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Today, victimhood wins wars

Reader comment on item: Strange Logic in the Lebanon War

Submitted by Pat (United States), Aug 21, 2006 at 18:10

The logic in the Lebanese war is not strange at all. It is the same strategy that has been used by the Palestinians and by the Arabs for decades. Since the Israelis have won every military war they have fought with the Arabs, there is only one way for Arabs and Muslims to win: on the battleground of public opinion.

Victimhood is more valuable than strengh. Why did the world like the US even a little bit on 9/12/01? Because we were victims mourning our losses. That changed once the US started fighting back and avenging those losses. Then our military superiority made those hiding out in caves seem more sympathetic. It made the aggressors victims. The exact same thing has happened in Lebanon. Victimhood is what all people now strive for. It legitimizes their cause. Combine it with underdog status and you have a weapon more powerful than any nuclear bomb.

We can only imagine what would have happened in 1945 if today's mores had been in place. The people of Berlin and Hiroshima would have been lionized. The fact that their countriies initiated a world war would not have mattered. They were destroyed by a superior force. Victimhood would have won the day. How lucky are we that there was no cable or satellite television in 1945?

The advent of the nuclear age necessitated a scaling back of military-led warfare. We can no longer deter our adversaries with the threat of military destruction. The detonation of one nuclear weapon by either side can make any victory a pyrrhic one. It suggests that if we can't win in the court of public opinion, we might as well not fight. Dictators don't care about public opinion. Democratic leaders do. That all but guarantees that our freedom will be short-lived.

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