With the ceasefire holding (tentatively) between Hezbollah and Israel, it seems it’s time for the ghouls to start their body counts. According to the most recent numbers I can find, 1,000,000 Israelis and 850,000 Lebanese fled, about 900 Lebanese were killed (mostly “civilians,” but Hezbollah doesn’t believe in uniforms, so I’d be willing to wager that a lot of those bodies were less than civil before they died), and Israel lost 159 citizens — 41 civilians, 118 military.
And the two soldiers whose kidnapping triggered all this? They didn’t even warrant a passing mention in the “ceasefire” put in place.
Now, on the surface, those numbers are pretty (to use the anti-war crowd’s latest favorite phrase) “disproportionate.” It looks like the Israelis killed six Lebanese for every one person they lost.
But that’s shallow thinking. There are depths here that need to be taken into account.
Southern Lebanon has been a launching ground for attacks against Israel for about three decades, give or take. Rockets, missiles, and outright small-scale invasions have become a fact of life for northern Israel. Further, anyone with the slightest lick of common sense would have foreseen the eventuality of a large-scale fight between Israel and Hezbollah, and that southern Lebanon and northern Israel would be the battleground.
Israel had that lick of common sense. All across the nation, all buildings are REQUIRED to have bomb shelters. They also have an extensive civil defense program, with spotters and alarms. Finally, through sheer Darwinian “survival of the fittest,” Israel’s emergency-response teams are among the (if not the) best in the world. They are well experienced in handling the carnage and charnel that accompany modern terrorism.
They knew this was coming, and prepared for it.
Southern Lebanon, however, did not prepare.
They saw Hezbollah coming in to their lands by the thousands. They saw them bringing in guns, rockets, missiles, mortars, bombs, and mines, and turned a blind eye. They let Hezbollah turn their lands into a giant staging ground, and counted on Allah, Hezbollah, the United Nations, and plain old dumb luck to protect them from the consequences of watching Hezbollah continually poke and prod at the “filthy Zionists.” They believed their own propaganda that Israel would not DARE strike back against the righteous liberators and noble resisters.
And, consequently, when all their fantasies turned to dust, they paid the price.
Yes, roughly six times as many Lebanese died as Israelis. But that is not any sign or moderation or restraint on the part of Hezbollah. The fact that it was only a 6:1 ratio is conclusive proof of restraint on Israel’s part — they could have easily doubled or tripled that number, if they were only interested in a body count.
The plain and simple fact of the recent conflict is simple: Hezbollah tried to kill as many Israelis as they could — period. They draw no distinctions between civilians and military. Israel tried to kill as many Hezbollah as it could, but while minimizing the number of non-Hezbollah people killed. The difference in numbers is purely a reflection of the competence of the two parties.