Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rush Limbaugh on Fox and Friends.

Rush Limbaugh on Fox and Friends. RushLimbaugh.com, July 2, 2013. At Real Clear Politics, YouTube.

KILMEADE: The secretary of state is focusing on Israel and the Palestinians, which is Hamas. Why is he there? Even the New York Times said that’s a sideshow.
RUSH: It’s John Kerry. He doesn't know what he’s doing. Everything about this administration is image, sideshow, perception, photo op, optics. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been going on since the Bible was written. John Kerry doesn’t have the answer to it. Nobody in this administration has the answer to it. The only way that conflict is ever going to be solved is like any other conflict is solved. That is when there is an acknowledged loser who surrenders.
CARLSON: Mmm-hmm.
RUSH: Until that happens, all of this is just meaningless. It really is. I’ve been doing my radio show for 25 years and topics are now starting to repeat, you guys – and nothing changes. This is all just . . . It’s all part and parcel of the pattern of events. Look at all the work Clinton and Arafat did. Why? It didn’t matter a whit, did it? Look at all the work Jimmy Carter did. It didn’t matter a whit, did it? Arafat was given everything he asked for at one point. He pulled out ’cause he didn't want the conflict to end, just like certain leftists in this country don't want the conflicts they’re involved in to end. Because if you solve the problem, there is no reason for them to exist anymore. So all of this, to me, is just sadly – really sadly – predictable. I’m not trying to be cynical about it, but I am.

Hamas Victory: A Clarifying Development. By Rush Limbaugh. RushLimbaugh.com, January 26, 2006.

Here’s my first observation on this election in Israel. I know some people think it’s Palestine. I still think it’s Israel. I want to phrase this, and put this within the context of what I’ve always called the Limbaugh Doctrine. The Limbaugh Doctrine, ladies and gentlemen, is very, very simple: Peace does not come about with words and doctors and nurses and clean water. Peace follows victory. If you look at any conflict worldwide in modern history, in recent history, or long-ago history, in history, period – you will see that peace follows victory. We didn’t get peace with Germany and Japan by virtue of words until after we had defeated them. Now, this Israeli-Palestinian thing is not going to be any different than any other such conflict, and in that sense, I think that the Hamas victory in these elections could end up to be a good thing – and here’s why. I don’t think there’s any difference between Hamas and Fatah at all. They both stand for the same thing, and that is the elimination of Israel.

O to Israel: Go Back to ’67 Borders. By Rush Limbaugh. RushLimbaugh.com, May 19, 2011.


Peace results from one side emerging victorious in the conflict, the other side losing and surrendering.

Rush Limbaugh on Israel’s Problems with the Palestinians. IsraPundit, May 21, 2003.


The point of this commentary is that the Palestinians don’t want peace and the Arabs in the Middle East don’t want peace. They want the end of Israel. They want the destruction of Israel. More and more of these pieces are being written because the truth is inescapable now. There have been so many overtures for peace, there have been so many efforts made, and the closer it appears to be getting to peace, the more violence erupts. All the liberals of the world say that dialogue is the most crucial ingredient to peace, do they not? Clearly the most crucial ingredient to peace is victory. You don’t get peace unless it is preceded by victory. That’s called the Limbaugh Doctrine, but liberals think you can bring peace by appeasing your enemy, and through dialogue, nurses, doctors, clean water, exchange programs, etc.
There was going to be “dialogue,” a little meeting between Ariel Sharon and the new Palestinian official this week and what happened? Attack after attack after attack, suicide bombing after suicide bombing. The last thing these people want over there is peace. I don’t care whether you call it Oslo or Camp David or Camp David II, or the road map to peace, the fact is that there’s no Palestinian, no Syrian, no Iranian, who will accept an Israeli state.
Everybody talks about establishing a Palestinian state, but the real effort being made here is the destruction of the Israeli state. If we've learned anything since September 11th, it’s that you simply cannot negotiate with terrorists. Why we have learned this everywhere but the Middle East is beyond me. I’m a big believer in democracy and republican government, but the conditions for democracy among the Palestinians don't exist.

