Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It's a perspective thing, I guess.


On the one hand:

Israel, the United States and allied Western states accuse Syria and Iran of supporting Hezbollah with arms and cash.

On the other hand:

The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday.

I'm sure any snark here would be utterly superfluous.

10 comments:

Olaf said...

Your insinuation in equating the two situations assumes that both the State of Israel and Hezbollah are equally legitimate and deserving of arms for their respective objectives (survival and destruction, respectively). Is this your position?

CC said...

I am taking no position whatsoever. I am simply pointing out the amusing parallels, and the underlying double standard.

Olaf said...

A double standard is only applicable when the original situation is the same (that is, two different standards for the same situation). You wouldn't point out that there is a double standard between the sentencing of a previously convicted violent felon who committed a pre-meditated homicide and a young offender acting in self defence, would you? I'm sure there's a better example, but this was the first I came up with (and no, I'm not comparing Israel to a young offender and Hezbollah to a convicted felon, I'm just pointing out a situation which would not be considered a double standard because the circomstances are different).

CC said...

In fact, Olaf, you have this precisely backwards. If you feel that the two situations are not analogous, it's your job to explain why not.

Go wild.

Simon said...

Olaf, you aren't defining 'double standard' properly.

A double standard is an ethical or moral code that applies more strictly to one group than to another. There does not need to be 'equivalence' for a double standard to apply.

Under your narrow definition, the term is rendered essentially unusable (i.e. you can almost always argue that *something* is different between any two situations).

Olaf said...

CC,

I feel as though there is a clear difference between Hezbollah and Israel that goes pretty much without saying, and your failure to draw a distinction is what I take issue with. If you feel they are morally equivalent, and thus should be subjected to the same treatment by the international community, than come out and say so, instead of at first saying you're taking no position whatsoever, and then claiming that the onus is on me to suggest why they're not analogous. "I'm not saying that they are, but just for kicks, tell me why they aren't" is a gutless position.

I guess in order to get a straight answer I will have to ask a clear question: Do you think that Hezbollah and Israel are morally and legally equivalent and should be treated as such by the international community?

Simon,

Firstly, I did not attempt to define 'double standard', I only suggested when a criticism based on a double standard is applicable; in the situation where equals should be treated equally, but are not (as in one is held more strictly to a standard than the other).

Different rules should apply where genuine and relevant differences exist, and not where differences are superficial (eg. we should not have different laws based on ethnicity, however we should have different laws based on age, as the latter criterion contains inherent distinctions regarding intent and reason, which are legally relevant).

In this way, I do not suggest that there needs to be an exact equivalence (there should be a set of laws for every 46 year old, white man named Bob) but that there must be substantive equivalence (eg. mentally competent adults), which I do not believe exists in the case of Israel and Hezbollah.

CC said...

olaf writes:

I feel as though there is a clear difference between Hezbollah and Israel that goes pretty much without saying...

and that, Olaf, appears to be the entirety of your argument. In your world, all discussions begin with the fundamental premise that the Israelis are the good guys, and everyone else are the bad guys, and all else follows logically from that.

I'm sure you can appreciate why any further dialogue on this topic is pointless. Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. I hope you can also appreciate the vacuity of any argument that is based upon expressions such as "I feel" and "goes pretty much without saying" and "I do not believe."

No one here gives a fuck what you "feel" or what you "believe." If you have a case, let's hear it. Otherwise, you're just using up the oxygen in the room.

Grog said...

Personally, I think that when Israel started bombing civilian and UN targets more or less blindly, they descended to the same moral level as Hezbollah.

Whether or not Israel and the "western powers" want to admit it, Hezbollah is not merely a militia any more, it is a significant political faction in Lebanon, and in other parts of the Middle East.

Remember, that prior to 1948, the Jewish peoples in the region also used paramilitary organizations to forward their cause.

There's blame enough to go around in the region, and it's damnably difficult to make a compelling argument that Israel is somehow occupying a moral high ground.

CC said...

simon wirtes:

"A double standard is an ethical or moral code that applies more strictly to one group than to another. There does not need to be 'equivalence' for a double standard to apply."

Simon is exactly correct. As an example, on the one hand, the Bush administration, through its military, has violated the Geneva Conventions in countless, appalling ways -- consider Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, for instance. All the while, almost the entire population of the wingnut-o-sphere has dismissed any sort of complaints along these lines.

On the other hand, when some American service personnel were captured early on during the Iraqi invasion and were simply displayed on television, the Bush administration went totally bugfuck, howling about how public humiliation of captured soldiers was a blatant violation of the GCs.

See? That's a double standard.

Olaf said...

CC writes:

"I hope you can also appreciate the vacuity of any argument that is based upon expressions such as "I feel" and "goes pretty much without saying" and "I do not believe.""

First of all, I use 'I feel' or 'I believe' as in 'it is my opinion that...', not in 'my heart tells me...', and while declaring that what I am saying is my opinion may be unnecessary, it does not make my argument necessarily vacuous. It is also a rhetorical method of suggesting that I recognize that what I am saying, could, possibly, be wrong, and as such making me sound like less of a pompous fat headed ideological dick than yourself, who is ofcourse, always and at all times precisely right.

Secondly, I merely pointed out that I don't think that they are morally equivalent entities, and thus treating them differently (in providing arms to Israel but not Hezbollah) is completely legitimate. However, at absolutely no point did I say that everything Israel does is right (because they're the good guys) and everything Hezbollah did was wrong, as you imply.

In any case, remember this?: "I guess in order to get a straight answer I will have to ask a clear question: Do you think that Hezbollah and Israel are morally and legally equivalent and should be treated as such by the international community?"

Despite this very blatant question, the answer I received was a criticism of my position based on a gross misrepresentation. How revealing. At least "grog" made his position clear, which while I may disagree, I can at least respect and understand his position. You base your shit blog on insinuation because you're too gutless to try to make an argument.

You base your entire blog on "it goes without saying", when you write two line posts which basically say "This guy is retarded, because I disagree with him, and because I'm so right and he's so wrong I will not dignify his position with a rebuttal, just go to this link to see why he's retarded". I've brought up this criticism before on your blog, and have not gotten a response, except from your cyber body guard Ti-guy.

The very post that I responded to demonstrates my point perfectly, in which you provide no analysis, except "I'm sure any snark here would be utterly superfluous", which is more or less "it pretty much goes without saying". Then, when pressed to reveal what infact you are trying to say, resort to insult and obfuscation. Holy fuck, what a joke.