The missing piece in Israel’s defeat

This is the start of a Stratfor analysis I received today:

An extraordinary thing happened in the Middle East this month. An Israeli army faced an Arab army and did not defeat it — did not render it incapable of continued resistance. That was the outcome in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982. But it did not happen in 2006. Should this outcome stand, it will represent a geopolitical earthquake in the region — one that fundamentally shifts expectations and behaviors on all sides.

It is not that Hezbollah defeated the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). It did not. By most measures, it got the worst of the battle. Nevertheless, it has been left standing at the end of the battle. Its forces in the Bekaa Valley and in the Beirut area have been battered, though how severely is not yet clear. Its forces south of the Litani River were badly hurt by the Israeli attack. Nevertheless, the correlation of forces was such that the Israelis should have dealt Hezbollah, at least in southern Lebanon, a devastating blow, such that resistance would have crumbled. IDF did not strike such a blow — so as the cease-fire took effect, Hezbollah continued to resist, continued to inflict casualties on Israeli troops and continued to fire rockets at Israel. Hezbollah has not been rendered incapable of continued resistance, and that is unprecedented.

The beginning implies, and the rest of the text states outright, that Hezbollah had the military strength to resist total defeat (something it did with Iran’s and Syria’s backing, of course).  The whole thing pivots on military strength and on Israeli and Hezbollah military tactics.

I think, though, that the Stratfor analysis misses a matched set of facts that did not exist in prior wars between Israelis and Arabs:  (1) the fact that modern weaponry is capable of targeted strikes, which makes broad strikes appear unethical; and (2) Hezbollah’s willingness to hide behind civilians — and even to use them as bait to score propaganda victories.

Things were different in prior wars.  In the old days, bombs were sort of generally aimed, and landed wherever they landed.  No one expected an army to target its missiles to the millimeter so as to avoid all or most civilian casualties.  That civilians were hit was considered an ordinary aspect of war, a misfortune, but not a sin.

The other thing that has changed is that the Arabs never before intentionally put their civilians in the line of fire.  For example, in 1948, the Arab armies expressly warned the civilians to get out of the way of the fighting, with the promise that, when the fighting ended, they could return to rape and pillage to their heart’s content.  (And so were born the refugee camps.)

These two new factors make it virtually impossible for a country with a conscience to fight an effective war — especially one played out in a public eye hostile to that country in the first place.  If Israel could have played by the old rules — rules that allow you to drop big bombs wherever the enemy and its weapons are — it would have won this war in the first few days, I think.  However, it couldn’t do that.  It was expected to target its fighting around civilians, and Hezbollah made this ever more difficult by integrating itself more and more into the civilian population.  This forced Israel to withhold her full firing power and, when even her restraint and military sophistication couldn’t stop civilian deaths (especially if the bodies were carted in for effect), it exposed her to virulent and increasing world censure.

In other words, the new asymmetry of warfare between a country with very sophisticated weapons and a conscience, on the one hand, and a country with fairly sophisticated weapons and no conscience whatsoever, on the other hand,  rendered Israel’s greater military might almost useless.

Again, this is not just about Israel.  This is about the asymmetry of all modern warfare.  It’s about living in a time when war is no longer considered a fact of life, and when large countries that go to war are also believed to be acting on immoral impulses.  The modern dream of warfare, as swift, surgical incursions with minimal damage, and complete victory, is a chimera.  It turns out that, as long as the other, weaker side is willing to take the hits, it has the advantage, provided that it can use the West’s own standards and morality against it.

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  • dagon

    bookworm

    “Again, this is not just about Israel. This is about the asymmetry of all modern warfare. It’s about living in a time when war is no longer considered a fact of life, and when large countries that go to war are also believed to be acting on immoral impulses. The modern dream of warfare, as swift, surgical incursions with minimal damage, and complete victory, is a chimera. It turns out that, as long as the other, weaker side is willing to take the hits, it has the advantage, provided that it can use the West’s own standards and morality against it.”

    exactly.

    i’m glad you finall came to some sane realizations a couple of weeks after the fact.

    the question now is, in light of the realities that you have just described, what is the BEST way to deal with such an enemy?

    peace

  • jg

    I’m not so sure, BW, about cries of failure Bush and our Israeli friends are far more intelligent that the MSM will ever let us know. This is round one.

