Sunday, 20 August 2006

They protesteth too much

I don't see how "The West" can complain about Hez shooting rockets into civilian areas in northern Israel. After all, the strategy of trying to break the will of the civilian population through aerial bombardment is something that Western military thinkers came up with before WWI, and the Germans tried to inflict damage on the British with Zepelins etc.

Then came WWII and the massive night time bombing campaign of Germany. The Germans called our airmen "terror fliers" with good reason - the idea was to inflict terror and destroy the economy. Unrestricted submarine warfare was pretty similar.

So bombarding Israel with rockets that really don't kill many people or blow much stuff up is a good idea if your aim is to dislocate the economy and society, which is what they have done.

However, it is a bit rich for progressive thinkers in "The West" to then say that it is jolly beastly of the Israelis to shoot back. It would be like say Switzerland complaining to Adolf in 1943 that it was very unsporting of him to order the Luftwaffe to shoot down Lancasters with night fighters and ack-ack etc. If you happened to live in a village down the road from an RAF Bomber Command airbase and the Jerries pulled a midnight stunt and a few eggs went short and you copped it, well that was just tough.

I've never read Sun Tzu, but I am sure that there is something in there along the lines of, "If you can subdue your enemy with minimum force, then well done old chap". Hez are not using a lot of force, but they have done a very good job of messing with their enemy. You don't have to nuke a town to clear the population out.

It doesn't take a lot of force to keep people in line. A few boucers can control a pub packed with drunks. A robber can hold up a bank with 30 people in it with a 6 shot revolver - or even a replica pistol. British Bobbies managed to fight crims for a long time with not much more than a truncheon and a few strong words.

What I am getting at is that we should not mistake a few small explosions here for a lack of force. A small amount of force can have a great deal of leverage, and can be more powerful than the most enormous bombs - the Mother Of All Bombs. If anything, Israel has used disproportionate force - they haven't used anything like what Hez has used - you could argue that they have used a lot less. Hezbollah managed to depopulate northern Israel with a few thousand piddling little rockets. Israel did not manage to depopulate southern Lebanon even after hundreds of aerial sorties and major artillery bombardments and a ground invasion. If they had managed to depopulate the place, not so many civilians would have been killed.

As any martial arts teached will tell you, it is not how much force you use, it is where you apply it. Hezbollah have managed to use a small amount of force to great effect. Israel has had to repond with a great deal of force to counter-act it. People who talk about "disproportionate" have no idea what they are talking about.

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