Sunday, July 30, 2006

Portrait of the past to portrait of the future...

From todays SST, attributed to Getty Images...
A Lebanese boy comforts his mother after their van was hit by a rocket from an Israeli aircraft. The family was trying to flee their village in Southern Lebanon.

Portrait of a future terrorist.


Dave Justus said...

I don't think anyone, or at least no one I would associate with, is happy when innocents are killed.

Still, I think that your post has some interesting assumptions buried within. You imply that this Lebanese boy will become a terrorist because of what has happened to him. It seems to me you are saying this is inevitable, and that he has no free will in the matter, and therefore one would have to conclude that not only his immediate pain, but his future crimes are Israel's fault.

I don't happen to believe that he lacks a choice in this matter, but leave that asside for a moment.

Would the same calculation hold true for an Israeli who looses a loved one to violence from Muslims? Are they doomed to be 'future terrorists' as well? Or does a different standard apply to them?

The probligo said...

Dave, I just love the rationalisations that Americans use. That is not meant to insult, merely observe.

That boy has free will. No question about that.

That boy loves his mother, no doubt about that.

Consider that lad in the same light as the American boy who resolves to join up with the Marines as soon as he can because his father was killed in 9/11.

The difference is that his "Marine Corp" will be Hizbollah, or Fatah, or Hamas, PFLP...

Dave Justus said...

Do you really think that Hizbollah, or Fatah, or Hamas is the same sort of thing as the U.S. Marine Corps?

I find that equivence rather absurd. Perhaps the child pictured will decide someday to join the Lebanese Army. I would certainly support and agree with that. If he chooses to join a military group that is not part of a nation state and is dedicated to killing innocents I will find his choice deplorable and support everything, including his death if necessary, to prevent him from harming innocents. I would have the same reaction to an American who joined a violent racist organization in response to 9/11.

In my Israeli example, I aplaud those who join the IDF. I condemn any who chose to join a jewish terror group. I think that even those who have a loved one die as a result of terror or a legitimate military operation have a choice in how they behave.

The probligo said...

Dave, once again our rationalisations differ.

Would the American boy join the Peace Corps if he wanted to exact some measure of accounting, revenge if you will, for what happened to his father?

I used that "effective" motive in leaving out the Lebanese army from the selection.

Your Israeli example would be equivalent if there were not compulsory conscription. If conscription is no longer compulsory in Israel then the "effectiveness" motive would still apply.

I can not see the difference at that level. The point being that the Lebanese Army is (proven) totally ineffective. It is incapable (proven) of enforcing law within its own boundaries, let alone defend (proven) against external threats.

Now, I wonder, why is that?

Dave Justus said...

I don't support revenge.

However, related to revenge is a sense of justice, which is noble. More inspriring, and I think more common, is those who join military organizations not out of a thrist for revenge, but a desire to prevent such a thing from happening again. Some Americans of course did respond to 9/11 by joining the peace corps. I have nothing against their choice, but I do believe that 'peace corps' alone won't solve any of the problems.

I note that you deftly avoiding stating whether or not you actually do find Hezbollah and the U.S. Marines the same.

As far as the Israeli thing, it is true that they have universal conscription. However, many do volunteer beyond their required term or service, which is the equivalent.

It is true that the Lebanese Army is very weak. I am not sure what you are implying with your wondering why that exists. The reasons are reletively simple. Lebanon has been wracked by civil war and foreign occupation.

That seems to me to be a reason that someone should join the Lebanese army, rather than the reverse.

It is a choice between joining an organization to strengthen and build Lebanon and one that is in the service of foreign paymasters and dedicated solely to destruction.

I don't know why you would have sympathy, verging on support it seems, for those that choose the later.

It isn't exactly a complex moral issue here Progligo. I wonder why it seems to vex you so.

The probligo said...

It is becoming apparent, Dave, that you are quite unable to put yourself outside of your personal experience.

I can see in that boy's future a range of choices as wide as you or I might have had. Those choices however are quite different.

For a Lebanese boy whose mother or father was killed in this war, joining up with Hizbollah would be a choice, the US Marines would not.

For an American boy whose mother or father was killed in 9/11, joining the Marines would be a choice, the Hizbollah would not.

For the two boys, the choices are personal equivalences. To the outside world they are mirror images.

Now, your accusation that I "deftly avoiding stating whether or not you actually do find Hezbollah and the U.S. Marines the same."

For me, they are quite different.

For a Lebanese boy, they are quite different.

For an American boy, they are quite different.

For you, they are quite different.

The choice that each might make in the circumstances of having seen their parent killed or maimed would also be quite different.

Dave, you have to stop judging (and condemning) the actions of other people based upon your personal moral values.

I condemn Hizbollah in the same way and to the same extent as I condemn -

Israel for their occupation of Palestine.

The US for their occupation of Iraq.

Hamas for their campaign of suicide bombings.

Israel for their shelling and bombing of Palestine.

Saddam for his murder of Kurds and the swamp people (whose racial attribution has already been lost to me)

The genocide of Dafur.

Dave Justus said...

Of course some Lebanese have joined the U.S. Marines, and it wouldn't surprise me if some Americans have joined Hezbollah. Certainly some Americans have supported that group.

That has nothing to do with the comparison I made though. I said that the U.S. Marines is similar to the Lebanese Army, and Hezbollah is similar to a U.S. Racists Terror group. Both hypothetical children have a choice, one of which I approve and and one of which I don't. I will certainly admit that due to social pressures the right choice is easier for the American than the Lebanese boy, but my goal would be to help Lebanon change that, rather than simply saying it is ok for that Lebanese boy to devote his life to killing Jews and destroying Israel.

"Dave, you have to stop judging (and condemning) the actions of other people based upon your personal moral values."

Whose morals should I use? And if I use someone else's morals for this purpose, wouldn't they have become my morals? Or do you claim that I shouldn't condemn anything and not care about violence and destruction in the world? You offer plenty of condemnations here, whose morals are you using for that?

I find it curios that you 'condemn' all of these things to the same extent. You don't think any of them are worse then the others?

For example, I believe the genocide in Darfur and the Genocide against the Marsh Arabs is far more serious and far worst than the Hamas suicide bombing campaign. Both of those actions have less justification and far higher casualties than what Hamas is doing. There are worse things amoung a range of bad things just as much as there are right and wrong things.