January 2, 2009

Ralph Peters: The violence was good, but I could have used more violence

By: David Donadio

Ralph Peters’ latest is an ugly, emotional and irrational screed in which he acknowledges that the Israeli attacks in Gaza will have a very limited effect, yet comes very close to arguing in favor of killing the greatest number of Arabs anyway:

The bad news is that it still won’t be enough. While Israel has delivered a painful blow against Hamas, it’s still not a paralyzing hit. The only way to neuter such a terror threat – even temporarily – is to go in on the ground and scour every room, basement and underground tunnel in a region.

That would mean high Israeli casualties and, of course, condemnation of Israel’s self-defense efforts by every self-righteous, corrupt and bigoted organization and government on earth, from Turtle Bay to Tehran.

So in other words, Peters thinks it’s self-righteous, corrupt and bigoted to note that all this suffering will essentially preserve the status quo between Israel and Gaza, as he himself just has.

What have been Israel’s “crimes?” Not “stealing Palestinian land,” but making that land productive, while exposing the incompetence and sloth of Arab culture.

Let’s rewrite that slightly: “What have been the South Africans’ ‘crimes?’ Not ‘stealing black land,’ but making that land productive, while exposing the incompetence and sloth of black culture.”

What if Peters had written that? Someone might accuse him of being self-righteous, corrupt and bigoted.

Israel’s crime isn’t striking back at terror, but demonstrating, year after year, that a country in the Middle East can be governed without resort to terror. Israel’s crime hasn’t been denying Arab rights, but insisting on human rights for women and minorities.

Been to east Jerusalem lately, to the other side of the wall? Any idea how hard it is to get from a home there to a job in Jerusalem?

Indeed, Arab and regional jealousy toward Israel is so all-consuming, so necessary to excuse the Arab art of failure, that even these judicious airstrikes will hardly make a dent in the terrorist threat.

Unless Israel sends in ground forces for the long haul – and thousands of IDF reservists are being mobilized – there will be, at best, a temporary respite from terror attacks. Even a new occupation of Gaza would not fully solve the problem.

If that’s the case, shouldn’t the U.S. and others of like mind be pushing for an outcome that might fully solve the problem?

It’s a rare conflict that results in an enduring peace. Unintended consequences abound. At times, you fight just to buy time, to gain breathing space – or merely to frustrate an enemy’s designs for a limited period.

Ah, lebensraum. No doubt this is just the kind of language the Israelis want thrown around in their defense. If I were the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., I think I’d want Peters off my side.

(Hat tip: JB)