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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.


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