    It’s the final outcome that matters. And Israel’s existence is guaranteed. By US, of course, if no one else. And that’s enough.

    So, the little Iranian pawns have torn up a good part of the Lebanese infrastructure and blamed the West for it… hey, this sounds like Baghdad, doesn’t it!

    Nonetheless, the real war (yep, there is one despite the complete denial in much of the West) against Islamic fascism goes on. It will not be fought, or won, in the MSM. Hezb’s ‘paper tiger’ win has been awarded by the press alone. Demonstrations in London will have little effect on Israeli tanks when there is a need arises for them.

    NOW we have stirred the pot again in the MIddle East, where pro-action (Israel’s decision to attack Hez in the South only) always beats waiting for the enemy to strike first. The real goal is neutralizing Iran. They know it.

    As for the question of morality, absolutely no one on the Left/MSM has any basis upon which to judge Israel. Indeed we must judge them.
    That such can openly promote the terrorism of Hezb.– who bring death for Lebanese and Israeli alike– is undeniable proof.

  • dagon

    jg

    “Nonetheless, the real war (yep, there is one despite the complete denial in much of the West) against Islamic fascism goes on. It will not be fought, or won, in the MSM. Hezb’s ‘paper tiger’ win has been awarded by the press alone. Demonstrations in London will have little effect on Israeli tanks when there is a need arises for them.”

    –see, you’re the kind of person who lives in a vacuumn of one-sided rhetoric. read the israeli press and they are coming to the same conclusions that bw has outlined. are the israeli’s victim’s of OUR ‘leftist’ MSM?

    peace

  • dagon

    here jg, i’ll help you out:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4788321.stm

    peace

  • zhombre

    But getting back to to the question: how do you fight such a war? With boots on the ground, over a protracted period of time, with massive casualties. Sherman had it right: war is hell and you cannot refine it. We get no exemption from the inherent bloodiness of the species.

  • dagon

    i got it zhombre. israel should attempt to re-occupy lebanon. that means that syria will be invited back in to the party and we’ll all have a hell of a time.

    real sound stuff amigo.

    other routes are availabe/

    peace

  • zhombre

    Such as?

  • zhombre

    Speak, dagon.

  • dagon

    covered and covered Z,

    all you have to do is reject the notion that the majority of the PEOPLE who are involved in these conflicts are evil bastards. encourage ways of life that promote a retreat from the teachings of their hateful, death-obsessed leadership. that goes for the islamic religious freaks, the zionist religious freaks and the christian religious freaks.

    blowing people up only adds to the hold that the death-merchants have on their populations and creates further generations of radicals. unlike the other major conflicts in recent western history, these are religious beefs. VERY different from the wars of economics, resources and political ideology that we have become accustomed to in the west; and therefore they need to be fought in a different manner.

    hearts and minds brother.

    peace

  • Danny Lemieux

    Now, there you go again, Dagon. Sherman had it right – make war Hell for the population that accommodates and supports the enemy. In the end, you bring it to a resolution much faster. This is what happened to Japan and Germany. Dagon, you really need to propose solutions, not platitudes. Changing peoples hearts is a fine idea, just a wee bit impractical, especially when you have just helped them feel like they “won”. My problem is not with the intentions with the “peace now” crowd, it is with the evils they enable.

  • jg

    The peace of sharia and of death.

  • dagon

    danny,

    read the above. making war hell for a population isn’t going to dissuade religiously radicalized regimes that believe that their suffering and redemption is ordained by whatever god they use to justify their actions (or their suffering).

    your use of germany and japan only solidifies my point.

    peace

  • jg

    So this is how Muslims rationalize suicide bombers!!
    “blowing people up only adds to the hold that the death-merchants have on their populations and creates further generations of radicals”

  • dagon

    jg

    [So this is how Muslims rationalize suicide bombers!!
    “blowing people up only adds to the hold that the death-merchants have on their populations and creates further generations of radicals”]

    NO! this is how i EXPLAIN the preponderence of suicide bombers. a number which is growing in light of israel’s and the us’s approach…not shrinking.

    peace

  • zhombre

    ” … encourage ways of life that promote a retreat from the teachings of their hateful, death-obsessed leadership … ”

    Precisely how is this done?

