The International Committee of the Red Cross said the toll of casualties and damage ``raise serious questions regarding the respect of the principle of proportionality in the conduct of hostilities,'' according to a statement yesterday in Geneva by the group's operations chief, Pierre Krahenbuhl.
From a Bloomberg Article
Increasingly I've been seeing talk of, as if it is some hoary old remnent from the Age of Chivalry, proportionality in warfare. I fully expect it to soon acquire capitalization, so that it becomes the much more official looking Principle of Proportionality.
What exactly is this deeply revered Principle? Where was it at Dresden or Hiroshima? For that matter, closer to today, where was it in the first Gulf War or in Chechnya when Grozny was reduced to rubble?
One of the most successful techniques our enemies are employing in this war is the continual invention of ever more bizzare and arbitrary "Rules of War"
A border raid esculated into a full blown war between Israel and Hisb'Allah (the Party of God). Over the course of this war Hizb'Allah has fired hundreds of rockets, which are area weapons, into Israeli cities. Many of these rockets have warheads surrounded by a sleave of ball bearings. These are anti-personel weapons pure and simple, being fired blindly into civilian areas to maim or kill. There is virtually no outcry against this tactic.
Yet, Israel was accused of crimes against humanity for bombing bridges and power stations at the onset of the war. When did attacking bridges and power stations become something airforces didn't do during times of war? And now this sacred Principal of Proportionality. When was it negotiated that the weak could use ball bearings while the strong could only load their guns with rubber bullets?
Lincoln, frustrated by Fredricksburg, looked for a General who understood the arithmetic of blood. Today, the West needs to relearn that arithmetic, or far more of us -- and them -- than need to will drown in blood as the lesson is applied.
The Principle of Proportionality ... bah-humbug.