Friday, July 21, 2006


Putting on a light show over Baghdad didn’t really create the shock and awe that we were hoping for. It was almost a curiosity. The phrase is a felicitous one, but more PR sound bite than successful battle plan. Saddam did not flee the fireworks in the sky any more than the Joker fears the Bat Signal. Saddam fled the fire power that issued from the muzzels of men on the ground. Likewise, Israel now is tenderizing southern Lebanon with its aerial bombardment. Good enough, as far as it goes. But we’ve seen it before, and should have learned that in the great cinematic drama of modern warfare, this is just the opening reel.

Infrastructure is not the problem. Terrorists are the problem, and they are not all assembled together at the Fifth Annual Southern Lebanon Convention of Irano-Syriac Ludite Quranists. They are scattered about the broad landscape, in bedsitting rooms and apartment-hotels -- well, perhaps I’m dating myself, but you get the point. They are like a gas, expanded to fill the available volume. It’s like jabbing at a carpet with an ice pick to kill the cockroaches. No. Boots.

The enemy is idealistic. They don’t care about facts or reality. They have a theory that they will die for. This is called conviction, and here in this country we do know something about that mindset, for all that it may be more remembered than practiced. Part of what empowers the enemy is their perceived sense of superiority: True, the West has the technology, but it is soft and cowardly. It is contemptible. Islam is the religion of real men. So they suppose. As long as this belief is sustained, by warfare conducted only from a distance, their ideology will only be confirmed and strengthened. We are not real men. We are weak horses. Geldings ridden by women no, by whores.

Israel, despite the embarrassment of its geographical location, is a Western nation. It is hated by the haters not because it is soft, but because it is. Not really a situation that’s likely to change with negotiation or reasoned argument. Not really a problem that can be resolved by judicious compromise. It seems somewhat deeper than what issues simply from an unhappy childhood. What response is appropriate for the brigands and assassins, the pogromists, the ethnic cleansers?

In the general course of things, I’ve noticed that there are three broad classes of opinions -- or rather, opinion havers: the third that are right, the third that are wrong, and the third that vacillate. At the extreme ends we find ten percent who are hardcore, either wild-eyed bomb-throwing fanatics, or men of iron principle and unflinching goodwill. What I take this to indicate is that, even in Hezbollah, only ten percent need to be killed. Yes, that mounts into the thousands. But it’s only a technical decimation, and nothing even vaguely approaching the genocide that is the raison d’etre of Islamism.

That venomous ten percent is the one that would stay to meet the marching warriors approaching from the south. They are the ones who will stand and fight. And be killed. Frankly, I don’t even care if they do get to go to three score ten and two virgins. Just get them the hell off my planet.

When it comes time to finally kill off the vermin infesting the house, sometimes a bug bomb will do, but sometimes a hand-held flyswatter. Full metal-jacket, steel core, 51 millimeters, 9.7 grams, 862m/s. There is nothing contemptible in that. Nothing of the weak horse, here. Those who choose not to respect the argument that proceeds from the barrel of an Israeli rifle, as it makes its way in a most convincing manner through their cranial gray matter, would not be open to any form of reasoning whatsoever, and the conversation is best cut short. But it already would have been.

Oddly, this is not a military conflict. Weird, right? It is said that war is politics by other means. The maxim is not entirely correct, since politics requires compromise. But perhaps the definition is too close, depending on the root, of polity. Even making the term international politics doesn’t quite apply to this situation, however. It’s not about politics, which involves the idea of somehow living in relative peace even with those you oppose. This situation is about religion, and evil, and loathing. It has hardly anything to do with reality. It’s about perception. And the necessary perception that needs to be projected upon the mind’s-eye of the world, is that Israel is manly, and will kill the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. Israel will always be hated. It needs to be feared. And that will not happen by dropping bombs or firing precision missiles.

Crappy world, isn’t it.



GUYK said...

If I was running the war I would be doing just about the same thing that the Israeli generals are doing. I would start the bombing leaving only a couple of roads open to Syria and let those who want to go get out but bomb anything coming in. I would then take out the infrastructure such as the airposts, the ports, and the bridges and railroads. This will serve two purposes..first there can be no reenforcements come in nor supplies except by air drop..and as always Israel rules the sky over the mideast. The second is that there is no place for Hezbollah to run and then it is time for the ground war. In the past Israel has always gave the Palestinians as well as their Arab enemies an out..they chased them but didn't follow them to destroy them.But this time I figure that the Israelis are going to destroy Hezbollah.

What is interesting is that while the world is focused on Lebanon Israel is taking Hamas apart piece by piece. I am with you in that if the rabid dogs of Islam can be taken out there might be a chance for peace in the area for a few years..until another power hungry mullah starts to preach jihad and blames the inadaqucies of Islam and the Arab mentality on Israel and the USA and then it will be the same thing all over again unless the mad mullah is taken out very rapidly.

Great perception by the way. And a good article, Thanks.

Jack H said...

Thanks. You've nailed it. Bottle them in, then smash the bottle. It's time. Long since. And of course there will be other mad mullahs -- it's what they do. But I've written a few pieces by now on the need for, uh, well, assassination, frankly. A little child can't bring a fingernail file to school. It's a weapon. He'll be expelled. Zero tolerance. Hmm. Might we apply this wonderful liberal principle to some other situation? A little consistency would be nice, eh? Too much to ask, though. Curses.