July 15, 2006

What Israel really needs

The current flare-up in the Middle East, with Hamas elements in the Occupied Territories and Hezbollah in Lebanon provoking Israel, and Israel smashing back with a small, but lethal, fraction of its overwhelming might, has elicited all the usual calls from the usual suspects demanding that the U.S. fight Israel's wars for it by having America attack Iran and Syria, but let's get real. As historian Jim Chapin used to say, the armies of the Muslim countries stand behind the Palestinian people in their confrontation with Israel, hundreds and hundreds of miles behind them. And, as The Superficial might say, strike "stand" from that sentence and substitute "cower."

What Israel needs are more moderately well-armed dictatorships on its borders, like Jordan and Egypt, that Israel, the regional military superpower, can intimidate into suppressing disorderly elements within their frontiers.

The Jordanian government, for example, knows that if somebody within its borders shoots rockets at Israel, the Israeli military will come and break with impunity the shiny war toys that are the symbol and sword of the monarchy's stranglehold on domestic power. So, the Jordanian secret police makes sure nobody in Jordan does anything that will make the big bad Israelis too mad.

Unfortunately, Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon aren't well-established dictatorships like Jordan and Egypt, but semi-anarchic territories, so Israel will be intermittently pestered by organizations operating out of them. This will go on for a long time. As Dave Barry once said:

They can hold all the peace talks they want, but there will never be peace in the Middle East. Billions of years from now, when Earth is hurtling toward the Sun and there is nothing left alive on the planet except a few microorganisms, the microorganisms living in the Middle East will be bitter enemies.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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