A couple of great posts (well, dozens of course) on Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish. First up, he asks rather despairingly, (referring to a column by Stanley Fish) how we can possibly draw the distinction between right and wrong when a mother is not merely proud, but glad that her son has commiitted the murder of innocent people? That she has prayed to her God for him to kill as many of the 'enemy' as possible? If there is no common baseline, no absolute shared morality that allows both sides to say, "this is wrong," then 'what useful thing can we say'?
Well, for a start, we can ditch the whole 'right' and 'wrong' idea. If you are unable to understand that the suicide bomb policy is evil and wrong, then further discussion is unnecessary. Let us simply posit that it is wrong, and then work out what to do about it. Instead of 'right' and 'wrong', how about 'us' and 'them'? This allows you to cut through a whole bunch of metaphysical bullshit and get down to brass tacks. When we have won the war, we will have the luxury of sitting back and putting this into a nice, neat moral framework. Right now, this is a question of survival. Blind adherence to an abstract moral code could be fatal. The wholescale bombing of German cities during WW II was horrible, but it is only in the context of a Nazi-free Europe that we even have the leisure to criticise it.
The awful thing about the vile nihilism that has infected the Arabs is that it is leading to quite serious talk on our side of extermination. I do not think that the families of terrorist murderers should be liquidated, but I do believe they should be made to suffer horribly. Stephen den Beste at U.S.S. Clueless has several lengthy posts on suitable retaliation. The proposal that the entire worldly possessions of terrorist killers' families should be forfeit seems to me to be a suitably harsh punishment. You set off a bomb and kill some Israelis (note I do not say 'civilians' - firstly I draw no distinction between a regular Israeli soldier and a civilian, and secondly the bulk of the IDF is civilian anyway) and Israel, after identifying your remains, marches into your village, finds your family home, and razes it and everything within a 100m radius to the ground. And if your family resists, they machine-gun it.
Israel (and the West at large) is actually under no obligation to exercise restraint. There need be no proportionality against the death cult that has infected the Palestinians. The only thing holding back the utter destruction of the Palestinians is the innate decency of Israel. If that is ever breached, then who knows what will be the outcome? We owe it to ourselves (and ultimately to the relict of the Islamist populations) to be unswervingly brutal now. I do not mean capricious, I do not mean genocidal, simply clear-eyed and hard-hearted. If ethnically cleansing the West Bank is what it takes (and let's face it - that is what expulsion means) then we should have the nerve to do it, or face worse horror down the line.
My personal prediction is that the Palestinians will be expelled, probably into Lebanon, as den Beste has said. However, this will not solve anything (it will alleviate the pressure on Israel; that is, safeguard its very existence, but we will be back to the low-level atrocities against Israelis and other Westerners that we saw in the 70's and 80's). The wider Islamic world must be destroyed too. This might well not involve very large-scale loss of life on their part (we should be able to keep their dead to under 100 million, and preferably a lot less than that) but we have to be aware that if worse comes to worst, we will not be able to flinch. As a bare minimum, their societies have to go. I think there's a lot to be said for the subjugation and colonisation of the Islamic world, rather akin to the occupation forces in Japan and Germany after WW II. If they won't democratise, then by god we'll do it for 'em. And woe betide 'em if they get in the way.
It's a horrible thing that the discussion has even come to this. It's one of the many reasons why I so detest fundamentalist Islam: that it makes people like me, who want nothing more than to be left alone, have serious thoughts of destroying entire societies - not as revenge, but as insurance. The idea of militant Islam, not merely its expression, must be exterminated, so that never again can such a foul and barbaric creed be unleashed in the World.
Contact me: d a g g i l l i e s @ y a h o o . c o m