Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gaza is child’s play compared to World War II

There has been much in the news lately about what is termed Israel’s “disproportionate response” to the firing of 3,000 rockets by Hamas from the Gaza Strip into Israel over the last four weeks (my numbers may not be accurate) .

Disproportionate response? Really?

Here’s food for thought from a website called nucleardarkness.org:

“On August 6, 1945, the Japanese city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a nuclear weapon, an atomic bomb dropped by the United States. Three days later, a second atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki; five days after that, Japan unconditionally surrendered to the United States, bringing an end to World War II.

“The atomic bombs killed several hundred thousand people, many instantly in the nuclear fire, many later with burns, injuries and radiation sickness, and still many others, over the years, with cancers and birth defects. These deaths continue to this day. Like most of the cities bombed in World War II, the majority of the inhabitants were women, children and the elderly.

“Before the war began, bombing cities was considered an act of total barbarism; there were no “conventional bombs” and it certainly was not considered “conventional” to target civilian populations for mass destruction. But this ideal was shattered early in the war, and eventually all sides engaged in mass bombing raids against cities and civilians.

“After the Nazis conducted their massive bombing raids against London, the British retaliated by developing incendiary bombs, fire-bombs designed to burn down cities. British and American bombers dropped these bombs on five German cities, killing hundreds of thousands of German civilians in Hamburg, Dresden, Kassel, Darmstadt, and Stuttgart. In March, 1945, the U.S. fire-bombed the city of Tokyo, killing at least 100,000 people.

“By the time the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, 50 million people had already died in World War II. The bombing/murder of civilian populations had occurred so many times that it was no longer even regarded as unusual. This is perhaps the greatest tragedy of the war, and it set the stage for the Cold War and the nuclear arms race that followed.”

And among those 50 million, let us not forget, were six million Jews in ovens and gas chambers.

That’s the thing about war. Eventually you do what is necessary to bring it to an end. On his television program last Saturday, Mike Huckabee reminded Americans that at Hiroshima and Nagasaki 50 people were killed for every life that was lost at Pearl Harbor.

In another era Theodore Roosevelt said, “Walk softly and carry a big stick.” Sometimes you can’t walk quite so softly, and sometimes it actually is necessary to use the stick.

Might may not make right, but might is often what is required to bring violence to an end.

When viewed through the long lens of history, the outcry against Israel this month, particularly from some quarters of the U.S and the U.K., seems to be pots calling the kettle black.

19 comments:

ADRIAN said...

Time moves on and with it hopefully morality. Without the USA Israel would not have the stick nor could it feed it's population. A funny society you live in. You won't feed your poor but are quite happy giving millions of dollars a day to Israel.

All Consuming said...

Might does whatever suits it's pocket and enables it to gain more power. It gives not one solitary (*edited) sh*te for children maimed and civilians killed brutally.
The oppressed fight back, and not in ways I commend necessarily, but the conflict is heavily one sided so far as resources and arms go - The Palestinians have no army, no air force, no navy. They had been blockaded for months by the Israeli Defense Forces, which comprise a navy, an army and one of the most formidable air forces in the world. And that's before we even mention nukes.
Outcry is a start. I agree with Adrian.

Elephant's Child said...

And I agree with both Adrian and All Consuming.
And there is far too much of that obscenity 'collateral damage' in modern warfare.
I would like it if the instigators were the only combatants - and victims.

Snowbrush said...

Just because we're hypocrites doesn't mean we're not right. I simply don't think I have enough accurate knowledge to make a judgment about whether Israel's bombing was strategically necessary. Israel says there were missiles near those schools and the Palestinians say there were not. Darned if I know, although if there weren't missiles, why bomb schools and take such a severe PR hit?

"A funny society you live in."

Yes, a regular laugh riot are we.

ADRIAN said...

Snowbird, Oh yes it does. It means you don't think morally.
Think, don't condemn, Imagine you were living their.
You admit you don't understand it so why voice an opinion.

rhymeswithplague said...

ATTENTION - ATTENTION - ATTENTION

The last thing I am going to allow this comments section to become is a dartboard where one reader attacks another. I went ahead and allowed Adrian's comment to Snowbird [sic] above to be published so that Snowbrush could have an opportunity to respond if he wishes. After that, the comments section on this particular post will be closed. Let's keep things civil around here, please.

Snowbrush said...

For what it's worth, I agree with Adrian. That dratted Snowbird has his head on wrong is what I think.

ADRIAN said...

Fair enough.

ADRIAN said...