Boys Punished for Being Boys. By Walter Russell Mead.

Boys Punished for Being Boys. By Walter Russell Mead. Via Meadia, July 2, 2013.

Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School. By Jessica Lahey. The Atlantic, June 18, 2013.

The War Against Boys. By Christina Hoff Sommers. The Atlantic, May 2000. Also here.

Allen West Attacks Lady Gaga for Defiling the National Anthem.

Allen West: Lady Gaga Singing “Home Of The Gay” In National Anthem “Reprehensible.” By Paige Lavender. The Huffington Post, July 2, 2013.

Allen West blasts Lady Gaga for “defiling” national anthem. By Jessica Chasmar. Washington Times, July 2, 2013.

Allen West Facebook post, July 1, 2013.

Having served in the US Army for 22 years alongside some very brave men and women, I find Lady Gaga’s defiling of our National Anthem reprehensible. We are the land of the free because America has always been the home of the brave from Lexington and Concord to Kandahar. This young lady should be taken to Ft. McHenry and given a history lesson as to why Francis Scott Key wrote those words incredible words. In this week where we remember the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the 237th anniversary of our Independence is further evidence of the level of ignorance and disrespect some have for our national character. She and all those who cheered her abomination should be ashamed and apologize to every serving and retired member of our Armed Services. But perhaps I ask too much . . .

Lady Gaga Singing the National Anthem at the NYC Pride Rally 2013. Video. Lisa Murphy, June 28, 2013. YouTube.

Lady Gaga: Bad Romance. Video. LadyGagaVEVO, November 23, 2009. YouTube.

Is America In a Pre-Revolutionary State This July 4th? By Roger L. Simon.

Is America in a Pre-Revolutionary State this July 4th? By Roger L. Simon. PJ Media, July 2, 2013.


As we approach July 4, 2013, is America in a pre-revolutionary state? Are we headed for a Tahrir Square of our own with the attendant mammoth social turmoil, possibly even violence?
Could it happen here?
We are two-thirds of the way into the most incompetent presidency in our history. People everywhere are fed up. Even many of the so-called liberals who propelled Barack Obama into office have stopped defending him in the face of an unprecedented number of scandals coming at us one after the other like hideous monsters in some non-stop computer game.
And now looming is the monster of monsters, ObamaCare, the healthcare reform almost no one wanted and fewer understood.
It will be administered by the Internal Revenue Service, an organization that has been revealed to be a kind of post-modern American Gestapo, asking not just to examine our accounting books but the books we read. What could be more totalitarian than that?
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal warns the costs of ObamaCare are close to tripling what were promised, and the number of doctors in our country is rapidly diminishing. No more “My son, the doctor!” It doesn’t pay.
And young people most of all will not be able to afford escalating health insurance costs and will end up paying the fine to the IRS, simultaneously bankrupting the health system and enhancing the brutal power of the IRS — all this while unemployment numbers remain near historical highs.
No one knows how many have given up looking for work while crony capitalist friends of the administration enrich themselves on mythological clean-energy projects.
In fact, everywhere we look on this July Fourth sees a great civilization in decline. And much of that decline can be laid at the foot of the incumbent. Especially his own people, African Americans, have suffered.  Their unemployment numbers are catastrophic, their real needs ignored while hustlers like Sharpton, Jackson, and, sadly, even the president fan the flames of non-existent racism.
Tahrir Square anyone?
Ironically, if our society enters a revolutionary phase, liberals will find themselves in the role of the Islamists, defending a shopworn and reactionary ideology on religious grounds, because it is only their faith that holds their ideas together at this point.
The facts of the American decline tell us otherwise. We don’t need the contempt of Vladimir Putin to remind us how bad things are and that the seeming result of the end of the Cold War is that American presidents are now mocked by the second coming of the KGB (not that it was ever gone).
We all know the famous Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times!
We certainly are, and I am of two minds about it. Like so many Americans, I have lived a comfortable, privileged life, vastly so compared to most of human history.
But I am filled with foreboding about what’s to come, indeed about what is already here. When I look at the masses swarming in Tahrir Square, I am at once repelled and attracted, repelled because, to be honest, I find their culture more than a bit crazy, but attracted because I know something is seriously wrong, not just in Egypt but in the USA.

