Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Problem With Arab Denial

Ari Lieberman for the ''Jewish News''

The Arabs have long been delusional. This terrific article reviews the Arab-Israeli wars and the Arab and Muslim connection with reality.
On October 6, 1973, Yom Kippur Day, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated assault against Israel. Under cover of heavy artillery and aerial bombardment, the Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal and stormed Israel’s neglected Bar-Lev fortifications. Several hundred miles to the north, a thousand Syrian tanks accompanied by anti-tank guide missile squads crashed through the Golan Heights. Facing them were a mere 177 Israeli tanks.

After 18 days of bitter fighting, the picture on the ground appeared vastly different from those first precarious days. In the North, the Syrians were in full retreat. Their destroyed and abandoned tanks littered the Golan and the Israelis stood a mere 20 miles from Damascus. The situation for the Egyptians was no better. The bulk of their army was trapped and surrounded by the Israel Defense Forces and there was nothing to stop the Israelis from advancing on Cairo. In fact, the Arab situation was so dire that the Soviets threatened direct military intervention unless Israel stopped its offensive, prompting the U.S. to heighten DEFCON readiness and place its 6th Fleet on alert.

Strangely, October 6 is marked yearly as a holiday in Egypt. There are military parades and patriotic songs play over government controlled radio. Egyptians are taught that the Yom Kippur War, or as they call it, the Ramadan War, was an Egyptian victory. Despite the fact that their army was hopelessly trapped, despite the fact that the IDF was operating with impunity over a large swath of land in Africa, despite the fact that the Egyptians suffered tens of thousands dead and wounded, despite the fact that their Syrian allies suffered equal devastation and despite the fact that the Soviets had to bail them out (again), the Egyptians still call it a victory. Strange, indeed.

Fast-forward nine years. On June 6, 1982 the IDF invaded Lebanon. Within six days, its forces swept aside PLO and Syrian resistance and were on the outskirts of Beirut, trapping some 7,000 PLO fighters in the Lebanese capital. Within two months, the PLO was expelled from Lebanon and banished to scattered destinations throughout the Middle East. Their humiliating exit from the Lebanese capital was accompanied by celebratory gunfire as if they had achieved a glorious victory. So many bullets were fired into the air that dozens of Fatah terrorists were injured by falling lead. Yasser Arafat even compared the Battle of Beirut to the Battle of Stalingrad. Obviously, nobody had told Arafat that the Russians actually won that battle.

On July 12, 2006, twenty-four years after the First Lebanon War, Israel was again forced to fight a war in Lebanon, this time against a foe called Hezbollah. The war was sparked by a serious Hezbollah border provocation.

After 33 days of fighting, the IDF was in control of every single Lebanese village in the sub-Litani region (from Israel’s northern border to the Litani River near Tyre). Hezbollah lost a third of its elite fighting force and by some estimates, up to a thousand killed in action. Damage to Hezbollah’s infrastructure was equally severe and the billions the terrorist group and its Iranian sponsors spent in developing its military capabilities went up in smoke. Whole Shi’a neighborhoods were obliterated and, despite the passing of three years, the scars of war are still evident throughout Lebanon. Hezbollah was pushed away from the border and the organization was forced to allow the Lebanese Army to deploy there in its place, something its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, vowed he would never allow. Pouring salt on Hezbollah’s wounds, UNFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) was enlarged and now included a big European contingent led by French and Italian troops. The new reality meant that Hezbollah could no longer operate with impunity in the sub-Litani region, as this would necessarily invite confrontation with the Lebanese Army and the Europeans. Moreover, Iran and Syria had hoped to utilize Hezbollah as a deterrent against any Israeli strike against those rogue countries. By prematurely provoking a fight with Israel without strategic purpose, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria exposed their hand and gained nothing. The Israeli home front absorbed the worst that Hezbollah had to offer and escaped relatively unscathed.

Political commentators, academics and defense analysts have, for the most part, recognized the Second Lebanon war as a strategic loss for Hezbollah and a victory for Israel. Indeed, Nasrallah himself, facing growing domestic criticism, admitted that he vastly underestimated the strength of Israel’s response and stated that he would not have provoked Israel had he known that it would lead to war. Yet shortly after offering this humbling statement, Nasrallah boasted (from his underground hideout) that Hezbollah had scored a “divine victory” over Israel.

What leader apologizes for and doubts the wisdom of starting a war that leads to “divine victory” for his people? Perhaps Michael Young of Lebanon’s “Daily Star” summed it up best when he wrote, “one dreads to imagine what Hezbollah would recognize as a military loss.”

In December 2008, just two years after Nasrallah’s colossal blunder, 26 years after the PLO’s humiliating Beirut expulsion and 35 years after Egypt’s disastrous Yom Kippur misadventure, Hamas decided that it, too, wanted to join the Arab humiliation club. It violated an agreed-upon ceasefire by unilaterally firing deadly rocket salvos at Israeli towns. In the three weeks of war that followed, Israel killed 709 Hamas combatants including senior commanders and bomb makers for losses of 9 IDF soldiers, a kill ratio of nearly 80 to 1. Hamas failed to hit a single Israeli tank and its “fighters” chose to run or surrender rather than fight. Yet in the midst of a smoldering Gaza with his guerilla fighters in tatters and scattering in different directions, Ismail Haniyeh emerged from his underground hospital bunker (after Israel had already left, of course) to declare victory over the Zionists.

Once again Israel had scored a major military and strategic victory and once again an Arab leader defied logic and reality by declaring victory over the “Zionist imperialists.”

Aside from being motivated by a hatred of anything not Islamic, these wars demonstrate another common theme: the Arabs live in a state of perpetual delusional fantasy. Their reality is so steeped in fantasy that it almost makes Disney’s Alice in Wonderland appear as reality. But there is logic behind this absurd, seemingly bizarre and irrational behavior.
The Islamic antagonists facing Israel and the West are indoctrinated in a convoluted mixture of radical Islam, extreme fanaticism and a depraved hatred of anything un-Islamic. Some refer to this as Islamofacism. Admitting defeat would require the Arabs to acknowledge that within a sixty-year span, they have been defeated nine times by the non-believing heretics. This, in turn, would undermine the core of their belief system. After all, how could Allah abandon them nine straight times? Unless of course, Allah doesn’t adhere to the corrupted form of Islam they espouse. That would mean that everything they were spoon-fed from birth, all the hate and religious fanaticism, was a lie and their sacrifices were in vain. No virgins awaited them in paradise.

Thus, denial runs deep in the Islamofacist mindset. Seemingly bizarre claims of “divine victory” or ludicrous comparisons with Stalingrad are more than empty rhetoric. They are coping mechanisms designed to deal with a reality they prefer to ignore. Until this bankrupted belief system is rejected by level-headed, moderate Muslims, the Arabs are likely to continue experiencing defeat and likely to continue proclaiming phantom victories while their people live in abject poverty and die by the tens of thousands.

read it at Yeshiva World

1 comment:

Nobody's Favorite said...

the one small comment i would add is that the combat to civilian death ratio of the "Gaza war" was many times less than the Iraq war and the afghan war or the UN event in Yugoslavia and yet it is the one singled out for world opprobrium and condemnation.