January 18, 2009

War- What is it Good For

Forgive me for using an antiwar lyric for a war I supported, it just seemed fitting. Fitting because like so many others I have been trying to determine what was accomplished. What sort of benefits have been derived by three weeks or so of bloodshed.

We can start with the obvious and ask if Israel was truly able to stop the rockets and re-establish some deterrence. Have they put the fear of God into Hamas and made them rethink their positions on little things like not recognizing the state. Was Gilad Shalit rescued and returned from what Seraphic Secret rightfully calls cruel captivity.

There is an obvious answer to the question of what happened to Gilad. The answer is that he has not yet been rescued and that there have been reports that he was killed by Israeli artillery fire. Until proven otherwise I refuse to accept this as anything more than Hamas propaganda designed and intended to demoralize.

But I will again add my voice to the chorus of those who find it unacceptable that he is still in captivity.

As for whether deterrence has been established, well that is a question that we can't answer overnight. I tend to adopt a similar position to Yaacov Lozowick who says
"Now we've got to wait till the morning after the morning after (I liked Thomas Friedman's formulation) to see if Hamas has reached a stage similar to the one Hezbullah reached the morning after their morning after their "victory" in 2006. If this morning's rockets cause no casualties and cease by the afternoon, not to be renewed for years, that's fine. If they continue, however, even if only in a drizzle, we have to keep on hitting, inaugural parties in Washington or not."
He is correct. If the rockets continue Israel needs to resume pounding them.

Back on the topic of identifying accomplishments from the war it is also clear that the war provided antisemites from around the world with another excuse to commit barbaric and hateful acts of their own. Just look at this post from Zombietime for a list of events in the global intifada.

In a side note to my Israeli family and friends, this is why you sometimes hear from us about having a voice in what happens. My personal perspective is that I prefer to have the bigots out in the open. I'd rather know exactly who I am dealing with. Not to mention that the sort of scum bag that engages in this behavior would do so regardless of what Israel does. But this does serve as a sort of beard for his/her behavior.

The war made it apparent that we need to work harder on educating the ignorant masses about international law, moral relativism and what disproportionate force means. We also need to be cognizant of how many people are choosing to question Israel's existence. It used to be that we heard discussions about occupied territory and we knew that part of Israel was being discussed. Now the tune is changing and we're having more talk about the entire state.

Don't believe me or want a source for this. Go read this post and report back to me. In the meantime here is are links to all of the roundup and some more posts to read:

1* 2 *3* 3.5* 4* 4.5* 5* 5.5* 6*6.5 *7* 7.5* 8* 8.5.*9, *9.5, *10, *10.5, *11, *11.5, *12, *12.5, *13, *13.5, *14, *14.5, *15, *16, *17, *18, *18.5, *19 and ceasefire edition.

From the traditional media:

CNN: Bodies dug from rubble during Gaza cease-fire (Who else was in there.)
CNN: Hamas, Israel set independent cease-fires
NY Times: Rebuilding Begins Upon a Wobbly Truce
The Spine: Reviving the Oldest Hatred
WSJ: Defeating Terrorists (Sometimes force works)
Boston.com: The violence network
JPost: Yadlin: Hamas likely to keep attacking
JPost: Analysis: The operation is over but the war continues
JPost: Analysis: Europe's plea for peace ignores the Gaza reality
Mark Steyn: Jew-baiting, then and now

From the blogosphere:

Yaacov Lozowick's Inventing Your Own Reality.
Omri says CAIR: Complaining About The Anti-Semitic Attacks We're Inciting Is A "Distraction"
EOZ: I must be much dumber than Olmert
Solomonia: Big Gas Field Discovered Off Haifa
Solomonia: The MSM is the Enemy
Soccer Dad: Report from the front
Soccer Dad: Shiny happy dhimmi - #9

Crossposted on Yourish.


Miriam L said...

One advantage of being in Texas; people here seem overwhelmingly sympathetic to Israel. Something of the frontier mentality perhaps. You can put it down, but in the end, it means when the rockets are coming down on our heads, we go get the bad guys. Alas, in the modern world, the bad guys are so bizarrely twisted that it doesn't seem to work. (How do you defeat an enemy that welcomes death as instant martyrdom?)

Ben-Yehudah said...


Maybe we do have some musical tastes in common after all.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood, right?

Jack said...


You ask the million dollar question. I suppose that the answer is that we have to find a way to make people believe that martydom is a bankrupt ideology.