Sorry Bob. I wasn't being really naughty...Was I?
Send us some music.

ADRIAN said...

BOB we call it the craich Just having a laugh while folk are being murdered. We English are used to it. We usually pop the Scots in the dangerous places. Dispensable and daft they are. I didn't attack Snow White .I just thought it a bit funny to beg ignorance and then take a stance. That's all I thought of the idiot.

ADRIAN said...

Guess I'm banned. No worries. Yp said I was treading in dangerous ground but I know as a heathen I couldn't condone what Christians do in the name of god.
I'll leave you to your wee world.

rhymeswithplague said...

As you can plainly see, I changed my mind and decided to let the comments continue. It's interesting that when Snowbird/Snowbrush was called immoral, his response did not add fuel to the fire. Adrian seemed sort of contrite, but then called Snow an idiot. Tsk, Tsk.

Adrian, you are not banned -- you are welcome here as long as there is no name calling. Ad hominem arguments add nothing to a discussion.


ADRIAN said...

Okay and thanks for your toleration.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Your perception of what is happening in Gaza seems to me to be very topsy turvy. Children, mothers and old people have been killed. Schools, hospitals and UN facilities have been bombed. Compare the fatalities. Israel has mainly lost a relatively small number of soldiers - all part of the invasion force. And I thought that you were a Christian sir.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Adrian Band? Can I be the drummer? Plague on the organ. Snowbrush, Elephant's Child and All Consuming will be backing singers - "All You need is Love".

rhymeswithplague said...

Y.P., my perception is that if Hamas stopped firing, the war would end, but if Israel stopped firing, Israel would be annihilated. But you are correct, sir, what the world needs now is love, sweet love; that's the only thing that there's just too little of.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

An estimated 1,800,000 people in the Gaza Strip are affected by the escalating violence in the region. Civilians make up the majority of casualties - around 75%.

More than 1,800 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed and more than 9,500 have been injured.
Up to 520,000 people - nearly 30% of Gaza's population - have fled their homes.
Around 65,000 people have had their homes destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
The destruction of the main power plant and electricity lines means Gaza is currently getting just 16% of its power needs and most areas are now getting between 0-4 hours of power a day.
1.5 million people have no or extremely restricted access to safe water.
Nearly half of all clinics in Gaza have closed.
More than 200,000 people need food assistance.

Flyaway said...

My family were a bunch of pacifists but when my brother was constantly beaten up by a girl in his class my aunt told him to wash her face in snow. He did and that stopped the bullying. Hamas is a bully. Israel is washing their faces.

Snowbrush said...

"It's interesting that Snowbird/Snowbrush was called immoral, his response did not add fuel to the fire. Adrian was sort of contrite, but then called Snow an idiot."

I have often behaved immorally, by other people's standards if not my own, so I can't complain if I am referred to as immoral, although callous might be a more accurate designation in this case because I'm 65 years old, and these people have been fighting for 67 years, so I've lost interest. I could jump up and down and scream with outrage if I wanted to, but odds are, I'll die before there's peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. For all I know, the sun will implode before there's peace between the Israelis and the Palenstinians. Quite frankly, I'm more concerned about issues closer to home. I just wish my government was more concerned about issues closer to home. The way we bully our way around the world, one might mistakenly think that we had our own problems all worked out and money to burn.

As for the question of my idiocy, I don't care if Adrian thinks I'm an idiot because I don't think he knows enough to express an intelligent opinion on the subject. That said, I do stupid things a lot, so maybe Adrian knows more about me than I give him credit for. Maybe you've told him a few things, although, come to think of it, you wouldn't have anything bad to say.

But back to the subject of the Israelis versus the Palestinians, I'm not sufficiently invested in the subject to be invested in arguing over who is the victim and who is the oppressor, except to say that I very much doubt that Adrian has sufficient information to argue intelligently either. If he were an Israeli, he would probably lean toward seeing things their way, but if he were a Palestinian, he would probably lean toward seeing things their way. Such is human nature. Everyone can give reasons for what they believe, but their emotional investment in whom is in the right usually precedes their rationales. My own guideline for deciding who's in the wrong is that if my country does something, it's probably wrong. Likewise, if a country in the Middle East does something, it's probably also wrong.

In any event, I'm reminded of the Serenity Prayer, the part about recognizing one's limitations, one implication being that maybe it doesn't make sense to get upset about things far from home that we can do nothing to change anyway. I have enough to get upset about close to home. You know that, of course, as do Elephant's Child and All Consuming, but maybe Adrian hasn't heard.