“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”
Europe isn’t a Muslim dominated continent today, because the Islamic invaders that were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683, could no longer pay the price of advance. European defenders were extracting too high a price from the invaders. When it became clear to the invaders that war was no longer worth the effort, the Islamic invaders world found religious justifications to live in peace with their Christian neighbors. The same thing happened when the Crusades failed. Christan European found a way to be Christian and live with the Levant with their Muslim neighbors in peace.
The vast majority of Germans and then the nations that chose to join the German alliance under Hitler’s National Socialist regime, were willing to pay a very high price for the 'Thousand Year Reich.’ The nations that opposed the vision of National Socialism and that thousand year dream were more numerous and were willing to pay an even higher price to stop National Socialism and everything it stood for. When it was all over, the cost to Germany for their aggressive war was astronomical. As a result of cost those dark times (50 million dead), there is little chance of future German misadventures.
Wars begin and end because of the various costs of waging war. That is as true today as it has been in the past, and that will be true in the future.
Wars have long term economic costs and moral costs. The moral costs of war can passed forward from one generation to the next, long after the economic costs have been paid. The Germans are still paying for the moral failures that led to the implosion of a nation, a continent and a world. In many ways, they have become the conscious of modern Europe.
Today, Dr Sanity noted in The Strategy Of The New Barbarians, that war means the rules of civilization are suspended. She remarks on moral confusion:
The conundrum that many on the left in the West seem to run into is the concern that, by fighting back against those manly modern barbarians who cavalierly behead innocents and slaughter fellow muslims with abandon; hide behind women and children and use children and babies as human bombs to murder infidels; and even by voicing a condemnation of such acts or criticizing the fanatical intolerance of Islam toward other religions--they are being, well...intolerant. And not politically correct; and--let's face it--really really mean.
Dr Sanity makes her point crystal clear. In fighting this war- more of conflicting ideas than of weapons, she notes,
I am confident that we in the West are not in danger of losing our fundamental values; and that our overall moral heading can be recovered should we need to temporarily deviate from the course of the moral compass that guides us. Because, in order to combat and defeat this new barbarism, we must confront it directly and be willing to do whatever it takes to defeat it.
If we appease or ignore it, it will continue to menace everything we hold dear; and sooner or later, it will sink us--no matter how moral we are or how much restraint we demonstrate to their provocations. Moral virtue and saintly restraint will not win this conflict, at least not without the help of pure, unadulterated brute force to back them up.
But, first we must be sure in our own hearts and minds of the endurance of our own values in order to use whatever force is necessary. Morally vacuous intellectuals; and historically ignorant churchmen are not the kind of leaders that will help Western values and Western civilization triumph over the new barbarians. They are plagued by pervasive doubts about the worth of our civilization, and are not troubled by the idea of its demise and replacement. In fact, they rather stupidly believe that their own little socialist version of utopia will win over the new barbarians to their way of thinking; that, their lovely tolerance and good intentions will convince the jihadist that he can safely live in peace with them...
Peace among nations is arrived at when the cost of war becomes overwhelming. Racism, bigotry and hate are overcome when the cost of racism, bigotry and hate becomes too great for society to bear.
As long as nations and peoples perceive the cost of war as acceptable, then we will have war.
Wretchard once noted that 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 and they understand who really bears the cost. 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. As we have noted,
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 should be repeated.
Abba Eban remarked that
History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
The economics of conflict, explained clearly.
The best strategy of these new barbarians seems to be to unleash their own barbarism, then let the intellectuals of the West make the appropriate apologies for them.
In other words, we are paying the price for Islamic radicalism, bigotry and hate because there are those on the left who equating radical Islamic stated ideologies as equal to our own.
The radical Islamist’s readily admit to their agenda of a global Caliphate. Those agendas are finding greater acceptance, as we ‘talk’ and ‘discuss’ them, even as the radicals become more vicious and violent- and all the while, chemical and biological agents are cooked up in bathtubs. Hamas has threatens to use those weapons.
It also has to be made clear that the problems in the Middle East are not derivative of Israel’s existence.
American troops would have been invited to the region's Kings and Princes, regardless of Israel. Saddam would have invaded Kuwait and years earlier, 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 foreign policies .
Israel’s fight with Lebanon based Hizbollah is not political and never was. Hizbollah sees the conflict with Israel as an existential, having nothing to do with politics or borders. Indeed, Nasrallah, Fadlalah, et al, have made clear that the existence of Israel, with any borders and regardless of peace treaties, cannot be tolerated. Nasrallah makes not even the slightest attempt to hide his agenda. He rejoices that there are many Jews in the land he wants to eliminate. In speaking of his murderous intentions toward Jews, he is deliberate- 'It will save us the trouble of rounding them up.'
Clearly, as far as Hizbollah is concerned, violence in the region is not predicated in political differences. The violent elimination of Israel are clear and unequivocal stated goals. In Hizbollah’s world, Israel is simply not permitted to exist. 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.
It is up to Israel and the civilized world to reiterate, underscore and remind Hizbollah and other Arab opponents, the cost of their call to arms, to ‘’slaughter the Jew!’ or 'Slaughter the American!'
There has to be a clear message at the upcoming peace talks at Annapolis. The cost of violence and terror will extract a higher cost from those who unleash that terror and violence. To reward the Palestinians, Hizbollah and much of the Arab world for their venom by ‘holding back,’ and not repudiating their stated bigotry and hate is absurd.
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).
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.
- secure borders.
What exactly is so onerous a burden for the Arab world? 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.
There comes a point after which negotiations are pointless. Israel and the west reached that point 50 years ago.
Israel must do what it needs to do, as noted in this Der Speigel article.
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 there is a cost to defending the rules of civilized nations.