The Beltway Burkeans vs. Heartland Populists. By Ben Domenech.

The Beltway Burkeans vs. Heartland Populists. By Ben Domenech. Real Clear Politics, July 2, 2013.

The Case of the Missing White Voters Revisited. By Sean Trende. Real Clear Politics, June 21, 2013. Demographics and the GOP, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Rand Paul Is a Savvier Politician Than Karl Rove Would Prefer. By Conor Friedersdorf. The Atlantic, June 27, 2013.


Watch Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s video concerning his 2016 agenda, if only for the part where he pauses to take a drink from his union skull chalice. The moderate Midwestern tone here drones a bit – dynamic this isn’t – but look at how he’s marketing his legislative agenda in the frame of the 2016 run he’s almost certain to make: it’s all lower- and middle-income focused. It’s worth considering why Walker won his recall election – it was in not insignificant ways due to these voters, who gave him more support than might be expected given his conservative views (he even got 38% of the overall union vote, though of course that was more from the private sector unions). He touts one of the largest tax cuts in Wisconsin history, with a larger tax rate cut for those making 15-50k; teases his higher ed reforms; follows Bobby Jindal’s lead in pursuing a statewide expansion of school choice; spins the Medicaid expansion refusal handily; and even talks up federal deficit reduction. Walker is still getting slammed by all the usual suspects – for cutting entitlements, passing tax cuts for the rich, and sneaking through what one legislator called “vouchers on steroids” – he’s just savvier at pitching it.
Now, set that aside for a moment, and consider Michael Gerson’s recent remarks about Rand Paul in Aspen. “Gerson went on to argue that Paul won’t be able to lead the Republican Party to victory, because he can’t solve the most challenging political problem facing it: addressing the concerns of working class voters. ‘We have an economy that is continually stagnant for them, no matter what the situation is in the broader economy, and with new Americans who are concerned with social mobility,’ he said. ‘One of the most extraordinary facts that came out of the great recession was that in the worst days of the great recession, people with a four-year college degree have a 4.5 percent unemployment rate. People with just a high-school degree had a 24 percent unemployment rate. We’re an economy that’s increasingly segregated by class based on things like skills, education, family structure, a lot of things that have to do with social capital. The question is, are Republicans going to speak to the lived experience of the Americans they need to appeal to on the economy? I don’t think libertarianism speaks to those concerns effectively.’”
This seems short-sighted to me. As Sean Trende noted recently, the GOP does have a significant choice to make about the path forward on framing policy for the 2016 cycle. It can abandon its corporatist leanings and adopt the message of a more populist party which aims at the Jacksonian coal country whites, or it can double down on the white suburbanite model, pass immigration reform to appeal to Hispanics, appeal to upscale environmentalists by embracing cuts to emissions and considering carbon taxes, and offer efficiencies and streamlined government as the key to its electoral strategy (as opposed to an agenda afterthought, as they are in Walker’s video).

