Wednesday, August 09, 2006


"They" say the problem of Hezbollah in Lebanon is intractable.

It's a non-state organization.

It is entrenched in the community.

It has the support of 40% of the population.

This makes it totally immune to any possibly conceivable military solution; the only choice is to make a deal.


So Hezbollah has the support of a million people?

Then the obvious military solution is to kill a million people.

Guaranteed to work!

They'd probably give up after a few hundred thousand anyway.

Why is this so hard?

A mere 60 years ago that was business as usual:
IN THE LAST five months of World War II, American bombing raids claimed the lives of more than 900,000 Japanese civilians--not counting the casualties from the atomic strikes against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [1] This is more than twice the total number of combat deaths that the United States has suffered in all its foreign wars combined. [2]
There was no other way.

Today the news was all aflutter with "heaviest day of casualties yet for Israel!!! The sky is falling!!!"

There were like 15 dead.

What is wrong with these reporters?

The bargain thrust upon us is as follows:
Submit to us...or else you'll have to kill our children!
Given the monstrous evil of such an attitude, submission becomes even more out of the question.

How innocent are the "civilians" if they buy into allowing their children to be used in such a fashion?

It's tragic, but that's the choice we've been handed.

My impression from surfing the web the last few days is that a Jacksonian hardening of attitudes has suddenly increased by an order of magnitude. The talk is all of LeMay, Sherman, and scorched earth.

Much more than usual.

And without the usual counter-arguments from Wilsonians.
Wilsonians -- and I think we all intuitively know what that is -- hold the belief in the United Nations, international law. The United States should be pushing our values around the world and turning other countries into democracies whether they like it or not. And the U.S. should also work multilaterally in institutions. We should be supporting things like the International Criminal Court, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. And we should not be unilateralist in our approach. We should put human rights ahead of trade, and so on.

Then finally, you've got a group called the Jacksonians, for Andrew Jackson. One way I describe them is to talk about an incident in American history that illustrates a lot of that school's values. When Andrew Jackson was a general in 1818, he was fighting a war against the Creek Indians in Georgia. Because Florida at the time was still under Spanish rule and there were two Englishmen in Florida selling arms to the Indians, who were then attacking U.S. forces in Georgia. Jackson took the U.S. Army across the international frontier into Spanish territory without any permissions or any U.N. resolutions. He went in there, arrested the two Brits, brought them back to the United States, tried them before a military tribunal and hanged them. And this did cause outrage in Europe. They said "These people have no respect for international law." But it made Jackson so popular in the U.S. that his election to the presidency was just a matter of time after 1818. [The idea is]: "Don't bother with people abroad, unless they bother you. But if they attack you, then do everything you can."

So in the 1930s, Hitler takes over Paris; we don't move an inch. He starts exterminating the Jews; we don't move an inch. Japan is [carrying out aggression] all over Asia. And on December 6, 1941, any opinion poll in the country would have said that most Americans wanted to stay out of World War II. Then December 7th, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and suddenly the polls change.

Jacksonians: when somebody attacks the hive, you come swarming out of the hive and you sting them to death. And Jacksonians, when it comes to war, don't believe in limited wars. They don't believe, particularly, in the laws of war. War is about fighting, killing, and winning with as few casualties as possible on your side. But you don't worry about casualties on the other side. That's their problem. They shouldn't have started the war if they didn't want casualties.
And these frustrations are all exacerbated by the insanity coming from the media and diplomats.

This is just a feeling.

But how much longer can the tension build?


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