Monday, July 03, 2006

Being 'Civilized' Is Highly Overrated

Civilized: Showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement; humane, ethical, and reasonable.

The problem with this definition of 'civilized' is that there is something missing--something that both the person who cobbled together the definition and apparently those countries that claim to epitomize the definition have forgotten:

What it takes to create a civilization, and what it takes to maintain it.

The West wasn't always this dense. July 4th is the anniversary of ...Operation Thunderbolt and the rescue of Entebbe. At the time, Israel was still the West's darling and they welcomed the rescue. Of course the fact that the hostages were not only Israelis probably helped.

Contrast that with Israel's response to the Munich Massacre. Not so clean, not so cut and dried, and mistakes cost innocent life. Spielberg's movie only magnified the contention that civilized countries don't act that way, at least not without serious soul-searching and some regret.

But that may be changing. Putin has unleashed the Russian secret services to find and destroy those responsible for the murder of Russian diplomats. And the world response? Yahoo News carries an article from Real Clear Politics, "Putin's License to Kill", that notes that there has been hardly any world outcry, including from the US and Great Britain. The article also reveals that

not many people in the world are aware that since Putin was appointed President
in 1999, Russia has revived its tradition of hunting down terrorists abroad.

and goes on to give a summary of some of those operations.

Also noted is that Russia was promised Moslem aid in rescuing their diplomats, by both Ahmadinejad...and Hamas, for all the good it did. As a side point, it would be interesting to know just what Hamas' connection is to the killers and how deep it is.

Not only is Putin out to kill the murderers now, he is also publicly offering to pay for any information that helps in locating them.

So why the lack of outrage? Maybe because

1. Russia is a fellow country and Europe and it's neighbors stick together
2. Russia would not listen anyway
3. Russia cannot be easily pressured, especially considering their export of oil
4. A certain level of savagery from Russia is expected and tolerated
5. There is a sense that Coalition Forces in Iraq 'owe' Russia

None of these apply to Israel, who

1. Is an outsider
2. Has already demonstrated that she responds to the West's public outcry
3. Has shown she is easily pressured
4. Is expected to uphold a level of civilized restraint that borders on appeasement.
5. No one feels they owe Israel anything for the concessions she makes.

In spite of the fact that diplomacy failed Russia in her attempt to rescue her diplomats, there is pressure on Israel not only to use the option of negotiation that failed Russia, but also on her not to take recourse to the kind of violent option that Russia is now using--and has used in the past.

The article concludes with the hope that

if other great powers support Russia's actions, the gory days of global jihad
could be coming to an end.

Very nice.

But what about local jihad?

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Jack Steiner said...

Israel needs to push the world aside for a little bit and do what is best for Israel.

Yael said...

Amen to your post. Civilized doesn't have to mean you tie both hands behind your back when you go to fight for your life.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

First of all civilized means different things at different times, and even at a specific time the definition is rather in the eyes of the beholder.

Secondly, the Jupiter/bull division is eternal, so no surprises here. We should indeed grow a thicker skin. Up to a point, that is.

Anonymous said...

Israeli Ground Forces Launch New Attacks in Northern Gaza

you think this will end at some point