Proportionality in Wars with Terrorists
… Hezbollah, along with the Palestinian groups Hamas, al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade and Islamic Jihad, are devoted to the annihilation of Israel, a goal shared by Syria and Iran. Hezbollah, a Shiite terrorist group controlled by Iran, also seeks the destruction of the United States, according its goals with those of its sponsors in Teheran. Al Qaeda, which declared war on the United States in 1996, has as its ultimate objective the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate. This means that despite the antipathy between Sunni al Qaeda and Shiite Iran and its surrogate Hezbollah, these groups and nations share similar total war objectives. Couple that with access to weapons of mass destruction, especially the nukes Iran is intent on acquiring, and the future looks very ominous.
Any ceasefire in this war, including one in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and Hamas, will be temporary. Such a respite is viable only if it works to the military and strategic advantage of Israel and the United States. Growing sympathy for the sufferings of the Lebanese people must be tempered with the understanding that Lebanon accommodated Hezbollah socially and politically while Beirut did nothing to prevent Hezbollah from attacking Israel from its border strongholds. Dance with the devil; you pay the devil his due.
Additionally, Israel and the United States must not be dissuaded by the argument that the Arab world will “turn on us” if Israeli operations in Lebanon continue. Walid Phares of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies estimates that, of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, some 300,000,000 to varying degrees support al Qaeda’s goals of defeating the West and establishing a world-wide Islamic caliphate while hundreds of millions of other Muslims-if they do not desire the obliteration of the Judeo-Christian West-certainly want the destruction of Israel. The rest of the world’s Muslim population must decide if they are with us or the Islamic Jihadists.
There can be no accommodations with fanatics devoted to our demise. Some Jihadists, though not the most fanatical, can be deterred if they understand that their attacks will be met with immediate, overwhelming and deadly force. The price they pay for attacking innocents must be vastly disproportionate to any perceived gains. War, best described by Sherman as “all hell,” is not a game. Death is inherently total … and decisive. …[Read more]