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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

War is the Answer

For the last hundred years the best and brightest of the civilized world have been engaged in the business of peace. In the days before the Nobel Peace Prize became a joke, it was expected that scientific progress would lead to moral progress. Nations would accept international laws and everyone would get together to replace wars with international conferences.

Instead technological progress just gave us better ways to kill each other. There have been few innovations in the moral technology of global harmony since Immanuel Kant's "Perpetual Peace" laid out a plan to grant world citizenship to all refugees and outlaw all armies, invasions and atrocities with the whole shebang would be overseen by a League of Nations.

That was in 1795 and Kant's plan was at least more reasonable than anything we have two-hundred years later today because it at least set out to limit membership in this body to free republics. If we had done that with the United Nations, it could conceivably have become something resembling a humane organization. Instead it's a place where the dictators of the world stop by to give speeches about human rights for a show that's funnier than anything you could find eight blocks away at the Broadway Comedy Club.

Since the League of Nations folded, the warring peoples of the world have added the atom bomb, the suicide bomber, the jet plane, the remotely guided missile, the rape squad, the IED, the child soldier and the stealth fighter to their arsenals. And the humanitarians have murdered a few billion trees printing out more useless treaties, conventions and condemnations; more dead trees than accounted for by every piece of human literature written until the 19th Century.

There is no moral technology to prevent war. Or rather war is the moral technology, that when properly applied, ensures peace.

The humanitarians had gone down a dead end by trying to create perpetual peace by outlawing war, but the peace-shouters who wear their inverted Mercedes Logo don't really want peace, some of them reflexively hate war for sentimental reasons, but their leaders and most committed activists don't hate war, they hate the people who win the wars.

The plan for perpetual peace is really a plan for perpetual war. It necessitates that the civilized nations who heed its call amass overwhelming quantities of firepower as deterrents against war, which they will pledge to never use because if the threat of destroying the world isn't enough, their bluff will be called and they will fold. And if they don't fold, then the world will be destroyed because the humanitarians said that peace was better than war.

It also necessitates that the actual wars that they fight be as limited as possible by applying precision technology to kill only actual armed enemy combatants while minimizing collateral damage. And that humanitarian objective also necessitates that the other side reply with a counter-objective of making it as hard as possible to kill them without also killing civilians.

The humanitarian impulse makes the anti-humanitarian impulse inevitable. The more precisely we try to kill terrorists, the more ingeniously the terrorists blend into the civilian population and employ human shields. The more we try not to kill civilians, the more civilians we are forced to kill. That is the equal and opposite reaction of the humanitarian formula.

In Afghanistan, the Rules of Engagement were overhauled to minimize Afghan civilian casualties. This was so successful that not only did the casualty rate for American soldiers dramatically increase because they were not allowed to fire unless they were being fired at, but the number of Afghan civilian casualties killed by American forces also fell dramatically. It was a great triumph. But sadly the number of Afghan civilians killed by the Taliban increased dramatically and more than made up for the shortfall.

When the Taliban have won the war, the number of civilian casualties will be tremendous once Obama pulls the troops out and the cheerful bearded boys march into Kabul and start killing every woman who can read. But it was still a better thing than the unacceptable levels of civilian casualties under Bush. It was a better thing that the Taliban have free reign to kill as many Afghans as they want than that American soldiers should have been able to fight the Taliban without the humanitarian handcuffs.

Because sometimes you have to destroy the village to save the village, and that is true whether it's American planes bombing a terrorist hideout or humanitarians letting the Taliban take the village and kill every tenth woman in it.

And yet for all this monumental effort, for all the soldiers dead because they weren't sure if the man planting an IED in the road was a terrorist or just a decent upstanding poppy farmer checking the soil composition, for all the Afghan civilians killed by the moral technology of inaction, your unfriendly neighborhood  peace-shouter is about as satisfied as a cannibal at a vegan banquet. Give him, her or it five valuable minutes of your time and it will begin shrieking about drone strikes, kill lists and the murderous rampage of a technology that is as far from Shock and Awe as you could possibly imagine without going completely Gandhi. If anything it hates drone strikes more than it hates Hiroshima. Mass killing justifies its smug contempt for the machinery of war, but anything that smacks of an attempt to moralize warfare challenges its principles and urges it on to greater displays of outrage.

Israel, in the name of peace, turned over the lives of millions of people to the control of a terrorist organization which taught their children to believe that their highest purpose in life was to die while killing Israelis.

