Sunday, August 06, 2006

Israel Will and Indeed Must Lose This War

If the fighting ends in the next few couple of weeks, and it ends with the IDF still flailing about ineffectually in a "buffer zone" a couple thousand meters across, with Hezbollah still standing, and no sign of U.N./E.U. troops willing to serve as a proxy for an IDF occupation force, will this amount to "national suicide" on the part of the Israeli state?

It is useful to consider this possibility now, as it seems the most likely result of the 2006 ME "Summer War".

Well, no, obviously not. National Suicide, if it means anything (and it may not), means dropping The Bomb on your own capital, maybe, or ordering the whole populace to drink cool-aid laced with cyanide and then they're stupid enough to do it. No doubt the Israelis will feel like shit after the conflict fizzles out (its most likely conclusion), but the State will still be there, and it will still have an arsenal of about 400 nukes if they ever face a real existential threat. So its time to shut up already with the self-piteous clap-trap from Israel, and the naive doomsday pronouncements on the part of her apologists, and to try to look clearly at the most likely outcome of the conflict: a resurgent Hezbollah and a humiliated Israel.

WAPO's David Ignatius has indeed looked clearly at the matter, and in his column from earlier this week, entitled "War is Opening a Door", he sees a potential bright side to an IDF strategic defeat. His historical reference for this belief is the Yom Kippur War of October, 1973:

The 1973 war seemed like the ultimate disaster: Israel's very survival was at stake in the early hours of the battle. As the war dragged on, there was a risk of a U.S.-Soviet nuclear confrontation; and the conflict triggered an Arab oil embargo that devastated the global economy. Because of its close alliance with Israel, the United States was isolated from many of its European and Arab allies.

Yet in the long lens of history, the importance of the 1973 war is that it opened the door to peace. The Arabs, humiliated by earlier wars with Israel, could now claim a measure of dignity because of Anwar Sadat's bold attack across the canal. The Israelis learned that their Arab adversaries wouldn't run from battle, as they had in the 1967 war. That gave them a stake in making peace, too.

Ever since Ariel Sharon blew up the Palestinian peace process in the late 1990s in order to relaunch his political career, the Israeli attitude to the Palestinian issue, and the issues that arise when you are living in a sea of Arab states, has been "Fuck 'em! We can stomp their ass on the battlefield!" However, the Summer War is going to, at the end of the day, very effectively demonstrate the limits of Israeli military power. And the Israelis are going to have their nose rubbed in it. As the bible (or wherever) says: "Pride Goeth Before the Fall."

But after the fall comes the potential for Rebirth. As with the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, Israel will, one hopes, feel it has a stake in making Peace with its neighbors and, perhaps, with the Palestinian population that it has effectively imprisoned in Gaza and the West Bank.

Note: an interesting piece by Haroon Siddiqui in which he quotes extensively from words by Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth concerning the "war crimes" that his organization has attributed to Israel in a report that I noted earlier here. Mr Roth is discussing the Israeli practice of "warning" Lebanese civilians before shellacking their villages:

...Israel is to be commended for issuing warnings, but warnings do not absolve it of the duty to continue at all times to distinguish between civilians and combatants in launching attacks.

"If that were not true, Hamas might `warn' all settlers to leave the settlements and treat those who remained as fair game for attack."

So if the Israeli argument is solid, all Hezbollah has to do is broadcast a few alerts and then fire away to their heart's content. Hey Presto! No more war crime!


Anonymous said...

go Israel go . . if these fuckwads want to live in a 6th century backass-wards theocracy, I say let them and even help them by bombing them a few centuries along the way.

Long live Liberals like BigCity Strikes Out for polarizing his own party and driving voters to the moral high ground of Stephen Harper.

Keep it up asshole, you are doing all our work for us by identifying all the terrorist lovers and supporters in our midst.

Anonymous said...

something to look forward too for all you Liberal terrorist lovers and Hisbullah supporters.

The Sunday Times August 06, 2006

Terrorism is rotting the Islamic revolution it craves
Hezbollah's men of terror are both the strength and the Achilles heel of a movement that seeks to spread Islamic states, says Amir Taheri
The scene is Beirut, some years on, when Hezbollah has driven out the “Crusader-Zionists” and begun building the model Islamic state it has promised since the 1980s.

The rallying cry of Tony Blair — for western democracies to remain united in the global war against terror and engage in a battle of values — has not been heeded. The western powers, led by the United States, have run away from the Middle East, allowing the Islamic republic and its newly acquired allies in Al-Qaeda to set the agenda.

The former American University of Beirut has been replaced by the Iranian-sponsored Islamic University. As teenage “volunteers for martyrdom” chant “Allah, Koran, Khomeini”, the new chancellor of the Islamic University prepares to read a message from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president.

He calls on the Lebanese to prepare for more sacrifices because his “jihad to wipe the Jewish stain of shame” off the map is only the beginning. He plans to liberate Egypt, north Africa and Spain.

Much has changed in Lebanon since the Party of God seized power. Women have been put into purdah and men forced to grow beards. Bars, pubs, discotheques, hotels with a louche reputation, and other “places of sin” have been closed.

