Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Israel: A philosophical defence strategy

Neo-Libertarian has some thoughts on what Israel can and has been doing to defend itself from those who want Israel wiped off the map, and what its long-term strategy should be. Israel's military strategy of defence is based on secure buffer zones between it and its enemies, whch explains its positions on the Golan Heights, the Sinai and the Straits of Tiran, the West Bank, and in Southern Lebanon.
What Israel does is actually a self-enforced version of classic UN buffer peacekeeping. A traditional UN peacekeeper force does nothing but sit between two combatants, on a border, and prevents either side from crossing. While this hardly prevents rocket strikes above the force (like Hezbollah firing over UNIFIL to hit Israel) it prevents ground invasions.
So what can Israel do now in Southern Lebanon:
First things first, Hezbollah must be destroyed or (more realistically) severely crippled. That's the short-term. Neither Lebanon nor Israel is safe while Hezbollah is running around armed.
Agreed. And it has to be done, if possible, without spreading the conflict.
For the mid-term, the US and the world need to clamp down on Iran funding Hezbollah.
And good luck with that, and with obtaining Syria's agreement to withdraw their support for this proxy war.
A long-term solution has to recognize what's to become of the peaceful citizens residing in the states that Israel combats. Arabs have rights and hopes. A real solution must place primacy on developing Arab liberalism and Arab democracy. Simply attacking Hezbollah doesn't fight the source of the problem, and unlike fighting against states like Egypt or Jordan (which have institutional interests like maintaining power and borders that push them to seek ceasefire or even peace) there's less incentive for groups like the PLO or Hezbollah to seek peace...

And when the fighting is over, Israel should compensate accidental victims specifically and the country generally with direct payments to widows, reconstruction of the airport and highways, and generally rebuilding what it broke in the fighting. The US should follow in parallel with the promise of strong support for democracy promotion, including thinkers and philanthropists.
Remembering of course that democracy is just one form of legalised mob rule.

What is essential for the Middle East is long term cultural change: the development of a culture that abhors tribalism and the ongoing tribal wars that have left everyone suffering, and everybody left alive worse off.

In the end it is only the promotion of reason, individualism and capitalism that can be a long-term antidote to the mysticism, tribalism, and state- and warrior-worship that infests the place -- the promotion of a trader culture instead of a warrior culture, and a realisation that peaceful people are a boon to each other, not a threat. Call this a philosophical defence strategy if you like, because that is exactly what it is.

As Ayn Rand noted in her essay 'The Roots of War':
The trader and the warrior have been fundamental antagonists throughout history. Trade does not flourish on the battlefields, factories do not produce under bombardments, profits do not grow on rubble.
And neither do dreams.

LINKS: Buffer-zone realism versus holistic liberalism - Neo-Libertarian
Statism as the cause of war - excerpt from 'The Roots of War' by Ayn Rand
Cue Card Lebertarianism - Democracy - Not PC (Peter Cresswell)
Cue Card Lebertarianism - Harmony of Interests - Not PC (Peter Cresswell)

RELATED: War, Israel, Politics-World

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