Give War a Chance

Since I wrote last week’s piece about the current fighting in Gaza, I have read several stories, and have had several thoughts on the subject.  I will now try to compose a follow-up to the previous message; if it sounds rather disjointed, hopefully you’ll understand why.

I will begin with two bits of good news from my favorite Israeli source, Arutz Sheva.  First, an Israeli company has discovered a natural gas deposit under the Mediterranean, between Israel and Cyprus.  The size of the deposit is estimated at 3.1 trillion cubic feet, meaning it contains roughly as much energy as 516 million barrels of oil.   This could be a big deal for a country as small as Israel.  And where geologists find gas, there’s usally crude oil as well.  Hmmm, does this mean that countries which depend on OPEC for their energy needs, especially Europe, will become friendlier toward the Jewish state, if only to buy gas?

Israel Discovers Gas!

The other story reminds us that there is still justice, though sometimes it has to come in the form of “an act of God.”  An Arab teenager was killed when he threw a rock at an Israeli car, and the rock bounced off a tire and hit him on the head!

Eye for an Eye:  Arab Attacker Killed by his Own Rock

Here is a video my brother sent me a link to, where an Israeli officer shows how the Hamas “human shields” policy works:

In the Jewish World Review, one article speculates on what might have happened, if the Palestinians had turned Gaza into a beach resort rather than a launching pad for their rockets:

The Gaza Riviera

And finally, I read an article by Gunnar Heinsohn, a European sociologist, which looks at the demographics behind Palestinian terrorism.  I mentioned Heinsohn in a couple of webpages on The Xenophile Historian; he suggested, based on the number of artifacts found, that Neanderthal Man only dominated Europe for sixty years, not for sixty thousand years as most believe.

Ending the West’s Proxy War Against Israel

And here’s the best part of the last article, which puts the numbers in perspective:

In such “youth bulge” countries, young men tend to eliminate each other or get killed in aggressive wars until a balance is reached between their ambitions and the number of acceptable positions available in their society. In Arab nations such as Lebanon (150,000 dead in the civil war between 1975 and 1990) or Algeria (200,000 dead in the Islamists’ war against their own people between 1999 and 2006), the slaughter abated only when the fertility rates in these countries fell from seven children per woman to fewer than two. The warring stopped because no more warriors were being born.

In Gaza, however, there has been no demographic disarmament. The average woman still bears six babies. For every 1,000 men aged 40-44, there are 4,300 boys aged 0-4 years. In the U.S. the latter figure is 1,000, and in the U.K. it’s only 670.

And so the killing continues. In 2005, when Israel was still an occupying force, Gaza lost more young men to gang fights and crime than in its war against the “Zionist enemy.” Despite the media’s obsession with the Mideast conflict, it has cost many fewer lives than the youth bulges in West Africa, Lebanon or Algeria. In the six decades since Israel’s founding, “only” some 62,000 people (40,000 Arabs, 22,000 Jews) have been killed in all the Israeli-Arab wars and Palestinian terror attacks. During that same time, some 11 million Muslims have been killed in wars and terror attacks — mostly at the hands of other Muslims.

Meanwhile, I hear that in Gaza, the two sides have agreed to a temporary cease-fire.  Of course, we know that a cease-fire is not the end of the fighting, but only a pause; in both Hebrew and Arabic the word cease-fire means, “reload!”  And as if to prove the point, the Palestinians have fired another rocket or two into southern Israel already.

When are the Israelis going to learn, that all these cease-fires are not in their best interests?  Especially when the terms of peace are defined by the enemy.  For this situation, there is something better than peace, and that’s victory.  The Arabs, especially the Palestinians, won’t leave them alone until they are beaten so badly that they realize they cannot win.  It also has to be a defeat that will completely discredit the Islamofascist ideology, especially its creepy death-worshipping cult.  Consider a World War II analogy:  does anyone seriously think that Germany, Italy and Japan would be peaceful, respectable trading partners today, if we hadn’t hammered on them until they agreed to unconditional surrender?  Would descendants of the Nazis and the Japanese militarists still be in charge of the Axis countries today, if we had agreed to a cease-fire after a bloody battle like Kursk or Tarawa, giving them time to rest and recover?