In their March piece in Commentary, Gerson and Pete Wehner went for all of these points with gusto. Gerson’s criticism of Paul, and libertarian-ish conservatism generally, is that it won’t address his first point from that piece – the economic challenges of working and middle class Americans. But the rest of his prescribed agenda doesn’t go toward that populist aim any more than Gerson’s support for getting involved in even more international conflicts. It seems very unlikely to me that shoving through the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill, expanding environmental and anti-emission regulations, guilt-ridding prison reform, trying to convince Hollywood to promote marriage and family, and making the case for getting involved in Syria is going to be an agenda that matches up with the lived experience of Americans in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. This has little in common with Walker’s more aggressive approach. Instead, it sounds like an agenda designed to appeal to upper class white people.
This is a good example of the very real challenges of 2016 agenda formation. The Beltway Burkeans talk a good game about shifting the right’s coalition, but the truth is that their agenda represents a much more modest shift, in large part a reworking of the same ideas they’ve been pitching for years. The most interesting part of that Commentary piece for me remains the criticism Wehner and Gerson level against the rising preference for individualism in place of community. But as Alexander Hamilton reminded us, we must recognize things as they are, not as they ought to be. If you believe that this rise of individualistic fervor is a tide driven by culture and demography, not just politics – that it is much larger than any policy agenda – then the wiser course would be to run with it as opposed to against it. A bolder approach to remaking the coalition would ditch the false promise of technocratic paternalism in favor of a bias toward individual liberty and a rediscovery of the populist agenda which can prevail where Mitt Romney failed. Whether that’s possible depends on the boldness of the 2016 field. It may only take one to pull the others in that direction.


4. The GOP faces a tough choice.

Of course, it isn’t that easy. Obama won’t be on the ticket in 2016, and the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, could have a greater appeal to these voters (current polling suggests that she does). But there are always tradeoffs, and Clinton’s greater appeal to blue-collar whites, to the extent it holds through 2016, could be offset by a less visceral attachment with young voters, college-educated whites and to nonwhites than the president enjoys.

But the GOP still has something of a choice to make. One option is to go after these downscale whites. As I’ll show in Part 2, it can probably build a fairly strong coalition this way. Doing so would likely mean nominating a candidate who is more Bush-like in personality, and to some degree on policy. This doesn’t mean embracing “big government” economics or redistribution full bore; suspicion of government is a strain in American populism dating back at least to Andrew Jackson. It means abandoning some of its more pro-corporate stances. This GOP would have to be more “America first” on trade, immigration and foreign policy; less pro-Wall Street and big business in its rhetoric; more Main Street/populist on economics.

For now, the GOP seems to be taking a different route, trying to appeal to Hispanics through immigration reform and to upscale whites by relaxing its stance on some social issues. I think this is a tricky road to travel, and the GOP has rarely been successful at the national level with this approach. It certainly has to do more than Mitt Romney did, who at times seemed to think that he could win the election just by corralling the small business vote. That said, with the right candidate it could be doable. It’s certainly the route that most pundits and journalists are encouraging the GOP to travel, although that might tell us more about the socioeconomic standing and background of pundits and journalists than anything else.

Of course, the most successful Republican politicians have been those who can thread a needle between these stances: Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and (to a lesser degree) Bush 43 have all been able to talk about conservative economic stances without horrifying downscale voters. These politicians are rarities, however, and the GOP will most likely have to make a choice the next few cycles about which road it wants to travel.

Trayvon Martin and Black Manhood on Trial. By Mychal Denzel Smith.

Trayvon Martin and Black Manhood on Trial. By Mychal Denzel Smith. The Nation, July 2, 2013.

What If Robert E. Lee Accepted Command of the Union Army? By Thomas Fleming.

What If Robert E. Lee Accepted Command of the Union Army? By Thomas Fleming. History News Network, July 1, 2013.

This article is adapted from Thomas Fleming’s new book, A Disease In the Public Mind – A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War. New York: Da Capo Press, 2013, 384 pp.


