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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

If only America would let Israel win

An interesting follow-up to this article by Daniel Pipes:
Since I argued in this column last week that Israel can and must defeat the Palestinians, a barrage of responses have contested this thesis. Some were trivial (Haaretz published an article challenging my right to opine on such matters because I do not live in Israel), but most raised serious issues that deserve an answer.


One might expect this agony to follow on a crushing battlefield loss, but since 1945 that has usually not been the case. Planes shot down, tanks destroyed, munitions exhausted, soldiers deserting, and land lost are rarely decisive.


In the ideological environment of recent decades, morale and will matter more. The French gave up in Algeria in 1962, despite out-manning and out-gunning their foes. The same applies to the Americans in Vietnam in 1975, and the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1989. The Cold War ended without a fatality.

Applying these insights to Israel's war with the Palestinians points to several conclusions:

• Israel hardly enjoys freedom of action to pursue victory; in particular, it is hemmed in by the wishes of its primary ally, the US government. That is why I, an American analyst, address this issue with the intention of influencing policy in the US and other Western countries.

• Israel should be urged to convince the Palestinians that they have lost, to influence their psychology.

• An aggressive step like "transferring" Palestinians out of the West Bank would be counterproductive for Israel, prompting greater outrage, increasing the number of enemies, and perpetuating the conflict.

• Contrarily, perceptions of Israel's weakness lessen the possibility of Palestinian defeat; thus did Israeli missteps during the Oslo years (1993-2000) and the Gaza withdrawal inspire Palestinian exhilaration and more war.

• Israel needs only to defeat the Palestinians, not the whole Arab or Muslim populations, who eventually will follow the Palestinian lead.

Read the whole thing.

I think that some perspective is important. Notwithstanding the article's title, I don't believe that it's America that is preventing Israel from winning. While America might stop us if we were really pounding the stuffing out of the 'Palestinians' and killing lots of innocent civilians, it's not American initiative that came up with such poor strategies as 'unilateralism' (which Sharon sold to Bush). Israel has been more than complicit in its own self-defeat because of an unwillingness to force the 'Palestinians' to accept reality. Forget killer instinct - Israel doesn't even have a fighter's instinct. We are so conditioned by our politically correct left to 'acknowledge the 'Palestinian' narrative' that we have lost the moral clarity that is required to declare victory to be the goal. America is just following our lead in this regard. On June 25, 2002, President Bush declared that a new 'Palestinian leadership' that is not tainted by terror must arise before there can be a 'Palestinian state.' Instead of taking that declaration and running with it, the majority of Israelis have decided that they are tired of fighting and would rather seek ways to let the 'Palestinians' off the hook.


At 10:42 PM, Blogger uncle milty said...

I think most Americans would support Israel in defeating the syrians, oops I mean the pals,
and would say "it's about Time".


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