Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Iran's War

The aggressor, in any war, warrants full moral blame for every death. In this case, Syria and Iran deserve the primary moral. Secondary blame accrues to Iran’s willing Lebanese proxies, from those that fire the rockets to those that aid and abet Israel’s destruction. They bring vast destruction they bring to their own country, for which they are to blame. The Syrian government has decided to use the Lebanese people as human shields in a cynical ploy to regain control of that feeble nation. Israel obviously must defend herself. But how?

Israel is fighting Syria and Iran as they use Lebanon as a shield. However, Israel is only shooting at the shield. That may dent it; but until she shoots around the shield, at the heart of Syria, she will have achieved little. Proxy wars and terrorism allow the main instigators to escape retaliation; but only if the victim refuses to fight the real enemy. Both Meyrav Wurmser and the editors of the staunchly pro-Israel, New York Sun, come to a similar conclusion.

Daniel Pipes gives the historic context. After years of appeasement, Israel is seen as a paper tiger. To re-establish a deterrent, she’ll have to adopt an un-compromising resolve to fight until the enemy loses all hope. For Pipes this is extremely painful as he warned against the Oslo “appeasement process,” withdrawal from Gaza and Lebanon, and other acts of appeasement that only emboldened the enemy. Pipes seems to be the only one talking about the long-term need to establish a deterrent to avoid wars in the first place … except this guy.

Pipes rightly notes that when a deterrent is lost, war becomes unavoidable. It must be fought and won. And to do that the primary aggressors must be defeated. Israel has to face reality, as we all do; Iran wants war, Iran is at war, Iran will escalate this war.


Blogger kevin said...

Jihad is "forever war". Israel can never really have a true peace with Islam. Tht's why Jason's Deterrence is the best solution.

7/20/06, 11:36 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

First, my apologies. My blog has been so busy the past few days that I haven't had time to stop by your site.

As usual, your article is excellent. I especially like your closing:

Israel has to face reality, as we all do; Iran wants war, Iran is at war, Iran will escalate this war.

7/20/06, 4:22 PM  
Blogger Charles N. Steele said...

Jason: First, I am mostly in agreement.

OK, now the disagreements:

1. What evidence is there that Syria is calling shots here, in a bid to get back into Lebanon? The only place I've heard this thesis is from clueless George. As I understand it, the real decision-makers here are Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah. Syria is a two-bit hanger-on. (Maybe you have evidence to the contrary and will correct me.)

2. I think the Israelis already are facing the reality you describe. Their position is zero-tolerance for more Hezbollah B.S., hence the so=called "disproportionate" force. This isn't "tit for tat," it's "smash for tat." Presumably part or the logic is to let the Iranians know that if they don't curb Ahmadinejad, Lebanon could be their future.

7/20/06, 5:07 PM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Well then let me move on to Iran since that’s the title of the post and I end it with “Iran wants war, Iran is at war, Iran will escalate this war.”

Before I do, however, let’s recall traditional military mobilizations that would have counted as grounds for a pre-emptive response. Prior to the 20th century, if a nation mobilized it arms forces and amassed them at your border, it would be considered an act of war. One wouldn’t have to wait for the command to fire; one would be in one’s right to cross the border and meet the enemy. Israel faced such a situation in the run-up to the Six Days War. This entry in Wikipedia, if correct, sounds eerily similar to today’s situation.

Iran, in its 29 years, has chosen to fight using covert means and proxies. Iran has attacked around the world from the Beirut barracks to the Argentine Jewish Center to the Khobar Towers attack. The State Department, for what it’s worth, has it at the top of the list for terror attacks in 2005. Given Iran’s modus operandi, imminent threat must be viewed in new terms. Iran has operatives in Lebanon and, given recent reports, operatives here in the USA. If traditionally we saw the amassing of troops at the border an imminent threat by its nature, what is the positioning of operatives within a nation?

Let’s remember who Ahamadinejad is. This is the man who during the Iraq-Iran war trained devout fighters to be human bomb detectors. They would clear fields by deliberately walking ahead of the troops and be blown to bits. So when this maniac says attacks are in the works, and he has people position around the world, he has initiated an act of war.

But Iran’s role in Lebanon is extensive given the amount and quality of the arms deployed by Hezbollah. This, itself, qualifies as an imminent threat and act of war. When Iran has nuclear bombs, I fully expect they will be positioned on Israel’s border and used by Hezbollah. Every indication shows that Iran is increasing its hostility towards Israel while Israel has not attacked Iran nor position troops at her border.

This is just a small fraction of the picture that comes to mind. Iran's regime is quite frightening and I don't see a popular uprising that many wish. That would be wonderful but it seems to have fizzled on the drawing board. War looks certain.

7/20/06, 11:21 PM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Ducky, I think you have me confused with FDR and his viewpoint when we fought the German Nazis. He is reported to have said (does anyone have the link?):

“We have got to be tough with the Germany and I mean the German people not just the Nazis. We either have to castrate the German people or you have got to treat them in such a manner so they can't just go on reproducing people who want to continue the way they have in the past.”

That's not my view. I advocate that we establish a deterrent to deal with the Islamo-Nazis (who clearly have expressed their desire to eliminate the Jews in Israel.) But I agree that after years of appeasement, we may have no choice but to go to war. The sad thing about appeasement is that it makes war inevitable. That’s why the appeasers, as this fellow notes, clearly get some of the blame (even if the primary blame goes to the Islamic-Nazis aggressors.)

