If you fight [fill in the blank] it will get stronger

The Hydra of mythology was a fearsome multi-headed monster. One of its great strengths was the fact that, if you severed one of its heads, another head (or maybe more than one) would grow in its place. Nevertheless, the Hydra could be defeated. Here’s one version of how Hercules defeated the Hydra:

Heracles journeyed to Lake Lerna in a speedy chariot, and with him he took his nephew and charioteer Iolaus, in search of the dreaded Hydra. When they finally reached the Hydras’ hiding place, Heracles told Iolaus to stay with the horses while he drew the monster from its hole with flaming arrows. This brought out the hideous beast. Heracles courageously attacked the beast, flaying at each head with his sword, (in some versions a scythe) but he soon realized that as one head was severed another grew in its place. Heracles called for help from Iolaus, telling him to bring a flaming torch, and as Heracles cut off the heads one by one from the Hydra, Iolaus cauterized the open wounds with the torch preventing them from growing again. As Heracles fought the writhing monster he was almost stifled by its obnoxious breath, but eventually, with the help of Iolaus, Heracles removed all but one of the Hydras’ heads. The one remaining could not be harmed by any weapon, so, picking up his hefty club Heracles crushed it with one mighty blow, he then tore off the head with his bare hands and quickly buried it deep in the ground, placing a huge boulder on the top. After he had killed the Hydra, Heracles dipped the tips of his arrows into the Hydras’ blood, which was extremely poisonous, making them deadly.

The Hydra story popped into my head today when the mail brought the latest New Yorker. One of the lead stories, by Jon Lee Anderson, is entitled “THE BATTLE FOR LEBANON : Has Israel’s assault weakened Hezbollah—or made it stronger?” Let me state right away that I did not read the story. I found the title intriguing enough, since it repeats a trope that’s been around since America invaded Afghanistan immediately after 9/11. This is the theory emanating from the anti-War people that, by attacking our enemy, we galvanize formerly neutral, peaceable Muslims, who will instantly, unswervingly, and violently ally themselves with the terrorists.

Certainly, the anti-War press and anti-War activists like to tout the stories of these galvanized masses, and blogs like Michelle Malkin’s site or Little Green Footballs demonstrate that these masses love to take to the streets with theatrical threats, mock weapons and lots and lots of flag burning. I do wonder, though, how many of these street theater divas turn into genuine battlefield fighters. I also wonder, when one hears a Lebanese stating that he supports Hezbollah, if he really supports Hezbollah or if Hezbollah has threatened to kill him or his family should he state a different point of view. I wonder precisely the same thing about the terrorists within Iraq. Ordinary Iraqis, regardless of rhetoric, seem rather desperate to return to some semblance of normalcy, while the terrorists rounded up often seem to be Syrian or Iranian imports. (And yes, I know I have no numbers to back me up; I’m just going on the impression I’ve gained from myriad news stories.)

Mostly, though, I wonder about the anti-War side’s logic. History has shown dramatically that, if we don’t do anything against the Hezbollah’s and Taliban’s and Al Qaeda’s and myriad other jihadists, they grow stronger. After all, it was in the face of our complete military passivity that Al Qaeda mounted its 9/11 attack. In Israel, the moment Israel withdrew from Gaza, Hamas, rather than resting, increased its rocket attacks against Israel. In Europe, a cartoon that may have been tacky but definitely didn’t amount to military muscle flexing sparked worldwide riots.  I could go on, but I think you get my point.

In other words, jihadist terrorist groups definitely grow stronger when left alone, and they merely might grow stronger when challenged through conventional warfare. Given this no win situation — they’re always going to grow stronger no matter what we do — why should we worry about the fact that they may also grow stronger when we fight them?

While head-on warfare with jihadists might allow them to gather green new recruits, military incursions against them definitely kill their leadership and seasoned fighters, destroy their weaons, and otherwise neutralize their infrastructure. Maybe I’m missing something but, taking the facts as we know them, and the concerns as the Left expresses them, military action — a la Israel’s initiative against Hezbollah or our fight against Al Qaeda — seem like a no-brainer.

