How Should We Fight?
The recent realization that Qana "atrocity" was a lie by Hezbollah will not reduce its importance to the “
One of the side-effects of exposing lies like Qana, is that our side concedes main principles while arguing minor details.
Hezbollah’s desire to wipe the Jews off the map, led them to attack
This point is now lost as defenders of
Ben Stein understands this issue and goes even further (hat tip:
"It is very much as if, after Pearl Harbor, after the bombing of
, we said, "We will fight the Japanese and the Nazis, but we will only use humane means, and we will show total restraint and will never kill civilians. And we will search our souls and agonize about every move." It is this attitude that kept the London United Statesfrom winning in Korea, in Vietnam, and now in . If we had followed that code of suicide, we would have lost World War II and the world would have been plunged into eternal darkness." Iraq
Actually, we wavered when we fought
"You cannot fight inhumane people with humane means. You cannot fight savages with one hand -- no, two hands -- tied behind your back. No wars were ever won using restraint and only civilized means. That's a formula for complete defeat and for the end of civilized life. If we allow our media and French intellectuals to prevent us and the Israelis from using the means necessary to win, we'll lose...inWill we have to fight today's enemy using means appropriate to the nature of our Islamic enemy? Or can we still maintain military standards developed in the context of fighting conscripted armies of European nation-states? This issue is being discussed among the writers at National Review. John Podhoretz writing in the New York Post asks the following question:
Lebanon, in , and everywhere and this civilization is very well worth preserving. Yes, as sad as it would be to use terror tactics to win a war, it would be incomparably worse to lose. At the end of the war we win, there is light. At the end of the war we lose, there is the end." Iraq
“Are we becoming unwitting participants in their victory and our defeat? Can it be that the moral greatness of our civilization - its astonishing focus on the value of the individual above all - is endangering the future of our civilization as well?”
Continuing on the NR blog, Podhoretz explains that we could clearly beat the enemy into submission by resorting to their methods:
“… in 1982, in
, Hafez al-Assad wiped out an uprising against his regime by slaughtering 25,000 over a weekend. And in 1991, Saddam Hussein took down the Shiite uprising with similar viciousness. The idea that such monstrous tactics don't work is ludicrous. They do work. But I think it's fair to say that we would rather our civilization die than that we commit such acts.” Hama
John Derbyshire quotes that last sentence and answers, “Speak for yourself, Sir.” He explains that a culture-changing victory, as in WWII, may require methods similar to that war:
"That is not a conclusion that sits very easily on the civilized conscience. Outside the context of “crisis war,” it is certainly not one we are currently willing to act on. Our will to act on it within that context, though, is surprisingly robust. I spent my childhood surrounded by men—Christian men, good family men—who had helped to level Germany’s great cities and slaughter German civilians in the hundreds of thousands by area bombing. I never once heard any of those men express the slightest word of guilt or shame about their deeds. When they talked about the war, it was to tell personal anecdotes, or to complain about their military and political superiors.
Even just a few months ago, in fact, I found myself sitting at dinner next to an elderly man who had flown in the great fire-bombing raids of WWII. Did he or his comrades feel any shame or guilt? I asked. No, he said, the subject never came up. It never came up. As he explained: “There was a war to win.”"
What are we willing to do to insure victory? Does it depend on the foe, the stage of the war, the degree of our suffering, etc.? Or are there limits no matter what the consequences to our survival, as Podhoretz holds? The question is worth discussing in general but it is clear that Israel, and the rest of the world, shows a bizarre over-concern for an enemy that would finish Hitler's work in a heartbeat if it had the power.
Update: Ralph Peters has some thoughts on how Israel should fight.