In the long-term we need to re-think our whole foreign policy. In the short term I fear it is too late to change the course that has been put into motion. One feels helpless, like watching a train approaching an bridge that has been destroyed.

7/21/06, 4:10 PM  
Blogger Allen Weingarten said...

Jason says “In the long-term we need to re-think our whole foreign policy. In the short term I fear it is too late to change the course that has been put into motion.” That being the case, permit me to re-think our foreign policy.

Do Whatever It Takes

America (and Israel) have tried to deal with their adversaries by spreading democracy and winning their hearts and minds. As should come as no surprise, this has enabled and bolstered our enemies. Yet even if this approach were sound, it would not constitute a comprehensive and systematic plan for victory. We may note that our enemies do have such approaches for winning, whether by terrorism, negotiations, immigration, sedition, or tactical combinations. Yet we do not even have as many candidates for winning as there are politicians who state why their approach on any other issue warrants our vote.

In 1991, soon after the Gulf war, I went to Israel to present a paper at two conferences on military systems (at the Technion, and the University of Haifa). I was struck if not staggered, that the audience simply did not care about how to win a war, or reduce their casualties. I was further struck that the Israelis I mentioned this to, did not get upset by this.

Similarly, America lacks competing strategies for victory, as we are guided by accommodation. We simply have not begun to think in terms of winning. What could we do, if we cared?

If America tried to win, her perspective would change from accommodation to providing justice. The aim would not be to reward those who do us harm, but to punish them, and supply disincentives. At the same time, we would aim at protecting the innocent, rather than using them as sacrificial pawns. This would require a reorientation, where we restored our fundamental precepts of justice, truth, and righteousness, in direct opposition to political correctness. We would then take the moral high ground, while clarifying that our adversaries are fundamentally immoral.

America would speak straight, and not hesitate to refer to the enemy as the barbarian that he is. Then *we would establish our objective of defending our civilization, by doing whatever it takes to defeat the enemy.*

We would cease subsidizing countries (such as by foreign aid), but rather pay for services rendered. In battle, we would use big weapons, instead of avoiding collateral damage, or winning any hearts and minds. We would engage in economic and financial warfare to disrupt those countries that are against us, as well as computer and cyber warfare to hamper their military, commercial, and social systems. Just consider the gain, of hacking into their missile systems to get them to fire on one another, or merely flooding their markets with counterfeit currency.

We would select leaders who lack a history of appeasement, but who provide approaches for victory. In every field of endeavor there are a few who have withstood corruption, and have addressed what could succeed.

We would legalize drugs, to remove the funding for our enemies, and to reduce the corruption of our institutions. We could use the McCarran act (as well as loyalty oaths) to undermine the ideological insurgency of the Muslims. We would halt any immigration that was not clearly in America’s interests.

America would restore the films and songs that motivated us in WWII, and would develop those that reflect the current situation. Rather than engage in the pretense that finds virtue in the UN and the Geneva Convention, we would recognize that we are virtually alone in the world, and confine our alliances to those few who are actually on our side.

There is a defeatism that avers that we cannot fight those who are willing to die. It is true that Islamists care little for life. Yet there are things that do matter to them. They care about their agenda, so setting it back after any incursion on their part registers. They care about infiltration, so throwing out those who do, or those who support them, matters. They do not care about truth, but do care when they are shown to be fraudulent. They do not care about doing wrong, but they do care about being humiliated for so doing. They do not care about lying or scholarship, but they do care about being denied legitimacy, and even more about being ridiculed. They are willing to use their Mosques to attack, but they care about them being exploded. The Arabs do not care about being awash in blood, but how about using some greasy pig fat?

We lack the will to think in terms of victory. Yet “faint heart ne’er won fair maiden” so if we don’t know what we want, we won’t get it. Yet this won’t be pertinent before America experiences severe devastation on her soil. At that point, people will first ask, what do we have to do to win. Then, if it is not too late, there can be many effective replacements for our appeasement and collaboration.

7/21/06, 5:17 PM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Thanks, Allan, that’s was perfect. I’ll try to comment more when I come back to the computer later tonight or tomorrow.

7/21/06, 5:36 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

On the news tonight, I'm hearing speculation as to what type of weapons Syria might be sharing with Hezbollah--bioweapons, etc. One commentator mentioned that Saddam might have moved his programs for WMD's into Syria.

It seems to me that Hamas and Hezbollah deliberately provoked Israel into attacking. After all, the world knows how Israel reacts when hostages are taken--Entebbe and Munich, for example. Also, since 2000, Hezbollah has been digging and reinforcing bunkers; my guess is that has happened with Iranian funding.

7/21/06, 5:39 PM  
Blogger Brad Williams said...

"Israel is only shooting at the shield."

I agree with your larger point, that attacking Hezb'Allah is not enough, but it is not just a shield, it has thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli cities. If Israeli went straight to Tehran, the rockets would come flying from Lebanon anyway. So Hezb'Allah is a serious threat, and this "small war" is a necessary and significant act of self-defense.

8/2/06, 12:20 AM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

You're right, Bard. Thanks.

8/2/06, 10:17 AM  

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