Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Piling On -- but do need to?

Brad DeLong has been fairly (imnvho, both senses of the word apply) pilloried for this post, in which his response to Juan Cole's summary:
The Israelis warn the small town Shiites of the south to flee their own homes and go hundreds of miles away (and live on what? in what?). But then they intensely bombing them, making it impossible for them to flee. The Lebanese have awoken to find themselves cockroaches. I repeat, this is nothing less than an ethnic cleansing of the Shiites of southern Lebanon... what Saddam Hussein did to the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq, and the Israelis are doing it for exactly the same sorts of reasons that Saddam did.

is:
The death toll was much, much, much higher in Saddam Hussein's ethnic cleansing of the marsh Arabs.

which is a matter of degree, not kind.

Should this be taken to mean DeLong is denouncing the actions of Israel's government? The title of the post implies that he is, as Michelle Maises at beyondintractability.org notes:
The rules of jus in bello aim to confine the destructiveness of war, rule out certain kinds of weapons, protect civilians, and limit the area and range of fighting.

So maybe we all ignored the subtext, and DeLong agrees that the tactics Israel is using cannot be justified. Certainly, we can hope such, as he has remained silent on the matter since.

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