The United States of America trembled on the brink of her greatest tragedy – a civil war that would kill a million young men. Seven Southern states had seceded after Abraham Lincoln was elected president as an anti-slavery Republican, with scarcely a single Southern vote. They had been unmoved by his inaugural address, in which he warned them that he had taken a solemn oath to preserve the Union – and reminded them of their shared heritage, witnessed by the numberless patriot graves in every state.
When Lincoln tried to resupply Fort Sumter, the Federal fort in Charleston, South Carolina’s harbor, the secessionists had responded by bombarding it. The president summoned an army of 75,000 men to suppress an unquestionable rebellion – and asked Colonel Robert E. Lee of Virginia to take command of it. Suddenly Colonel Lee – and the nation – confronted one of the most crucial turning points in American history. What would have happened if he had accepted the president’s offer?
Colonel Lee had repeatedly said that he believed secession was treason. It had now been compounded by firing on the American flag. Virginia, the largest state in the Union, had not seceded. Her voters had elected a convention to make this fateful decision. Well over half the delegates publicly opposed secession.
North Carolina, long considered Virginia’s political satellite, also had not seceded. Nor had Arkansas, a state with strong ties to Missouri, which had similarly refused to secede. Nor had Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware -- all states in which slavery was legal. In many seceded states, such as Georgia, secession had passed by only a handful of votes.
In Virginia, many people thought the state’s decision depended not a little on what Colonel Lee would do. Thanks to his exploits in the Mexican War, he was the nation’s most famous soldier. General Winfield Scott, the commander in that war, said Congress ought to insure Lee’s life for 5 million dollars. Now his old commander enthusiastically backed the president’s offer. He said Lee was worth 50,000 men.
Many people regarded Lee as George Washington’s heir. He was married to Washington’s great granddaughter Mary Custis. When he was not on duty, he lived at Arlington, a house that was crowded with Washington relics – pictures, furniture, articles of clothing. Lee’s father, Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee had been a famous cavalry leader in the American Revolution and one of General Washington’s favorite soldiers. As president, Washington had chosen Lee to head a 15,000 man army that marched into western Pennsylvania in 1794 to crush the nation’s first attempt at insurrection, the so-called Whiskey Rebellion of the state’s western counties against the government’s tax on spirits.
What would General Lee have done, as the head of the Union Army in 1861? We know what General Scott was thinking at the time. Scott had recommended to the president the approach that had worked for President Andrew Jackson in 1833, when South Carolina threatened to secede. Jackson had sternly warned them they were committing treason and promised to have an army of 50,000 men in the state within a matter of weeks.
Along with the threat of a direct invasion, General Scott had recommended the creation of satellite armies in the West, which would seize control of the Mississippi and threaten to invade the South from that side of the continent. Impatient critics derided this as “The Anaconda Plan.” But it too was part of the strategy of winning through intimidation.
Crucial to this approach would be the retention of Virginia in the Union. No one was better qualified than Robert E. Lee to make a direct appeal to his state’s loyalty. He could, and very probably would, have invoked the spirits of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe – Virginians all. Madison would have been an especially effective name. He had advised President Jackson to crush South Carolina’s 1833 secession without hesitation or mercy. As the “father of the Constitution,” Madison spoke with authority when he declared there was no legal or moral basis for secession. Above all Lee could have cited President Washington’s appeal in his farewell address. He had called on all Americans to treasure and defend their union as the primary achievement of their struggle for independence.
Would the wild men of South Carolina, the first state to secede in 1860, have defied General Lee’s appeal? It was possible, even probable. Lee would have confronted a major problem if he was forced to invade the Palmetto State. His army would have had numerous soldiers from New England, who had a violent hatred of southerners and slavery. Many were abolitionists, committed to immediate freedom for the South’s 4 million slaves. They had painted slave owners as sadistic monsters unworthy of mercy. Would General Lee be able to restrain them from abusing and even massacring Southern civilians?
Almost as violent as the abolitionists’ hatred of Southerners was the Southerners’ hatred of these fanatics, Fear of a race war throbbed deep in the Southern public mind. Here General Lee would have turned to President Lincoln and let him address these inflamed Northern volunteers. The president would have reminded them that only six percent of the South owned slaves. Even these men were not guilty of a crime. As long as they remained peaceful, they could not be abused or insulted.
Simultaneously, Lee almost certainly would have organized his army so that his vanguard regiments were from Virginia and North Carolina. Southerners would have confronted fellow southerners, ready to give their lives for the salvation of the union. It seems a near certainty that if it came to gunfire, the first Virginian to fall would have inflamed the entire state with his sacrifice, making victory a near certainty.
Simultaneously, General Lee would have displayed his genius for the oblique attack, the flanking movement that overran the rattled enemy from an unexpected direction. Casualties would have remained low, as the Union Army advanced on Charleston. If the defeated secessionists retreated into that city, and called on the other seceded states for aid, Lee would have ordered one of the satellite western armies to advance to those states’ western borders.
Then would have come a pause, and a call for a negotiated surrender. President Lincoln would have offered his plan for a gradual emancipation of the South’s slaves, to be supervised by a federal commission and accompanied by compensation for the value of each man and woman. General Lee might have reminded his fellow Virginians that Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s grandson, had proposed such a plan to Virginia in 1833.
Thomas Jefferson Randolph was still alive. He was an old man, but Lincoln, shrewd politician that he was, would have offered him the chairmanship of the supervisory federal commission. Randolph would have almost certainly been enormously persuasive, from the sheer power of his name.
Large issues would of course, have remained to be settled. Where and how the freed slaves would live, for example, and whether they should be given the vote. But the lethal crisis that confronted the nation before Colonel Lee accepted President Lincoln’s offer would have been dispelled, hopefully forever. The spirit of Washington, the man who enlisted thousands of black men in his Continental Army in 1776, and freed all his slaves in his will, with orders that they be educated and trained in various skills, would have been invoked to guarantee a peaceful evolution.
The looming civil war would have dwindled to “the uprising of 1861.” General Lee would have remained in command of the Union army, ready to extinguish any and all flickers of revolt. By expertly mingling his troops so that Southern and Northern regiments served in the same brigades, he would have forged a new sense of brotherhood in and around the word Union. At the end of President Lincoln’s second term, it seems more than likely that the American people would have elected Robert E. Lee as his successor.

