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Belmont Club

The Seven Gambit

July 15th, 2014 - 6:23 pm

Just as soon as Israel accepted an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire Hamas fired 47 rockets killing one Israeli citizen.  Anyone who has followed the conflict could have predicted this with certainty; the point of a ceasefire — for a terrorist organization — is to break it for exactly the same reason it purposely attacks women and children.

Dr. Anna Geifman tried to explain that the reason why innocents are selected as terror targets is because “children are the last consecrated absolute”. That is just why they must be killed in the cruelest way possible. For “militant nihilism strives to ruin first and foremost what their contemporaries hold sacred”.

Nihilism isn’t the absence of a belief. It is something subtly different: it is the belief in nothing. The most powerful weapon of terrorism is therefore the unyielding No. “No I will not give up. No I will not tell the truth. No I will not play fair. No I will not spare children. No I will not stop even if you surrender to me; I will not cease even if you give me everything you have, up to and including your children’s lives. Nothing short of destroying me absolutely can make me stop. And therefore I will defeat you even if you kill me. Because I will make you pay the price in guilt for annihilating me.”

It’s an extremely powerful weapon.  The Absolute No is a devastating attack on the self-image and esteem of civilization.  Hamas will demonstrate the No, the Nothing. It will show that deep down inside Israelis — and Americans — are animals like them.  This can be called the Seven Gambit, from a 1995 film which explores this exact theme. It depicts two detectives versus the devil in the shape of nameless man, who kills people not by attacking them directly, but by creating situations where they kill themselves by yielding to one of the seven deadly sins: sloth, gluttony, vanity — and finally vengeance and wrath.

His final victim is the detective. In the final scene the devil provokes Detective David Mills into unlawfully shooting him by showing him the head of his pregnant wife. The devil wins by making the point that murder lies dormant, waiting to be awakened, even within the bosom of the law.

The power of Hamas lies in that they will never stop hating. No ceasefire, concession, negotiation or entreaty will move them. That is their inhuman strength. The Jews can even exterminate them, but only at the cost of destroying all the ideals they hold dear.  If the last Hamas activist could speak he would say this:

“Shoot! I am the last. Carry out your ethnic cleansing, just as the Nazis tried with you. You will never be able to look yourself in the mirror again.  The price of victory is to win  on our terms. Nothing will remain of your precious Jewish self-esteem, of the illusion that you are a civilization dedicated to morality. What will you do after you kill me? Go to your synagogue and a hymn of praise to your God?

“At that moment your faith will desert you. For you claim your God does not desire blood, that yours is a God of love and I say therefore He is false. The only real Gods are those of Hate. A God that does not live by blood does not exist as my God who lives by blood exists; and when you pull the trigger you will be worshipping at my altar!  I have won at last. Come to prayer. Come to Islam.”

And it would be so easy wouldn’t it? Just line up the M-109 howitzers to load up and fire for effect. Playing the nice guy only wins you insults even from — or most especially from — Amnesty International. “Israeli military’s ‘knock on roof’ warnings criticized by rights groups”.

The “knock on the roof” is the Israeli military’s warning for civilians before it fires on a building and is being used extensively as Israeli airstrikes target Hamas sites in Operation Protective Edge.

The Israeli Air Force developed the technique in 2009 as a way to warn civilians in Gaza to leave buildings it has identified as locations where Hamas keeps ammunition, a rocket stash or command post. But it is a controversial policy that has been criticized by human rights groups.

The Absolute No wins again. They reject your attempts to be humane, they utterly deny your pretense at humanity. So why not fire for effect? Do it. You want to, don’t you?

Wars through history have exacted an irreparable spiritual price from its combatants. And all who have fought them know it. In the movie of the same name, Michael Collins laments the price of his struggle against the British:

I hate them. Not for their race or their brutality. I hate them for leaving us no way out. I hate whoever put a gun in Vinny’s hand. I know it’s me and I hate myself for it. I hate them for making hate necessary.

“But did you really Michael?’ the Hamas activist can ask, ‘or did you enjoy it, as I did?’

It’s not an original thought. William Tecumseh Sherman knew before Collins that War is Hell; that the only excuse for it was the belief that you could in the subsequent peace, chain up the devils. He wrote in his letters, “you cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it … If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war.”

Nor has its character changed much. Curtis LeMay, during what we remember as the Good War, shared his formula for defeating the enemy. “If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting.”

Human beings are remarkably good at calling up the devil in their fellow human beings. They start out Christian enough, but give them time. In the first Christmas of the Great War, when fighting was but a few months old, there enough fellow-feeling among the combatants remained to spontaneously create what is now remembered as the Christmas Truce.

Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units—independently ventured into “no man’s land”, where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another.

By the next year they were modifying their bayonets so it would hurt more when you stabbed the enemy. When we look at Hamas we are looking at some very old and ancient. Does the devil win in Seven? For that matter does he win on earth?

Say no if you can. For Hamas is determined to prove that you too are like them. Just like them.


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Top Rated Comments   
There is no "humane" war to the death. It only takes one side to create such a war. And the only answer is to make the death toll for the other side so high, and so painful, that you break them totally. And by break, I don't mean anything that can be characterized as hudna and taqiyya until they get another shot. I mean to break them to the point where the reaction to the suggestion of further hostilities with Israel is a series of nervous tic's and sphincter failure.

No, Gaza cannot be the be all and end all process. But there will have to be a point reached where attacks from Gaza cannot be tolerated.

Gaza is loosely rectangular, about 20 miles long and varying between 3 miles and 6 miles wide. Bordered on the NW by the Mediterranean, to the NE and E by Israel, and on the SW by Egypt. Women and children can walk 20 miles over a period of several days.

I don't know if the power and water can be shut down in segments, or if it is all or nothing. If possible, do it in phased segments starting at the NE boundary. Israeli forces can maintain the integrity of the NE and E by deadly force. And sweep in from the NE moving down segment by segment where power and water are cut off, or in their own phase lines if it is all or nothing. Make it clear that NO "Palestinian" man, woman, or child will be allowed to exist behind the FEBA as they move SW. Push them, herd them, force them [or the survivors] to the SW border with Egypt and across it. And that the process will be haraam.

They can become Egypt's problem. They were before from 1958-1967 when it was the Egyptians keeping them in the camps in the Gaza Strip.

Either salt the earth and make it a death zone, or fortify the border with Egypt and give the land to Israeli settlers to make green.

It may not convince the Muslims to stop shooting rockets at Israel, but it will stop the ones coming from Gaza. And act as a data point for anyone else who might choose to repeat the process.

In the long run, however, I more than suspect that Wretchard's Three Conjectures will be the template. And perhaps what I published some years ago, "Special Project MASADA" wherein the known Israeli nuclear arsenal is in fact sufficient to destroy the Ummah and all threat from it.

Subotai Bahadur
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
One raised in a farming community or in the wild learns that some creatures need killing. That is a fact of life on earth. These islamic beasts are such creatures.

The "Absolute No" is a pedantic construct with no relevance to real life. The wielder of that Absolute No has the power of reason and can make a choice. If he chooses to persist and die, so be it. His killer does not become the beast. The killer may have sleepless nights and sweaty memories but with a clear conscience.

Such is the price of self-defense----and the defense of children, family, and civilization.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
It is not murder or evil when the people you kill are trying o kill you. They are the Devil and bringing Hell to their own people. Israel could wipe out Hamas and not be at their level. They attack only when constantly attacked by an organization dedicated to its destruction.

I would kill every single Jihadist with a smile on my face and no regrets. They are animals and should be put down like the rabid dogs they are. No one who would behead women, children and others for being "Non believers" deserves to live. Not if we want our people to survive and sew greater generations that will bring humanity forward towards new dawns and horizons and not towards more war and oppression.

Absolute evil can only be quelled with resolute andd unyielding force until not one shred of such evil remains to mulitiply again, like a virus. Islamic Jihadism must be destroyed.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (173)
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I remember the blurb from the magazine ad: "Only the truly civilized can be truly savage."
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
Judaism grew up in a tough neighborhood, they've seen this sort before. The problem today is not with that sort of Judaism, those people knew what survival called for.

The problem today is more with those who confuse what it means to be, or have a neighbor. Hamas is no neighbor, and unless and until they seriously commit to becoming one it is an obligation of all Jews to protect those who would be harmed by Hamas. If that means the death of everyone associated with Hamas that is what it must be.

If being the key word, and I find Israel's actions so far to have been done with a great deal of forbearance, perhaps in the hope that that sort of end may never arrive, that there may be a change of heart among the Gazans, and that Hamas may one day reject their own genocidal goals and learn to live in peace as a true neighbor.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
response to Teresita below:

Occam's razor doesn't work like that. It doesn't tell you what the truth is, it suggests the best _scientific_ model to unify the observed facts. At one time, Occam's razor gave us a ray theory for light. After Thomas Young, a wave theory satisfied Occam's razor. After the photoelectric effect, quantum mechanics. If Occam's razor actually pointed to "the truth" we would still be on the ray theory of light.

That's the first way you don't understand what Occam's razor is.

