Lessons from Ralph Peters

We’ll say it again….Ralph Peters is one of our favorite analysts of military and political affairs, as well as a terrific writer of fiction.  While bed bound in Montana, your scribe had the pleasure of watching C-Span, where he gave a speech promoting the ideas of his newest book, Never Quit the Fight.  It should be read by all who wish to understand the nature of the conflict we are facing, and will be facing for the next few decades, at least.

His latest column in the New York Post appeared yesterday, in which he notes the lessons learned from the Israeli-Hezballah War.  The intro:

The elementary fact – which far too many in the West deny – is that our civilization has been forced into a defensive war to the death with fanatical strains of Islam – both Shi’a and Sunni. We may be on the offensive militarily, but we did not start this war – and it’s all one war, from 9/11’s Ground Zero, through Lebanon and Iraq, and on to Afghanistan.

His point is that the West is giving up the high ground in the propaganda wars, with the willing compliance of the Western Media, and that this war will not, and has not been, easy, cheap, and painless.  In fact, the hard stuff is ahead of us.

His conclusion from the lessons:

Can we win "Eastern" wars with Western values? I doubt it.

This question is going to eat at our consciences for years to come – even as we learn to do what must be done.

Despite media lies about Israeli "atrocities," the IDF has been doing all it can to spare civilians. For example, the Israelis repeatedly risked commando teams deep in hostile territory to take out Hezbollah command-and-control cells – instead of just leveling the crowded apartment buildings where the terrorists were hiding. But, ultimately, all of the special operations in the world will fall far short of delivering decisive, crushing victories. We are going to have to learn to fight by the enemy’s rules. And we aren’t going to like it.

The wars of the future will be won by those with the greater strength of will. And boundless determination is one weapon that Islamist extremists unquestionably possess.

Do we?

That’s the great question….do we?  Does our nation possess the unity of will necessary to prevail in this war?  Right now, the answer is maybe, and maybe is edging closer to the door.  But to lose our will does not ensure our safety, and that is the big point of difference between those who support the war and those who do not.  It may be that we will have to endure much more pain at home before we learn that it is better to inflict pain that to receive pain.  That is the sad, but true lesson of life, and your scribe hopes we learn that lesson while we can.

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