Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Moral High Ground Problem

THOMAS RICKS: One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they’re being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.

HOWARD KURTZ: Hold on, you’re suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of it’s fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?

RICKS: Yes, that’s what military analysts have told me.

KURTZ: That’s an extraordinary testament to the notion that having people on your own side killed actually works to your benefit in that nobody wants to see your own citizens killed but it works to your benefit in terms of the battle of perceptions here.

RICKS: Exactly. It helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well.



  1. of course; how we going to look good on television protecting 'our people' if we can't kill our people to look good on television? Seems only reasonable; defending ourselves from the audience and all that.

  2. doesn't mean of course that we don't do everything possible to protect 'our people', in principle anyway, in the abstract as it were, though mistakes are made now and then - protecting 'our people' from evoldoingnihilists who don't have respect for life, who don't consider every life precious, is what sacrificing out citizens is all about.

  3. it may be that the only way we can truly protect our people is to provoke syria to attack them with some kind of illegal weapon, proving the seriousness of the threat to the evilly skeptical and hostile television audience.

  4. Does it also mean that if no attacks are carried out, the people of Israel will be completely defenseless?

    That must never happen again!