Robert E. Lee. By Julian Vannerson.

I Don’t Stand with Wendy Davis. By Kirsten Powers.

I Don’t Stand with Wendy Davis. By Kirsten Powers. The Daily Beast, July 2, 2013.

Democrat Kirsten Powers: I’m Tiring of the Wendy’s of the World. By Katie Pavlich. Townhall.com, July 2, 2013.

Wendy Davis: Superhero. By Katha Pollitt. NJBR, June 26, 2013. With related articles.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi—Memorize That Name. By Adam Garfinkle.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi—Memorize That Name. By Adam Garfinkle. The American Interest, July 1, 2013.

Reframing Egypt’s Collapse. By Walter Russell Mead. Via Meadia, July 2, 2013.

David Lamb on Cairo in 1987. By Steve Sailer. VDARE.com, February 7, 2011. Also here. Also, David Lamb, The Arabs: Journeys Beyond the Mirage, p. 33. Google Books. Quote on IBM syndrome.

Egypt politics not confusing but a symptom of decades of oppression. By Richard Spencer. The Telegraph, July 1, 2013.

Morsi Faces Ultimatum as Allies Speak of Military “Coup.” By David D. Kirkpatrick and Kareem Fahim. New York Times, July 1, 2013.

Young Activists Rouse Egypt Protests but Leave Next Steps to Public. By Ben Hubbard. New York Times, July 1, 2013.

Morsi isn’t going anywhere without a fight. By Ariel Ben Solomon. Jerusalem Post, July 1, 2013.

Army Coup in Egypt – History Repeating. By Ariel Ben Solomon. Real Clear World, July 2, 2013. Also at the Jerusalem Post.

Egypt: Ruling But Not Governing. By Steven A. Cook. Council on Foreign Relations, July 1, 2013.

Israel and Its Enemies: Peace Process or War Process? By Daniel Pipes.

Israel and Its Enemies: Peace Process or War Process? By Daniel Pipes. Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2009. Also here and here.

Solving the “Palestinian Problem.” By Daniel Pipes. DanielPipes.org, January 7, 2009.

