Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pipes Says I Told You So

Daniel Pipes was the first serious thinker I encountered who recognized with open eyes that Islamic Fascism represents a serious and implacable threat. I was fortunate to hear his message early on. It gave me a chance to understand the unfolding events since 1979 without blaming neo-colonialism, oil-imperialism or CIA machinations. Lately, he has lost me somewhat in renouncing Israel's recent peace offerings. I felt that a Palestinian state, run by elected moderates, was essential to eventual peace for Israel. Even the election of Hamas did not completely destroy my hopes. Hamas could choose to change. Lebanon also gave me hope. I felt that it could integrate itself into a true state despite the drag of Hezbollah.

It appears, however, that I have been wrong about Hamas and probably wrong about the value of unilateral peace offerings. I am also convinced now that Iraq, as well, can never enjoy peace until the militias are disarmed. I am still not willing to accept DP’s prescription of absolute strength and eternal vigilance. I feel there has to be some way to win this thing.

Here is a somewhat butchered extract of the strongest points in his latest post. RTWT.

Israel's Unnecessary War

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
July 18, 2006

[NY Sun title: "Mistakes That Led to This Unnecessary War"]

The blame for the current fighting falls entirely on Israel's enemies, … [but] erroneous Israeli decisions in the last 13 years have led to an unnecessary war.

For 45 years, 1948-93, Israel's strategic vision … [blah, blah, blah] focused on the enemy's mind and mood, adopting policies designed to degrade his morale, with the goal of inducing a sense of defeat, a realization that the Jewish state is permanent and cannot be undone.

… By 1993, this record of success imbued Israelis with a sense of overconfidence. … Palestinian Arabs and other enemies had not given up their goal of eliminating Israel. … fatigue and hubris, came flooding out. … permitted their enemies to create a quasi-governmental structure … and to amass hoards of armaments (Hezbollah's nearly 12,000 Katyusha rockets in southern Lebanon, … shamelessly traded captured terrorists for hostages.

In this mishmash of appeasement and retreat, Israel's enemies rapidly lost their fear … replaced with a disdain that borders on contempt. … [D]eterrence … means renouncing the foolish plans of compromise, the dreamy hopes for good will, the irresponsibility of releasing terrorists, the self-indulgence of weariness, and the idiocy of unilateral withdrawal … episodic displays of muscle have no utility. …

Each disillusionment inspires an orgy of Israeli remorse and reconsideration, followed by a quiet return to appeasement and retreat. I fear that the Gaza and Lebanon operations are focused not on defeating the enemy but on winning the release of one or two soldiers – a strange war goal, one perhaps unprecedented in the history of warfare – suggesting that matters will soon enough revert to form.

7/18/2006 2:16 PM

Related Posts:

04/21/2006 Pipesters Prevail
01/13/2006 Democracy Evangelism
09/25/2005 The Cybernetics of Radicalism
09/08/2005 The Criminal Form of Islam
09/07/2005 Speechless in Gaza (Belmont Club)
05/26/2005 Pandemics in Contrast
05/12/2005 Asymmetric Madness
04/26/2005 More Addictive than Nicotine
04/12/2005 Handy Rules for Identifying the Enemy (Donald Sensing)

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At Friday, July 21, 2006 9:28:00 AM, Blogger Steve said...

I wish I had something constructive to say with respect to this arab-israeli business, but I don't. When I try to think about solutions all that comes to mind is taboo or fantasy.

At Tuesday, August 01, 2006 7:45:00 PM, Blogger anchovy said...

And yet the criticism that Pipes levies against Israel--tough action followed by an "orgy" or remorse, reconciliation and appeasement--shows Israel has a conscience. This is partly why I feel a certain kinship to Israel because Americans also feel the heavy burden of morally justifying their actions. Though I think the moral pendulum has swung the wrong way with respect to the war on Islamist fascism, I'm gald that we do take the time to reflect on the rithness of our cause.

Then again, as Pipes suggests, maybe all democracies are, to some extent, crippled by this introspective propensity for self examination and restraint. This reminds me of the now-mythic story of how the American revoutionaries defeated the British by undermining their rigid military formations with flexible, guerilla style tactics. The British were ill-equipped to handle this new paradigm. Democracies, maybeby their nature, are ill-equipped to take the unequivical stance this new challenge demands.

We shall see....


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