  • jg

    Bruce Thornton at VictorHanson.com throws some real bodyblows at the favorite lies from the Left:
    “And since we don’t believe there is anything worth killing or dying for, we turn this moral nihilism into a virtue by chanting that “force solves nothing,” and that talk, talk, talk will get at the “root causes” and solve the problem. Except we’ve been talking and talking and talking for fifty years — remember Oslo and Camp David ? — and the jihadists and their millions of supporters still want to destroy Israel and the West, and are perfectly happy to murder innocents to do so. The net result is the current U.N. resolution that treats a terrorist gang like a state actor whose agreement to the terms of the resolution is required. Does no one else see the abject folly of this behavior? But why should we be surprised, when for years we’ve been treating terrorists (e.g. the PLO, now retooled as the Palestinian Authority) like legitimate state functionaries?

    And then we have the gall to proclaim, “Terrorism won’t work.” Who are we kidding? It’s been working for decades..”

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/thornton081306.html

  • dagon

    zhombre,

    i’ve given you more than enough ways that this could play out differently. read up on the marshall plan for a start. once you divest yourself of the shallow belief that all of these desperate people are evil and want to destroy us for our ‘freedoms’, it becomes very easy to see how policies that address oppression and lack of opportunity would go a long way towards divesting them from the hateful teachings of those who would use zealotry to exploit their situation. how about a little quid pro quo?

    what exactly is the end-game as YOU see it?

    because all i’ve read from your side of aisle are policies that promote a bloody circular war without end; stopping just sort of tacitly advocating genocide.

    peace

  • dagon

    jg

    soundS like thornton is more than a little flabbergasted, but you notice that he doesn’t offer any practical alternatives. he’s just venting..understandable. but the argument can be made that israel and the plo, then hamas now hizbollah have been blowing each up for years and we’ve gotten no where. if i’m going to be frustrated, i know that i would rather be stymied trying to bring people to the table than just continuing a cycle of violence.

    talks need to have teeth too. and camp david and oslo aren’t really examples of that.

    and terrorist groups if they last long-enough GENERALLY end up getting treating as state functionaries (ira, plo, hamas, etc). WHY? because terrorism WORKS. who ever said that it didn’t? people who actually believe that you can win a ‘war on terror’ militarily perhaps, but not me.

    peace

  • zhombre

    I never used the word evil. I stated there is an inherent violence embedded in the human species, but did not characterize that as evil, or limited to any one group of people.

    OK, arguendo, people aren’t evil, they are basically good. Now based on that assumption, please delineate, in your own simple words, the substantive policies that address oppression and lack of opportunity in the Middle East, and how you feel groups like Hezbollah should be dealt with.

    I have no “end-game” in mind. I’m open to hear your ideas.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    There can be no reconstruction without security, any who disagree should tell it to the Marines in Fallujah back when they tried reconstructing before the bridge incident.

    There can be no security without first getting rid of the bad guys. German was defeated, contrasted with nobody in Iraq was defeated. German citizens was sick of war, the Sunnis just was starting in war.

    You overlook the reality confluences here, Dagon. It’s about looking at the situation as it is, rather than what you want it to be. It isn’t about dealing with the majority of the bad guys as if it is the majority of the population, it is getting rid of the bad guys so they can’t terrorize the majority of the population, it is making the majority of the population submit, that is what the goal should be.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    because terrorism WORKS. who ever said that it didn’t? people who actually believe that you can win a ‘war on terror’ militarily perhaps, but not me.

    Thanks dagon for providing another reason why you really don’t want to disarm Hizbollah, since after all “terrorism works”, why fight something that works eh?

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Again, this is not just about Israel. This is about the asymmetry of all modern warfare. It’s about living in a time when war is no longer considered a fact of life, and when large countries that go to war are also believed to be acting on immoral impulses. The modern dream of warfare, as swift, surgical incursions with minimal damage, and complete victory, is a chimera. It turns out that, as long as the other, weaker side is willing to take the hits, it has the advantage, provided that it can use the West’s own standards and morality against it.

    Book, did you ever hear of the Peloponessian War as refered to by Victor Davis Hanson? He was talking about it in one of his speeches. The Spartans and the Athenians were fighting a guerrila warfare, an asymmetrical warfare just like the one we and Israel are forced to fight in the war on terror. Did you know what eventually solved that ancient decades long warfare for Sparta?

    Sparta defeated Athens by defeating Athens in the Athenian’s strong points, which was their world class Navy. Athens refused to fight Sparta on the hoplite field, fearing a loss to the elite Spartan hoplites. Israel, fears to use bombs because civilian casualties will result, making them unable to combat international pressure.

    What is the strong point of America? What is the strong point of terroists? I think those questions have obvious answers. Technology and propaganda, science and illusion, reality and distortion, truth and deception, army and navy, these things are opposite parallels.

    If Athens fought Sparta as they normally would have, with a hoplite battle, whoever loses goes back home, then Athens would never have been besieged. They never would have lost at sea, and they never would have been devastated by a very long and very vicscious war that outstripped the classical way of fighting. After all, hoplite battles were designed to test the strength of their city-states. Whoever loses, accepts it, and everything is okay. The rules of war if you will. When Athens refused to fight by the rules of war, they made a symmetrical war into an asymmetrical war.

    So their solution should be our solution, because we are Sparta and the terroists are Athens. We can only defeat the terroists, not through superior technology, but through defeating terroist propaganda using our own propaganda. If we defeat the terroists on their strong point, then they have no choice but to fold. Most symmetrical wars are fought using the strategy of finding your opponent’s weak point and assaulting it. But Sun Tzu taught that your weak point can be made strong, and your strong point made weak. In these terms, symmetrical warfare can be solved by the strong hitting the weak. However, asymmetrical warfare cannot be won by hitting strong vs weak, because the other side will just use their strengths to hit your weaknesses, canceling each other out. Only if you use your strengths against their strengths, can ultimate victory be assured.

    In this sense, you can either become as good at propaganda and deception as the Arabs, or you could use technology to supercede the propaganda ability of terroists. A simple plan would be to bar all journalists from the war zone, scramble and jam all communications and network feeds, and make it abundantly clear that any journalists seen working for Hamas or in the zone of combat will be shot on sight.

    Now that’s the technological military component. You could try the propaganda component, via telling journalists that if they don’t censor themselves and make Israel look good, they will have their sources cut. A more subtle strategy, but we all know it works great because Saddam used it to great effect.

    Instead of bombing the terroist’s manpower component and war fighting ability, use your technology to bomb their propaganda apparatus. If you can somehow shape your strengths to destroy your enemy’s power, then you can use your power to strike at their weaknesses, undefended.

    Sparta didn’t have a Navy, and since Athens wouldn’t fight Sparta on the hoplite field, we had guerrila war for decades. Sparta eventually built a Navy, and when Sparta defeated the Athenians at sea, the Athenians lost de facto. Pretty simple end for a war that lasted more than a decade.

    The body count was rather high at that point, especially since Athens had a league and that league also suffered casualties and pillage and destruction.

    You should read this, bookworm, if you hadn’t already. It is the virtues of killing children, and it reflects upon what is necessary for this war to be won. Whether for Israel or the US.

    http://www.blackfive.net/main/2006/08/on_the_virtues_.html

  • dagon

    ymarsakar

    “Thanks dagon for providing another reason why you really don’t want to disarm Hizbollah, since after all “terrorism works”, why fight something that works eh?”

    –you’re not really this stupid. try again

    peace

  • dagon

    zhombre,

    sorry man, i’m not teaching a class. you don’t get to just sit back and go ‘so what about this’ over and over. i’ve givien you enough to chew on you’ve given me ‘boots on the ground’.

    peace

  • dagon

    zhombre,

    i actually didn’t mean to be quite so harsh. the thing is that i have no way of offering ‘the substantive policies that address oppression and lack of opportunity in the Middle East, and how you feel groups like Hezbollah should be dealt with.’

    i don’t have a dog in the hunt and i’ve never engaged hezbollah’s leadership to find out exactly what they want. frankly, i don’t even know what some of the more radical leadership in israel wants; it certainly isn’t all about self-defense. zionists like netenyahu seem like they want an expansion of israel, pushing all of the muslim’s ‘into the sea’ if necessary.

    so, what i’ve given is a framework; which is significantly more than what i’ve been given in return. ymarsakar offers his version of a solution although it seems a bit untenable in modern times, being that the ‘propaganda arm’ of any terrorist movement is not centrally located or even represented within a single nation state. i think next he’s going to propose that we deny all muslims access to televisions once we’ve gotten they adults to submit via the bombing of their children.

    peace

  • Danny Lemieux

    Dagon, terrorism only works because its enablers on the MSM/Left allow it to. YM is right, the Marshall Plan only worked because the Germans were thoroughly and devastatingly defeated. They were sick of war. Terrorism doesn’t always work, in fact, it rarely does (Somalia, Kenya and Cambodia might be modern exceptions). The European terror movements were largely defeated when their safe havens (the Eastern Block) were taken from them after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Viet Cong were roundly defeated and had to be replaced by North Vietnamese regulars. Ditto for the Malaysian, Thai, Peruvian, El Salvadoran and Nicaraguan Communists. Going further back into history, the Assassins (Hashashin)were defeated by military action, as were the Barbary Pirates. To Dagon’s points, I am always amazed how the hyper-materialistic view of the Left always seems to distill the world’s problems to a lack of money and resources. The Middle East’s problems have absolutely nothing to do with money or resources. Come on Dagon, you must have some more tangible solutions to offer than spouting peace slogans and throwing good money after bad. Let’s hear it.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I’ve always been amazed at how fake liberals and libertarians always revert to ruthless use of overwhelming power when they hit a wall. Remember the Democrats wanting to blow up North Korea? It was after they talked, but that was just a pretext. I think Dagon only needs a pretext to destroy his enemies. SO fair, Israel has not given Dagon a useful pretext for destroying Hizbollah. But I’m sure there are available options.

    Oh ya, I wrote a much better piece on The Peloponessian War here,

    http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/2006/04/adapt-or-die.html

    Quite a months ago as you can see, where the memory was fresh.

  • Danny Lemieux

    i don’t have a dog in the hunt and i’ve never engaged hezbollah’s leadership to find out exactly what they want.

    And, that Dagon, underlies the fundamental problem here because, you see, Hezbollah and its Iranian masters have been quite clear about what they want – the destruction of Israel, the Jews, America and Western culture and democracy, to be replaced with a world Caliphate, etc. However, your Eurocentric brain processes this information as being unreasonable, illogical according to your world view and, therefore, it just cannot be. You are unable to conceive how and why people can believe this so you “logically” assume that they don’t mean what they say. It is a huge and potentially fatal failure of imagination on the part of you and your like-thinkers. The rest of us, however, are left to deal with the world as it is…really!

  • dagon

    danny,

    so…we use our VASTLY superior military power to wipe them off the earth right? genocide.

    just recently iran was moderating. their leadership has been in flux for quite a while. mahmoud ahmadinejad may very well want want you just described. he actually might be just that crazy. or, he might just be talking tough, buying time while he builds his military to a point where they can demand respect in the region; just like the leaders of pakistan did when trying to get on par with egypt. this talk is hardly unprecedented and never did warrant the genocidal actions that you are apparently advocating.

    iran has been slowly reforming and moderating from within and ahmadinejad isn’t going to last forever. that’s the world as it really is pal. it’s a hell of a lot more complex than the situation that you paint.

    http://www.towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/198/65/

    –we’re playing ball with both of these peoples who have issued just as much vitriolic rhetoric at each other and at us over the years. in the case of pakistan, the average man/woman on the street openly chants for the us’s destruction to this day. and they’re our allies. you say take these people at their word? great, then i expect you to write your congressman tomorrow and call for the immediate firebombing of iran, pakistan and the civilian areas of saudi arabia.

    peace

  • zhombre

    Thank you, dagon. I’ll read up on the Marshall Plan, since that seems to be part of the framework you mentioned. If I recall 20th century history however, seems to me the Marshall Plan was preceded by some sort of period of belligerency.

    peace

  • Danny Lemieux

    Well and clearly put, Dagon. I begin to undersand your world viewm, illogical as it may be: I perceive that another big part of your disconnect is that you conflate a terrorist people with “all the people”. So, by your reasoning, a group of Iraqi terrorists bombs an American convoy, it means all Iraqis are against us and a pro-jihadi demonstration in Pakistan means all Pakistani’s are jihadis. This is racial/ethnic profiling at it’s most absurd. Terrorists are terrorists precisely because they cannot garner the support of the majority. Forceful military action against terror groups has nothing to do with your smear of “genocide”, any more than the military destruction of the Viet Cong by U.S. and South Vietnamese forces had anything to do against the people of South Viet Nam as a whole. For your information, in the 1990s, Algeria soundly defeated its own Islamo-fascist terrorism movement through solid, sustainted military and police action, after the Islamo-fascists had killed over 100,000 civilians. By your world view, this could never have happened.

  • dagon

    zhombre,

    “If I recall 20th century history however, seems to me the Marshall Plan was preceded by some sort of period of belligerency.”

    –yes, it most certainly was.

    peace

  • dagon

    danny

    “I perceive that another big part of your disconnect is that you conflate a terrorist people with “all the people”. So, by your reasoning, a group of Iraqi terrorists bombs an American convoy, it means all Iraqis are against us and a pro-jihadi demonstration in Pakistan means all Pakistani’s are jihadis.”

    –not at all. i think i have clearly stated thus above.

    “For your information, in the 1990s, Algeria soundly defeated its own Islamo-fascist terrorism movement through solid, sustainted military and police action, after the Islamo-fascists had killed over 100,000 civilians. By your world view, this could never have happened.”

    –i agree. i think this is the type of thing that we ought to be encouraging, rather than incurring the collateral damage that we have seen just recently in how israel was approaching the hizbollah situation. that is the scenario that i think produces more terrorists.

    peace

  • zhombre

    Then, using Algeria as an example, we should be encouraging military dictatorships, internecine violence and civil war within Islamic countries? Boots on the ground are OK as long as they are not our boots?

  • Danny Lemieux

    Dagon, I am not aware that Israel has inflicted massive damage on Lebanon and the Lebanese people, the doctored and staged image-propaganda of the MSM/Left notwithstanding. In fact, unlike Hezbollah, Israel’s response was very targeted and careful to minimize collateral damage and harm to civilians http://drinkingfromhome.blogspot.com/2006/08/orla-guerin-busted.html#links.
    In fact, a very good argument can be made that Israel has reacted very disproportionally against its own interests and in the interests of saving Arab lives. The sad thing that I have noticed about the Left, Dagon, is the zeal with which it swallows enemy propoganda hook, line and sinker because it confirms what it wants to believe, a zeal surpassed only by its quickness to dismiss their own country, civilization and peoples. Whether enablers or cheerleaders, they represent a 5th column that does not deserve freedom and democracy.

  • dagon

    zhombre,

    “Then, using Algeria as an example, we should be encouraging military dictatorships, internecine violence and civil war within Islamic countries? Boots on the ground are OK as long as they are not our boots?”

    –that’s not what i said and not what i’m suggesting. i think you know that.

    but to be fair, we HAVE been encouring military dictatorships, internecine violence and civil war within islamic countries for quite some time now. since you’re such a fan of realpoltik, i’m assuming that this is a scenario that YOU would favor: shah of iran, hause of saud, musharref in pakistan, etc.

    peace

  • dagon

    danny

    “The sad thing that I have noticed about the Left, Dagon, is the zeal with which it swallows enemy propoganda hook, line and sinker because it confirms what it wants to believe, a zeal surpassed only by its quickness to dismiss their own country, civilization and peoples”

    spare me, take a look in the mirror and say the same thing to yourself and see how much mileage you get.

    no one is the last word on how much damage israel inflicted, but here’s a couter argument:

    http://makeashorterlink.com/?I1DD4219D

    peace

  • Ymarsakar

    I think what you’re missing Zhombre is that Dagon actually prefers stomping out terrorism using Algerian tactics. However, he believes those successes were because of police action, police action that accrued no collateral damage.

    We know better, so the question is, does Dagon realize that he is advocating secret police gestapo tactics or does Dagon really believe the kind of police action he favors really could stop an Algerian type terroist scenario?

    I think the President of Pakistan has been pretty clear about his loyalties and limitations, and he also sees clearly his own personal situation. Dagon somehow translates believing the word of Arab leaders to mean “bomb anyone we don’t like”. What kind of blind bigotry are we dealing with here?

    kMore later

    http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/5273

    Abvout algeria

  • zhombre

    I’m hardly a “fan of realpolitik.” But presume whatever you want. Have a nice day, Dagon.

  • dagon

    zhombre,

    you too

    peace

  • Ymarsakar

    Algeria also played with the idea of meeting “the legitimate grievances” of the terrorists in 1992 to 1994. Muhammad Boudiaf said he “understood the anger of those who take up arms.” The result was that he himself was gunned down. By 1996, however, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahya had adopted the Fujimori approach, enabling the state to move onto full offensive against the terrorists.

    The eighth, and possibly the most important lesson, is not to become fixated with the terrorist threat. Terrorism, like the fabled cobra, has the ability to paralyze the state with a mixture of fear and fascination. Peru, Algeria, Egypt and Turkey, among others, experienced this to varying degrees. They all learned to break the spell and deny the terrorists the possibility of fixing the national agenda.

    Both Peru and Algeria introduced radical economic reforms designed to move them toward a market system. In Peru an unprecedented economic boom created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and changed the nation’s gloomy mood. There was no corresponding boom in Algeria. But even there the Ouyahya reforms helped create new economic opportunities that strengthened the state’s legitimacy.

    In both countries reasonably free elections were held as part of a broader policy of political change. The idea was to show that political power should be sought through the polling stations, not terrorist hide-outs.

    In time all societies affected by terrorism manage to factor it in, to consider it as an ugly fact of life like occasional bad weather. It is then that terrorism, like all other human activities, become subject to the iron law of diminishing returns: The more that is invested the less that is gained by terrorists.

    Terrorism can make a lot of noise and inflict great damage. But the state always wins.

    Another source is this.

    http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=450

    The Government’s human rights record remained poor and worsened in a few areas; however, important progress was made in some areas. Aspects of the State of Emergency continued to restrict citizens’ right to change their government. There were fewer reports of security force abuses. However, there continued to be problems with excessive use of force and the failure to account for past disappearances. Short-term disappearances of prisoners deemed “threats to national security” reportedly increased. The incidence and severity of torture declined markedly; however, new allegations continued. Security forces carried out extra-judicial killings and civilian and military police arbitrarily detained persons. Arbitrary arrests and incommunicado detention continued; most of these cases were committed in the context of the Government’s continuing battle with terrorism. The Government routinely denied defendants fair and expeditious trials, and interference with privacy rights remained a problem. Despite judicial reforms, prolonged pre-trial detention and lengthy trial delays were problems. Defendants’ rights to due process, illegal searches, and infringements on citizens’ privacy rights also remained problems. The Government imposed new restrictions on freedom of expression, and an increased willingness to implement them. The Government did not always punish abuses, and official impunity remains a problem. Defamation laws and government actions restricted the relative freedom of the print media; however, the media continued to openly and regularly criticize the Government, despite government reprisals. The Government continued to restrict, in varying degrees, freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and movement during the year. The Government also placed some restrictions on freedom of religion. Domestic violence against women, the Family Code’s limits on women’s civil rights, and societal discrimination against women remained serious problems. Child abuse was a problem. Although the Government recognized the Amazigh language as a national language, Tamazight ethnic, cultural, and linguistic rights were the objects of demonstrations and riots and remained an undercurrent of the political scene throughout the year. Child labor was a problem in some sectors. The Government continued to restrict workers’ rights by not officially recognizing some unions.

    When people like me say that Algeria used police powers to get rid of terrorism, the above is what we understand to be true. And here people like Dagon thinks that is a good model of success. Perhaps all Dagon needs is a pretext to unleash oppression. Since he believes terrorism works, he must also think secret police powers also must work as it did in Algeria.

    “For your information, in the 1990s, Algeria soundly defeated its own Islamo-fascist terrorism movement through solid, sustainted military and police action, after the Islamo-fascists had killed over 100,000 civilians. By your world view, this could never have happened.”

    –i agree. i think this is the type of thing that we ought to be encouraging, rather than incurring the collateral damage that we have seen just recently in how israel was approaching the hizbollah situation. that is the scenario that i think produces more terrorists.

    Dagon doesn’t know what produces more terrorists, he is all over the place.

    Terrorist groups committed numerous serious abuses and killed hundreds of civilians, including infants. Terrorists continued their campaign of insurgency, targeting government officials, families of security force members, and civilians. The killing of civilians often was the result of rivalry between terrorist groups or to facilitate the theft of goods needed to support their operations. Terrorist groups used violence to extort money, food, and medical supplies. Terrorists left bombs in cars, cafes, and markets, which killed and injured indiscriminately. Some killings, including massacres, also were attributed to revenge, banditry, and land grabs. Press reports estimated that approximately 1,162 civilians, terrorists, and security force members died during the year, a 61 percent decrease in violent deaths from 2002. Official government statistics indicated that fewer than 900 persons were killed. The violence occurred primarily in the countryside, as the security forces largely forced the terrorists out of the cities.

    The same people complaining of Israel using too much force, will be complaining no matter what they get. Either it’s too much military action, or too much civil rights violations, or whatever. You can’t satisfy these children.

    Algeria’s success can be summed up in a couple of ways. Provide jobs, kill the terroists to provide security, and allow voting.

    That’s about it more or less.

    People think Iraq is special, but it ain’t. You’ll be amazed at how much suffering is in this world that fake liberals ignore or pretend is a special case focused only on the regions they think is important.

  • Ymarsakar

    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27924.htm

    Terrorists targeted both security forces and civilians. Civilian deaths attributed to terrorists decreased from 1,375 deaths in 2002 to 258 during the year. In many cases, terrorists randomly targeted civilians in an apparent attempt to create social disorder. In other cases, violent reprisals were reportedly taken against those who failed to pay a “tax” to the terrorists. Terrorists killed numerous civilians, including infants, in massacres and with small bombs (see Section 1.g.). Other tactics included creating false roadblocks outside the cities, often by using stolen police uniforms, weapons, and equipment. Some killings, including massacres, also were attributed to revenge, banditry, and land grabs.

    Press reports estimated that approximately 1,162 civilians, terrorists, and security force members died during the year as a result of the ongoing violence, a decrease of 61 percent from the previous year. The violence appears to have occurred primarily in the countryside, as the security forces largely forced the terrorists out of the cities.

    On February 25, terrorists killed 12 civilians and injured 7 at a false roadblock set up near Tipaza, west of Algiers. The press reported it as one of the deadliest incidents in the country since the start of the year. On June 5, armed terrorists killed 12 persons and injured 2 near Khemis Miliana, west of Algiers, when the bus they were traveling in stopped at a false roadblock. On May 27, in Ain Soltane, terrorists killed a family of 14, including a 6-month-old baby, as they slept, after mistaking their home for a police officer’s residence.

    Other similar incidents took place during the year and from 1991-2002.

    b. Disappearance

    During the year, there were no substantiated reports of disappearances in which the security forces were implicated. However, local NGOs reported a trend of prolonged detention ranging from 8 to 18 months that was frequently reported as a disappearance until the person in question was returned to his or her family. These “new” disappearances at the hands of security forces often differed in duration and outcome from the disappearances that remain unresolved and that occurred in the country during the first half of the 1990s. These incidents remained contrary to the legal procedures stipulated in the country’s Penal Code and its Constitution.

    So, in conclusion. I’d have to say that secret police gestapo tactics do work. At least temporarily, until you can get the long term solutions into place.

    Whether I’d like seeing Israel, America, or Iraq adopt these tactics is a different consideration.

    The real question you got to ask is now that you’ve seen historical and current terrorist wars going on in the world, why would Dagon favor negotiation with Hizbollah? Why would Dagon criticize certain things that he believes will create more terrorists?

    How are terrorists created, and can you even stop them if you know what created them in the first place?

  • dagon

    ymarsakar,

    you sure do like the sound of your own voice. the think is you’re not saying anything. you’re merely answering the rhetorical strawmen that you have set up for your own argument.

    it’s amusing to watch but don’t pretend to think that anything you have written addresses what i believe.

    i never said that i supported secret police. i carefully cropped the part about algeira that i thought was relevant,

    “For your information, in the 1990s, Algeria soundly defeated its own Islamo-fascist terrorism movement through solid, sustainted military and police action”

    –by agreeing to this piece i was saying that i think terrorism can by fought through “solid, sustained military and police action”, rather than a protracted military campaign that produces a lot of innocent deaths. i didn’t embrace the rest and i also didn’t say that this was the ONLY means to bring about a lasting peace. your extrapolations from this are per usual, derived from your own perverse fantasies.

    peace