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The history of the Lebanon versus Hezbullah conflict, and "disproportionate use of military force".

Reader comment on item: Give Gaza to Egypt
in response to reader comment: Quite right, Doc Tater

Submitted by Doc Tater (United States), Feb 15, 2008 at 20:00


Thank you for considering my comments.

My favorite reference for explaining how things came to be as they are in Lebanon is, "Because They Hate", by Brigitte Gabriel. Most Americans are not aware that, until the 1970's, Lebanon was a modern country with a majority Christian population, and that a Muslim revolution killed off or displaced so many of those Lebanese Christians that it is now a country with a majority Muslim population. In the process, the small nation went from being cosmopolitan and sophisticated to being, well, something less pleasant and less appealing. When the Muslims got it, they started ruining it. Brigitte Gabriel was a child during the Muslim revolution, a Meronite Christian, and lived in a bomb shelter dug into the ground next to her family home for years during the fighting. Her autobiographical account of growing up in that war, struggling to survive physically and emotionally, is stunningly articulate, politically sophisticated, and brilliantly expressive. It is a book that should be regarded today with the same respect that used to be accorded to "The Diary of Anne Frank" (using the popular and better-known version of the actual title).

My first understanding of the true modern history of Lebanon, which Americans are simply not taught, arose when our hospital hired a part-time Lebanese physician in 2002, whom everyone regarded with great suspicion because of his appearance and accent until he and I had a little "getting acquainted" conversation. It turned out that he is Christian, as is the rest of his family.

When the Muslim revolution came rumbling down the road to his family home the jihadists attacked with great violence and brutality, and left the heads of three men in his family planted on stakes driven into the ground in front of their home, just to clarify the religious-ideological situtation for the rest of the Christian people in the neighborhood. He knew, better than I or anyone else who was suspicious of him and mistakenly pre-judging him, what the dangers of an Islamic jihad could be, which made it all the more infuriating for him to be presumed by others to be a bomb-throwing jihadist. He understood the threat posed by the enemy better than we did, and had much better knowledge of the enemy. I listened to the verbal history he recited whenever we had the time, and I learned much from him.

You are so very right, jennifer, to be concerned when people speak apologetically about "asymmetrical warfare", and use an accusatory tone when describing "disproportionate use of military force". We cannot allow ourselves to respect such distorted, deluded thinking.

This is a bunch of bed-wetting liberal hogwash, promulgated by a bunch of surrender monkeys in the media networks who deserve to be beaten down until they are nothing but dhimmi slaves and rotting corpses.

We cringe at the thought of "collateral damages" and "civilian casualties". This is ridiculous!

We're fighting an enemy who dresses in civilian attire, and who don't identify themselves as combatants. They hide behind women, children, old people and cripples, using them as human shields (a favorite Hezbullah trick in Lebanon). They dupe pitiful mentally disabled persons into being human bombs. I say it is completely stupid and self-defeating to even apply the concept of civilian casualties to anyone who isn't obviously engaged in an active, ongoing attack against them. If they want their civilians to be treated by us the way we, in our decency, would like to treat civilians, they will wear uniforms and allow themselves to be identified as enemy combatants at all times. Otherwise they should expect to be treated as spies and saboteurs, who essentially have no rights under the laws of war.

Let's not forget the hard truth that they regard all our men, women, children, pets, livestock, and trees to be legitimate targets in their holy war. They regard us as being unclean, like swine, as an article of their religion. They even regard our dogs as unclean, and needing extermination, as an article of their religion. Cetainly, even the most timid, liberal, pitiful wimps among us cannot tolerate the way they would torture and kill our little pet doggies, if they only had the chance. Can't our people get their hackles up about a jihadist enemy who would treat our dogs in an inhumane fashion?

There is nothing noble or prudent about fighting a war with resources that are less than completely over-powering. Accordingly, warfare is intrisically asymmetric when it is most advantageous. Nobody should ever chose to fight a war without a decided military advantage, and without an unquestioning commitment to completely destroying the enemy's capacity to strike back or retaliate. Victory should be decisive. The enemy should be decimated when you're done fighting against them, or you haven't done a good job fighting the war.

The problem is that America and Great Britain have become so excessively civilized and compassionate that they are no longer willing to hate an enemy with sufficient venom that they can energetically and enthusiastically kill that enemy. It shouldn't have to be re-stated, but here it is: You can't fight a war without killing the enemy.

We no longer love ourselves enough to hate an enemy. We're afraid to even discuss the usefull, healthy attitude of loathing anyone enough to feel justified in killing them. We are droning in our own self doubt.

Military victories come from a ruthless application of destructive, killing forces, applied relentlessly and without remorse to an enemy until that enemy is decisively defeated and unable to launch any meaningful retaliation.

We are not willing to be ruthless. When was the last time any of us has even considered the possibility that we might be "ruthless"? For most of us, it's too terrible to comntemplate that one of us might be "ruthless". We need to be ruthless if we're going to win this war. We don't have to particularly like it, and we might even regret it, but we have to be ruthless to win any war, so let's get used to the idea.

To win a war you have to enjoy a shared belief that fighting is right, justified, necessary. To win a war you have to dehumanize the enemy, idealize yourelves, and memorialize your cause. That's what we did to win every war we've ever won, going back thousands of years, and it's what we haven't been able to do since Korea.

To win a war you must energetically and enthusiastically launch yourselves into attack after bloody attack, and feel good about coming home a victorious warrior who is entitled, by that status, to all the rewards his community can offer. People who win wars think heroes are wonderful, and they think cowards are despicable.

People who win wars are committed, willing to do anything that is required to win. Churchill said, during the Battle of Britain, "Sometimes it is not enough to do your best. Sometimes you must do what is required."

We in the west have become the only people in the world who worry that our enemies might have a critical opinion of us. We will lose if we don't get our heads back on straight.


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