Lessons From War
Vol: 58 Issue: 14 Friday, July 14, 2006
Lessons From War
When I was in training for duty with WESPAC (Western Pacific Theater of Operations) in 1970, we had to take classes in a course called ‘Know Your Enemy.’
We learned as much as possible about the Vietcong; their weaponry, tactics, food, organization tables, etc. The same with the NVA regulars. We learned how they fought, where their weaknesses were, and what to expect if we were captured.
It was during this course that I got my Geneva Convention Card. If captured, I was supposed to give it to my captor, who would then know that I was to be well-treated under the terms of the Geneva Conventions as a uniformed American serviceman.
(The instructor explained that the card was part of a ritual: You were to hand the card to your captor, squat down on your haunches, and while down there, kiss your butt goodbye.)
I don’t know if they even bother issuing Geneva Convention Cards to our forces anymore. Our forces would be better served if they were issued suicide pills.
In mid-June, the Pew Research Organization released a poll taken among Muslims under the title, “The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other.”
After reading the results of this poll and comparing them to public statements made by Western leaders, it is painfully obvious that our leaders need the ‘Know Your Enemy’ classes every bit as much as do our troops.
More, even, since they are making life and death decisions for our troops while remaining painfully ignorant of who they are sending them to fight.
Solid majorities of Muslim respondents across the Middle East, together with Muslims living in Europe, Russia and North America agree with the statement, “Relations between Muslims and Westerners are generally bad.”
The majority of Muslims blame the West for their lack of prosperity, rather than government corruption, lack of education or Islamic fundamentalism.
The poll results revealed a much deeper hatred of the West among Muslim populations than vice-versa. The opinion in the Islamic world is that the war is the West’s fault. The poll asked if Muslims believed the 9/11 attacks were carried out by Arab Islamic jihadists.
Among Europeans: British Muslims: No – 56% French: Non! 46% Germans: Nein! 44% Among the Arab world, a solid majority believes there was no Islamic connection to 9/11 — with the exception of Pakistan, where ‘only’ 41% think Islam was not involved.
From the majority Muslim perspective, the September 11 attacks were an invention designed by the West as an excuse to steal Arab oil.
All the Muslim populations polled display a solid majority of support for Osama bin Laden. Likewise, suicide bombing is popular.
It is impossible to square the attitudes expressed in the Pew Poll with the Western fiction that we are really at war with a minority of Islamic ‘fundamentalists’ out of a majority of peaceful practitioners of a great religion of peace and love.
The MAJORITY believe the United States government is so depraved that it murdered three thousand of its own citizens in order to justify a war where it could steal Islamic oil wealth. Believing that, OF COURSE they hate us.
And they really DO believe that. Most of them live in countries in which their own governments actually ARE that depraved. It is much easier to believe it of America if it is routine in your own country.
Take your average pre-war Iraqi. His government massacred tens of thousands, invaded Kuwait, massacred thousands more, and raped the country of whatever was left. How hard would it be for him to believe America is no better? Especially when the New York Times is constantly running headlines that say that it isn’t?
September 11th wasn’t some kind of once-in-a-lifetime event. And there is no form of appeasement that is going to work. Our enemies hate us as much as Hamas and Hezbollah hate Israel.
Israel tried appeasing its enemies. Starting in September, 1993, Israel embarked on a policy of appeasement under the euphemism, ‘land for peace.’ Israel surrendered land to the Palestinians, who used that land to stage more attacks against the ‘Israeli occupation.’
The ‘Israeli occupation’ of Gaza was the reason for attacks on Israeli targets that eventually forced Israel to fence Gaza off. When Israel finally capitulated and pulled out of Gaza, the Israeli ‘occupation’ ended — but the attacks grew more intense. Hamas has fired more than 1,000 rockets into Israel from ‘unoccupied’ Gaza since Gaza became ‘unoccupied’.
Israel ‘occupied’ South Lebanon until 2000. As in Gaza, the occupation was to prevent attacks against Israel from just outside its borders. Hezbollah has done to South Lebanon exactly what Hamas has done to Gaza: turned it into a military base and terrorist operations center from which to continue the war against Israel. South Lebanon bristles with Hezbollah’s 10,000 Katyusha rockets that put northern Israel under the gun.
Before Israel can put a stop to the attacks emanating from Gaza, it must first retake it. The same for South Lebanon. It is much easier to suppress an enemy if you are already in control of the area.
There is a lesson in there somewhere. If your death is the enemy’s goal, cutting off your finger isn’t going to appease him. It will just make him harder to fight.
It is an open secret that Iran is directly behind the current escalation in the Middle East conflict. The G-8 is too preoccupied with Israel to spend much time debating the Iranian nuclear menace.
Tehran has already provided ample evidence of the impotence of Western appeasement when it comes to its nuclear ambitions. The degree to which it will go to protect it is evidenced by the carnage and destruction it orchestrated just to provide it with some cover.
Israel’s current war is an object lesson in the efficacy of attempting to appease Islamic ambitions. Turn on the television and watch some of the war coverage.
And pray it doesn’t soon come to a neighborhood near you.