The Oslo Accords turned stone-throwers into shooters and suicide bombers. It allowed the kind of people that most of Israel's Muslim neighbors had locked up and thrown away the key to, inside the country and gave them charge of the economy and the youth. Every peace dove, every peace song, every peace agreement, made the rivers of blood that followed not only inevitable, but mandatory.

For decades, every time that Israel was on the verge of finishing off the terrorists, there came a call for a ceasefire or a peace agreement. The call was heeded and the violence continued because all the peace agreements and ceasefires were just prolonged unfinished wars. They were a game of baseball that never ended because no home run was ever scored. Instead the New York Yankees were being forced to play the Martyrs of Muslimtown for thirty years with the umpire stepping in every time the hometown team was on the verge of winning the game. Each peace agreement did not mean peace, it meant that the Muslimtown Martyrs would have another few years to go on killing and being killed.

Peace meant that the war would never end. Instead of perpetual peace, it made for perpetual war.

In 1992 Israel deported 400 Hamas terrorists. It didn't kill them, lock them up or bake them into a pie. All it did was kick them out of a country they didn't recognize and closed the door behind them. That deportation became the leading human rights cause of the day. The UN issued a unanimous resolution condemning the deportation. The Red Cross brought them blankets. Newsweek accused Israel of "Deporting the Hope for Peace."

And so Israel took the 400 Hamas terrorists, the hope for peace, back. Over the next 20 years they shed rivers of blood and rivers of blood were shed because of them. There was never any peace with them and they made peace impossible.

But the humanitarians had gotten their way, as they always got their way, and their way was the blown up bus and the shattered cafeteria, the burning building and the suicide bomber making his way through a crowded mall, the child's mother lovingly tying on his martyr costume complete with Alfred Nobel's great invention, the jet plane releasing its cargo of bombs and the television screaming for war. But all these were far better than that 400 Hamas terrorists should sniffle into their Red Cross supplied cups of dark coffee on the hills of Lebanon.

To those who croon to that old Lennon song, peace is always better than war, and good intentions lead to good results. The only way forward is to keep extending your hand to the enemy and doing it over and over again no matter how much effort the doctors have to put into stitching it back together again after the last handshake.

Peace is still better than war. It is better that Israel and Hamas fight escalating mini-wars every 3 years than that Israel finish off Hamas once and for all. That price wasn't worth paying 20 years ago when all it meant was that 400 terrorists would have been forced to get jobs slinging Halal hash in Lebanese Hashish joints. It certainly isn't worth it today.

A flock of peace doves wings to Israel with proposals for engaging Hamas. But it's Israel that is supposed to figure out a way to live with its explosive bride. All the proposals call for some gradual process by which Hamas will be courted, engaged and weaned off terror to become an upstanding member of the international community. And that's all well and good if you have soy for brains.

Hamas is not interested in being engaged. Its goal is the destruction of Israel. This isn't posturing, it's not sullen resentment over being blockaded by Israel or outrage over the latest round of fighting. This is the essential ideology of Hamas, derived from the core Islamic principles over the proper role of non-Muslims in the Muslim world. It is not interested in a two-state solution, job creation programs or any of the meaningless shiny toys that diplomats wave when they arrive in the region. Its goal is to make Islam supreme over all other systems by destroying a non-Muslim state in what it considers to be Muslim territory.

Perpetual peace was not made for such conflicts. Peace was made for reasonable people who are willing to give and take. It was not made for those who only take.

Peacemaking is not a policy, it is a religion that we are all obligated to believe in. It is an immoral moral principle that ends in war. Peacemaking in the World War II cost more lives than Hitler could have ever taken on his own. Peacemaking in the War on Terror has cost a hundred times more lives than the terrorists could have ever taken on their own.

The business of peace is the industry of death. Behind the peace sign is a field of flowers with a grave for every one. Behind the peace agreement and the ceasefire is another war that will be worse than the last.

22 comments:

George J. said...

Agreed. This peace-at-all-costs mentality is perpetuated by naive utopianists with astonishingly weak grasp of history. They are ignorant of the track record of repeated failures this idiocy has amassed.
Neville Chamberlain lives on, it seems.

Anonymous said...

very good artacle, thank -you.

mindRider said...

The majority of the political decision makers these days appear to have "soy for brains", as you so vividly frase it in this beautiful article Daniel, or are at least so worried about their well paid positions and chances of being re-elected by their no brain constituents that all they blabber is "make peace, make peace" even to the extent of skipping the "make love".

Leo said...

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
~Barry Goldwater

Edward Cline said...

