Groundhog day in Gaza
Aussie Dave describes Israeli operations in Gaza. "The terrorists are operating within civilian areas, many times with the actual assistance of these civilians, and more often than not with their tacit approval. Brace yourselves for the palestinian propaganda offensive."
Someone I know in Israel thinks that Hamas has learned a great deal from Hezbollah's tactic of mixing in with the civilians during the Lebanon war in 2006, but that while Israel had to avoid cracking up Lebanon there was less reason to be careful Gaza. Therefore militarily Hamas cannot hide behind its human shields. However another person I talked to in Jerusalem is bracing for the next wave of outrage against Israel and suggests that "lawfare" thrives just as well in Israel as it does in the US.
The EU president has already "condemned Israel's attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as disproportionate and violating international law." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned Israel in the same words. International politics has condemned both the Israelis and the Palestinians to a kind of endless war which in which an both sides are obliged to accept casualties at an EU and UN-set rate. Neither side can find a way out the conflict through victory. Not the Palestinians, who have the will but lack the strength; nor the Israelis who have the strength but lack the will.
Almost unnoticed in the course of this absurd tragedy is the assertion that third parties, like the UN and the EU, have some acquired the right to determine what is proportionate force between belligerents. In the past belligerents were free to determine what, within accepted usages, constituted a casus belli. And they approached the problem with the knowledge that if they went to war rashly or foolishly, they would pay the price of defeat and possible loss of territory. But today the right to determine when and where to fight back against aggression has been usurped by a bunch of bureaucrats in the UN and in Brussels. Aggressors all over the world are no longer so reluctant to cause trouble, secure in the knowledge that the UN will always be there to save them from a knockout count with their sacred bell.
Today nations neither suffer the consequences of aggression nor the benefits of righteous self defense. In its place the 'International Community' has create a perpetual limbo in which a continuous trickle of misery is considered an acceptable price to pay so that the authority of the 'International Community' can be upheld and its vanity embellished. Not actual peace but the protection of this perverse 'International' system has become the actual goal of diplomacy. In order to pay for it, Palestinians will be left abandoned to their oppressors, for employment as human shields while Israelis will be admonished to die without whimpering. Not in order to achieve a solution, but simply to turn the page of the calendar. Even the 20th century holds few examples of such political immorality and futility.
War is sometimes the price nations have to pay to win peace. But only the United Nations, and the sadly the European Union too, can create a system where war is endured only to guarantee more war -- and the prerogatives of the International System. All in the name of Peace, too.
At the end of the Second World War reporters flocked to the Nuremberg trials to get a glimpse of evil. What would men who had condemned millions to a horrible death look like? And to their horror the reporters found there was nothing special to see. The men in the dock might have been bus conductors, postal clerks or mediocre academics. The Nazis were nothing but cheap bureaucrats in the service of a monstrous Moloch god. The really terrible thing about evil is the depressing ordinariness of its minions.
If historians in the future wonder how war in the Middle East could go on for so long they might conclude that no one really cared about a solution. The continuing carnival of aid missions, international diplomacy, consulting careers and arms sales became and in itself. Men died, not for freedom or peace, but to protect pensions and expense accounts and clothing allowances in bureaucracies that could see no further than that.
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