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Powerful People Distort Our World By Ignoring or Manipulating Facts

Reader comment on item: Operation Desert Storm Plus 20

Submitted by Zvi November (Israel), Aug 3, 2010 at 08:28


BY: Zvi November

In 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte who had conquered Egypt the previous year wanted to cut off Britain from India. Napoleon marched up the coast (easily taking Gaza city that had less than 10,000 inhabitants) to conquer Akko but he failed to accomplish this mission because Sir Sydney Smith, commander of the British fleet, sank the French ships carrying Napoleon's heavy artillery and landed troops to reinforce the Turkish defenders. Nevertheless, Napoleon sent a message to the government in Paris that the mission had been a success and he was returning to France.

By the end of the 19th century international trade had greatly increased. Political theorists claimed that the chances of war had, as a consequence, significantly diminished because European states were now interdependent. War would be too costly since it would cut each state off from its crucial imports. Well, WWI completely demolished this theory.

When the British departed from Palestine on May 15, 1948 the Arab League declared war on new-born Israel. Five Arab armies invaded to help the local Arabs annihilate the Jewish state. British Field Marshall Montgomery assessed the situation and declared that the Arabs would defeat the Jews in two week's time. This prediction (by an expert) was completely invalidated by subsequent events.

Present Bush (the second) sent the US army to Iraq in 2003, in part, to spread democracy. Bush apparently subscribes to the popular political science theory that democracies are far less likely to wage war than are totalitarian states. When critics point out that both India and Pakistan are democracies that have fought several wars and even now are on the brink of hostilities, adherents to this theory answer that these countries are 'young' democracies.

Back in February 1968, the Vietcong launched their Tet (New Year) attack. They threw 80,000 guerillas into the offensive and lost 30,000. The Tet offensive was an enormous failure but the vast majority of media pundits succeeded in convincing almost everyone including the US Congress that the Tet effort to overthrow the Saigon government was a success and the Vietnam war was a lost cause.

Professor Anthony James Joes in his The History and Politics of Counterinsurgency (2004) provides detailed accounts of insurgencies from all over the globe during the past 200 years. He makes three cardinal points: Using the right tactics, conventional forces can defeat insurgencies. Most insurgencies have actually failed. Usually, successful insurgencies (e.g. Vietnam, Algeria and Portugal's African colonies) can be attributed to the collapse of political will to fight the insurgents. With regard to the communist takeover of China, Joes points out that Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang forces had exhausted themselves fighting a long hard conventional war against the Japanese from 1937 to1945.

The Israeli public and interested parties abroad have also been exposed to a battery of inaccurate or patently false assumptions. For example, Israeli commentators subscribe to the myth that insurgencies invariably win despite Professor Joes' historical examples to the contrary. The Boer uprising, Greek communists in the late 1940s, Huks in the 1950s Philippines, Malaya (1950s), Tibetan resistance, Venezuela (1970s), Thailand (1970s and 80s) and most recently Tamil defeat in Sri Lanka are all examples of failed insurgencies. Nevertheless, the "brilliant" Israeli establishment has recognized the PLO and 'Palestinian Authority' as legitimate representatives of the "Palestinian people" although there is no distinct Palestinian, history, language or culture. The "Palestinians" are Arabs backed by the Arab League because they are Arabs.

Advocates of a two-state solution simply ignore the fact that Jordan is really Palestine, Gaza is a mini Palestinian state dedicated to Israel's destruction and a full 20% of Israel's own population is (by their own definition) "Palestinian". It is easier to find Palestinian flags in Israeli Arab towns than locate Israeli ones there.

President Obama and many Middle East specialists accept the dictum that the current status quo is unsustainable. In reality, the status quo is just fine. Ninety percent of the "Palestinians" of Judea and Samaria enjoy full autonomy, Israel's "Palestinians" are full-fledged citizens, Gaza is occupied only by independent "Palestinians" and the Jewish majority in Jerusalem has a united capital wherein anyone can go anywhere he or she chooses. And Jews living in Judea and Samaria can continue to lead normal lives in our ancestral homeland. Any deal (which politically is almost impossible from any perspective) would not create a situation that is any better than the current status quo.

Another popular myth is that the Israeli-Arab or Israeli-"Palestinian" conflict is the greatest obstacle to peace in the Middle East.. In truth, al-Qaeda terror cells operating in various Arab countries (and Turkey), serious disputes over scarce water resources, Sunni-Shiite mutual resentment, Iranian threats to disrupt oil shipments in the Gulf, the suppression of Kurds in Turkey and Syria as well as the potential for ideologically-driven civil wars in Egypt and elsewhere are far more threatening than the situation in Israel.

One last point, if "President" Abbas (his term expired in January 2010) and his unelected Prime Minister Fayad really wanted to create a Palestinian state then they would be pressuring Israel and the US for direct talks. However, illogically, it is these "Palestinian" leaders who refuse to enter into direct negotiations.

Obviously, the world is still flat, especially in the Middle East. Often, observers (i.e. Israel's excellent scholars of Islam and Arab culture) who point out absurdities are either ignored or branded "radical right". Much of the problem derives from politicians and media masters who feed us misinformation, false assumptions and myths. Facts that contradict politically correct beliefs are disregarded.

1 August 2010


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