What do a now half-blind Kashmiri medical student, a young Syrian boy in Aleppo, and the citizens of Gaza have in common?
Many things. The most important one, for both us and their societies at present, is this: – They are Sacrifices.
It is also the most politically incorrect answers out there. And for obvious reasons.
A few days ago, the Palestinian group Hamas attacked the frontier town of Sderot in Israel with its trademark rockets and invited extensive action by the IDF as a response. As of the time of writing, Israeli tanks were still engaged in manoeuvres on the site- and while editorials had started trickling in local media, the English-using media had still to discover the ‘atrocities’ over the ‘disproportionate response’ by the Israelis. Needless to say, clever investors among the readership would be advised to buy up on mombati company stocks…
However- any response to this particular ‘massacre of Palestinians by cruel Sanghi Israelis- might be tepid. As these words are being written (around 4:40 PM IST, 24th August, 2016), Turkey finally invaded Syria- ostensibly targeting ISIS but in all likelihood, to stamp out YPG Kurdish forces across the border. Though with Sultan Erdogan- any guess would be a good one. Both Israel and Syria are favourite punching bags for the global liberal classes- yet considering the constant media assault President Assad of the Syrian government has been from World media in recent days, it would be probably him who gets the most focus this time around. Additionally, the Liberal brigade seems to have a rather precious jewel of their’s go missing- but not before carrying out heinous sexual assault and rape upon a Dalit girl student. Jewels often go missing in big houses- but considering the thorough cleaning the bungalows of Lutyens’ Delhi are getting in recent days, it might not be long before it is recovered.
Even mango people like us know this.
In either case, it is doubtful that the events of the past few weeks will get much response from the Indian liberal class. But as has already been written- this was a sacrifice. And sacrifices sometimes fail. For Hamas right now, there’s nothing for it but to prepare for another one.
States- as long as they are run by Nationalists- are very formidable foes, almost invincible to conquest or foreign control.
Both Israel and India have significantly military capabilities- far outstripping most sovereign nations of the World, let alone a malcontent with a Wani poster.
Even more importantly, both are industrialized economies with large populations and a history of operating professional armed forces; barely a handful of nations can boast of the same. Also- there exist significant populations in even disputed areas who actively want the State to remain in place.
Be it the Druze and Arab Christians in Israel or the Shias, non-Kashmiri Sunni, and Buddhists in Kashmir- the only peace Islamic rule will give them is the peace given to the Kashmiri Pandits- ‘Go away but leave your women behind.’
But our budding terrorist/ bhatka-hua-ladka has one huge advantage over the State.
In an earlier article, I had described the nature of propaganda and how calls of ‘Peace’, ‘Humanity’, and ‘Freedom’ by the media are invariably exploited by the Powers-that-be in order to destabilize and weaken emerging powers. One of the most common method of generating such propaganda is through what is essentially Human sacrifice. When these unknown Hamas operatives launched those rockets a few days ago, they- never in their wildest dreams- expected to wipe out Israel and drive the Jews into the Sea, as the Hamas Charter states. When the Kashmiris flooded out to ‘honour’ a dead terrorist by attacking the Indian Republic, their puppet-masters- sitting in their opulent homes in peace- never expected to drive out New Delhi from the Valley either.
The logic was simple.
If the State doesn’t respond- the place burns, a few soldiers die and their morale weakens, the nationalists are suppressed, and the media gets to crow about how successful the protests were.
If the State does respond- as any State ruled by Nationalists does- the place doesn’t burn, a bunch of brainwashed kids go to hospital, and peace returns- for a time. And the media puts one of them on a stick and waves him (or her, in this case, the medical student who got a pellet in her eye) like a monkey with a Popsicle. If the Turks hadn’t decided to march into Syria today, the newspapers would’ve full of pictures of dead Palestinian women and children killed when the Israelis fired back at the unknown Hamas rocketeer. How do we know that there would be pictures of dead Palestinian women and children? Because those budding bhatke-hue-ladke took the precaution of firing their rockets from one of the most densely populated places in Gaza.
Hamas is not Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has discipline; Hamas has none. Hezbollah won legitimacy by setting up schools in Lebanon and campaigning democratically for Parliament; Hamas got into turf wars- with Kalashnikovs- with the PLO. Hezbollah has allies- real allies like Iran- forged in fire, blood, and international sanctions. Hamas?
Honestly- no one cares about Hamas.
It’s very common in Indian media- even alternate media like us in TFI- to paint this binary picture about things. It’s not. It never was. There are tons of factors at play here. Hamas is not merely an Islamist body, it’s got Nationalistic elements as well. Ditto for PLO- though the latter is slightly more on the Nationalist side than the Islamist one. Nationalist organizations are- as a rule- the anti-thesis of the tribal Wahhabi states to the East. At present, Israel is far closer an ally to the Wahhabi states than Hamas is. Neither Saudi Arabia nor Jordan nor the current state of Bahrain are ‘natural’ nation- states like France or even de-facto ‘Empires’ like India and while they may crow about Muslim unity in public, they treat Hamas the same way they treat Indian muslim migrants in the Gulf.