The second reason that Occam's razor does not apply to God is that Occam's razor applies to the material world, which is all that science can study. It does not follow from science's preoccupation with the predictable material world that that is all that there is to reality. Science even posits a built in material unpredictability in the quantum mechanics. This principal of uncertainty has been with us for coming up to one hundred years.

But what difference could it make? Well, when a high energy photon impinges on a chromosome, where it will be absorbed has quantum mechanical uncertainty built in. The TOE does not predict the course of evolution, even in principle. It just gives the mechanics of the process, but the course of it has quantum mechanical uncertainty built in. So what makes the decisions?

Your brain's neurons fire randomly from time to time because thermal equilibrium has variation at the level of the focal point of a discharge - that is to say that quantum mechanical uncertainty causes neurons to randomly fire at a low rate. In fact, neurons cannot be reduced in size because the rate of spontaneous firing increases as the dendritic (or axonal - I'm afraid I forget which) diameter decreases. The size of the brain's neurons are a balance between being too large, which would make us dullards with too few neurons, and being too small, which would make our brains too unstable.

What that means is that there is a quantum mechanical superposition of neuron discharges in which every single neuron is firing, each in one or more particular superposed states. What decides which of these superpositions is the one to which the brain state collapses when a random thermal firing occurs? Of course it couldn't be a free agent which would constitute the principle of free will, could it?

Eek, no! Not free will! There can't be free will! Descartian dualism!!! The universe must be a tautology. Nobody has a choice. There's no such thing as right and wrong. Consciousness is a delusion and all that. We 'brights' know that because, because ...
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
Turnabout is fair play. Everybody enjoys fair play.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
"Say no if you can. For Hamas is determined to prove that you too are like them. Just like them."

That's the marxist strategy. America is made of tougher stuff than that. It's in our DNA.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Islam demands submission. America is built on a refusal to submit. Life free or die. Don't tread on me.

Don't think for a moment that all of that has been forgotten. It hasn't. It runs deep through our culture. Movies, music, literature. Why are the "Hunger Games" and "Divergent" books so overwhelmingly popular with younger audiences? Not for the mediocre writing or the underdeveloped characters. It's because they embody those beliefs. Americans submit to on one. Obama's people think that that is all ancient history. That no one believes that stuff anymore. They are so wrong.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
I'm not quite certain that Judeo-Christian theology demands that we always play the nice guy, particularly when everything we hold precious is under attack and in a precarious spot.

In fact, King Saul fell out of favor with the Lord when he didn't do as instructed by Samuel -- which is to say, he did not kill every Amalekite, man, woman, and child. The story is related to us in 1 Samuel 15.

"...Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey."

Saul did not keep his end of the bargain: " But Saul and the people spared [King] Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them."

According to the scriptures, the Lord was not pleased: "Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.”"

Samuel was told to meet Saul... "Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”" Saul was a true politician, trying to lie his way out of trouble.

Samuel saw things clearly and was having none of it: "But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”"

Caught in his lie, Saul doubles down on more lies: "And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”"

Samuel outs those lies as well, and there is nothing Saul can do but confess and at least make a show of good intention. Samuel, however, told Saul that the Lord would take his kingdom away, and then for good measure he hacked King Agag to pieces with a sword.

There are times, I think, when wars must be fought, and when they must be fought, they must be prosecuted ruthlessly. Men cry peace, peace, but there is no peace. Essentially, war is capital punishment on a very large scale. Sometimes the only way to restrain someone is to kill him. In any event, there appear to be certain occasions when the Lord authorizes death. After all, He invented it, and for our own protection. Isn't it a good thing that Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, Robespierre, Alexander are all dead? What a fearful thing to have to confront men like that with a couple of hundred, or thousand, years of experience doing what they do?
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1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
I encourage folks here to take the long view. It's easy to propose annihilation of your enemies as a solution. And yes, in this case, the Israelis would be justified in wiping out Hamas with all the advantages at their disposal. But that is a tactical solution to a strategic problem.

The long term conflict is a clash of civilizations (I use that term loosely of course). there are many differences between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But the current battle highlights what I think is the core of the difference. The Israelis, driven by their jewish heritage and by the best of Western values, have embraced life. The Pals have embraced death. Islam doesn't have to be a death cult. But it has clearly taken that direction. Over the long term, this is clearly a losing strategy. One can already see it in the declining birth rates throughout the Arab world, the horrific fratricide in Syria and Iraq, and the total absence of any expression of hope or optimism. If the best you can hope for is to take out some of the enemy when you blow yourself up, you have lost.

Meanwhile, the Israelis are having babies like no one else in the ME, their economy is on a tear, and there is much hope in the future. The Pals have lost. They know it, their supporters mostly know it. The real challenge now is managing the end game.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
"The Pals have lost. They know it"
Their God tells them they will not.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
Islam does have to be a death cult: it's in their operating manual.

