only highlights that failure, but springs from it. While the world holds Israel to this standard, things become curiously silent when it’s time to hold Hezbollah responsible for its conduct of war. Hardly a word has escaped from the U.N. or Europe on the 2,500 missiles that have rained down upon Israeli civilians, deliberately targeted by Hezbollah. Those attacks have displaced more than 300,000 civilians, a fact the global community and the mainstream media ignore.

Those who argue that Israel has occasionally violated the Geneva Conventions in its attacks casually ignore the blatant violations of Hezbollah, whose combatants wear no uniform, deliberately hide in civilian populations and fire weapons from residential areas. Hezbollah conducts none of its operations within the rules of war — and yet world leaders and the media never mention it.

Why? Because no one expects terrorists to follow the rules. This is the soft nihilism of low expectations.

This creates an impossible double standard for Israel and political victories. In order to defeat terrorists, Israel will have to engage them when they attack, wherever that happens to be. In their effort to zealously apply the rules of war to only one side, the global community doesn’t act to reduce the tragedies of civilian casualties, it increases them by encouraging Hezbollah’s tactics. The terrorists counted on precisely this response, which dictates their tactics and strategy to this moment.

The Lebanese caught in this vise should seek redress in Beirut. Unfortunately, the same global community that castigates Israel for unintentional collateral damage has let the Lebanese government off the hook for failing to disarm Hezbollah, as demanded by Security Council resolution 1559. Had the Saniora government done so, this war would never have started. And while the Lebanese Army would have difficulty with that task, Beirut never asked for any assistance in meeting its obligations.

If the world wants to live without terrorism, it needs to stop enabling terrorists with disproportionate criticism of civilized nations that wage war within established limits. This soft nihilism of low expectations encourages non-state actors to engage sovereign nations, knowing that the world will not allow the nations to fight terrorism effectively.

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