Saturday, July 22, 2006

"You keep using that word 'measured', ..."


For several days now, one of the raging debates is whether the Israeli response to the capture of two of their soldiers has been "measured." Not surprisingly, the majority of Wankerdom, from Prime Minister Cowboy Hat on down, thinks that response (which included the killing of eight Canadians) was perfectly appropriate. And what's aggravating is that any attempt to debate the issue is doomed to utter failure for a very simple reason.

As long as the wankers have the benefit of hindsight, it goes without saying that any Israeli response will be defined as appropriate. As it stands, the fact of eight dead Canadians doesn't seem to have set off any alarm bells in Wankerville, which suggests that all of those folks have somehow rationalized that ugly fact.

But what if it had been, say, 10 dead Canadians? Chances are, there would still have been a rationalization, perhaps involving pulling in more examples of Hezbollah atrocities. 20 dead Canadians? No problem, I'm guessing -- just keep digging further and further back into history to balance the scales. 50? Same deal.

See how this works? As long as conservatives have the benefit of hindsight, arguing about whether the Israeli response was "measured" is pointless, as those conservatives will always be able to defend their position after the fact. So the trick is to take that loophole away from them, and that's surprisingly easy to do.

The trick, quite simply, is to ask the wankers to define, ahead of time, what would constitute an Israeli response they would finally accept as inappropriate and over the top. If they're not bothered by eight dead Canadians, what about 10? Or 20? Or 50? Or 100? At what point, you can ask them, would they have finally admitted that something here was dreadfully wrong and inappropriate? And, amazingly enough, that's a perfectly valid question.

Naturally, the wankers will disagree and refuse to answer such a question, claiming that it's "hypothetical" or that the question doesn't make sense. They would be full of shit. Simply, it's logically absurd to categorize something as "measured" unless you can define what that word means. It's logically idiotic to describe something as appropriate unless you are prepared to explain at what point it becomes inappropriate.

As a real-life analogy, say you're haggling over the price of a new car, the salesman makes an offer, and you respond that that price is "too high." The salesman counters by asking, "All right, what wouldn't be too high?", to which you respond confusingly, "I have no idea" or "That's not a fair question." As you can see, what you just did here was indescribably asinine, since it's meaningless to describe something as "too high" unless you know where the dividing line is between too high and not too high. Similarly, it's ridiculous to speak of something as "measured" unless you're prepared to explain where the breakpoint is; otherwise, you're just spewing meaningless, undefined gibberish. Which brings us back to all of this wanker inanity.

Rather than debate the appropriateness of what's already happened (an argument the wankers will always win), they should be forced to define ahead of time what is and is not an appropriate Israeli response, in relatively precise terms. First up -- how many Canadians would have to have been killed for them to have condemned the Israeli attack? Come on, let's have a number. And not only do the wankers have an ethical obligation to supply such a number, they're now involved in a no-win situation.

First, if they pick a realistic but fairly low number (say, 25), it's not hard to imagine that the next Israeli attack might, in fact, kill enough additional Canadians to exceed that value, at which point, based on their own stated position, they now have to admit that Israel's response is no longer "measured." The other option is to pick a ludicrously high number (say, 1000) that almost certainly won't be reached, but this just makes them look like total assholes for obvious reasons.

In any event, that's the challenge to any citizens of Wankerville who want to take a shot at it. If you think the reaction by Israel until now has been "measured," then I want a clear and precise definition of what you would consider to be not measured. With numbers, so we can record those definitions for posterity and pull them out to beat you with when the time comes.

The comments section is open and submissions are welcome, with the caveat that I will, with no apologies whatsoever, delete any entries that consist solely of whining, snivelling wankeritude about how this is unfair.

I'll call that the "Pete Rempel" rule.

AFTERSNARK
: If you propose this sort of challenge to a wanker, almost certainly their reaction will be that that's unfair and how on earth are they supposed to be able to put an actual number on when something becomes inappropriate?

Well, in the first place, if they can't come up with a fairly precise definition of what they're blathering about, they really shouldn't be blathering in the first place, should they? But if they still have trouble with the concept, it helps to start with an extreme example and take it from there.

