Monday, January 5, 2009

Why Israel wont win this war, too



  1. Humi wrote:

    You of all people should not lean on Burg's article to support your point.
    Burg argues that soldiers of a democratic state are too loaded with moral values to win a war in the old way; a total distraction of its enemy.
    REALLY? What a wishful thinking.
    Democratic states have their own trick to overcome that "Moral Obstacle". It is called "The Military," and the way it is organized is as far as it gets from democratic values.
    The uniform, the discipline,the ranks, hierarchy, medals, a separate legal system, the repetitively nature of practicing to make sure your reaction is fast without too much of a brain involvement. These are all components of a very effective converting line.
    Its input are moral young men who are converted into Savages.
    It is a very fast process, human morality is like a tree; it takes a long time to grow and nurture but only a blow of an axe to cut off.
    If one happens to be a hard nut to crack for that converting machine, they will tell him that for the sake of keeping and protecting his country's so precious high moral values, he needs to put his in deep freeze while in the Military.
    And there are always those with the kind of "skills" that post a threat to law in the civil world, but flourish in Army life (Ben-Gurion opened the Mosad to Lech"i veterans for a good reason).
    In the Israeli case, rather than having a State's Army, we have an Army's State.
    The direction of main stream values is going the other way around: from the Army to civil life, and that brings me back to our discussion over education / the 'O' word interrelationship. IDIT, are you there?
    So Avner; We have never experienced a shortage in 'BEHEMOT' (beasts), let alone after 40 years of the 'O' word and if BEHEMOT is what it takes to win a war, then we are a winner by definition.

  2. Yossi Acrich wrote:

    Hi Humi - I do not understand your point. What are you trying to say?

  3. Humi wrote:

    Hey Yossi.
    According to Burg, Western countries can not win wars anymore, because the very same Noble values that their people hold, are the values that prevent them from doing what it takes to win a war.
    My point is that the Army, as an isolated system, with a different set of values, which have nothing to do with democracy - is the way of democratic states to bypass their moral restrains while going to war.
    Avner brought Burg's Article to reinforce his view that we can not win this war. I think so too, But the Burg's Argument does not hold water, and Avner who sees every Israeli military leader as a war criminal, is shooting in his own foot by using Burg's argument.

  4. Ouch, can't write too much, my foot is hurting... from the bullet.

    Humi, your points are wonderfully put and I agree 100%. The tree image was great. It takes to be a beast to be in the military, you should know more than all of us because you've seen 4 wars.
    (My son Omer just told me this week: "I can never be a good soldier, because it takes to be a little of a Nazi (his word!) to be one...". Of course I disagree but these are his words).
    I think that Burg's point is this: In the past, countries such as Britain, France, the USA, could launch wars and butcher millions of people and even win some of the wars. Today there is so much media, that aggressive nations can't do that any more for a long time. After a few years the opposition takes over and ends the war before it is "won". The only wars that can be won are defensive wars, like the one that the Hamas is fighting. This is why at most, there will be one winner of this war, and that's not going to be us (they will declare victory anyway, even if there's only one person left to do that). At the worst case, there will be none.

    Israel has absolutely no option of wining this war. It will take to kill 10s of thousands of people, maybe 100s; Israel can do that (Liberman would do that if we let him), but then it will stop being even the fragile democracy that it is. So this is a lose-lose situation, the only question is when we will realize this: now or after a few more thousands will be killed.


  5. Yossi ("Bob") wrote:

    Avner - Israel is attacking after 7 years of fighting a defensive war.
    When Iraq sent their missiles to Israel, we fought a defensive war.
    Yom Kippur was a defensive war, and so was the Independence war.

    I don't understand all this talking about being beasts.
    The kids fighting in Gaza are not animals.

    The Hamas will always claim victory, no matter what the results are.
    And their people will continue to live a miserable life, win or lose.
    We cannot change any of that.


  6. יוסי

    כנראה לא הרגשת אבל אין כל ויכוח בינינו על העובדות שציינת
    המלחמות שהזכרת אכן היו מלחמות מגן ולכן ניצחנו בהן

    מאז 1973 לא היו מלחמות מגן. פעולת המגן האחרונה הייתה מבצע אנטבה. כל הפעולות האחרות שעשה צה"ל, כולל ה"הגנה" על ישובי הנגב, נועדו לקיים את הכיבוש ואת ההתנחלויות
    לכן הפסדנו, מעשית, בכל המלחמות מאז, וגם לא ננצח בזאת
    אני לא חושב שחיילי צה"ל הם חיות, אבל צודק חומי שכדי להיות חייל צריך לוותר במשהו על האנושיות כי זה לא אנושי לרצות לסכן את החיים. אבל זאת לא הנקודה העיקרית - העיקר הוא שלא ניתן לנצח היום מלחמות תוקפניות

  7. Rabbi Moshe Levin wrote:

    Avner and Yossi, (and the whole group copied)
    Here are two articles I read in the Wall ST Journal you may find informative: One is from yesterday and the other today, Jan 5th.
    I do appreciate your thoughts and welcome more.

    Rabbi Moshe Levin

    Join us for "Reading the Bible as Literature - Geensis to the End!"
    Thursday eves 7 pm
    Congregation Ner Tamid, 1250 Quintara Street, corner 22nd Ave,
    San Francisco CA 94116-1229
    tel: 415.661.3383 fax: 415.661.9041
    alternative non-confidential email address:

  8. Shalom Rabbi Levin,

    I have to tell you, there's very little that I agree with...

    I will use the 2nd article only, in order to show you why I think differently.
    In that article, along with some insights which are correct, there's a long series of misunderstandings, misconceptions and wrong conclusions.

    Just a handful of examples:
    "Their (IDF soldiers') conduct has been exemplary by historical standards" - by a recent report, of the ~1,300 Palestinians killed, only 14% were Hamas combatants. How "exemplary" is this?
    In the next paragraph, the writer discusses the downsides of killing innocent people - without even mentioning the Moral problem!
    "Before the first intifada broke out in 1987, Israel was able to administer both the Gaza Strip and West Bank at astonishingly low cost" - I believe that those 20 years of "quiet" occupation were what actually led to the Intifada!
    "It (re-entering the Gaza strip) may also be unavoidable" - the writer doesn't even consider the option to end the occupation.
    "Israel has always been a state that is one battle away from destruction" - I completely disagree! Since 1967, Israel has never been in a real danger of destruction. And since 1973, Israel has not even fought one real defensive war!
    "Israel cannot do what it takes to wipe out the enemy, because of the constraints imposed by its own public" - here the writer sees the "constraints" as a problem, which had it not exist, Israel could have just "wipe out the enemy"! Thank God that "its own public" (that's us I guess, the shrinking left camp) prevents Israel from doing something that would put Israel on the level of Nazi Germany.
    "Possibly centuries" - I really don't think that we have centuries to "wage low-intensity war", because the Palestinians will out-perform us, technologically and numerically, way before that.

    I do agree with 2 points only:
    Israel can't hope that the Gazans will bring Hamas down as a result of a military campaign - the contrary will (and does!) happen.
    "The odds are that once Israeli troops leave, Hamas will rebuild its infrastructure". which, in my view, renders this whole campaign, not only immoral, but also useless.

    best regards,