Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Difference Between Us... & Them

One of the most important factors in the ongoing war between Israel and those who wish to destroy them is the moral equivalence - or lack thereof - that exists. It is important to remember that right and wrong here is not a matter of debate, but incredibly obvious to anyone with a clear mind.

One side views each loss of life as a tragedy - the other views it as a means of exploitation. The world must recognize this... and until they do, we must keep showing it to them.

The Israeli approach: (via Muqata - read the whole piece there)
On Saturday night at 2:30 AM, [the IDF] called the Gomez family to inform them that the helicopter which was shot down, was that of their son, Daniel.


"My son was killed, I don't want to endanger the lives of other soldiers to bring my son's body back," he [the father] said.

The base commander wisely replied, "This isn't your decision, it is our decision alone."


The rescue team was airlifted that night by helicopter into Lebanon, and heavy fire was directed at them. The "machat" battalion commander ordered the pilots not to land and return home to base. The rescue team unanimously decided to ignore the direct command, and try to land and carry out the mission.
The approaches of both the father and the soldiers are admirable: The soldiers for deeming it worth risking their lives to retrieve the bodies of their brethren, and the father for not wanting them to do so.

Contrast that with this picture (there are others): (via Life-of-Rubin/Meryl Yourish who have more)
1) Man arrives with suitcase full of American toys and dismantles doll in pink dress. (AP)
Umm, excuse me? Why isn't this a front-page story? How quickly would world opinion change if people actually saw this on the cover of their newspapers and newsmags, and not a Lebanese woman crying over what is presumed to be her destroyed home?

This is the difference between us... and them. May we always hold ourselves to higher standards than our enemies.

On a similar note, Jack posted an incredible piece by an LA Times writer named Tim Rutten on the impact of photography (and fake photography) on war. Read the whole thing.