The problem with going to war is you really have to win it definitively. If you don’t, it will come back and bite you in the leg — or worse.
The USA should have learned that from World War II when we, and our allies, completely annihilated the Nazis and the Japanese and Germany and Japan became decent modern democracies. We didn’t. Whether you supported them or not, whether they were the right ones or not, we ended up fighting all subsequent wars half-heartedly. The results are obvious.
America has gotten away, so far, barely, with this ambivalent approach to war because it is so powerful and so far away from the field of battle. (The rapid metastasis across Syria and Iraq of the Islamic State — aka ISIS — not to mention our own porous borders, may change that.)
Israel is in a different position. It fights for its survival surrounded by societies that despise it and are, by contemporary standards, hugely primitive and bordering on the insane, misogynistic, homophobic and everything else liberals are supposed to abhor. (I guess supporters of #BDS movement can stop reading here.) Nevertheless, Israel has fought its wars — even the ’67 war — American-style, holding off from finishing the job, because of its own scruples and because it was urged to “exercise restraint” by the U.S., Europe, Russia or the former Soviet Union.
Now things are different. We are in the Age of Obama when the thought of such an incompetent, failed president counseling anything, let alone restraint, is risible. And yet you can be sure he will within minutes of when Israel’s new operation against Hamas in Gaza shows even a glimmer of success.
I write this as sirens wail in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, so let me cut to the chase. This time Israel should finish the job. Forget anything said by Obama and his equally incompetent secretary of State. Shine them on. Do anything you have to, but smash Hamas utterly.
Israel will be doing the world a favor, showing them how Islamic terrorists should be treated. The only horse they recognize, as Lee Smith pointed out a while ago, is the strong one. That’s the unfortunate truth. Anyone who sees it otherwise at this point is lying to himself or others. How many more years of this do we need? How many more Gaza wars, Iraq wars, Syrian civil wars, Iranian (potential) nuclear wars, Sunni vs. Shiite wars, back-to-the-Middle Ages wars can civilization abide? Sooner or later, someone is going to have to yell “Ya, basta!”
Benjamin Netanyahu — over to you.