Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Second Person Always Get Caught

It's the children's version of Murphy's Law. One kid hits another. The second kid strikes back. The second kid gets caught and the first kid gets off scot-free. The conversation usually goes like this:

Adult: "Why did you hit Johnny?"

Child: "Because he hit me first!"

Adult: "Well, what did you do to provoke him?"

Child: "Nothing. I swear!"

Adult: "Well, you shouldn't have lost your temper."

Child: "But he wouldn't stop!"

Adult: "Then you should have gotten an adult and they would have stopped it."

Johnny, meanwhile, is off hitting another kid. Child is pissed because Adult just doesn't understand. Adult is pissed because he (or she) doesn't want Child to learn that might makes right. Or to become a bully himself.

I confess, I still have trouble with this conversation. Apparently, I'm not the only one; to wit: Israel and the rest of the world.

Hamas and Hezbollah harass Israel, finally stepping over the borders--borders that Israel has willingly withdrawn to, BTW--and strikes again.

The World says nothing. Kofi Annan is busy looking for parking in Manhattan. Or something.

Israel takes matters into its own hands and strikes back. Suddenly, the entire World is paying attention. There are calls for "restraint" and "respecting civilians." Israel very patiently points out that they will stop when Hamas and Hezbollah return the soldiers they've kidnapped and stop lobbing shells into Israel's sovereign space. Hamas and Hezbollah cry that Israel is killing civilians, conveniently ignoring that it was a Hamas shell that killed Palestinians at the beach.

The World clucks its collective tongue. "Israel, you should know better!"

Frankly, I think Israel is showing restraint. They haven't used chemical weapons. They haven't nuked Lebanon, Syria, or Iran back to Old Testament days. They haven't executed Arab terrorists and broadcast it on the Internet. They haven't hung the bodies of the enemy dead on bridges.

If they had comparable weaponry and military ability, would Syria or Iran or Hamas or Hezbollah show such restraint?

They haven't indicated they would. In fact, they have indicated they will be happy with nothing less than total annihilation of Israel, followed by Western Europe and the U.S. Canada and Australia would be dessert.

But, still, it's always the second person to hit that gets into trouble. At least in the West.