But I digress.
I had one of those head shaking, forehead slapping moments last week as the brave warriors of Gaza were running around after the cease fire, shouting in glee as to their victory and firing their guns in the air in celebration.
Never mind that they were running around amidst the rubble of previously useful structures blasted back to useless rock, or wending their way among the funeral processions of military men and the women and children killed in the "victory battle".
I tell you, these guys are Filipinos on steroids, their esteem issues producing a re-interpretation of facts that is simply bizarre.
In the Philippines, this little conversion of lies to facts is a matter of building face, and Senators Sotto and Enrile are sterling examples of how it is displayed. Sotto by re-defining the facts of stealing other people's work as complete innocence, Enrile re-writing history in his book.
In Gaza, it is the same thing.
I'd guess the Gaza warriors actually believe what they claim. "Victory!"
The alternative is to believe they lost and grab hold of the brain rattling realization that provoking Israel was a really stupid thing to do.
And Sotto may believe people are making a big deal out of nothing when they file an ethics case against him. And Enrile may be writing politically, to an agenda, rather than historically. Politics, is, after all, the business of turning lies into laws.
Then the pundits arrive on the scene in Gaza. Love that press, the "Fourth Estate". It excels at rationalizing any event six ways from Sunday and proclaims that Israel really screwed up by attacking harshly, because now the Arab states are united against Israel. Indeed, they agree with the victory dance, that Hamas won. Even Abbas in the West Bank is categorized as among the "walking dead" because he chose to restrain West Bank Palestinians from revolt.
What a loser, arguing for calm and decency.
I look at this and here's what I see.
- Hamas militants fired rockets at civilians.
- Israel bombed their poor country into the stone ages, making it even poorer.
- The Hamas militants, like the Catholic Church in the Philippines, are re-writing truth in which they deny any responsibility for the outcome of their decisions.
- Next time Israel will show less restraint after having been shown up by the Palestinian need to gloat, that need itself a gross psychological malady.
I run around exclaiming to my wife that "decisions are facts, decisions are facts!" If you get to where you are going late, as most Filipinos do, it is a choice. The choice says, factually, "it is not important to me to arrive on time", or personalizing it, "you are not important enough for me to arrive on time". Decisions cannot be denied for what they are.
When you fire a rocket into a town full of civilians, it is a decision, and all outcomes arising from that decision belong to you.
You are not entitled to write the script for the other party that limits what they can do. That says "you can only fire one rocket back at me, otherwise it is excessive and brutal force".
No no no no.
Until you are dead, pal, any force is legitimate, because you are murdering scum.
Same principle applies to Sotto and Enrile.
The response does not have to be equal, a paragraph for a paragraph, a book for a book. No, indeed. The weight of the response does not have to match the offense. It should punish, the way courts assign actual damages plus a punitive fine.
When you behave badly, you have no right to call for mercy. You simply have the obligation to correct the error of your ways. Or be soundly punished for enduring transgressions.
When lies are twisted to become facts, mercy does not enter the equation.