Islam versus West

Sunday, August 20, 2006
David Warren always keeps his eye on the ball. His current piece concludes with the following:
"Numbers have nothing to do with this; for the question is, who has the guns and will use them. In Lebanon, it was Hezbollah, and by merely surviving the Israeli onslaught, they have raised the standard of 9/11 to new heights. The bitter consequences of that must now be harvested not only by Israel, but by the whole West."
I agree in part with his conclusion but I would say that it is more probable that it will be Tehran which reaps the bitter harvest. The lack of skill and will exhibited by Israeli politicians will embolden Hezbollah but the politicians involved will soon be replaced. Those that follow will be much slower to go to war but once they go they will go all the way. Israel did not lack the will nor the arms - it lacked the intelligence and experience within its leadership that should have prevented the haphazard initiation of the battle at inception.

The US will not act on Iran until a time of its choosing and it will not be at all haphazard in its application of the force necessary to effect the change required. I believe that the incompetence demonstrated by Israeli leadership will prove to be a singular event and that we aren't going to have to wait for very long for that to be proven.

26 comments:

Mollie said...

Couple of things, though: the incompetence of the Israeli government reflects the Israeli peoples' lack of unity and desire to not be the sharp end of the West's fight with Islam... to quote Cyndi Lauper, "they just wanna have fun..." and who can blame them, especially people like me who live quite safely (as yet) in northern Canada.

The lefty intellectuals have proven to be a disaster to Israel's continuing existence... I guess said lefties think they can find a safe and more highly paid home in Berkeley and etc., when Israel is destroyed. And they are probably right.

Anyway, watching Condi and Co sell out Israel (for that is what it looks like) is one of the more disgusting scenes from August 2006...

nomdeblog said...

Mark Steyn, David Frum, George Jonas (wrote Munich) and David Warren give me hope about my fellow Canadians. There have been times when I thought all Canadians were pinkos.

David Warren is highly knowledgeable about the ME and sometimes he goes into a bit of a black period - understandably. So do I. But he always does a Chuck Yeager pull out at the last minute. Let’s hope Israel does a Chuck too and that they still have the Right Stuff.

Finally, there’s lots of evidence that the Jewish community in Canada is leaving the Liberals and supporting our great new conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Hopefully they are cancelling their New York Times subscriptions too.

Peter UK said...

The lefty intellectuals have proven to be a disaster to Israel's continuing existence. The lefty intellectuals have been a disaster to the continuing existence of all of us,or at least our culture.
Why did expanxionist Islam choose now to awaken? Because it perceived the will to perpetuate our own culture was gone,because culture like power abhores a vacuum,a vacuum created by the nihilists,cultural equivocators and Gramscian deathwatch beatles destroying the foundations of our societies.
Perhaps they were right, perhaps the will has gone

Rick Ballard said...

Heather,

You are assigning blame to Sec. Rice for the actions of the Israeli government. If you study the actions of the US throughout the duration of the recent unpleasantness you will detect the fact that the US was compliant to Israel's desires in in every respect - and especially Israel's desire for a ceasefire at the end.

The Israeli government - not its army nor its people but its government wanted off the field. It is improper to assign error to Sec. Rice for the failures of the Israeli government. Especially when the US supported the initiation as a fait accompli when the strategic error was apparent within 48 hours. The Israeli government chose to dispense with 'Ready, Aim' in the firing sequence and pulled the trigger while the gun was pointed at its foot.

chuck said...

The lefty intellectuals have been a disaster to the continuing existence of all of us,or at least our culture.

I think the Left would call that success.

Peter UK said...

Chuck,they would if they had been able to put their utopian society into practice,in actuallity,they are standing "gobs open" at the new culture which is rushing in to fill the void.Ah well! back yo the drawing board for another 1400 years.

terrye said...

Heather:

I agree with Rick here. This has been without a doubt the most proIsrael administration in my memory. Rice did not sell out the Israelis and neither did Bush or Bolton.

You are creating a situation here where the only thing the US was supposed to do was sit back and allow a far more restrictive Resolution to be brought forward in the UN while doing nothing at all to represent either our interests or the interests of Israel and just hoping that the Arab states would stay on the side lines. What if they had not?

If the Israelis did not want the Resolution they did not have to accept it and if there had been any end in sight to the campaign maybe they would not have.

Besides when all this started Israel was not out to occupy Lebanon or take it over or destroy Hezbellah, they were out to create a buffer zone between hezbellah and their northern border. It was the people who are not fighting the war who thought they should turn it into a protracted campaign with no end in sight.

What evidence is there that the United States sold out Israel? It looks like the United States is about the only friend Israel has. Just because some folks like the guys at powerline who are not there, do not know all the facts and have no responsibility to actually make decisions at all are pissed off that Israel did not eviscerate in Hezbellah in 30 days is no reason to take it out Condi Rice, who has a very difficult and mostly thankless job.

