Esteemed French president Chirac has declared that Israel's offensive in Lebanon is "totally disproportionate."
Interestingly, it is the same president who has shown just this past week his own tolerance for acts of violence, as he publicly embraced the persona of a certain French soccer player who happened to headbutt an Italian colleague during a certain important world cup match last Sunday. So, according to Chirac's worldview, headbutting a fellow soccer player who just called you and your family names constitutes a proportionate response, but bombing away at a country that allows terrorist organizations to fire missiles from its own territory to a neighboring country, is "totally disproportionate." Hmmm.
Now, just in case you're bewilderingly shaking your head at my suggestion that a headbutt in a soccer match is a good analogy with the first moves of a regional war, I encourage you to take another look at the situation and lose your complacent attitude, in order to see that the baguette-eating president is, in fact, wildly inconsistent with regards to his own worldview.Let's see what really happened here: First, it was Sheikh Nassrallah, in his troops' offensive last week that resulted in eight Israeli soldier casualties and two kidnapped, who has figuratively taunted PM Olmert, and called him names. Then, PM Olmert, in response, headbutted Nassrallah by bombing hundreds of Hezbullah targets across southern Lebanon, including the Sheikh's home in Beirut. This caused Chirac to flag Olmert with a red card:
"One could ask if today there is not a sort of will to destroy Lebanon, its equipment, its roads, its communication," Chirac said during an interview in the garden of the presidential Elysee Palace to mark Bastille Day, the French national holiday.Well, excuse me, Monsieur President. Just as Zidane wasn't trying, by headbutting Materazzi, to destroy the whole of Italy, its equipment, roads and excellent street cafes, so is Olmert not trying to do the same to Lebanon. And if you can't see the logic of this analogy, well, that's because you've had one too many croissants this morning. Or because you haven't read what Rob Hiaasen of the Baltimore Sun said: "the headbutt is the universal male symbol for territorial aggression when hands and words just aren’t enough."
So drop the red card, Mr. Chirac. After all, it's just another game. Isn't it?