Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

While we are on the subject of PC War

Originally posted on

While we are on the subject of PC War, here is an article I wrote during last summer for the Old War Dogs, after a long conversation with my college friend in Israel:

A PC War?

My conversation with a friend in Naharia.

Alex and I went to college together back in Leningrad, now St.-Petersburg, Russia. He now lives in Naharia, a little town on the North of Israeli Mediterranean Coast. Majority of Americans probably have never heard the name of this town until a little over a week ago, when Hezbollah rockets started raining on it. Knowing that he and another college friend were living in Naharia, I naturally got a little worried when Hezbollah started shooting at their town, so I e-mailed them, asking how they were doing. The other guy went to Tiberias with his family, to stay with yet another college friend. Alex chose to stay in Naharia, and on Wednesday I finally got a reply from him. It was my first vacation day, and I was still at home. So we established a connection via MSN Messenger and had a lengthy conversation about how things were in Naharia and in Israel in general. Below is the summary of what he told me.

1. The damage:
According to Alex, those Katushas do very little damage. They are pretty old and not very powerful, not to mention their inaccuracy. Of course, if one of those rockets hits your apartment, it will destroy it, but the rest of the building would remain pretty much intact.

2. The reaction of the population:
My friend was actually pretty disgusted with the fact that the whole North of Israel was effectively shut down. That was also the cause of his general pessimism about our overall perspective in the current global conflict (I obviously do not separate the Israel’s war for survival from the wars we are fighting: we are fighting common enemies). After talking with Alex I actually came to appreciate seemingly useless calls for business as usual, including shopping, after 9/11: the life should not stop because of the enemy action. We should look at Londoners during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz for an example: they kept their bombed out shops and cafes open for business. In contrast, Naharia, according to Alex, turned into ghost town, even though many apartments, especially the newer ones, have their own bomb shelter rooms. This does not reflect well on the residents of Northern Israel. On the other hand, there is no reason to keep people not needed for defense in harms way unnecessarily. I would like to think that, when it becomes necessary, the Israelis will stand and fight. Otherwise we are all doomed: Israelis are very similar to Americans, and what applies to them, applies to us.

3. The military action:
That is where the term “PC War”, as in “politically correct”, comes into play. According to my friend, the Israelis keep bombing and shooting at empty buildings, a la Clinton, in order to minimize Lebanese civilian casualties. They even go as far as notifying when they are about to bomb some building where they suspect Hezbollah might be, so that the civilians would evacuate. As a result, they damage the Lebanese infrastructure much more than Hezbollah’s capabilities. The only real way to deal with Hezbollah is to conduct a ground operation with full force, but they don’t do that because they don’t want to look as invaders and, most importantly, they don’t want to suffer casualties. As a side note, I saw the news this morning, and they said that the Israelis are preparing for the ground offensive. But that was CNN: my hotel does not have FOX. They also said that the Lebanese Army is going to fight the Israelis, which is totally beyond me: they should be joining the Israelis.

4. The competency of the government:
Alex is very unhappy with their Defense Minister. He says that the guy is basically a high school dropout who just rose through the ranks of government bureaucracy and is just a political appointee without any experience in defense matters (he is not a career military guy). He probably served in the military, since it is mandatory, but a private can hardly be a Minister of Defense.

5. The media:
The Israeli media is just as idiotic as ours. They just blabber their collective mouth without thinking of the consequences. For almost a week they reported every rocket hit with accuracy down to a street corner, in real time, both on TV and on the web. People who have even rudimentary understanding of military operations, let alone a real combat experience will immediately understand the meaning of this. If you are a Hezbollah terrorist launching rockets at Israel, you don’t need any forward observers: having a local news channel on along with something like Google Maps next to your rocket launcher will do just fine for your fire correction. It took a week for the Israeli government to stop the news media from being forward observers for Hezbollah. Can you imagine an ACLU lawsuit claiming a violation of the freedom of the press? The moonbats in this country would immediately scream: “Censorship!” At least, after a week the Israeli government stopped the craziness.

6. Why it has started and how it should end:
This is something that probably we all would agree with. Alex said that the whole mess started because Israel is no longer feared by its enemies. If any Hamas rocket attack would have been treated as an act of war that it was, and triggered a massive retaliation in response, if the original Hamas kidnapping of a soldier triggered an immediate full force invasion of Gaza, none of it would have happened. But the Israelis have waited too long, while just pumping their chests. My own comment is that they failed to follow a Teddy Roosvelt’s doctrine: “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. This kind of mess happens if you do just the opposite: speak loudly and carry a small stick. As for how this all will end, Alex was very pessimistic. He thinks that the most likely scenario is that the UN will impose the ceasefire, Hezbollah and Hamas will return the bodies of the soldiers, and the periodic attacks by Hezbollah and Hamas will continue, slowly chipping away at Israel’s dignity, will and long term chance for survival. That, by the way, applies to the rest of the Western World. I am not ready yet to share my friend’s pessimism, but he does make good points. The right way to deal with Hezbollah is, of course, a massive ground invasion, not just by Israel, but by an international force, including the Lebanese Army, in order to clear out Hezbollah. But of course, there is no international force capable or willing to do the job. UN forces in Lebanon routinely just drink tea with Hezbollah terrorists. The only force capable of defeating Hezbollah, other than fully committed Israeli Army, is US military. I don’t see that happening at this time. So, if Israel does invade, it will be condemned as an aggressor. The Lebanese Army will actually fight against IDF, even though the IDF will be doing their job for them, just because it is Israel. IDF should go in and clear out Hezbollah anyway. We’ll see if they will really do it.

There you have it. My friend is there, in the thick of it. While we were talking, he said that there was an explosion somewhere in the area. It probably wasn’t too close, since I did not hear it. I am still much more optimistic than my friend. But if we lose our will to fight, Robert Ferigno’s Islamic States of America will become a reality. I hope it does not happen.

In case you follow the link to the original Old War Dogs publication, let me clarify a little misunderstanding.  My friend George Mellinger, a. k. a. Rurik, noted that any international force would be counter-productive.  He is right, of course, but that is not what I meant.  When I talked about international force, I was day-dreaming about a coalition similar to the Allies of World War 2.  That is, after all, exactly what is necessary in order to fight this new kind of Fascism.  There is always hope.

December 12, 2006 - Posted by | Articles

1 Comment »

  1. […] correctness run amok My college friend directed me to this story: Negev rancher Shai Dromi is now charged with murder after having fired […]

    Pingback by Political correctness run amok « Conservative Liberal | January 21, 2007 | Reply

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