The only allies Hamas does have is the Liberal media- and its women and children. As I’ve already said- sometimes sacrifices fail. But they add up in Karma.
Back when India was still a Soviet client state, the Europeans were still hanging on to bits and pieces of their old colonial Empires. But between squeezing the local men off every last coin and raping the local women, the realization was fast dawning that the World was changing. As I’ve already written in an earlier article, the focus of war was changing from sacrificing armies of young men in relatively low-tech massed warfare to hustling middle-aged families for money to get high-tech gadgetry and kick-backs for corrupt ministers.
The Spanish colony of Western Sahara came to an end with the advent of this new World.
It takes decades of professionalism, propaganda, morale-building, official backing, and public support to make good soldiers. All it takes to ruin it all is live-feed of dead women and children (let’s be honest here; no one cares if young men die) straight into the home where this soldier’s parents, wife, and kids are watching. The British soldier in the days of the Raj could shoot defenseless Satyagrahis at will and go back to sleep in peace in Dartmoor or York. An Indian solider firing a non-lethal pellet gun at a crowd of rioting, looting, stone-throwing, car-burning Kashmiris- many of whom would’ve been gleeful participants in the genocide of Pandits a few years back- is brought to trial on 8 o’clock news and sentenced by 9 Primetime.
Same thing happened to the Spanish as well.
The Green March (‘Green’ for Islam) was the modern version of the Lebensraum campaigns of the old Germans (The Third Reich borrowed the term- and the strategy- from the Drang Nach Osten wars of the First Reich, the Holy Roman Empire). The Moroccan government- realizing that its army was incapable of winning a fight with a half-dead Chihuahua, let alone the Spanish- elected to get a huge crowd of unarmed citizens to simply walk across the border and dare the Spanish to kill them. The Spanish held their fire- no doubt causing the old Conquistadors to turn in their graves as fast as Yugpurushji’s U-turns- and the result was what they call a complete Gandhian victory. (It’s a matter of controversy as to how much Gandhi was responsible for the British leaving India. Satyagraha killed far fewer British Colonists than the Nazis and Japanese did).
Wait- did I say ‘Gandhian’? I lied.
Thing is- while Western Sahara was historically Moroccan territory and the natives were, no doubt, Moroccans relieved to be rid of their vampirical Spanish overlords, there are these two ideas called ‘Population replacement’ and ‘Taxation without Representation’ that brings out the worst among people.
Hamas has the very same idea.
Keep the World’s attention on Israel every time, all the time. Fire a rocket, kidnap a child, and firebomb a shop- anything but just invite reprisals. And since Hamas makes a point to hide in the most densely populated areas of Gaza, any retribution- even the smallest in scale- will lead to casualties. And while it might insensitive- we don’t live in the days of the Romans when wars could depopulate entire nations. As Gaddafi once boasted to the Europeans- ‘the wombs of our women will give us victory’.
What Hamas wants are sacrifices- sacrifices to keep even the most jaded misery-hungry journalist salivating for more. There are more reporters on the ground than there are trees in the miserable Israeli semi-desert anyway- and every single one of them is a wannabe-Shakespeare out to write the next Titus Andronicus. And abroad, there are champagne-sipping socialites, sweater-wearing populists, azadi-wanting communists, and ad nauseum. And every single photo of a child killed because a terrorist hid behind his home, every single editorial, every single primetime debate, every single football stadium full of chanting Westerners who’ve never known what it means to live under the shadow of being told to ‘Go away but leave your women behind’- chips away at the IDF soldier’s will to fight on just another tiny bit… And once this is done? Send the chanting, crying, unarmed mobs in.
We need not even make such wild conjectures. This has already been tried once.
In 2011, the Palestinians staged their own version of the Green March. To cut things short- it was a massive failure. They broke through the fences and tripped into the middle of a minefield, before Israeli gunfire drove them away. This was one of the many incidents that led to the adoption of non-lethal deterrence like the pellet guns our media hates so much.
Training soldiers to shoot at people is never an easy matter- as American Lt Col Grossman would research on over half a century ago. You have to hate- really hate the enemy to manage it the sort of hate the Raj officers had for the Indian or the Nazis for the Jew or the Islamists for the Kaffir. The soldier has no such hate but instead gets plenty of hatred from the media and the liberal sections of society.
And then one day, the State will make a concession. And that is where the State losses.
The problem with concessions is simple and obvious- so obvious that it need not be spelt out at all. As Kipling once wrote of the Danish wars upon the Anglo-Saxons: – ‘….People who ask (for) it explain that you’ve only to pay ‘em the Dane-geld, and then you’ll get rid of the Dane… But we’ve proved it again and again, that if once you have paid… the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane.’
A day will come when the IDF will refuse to fire, when one concession will be made, then another, and yet another, when the chanting mobs will win by their ‘women’s wombs’, the Jews driven into the Sea- and the Druze and Assyrians and Baha’i and Alawites and quite a few of the more modern Palestinian Sunnis with them. And the State of Israel will vanish- as the Republic of India would as well if the dreams of Kanhaiya and his liberal friends come true.
Until that day? There’s always someone in Gaza sneaking about with a cheap home-made rocket to fire at the nearest Israeli day-care…