Sunday, August 03, 2014

One Million Ceasefires

Sultan Knish

If you like cease-fires, then this is a great time to be alive. Those Israelis who weren't shot in the head by  Hamas terrorists (whom Andrew Sullivan insists weren't real Hamas terrorist, trading in his obsession with Sarah Palin's rogue pregnancy for a new conspiracy theory) or killed by a Hamas rocket, encounter almost as many cease-fires in a given day as terrorist attacks.

A cease-fire comes along every few minutes and it can last anywhere from a minute to an hour to a few hours until Hamas once again begins firing rockets or swarming through tunnels to attack Israelis.

"War, what is it good for?" The Temptations sang. The obvious answer is that wars done right keep you from having to keep fighting.

But cease-fires with Hamas aren't good for that or anything else.

Hamas violates its own cease-fires. It declares cease-fires and then denies that it declared them. It seems to have almost as many positions on cease-fires as John Kerry does on Iraq.

Israel's unilateral cease-fires with Hamas are as worthless as its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza which allowed Hamas to take over the area. The cease-fires don't stop the fighting. They don't bring an end to the violence.

That's what war is for.

But John Kerry is almost as obsessed with cease-fires as he is with finding a toupee that stays put during intense windsurfing sessions. The complete uselessness of the cease-fires hasn't stopped the completely useless top diplomat from constantly proposing new ones.

Having noticed that the lifespan of one of these cease-fires is roughly that of a good idea inside his brain, Kerry defended his insistence on enrolling Israel in the Ceasefire-of-the-Minute club by claiming that enough worthless cease-fires could eventually be cashed in for one big real cease-fire.

Obama's economic policy was all about piling up huge amounts of debt on the theory that enough debt would eventually translate into wealth. The theory of a million worthless cease-fires adding up to peace is that same economic theory applied to the equally fraudulent realm of international diplomacy.

"The momentum generated by these short-term cease-fires is the best way to achieve a sustainable cease-fire," Kerry said.

So far the only momentum is coming from Hamas rockets falling on Israel every time there's a cease-fire. But maybe that's the momentum that John Kerry has in mind. If enough rockets fall on Israel, maybe the Jews will finally give up on trying to contain Hamas and settle on Qatar's terms.

In Hard Choices, a photo of deposed Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi gazing lovingly into Hillary Clinton's eyes is captioned with the false claim that “Morsi helped me negotiate a cease-fire between Israel & Hamas that holds to this day.“

By "to this day" she probably meant the last day someone bought a copy of Hard Choices; piles of which are currently being used as doorstops at every Costco in the country. But even by that standard, the cease-fire that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt negotiated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza didn't hold up too well.

The rocket attacks on Israel never stopped. Obama, Kerry and Clinton just pretended that they did. Desperate to get someone in Washington D.C. to notice their homicidal mania, Gaza even fired off rockets during Obama's visit. The target was Sderot, the Israeli city that Obama had visited back in 2008 before he learned how to lower the oceans, amnesty the illegals and stab Israel in the back.  

"The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens," Obama told the residents of the city that has come to be known as the nation's bomb shelter. "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing."

But in 2013, Obama skipped Sderot. He paid no attention to the terrorists firing rockets at Sderot, even though they had dubbed him a "Roman Dog". Instead he visited the leader of the PLO who welcomed him with a mangled rendition of a Communist song about the glories of the Red Army and collective agriculture. Abbas may have assumed that it was one of the few things that the terrorist leader and the community organizer had in common.

Meanwhile everyone went on pretending that the cease-fire still held. Only the Israelis had trouble playing along because were still being shelled.

Kerry's spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who attempts to fix his messes by creating new messes of her own, explained that, ”Our focus is now is on short term cease-fires than can be built on each other.”

Any construction worker will tell you that putting one fragile and unstable object on top of another an infinite amount of times will not build anything livable, but the party of "You Didn't Build That" doesn't seem to know much about how to actually build things, whether it's economies or cease-fires.