The doomed Mideast “peace process.” By Jeff Jacoby. Boston Globe, October 14, 2009.

Honor-Shame Jihad (HJP). By Richard Landes. The Augean Stables.

Israel Faces a Culture of Hatred and Violence. By Mortimer B. Zuckerman. U.S. News and World Report, March 21, 2011.

Itamar massacre illustrates the existential threats facing Israel.

Two Examples of the Arab Muslim Descent into Savagery: Aziz Salha (Ramallah, 2000) and Abu Sakkar (Syria, 2013). NJBR, July 14, 2013.

The One-State Solution Would Be a Nightmare. By Carlo Strenger. NJBR, June 30, 2013. With related articles.

Enter the Neo-Canaanites. By Bret Stephens. NJBR, June 20, 2013. With related articles.

Survival of the Fittest. Interview with Benny Morris. By Ari Shavit. Haaretz, January 9, 2004. Also here and here.

Benny Morris Returns to the Fold. by Avi Beker. Haaretz, October 26, 2009.

Benny Morris: “The 1948 War Was an Islamic Holy War.” Interview with Benny Morris. By Amira Lamm. Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2010.

The New Historiography: Israel Confronts Its Past. By Benny Morris. Tikkun, November/December 1988.

Palestine, Peoples and Borders in the New Middle East. By Ahmad Samih Khalidi. NJBR, June 3, 2013. With related articles.

More Peace, Less Process. By Ben Cohen. NJBR, May 30, 2013.

Obama in Israel: Hope over Experience? By Max Boot. NJBR, March 25, 2013.

President Obama Speaks to the People of Israel. NJBR, March 22, 2013.

Like Bibi, Obama May Just Want to Manage Middle East Conflict. By Jonathan S. Tobin. NJBR, March 9, 2013.

Taking the High Ground. By Thomas L. Friedman. New York Times, June 13, 2004. Also here.


There is no total victory to be had by Israel over Hezbollah or the Palestinians, without total genocide.

Pipes (Israel and Its Enemies):

Rabin’s mistake was simple and profound: One cannot “make peace with one’s enemy,” as he imagined. Rather, one makes peace with one’s former enemy. Peace nearly always requires one side in a conflict to be defeated and thus give up its goals.
Wars end not through goodwill but through victory. “Let your great object [in war] be victory” observed Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese strategist. “War is an act of violence to compel the enemy to fulfill our will,” wrote his nineteenth-century Prussian successor, Karl von Clausewitz in 1832. Douglas MacArthur observed in 1951 that in “war, there is no substitute for victory.”
Technological advancement has not altered this insight. Fighting either continues or potentially can resume so long as both sides hope to achieve their war goals. Victory consists of imposing one’s will on the enemy, compelling him to give up his war ambitions. Wars typically end when one side gives up hope, when its will to fight has been crushed.
Defeat, one might think, usually follows on devastating battlefield losses, as was the case of the Axis in 1945. But that has rarely occurred during the past sixty years. Battlefield losses by the Arab states to Israel in 1948-82, by North Korea in 1953, by Saddam Hussein in 1991, and by Iraqi Sunnis in 2003 did not translate into despair and surrender. Morale and will matter more these days. Although they out-manned and out-gunned their foes, the French gave up in Algeria, the Americans in Vietnam, and the Soviets in Afghanistan. The Cold War ended, notably, with barely a fatality. Crushing the enemy’s will to fight, then, does not necessarily mean crushing the enemy. 

