by Daniel Greenfield
If Israeli soldiers had boarded the Mavi Marmara armed with assault rifles instead of paintball guns, would the Turkish Islamists on board have been just as eager to attack them? The odds are against it. In order to attack soldiers, you have to believe that they won't be able to turn you into a smear on the deck. And it's not hard to see why they would have believed that.
Not only did Israeli soldiers come on board armed with paintball guns, but the Islamists and their left wing allies had every reason to believe that
But the flotilla encounter is a useful model, not only of
Going in with paintball guns to stop people who genuinely want you dead, does not deescalate the situation-- it escalates it. There are after all two kinds of violence. Violence that occurs as a misunderstanding and can be talked out. And violence that is the result of people who want to kill thinking they've got a shot at accomplishing their goal. And there's no better way to insure violence than to give those kinds of people the idea that this is their moment.
Only consistently leveraging force provides a deterrent. That is something
Remember Osama bin Laden's shock as the scale of the
If we consistently deployed force against terrorism, we wouldn't have this seesaw cycle that the left wing media routinely dubs the "Cycle of Violence". Instead we react inconsistently, which fails to function as a deterrent. Our inaction lulls terrorists into thinking that they have a free pass, which only demonstrates that we don't have a deterrent. Next to outright inaction, the inconsistent use of force is destructive to maintaining a stalemate. Because if given two possibilities with equal amounts of evidence for both, one that you will strike back with full force and one that you will remain apathetic-- most motivated enemies will find ways to argue themselves into believing the latter. And they will attack.
Carrying paintball guns will not win you love. During the Munich Olympics in 1972, the German police handed out flowers. The flowers did not stop PLO terrorists from invading the Olympic Village and murdering Israeli athletes. On the other hand
But we still keep using paintball guns. For 17 years
When dealing with enemies who want to kill you, one thing is certain-- nice countries finish last. Totalitarian regimes and homicidal ideologies view "niceness" as an admission of weakness or guilt. And here's the dirty little secret, often we tend to view it that way too. Backing down before enemies becomes learned behavior. The human mind rationalizes it by embracing pacifism and then finally the enemy's point of view. Inaction in the face of terrorism becomes Stockholm Syndrome. The more you teach soldiers to carry paintball guns, the less psychologically able they are to wield real guns in an actual battle. Because you can't win by giving up. And giving up convinces your own people that the battle isn't worth fighting anyway.
It's all well and good to be nice, but when confronting enemies who seek to destroy you-- remember, nice countries finish last.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.