A Simple Lesson

As some of the one of you that still reads this blog may know, I am something of a student of history.  It doesn’t particularly matter to me what history I’m studying; as long as it’s interesting, it’s worth my time.  That said, I do have a bit stronger of an interest in military history, armed conflicts being one of the few times at which the best and worst of humanity are on display at the same time, often side-by-side.

My studies of history, and especially military history, for the past 61 years have taught me a very valuable, yet almost obvious lesson, one that would improve the world if more people learned it.  The lesson is this:


Seriously, don’t fucking do it.

Remember the Six-Day War?  1967?  Jordan, Syria, and Egypt cut off Israel, threw out UN peacekeepers, and set out to take Tel Aviv, with the aid of troops and weapons from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria?  And it took Israel six days to not only beat the tar out of all of them and end the war with more territory than they started with (they took Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights)?  Yeah.  Don’t fuck with Israel, kids.

Since then, the Israelis have proven over and over again that if there’s anything they believe in, it’s excessive retaliation and pre-emptive strikes.  When the US says “we will wipe our enemies from the face of the earth,” we just mean we’re going to track you down and kill or incarcerate you.  When the Israelis say it, they mean that you will literally be removed from the face of the planet, and your carcass and homeland will either be bombed back to the Stone Age (literally; Israel has more than enough bombs and nuclear weapons to induce a warp in the space-time continuum) or launched into space.

Pretty simple lesson, right?

So why the fuck does Hamas seem not to learn it?

The current conflict in the Gaza Strip, between Israel and Hamas, is a very important lesson as to what can happen when someone goes fucking with Israel unneccesarily.  And Hamas. . .oh, don’t even get me started.

Too late.

Hamas, whose stated purpose is to re-take the land currently occupied by Israel and make it into a Palestinian state, was firing rockets at Israel.  That’s what got the whole thing started.  Even though Israeli casualties from the rocket attacks were low, they could not let it be perceived that they would not act to protect their people.  If that happened, people would lose faith in their government, there would be conflict and turmoil, and Israel would look weak.  Israel can’t now and can’t ever afford to look weak, surrounded as they are by people that hate them.  They can’t let anyone around them even begin to think about the chance that maybe it’s possibly okay to attack Israeli citizens, perhaps;  once they do, the attacks won’t stop until Israel is dead (not likely) or Israel is dead but used its nuclear weapons to turn the entire Middle East into a glass-paved parking lot before it fell(much more possible).

Not only did Hamas hit Israeli citizens with rockets, but they launched the rockets from civilan areas.  Come on now.  Is there anything in the world more cowardly than that?  Using the people you claim to be acting in support of as human shields against the retaliation you’ve rightfully earned?  the general idea was that Israel would not launch military attacks in civilian areas, so Hamas has hidden weapons and soliders and other war tools in civilian areas in order to keep the Israeli military from coming in and taking them, because civilian casualties are a certainty in the event of military action.

You know, three years ago, Israel gave up its occupation of the Gaza Strip.  they’re eased restrictions and sanctions against other Palestinian territories.  The cease-fire that Hamas broke with its rocket attacks expired months before Israel launched its attacks; Hamas barely waited a month after the end of thatcease-fire to start attacking again.  Israel was doing what it needed to, what had to be done,  to achieve peace in that area, for them and for the Palestinians.  Hamas brought this not only upon itself, but among the Palestinians that supported them in these attacks. . .and upon the innocent Palestinians who could have cared less about centuries-old religious/political/anto-Semitic conflicts and just wanted to get on with their lives.

If you can’t tell, it kind of pisses me off when I hear people being down on Israel for the civilian casualties.  Israel did what it could; they even called and sent text messages to Palestinians, telling them when attacks were going to happen so that they could get out of the way in time.

If you want to be upset at someone for the civilian casualties, be mad at Hamas.  They attacked Israel and hid among civilians (their leaders, who called for  and planned the attacks, all went into deep hiding the moment Israel’s air force took off), so there is no one to blame for the deaths and destruction but Hamas.

Sometimes a cowardly terrorist is really a brave freedom fighter. . .but sometimes, a cowardly terrorist is just a cowardly terrorist.

VS – 1.12.09

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