Coriander's question

In our ongoing series of questions from readers, Coriander asks...

How do we achieve peace in the Middle East?
This is going to be an unpopular answer, but I'm going to say it anyway.

Peace, is not what is wanted in the Middle East. Peace, in the simplest terms, is just the absence of warfare. It's relatively easy to achieve that - it just requires the will to initiate a "total war."

Let me clarify - war is not a good option. It should be the absolute last resort, after all diplomatic channels have been exhausted, and the only way to avoid the extinction of your people is to fight. It should NOT to be engaged in over frivolous crap like territory or racial hatred or religion or OIL...

That said, once you have given up on any other solution and have decided to launch air and ground attacks, it is counter-productive to waffle in your policies. No humanitarian aid, no days off for holidays, no rules, no respect for temples or museums or hospitals, and no mercy. Kill everyone; men, women, children, livestock, pets, and maybe even the plant life. Do that until the other side is absolutely unable to continue. What remains is certainly peace.

Of course, I'm not the first to suggest this.
"It should be noted that one must either pamper or do away with men, because they will avenge themselves for minor offences while for more serious ones they cannot; so that any harm done to a man must be the kind that removes any fear of revenge."
Those words come from our old pal Machiavelli. If you're going to fight, fight to win, once and for all, with all of the weapons at your disposal, and expect the other guy to do the same. To do otherwise is to encourage lengthier wars, and create a situation where another war is brewing. Each of these wars is not new - they are the same old war reemerging, because the problems were not solved even though the fighting ended. You must possess the will to press the attack until complete surrender is achieved.

For the most part, we - and by "we" I mean "modern humans" - lack that kind of horrible will. We can't bear the reality of it. Instead, we engage in limited warfare. We kill, but we have decided that only certain people can be killed, and they must not be killed with certain weapons, nor on certain days, nor in certain places. We have made rules (the Geneva Convention), and installed referees (the U.N.) and made war into a sport that can be engaged in regularly, instead of the all-out madness which it should be. If war were allowed to be the grisly enterprise it truly is, there would be far fewer of them, and they would be shorter.

No, what everyone wants is actually more appropriately called "truce." Which is significantly harder to create. On that topic, I'll have to get back to you...

2 comments:

fleur said...

what you say makes a lot of sense... how unusual =)

really though, Machiavellian as it seems until people start sucking less unconditional force might be the only way peace can be achieved...

but like I always say - people mostly suck...

Coriander said...

Thanks for answering my question. :)

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