Rice and Bolton are not Generals, it is not their job to lead the Israeli military. They are American diplomats trying to come up with a resolution in the very antiIsrael UN.

CF said...

Israel was not prepared for what it found in Lebanon--thanks to Peretz and Parliamentary Government, I think. But I do think that Iran,Syria and Hezbollah were also taken off guard.

I do not think any military incursion--even a far better one than this--would have "eradicated" Hezbollah, absent completely obliterating the country. Nevertheless, I think we have to acknowledge that, as in Iraq, we are all in for a long slog..and looking at the "post war" shots of Lebanon and reading the IDF reports on Hezbollah deaths, I do think that Israel substantially weakened Hezb and picked up a great deal of usable intel.

Side benefits: Iran is in economic trouble and I do not think they can afford to fully rebuild what was lost. The pics of Hezb "social workers" tracking ruined bldgs and trying to get "volunteers" to rebuild and Hezb "engineers" on the spot to fix roads and bridges is as suspect as the Qana corpse corp.

Further, there is some evidence that the money they are paying their supporters is counterfeit...and it will be interesting to see what happens when they try to cash it in and cannot.

Syria looks weak. Iran is hurting economically. The Sunnis and I think many Lebanese are pissed at Iran and Hezb..I do not share the grim assessment of so many.

As to the French and the UN--their impotence and perfidy is even more patent. How much longer before the UN is scrapped altogether and a new international body--or a larger NATO with France out of it--seems in the wings. (Italy may pick up some of the slack and Denmark is.Gul was in Israel and may do more.)

It could have been better, but it reaped some not insubstantial gains.

terrye said...

cf:

This is true. The American people are probably going to be less likely to trust the UN or have any faith in it in the future. And while some folks might have forgotten about the French/Iraq perfidy or even thought the US had it coming, the latest non! on the part of the French is obvious to everyone.

And while the Lebanese can act all tough about everything it is obvious that Hezbellah has brought them a lot of trouble. Lebanon is a mess and I have to wonder if there are some people in the Middle East who are tired of being ground zero for the Islamists and their incessant wars.

So yes, I agree. This all had some benefits. Another one was the fact that it is becoming ever more obvious that there is a bias, both in the press and the UN against the west.

lurker said...

Israel needs to be ready for round two war by beefing up its IDF forces. It needs to provide more extensive training to not only the IDF forces but also the reserves. She needs to not only rearm herself but with newer and better equipment. She needs to beef up its logistics (food, personal stuff) and intelligence.

I don't know how much longer before we get to round two war.

Claude Rossett wrote an article about Kofi Annan shaking hands with Nasrallah shortly after the 2000 ceasefire and wondered if he would do it again this time. She believes he will.

I wonder if Kofi is a Muslim in disguise.

I was surprised to see that UNIFIL has now been authorized to fire against Hezbollah if they refuse to disarm.

Israel would rather see Italy leading the UNIFIL over France. France has been waffling too much on this 1701 resolution.

Kofi is just plain stupid to accuse Israel in violating the ceasefire over that recent Bekaa strike. Kofi had better hurry up and start to protect the Lebanon border from Syria as soon as possible.

Mollie said...

biglizards.net/blog made the same argument Terrye etc makes: that the USA went as far as it could in this war/skirmish/battle.

And I tend to agree: that Bush decided it was time to fold his cards and wait for the next time. As he did in the first go at Fallujah.

However, the photo of Condi, arm proudly raised, supporting that UN resolution, makes me angry. I can tell myself that it is all part of an act, that Bush et al know that there will be a better time to go after Hezbollah, etc. But I also have the suspicion that Condi herself is an intellectual to the core, and really believes that the diplomatic round can replace war. It can't. It is like WWII and carpet bombing: the German people, never experience war on their soil during WWI. They had to be taught - each and every one of them, men and women, that they had lost, and they should never ever try to take over Europe again.

I know, it is not kindly or civilized to suggest this. However, I am sure the future will see mayhem on a scale at least equal to the Eastern Front in WWII.

I am reading a book I heard about from Mark Steyn, entitled "War before Civilization, the myth of the peaceful savage" by Lawrence H Heeley. It is completely excellent. He compares Tribes with Chiefdoms, etc., and notices that Tribal organizations (ie, Saudi, etc) are extremely warlike, much more than even Chiefdoms, and certainly much more than States.

I cannot recommend this book more highly. It is in paperback, and publiched by Oxford UP.

terrye said...

heather:

60 milllion poeple were killed in WW2. I don't think that is something we want to repeat if we can avoid it. the German people might have been taught a lesson...but the most evident lasting effect of that war on Europe seems to be an almost irrational pacifism.

maybe rice was proud of it. It took a lot of work to get even that much and it took th eonus off of Israel and onto the international community. Condi Rice is an intellectual. Like I said she is a diplomat not a General. Bolton also worked on the resolution and he did the best he could. People liked Bolton when he was giving hell to everyone but as soon as he comes up with a compromise it pisses them off.

