Without victory, no lasting peace
Conventional wisdom says the conflict between the Arabs and Jews over the Holy Land is very complex. Actually, it is quite simple. It is simply a matter of incompatible goals accompanied by a military stalemate.
The Israelis are willing to help create an independent Palestinian state in return for peace. The Palestinians are split between a faction desiring both statehood and peace and the Yasser Arafat-led faction whose primary objective is to put every Israeli man, woman and child to the sword.
The second part of the problem is the lack of a decisive military victory by one side over the other. Recently, Wonder Wife and this observer toured the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia. There, inscribed in stone was MacArthur’s dictum: “There is no substitute for victory.”
But, when you look at the historical record, one can imagine a corollary to “There is no substitute for victory,” which is “Without victory, there can be no lasting peace.”
Here’s a good example: the negotiated settlement (the Treaty of Versailles) ending World War I only served in insure there would be a World War II. Wars ending with a compromise settlement never settle anything. War always breaks out again.
Today’s rosy scenario would be for the Palestinians to oust the Arafat-supported terrorist groups and accept the Palestinian State being offered by Israel. Unfortunately, Arafat and his followers are not going to rest until all the Israelis are dead,
So, now we are faced with a continuation of the homicide bombings against Israeli civilians until someone (preferably an Arab) takes out Arafat, and, in the wake of the riots to follow, the Israeli Defense Force inflicts a total and complete military victory on the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
Then, and only then, will the world see the corollary to General MacArthur’s dictum: “There is no substitute for victory,” which is: “Without victory, there can be no lasting peace.”
Meanwhile, the Arab states that support terrorism directed against Israel and the United States will continue to do all they can to prevent post-Saddam Iraq from becoming a successful and enduring beacon of individual freedom and democracy in the Middle East. The Arabs see democracy as a cancer inside Iraq that must be cut out at all costs before it spreads throughout the Middle East.
But, as long as the nations under the thumb of the Islamic militants continue to hold to the seven traits or characteristics of what Colonel Ralph Peters calls: “The Loser Nations,” they will continue to be economic, military and geo-political losers.
Modified for clarity by this observer, here those seven characteristics: 1. Restrictions on the free flow of information. 2. The subjugation of women. 3. Blaming others, such as the Jews, for their failures. 4. Only doing “honest” business with family members while trying to cheat everyone else. 5. Domination by a restrictive religion. 6. Holding education in low esteem. 7. Placing little value on hard and honest work.
Realistically, does anyone see countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Yemen or Iran shedding themselves of these seven characteristics? Saudi Arabia and Iran muddle along because they have oil. But the day we figure out how to replace fossil fuels with hydrogen or whatever, the Saudi royals and the Iranian elites have bought their last Mercedes.
Meanwhile, the non-oil-producing radical Muslim states limp along with social and economic systems totally unsuited to the realities of the 21st Century. Islamic Jihad is merely a symptom of the anger and frustration of millions of Muslims living in poverty and despair while blaming Israel and the United States for their self-inflicted wounds.
Despite the whining of the blame-America-first crowd and the Hollywood Left, none of this is our fault. Individual freedom and capitalism are the waves of the 21st Century future. The “loser nations” must either “get on the bus” or fall farther behind.
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – novels about terrorist attacks on Colorado’s water supply and on the Panama Canal, respectively.
©2003. William Hamilton.