Swimming on some beaches is allowed, though not for women, and men are required to enter the sea fully dressed. Gone are cinemas, theatres, the opera, comedy saloons, and bookshops selling publications that are “at variance with Islamic values”.

Newspapers and magazines that had once criticised the Party of God or its patrons in Tehran have been banned. In accordance with the slogan “Hizb faqat Hizballah” (Only one party: Hezbollah!), Lebanon has become a one-party state.

All that is but a glimpse of what Lebanon could look like if and when Hezbollah, armed to the teeth and flush with Iranian cash, realises its dream of extending south Beirut to the whole of Lebanon.

The Lebanese know what all that could mean because they have seen it first hand in Beirut’s suburbs controlled by Hezbollah. But how many might wish to live in such a system? The answer came in Lebanon’s first free general election last year: Hezbollah and its allies won 14 of the 27 seats allocated to the Shi’ite community in the 128-seat national assembly. This means that some 89% of the Lebanese, including half the Shi’ite community, do not share Hezbollah’s vision of an Islamic state modelled on Iran.

Much of Hezbollah’s current power and prestige is due to the fact that it is the best funded and best armed political-military machine in the country, feeding thousands of families through employment in its businesses or with subsidies and stipends.

Nevertheless, it would be naive to deny the fact that the message of Hezbollah, which is in fact that of the Khomeinist revolution in Iran and the various Salafist movements in other Muslim countries, appeals to large segments of opinion in the Islamic world and beyond.

The message, first put by Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, is simple: the modern world, a creation of Crusader-Zionists, cannot reflect the values and aspirations of Muslims. It declares that Islam has the right, indeed the duty, to offer an alternative to the western model.

To build the Islamic model, Muslims must expel the Crusader-Zionists from their land, regain control of their destiny, build powerful states and proceed to liberate Muslim lands lost to the “infidel”.

The same message is put by Muhammad Khatami, Iran’s former president, in a more sophisticated way: the modern West, a child of the Renaissance, has led to colonialism, imperialism and world wars, pushing mankind to the brink of extinction through thermonuclear exchanges or environmental collapse. Western civilisation has undermined the family, done away with moral scruples, encouraged sexual licentiousness and promoted greed as man’s highest motivation. It is Islam’s mission to offer all nations, Muslim or not, an alternative vision.

Anonymous said...

Wakey wakey, smell the coffee all you Liberal terrorist supporters

'Israel's elimination is being planned, plotted, scheduled'

A response to a policy speech delivered by British Prime Minister Tony Blair who laid out his vision on the West's war with radical Islam.

Dear Mr. Blair,

I'm writing to encourage you to continue to do your utmost to see a just and realistic end to the fighting in Lebanon, and to support you in your determination to ensure that Hizbullah, an organization with a long history of terrorist activity against Israeli and Western targets, be not allowed to emerge from this conflict still intact and capable of regrouping, re-arming, and, in the end, growing strong enough to accomplish its long-stated goal of destroying the state of Israel.

Let me say, very briefly, that I take a particular interest in this conflict.

I used to teach Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University, but my specialization has always been in Iranian affairs, specifically aspects of Shi'ite Islam. I am also a regional coordinator for the Israel Peace Forum, and much involved in presenting an accurate and nuanced picture of the Middle East conflict as a whole.

I believe that your analysis of a wide arc of terror is entirely accurate, and that failure to act now against the spreading evil of radical Islam may expose this country, its allies, and many other nations round the globe to increasingly severe acts of terror that will shift, given time, to more conflict of the kind now seen in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

I know that international pressure for a cease-fire in Lebanon is intense, and I realize that time must be running out for you and those few nations who have seen the real danger Israel now faces. Please stand firm.

To leave Hizbullah largely intact would be to guarantee greater and bloodier fighting in the years ahead. The danger, as I am sure you are aware, is not only to Israel, but for the people of Lebanon, who may find themselves at Hizbullah's mercy.

Not only that, but a perceived victory for Hizbullah would permit both Syria and Iran to extend their baneful influence further through the region. If Hizbullah is seen to be capable of fighting with reasonable success against one of the world's best armies, how may that not be interpreted elsewhere in the Islamic world? It would certainly be a boost for recruitment to radical jihadist ideology, to active jihadist groups, and to international organizations like al-Qaida.

Here in Britain, support for terrorism among large sections of the Muslim population is an alarming trend that must surely be cut off before it grows to unmanageable proportions. I believe you are right to call for the glorification of terrorism to become an offence, but I also believe you have been taking advice from sections within the Muslim community that are committed to an anti-Western, anti-British, and anti-Semitic view of the world.

If Hizbullah should proclaim even a partial victory, I would expect to see more young Muslims here flock to the banner of jihad, whether to fight abroad or here in the UK.

In the Middle East, force alone will not solve a deeply embedded problem.

But one thing I am certain of and that is so long as its neighbors do not recognize Israel and its right to exist, there will never be peace.