Fine, but we don't get some of the scenes of mayhem off the TV in the near future Bush may not be able to remain politically viable enough to do anything about Iran. This is going to be a long war.

Peter UK said...

It was Qana which folde the cards.The hyped up casualities and the dramatic posed pictures at "Qana",in reality Kuraybah,a small hamlet outside Qana,was political agitprop that no western country could ignore,the pictures hit all the papers,full spread above the fold,if Bush had not folded then the Democrats would have crucified him.
"Qana" provided so much ammunition for the anti-Israel,anti-war factions that in my view,it was simply impossible to prosecute the action any longer.
This was also a demonstration of the limits of air power,the strategy that Olmert seemed to have adopted and dropped so precipitately after "Qana" burst onto the world stage.

terrye said...

Peter:

For a Limey you sure are catching onto how our political system works.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
Sadly not as well as Hezbollah it seems,they managed to game the whole system.Let's face it the stunt wasn't for home consumption,it was for American and world opinion,Hezbollah that they could rely on the usual suspects to get on their hind legs and denounce Israel,and Bush if he gave overt support.
Much as the Ahmadinejad interview was directed at the American left.

BTW I have picked up most of what I know from the ladies and gentlemen here.

terrye said...

Peter:

Well it really is not all that hard. It comes to down me good you bad.

And yes, the terrorists know how to manipulate people. It seems that even though they do not like this modern age, they have an uncanny talent for PR.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
Well for part of the world that lives by PR we are doing an appalling job,it seems we can make megastars out of nobodies but cannot counter a bunch of Levantine gangsters.

terrye said...

peter:

Hopefully they will over play their hand. I think that is starting alreay really.

I read about a flight that was cancelled because passengers refused to get on the plane with two young men who freaked them out. They were Arabic speakers.

Odd isn't it? On one hand they seem to be good at getting killed on camera and gaining sympathy and on the other, people are going ever more suspicious of being in close proximity to them. Rather like lepers.

terrye said...

going = growing.

I am too old for preview.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
It has never been ordinary people that have been fooled,it is the melodramatic left,you know the ones who did creative writing,give them something spectular and they are like chickens on a white line,as long as it fits their world view.

Never use preview,don't edit,if I miss it the first time,looking at it twice won't help.

terrye said...

Peter: That is true. I have done the same thing.

chuck said...

Never use preview,don't edit,if I miss it the first time,looking at it twice won't help.

Sound advice and common practice. I just googled spectular and there were 75,600 hits.
'Course, spectacular gets 143,000,000 hits, so the error rate is something like 0.05%, which means you will hardly ever get it wrong.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

I think CF has it right here. I strongly suspect that Israel is playing its own little hudna game now. Israel is filled with smart people, smart people with their backs against the wall and they know it. Such people are not just going to go down lightly because they believe in Marx or something stupid. The government had a 70% approval rating for this war. They didn't need to fold when they did. There is more to this than meets the eye.

This little war isn't over yet. Do you really think this is it? What we saw was only round one. I'm willing to bet good money that Israel right now is energetically preparing for round two. They're beefing up their reserves, changing their training programs, reviewing their military strategy—and moving to plan B. Why do you think they had that little commando exercise yesterday?

Israel knows it's vulnerable in many new ways it had not expected, not the least of which is its weakness in the propaganda war. Israel is now regrouping and rethinking tactics in order to win on all of those fronts.

Round one was an excellent chance for Israel to assess its own strengths and weaknesses and to see what the world reaction was. Round two will see the results of the research.

luc said...

MeaninglessHotAir:

I agree with most of your post except "Such people are not just going to go down lightly because they believe in Marx or something stupid."
Latest press reports regarding the C-802 missile hitting the ship located at 16 kilometers from the beach quote a senior officer as saying "We never imagined that such a threat was even possible, this was impossible in our eyes,"
In my book going to war with that attitude approaches as a minimum sheer stupidity, I am sorry to say.

CF said...

Edward Luttwak has a good piece.
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=688
Israel did better and Hezbollah worse than the conventional wisdom suggests.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

luc,

I agree that was stupid.

On the other hand, there isn't a single war in history in which something very stupid wasn't committed by both sides; for the most part, there isn't a major battle in which something stupid didn't happen.

I believe that our continual deification of World War II has given us a very wrong impression of war.

I'm the kind of guy who refused to read military history back in the day because I believed that war was wrong and that by paying attention to an obvious evil we were propagating that evil. Since 9/11 I have decided that it is important to understand war and I've read a lot of military history. One thing that quickly becomes clear: war is totally about screwing up.