Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ben Stein--How to Lose--How to Win

IMDb.com photo

A couple of months ago I published a post on what two WWII vets thought about the modern preoccupation with civility in fighting a war. From their experience in WWII, they thought this was a recipe for losing a war. They saw first hand, one in the European theater and the other in the Pacific theater, the necessity of adapting to the enemy's strategy, strengths and weaknesses.

Ben Stein has recently underlined that point in the present conflict with terrorism.

We are in real serious trouble, and I'll tell you how and why I know it:

* Because the Hezbollah -- as has been well reported -- launches missiles at purely civilian targets in Israel as a matter of course, and no one in Europe or in the American left says "boo" about it. It's considered the Hezbollah's "right" to kill Israelis and when they do, they boast about it and promise to do more;

* Because it's been also well documented that the Hezbollah hides behind civilian targets and adjacent to civilian dwellings in Lebanon to fire its rockets at Israel, and when Israel fires back and mistakenly hits a home with civilians, the world of "intellectuals" and "thinkers" blames Israel and calls Israel bloodthirsty;

* Because when the Israelis kill civilians, they apologize, but when the terrorists kill civilians, they brag -- and the beautiful people scream at Eretz Israel and excuse the terrorists;


In WWII there were two standards for medics. In Europe US medics regularly helped wounded Germans--because German prisoners were grateful for help and didn't try to kill the medics. In the Pacific US medics helping wounded Japanese was a bit rare--because wounded Japanese soldiers tried to kill medics helping them.

Because US commanders, medics, politicians and the American people were able to make that distinction, the US not only won the war, but a lot of medics came home alive from the Pacific theater.

Ben Stein continues:

* Because it is impossible to beat a terrorist movement without using terror tactics, and we as a people of compassion and restraint, both in Israel and the U.S., will not use terror tactics even when survival is at stake, and this means we will not survive.

It is very much as if, after Pearl Harbor, after the bombing of London, we said, "We will fight the Japanese and the Nazis, but we will only use humane means, and we will show total restraint and will never kill civilians. And we will search our souls and agonize about every move."

It is this attitude that kept the United States from winning in Korea, in Vietnam, and now in Iraq. If we had followed that code of suicide, we would have lost World War II and the world would have been plunged into eternal darkness.


We need to listen to people who have actually won a war against people who used suicide attacks and brutality (even against medics trying to help them) as a matter of course. Because not only did those vets and their leaders safeguard the US and its way of life, but the "brutality" of US forces and the dropping of the atomic bomb caused a transformation in the Japanese. The Japanese accepted democracy and have become a peace-loving society--to their benefit and ours.

Those who won't learn from history not only are doomed to repeat it, but to fail where their betters succeeded.

Hat Tip: Mike's America

2 comments:

George Berryman said...

I was emailing back and forth with one of my co-bloggers, Chris, today... and at one point we were talking about how it's un-freaking-possible to listen to Mike Gallagher's talk show here in Dallas on KSKY.

I then told Chris I'd much rather listen to a Ben Stein talk show.

terrance said...

I agree. A Ben Stein talk show would be a real addition to good radio (or TV).