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July 31, 2006
Proportionate Responses Never Ended a War
An Editorial by Frank J.
Posted by Frank J. at 11:00 AM | View blog reactions | Comments (18)

 People keep urging Israel to keep their responses to terrorist attacks "proportionate". What?! Who would say such a crazy thing except those in love with war? If they kill three people, and, wanting to be proportionate, Israel kills three people, that only keeps the cycle of violence going on forever. And that is not a cycle you want to be on, because, if you do too well, the French will act all surprised when blood tests on a man reveal the presence of testosterone.

"Obviously, many critics of Israel have never been to war school. Also, they hate Jews."

 Responses to attacks must be disproportionate to end wars. This is basic war logic that one learns on the first day of war school. Obviously, many critics of Israel have never been to war school. Also, they hate Jews... but this is common and unremarkable. What is important is to understand how disproportionate responses end wars. If you always respond proportionately, then the enemy who is bad will always know the risks with each attack since he knows exactly how you will respond. But, with disproportionate attacks, the enemy (who still is bad) will not know how you respond, for any response can happen for someone who responds disproportionately. This makes bad people who are the enemy scared.

 Let us look at real world example: If terrorists blow up a car and Israel responds proportionately by blowing up one of the terrorists' cars, this will not scare the terrorists because they have crappy cars. Thus, terrorists will continue to blow up good Israeli cars while collecting insurance on their crappy cars when Israel responds proportionately. Now, if terrorists blow up a car and Israelis respond disproportionately by blowing up five cities - cities the terrorists like - this is much more likely to discourage the terrorists. They will think, "If Israel keeps responding in this disproportionate way, they will blow up all our cities a thousand times over by the time we destroy all their cars. We don't want that; our stuff is in those cities." Thus, through disproportionate responses, the conflict is ended. This is good and smart way to fight.

 Now, a disproportionate response does not have to be more than the initial attack; responding with much less is also disproportionate. Let's say terrorists murder five Israeli families. Instead of murdering five terrorist families (a proportionate response) or nuking Mecca (disproportionate response of greater force), the Israelis could respond by kidnapping one of the terrorists' goats and put lipstick and a dress on the goat (which would be really ridiculous since it's a male goat). Then, the Israelis could broadcast video of the goat and everyone standing around laughing at the goat in a dress (who is also wearing lipstick). While this would be a disproportionate response, it would be unlikely to discourage bad people as much as killing and explosions do (unless terrorists fear nothing more than the public mockery of their goats; then this is a very strategic response).

 Some worry that disproportionate responses to terrorist attacks could harm civilians. My solution to this is to not worry. Civilians serve little purpose in war; whether they live or die gives little advantage to either side since they don't fight (that's why they are civilians). This is why I don't understand why terrorists target civilians since those aren't the ones they need to be worried about killing them. It may be easiest to kill little Israeli children, but they are no threat compared to older Israelis with machine guns. I guess terrorists are unable to do a proportionate response or higher since Israelis with machine guns tend to kill terrorists, so they target civilians. This is not good strategy though, as it only angers those with machine guns who were the bigger threat to begin with.

 So, to end this conflict, Israel must continue with disproportionate responses. If terrorists shoot someone, then Israel must bomb a city. If terrorist blow up a building, Israel should destroy one of the terrorists' greatest holy symbols - the Eiffel Tower. Then terrorists become very scared and pee their pants and can't buy new pants because they're too busy protecting their goats from public ridicule. When the enemy is reduced to a bunch of scared people with soiled pants standing in front of their goats, then war is won and conflict is over. This you learn on last day of war school.

Frank J. is a syndicated columnist whose columns appear worldwide on IMAO.us. He is also the author of such books as "If Someone Mugs You, You Mug Him Back and Kill His Family: A Guide to Self-Defense" and numerous textbooks for war class at war school.

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