As a thought experiment, let's imagine that the Israeli Air Force, without warning, attacks and sinks a ship carrying Canadian evacuees out of Lebanon, killing all 500 Canadians on board. The Israeli justification is that they heard a rumour that there were two mid-level Hezbollah terrorists on board trying to sneak out of Lebanon and, while they had no confirmation, they figured, better not take the chance so they sunk the ship and killed all those Canadians just to play it safe.

Is there anyone who would argue that that was a measured and appropriate military action? (Sadly, while I'd like to think the answer to that is a no-brainer, with the collection of loons over at the Blogging Tories, you just never know, do you? But I digress. Onward.)

I think it's safe to say that most people would agree that the Israeli action in that situation would be, shall we say, slightly over the top. But as soon as a wanker is forced to concede that, you've at least now put some bounds on where the measured/non-measured breakpoint is, haven't you? You've established that, apparently, eight dead Canadians is fine, while 500 is not so fine. At that point, you just start shrinking the interval and see where you end up.

To recap, anyone who uses the word "measured" should be forced to define just what they mean by the term. And is there any Canadian journalist who would be willing to put such a question to Prime Minister Photo Op?

Or is that asking just a bit too much of our intrepid press corps?

7 comments:

Adam said...

Three wanker point missed, CC, that may cause no number to be sufficient:

1) Canadians in Lebanon are really Lebanese with Canadian passports. They're not really our responsibility.

2) And anyway, they were warned to get out last week. If they're still in the country now, it's their own fault if they get killed.

3) "a rumour that there were two mid-level Hezbollah terrorists on board" Are you serious? Those were the Hezbollah #2 and #3 in command, responsible for vile atrocities that will stop now that they are dead, and they were definitely, 100% on board. Why do you love them so much? The rest of the passegers are responsible for their own deaths because they didn't throw these two overboard; it's not like Israel killed them intentionally.

CC said...

(In reference to now deleted previous comment.)

Dear Wayne: Go away. You have your own blog, feel free to use it.

Meaghan Walker-Williams said...

Dear Adam,

In response to your talking points, I have made two posts.

Feel free to visit them.

http://somenamedia.blogspot.com/2006/07/convenient-canadians-turned-on-its.html

and

http://somenamedia.blogspot.com/2006/07/lets-rip-mask-of-civility-right-off.html

Have fun.

Meaghan Walker-Williams said...

Ooops... try here..

http://tinyurl.com/qj2dp

and here

http://tinyurl.com/rjqol

Since the long links weren't showing
completely.

Phyl said...

CC, one only has to do what one of the interviewees (from Britain) did on CBC's "The House" this morning, when discussing whether Israel's response was "measured."

He said one must merely try to imagine what world opinion would have been if I.R.A. terrorists had kidnapped two British soldiers, and in response, Britain had bombed the hell out of Northern Ireland and destroyed all their bridges so they couldn't get away.

If that isn't "measured," then neither is Israel's current aggression. (Which is lookin' a whole lot more like ethnic cleansing than any pretense at a "measured" response.)

Werner Patels said...

Adam, as to who is Canadian and who isn't, please see my post here:

http://www.wernerpatels.com/musings/2006/07/dual_citizens.html

In short, the law is the law, and under the current law, there are no different groups of Canadian citizens. You're either a Candian or you're not. You are free to try to change the law, but as it stands now, those people are Canadians and therefore our responsibility.

babzog said...

Yes, wener, you are unfortunately correct. We need to deal with this after this cris os over... take away foreign passports (ie: no dual citizenships) or something. But for now, they have a Cdn passport and thus have earned our protection.

As for 'measured' .. there is no number that takes it from appropriate to inappropriate. Canadians killed vs Lebanese killed... how about people killed - just to keep the xenophobia out of it. If Israel nuked Lebanon, I'd say that was inappropriate. But going in to rout Hezbollah and taking some unfortunate civilian causalties in the process is wholly appripriate. Hezbollah must be stopped and the Lebanese government is going nothing at all to stop it... therefore the dirty work falls, again, on Israel and her allies.