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Historical record of victory

Reader comment on item: Israel Shuns Victory

Submitted by Gabriel H. Newhouse (United States), Mar 28, 2006 at 15:13

I would take issue with your definition of victory. It leaves out a very important factor: that the vanquished party has been so weakened that it is not realistic, or too costly, to continue fighting. Consider the Civil War. The spirit of separation, of supremacy of the individual state over the federacy, was not given up. It lasted for generations. Finally, it has withered away. So the final test of victory is not that the goals have been abandoned, but that the ability to pursue them actively has been removed and not allowed to rebuild.

In the case of Israel, the goals will not be abandoned until there is no more oil to fuel the war engine. Because there will always be leaders who can whip up fiery sentiment to continue a jihad as long as there are emirs, princes, and politicians who will pay for it. So a policy of "containment" is not shunning the victory, but the only possible way to deal with it for the next two or three generations.

Gabe Newhouse
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