Valuable Views on the Crisis in the Middle East
There are a few articles and posts out right now that I highly recommend people read:
Robert Tracinski On the Crudely Obvious Strategy of Our Enemies:
Part of what is crippling Western leaders is the sacrifice-worship of the altruist morality, which programs them, in response to human suffering, to suspend thinking and react emotionally. Natan Sharansky recounts a discussion he had with former president Jimmy Carter about why the Palestinian-Israeli "peace process" kept failing. Carter responded, "You know, you are right, but don't try to be too rational about these things. The moment you see people suffering, you should feel solidarity with them and try to help them without thinking too much about the reasons."HT Gus Van Horn
But even more insidious is a kind of cognitive altruism that tells men to sacrifice, not just their interests, but their judgment, subordinating their knowledge to the opinions and prejudices of others. That is what seems to be operating here. Whatever Secretary Rice knows about the Iranians' strategy is discarded the moment lurid images of civilian casualties are splashed across the front pages of European newspapers and the broadcasts of Arab television stations. Just as, in this self-abnegating morality, you have to consider the interests of everyone except yourself--so, in this morality of cognitive self-abnegation, you have to consider everyone's opinion except your own. Thus, faced with the united force of "world opinion," the formerly "tough-minded" Secretary of State was flustered into an ignominious surrender of American interests.
Jason Pappas at Liberty and Culture on how we should fight the war:
One of the side-effects of exposing lies like Qana, is that our side concedes main principles while arguing minor details.And from the Ralph Peters' article linked in Jason's update:
Hezbollah’s desire to wipe the Jews off the map, led them to attack Israel. By their nature and actions, they are responsible for the death and destruction in Lebanon including the civilians they put in harms way. Israel, to reduce civilian casualties, drops leaflets warning of impending bombings--enabling Hezbollah to escape and regroup. Implicit in this mistaken generosity is that it is Israel’s responsibility to avoid Hezbollah-supporting “civilians.” It is not. Israel has no obligation to avoid civilian deaths in the course of fighting the enemy if it cost Israeli lives or compromises the mission.
This point is now lost as defenders of Israel focus on proving that Israel is not negligent in the deaths at Qana. This should not be a question. But in a polemical argument, it is tempting to show that even by our critic's standards, they are wrong. One should resist showing respect for the absurd standards of our critics, even for a moment. To do so concedes fundamental principles.
Israel, and her allies, should take the opposite tactic and unequivocally blame Hezbollah for bringing vast death and destruction to the people of Lebanon. At all times one should say: “look at what Hezbollah caused.” Israel should tell the “Arab Street” if you attack us like Hezbollah, you’ll see your families crushed and your tribe destroyed. We should back her in this stance. It should be clear in every sentence that Hezbollah is to blame for the war and its deadly destruction.
My best advice to Israel: Everybody just shut up. Fight. Win the damned war. Then talk.Barbara Lerner on how we're losing the war and why we must take on Iran now:
Israel's public pronouncements over the past three weeks have done the country nothing but harm, playing into Hezbollah's hands. Don't claim you've knocked out 40 percent of the enemy's capabilities when you don't have a clue. And don't brag that you'll "eliminate" Hezbollah. You won't (although you can cripple the organization, and that objective is well worthwhile).
And don't belittle the enemy's capabilities - whenever you do, you set yourself up for a fall. Respect the enemy. And kill him every time you have the chance.
Don't let anyone, not even the United States, push you into accepting arbitrary deadlines. You have nothing to lose by fighting to win and everything to gain.
Average Americans — if they remember them at all — consider the series of American defeats chronicled above and a host of others as an unconnected jumble of unfortunate events.(HT IBA)
It’s easy to do: Our media treats them that way. Muslim media do not. On the global Muslim media stage, Iran’s mullahs and their frontmen look like Islamic conquerors of old, winning victory after victory against both the great and the little Satan, mocking us as impotent cowards, and intimidating and co-opting our already half-dhimmified old-Europe allies. Watching all this, every year more and more Muslims rally to their cause, eager to be on what they see as the winning side.
Despite all this and more, we have yet to admit that Iran is at war with us, or to seriously consider striking back at her, and, in speaking of our own war aims, we never dare use the v-word — victory — anymore. Instead, we make head-in-the-sand happy-talk about “peace,” “democracy,” and “ceasefires,” rejecting any military action against Iran for fear of “widening the war” — as if Iran were not already at war with us — and rely on the U.N. and “the international community” to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions and to prevent her proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, from continuing to bring death and destruction to our smallest, truest, and most vulnerable ally, Israel. In doing this, we ignore two obvious realities: rather than restraining Iran, U.N. heavyweights Russia and China are busy arming her, and the perfidious EU will not even recognize the plain fact that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Instead, these old-Europe “allies” join with our Islamofascist enemies in demonizing our brave soldiers in Iraq, and damning Israel for daring to fight back against unprovoked aggression, pursued with openly genocidal intent.
Worse, we meet the jackals halfway by endlessly apologizing for sins our soldiers and guards are falsely accused of, in Iraq and Guantanamo, and by urging “restraint” on Israel — as if she weren’t employing near-suicidal restraint already. Then, we congratulate ourselves for our “courage” in standing up to international pressure by not forcing Israel to stop fighting for her life immediately, and promising, in return, to “protect” her with a “peace-keeping” force of enemies, led by the reborn Vichy France of Jacques Chirac and Phillipe Douste-Blazy — the French foreign minister who just called Iran “a stabilizing force.”
Victor Davis Hanson on the similarities between today's cultural appeasement and that of the 1930's which lead up to WW II.
Not as good as the others, but with these worthwhile excerpts is Krauthammer's take:
When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, it did not respond with a parallel "proportionate" attack on a Japanese naval base. It launched a four-year campaign that killed millions of Japanese, reduced Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to a cinder, and turned the Japanese home islands to rubble and ruin.
Disproportionate? No. When one is wantonly attacked by an aggressor, one has every right--legal and moral--to carry the fight until the aggressor is disarmed and so disabled that it cannot threaten one's security again. That's what it took with Japan.
Britain was never invaded by Germany in World War II. Did it respond to the blitz and V-1 and V-2 rockets with "proportionate" aerial bombardment of Germany? Of course not. Churchill orchestrated the greatest land invasion in history that flattened and utterly destroyed Germany, killing untold innocent German women and children in the process.