From Meet the Press, Sunday July 30, 2006
Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman:
“We want a prosperous, vibrant, entrepreneurial, prosperous Lebanon next to us. But in order for that to happen, they have to rid themself of that horrible monster which has grown within them and which, at the end of the day, has caused them so much pain and suffering over the years.”
Perhaps a metaphor is in order. Suppose a person has cancer. The group of cells, relative to the size of his (or her….whenever I say “his” I mean his or her) body is small. Nevertheless, it has the potential to grow, multiply and ultimately kill its host. There is no question that the cancer should be attacked and removed, however possible. Sometimes, if the cancer is contained, it can be removed surgically. Sometimes, it can be targeted with direct and focused radiation. And sometimes, chemotherapy is in order.
Chemotherapy is poison. It kills many cells in the body. The patient gets tired, loses his hair, gets nauseas. The whole body is affected. The poison tries to target the cancer, and hopefully kills it as well, but it also kills some “innocent” cells.
Would anybody in their right mind urge “restraint”, blanch at the killing of innocent hair cells, if the Doctor (the expert who knows such things) said that the best way to attack the cancer, the disease that has infiltrated the body and can’t just be excised surgically, is to poison the body to kill the cancer? Would anyone accept such terrible advice? Of course not. Sacrificing hair to have a better chance at life is a no-brainer. The doctor admits that it will be tough. The patient will feel absolutely horrendous. But the only way to ensure long term health is remove the cancer, and means that the patient has to lose his hair.
The death of Lebanese civilians is tragic. But Hezbollah is a metastatic cancer. It has infiltrated. It stores weapons in civilian homes. It takes cover in UN bunkers (not to get into the UN that allows it… see here). It uses civilians as shields. It can’t be cut out surgically. What Israel is doing now is chemo for Lebanon, something Lebanon couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do itself. Yes, innocent people will die, but it is for the good of the country, the region and the world.
(Formerly titled: On the Use of Proportionate Force)