Friday, July 28, 2006

Orwell Back At Ya'

Posted by Jabawacefti

From the Hammer:

The word that obviates all thinking and magically inverts victim into aggressor is "disproportionate," as in the universally decried "disproportionate Israeli response."

When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, it did not respond with a parallel "proportionate" attack on a Japanese naval base. It launched a four-year campaign that killed millions of Japanese, reduced Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to a cinder, and turned the Japanese home islands to rubble and ruin. Disproportionate? No. When one is wantonly attacked by an aggressor, one has every right — legal and moral — to carry the fight until the aggressor is disarmed and so disabled that it cannot threaten one's security again. That's what it took with Japan.

Britain was never invaded by Germany in World War II. Did it respond to the blitz and V-1 and V-2 rockets with "proportionate" aerial bombardment of Germany? Of course not. Churchill orchestrated the greatest land invasion in history that flattened and utterly destroyed Germany, killing untold innocent German women and children in the process.

The perversity of today's international outcry lies in the fact that there is indeed a disproportion in this war, a radical moral asymmetry between Hezbollah and Israel: Hezbollah is deliberately trying to create civilian casualties on both sides while Israel is deliberately trying to minimize civilian casualties, also on both sides.


At 2:45 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Moral relativism, thy name is Hammer.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

With respect, the Hammer's article can be described as many things, but can only be described as "moral[ly] relative" if we can take any opinion making a moral judgment and call it morally relative. In other words, call it whatever you want, but calling it morally relative suggests a misunderstanding of the term.

Moral relativism as it has always been used is defined by the inherent lack of judgment of the action or actions of groups of people with some dissimilar traits, circumstances, or intent. Put another way, moral relativism would be taking two differing circumstances and placing equal moral weight or judgment on those circumstances due to an inability or refusal to judge the actions of "the other" because, in essence, morality is relative.

The is exactly what the Hammer is not doing. He is saying, for better or worse, two dissimilar actions have to be judged differently for the very reason that they are dissimilar. In other words, the fact that Israel and Hezbollah kill innocent civilians while attacking each other does not make those actions morally equal when one of the parties is taking affirmative steps not to kill civilians and another party is specifically targeting civilians.

So, in short, call it what you want, but it's not moral relativism.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Wesley said...

My stance on the whole thing is that both sides are crazy HOWEVER Isreal's crazziness comes from several nations trying to wipe them off the planet the past five decades. And I was in their situation I'd be on edge too.

At 7:24 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

I know...More than anything, I was just being intentionally snarky.

I don't disagree with his point on it's face, but my personal inclinations lead me to wince whenever someone starts explaining why it's morally okay to bomb the shit out of someone.


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