Mosul and Gaza: Genocide is the continuation of politics by other means.

Carl von Clauswitz was a 19th century Prussian strategist and theorist of warfare. He stated that war is the continuation of politics by other means. Now in the 20th and 21st centuries the line between warfare and genocide has been blurred, but it is clear that the wholesale use of terror and murder to gain the goals of a political movement or a state have generally been seen as beyond the pale of civilized behavior.

ISIS, or the Islamic State, in Iraq and Syria, has used wholesale murder of Shiites, Alewites, Yazidis, and Christians, as well as anyone that opposed its aims to gain territory and power over resident populations. It has just turned its genocidal tactics against Kurds in the vicinity of Mosul and is posed to unleash floods of water on Iraqi cities below the critical dam it has just captured. The reputation of the Peshmerga, the formidable armed forces of Iraqi Kurdistan has been tarnished by defeats by ISIS.

Israel also, seems to have allowed the distinction between military actions and genocidal acts to have been blurred. This is a different case than that of ISIS, whose goal is to kill every Shiite, Christian, and Yazidi in their power, a goal similar to that of the Nazis, who wanted to eradicate the entire Jewish "race". The killings in Gaza are more like the massacre of civilian populations by the United States in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that were unleashed in order to obtain military objectives.The sheer numbers of Palestinians killed, over 1800 as of this writing, gives an indication that it is not just Hamas fighters and their military tunnels that are being targeted. A tremendous smoke-screen of self-justification has been thrown up claiming that the Israeli military try not to kill civilians and that the only culprits in all of this are Hamas terrorists that are using civilians as human shields. Unfortunately the entire population of Gaza is in the way of the Israeli army. Schools and hospitals, as well as entire neighborhoods, have been targeted because of the real or supposed military assets of Hamas. And of course, Hamas is not going to "come out and play fair." But does this justify the slaughter of the civilian population?

Israel has stated that it will do everything it can to obtain security for its population. Unfortunately this does not include allowing the Palestinians to found their own state or to remove the illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.

Ironically, both ISIS and Israel are armed by the United States. ISIS picked up its tremendous cache of modern weapons from supplies given to and abandoned by the Iraqi army. Israel gets these supplies direct from the source in billions of dollars of military aid, and when the supply is low, the American congress votes hundreds of millions of dollars to replenish the Israeli war coffers.

Terrorists that kill helpless civilians are horrible, and they should be eradicated. But killing thousands of civilians for whatever reason will only guarantee a ready supply of young terrorist recruits in the future. Until the enabling countries that support armed forces involved in genocide turn against them and stop supplying them, the brutal slaughter of civilians will continue unabated. 


Popular posts from this blog

Turkey's Troubled Neighborhood

The great Middle East board game

Indians and Kurds