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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fighting the zealots

Richard Cohen may finally be onto something. Poor Richard, who has recently been subjected to lessons in history and geography, may know something about religious zealots. He even makes a rather apt comparison between the religious zealots of Hezbullah (and Hamas, although I guess it would not have been politically correct to mention them) and Iraq, and Japan's World War II kamikaze pilots.
Hezbollah is now described in terms once reserved for the Japanese army of World War II. "If you are waiting for a white flag coming out of the Hezbollah bunker, I can assure you it won't come," said Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, a member of the Israeli army's general staff.
But alas, with the solution staring him in the face, Richard flinched:
This zealotry, this ideology, this religious fervor is not something we in the West -- and that includes Israel -- know how to deal with.
Sure the West knows how to deal with it. The West won World War II, didn't it? No, I'm not suggesting firing nuclear weapons at Hezbullah or Hamas - we live downwind of them, thank you. What I am suggesting is that the solution to fighting an enemy who is determined to die is to give him what he wishes for using conventional weapons and endangering as few of your own troops as possible. Not Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but Dresden.

Finally, in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, I have to say that I am pleased that Richard has finally figured this out:
The fight is no longer over territory -- the West Bank, Gaza -- but over the very existence of Israel. The people who seem to hate Israel most, who will kill to kill it and die for it to die, are not reclaiming ancestral land -- no Iranian pines for his lost orange grove near Jaffa -- but instead cannot abide the very idea of Israel.
I wonder if that means that Richard has given up on Israel making a 'territorial compromise' with the 'Palestinians.' Somehow, I doubt it.


At 4:01 PM, Blogger Kranky (in the civilized world) said...

To Mr. Cohen (though he doesn't read this blog)

Er "This seemingly abrupt shift to the ideological, to the religious, is the most noteworthy and ominous development of recent times. The fight is no longer over territory -- the West Bank, Gaza -- but over the very existence of Israel."

What shift? It has *ALWAYS* been about existence.

The jews are described as "arrogant" by the arabs. Arrogant in what way? Because we want what is ours and will not succumb and bow our heads or knees to the arab or muslim?

Mr Cohen, though I think you will never read this blog or this post, there has been no abrupt shift. This has always been the case that it was about the existance of a non-arab non-muslim country in an area once occupied by Dar-el-Islam.

Democracies are in a fix. If your enemy will gladly die for his cause while you wouldn't think of dying for yours (not that you even know what it is: freedom? liberty?) then clearly the fight is not to the swift but to the suicidal. The obvious short-term remedy is cold, lethal technology

No. The object is that you arrange for enough of the other side to meet their maker that the remaining groups get it into their head that this might not be a good thing. Yes, there is a technological solution. Sadly the people in charge of it were afraid to use it.

But the reliance on high-tech stuff has not subdued Iraq, and it utterly failed in Lebanon as well.

No. A hammer may be considered high tech. If yuu miss-apply it, or fail to apply it properly, it will also be deemed a failure. You need people in charge whom are unafraid of applying their tools. Mr Olmert and Mr Peretz are not the right crowd for this.

These are the realities of the new warfare, and if they are the "birth pangs of the new Middle East," then what is being produced is not some cute, babbling democracies but a hideous monster.

Just wait until he reaches for a nuclear weapon

Mr Cohen, I want you to imagine a homicide bomber with a backpack nuke in a rucksack seemingly happily strolling along the street in Tel Aviv. Or London. Or Paris. Or New York.

Mr. Cohen, this is our war. These nukes that they want so badly, they can never have. They don't understand that they are not made to be used. They are made to deter usage. To constrain idiots and madmen with large weapons arsenals. This isn't a new middle east that is emerging, this is a new world, with some very old hatred, spawned by the RoPma.

This is the world in which we live Mr. Cohen, it is tough, it is hard, and lots of people who shouldn't die are going to.

Our job, should we have the balls to accept it, is to make sure that the people who most desparately need to meet their maker, are in fact afforded the opportunity with all possible speed, so as to spare as many innocents as possible. The only good terrorist Mr. Cohen is a dead one.


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