See, e.g., the muslim conquest of India -- they slaughtered an estimated 80 million Hindus from the invasion (ca. AD 636) until their overthrow. The Hindu Kush ("Hindu Slaughter") is so named on account of one great massacre among many.

"My principal object in coming to Hindustan has been to accomplish two things. The first was to war with the infidels, the enemies of the Mohammadan religion; and by this religious warfare to acquire some claim to reward in the life to come. The other was that the army of Islam might gain something by plundering the wealth and valuables of the infidels: plunder in war is as lawful as their mothers' milk to Musalmans who war for their faith."
-- Amir Timur (Tamerlane, b. 1336)

While studying the legacy of Muslim rule in India, it has to be constantly borne in mind that the objectives of all Muslim invaders and rulers were the same as those mentioned above. Timur or Tamerlane himself defines them candidly and bluntly while others do so through their chroniclers. After its birth in Arabia, Islam spread as a conquering creed both in west and east with amazing rapidity. [ http://voiceofdharma.org/books/tlmr/ch3.htm ]
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
Funny; an old Star Trek episode actually gave a pretty good answer to this dilemma. The alien forced Kirk & Co. to fight a collection of history's villains. They won, but afterwards the alien complained that they'd used the same methods as the evil guys. So what's the difference?

No, Kirk said, you have to look at WHY we fought: they fought to destroy and enslave; we fought to win the lives of our crew.

That's always been the answer.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
Well put!

It's not about the methods, nor is it about the tools. A good man and an evil man may well use similar techniques and similar tools (e.g. the cop shooting it out with the thug robbing the liquor-store). But what matters is the humanity behind the actions... or the lack thereof.

This is what people miss when they count bodies on the Israeli side vs. the Palestinian side and judge based on the numbers. The issue is not that both sides have killed people. It is that one side murders innocents without provocation... while the other side kills murderers to prevent more murders.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
Wrechard's essay was very thought provoking and forces us to look at evil and confront it. But how do we confront it? People like Hamas try to provoke us by committing gross, disgusting, and inhumane deeds. Read some papers put out by Israeli medical organizations on how to treat victims of suicide bombers loaded with shrapnel, poison, and human shrapnel from bone fragments and tissues containing diseases like Hepatitis C or AIDS.

These are the type of people you are dealing with. You don't negotiate with these people. The quicker you dispatch them, the quicker the problem is solved. Gaza is a festering sh*thole used by the enemies of Israel to make wounds by a thousand of cuts. Egypt does not want the Palestinians in Gaza. Nobody wants them. They destabilize every country they inhabit. Now it has gone on too long, with several generations conditioned to behave this way.

Actions have consequences. There is no real Palestinian Authority, so the Camp David accords are pretty much null and void. Israel is under no obligation to supply materials, water, nor electricity to Gaza. Time to start tapering them off and close their border. They are not under obligation to treat Palestinians in Israeli hospitals. I am afraid tough love and overwhelming attacks on Hamas is the order of the day.

Put the monkey on the Palestinians: you harbor Hamas, you are the problem. Clean them out of your midst and we will talk. This tolerance of this kind of evil has gone on too long.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
Wrechard's essay was very thought provoking and forces us to look at evil and confront it. But how do we confront it? People like Hamas try to provoke us by committing gross, disgusting, and inhumane deeds. Read some papers put out by Israeli medical organizations on how to treat victims of suicide bombers loaded with shrapnel, poison, and human shrapnel from bone fragments and tissues containing diseases like Hepatitis C or AIDS.

These are the type of people you are dealing with. You don't negotiate with these people. The quicker you dispatch them, the quicker the problem is solved. Gaza is a festering sh*thole used by the enemies of Israel to make wounds by a thousand of cuts. Egypt does not want the Palestinians in Gaza. Nobody wants them. They destabilize every country they inhabit. Now it has gone on too long, with several generations conditioned to behave this way.

Actions have consequences. There is no real Palestinian Authority, so the Camp David accords are pretty much null and void. Israel is under no obligation to supply materials, water, nor electricity to Gaza. Time to start tapering them off and close their border. They are not under obligation to treat Palestinians in Israeli hospitals. I am afraid tough love and overwhelming attacks on Hamas is the order of the day.

Put the monkey on the Palestinians: you harbor Hamas, you are the problem. Clean them out of your midst and we will talk. This tolerance of this kind of evil has gone on too long.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
Now that Hamas and the PA are one big happy family, some of our $400 million in annual aid is going to build rockets to fire at Israel.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
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