Surprise! Anti-Climax is the new End
Or: When zero-sum games add up to a whole lotta nothin’
Apparently, it is not worth winning wars anymore.
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The expectation of defeating an enemy nation has gone the way of the Dodo bird, at least, once the enemy uses non-traditional armed forces of semi-decentralized, irregular units, who flagrantly violate international laws of warfare and human rights.
Just in the past few days, both France24 reported and NDTV broadcast Hamas terrorists firing rockets at Israel from deep inside of residential and hotel areas of Gaza. It turns out, they were within 50 meters of a hotel full of foreign correspondents. It’s where the likes of the BBC and CNN stay when they Summer in Gaza.
However, these barbaric acts, which mostly endanger Palestinians who live or work near the ad-hoc rocket launcher, are not being focused on as the underlying “root causes” that international diplomats wish to discuss during the “ceasefire talks” in Cairo, now about to enter its third day, during a very tenuous 72-hour ceasefire that Israel unilaterally declared.
The truth may be that it’s much harder to win a war against a terrorist organization that does not play by the rules, not just because the terrorists and their supporters pervert the meaning of the words, but because, much like a hydra, their most dangerous heads only replicate when they are cut off.
Or at least, that’s what they would have you believe.
It could also be that any government that faces violent extremists who use irregular methods of warfare, may find it easier to manage an enemy that it knows, than to try and wrestle with the possibility of the enemy that it does not know as well, which may very well fill-in the vaccuum created by removing the primary enemy.
And so it goes. The talks in Cairo continue, and the IDF has pulled out of Gaza, once again, leaving behind a bunch of busted bunkers, a trove of totalled tunnels, and a horde of headless Hamasniks. But victory? No, Israel can not, and does not, declare victory. Nor does Israel need to do so. Such acts of declaring victory have become the ridiculed parlor trick of the side that generally loses the most, or at least gets dealt the most massive blow to their capability and morale.
Israel merely declares that the latest portion of the operation Protective Edge is over, for now, and may rear its ugly head once more if pressed to do so by continued barrages of rockets from Gaza.
Whatever side of the border dispute you stand on, just be sure to keep your head down if the fireworks start to reappear.
Full disclosure: When not inking thoughts and art with a chuckle in the madness of wartime, Yasha Harari has written music and composed songs of peace, love and war, performed for millions of people, built and torn down homes in Jerusalem and invested in music, the internet, media and political organizations in the U.S., Europe and Israel.