Monday, November 19, 2012

Rubin Dubs Gaza: 'The Suicide War'

The Suicide Strategy: Launching Losing Wars and Still Winning
-Barry Rubin, PhD

One of the most important things to understand about how the Middle East works is what I’ll call the suicide strategy. It can be described as follows:

I will start a war that I cannot win in order to create a situation where the other side wrecks my infrastructure and kills my people. Then I will lose militarily but win the battle. How? By the following means:

--I’ll kill some people on the other side and do some damage to it. Since they are weaker and less brave than I am they will give up. The longer the war, the more likely they are to look for a way out even if that involves many concessions on their part. Using terrorism against their civilians reinforces this tactic.

--By suffering, and magnifying that suffering using a generally sympathetic Western media, I will make the other side feel sorry for me and oppose their own leaders who will be portrayed as bullying, bloodthirsty, and imperialistic.

--The specter of war, suffering, and especially civilian casualties, will drive the “international community” to press my adversaries to give in, stop fighting (even if I continue it on a lower level), let me survive, and even give me benefits.

That’s how you stage a losing war but end up the winner.
[The Rubin Report]
Many countries condemn Israel’s attacks on Gaza. A few countries including Canada, Britain, Germany and the US support Israel’s right of self defense. With the exception of Canada, the latter go on to recommend restraint with a variety of words.

But no country encourages Israel to devastate Hamas and its rocket arsenal. When they support our right of self defense they imply that should the rockets stop, Israel should stop.

Why is Israel not allowed to defeat her enemies? Especially here where our enemy Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization. Does anyone demand that the US stop killing al Qaeda terrorists? On what basis does the US have the right to kill terrorist who aren’t targeting the US?

After 9/11 the world accepted that the US had the right to destroy Al Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power.

Hamas started the war. Israel should have the right, and the support of the world, to finish it by defeating Hamas.
Over 90 Percent of Israelis Support Gaza Operation -Aaron Lerner

91% of Israelis support Israel's latest Gaza operation, while 5% do not, according to a poll conducted Thursday for Channel 10 News.


Hamas rocket squads aimed at Jerusalem for the first time Friday, along with Tel Aviv. The air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem after the start of the Jewish Sabbath. The holy city is located about 75 km. (47 miles) from Gaza. No injuries were reported. 
Gazans Watch with Pride as Hamas Targets Jerusalem

Gazans have been watching with gleeful pride as Hamas militants fire rockets deeper than ever into Israel, targeting Jerusalem for the first time. "I never liked Hamas, but I wished I could kiss the forehead of the one who fired the rocket on Jerusalem," Saed Moaserji, 19, from Jebaliya in Gaza, said.
(AP-Fox News)
Israel's Right to Self-Defense Against Hamas -Alan M. Dershowitz

There is absolutely no comparison between the murderous war crimes being committed by Hamas and the lawful targeting of terrorists by the Israeli military.

Targeting civilians is a calculated Hamas policy designed to sow terror among the Israeli population. Hamas supporters celebrate the murder of Jewish civilians. Every rocket fired by Hamas at a non-military Israeli target is a war crime that should be universally condemned by all reasonable people.

Israel's response - targeting only terrorists and Hamas military leaders - is completely lawful and legitimate. It constitutes an act of self-defense pursuant to Article 51 of the UN Charter and universally accepted principles of international law.
Some in the media insist on describing the recent events in Gaza as "a cycle of violence," without distinguishing between the war crimes committed by Hamas and the lawful actions undertaken by Israel to protect its citizens against such war crimes. It would be as if the media described lawful police efforts to stop illegal drug-related murders as a "cycle of violence."

The international community and the media must begin to differentiate between war crimes committed by terrorists and legitimate acts of self-defense engaged in by a responsible military.
The writer is a Professor of Law at Harvard.


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