Is Jordan’s response to ISIS “proportionate”? (asks no one)
“Proportionate” only applies to Israel.
Hey, remember when Hamas was lobbing thousands of missiles at Israeli cities, trying to kidnap people, and killing when they got lucky?
Of course you remember it. It has happened every couple of years since Hamas took over Gaza.
And before that, the Palestinians strapped bombs on their loved ones and sent them to blow up restaurants, supermarkets, buses, and anything else they could sneak into.
And before that ….
But always the question is whether Israel’s response is proportionate, like pointed out in this Al Jazeera column:
… on June 26,  the UN Human Rights Council deliberated on the situation in Palestine and other Arab-occupied territories. During the deliberations, the council issued a warning to Israel that there may be serious repercussions as a result of its campaign against the Palestinian people, which constituted a continuing violation of international humanitarian law, following the abduction of three Israeli teenagers.
EU leaders on Gaza: ‘Israel has right to protect itself but it must act proportionately’:
The EU leaders condemned the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel and the indiscriminate targeting of civilians.
Israel has a right to protect its population from these attacks, but it must act proportionately and ensure the protection of civilians, they said.
ISIS just killed a Jordanian pilot, brutally by setting him on fire. No justification, but one person.
Jordan is now bombing the hell out of ISIS positions, including in cities and civilian areas, certainly killing civilians.
And has vowed to continue Till we run ‘out of fuel and bullets’:
Max Abrahms makes the point that no one seems to be asking for a “proportionate” Jordanian response:
You know what question I'm not hearing? Is the Jordanian response to terrorism "proportionate"? Only Israel gets that one.
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) February 7, 2015
Indeed, as of this writing, a Google Search for “Jordan Proportionate” turns up zero entries concerning Jordan’s revenge against ISIS.
Actually, it did turn up this Tweet paraphrasing the Jordanian Army, which uses “Proportionate” not as a restraint on the response, but to magnify it:
"The army vowed a response that is “proportionate to the magnitude of the tragedy of all Jordanians", via Jordan Times. #IS #Jordan
— yassin musharbash (@abususu) February 3, 2015
“Proportionate” apparently only applies to Israel.
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I retweeted this Max Abrahms’ tweet this morning.
Great minds and all. When Jordan said they’d kill all of their ISIS prisoners, I thought, “Hmmmm … I’m not going to lose any sleep over that … but whatever happened to all the hand-wringing over disproportionate responses? The silence on that is kind of deafening right now.”
No matter the context, the word “disproportionate” now and forever will always make me think instantly of Israel’s pathetic non-stop, one-sided detractors.
Wonder what Brian William’s experience is on this subject?
I would imagine it reminds it him of the time he survived the Palestinian suicide bomber that blew up his taxi in Jerusalem.
More than likely, it reminds him of his near miss as an Israeli disproportion response caught him in his interview with an innocent Pali civilian.
Several years ago Israel released 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one Israeli solder. Evidently Israel thought the trade was proportionate otherwise they would not have made it. To Israel, one of their people is worth 1,000 enemy combatants. Evidently Jordan feels the same.
“Proportionate response” makes no sense to me. If someone punches me, and my response is to just punch him back, what discouragement have I given him not to punch me again? But, if I pull out a gun and shoot him, I suspect his desire to punch me again would be greatly diminished. To me, the onus is on him for punching me in the first place.
The whole term is being misused. An army has a responsibility under international law, to make sure the damage is proportionate to the OBJECTIVE, not the damage inflicted on oneself. Of course countries want to kill countless numbers of the enemy, and not lose any of their own. “Stopping rockets from falling on one’s cities” is an objective worth killing lots of the enemy. So is “bringing down Hamas”.
Can you imagine that any country would agree to a rule that requires its own soldiers to die? Of course not! There cannot, and never could be, such a rule.
What exactly is a “proportionate response” to people who will use any means at their disposal to kill you?
I would suggest that when terrorists use horrific means (e.g., ram an airliner full of people into an office tower, incinerating a man, raping and brutalizing an entire village of people), that there is no such thing as a “disproportionate” response. After all, the point of terrorism is to terrify people into collapsing and ceding to the terrorists total, complete power. The terrorist, by definition, won’t be stopped by half-measures.
This whole nonsense of “proportionate response” was invented by, surprise, the progressive community (I mean Marxists, of course). Please note that they themselves reserve the right to behave “disproportionately” to their own enemies — peruse their literature and you’ll see that.
So it’s nonsense. Smart people will ignore it and proceed to kill the terrorists.
They didn’t make up the term, they just distorted it beyond recognition, to make it sound like the number of dead on each side should be the same. What country would agree to such a rule? The point of international law is not humanize war, not abolish it.
The real meaning is “proportionate to the objective”.
sorry – “is to humanize war, not abolish it”.
An imbalance of force or ability to create casualties is what wins wars.