Arabs and Israelis since 1948 have pursued static and opposite goals: Arabs fought to eliminate Israel; Israelis fought to win their neighbors' acceptance. Details have varied over the decades with multiple ideologies, strategies, and leading actors, but the twin goals have remained in place and unbridgeable. If the conflict is to end, one side must lose and one side win. Either there will be no more Zionist state or it will be accepted by its neighbors. Those are the only two scenarios for ending the conflict. Anything else is unstable and a premise for further warfare.
The Arabs have pursued their war aims with patience, determination, and purpose; the exceptions to this pattern (e.g., the Egyptian and Jordanian peace treaties) have been operationally insignificant because they have not tamped hostility to Israel’s existence. In response, Israelis sustained a formidable record of strategic vision and tactical brilliance in the period 1948-93. Over time, however, as Israel developed into a wealthy country, its populace grew impatient with the humiliating, slow, boring, bitter, and expensive task of convincing Arabs to accept their political existence. By now, few in Israel still see victory as the goal; almost no major political figure on the scene today calls for victory in war. Uzi Landau, currently minister of national infrastructure, who argues that “when you’re in a war you want to win the war,” is the rare exception.
. . . .
But who does not win, loses. To survive, Israelis eventually must return to their pre-1993 policy of establishing that Israel is strong, tough, and permanent. That is achieved through deterrence — the tedious task of convincing Palestinians and others that the Jewish state will endure and that dreams of elimination must fail.
This will not be easy or quick. Due to missteps during the Oslo years and after (especially the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza of 2005 and the Lebanon war of 2006), Palestinians perceive Israel as economically and militarily strong but morally and politically weak. In the pungent words of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Israel is “weaker than a spider's web.” Such scorn will likely require decades of hard work to reverse. Nor will it be pretty: Defeat in war typically entails that the loser experience deprivation, failure, and despair.
Israel does enjoy one piece of good fortune: It need only deter the Palestinians, not the whole Arab and Muslim populations. Moroccans, Iranians, Malaysians, and others take their cues from the Palestinians and with time will follow their lead. Israel’s ultimate enemy, the one whose will it needs to crush, is roughly the same demographic size as itself.
This process may be seen through a simple prism. Any development that encourages Palestinians to think they can eliminate Israel is negative, any that encourages them to give up that goal is positive.
The Palestinians’ defeat will be recognizable when, over a protracted period and with complete consistency, they prove that they have accepted Israel. This does not mean loving Zion, but it does mean permanently accepting it — overhauling the educational system to take out the demonization of Jews and Israel, telling the truth about Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and accepting normal commercial, cultural, and human relations with Israelis.
Palestinian démarches and letters to the editor are acceptable but violence is not. The quiet that follows must be consistent and enduring. Symbolically, one can conclude that Palestinians have accepted Israel and the war is over when Jews living in Hebron (on the West Bank) have no more need for security than Arabs living in Nazareth (in Israel).


In an important article in the current Middle East Quarterly, Daniel Pipes reviews the terrible failure of the 1993 Oslo accords, and homes in on the root fallacy of the diplomatic approach it embodied: the belief that the Arab-Israeli war can “be concluded through good will, conciliation, mediation, flexibility, restraint, generosity, and compromise, topped off with signatures on official documents.’’ For 16 years, Israeli governments, prodded by Washington, have sought to quench Palestinian hostility with concessions and gestures of good will. Yet peace today is more elusive than ever.
“Wars end not through good will but through victory,’’ Pipes writes, defining victory as one side compelling the other to give up its war goals. Since 1948, the Arabs’ goal has been the elimination of Israel; the Israelis’, to win their neighbors’ acceptance of a Jewish state in the Middle East. “If the conflict is to end, one side must lose and one side win,’’ argues Pipes.
Diplomacy cannot settle the Arab-Israeli conflict until the Palestinians abandon their anti-Israel rejectionism. US policy should therefore be focused on making them abandon it. The Palestinians must be put “on notice that benefits will flow to them only after they prove their acceptance of Israel. Until then – no diplomacy, no discussion of final status, no recognition as a state, and certainly no financial aid or weapons.’’
So long as American and Israeli leaders remain committed to a fruitless Arab-Israeli “peace process,’’ Arab-Israeli peace will remain unachievable. Let the newest Nobel peace laureate grasp and act upon that insight, and he will do more to hasten the conflict’s end than any of his well-meaning predecessors.