Psaki's rhetoric is part of a larger shift in diplomatic expectations about the peace process.

Israel is expected to accept a million cease-fires, no matter how worthless, because a cease-fire is an innately good thing, regardless of whether it's actually good for anything. If war is always bad, then cease-fires are always good. It doesn't matter if winning a war actually leads to peace while cease-fires just lead to more war.

The devolution of peacenik idealism from a lasting peace to a cease-fire that lasts as long as it takes a bunch of men from Beit Hanoun to lug their rocket from the mosque to a UNRWA school is an adaptation to a new reality.

Unlike its PLO cousins, Hamas isn't willing to pinkie swear that it will stop killing Israelis if it gets a few pieces of land on a map. Hamas only offers the Hudna, the temporary cease-fire that Muslims offer to non-Muslims, just before they start killing them again anyway.

Arafat framed the peace deal to Muslims in terms of Mohammed's Hudna, a process that eventually led Mohammed to carry out the mass murder and rape of the local Jewish population during that golden age of coexistence between Muslims and the Jews and Christians they were ethnically cleansing that the New York Times keeps talking about when it blames Zionism for everything.

But the PLO was at least willing to run its Hudna through the Western framework of diplomacy and peace agreements. Hamas is no more honest than the PLO, but its dishonesty is expressed in purely Islamic terms. If it's going to agree to an agreement that it intends to break anyway, it's going to be a temporary Hudna cease-fire, which it can safely break under Islamic law, and not some infidel Western peace process.

The idealism of diplomats and activists is tagging along after the new Hamas reality. The peace process is dead. The temporary ceasefire in which Hamas is allowed to kill Israelis, but Israel isn't allowed to kill the terrorists killing its people is the new ideal. And Israel is expected to get on board.

The cease-fire is just the peace process stripped as naked as the fairy tale emperor. It works exactly the same way.

Terrorists attack Israel. Israel fights back. The photogs snap staged photos of Israeli atrocities, complete with painstakingly posed brand new teddy bears. The diplomats show up and demand that Israel make concessions to the terrorists in exchange for not being shot at. The concessions are made and the terrorists go on shooting anyway.

It's the same old story, without any of the empty talk of "Peace in Our Time." There's no promise of co-existence. No new Middle East. Just Lucy in a Burka holding out an exploding football.

Secretary of State John Kerry promises that enough cease-fires will add up to a sustainable cease-fire. But what is a sustainable cease-fire anyway? Unlike peace, sustainable cease-fires happen through a balance of power. Kerry's sustainable cease-fire however is supposed to be achieved by rewarding Hamas for breaking all the other cease-fires with a raft of new concessions.

Trying to obtain a sustainable cease-fire by rewarding terrorists who break cease-fires is like going trillions into debt to get rich. Not only won't it work, but it will have the exact opposite effect.

Kerry's sustainable cease-fire can't exist because he's paying the terrorists breaking it in Israeli currency. Psaki's giant pile of cease-fires, one of top of another, is just a game of diplomatic Jenga. Everyone from the UN Secretary General to Hillary Clinton keeps shouting for an immediate cease-fire. But what is the cease-fire supposed to accomplish when the problem is terrorism?

We didn't respond to Pearl Harbor with an unconditional cease-fire. We didn't address 9/11 with a cease-fire. As miserably defeatist as this administration has been, it still hasn't declared a cease-fire with Al Qaeda no matter how many civilians, including children, die in the process.

A cease-fire is even more pointless than a peace process. At least a peace process has a goal. A cease-fire is a temporary interruption in hostilities. It doesn't accomplish anything except to prolong and delay the inevitable. It's not an end to war. It's a war that drags on interminably without any final conclusion. Instead the rockets keep falling year after year in the war that never ends.

A million cease-fires solve nothing. Especially when Hamas continues to violate its own cease-fires, accepting them and then rejecting them and then attacking anyway.

We don't have a cease-fire with Al Qaeda. Instead Obama keeps promising to defeat Al Qaeda. Doesn't Israel deserve to win its own war on terror?

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