John Rawls, in his notorious "A Theory of Justice," among other things proposed that the competent, the able, and the superlative, be hamstrung and penalized so that the incompetent, the disabled, and the mediocre would have an equal chance at "success." Or at least the latter would be awarded the appropriate handicap points to accomplish the same thing. This was deemed a just system for an equalization of results that would "humanize" competition and preempt the envy, hurt feelings and frustration of the incompetent, the disabled, and the mediocre. It is the same "humanitarian" philosophy responsible for such things as soccer games without scores, overseen by liberal soccer moms concerned about the self-esteem of her kids and at the same time resentful of the pride of the kids on the other team.

It is also partly responsible for Daniel's theme here, for stopping Israel from achieving a victory over Hamas and any of her past assailants and permanently extinguishing her mortal enemies and achieving some kind of peace that Hamas would never break because it would no longer exist. That those mortal enemies are killers who wish to do to Israel what was nearly done to Lara Logan in Tahir Square – violation in every manner and complete dismemberment – is of no import to the humanitarians who sweat like hogs to broker a deal between Israel and her enemies. They are merely "freedom fighters" in Halloween costumes and ski masks and we mustn’t judge them because of their questionable habits. Their feelings are hurt and pent up because the world will not grant them their handicapped justice, never mind that their concept of justice is of the Zulu kind when the latter disemboweled colonial Dutch women and men settlers they happened to have overwhelmed and killed and paraded their children and infants on the tips of their assegais.

But because Daniel mentioned Immanuel Kant – Rawls's intellectual ancestor – I might also point out that our humanitarian diplomats are also motivated by one of the Prussian's categorical imperatives, to do that which one "knows" is right and to act to make it an ineluctable maxim, regardless of the cost to oneself or to others, even if it means engaging in a bit of nihilistic destruction. Kant's notion of "peace" is also responsible for the "peace" promulgated by yesteryear's hippies and peaceniks, a "peace" without morality or conditions, "peace" for the sake of "peace," regardless of the cost to those who would lose their lives from its enforcement. And yesteryear's hippies became Rhodes scholars and attained a permanent place in academic and diplomatic and military and policymaking circles. Need I mention names?

Thus the "ceasefire" that is merely a temporary "hudna" that will benefit Hamas and allow it to catch its breath and rearm and prepare for the next round of massacring Israelis and perhaps even carrying the butchery to the U.S.

MLR said...

Another great essay Sultan. As you point out every time Israel is about to defeat the arabs they are rescued by the western anti-Semites who force Israel to stop via media propaganda.

There can be no solution until the Islamic world and specifically Israels Islamic enemies are thoroughly defeated as was Nazism and Japenese imperialism throught total war without concern for "collateral damage."

Leo said...

There is a sane and coherent (to an external friendly observer anyway) political movement in Israel called Manhigut Yehudit (The Jewish Leadership), founded by Moshe Feiglin, Shmuel Sackett and Moti Karpel. For some reason, the related searches in Daniel's blog produced almost zero results, I hope at some point Daniel would comment on that (refraining from criticizing fellow journalists is understandable, but we are talking about political movement here, and what could be more important in Israel than sane, coherent and moral people in power).

Leo said...

On Tuesday of this week, I was at a campaign rally in Sderot. "I would like to ask what some of you may see as a strange question," I said to the audience in the packed hall. "In the war that is raging right now (this was before the major fighting began on Wednesday) between us and the Gazans, who is right?" The hall fell silent. The audience looked uncomfortable and curious. "They are right," one woman said. "We are right," said another. Most of the audience just looked baffled. "Look at what is happening ", I continued. "Even here in Sderot, we cannot get a clear answer to the most fundamental of questions. So who is right?" An endless stream of commentators, security experts and politicians visit Sderot. One advocates targeted assassinations, the other conquest, one says we should talk and the other says we should disengage. When all is said and done, it is clear to all that not one of them has gotten to the root of the real problem and is still incapable – after 12 years of Sderot being on the receiving end of incoming missiles – of relieving the misery of the residents of southern Israel. Sderot's problem is not military in nature. Clearly, we are stronger than they are. The reason that we cannot deal with murderous attacks on our citizens is not military – it is spiritual. We have lost our belief in the justice of our cause. A mistake of this proportion cannot be rectified with shortcuts. We must return to the point at which we strayed from the path. That point is Oslo. It is there that we declared that this land is not our land. It is there that we recognized the rights of a different sovereign on our country's heartland. It is there that we lost the legitimacy for our existence in Sderot and as a result, the ability to fight against an enemy who does believe in the justice of his cause. Moshe Feiglin • Baffled in Sderot • 16-Nov-2012

Anonymous said...