Half-hearted, on-and-off conflicts may be all right for someone like Prime Minister Olmert, who doesn’t really think Israel deserves to win, but they won’t end the threat of rocket and terrorist attacks, nor will the Arabs get tired of trying to eliminate Israel.  With Gaza, for example, there is a three-hour timeout every day, when Israel allows food, medical supplies and other essentials to cross battle lines.  Has that happened anywhere else, since the age of chivalry ended?  If the Israelis are serious about making a truly safe haven for Jews in the Promised Land, they’ll have to put the squeeze on the Palestinians so bad that their only options are to surrender or get out of the way.  Then, if the Israelis are too squeamish to get rid of Hamas, the pressure exerted may be enough to make the Palestinians get rid of Hamas for them.

Along this line, I just heard a variation on a well-known verse about the Holocaust:

First they came for the liberal Jewish professors, but I was not a liberal Jewish professor, so I did not speak up.

Then they came for the media-activist Jews, but I was not a media activist Jew, so I did not speak up.

Then they came for the self-hating Jews who had supported them, but I was not a self-hating Jew, so I did not speak up.

Then they came for the gun-owning conservative Jews, and that’s when I shot them.

Let’s see, the Israelis want peace, while we know that Hamas, thanks to the “Pallywood” propaganda industry, likes dead Palestinians even more than dead Israelis.  It should be possible to work out an agreeable solution.


A Bicentennial and a Pretender

If you’re a US citizen, you know that today, the third Monday in January, is when Americans commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  However, I just learned what else happened on this day; January 19 is also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allen Poe, the famous author.  We’re only two and a half weeks away from the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, so let the record show that we’ve got more than one bicentennial taking place in 2009.  I wonder what Poe’s reaction would be if somebody told him his horror stories are still being read today?

Yesterday I read a review of a book entitled The Man Who Believed He Was King of France: A True Medieval Tale.  You can read the review at .  Myself, I hadn’t heard this story before, so I did a bit of research, and found the details interesting enough to add a couple of paragraphs, to Chapter 9 of my European history papers.  First, in the section on the beginning of the Hundred Years War, here is what made it possible for a pretender to appear:

In the early fourteenth century, there were several disputes between London and Paris: the two kings had argued and fought over French territory on the Continent; both nations had pirates in the English Channel; the French gave military aid to Scotland, England’s perennial problem to the north; both sides competed to control the wool market in Flanders. The main issue, however, was the confusing relationship between the English and French kings, now brought to the forefront because of the extinction of the French royal family, the Capetians. Philip IV’s eldest son and successor, Louis X, only ruled for two years (1314-16), and when he died he left behind a pregnant queen and a daughter named Jeanne. The French were not willing to give the throne to a female, so the king’s Great Council took charge and waited to see if the queen’s baby would be a boy or a girl. It was a boy, and he is known to history books as either John I or John Posthumous. Unfortunately for the French, the infant king died five days later. The throne now passed to two short-lived brothers of Louis X: Philip V (1316-22) and Charles IV (1322-28). Neither one of them left a male heir, so with the death of Charles IV, the French picked a cousin, Philip of the House of Valois, and crowned him Philip VI. However, England’s Edward III was a closer relative of the Capetians; his mother was a sister of Louis X, Philip V and Charles IV, making Edward a grandson of Philip the Fair. Now Edward put forth his own claim for the French crown. To the lions on his royal coat of arms he added the French fleur-de-lis.

Then, later in the same paper, I told about the pretender himself:

The anarchy caused by the Jacquerie allowed a pretender to appear. When the rest of Europe heard about John II’s capture, a merchant in Siena, Giannino di Guccio Baglioni, announced that he was he was the rightful king of France, John I. According to his story, it was not John the infant king that died forty years earlier, but the baby in the cot next to him; to keep John safe, the babies were switched and the living one was smuggled to Italy. Now Giannino announced his own claim to the French throne, though the only evidence he had for it was the fact that he was born at the same time as the real John. He got financial backing from a Jewish merchant in Venice, and after a fruitless trip to Hungary, he produced fake letters claiming that the Hungarian king backed him, too. Next he went to Avignon, but Pope Innocent VI wanted nothing to do with this business. The 1360 treaty between England and France left enough mercenaries unemployed for Giannino to recruit them as a small private army, but with King John II back, the opportunity to replace him had also passed. Instead of marching on Paris, Giannino was captured in Provence, and died in the pope’s prison less than a year later.