Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Shades of Gray 
Chapomatic posts in the comments:

Stethem was picked for torture and murder because he was American and had a military ID. He was specifically chosen because of his nationality and affiliation, not at random.

Hezbollah also has another 283 American servicemen they have killed, in Beirut. I am saddened that our government has not been more forward in its rhetoric and actions towards Hezbollah, but cannot see a way to effect any change in this.

Well, see, there's a situation where looking at things in a shade of gray is warranted.

Yes, Hezbollah are a bunch of beasts, and deserve every bullet fired at them.

But while the Hezbollah threat is largely localized to Israstine, Al Qaeda has demonstrated an interest and capacity for global scale operations, and is a threat to acquire WMD unless possible sponsor nations are forcibly contained.

In this case, the focus on Al Qaeda as the greater threat is justified. And to the extent a focus on Hezbollah will allow Muslims in Pakistan to paint the war on terror as a proxy war in support of the Jews, then a direct attack on Hezbollah by identifiable US forces would be counterproductive, and may actually strengthen Hezbollah to the extent they receive support from Al Qaeda.

It is just this kind of construct I had in mind when I wrote that the shades of gray reasoning is warranted if it helps me to articulate a more efficient policy to advance the cause of liberty.

That does not, of course, require me to recognize any sort of redeeming feature in Hezbollah. Hezbollah preaches murder as policy, and God is not neutral towards murderers.

But if Al Qaeda is defeated, and radical Islamic militantism is discredited on its own turf, as I have advocated, then Hezbollah is cut off from foreign support and intellectual and spiritual capital (read, the blessing of Saudi imams and their powerful fund raising apparatus.)

If Al Qaeda can be defeated, then Hezbollah gets reduced to a rock-throwing mob. If Palestinians see this, and they see a democracy thriving in Iraq with American aid at peace with its neighbors, and Lebanon follows suit, maybe - just maybe - they'll look for another way.

But the fact that Hamadi specifically targeted an American for killing would be the grounds I would have for labelling him a "combatant." Which should have prevented his release. Germany, apparently, has a soft spot still for people who kill motivated by hatred of Jews.

Splash, out


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