1953 Korea.

Empress Trudy said...

By the end of WW2 there was not a single standing structure of any kind between Berlin and Moscow. That's what it takes to smash maniacs.

Anonymous said...

Daniel makes one huge mistake - that Hamas can be separated from Islam. The ideology is Islam. The "people" are Islam. Not just Eretz Israel but Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afganistan, Turkmenistan, Indonesia are Islam.

Israel could kill ever member of Hamas today - indeed that is the first step towards even a cease-fire -and it would achieve nothing, because another "Hamas" would rise up tomorrow.

The only solution is the solution of Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. Wipe them all out.

If Democracy had been allowed to take place in American, if we now had a true American as president, then by the end of January, Tehran, Gaza, the West Bank, Damascus would be smoking seas of glass.

And - for a time at least - Israel would have peace!

Kiwi said...

"... if we now had a true American as president, then by the end of January, Tehran, Gaza, the West Bank, Damascus would be smoking seas of glass."
And for good measure, drive a stake through Islam's black heart by completely, and utterly obliterating Mecca; no recognizable fragment of its satanic Kaaba should remain. These people might then finally get the message that Mohammed's alter ego, Allah, was no more than a powerless figment of his evil imagination.

Lisa Graas said...

Agree.

Anonymous said...

Israel gave 'land for peace'. If that was OK with the left, then I often wondered if there should be a corresponding 'land for war' concept. Something like Israel would get 100 acres of Gaza with each Hamas rocket.

Simple, tangible, incremental, proportional.

Leo said...

It is generally believed that religious people are less realistic, because they rely more on their faith than on an objective analysis of reality, whereas people lacking faith are able to analyze a situation objectively, and as a result, their short-term assessments are more accurate. Yet here we have a situation where precisely those who are faithful to Torah, the nation, and the land assess the situation accurately, whereas the unbelievers are mistaken in their delusions and false hopes – which repeatedly blow-up in all our faces. The explanation for this is that they are no less religiously committed – to a form of idol worship. Their god is called ‘Peace Now’ or ‘human rights’. This is exactly the sin of idolatry – taking one value and worshipping it, without giving consideration to balance with other values. In contrast, Jewish faith is careful to state that God is exalted above all definition, for He is beyond all values, and all of them are included within Him. God desired to grant merit to Israel, and gave them Torah and mitzvoth with the aim of teaching them to balance values. The leftists, who are alienated from their Jewish heritage, are searching for a god who will give hope and meaning to their lives. Many of them previously believed in communism, and embittered the lives of many people. Today, they believe in ‘Peace Now’, and bring all these troubles upon us. Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | The Idiocy of Gaza Withdrawal Advocates is Now Exposed

Keliata said...

IMO the gov't (US at least)may well be behind the extensive press coverage of this latest undeclared war in Israel. They're selective in which violence they choose to cover. Total silence of Amona, but all over Gush Katif.

Nada for the most part on Sderot.

And yep, incidentism.

Keliata said...

Rearding war...using the bomb against other Arab nations wouldn't work too well. Israel is way too close to them and would suffer the results as well.

But capturing Gaza should be easy.

MKD said...

"If Democracy had been allowed to take place in American, if we now had a true American as president, then by the end of January, Tehran, Gaza, the West Bank, Damascus would be smoking seas of glass. "

In what universe?

Leo said...

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to a ceasefire for halting the eight-day Israeli Gaza operation Wednesday night, Nov. 21, after President Barack Obama personally pledged to start deploying US troops in Egyptian Sinai next week, DEBKAfile reports ... Obama’s pledge addressed Israel’s most pressing demand in every negotiating forum on Gaza: Operation Pillar of Cloud’s main goal was a total stoppage of the flow of Iranian arms and missiles to the Gaza Strip. They were smuggled in from Sudan and Libya through southern Egypt and Sinai. Hostilities would continue, said the prime minister, until this object was achieved. DEBKAfile

VA_Rancher said...

As others have said. WW3 is coming and it will be Total War one the new Axis side of the Caliphate.

What is completely unknown right now is how our side will fight...

Dan, spot on article in my book. Well said.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your stuff Mr Sultan Knish you're so smart so well written. Now I care about Israel but look if American Jews don't care and they overwhelmingly re-elected this dope Obama, why should I care?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Look at the outcome of the last election. Do enough Americans care about America? Is that a reason to stop caring about America?

The majority of American Jews right now are secular liberals, but they are demographically on the way out.

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