Tom Carew writes from Dublin:
Two aspects of "proportionality" are worth noting.
First, when Ireland had only 2.8m people in 1960, and an Army of only 7 Regular Infantry Battalions, with no overseas experience, with WW II bolt—action Lee Enfield rifles, we sent an Infantry Battalion to the Congo, of under 700 men, and maintained that level of commitment to Congo, Cyprus and Lebanon UN duty. Indeed for 6 months we even provided 2 Bns in the Congo and an Armoured Car Squadron. France to—day has a population 21.74 times bigger, and pro rata could provide the entire additional 13,000 for the UN Lebanon Force with a lower level of commitment than tiny and impoverished Ireland made in 1960. Instead they send 200 Engineers. And pompous denounciations. And resolutions. And even if they lack the courage of their verbal posturings, they could send their Foreign Legion to once again give glory to France, while avoiding French deaths.
Perhaps its time for other States to invite their Gallic counterparts to either "put up, or shut up" ?
Our 48 Irish murdered on UN duty in Lebanon equals 1,044 French dead, but they hightailed it out quickly when they lost 58 Paratroops in a Hezb—Allah suicide—truck—bomb in Beirut in 1983. We lost 9 at Niemba alone, equal to 196 French, not 58, but did not run. Or think of running. Proportionalite, mon ami?
Secondly, Beirut City or Airport were not destroyed, not the North and Port area, nor the West, or East, nor all of South Beirut, but Israel bombed mainly the Haret Hreyk south central neighbourhood holding the 9—story Hezb—Allah HQ, their 5—story Al—Manar TV HQ, their Al—Nour Radio, etc., along with only runways and fuel tanks at the Rafic Hariri International Airport in the Khaldeh coastal suburb 2 miles SW of Haret Hreyk. The LA Times map on the web shows these limited and highly concentrated Israeli operations very clearly. Dis—proportional ?