The most recent New Yorker contains another call from the Left — this time from David Remnick — for an immediate cessation of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel:
That strand of Middle Eastern optimism [the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza] is now a memory. Olmert is fighting a war on two fronts—in Gaza against Hamas and in Lebanon against a large and sophisticated Hezbollah militia—and it is entirely possible, if sense and diplomacy do not quickly intercede, that the region, already inflamed by the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq and the murderous insurgency that has followed, will face a danger level not seen in decades. By the end of last week, a ground war seemed imminent. Some observers speak forebodingly of 1914, but the most immediate result of this war will likely be to undermine the Israeli consensus for territorial compromise with the Palestinians, shatter the fragile Lebanese polity, and radicalize more Muslims in the region and beyond.
Every statement in this paragraph represents a Cloudcuckooland, totally removed from actually reality. Let’s start with that halcyon image of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. Israel didn’t withdraw to beneficently grant the Gazans the state that they’d so longed for and so richly deserved. Israel withdrew to create a defensible border and a defined enemy nation state. David Remnick also seems to be conveniently blind to the fact that, before Hamas invaded Israeli land and kidnapped Cpl. Shalit, precipitating Israel’s war against Gaza, the Gazans were not lying around picking daisies. Instead, beginning immediately after Israel’s withdrawal, the Gazans sent thousands of qassam, as well as a few katyusha rockets into Israel. So, while the Gazans may have been optimistic about their new forward position in attacking Israel, without having direct Israeli oversight slowing them down, I’m not sure what Remnick is talking about.
Remnick’s next statement is that unless Israel is forced to stand down, things will get worse — and that’s where I got the title of my post. It’s clear that the view from the Left, whether in our MSM, from our Demos, from the Euros, or from the UN, is that Israel should definitely not get a chance to win because, gasp!, people might die. I have a newsflash for the proponents of this vapid viewpoint: people are already dying. Since Clinton’s much vaunted peace initiatives (you know, the ones that led Howard Dean to announce that the Democrats had created peace between Israelis and Palestinians), Palestinians have carried out hundreds of suicide bomb attacks, specifically targeted at civilians (especially women and children), resulting in thousands of deaths, and tens of thousands of injuries. Palestinians have been dying in droves too, although they’ve mostly been losing soldiers, not civilians. In other words, Remnick’s nostalgia to the contrary, we’re not looking at a single moment in time dividing the killing fields from a time of peace. Instead, what we had then was a slow attrition, with Israeli civilians as the prime target, and what we have now is geniune war casualties between soldiers on both sides. Quantitatively, probably not much different; qualitatively, hugely different.
The last sentence of Remnick’s deceptive little paragraph is just as stupid, in that it again posits some halcyon time before July 2006. As my preceding paragraph makes clear, there was no halcyon time. Hamas, Hezbollah, and other pretty faces out there were calling for Israel’s total destruction, and Israel was back peddling from everything in a naive belief that she’d get something out of that. (As you know, I’m hugely pro-Israel, but when it comes to Israel’s zero learning curve in these negotations — in that she always seems to think the Arabs will abide by the terms of any given agreement and grant her a respite from death — I’m reminded of the old statement, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice; shame on me.”)
So, Remnick’s disingenous writing to the contrary, he can’t really think that a ceasefire will bring a return to “peace.” What a cease fire will do is deny Israel a chance at decisively disabling Hezbollah. That possibility is, apparently, too dreadful to contemplate, because it will disrupt the blood soaked status quo that has dominated the Middle East for so long. Better the poisonous stagnant water you know, filled with the bodies of the Jewish dead, than a possible future where a terrorist organization that is steeped in American blood too is knocked out of commission for a while.
And yes, as I write this, I’m not blind to the fact that, even if Israel scores a decisive victory now, and disables Hezbollah, that may will be a short term solution. Hezbollah, with Iran’s help, will re-arm, but the time that takes will still give Israel breathing room, which counts for a lot, and it will buy serious time. As we know, things can change over time. The Middle East is no longer the pre-9/11 stagnant pool it once was. Things are changing fast and, if Israel can clear some temporal and physical space for herself, those changes may be to her benefit. Remnick and his cronies, however, don’t want Israel to have that option.
Despite decades of evidence that Arab’s use these ceasefires to regroup, and then to attack again, Remnick wants Israel to stop while she has the advantage — which is tantamount to ensuring an Israeli loss. As I said in my post title, in the world of the Remnick’s, in any conflict, victory is not an option. As things stand now, Remnick is either very stupid, which I doubt, or very evil because, no matter how he dresses his little screed up in the language of love and peace for all, anyone who seeks a return to a status quo that allows Hezbollah to regain its strength, all the while laughing madly in the arms of its Iranian overlords, is a very bad man.
UPDATE: More on why Israel should be helped, not harnessed.
UPDATE II: Here’s a reminder about what happens during those “ceasefires,” as well as a reminder about how complicit the UN has been with terrorists.