Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Joke

It is a mistake to suppose that the Arabs can’t win a war. True, they gang up on Israel time and again, and always get their, um, heads handed to them. But they weren’t really fighting, these armies, for a great cause. It wasn’t for Allah, really, at all. It was for a not very intense hatred. The soldiers would not have been ideologues or fanatics, as perhaps some of their political leaders were. They were just poor guys who thought joining the military would be a great way to pick up chicks. That’s how it works in Mohammadland, right? I’m rather ignorant about it all. But I don’t need bothersome facts or actual informed opinion to understand that emotion drives almost all human conduct. So when Israel fights for its life, and Ishmael fights for some theory, we know that if its going to be a fierce fight, it’ll be most fierce from the Jews.

Things have changed, though. The past third of a century since the last war has transformed the Moslem character. I think we have Arafat most of all to credit (can’t say thank, now, can we) for this mutation. He is presently enjoying the reward reserved for all true Moslems, however, so we need not disturb our ruminations with memories of him. His legacy is exactly the systematized hatred we find today throughout the Moslem world. He was not the great thinker, not the grand organizer. He was only a persistent terrorist who gained the world stage and by his simple survival became the focal point of every hateful impetus in the Islamic soul. Anti-Semitism is not more widespread than before, but it is deeper. Men would not only kill for it -- this has always been the case, for it is so very easy for stupid men to kill -- but they will die for it.

I am not sufficiently informed about the quality of any given Arab army to have an opinion. But armies are obsolete, in this new order. Sixty thousand Iranian, uh, tourists entered Lebanon in the first half of this year, and have remained. Is it stretching credulity to suppose that not all of them are there to enjoy the golden falafels and azure shores of that troubled land? Could it be that the formal occupation by the organized military of Syria has simply given way to an informal occupation of irregular Iranian jihadists?

We laugh, some of us, at the French. Surrender Monkeys. We used to laugh at the Poles -- Polish jokes, which arose it is said because the Polish cavalry gallantly charged invading Nazi tanks. Hmm. Horses against Panzers. Boy, those Polacks must be stupid. Or heroic. In any case, Polish jokes arose as a slander. Well, France made no charges. They surrendered when the tanks rolled in. Not gallant, but not stupid. A different sort of joke is told of the French. But for all that there were collaborators, there was Resistance. And no one will suppose that the French are not a brutal people, in their military, when they have the upper hand. Cote d’Ivoire. My point is that even the Arabs need not be destined solely for defeat. Humanly speaking, they need not be.

Consider the planning that al-Queda is famous for. They don’t always carry out such plans. The plans do not always work. But the fact is that they make plans, and carefully. Are there no high-ranking al-Quedist sympathizers in any Arab military? When the Arab League once again conspires to destroy Israel, must they fail -- humanly speaking? Certainly not. Israel should have been destroyed long ago, if it were only battalions that entered into the equation. So, while it is fashionable among religionists to invoke the sustaining hand of the Lord, as the Bible so famously states in so vary many countless places -- too many for me to provide chapter and verse, although I think it’s how Genesis opens -- God helps those who help themselves. Part of helping ourselves is to plan at least as carefully as the enemy. And part of that planning is to not underestimate them.

I’ve said it before. We want our sons to kill, rather than to die, in this conflict. The Islamists want their sons to die, as well as kill. This makes them dangerous to us as they have never been before. We must not imagine that Polish stupid jokes or French coward jokes have any basis in reality. In this same way, we mustn’t suppose that the scorn which previous failures have earned the Arabs must forever prevent them from succeeding. Indeed, if we underestimate them, we aid them. Fear the enemy? Well, I won’t recommend it -- but fear has its reasons and its uses. More than fear however, we must think, and prepare. That’s called planning. Like the Chinese. Remember?


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