Proportionate Responses And Other Mythologies
Wars end because of disproportionate responses. If wars were fought on a 'tit for tat' basis, they would last indefinitely.
After September 11, 2001, the decision was made to go into Afghanistan and rid that nation of the beasts that claimed that country as their own. Lots of people died and there has not yet been an attack of consequence on our shores. Afghanistan is no longer stoning women in soccer stadiums, girls are now going to school and the Taliban's Mullah Omar (who made sure his animals, but not his people has potable water) and Osama bin Laden are hiding in caves bereft of indoor plumbing. All in all, a good thing.
In the event the Iranians or any of their proxies (Syria, Hizbollah, Hamas, et al) manage to mount an attack that kills innocents, the appropriate response is as follows: attack the sponsor of the attacks and/or the regime where the attack originated and inflict as much damage as possible.
Will many innocents die? Yes, they will.
The moment the first innocent dies in a war, that war becomes immoral. Civilized societies understand that all wars are immoral. That does not mean the war is unjust. Uncivilized societies do not understand that war is immoral. In the case of much of the Islamic and Arab world, not only is war that targets innocents politically moral, it is also a religious expression.
Dr Sanity, in The Brilliance Of The New Barbarians, quotes Wretchard:
The brilliance of the new barbarism is that you cannot fight it without destroying your own value system into the bargain.
Traditionally the solution has been to consider wartime a discontinuity, when civilization's rules are suspended. It becomes possible, for example, to lay waste to the Monte Cassino Abbey. Berlin was bombed without regard for its buildings, churches or people.
The alternative is to create methods of fighting so discriminating that we can literally shoot between the raindrops. But that creates a different problem, for we will need an intelligence system so comprehensive that it will become intrusive.
Either way, the war cannot be won without cost. And the fundamental fraud foisted on the public is to claim we can have war without horror, conduct an intelligence war without dishonesty and cunning and obtain victory without sacrifice.
Dr Sanity, in her own words:
The cost of this war will be more than all the lives lost; it will also be for the humanity and civilization we must temporarily abandon to win. I love to read fantasies as much as anyone, but in the real world, the good and virtuous whose cause is just do not always win.
When we are finally cornered and must allow our own barbarism to surface to combat theirs head to head, then we must be prepared to live with the consequences, including the agonizing guilt that will ensue--or everything we hold dear, everything we aspire to become, will forever perish from this earth.
I've said it before, but this reality is what I hate and despise most about these Islamic fanatics--who do not let reason or life interfere with their jihad; who abide by no treaties, follow no rules, and scorn the very values upon which western civilization is founded. We could have lived with them they did not insist that we must become what they are or die. But they have defined the groundrules (or the non-rules) of this conflict; and eventually, we will have to meet them at their level--or they will win. We should hold tight to the thought that it is they who have set the playing field.
As Wretchard notes, wars are fought as wars, not as tea parties. Innocents die, great cities are laid to waste and vast populations suffer for years. Bad things happen, and in the heat of battle, barbarism will occur. That is all part of the cost of war.If most people had their say, there would be no aggressive wars. They after all, are the ones who suffer the most. The leaders of nations and faiths that demand war, aren’t usually made to pay the price till long after most if the damage has been done- if ever.
The problem is that most people don’t have a say. Nations and leaders that demand aggressive wars are not free nations. They are ruthless tyrannies that exist only to serve themselves and their needs. They do so by institutionalizing bigotry, hate and racism.
When nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify those actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny.
Anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral.
It really is that simple.
The problems in the Middle East are not derivative of Israel’s existence, notwithstanding the deceit that would have you believe that.
American troops would have been invited to the region by Kings, Princes and Sheikhs, regardless. Those invitations had nothing to do with Israel.
Saddam would have invaded Iraq and the Egyptians would have used chemical weapons in Yemen. Hafez Al Assad would have butchered 15,000 to 30,000 in Hama, irrespective of American policies .
Israel’s fight with Hizbollah and Hamas is not political and never was. Hizbollah and Hamas see the conflict with Israel as an existential, having nothing to do with politics or borders.
Nasrallah, Fadlalah, Haniyah, et al, have made clear that the existence of Israel, with any borders, cannot be tolerated. They do not make even the slightest effort to hide their respective agendas. Nasrallah, openly expressed his delight that there are so many Jews in the land he wants to eliminate. In speaking of his murderous intentions, he is deliberate- ‘It will save us the trouble of rounding them up.’
Clearly, as far as Hizbollah and Hamas are concerned, violence in the region is not predicated in political differences. The violent elimination of Israel remains a clear and unequivocally stated goal. In their world, Israel is simply not permitted to exist.
Much, if not most of the Arab world share those beliefs. They have thrown down the gauntlet, by refusing to recognize the Jewish state. They have issued the challenge.
The very real threat of a disproportionate response underscores the truth that calls to 'Slaughter the Jew!' or 'Slaughter the American!' are not considered acceptable forms of political or religious expression by the civilized world.
The rules of civilizations are far more preferable to war. Those rules however, are applicable to those who understand that war is preferable to peace. For over 60 years, we have been ‘talking’ and ‘discussing’ with regimes that would harm our interests at at moment notice, and regimes who openly admit that if given the opportunity, would eliminate Israel, America and for that matter, the western world that doesn’t share the ‘values’ that celebrate misogyny and the subjugation a of women, the slaughter and oppression of some non Muslims, including Jews, gays, apostates and others.
That is no exaggeration. In 2002, Saudi Arabia’s ‘religious’ police prevented schoolgirls from escaping a burning school building because they weren’t wearing ‘appropriate’ religious garb. Do regimes such as these really understand civilized behavior?
For sixty years, the American position on Israel and the Arab nations in the Middle East under every administration since Truman has been remarkably consistent. Irrespective of the Republican or Democrat occupants of the White House, American policy has been remarkably consistent and clear: Cessation of hostilities, diplomatic recognition and secure borders.
After 60 years, those things have yet to be fully accepted by the Arab world.
Imagine negotiating with the Nazi Party for 60 years, during which time it engaged in a limited- but relentless terror and war- as well as their stated genocidal aims.
From Der Speigel, in response to the war with Hizbollah:
The pacifist reaction that the Israeli defensive war has triggered in Germany and Europe is not well thought out and is disingenuous. It is also counter-productive. An immediate cease-fire would merely result in a worse conflict in the future. The consequences drawn from Adolf Hitler’s World War II — “Never again fascism! Never again war!” — were intended to prevent an anti-Semitic war from ever again taking place. Today, that lesson has been forgotten. “Never again war against fascism” is all that remains.
Israel must not be forced to abandon its war against Hezbollah, rather it must win the conflict. Just as Hezbollah is fighting the war as Iran’s proxy, Israel is fighting genocidal Islamism as the proxy for the rest of the Western world. The least Israel should be able to expect from the West is that it not be betrayed.
There is a cost to war and to abrogating the the rules of civilization. Sooner or later, the disproportionate response to wild and frenzied calls of 'We will finish what Hitler started' will be paid, once and for all.
The final cost will be determined by the Arab world. Whatever the cost is, they will have no one but themselves to blame.