What if they gave a war and only one side came?

One of the more tired cliche’s of the left is “what if they gave a war and nobody came?” Like most ideas from that crowd, it’s a nice, fluffy, warm, fuzzy thought that makes you feel good, and has absolutely no bearing on reality. What usually happens is one side decides that it believes in something enough to fight for it, and the other side has to choose whether it wants to fight or yield. That means that you have a situation of giving a war, and only one side shows up — and they win without firing a shot. That tends to encourage them to keep pushing — witness Hitler and Czechoslovakia.

Well, something like that is happening in the Middle East. We have a war that has been openly declared and being openly waged by one side, and the other side is being pressed — hard — to “show restraint” and “not continue the cycle of violence.”

To re-use a formula I’ve used before:

Fact: Hamas is the legitimate, elected government of the Palestinian Authority.

Fact: Hamas’ very charter calls for the extermination of the state of Israel.

Fact: For as long as I can remember, Palestinians have been bombarding Israel with Qassam rockets, despite repeated “cease-fires” that lasted as long as it took Israel to get fed up with attacks and hit back.

Fact: Over the weekend, “militants” tunneled into Israel, attacked a military outpost, killed two Israeli soldiers, and apparently kidnaped a third. Hamas has announced that not only did they endorse the attack, but their members participated.

Fact: Also over the weekend, the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade (a group that is part of Fatah, the party headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) announced that it now possesses chemical and biological weapons, and intends to use them on those Qassam rockets it has been firing into Israel.

(Captain Ed, over at Captain’s Quarters, has an interesting speculation about where these WMDs — if they do, indeed, possess them — may have come from. I’m reluctant to sign on with his theory, but I acknowledge that it fits all the known facts, and adequately explains any questions I might have. On the other hand, it could be a scam, a bid for attention now that Hamas is getting all the coverage.)

Now, here we have a situation where Israel is facing a neighbor that is firmly committed to its destruction. Its government is dominated to two factions: the dominant has as its core belief the obliteration of “the Zionist entity,” and has just committed an open, flagrant, clear act of war. The minority party, which has made a couple of vague statements towards reconciliation, but has been committing daily attacks by rocket for months on end — and now claims to possess weapons of mass destruction, and intends to use them.

Israel has been backed into the corner. Its enemies have repeatedly reaffirmed their goals — the destruction of Israel. One side is openly committing acts of war, and the other is making a plausible threat to use weapons of mass destruction. They’re giving the war, and they’ve showed up armed and ready to fight.

I’m not Jewish, but I do know that the Jews have a long history of persecution, and long memories. And they’re a little different from most people. When most people hear “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” they think of nuclear bombs. They think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But they’re only one leg of the WMD triad. Biological and chemical weapons complete the set. And during World War II, the Nazis used biological and chemical weapons exclusively against the Jews in concentration camps. The Jews were led into death chambers and killed by the hundreds of thousands by poison gas. Others were subject to horrific medical experimentation, treated as lab rats by sociopathic Nazi scientists. One (literally) chilling example: we have rather extensive information on how hypothermia affects human beings, with detailed charts showing how long people can survive in waters of various temperatures. That data comes from Nazi scientists who immersed Jews in cold water and timed how long they survived — and how long they could be left there and still recover.

The Palestinians, knowing or not, are pushing one of the Jews’ hot buttons. They know — intimately — what it is like to be gassed, to be deliberately inflicted with disease, in an effort to exterminate them. They still have a few survivors of the death camps who know the smell of Zyklon B. And their motto has become “Never Again.”

I don’t want an open war between Israel and the Palestinians. But the cold, hard, simple truth is that the war is here. And the only thing worse than open war is a war only waged by one side — because not only does it guarantee the slaughter of innocents, but it encourages the aggressors to try again.

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Bob Dylan, “Neighborhood Bully”

Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man,
His enemies say he’s on their land.
They got him outnumbered about a million to one,
He got no place to escape to, no place to run.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive,
He’s criticized and condemned for being alive.
He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin,
He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land,
He’s wandered the earth an exiled man.
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn,
He’s always on trial for just being born.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.
The bombs were meant for him.
He was supposed to feel bad.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him,
‘Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

He got no allies to really speak of.
What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love.
He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace,
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease.
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly.
To hurt one they would weep.
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone,
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon.
He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand,
In bed with nobody, under no one’s command.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon,
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on.
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth,
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

What’s anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin’, they say.
He just likes to cause war.
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed,
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers?
Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill,
Running out the clock, time standing still,
Neighborhood bully.

Perception Versus Reality
Time To Plant The Goalposts

19 Comments

  1. Remy Logan June 26, 2006
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