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Does it Matter?

This post came about because Sheryl asked me to be a guest blogger for her at the INtake Blog Squad, on the topic of Israel and Hezbollah. Woo, I'm moving up; I've been published in a corporate blog!

I find war to be an interesting, if not illogical, concept.

In war we have the state - essentially an organization with a monopoly of force over a geographic area - convincing (sometimes coercing) its citizens to kill the citizens of another state, for any number of reasons. Aside from whether these reasons are just, moral, or even correct (that's a topic for another post entirely), it's important to note that war ultimately benefits the state. The monopoly of force is affirmed (and thus expanded), at the expense of human life.

War can also twist our valuation of life. For example, if two of your neighbors have a long-running feud and one of them decides to finally end it by shooting the other; most people would easily define that as murder and unacceptable, wouldn't they? Dress those neighbors up in military uniforms, increase their numbers and the scale of the feud, endorse it by the state and apparently it's not necessarily murder and is far more acceptable. Perhaps the oddest twist to me is how innocent lives caught in a war are callously referred to as “collateral damage”.

This brings me to what inspired this post. I was definitely interested when Sheryl asked me to be a guest blogger on the topic of Israel and Hezbollah, but I did not know what I would write until I came across a photo of a wounded boy along with some simple questions that frame the topic for me:


wounded boy

Is this an Israeli boy wounded by Hezbollah missiles in Haifa?

Or is it a Lebanese boy wounded by Israeli missiles in Beirut?

Does it matter? Do his right to life, and his claim on our compassion, depend on which answer is correct?

If you ask me, neither side is justified in their actions. Hezbollah was obviously wrong to kidnap Israeli soldiers, but Israel's military response is also unjust. Are Israel's “precision guided missiles” careful enough in avoiding civilian deaths? Evidently not, because Lebanese civilian deaths are mounting up. There is not a careful “enough” about it for me, either the civilians are being killed or they aren't.

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Responses

Maria Maria
great post gregor! Mark and I were discussing this and honestly, I just have no idea which 'side' to take. It's all just very sad.

Alex Alex
Without question I side with Israel on this issue. However, I do feel badly for any civillian lives lost on both sides of the border. I would have liked to see a better approach by Israel to this conflict... but then again they are fighting a terrorist organization who do not care for civilian lives (even their own... or they wouldn't have based operations or stockpiles around civilian targets) Love me or hate me... it's my opinion

Ali Ali
Well said, sir.

laurie laurie
Thanks, Gregor. It's always great to hear a perspective that isn't a regurgitated version of someone else's story. Thank God that God loves those on both sides... isn't it odd and a bit confusing that while the Bible chronicles God sending the nation of Israel into war to wipe out other nations, he also punishes King David for such a proponent of war by bringing a sword to his house for all generations.

Mike Jr Mike Jr
It is definately sad that both sides can't come to an agreement of peace. When a nation or group of nations single goal is to wipe another nation off the map, that kind of makes it hard for peace to really happen. Unfortunately, The flares of violence we're seeing isn't a part of a 50 year feud, it's been a feud for thousands of years.


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