During the conventional bombing of Japan, the killing of 100,000 people in one day was acceptable, so long as we exposed hundreds of bomber crews to danger in so doing, but when we were able to kill 60,000 outright (at Hiroshima), while exposing only two bomber crews to danger, the disparity between enemy casualties and our own forces’ exposure to danger raises questions of “fairness.” But it was the disparity between exposure to danger and the results that led Japan to surrender. While we were killing 100,000 people in a single raid in which hundreds of bombers were necessary, Japan could always entertain the fantasy that 1.) we couldn’t maintain the tempo, and/or 2.) they could attrit us to the point where we would be forced to stop. The use of atomic weapons brought the realization that it was only necessary for us to expose a minimum number of bombers and their crews to danger over Japan, and that, over time, we could flatten their cities even if our bomber loss rate neared 100%. (They had no idea how many, or rather how few, atomic weapons we had or could manufacture.) What is the loss of one or two bombers and their crews for the destruction of an entire city? The “unfairness” of the situation led the Japanese leadership to conclude that continued resistance meant complete obliteration, with no chance of inflicting similar destruction upon their attackers.
A government engaged in hostilities with an aggressor has only two obligations – stop the aggression and do so with with the fewest of its own casualties as possible, because its primary obligation is the safety of its own people, soldiers and civilians alike. It has no obligation whatsoever to keep the soldiers and citizens of the aggressor safe. Any efforts to do so are merely humanitarian, and should generally not be undertaken at the expense of the two above-mentioned obligations.
Criticism of countries that are capable of bringing overwhelming power to bear in their own defense is predicated upon a wrong principle – that a nation under attack by a foreign power has an obligation to allow its citizens to die, rather than to protect them, in order to justify its actions in its self-defense.
WWII has rightly been labeled as an existential war, it had that strong potential both for the Axis and for Britain and the US. Somehow, Japan’s Emperor realized that his gig would have been up if Japan continued the war and many more of his subjects would have been killed. Still, the hardliner Japanese military were willing to fight to the end of the Japanese people.
The question does come down to whether the US would have acceded to Japan’s demands if the two A-Bombs had not been sufficiently convincing to Hirohito.
Remember, that US citizens were getting very fed up with that war and Truman might have been convinced to negotiate a treaty more favorable to Japan. We did not have a 3rd A-Bomb ready to go for perhaps a month or so. And, the cost of an forced invasion was deemed extremely costly, the preparation for it was of scale like the Manhattan Project.
Your points are every valid. The questions arising regarding the scale of a response to aggression remain variable and often raise much doubt as to what is needed, or wanted.
What I’m really saying is that proportionally is a pile of baloney. The issue is what does it take to end that war on terms we like or can accept. Anything else really is BS.
Obama seems willing to accept any outcome that reduces the US in every way possible.
I watched the snuff video of the pilot that was burned alive in it’s entirety. It’s an interesting collage of images yet I have to agree that it might be a powerful recruiting tool.
Although I didn’t understand a word of what was said it, what they conveyed was a very clear statement that this pilot was a vicious killer with no concious, that was a murderer of the most innocent in society (ironic no doubt).
I do question whether the execution portion of that video will encourage the jihadists recruits. My feeling is they went too far… even for the helpless and out of touch muslim youth in western society this was a trangression against humanity and faith that can’t be reconciled.
As to Arabs and the Left its always “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”
Moreover Jordan has none of the expensive high precision weapons that Israel uses. So when they bomb something it’s a carpet bombing kill everything and everyone type affair.
To accept that ‘proportionate response’ has always been a load of crap, consider who does – and does not – get to decide what is proportionate.
No it is not “proportionate”, but then again it shouldn’t be, it should be overwhelming so as to make sure that they never ever ever even consider doing anything like that again.
As far as Israel, the world at large should be thanking God that the worlds 5th strongest military has shown the restraint that they have and not flattened the enemy outposts in the west bank with extreme prejudice and that they have not just run the entire population of Gaza into the sea. (Something that they should have done a decade ago, imho.)
But of course the talking heads with nothing to lose and nothing on the line will cheer Jordan because they are not Israel and will condemn Israel for just existing.
They should also thank God that Israel has not taken the same tact that I believe Peru did with The Shining Path and start by killing their bankers and lawyers then go after the fighters.
Further more they should be grateful not only that they haven’t unleashed the IDF, but even more so that Israel hasn’t given free reign to Mossad. (Something else that is overdue, imho.)
Jordan’s parliament recently held a prayer session for the terrorists who murdered Jews praying in a Jerusalem synagogue. So they don’t like it when a Jordanian is brutally murdered, but they fail to experience quite the same revulsion over dead Jews. I hope they kick ISIS’ ass, but they need to re-evaluate their moral compass, at least where their hatred of Israel and Jews is concerned.