Lessons of the Hamas war
So the Israelis have once again let themselves and much of the rest of the world down by calling a halt to their latest skirmish with the “Palestinians” of Hamas, to whom they unwisely transferred control of the Gaza Strip in 2005.
The recent round of rocket-launching and retaliatory air strikes accomplished nothing strategic, but merely kicked the can of resolution down the road yet again, in the vain hopes that the elusive “peace process” might someday resolve the conflict.
There’s only one resolution to this fight, however, and that’s total victory for one side or the other. And that’ll be the side that wants it more, and is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that end.
Of course, this ruthless bellicosity offends the modern sensibility that victory is looked upon as rude and victimhood is prized as “moral authority.” American foreign-policy objectives, even prior to the end of the Cold War, have included a balance of power in which nobody loses, everybody wins, and all must have prizes.
Such a philosophy has kept the striped-pants set at the State Department in expense account travel and meals for 75 years, but it hasn’t done anything to sort out the underlying, intractable political and historical problems, nor has it contributed to the sum total of human happiness.
Diplomacy, it’s said, is war by other means. But unconditional-surrender makes diplomacy irrelevant, which is why diplomats are so dead set against solutions.
So let’s start with this proposition: What happened in Gaza was not “terrorism”—as far too many have been calling it—but war. War is an ugly word for an ugly thing, but one that’s dispositive in the course of human events. Generals as disparate as Napoleon and William T. Sherman instinctively understood—and said so—that the best war is violent, bloody, and as short as possible.
No lasting peace was ever won at the bargaining table; it was merely ratified after the war was over, as it was at the Congress of Vienna after the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. The war between the Israelis and the Palestinians will be over when one side has either annihilated the other, or stripped it of its capacity to make war.
There is much more.
While the Israelis are strong militarily, They are dependent on the US for many of their most important weapons and with Biden, in the White House, they do not have a reliable ally. The Biden administration is still under the illusion that it needs to back the Palestinians to get along with the other Middle East countries.
The Palestinians are recent squatters on the land they occupy in a vain attempt to keep the Jews out of Israel. Now Israel is one of the strongest allies the Arab countries have in dealing with Iranian aggression. The problem Israel and the Arab nations have is the existential threat posed by Iran. Another problem is the Democrats in Washington that want to deal a deal with the genocidal religious bigots who rule Iran.