With a terrorist organization in control of Gaza and dominant in the West Bank, with a terrorist army on its borders, and with an apocalyptic Iranian president determined to wipe it from the map, Israel is faced with the greatest threat ever suffered by any nation since these islands faced the armies of the Third Reich.

In the 19th century, a sectarian group of Shi'ite Muslims in Iran, believing the advent of their messiah, the Twelfth Imam, to be imminent, purchased and made arms and prepared for the final jihad. They made ready to fight in order to bring the Imam to earth.

Today, there are reliable reports that President Ahmadinejad holds an identical belief, that he anticipates the return of the Imam in a short space of time, and that he may be preparing to force his hand by initiating the holy war necessary to his advent.

Given that context and the knowledge that that the destruction of Israel would win its author acclamations from every quarter of the globe, I fear for Israel. I have seen documents that suggest al-Qaida already possesses nuclear materials. I know, as you do, that Iran is bent on the acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Even a small number of such weapons in the hands of Hizbullah could wreak untold calamity on the people of Israel and open up chaos in international affairs. Unlike Ahmadinejad, I do not wish to sound apocalyptic.

But I do believe that the elimination of Israel is planned, plotted, and even scheduled with great care and seriousness in more than one country. And I am convinced that, if Israel disappears, the consequences for all of us will be fearful.

You are a resolute politician, and I think you see this threat more clearly than most. If there was ever a time to act, I think this is it.

If an international force does enter Lebanon, can you ensure, in tandem with the United States, that it will have teeth, that it be empowered to implement UN Resolution 1559, that it be capable of disarming Hizbullah with or without the cooperation of the Lebanese government, that Israel, which has never been the aggressor in the wars it has fought, be enabled to contribute to the downfall of this fascist-like group, and that both Israel and Lebanon finally enjoy secure borders across which they can work together to mend the breaches that have opened up between them?

Backed by an ideology of martyrdom through suicide or fighting - an ideology with deep Shiite roots, now disseminated from Teheran - radical jihadist Muslims have come to seem invincible. Whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Lebanon, they are starting to believe they can triumph over the forces of democracy, reason, and justice.

They are starting to think they can destroy Israel, win back Spain, and impose shari'a law in Europe.

Just as our parents and grandparents fought the dark ideology of Nazism in the 1930s and 40s, so I believe this generation has the heaviest of responsibilities face to face with this growing threat to all civilized values. Not just the West, but the peoples of the Islamic world too may see their way of life changed for ever should the totalitarian spectre impose itself and its deadening hatred of life on all we and they hold dear.

I don't like to speak in terms of historic moments or symbolic conflicts, but I'm afraid that, as this struggle intensifies, I am bound to do so.

Civilization itself is at stake. The values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and the open society are as much or more at risk today than in the decades when we confronted, first German fascism and then Soviet communism.

It may or it may not be your destiny jointly to lead the free world in this clash of civilizations. But I ask you to hold firm now and in the future, not just here in Britain, but in the Middle East, where a sort of Armageddon is being fought on the television screens of the world.

Excuse my prolixity and my overwrought language. I intended something simpler.

I wanted to say in a few words what I have now written in four pages. By all means ignore most of this, if, indeed, it ever crosses your desk. But promise me one thing: that if it is your destiny to stand up for Israel in the time of its greatest peril, you will not prove fainthearted.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Denis MacEoin

Denis MacEoin has taught Arabic and Islamic Studies in Fez, Newcastle and Durham University, and has published extensively on Islamic topics.

Penelope Persons said...

A. Mouse quotes: "The western powers, led by the United States, have run away from the Middle East, allowing the Islamic republic and its newly acquired allies in Al-Qaeda to set the agenda."

But... As "The World Policy Institute's "Report on U.S. Arms Transfers and Security Assistance to Israel" points out...'Since 1976, Israel ha[s] been the largest annual recipient of U.S. foreign assistance. According to a November 2001 Congressional Research Service report... U.S. aid to Israel in the last half century has totaled a whopping $81.3 billion."'

That was in AD 2002, but nothing has changed. US aircraft have been rushing many more US made weapons daily - via Scotand - to help out the Israelis.

I don't know that they have run away from Iraq yet, either.

But Annie only quoted the words of a small time terrorist from the Sunday Times 2 page article.

Here's the conclusion of the article:

'The majority of Muslims abhor the use of indiscriminate violence even in response to genuine grievances let alone in pursuit of dreams of world conquest. And the history of the past three decades shows that Islamic terrorism can be defeated.

'This happened in Egypt,.... in Algeria...Turkey, Saudi Arabia... Pakistan, too, has scored significant blows against Islamists — a fact largely ignored by the western media.'

'The defeat of Islamism, an enemy not only of the West but also of the majority of Muslims, can be speeded up if force is complemented with political, ideological and cultural campaigns to reveal the bankruptcy of the Islamist doctrine. What is urgently needed is a common understanding in the West, and among modernising forces within Islam, of what is at stake....

'There is no reason why the outcome should be different this time — or that the Khomeinist University should ever replace the American University of Beirut'.

Something to look forward to, indeed - a day when humans could bring diplomacy and cultural understanding to the table, rather than just bombing innocent civilians into the stone age.

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