Monday, June 6, 2016

Diplomacy, Morality, And Force

     There is no kind of peace which may be purchased on the bargain counter. – Carey McWilliams

     Daniel Greenfield has a rather plaintive article up today about the seeming mandate from the “international community” to perform an ethnic cleansing: specifically, the removal of all Jews from East Jerusalem. Moreover, the Obamunists in the State Department are in agreement with this idea. A thematic snippet:

     It would be inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into its own city. It is, however, standard policy at the State Department and the Foreign Office to denounce Jews living in those parts of Jerusalem that had been ethnically cleansed by Muslims, as "settlers" living in "settlements," and describe them as an "obstruction to peace." Peace being the state of affairs that sets in when an ethnic cleansing goes unchallenged.

     Needless to say, were the city in controversy any city but Jerusalem and the people of interest anyone but Jews, the outcry would deafen the solar system. However, in the eyes of the Left, attacking the Jews for wanting to live in their own city – a city which three thousand years of recorded history marks as the center of Jewish tradition and the Judaic faith – is quite all right. It puts them on the side of the anti-American parties to the controversy, which is of course what matters most to them.

     Enough tirades have been written about this state of affairs to fill an encyclopedia. My focus this morning is on the fiction of “diplomacy” the “international community” is using to browbeat the Jews of Israel into submission.

     Diplomacy is a many-faceted thing. When countries with no intention of making war on one another negotiate trade agreements, or the proper division of responsibilities over some shared jurisdiction, it can be fairly harmless. When they negotiate mutual-defense alliances, there are more possibilities for things to go awry, but the process is nevertheless free of implications for physical strife. But when enemies attempt diplomacy, the backdrop always includes the possibility of war.

     Diplomacy between enemy nations is at its heart an attempt to avert war. It proceeds on the hope that there exists a position other than the military defeat of one by the other which negotiations can determine, and which both sides would prefer to the uncertainties and probable consequences of warfare. It assumes that both nations will bargain in “good faith:” i.e., that if an agreement is reached, both nations will adhere to it.

     This is the aspect of diplomacy between enemies that too many soft-headed persons refuse to acknowledge: For any agreement between enemies to work, war must remain “on the table.”

     Some realism about the relation called enemy is critical here. Your enemy isn’t merely someone playing a game with you, where no matter who wins and who loses, afterward the two of you will go on as you were before. Your enemy is someone who wishes to harm you. In the most extreme case, he intends your destruction. Whether he acts on that intention will be governed by factors some of which you can control. The most important of these is your military capability and your willingness to use it.

     For a small nation, Israel has an impressive military capability. Its army and air force have several times demonstrated their superiority to the forces of the neighboring states. It also possesses the deterrent power of nuclear weapons, to which it could make recourse were its survival at stake. In light of those assets, the Islamic states around it, which are unabashed about their hatred for the Jewish state and their desire to see it eliminated, have for some decades eschewed outright warfare in favor of the “low-intensity” conflict we call terrorism. While terrorism cannot inflict a military defeat, it can weaken a people’s will to resist the demands of the forces behind it. The rise of a pacifist Israeli Left, which urges reliance upon diplomacy – the “peace process” – and ever greater concessions to Israel’s enemies, stands as evidence.

     But what has the “peace process” brought Israel since the legendary days of the Camp David Accords? Certainly not peace, though to be fair, the Egyptians have been only a minuscule contributor to Israel’s troubles. Israeli attempts to purchase peace at the negotiating table have all failed. Terrorism of several varieties continues to beleaguer Israel. Indeed, it has become clear that only the elimination of Israel will satisfy its “partners for peace.” The Muslims of the Middle East, with the Palestinian irredentists as their principal cat’s-paw, will not cease to assail Israel so long as it exists.

     Ariel Sharon’s construction of the security barrier that walls off the Palestinian autonomy along the west bank of the Jordan River was an attempt to mitigate the rash of terrorist strikes that emanated from that region. The alternative, as the failure of previous attempts at negotiation had demonstrated all too clearly, was a war of annihilation against the irredentist regions. However, such a war would have made Israel appear to be the aggressor, despite the many provocations it had suffered (and continues to suffer to this day). Yet the security fence became one of the “international community’s” largest bugaboos.

     The reasons for the “international community’s” hostility to Israel’s security are beyond the scope of this discourse. What is plain is that the luminaries of that body of opinion want Israel to face a choice between two alternatives – either submission by pointless but indefinitely protracted diplomacy, or war – and they want war to be unthinkable. The conclusion is left as an exercise for the reader.

     Hard sense tells us that when Smith faces an enemy dedicated to his destruction and willing to do anything to bring it about, he will ultimately be forced to fight to the death for his survival. History tells us that there is no “peace process” the Muslims of the Middle East will respect – that any agreement reached by diplomacy will last only until the Muslims feel they can violate it to their advantage. Respect for the power of religiously based motives tells us that there is nothing Israel can offer the Muslims that will alter their desire to destroy it.

     If there is a path to peace in the Middle East, it lies in war.

     It is foolish to imagine that Israel’s military, as capable as it is, could conquer and pacify all of Israel’s Islamic neighbors. Indeed, that would be a tough job even for America’s much larger forces, unless we were to resort to saturation nuclear bombing. The only tool that remains to Israel is the use of its military to retaliate against the Palestinians for each and every terrorist act perpetrated against Israel or Israelis. Moreover, such retaliations must be disproportionate: ten or a hundred to one. The Palestinians must be convinced that they’re threatened with extinction should they not cease their “low intensity warfare” against Israel. Meanwhile, American power must guarantee the passivity of Middle Eastern Islamic states and the acquiescence of the “international community.”

     Only after making that threat credible will Israel succeed in blunting the Palestinian blade at its throat.

1 comment:

Tim Turner said...

Fran, I agree with your analysis. In fact, I've thought the same thing, though in more inchoate form. But I stopped short of your conclusion:

"Moreover, such retaliations must be disproportionate: ten or a hundred to one. The Palestinians must be convinced that they’re threatened with extinction should they not cease their “low intensity warfare” against Israel. Meanwhile, American power must guarantee the passivity of Middle Eastern Islamic states and the acquiescence of the “international community.”"

The world would be inumdated with stories and pictures of the brutality of "Israel's agression". . . and we know how effective that is. And even if American leadership had the backbone to guarantee the last sentence above, I can see other terrorist actors besides the Palestinians stepping in to muddy the waters.

Again, I agree with your analysis, but I don't see an end to this - certainly not in my lifetime.

If "I was in charge," I'd go back to 1947 and tell the U.N.: "Look, your plan isn't going to work unless you're willing to confront Islam, but you're not ready to do that, are you? So "Israel" will be a 50 mile wide stretch along the US-Mexican border from San Diego to Brownsville. Israel and the United States will work out the details on their own. Now shut up and go home."