Talking to Technorati: , , , , , , , ,

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

  1. says

    Well, Rasheed….tell it to the Japanese. Were they more, or less, violent before WWII than they are today?

    And how about Germany?

    If the people who want to be violent are killed off, then those who are susceptible to violence (if they see that it works) are warned off, and may very well sublimate their tendency to violence into something more socially acceptable.

    I think that BW has elucidated clearly how a one-sided stopping of violence only stimulates certain types to more and more of it….because they think it is a winning strategy.

    If Hezbollah really believed what you say, they would stop firing rockets immediately and start negotiating. But, they believe they can get what they want through violence — a Middle East that is totally judenrein.

    Don’t ask any honorable person to sign on to that program, please.

  2. says

    In response to my piece “Hydra-Plagiar-ology?” (http://www.thetruthasiseeit.com/2006/08/hydra-plagiar-ology.html), Bookworm posted the following comment: “I did have a political idea in mind when I decided to use the hydra analogy. To help illustrate my point, I typed the word hydra into the internet and came up with a listing of sites that tell the story. To my mind, yours was the most lucid and best written. As you can see I did attribute it, so it’s certainly not plagarism. I’d be happy to remove your material and link to something else if you prefer. Just let me know.”

    I have re-read Bookworm’s post here, and … I don’t see the reference to my original article. But Bookworm’s intent to credit me seems honorable. So, with this comment, let’s call the issue closed.

  3. says

    “I have re-read Bookworm’s post here, and … I don’t see the reference to my original article. Dear TTAISI-Editor:

    You remarked that “Bookworm’s intent to credit me seems honorable,” which I appreciate.” Let me address your sense that my reference to your article is missing.

    The reference is the hyperlink. In blogger world, a link to the original source is the functional equivalent of a footnote — a mode of reference that works poorly on blog posts. Indeed, the signal that the link sent out is probably how you found out in the first place that I was quoting from your article.

    The norm here is that, by putting your words in a block quote, I’m signaling that they’re not mine. And by having a hyperlink immediately preceding or following that block quote (akin to a footnote), interested readers can trace the source back to your material.

  4. says

    A lot of bloggers want traffic so highly that they will trace people who link to their links, and get on your case if you didn’t actually link to their blogsite as well.

    It’s not plagiarism, the words were attributed to the correct site, that being Encyclo Myth.

    What it is is what happens when bloggers go to extreme lengths for attention and hits, that they start searching out everyone that they can track back that had used anything on their site.

    I don’t know how Truth knew Bookworm had visited his site. But if he did and knew that she found the reference on his site, then he should have just posted a comment describing why his blog should be mentioned.

    I just did some correlation analysis, and something doesn’t make sense. The link Bookworm used and the specific description she used, was not part of the material on Truth’s site. So where doth cometh the charge of plagiarism and Bookworm imitating Truth?

    To my mind, yours was the most lucid and best written. As you can see I did attribute it, so it’s certainly not plagarism. I’d be happy to remove your material and link to something else if you prefer. Just let me know.

    I’m not dense, but this doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why would Bookworm defend herself by saying she found his material to be the best, when if you check Truth’s hydra site, the hydra post has no relation to the link bookworm mentioned here.

    The norm here is that, by putting your words in a block quote, I’m signaling that they’re not mine. And by having a hyperlink immediately preceding or following that block quote (akin to a footnote), interested readers can trace the source back to your material.

    Look, Bookworm quoted the words of a Encyclo Myth site about the hydra. It says authored by Ron Leadbetter , and Truth’s blog mentions no link or reference or group of consistent text that would link it to Encyclo Myth. Truth doesn’t seem like he is Ron Leadbetter.

    So what is going up here, Bookworm? At first I thought you two knew each other by some means, and he tracked you back here when you, book, linked to his site. But then I realized that you didn’t link to his site, so how could he have tracked you back here? When Truth mentioned your page, he just said he came across it, he did not describe how. Yet you speak as if you linked to him, bookworm, but you didn’t.

    If I’m not mistaken, it seems there is an illusion weave going on here, perhaps double stranded.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply