So now what for Israel?

So Israel has reached a truce in the Gaza without ever getting its soldier back.  Five months of “war” was apparently inadequate to either find and release that soldier or persuade the Palestinians to give him up.  Looks like Israel, like the United States, has gotten into the bad habit of entering “limited” wars and then pulling out without achieving its objective.  This strikes me as a bad thing, but I do not have the expertise in thise area that Bookworm or her readers do.  What do all of you think Israel should do now?

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

    fake sitzkriegs aren’t real total wars. And therefore no real resolution results.

    Israel has gotten into that habit because the Left is the way they are in Israel and therefore Israel is Israel. Remove the Left from the US equation and there is no more habit.

    Israel needs to purge their left and find the warrior spirit that is probably holding a rear defense action in their military. That’s not easy, because the Israeli citizenship, which determines the Israeli national character, are more sick of killing than sick of being killed or seeing their homes destroyed. The Palestinians feel joy at death and sickness when they see a live Jew in power. So there is no will in Israeli politics because the Israeli people do not have the fire, that their military has. So the military finds themselves protecting a bunch of sheep that seeks to throw themselves at the wolves in gestures of peace and reconciliation. There is no vengeance, no desire to kill, only the desire to stop fighting. There are two ways to stop fighting. Either make the enemy desire peace more than more wars, or make yourself desire the end of the fighting over more fighting.

    Whoever gives up first in a war, loses. Israel still thinks they can get some peace settlement out of the Palestinians. They aren’t Americans, but they aren’t the French either. But they are seeing the first signs of decay, that the French saw in WWII.

  • JJ

    This is, let’s see, “ceasefire” #117,284? Something like that. It will accomplish what all the previous ones did.

    People in this country blither about stuff like “exit strategies,” as in “what’s your (Bush’s) exit strategy? He didn’t have an exit strategy!”

    It didn’t used to be we worried about crap like that. The “exit strategy” was you beat your enemy stupid until he could no longer defend himself and couldn’t move any more, and then you came home. The “exit strategy” in other words, was called victory. We win, you lose: that’s our exit strategy.

    Then we discovered political correctness, or the UN did – somebody did; and we stopped believing that the way to win wars was to damn well win them. At which point, coincidentally enough, we also stopped winning them. We began settling for moral victories.

    I date this to the creation of the UN, a brilliant lefty idea. To my mind, what the UN has accomplished – and all that it has in fact accomplished – has been to give the bandits of the world a forum, and an equal voice with the world’s dimminishing supply of serious people. We started having to worry (well, we didn’t “have to,” but we did) about the “rights” of the bandits, instead of just killing them. Pre-UN: you have WWI, WWII. Post-UN: you have Korea, Vietnam, etc. Brainless stalemates.

    Israel was always a shining exception. They never started any trouble, but when someone wanted to go at it with them, they were ready, willing, and they meant it. They ceased fire after they’d secured victory. So naturally the UN as a body despised them, as it does to this day. Israel gets attacked by various coalitions of her witless neighbors, time and again; and the brilliant UN condemns Israel for defending herself.

    Tough as Israel is, thirty years of this kind of crap wears on your soul. The result is that they have become much more politically correct, and correspondingly less willing to fight. We have to “understand” the poor Palestinians, Hizbollah, and Hamas – instead of just killing the bastards en masse, which is what they deserve.

    There is no substitute for victory. There never has been, and there never will be. Israel needs to remember that, keep it in the forefront of their minds, and do what needs to be done. If that means turning Beirut into a parking lot, or a gigantic meadow, then that’s what it means. The residents have been asking for it for generations. If that means sending a covert team into Damascus to run down that chinless wonder Assad and flay him alive on public TV, well, he’s been asking for it too. Punish one, teach many.

    The best generals have never settled for less than killing the enemy, as many of them as they could find, as quickly as they could find them – and the hell with collateral damage. That’s what war is. If you don’t like that, don’t start one. That’s what strategic deterrence is.

    Israel needs to remember that, as do we.

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

    I differ with JJ on the minor point of Israel’s victories. Israel had military victories, but this was like France’s victory over Germany in WWI.Was it a real victory? Real victories to mean, mean no other wars will ever be fought between our two peoples. Japan and German, stand as testament to that American, and American exclusive, war philosophy.

    All other nations, for some reason, fight wars, stop, and then start it all over again. Israel included. They won victories, yet their Arab enemies kept on fighting them. This didn’t look like a victory to me, but a post-ponement of the devil’s due.

    When Americans fight wars, win or lose, it is that. Finito, over, never again. One Civil War. One Revolutionary War. One World War, with the other one being where the Euros kicked us out of the post-war peace deal process. One Cold War, where Russia is unlikely to ever be in a position to want to declare war on America or the West.

    It is true that the Cold War, which engendered the UN as a devil’s bargain in order to stave off nuclear war, produced a lot of stalemates. But even America’s stalemates are pretty peaceful all in all, over a long period of time.

    This American exceptionalism, you hear mostly concerning Hollywood, American materialism, cultural imperialism, and so forth. But you almost never hear it in relation to our war fighting ability. It is as if people only see Americans as fat, hungry, and greedy merchants interested in money and materialism, rather than the core strength of America. And that is only for the people who see any American special goodness in the first place. Most don’t.

    I think the aristocrats of this planet are setting a bad example. When they shun the good and reward the evil, humanity is not going anywhere fast.

    Israel is a very good example of what seeking peace and providing mercy, when speaking from a position of relative military strength, will get you in the Arab world. America can learn much from the Israelis. Just as we can learn much from the Fwench.

  • http://modernityblog.blogspot.com ModernityBlog

    as David Gurion pointed out, Israel’s long-term security cannot solely rest on her military might, a point taken up by David Grossman recently, unless of course you believe in the Henry Kissinger doctrine that carpet bombing is the way to peace?

    Olmert had to try something, months of attacking Gaza achieved nothing, other than a propaganda victory for Syria and Iran

    the Israeli government needs to play smarter, have several lines of attack, not solely military, somehow Israel and the international community must try and convince Palestinian leaders that 1) Israel is not going to go away 2) best accept that fact 3) fighting with Israel ultimately leads to the death of many Palestinians (although I suspect many of the Palestinian leaders would gladly give up hundreds if not thousands of lives if it suited them) 4) peace with Israel brings prosperity (again I doubt much of the leadership gives a fig if Palestinians starve to death for work), but still

    carrot and stick is better than the stick alone

    but Israel cannot manage this all on her own, the influence of Syria and Iran must be countered somehow and that means other countries seeing in their vested interest to help (but that isn’t very likely, is it?)

    PS: nice blog, always enjoy reading your perspective on things

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

    When Israel ramps up the counter-propaganda and demonstration executions, then maybe I’ll believe their politicians can come up with a companion policy for their military ops.

    So far, their current plan seems to be to invite the Palestinians to invade, get into a situation on death ground, and then fight. Death ground, Sun Tzu. One of those neat tricks you get to prevent your soldiers from routing. Only used in desperation and when you don’t got nothing better to offer.

    The Palestinians like death. They rejoice at death. And they don’t believe Israel is going to win or continue existing, not with their mythology and brainwashing. It is not just the leaders that worship death, but the grandmas, the children, the girls and boys. Israel doesn’t even have a stick, because they are too afraid of killing people to wage a real war.

    The US already got rid of Saddam for Israel. They can handle Syria on their own. Iran’s too busy with Iraq anyways. Of course, Israel should ally with Lebanon but….

    Olmert also tried out bombing Lebanon. So this must be a recent epiphany for him.

  • JJ

    Y – Israel has had military victories, yes. But they have differed from those in which we engaged. Israel defeated the Arab armies, but they didn’t wipe out Arabia. We did wipe out Germany and Japan. Our wars ended for, I think, two reasons: 1) we didn’t just “beat” them. We destroyed them; bombed their cities, their people, their wives, children, dogs and cats. When we were done the only thing they could have done was throw rocks at us – those who still had an arm. And: 2) they were both perfectly aware that if we had to do it again, we’d do it again, only worse.

    At that point the entire world was terrified of us, because they knew that if there’d been a need for us to take on the entire rest of the planet, fine. it is often forgotten that WWII began for most people in 1939. We declared war in December of 1941, didn’t really get fighting until the summer of 1942 – and it was finished by August of 1945. Germany and the Japanese Empire lasted in the ring with us for about 40 months, and Berlin and Tokyo were smoking ruins. Once we got engaged, the party was over.

    This is what I mean by “winning.” The exit strategy is: you’re dead. We had – and demonstrated – zero interest in negotiating with either Germany or Japan, and declined to do so.

    The fact that once we got to the negotiating table we promptly began giving it away is another story, but the fact is we weren’t playing militarily: we were out for destruction.

    Israel has never quite done that. And of course there are endless humanistic reasons in this enlightened day and age not to do so. The problem is, the people with whom they are in conflict are not so enlightened, and only see that as weakness. They’re going to have to kill them on the battlefield, and on the home front they’re going to have to stop their milkman, shut off their water, and blow up grandma – and not worry about it.

    You don’t “attack” Gaza and Beirut: you destroy them. You end them. Put up a plaque over Beirut: “there used to be a city here.”

    Or – you lose, in the long run.

    Negotiation is a swell alternative, but not a realistic one. As a matter of history the only negotiations that succeeded (and there have been damn few) have been those that have taken place AFTER one side or the other was reduced militarily.

    Otherwise read “concession” for “negotiation.”

    You don’t “attack” Gaza and Beirut – you destroy them.

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

    I don’t disagree, JJ.

    My objection was specifically to what you said here.

    I date this to the creation of the UN, a brilliant lefty idea. To my mind, what the UN has accomplished – and all that it has in fact accomplished – has been to give the bandits of the world a forum, and an equal voice with the world’s dimminishing supply of serious people. We started having to worry (well, we didn’t “have to,” but we did) about the “rights” of the bandits, instead of just killing them. Pre-UN: you have WWI, WWII. Post-UN: you have Korea, Vietnam, etc. Brainless stalemates.

    Israel was always a shining exception. They never started any trouble, but when someone wanted to go at it with them, they were ready, willing, and they meant it. They ceased fire after they’d secured victory. So naturally the UN as a body despised them, as it does to this day. Israel gets attacked by various coalitions of her witless neighbors, time and again; and the brilliant UN condemns Israel for defending herself.

    As I understand it, you were saying that Israel was a shining exception to the UN’s imposition of limited wars. As I saw it, Israel was still doing limited wars. So they weren’t a shining exception. Which is why I said they had military victories of a temporary nature.

    Israel would only be a shining example if they got out of the UN. Or did their best to destroy the UN by creating a second organization.

  • JJ

    Yeah, actually you’re right. It was us, and the rest of the West, that the creation of the UN gutted. Israel, not in existence before 1948, started out gutted.

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

    There was this link from drsanity on Israel. I think it speaks well of the situation.

    Humanity as I see it, thrives on competition and chaos. We immigrate, we compete in wars ad econo wars. We jockey for position in the office, and harness personal power through friendships and favors.

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

    http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2006/11/touch-and-go-beacons-of-reality.html

    srael, by behaving morally, is guaranteeing more Israeli deaths and genuinely risking the destruction of the Jewish state. This is the height of immorality and the Israeli leadership seem to be unaware that their aspirations to civilized behavior are not only dangerously corrupt, but risk the worst imaginable outcomes.

    The dilemma shared by Israel and America is just this: If by fighting morally, we cannot win a limited war, we create the conditions which will ensure the fighting of an unlimited war.

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

    Oh ya, sorry, didn’t finish the thought. Because we thrive on chaos, by placing false chains of order upon us, you will see decay and irrational behavior. For example, Bush by imposing Geneva Conventions on terroists and by protecting America from further attacks, has created this status quo of fake order and peace that degrades the will of the American people. The terroists thrive on chaos, and we need to be the same, if ever we are able to bring order to chaos.

    Kipling said something similar, when he said “Keep your head on you when all around you are losing theirs”.

    Too close an adherence to law and order, creates stagnancy and chaos. To control chaos, you cannot rely upon this false belief in order and law that Bush relied upon in Iraq while the looting was ongoing. When things are chaotic, Bush must lay down the iron fist of law and order on Plame and others. When things are orderly as with GitMo, Bush needs to destroy the pillars of order with chaotic choices. Only then, can he maintain the balance between chaos and order, and not fall prey to decadent decay or miasmic order.

    Order and chaos, as with the right and the left, are interchangeable. Go far enough right and you’ll hit the far left. Go far enough left and you’ll hit the far right. We want the middle, the balance.

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    If Israel keeps giving without getting, pretty soon she’ll be left naked and unarmed. When I saw the story about the latest ceasefire, followed by story about the gifts Israel is offering the Palestinians, all I could think is that Israel is reverting to the vassal state status that Israel enjoyed during Biblical times. Then, the Assyrians chipped away at her bit by bit and, when she was weakened, ate her.