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Oct 22, 2023·edited Oct 22, 2023

I don’t recall which American general was asked in the Vietnam war if the USA was fighting fair and he responded with something like “fair is when we win and the other side is all dead”.

Some wars are economic in nature, to sieze assets and production.

I think this one is fair to say a war of extermination on one side. How do you react proportionally to someone trying to exterminate you?

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humanity has to learn how to make "force the servant of justice". Some Wars are necessary - surely no one thinks Hilter should have been allowed free rein. However other Wars like the Vietnam War surely should not have been fought. Until humanity has supranational institutions strong enough, but who know what a Just War is - to stop aggressors we will continue to see terrible blood shed around the world, like in Ukraine. And all the border conflicts in the World will need to be sorted out once and for all.

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“ supranational institutions strong enough”.

But those will be run by flawed people who will make mistakes and venal and stupid.

Even today we see the UN with a division entirely committed to maintaining this conflict.

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that is the inexorable path of history, humans organise at higher and higher levels of complexity. There needs to be a way to ensure the best people on the planet are the ones making the decisions on issues that affect the whole earth. Do we need to be invaded by "aliens" before we realise we are one human family?

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founding

I would not *dream* of being a soldier if I thought my life would ever be risked for civilians in enemy territory. What an unbelievably evil policy. If you are fighting a war of self-defense, you have one and only one obligation: to win.

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Israel is fighting a just war! It must be prosecuted with utmost caution. Pure vengeance is not a sound policy and will redound against the just cause. It is such an excruciating situation caused by Hamas, who must be crushed, but in accordance with the tenants laid out in the article. I truly believe that Israel can do this!

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No mention of the Iron Fallacy of Sunk Costs: your losses already incurred will be wasted, hence meaningless, if you do not fight on to Final Victory. Israel wants revenge, which is a pure sunk costs motivation; Walzer mentions that if that is their cause then the outcome won't be good for anybody. Israel wants to destroy Hamas, which is not an achievable goal without incurring much larger losses, and even then is of doubtful permanence. This also invokes the fate of 200 hostages. Israel also wants to "restore deterrence," which is hasbara-speak for "We really screwed up and now we have to kill a lot of people to show we haven't totally lost it." And it has not the faintest idea what comes after whatever it finally decides is Final Victory.

Given the huge uncertainties, the only things really driving events are an emotional need for vengeance, a quest for redemption of blood by the politicians and generals, and a bunch of moral posturing by everybody. Israel has already killed going on four times as many Gazans as Hamas slaughtered on October 7. That should be vengeance enough. Its paramount goal should be getting the hostages released and ending the death and destruction. They will just have to defend the border better next time. Hamas is not a solvable problem because Gaza is not a solvable problem.

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This was such a helpful interview (and links). thank you

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A reasoned article by someone who could speak from bias but doesn't. I think this war is just if there is one. I also believe you do what you can to protect innocents. It seems that, so far, Israel is doing what it can. I think, hope, they will continue.

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Some people seem to be under the illusion that war can be fought like a boxing match--with rules and structure and referees. It cannot. War is a brutal and nasty affair and cannot be fought with half-measures; it must be prosecuted with the utmost purpose and vigour. That is the only way to bring it to a quick conclusion. The rules that do exist (e.g. the treatment of PWs) only work when they are beneficial to both sides--and history has shown that they are repeatedly violated anyway. Better to be strong enough and alert enough that no one attacks you in the first place. Simply put, don't be the asshole that starts the war but most certainly be the one that ends it--quickly and decisively, with all necessary means at your disposal.

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That was precisely the indoctrination given to Wehrmacht troops at the start of Barbarossa.

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Indoctrination? Chortle. Was it Guderian? Von Bock? Halder? Who said war can't be fought like a boxing match? I'm pretty sure none of them said, "Don't be the asshole that starts the war..." That would have been embarrassing.

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Elites right and left -- as they say in Nepal, "Same, same, but different."

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Israel has the primary mission of killing off all remnants of Hamas in Gaza. Hamas, is a terrorist state on Israel's border, and Israel cannot live under those conditions. So with the mission goal established it comes down to execution. An important part of the calculus is how much time it will take. Israel does not want to get mired down in a Vietnam like war, for which they will continue to lose international support for, because war is now broadcast live, and people. understandably, do not have the stomach to watch a long drawn out war on a daily basis. Which means, Israel needs to make as quick a work of this as possible, even if it means more lost innocent lives, including hostages, to achieve the goal.

The world has a short memory, It seems many have already forgotten what started this war, which was the killing of 1,400 innocent Israeli citizens by a brutal terrroist group, Hamas. . So Israel needs to make this a quick and decisive victory and then fight the propaganda war, which Hamas seems to better at than they are.

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Gallant is acknowledging to the troops that it will be long.

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Anything we are hearing from either side can be part of misinformation to keep the enemy off balance. We will now what the military strategy is only after in starts to unfold IMO

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The distinction between combatants and non-combatants has always been a foolish Utopian delusion. War is hell, and the goal of war is to win at any cost. What distinguishes the civilized from the savages is not how the war is fought but what end is being fought towards. Is the citizen who, at the very least, contributes to the economy enabling the mass production of bullets to be fired by the soldiers any less culpable? "Just war" is the academic version of theologians arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin....pointless and irrelevant to reality.

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War is a horrible evil. When it is thrust upon you, it must be treated as a rabid dog. You use all force to put it down.

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War has only one rule, win or lose.

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I agree that NPR is a dubious source. Nonetheless, if it is correct that there is violence against Palestinians on the West Bank while representatives of Israeli rule stand by, it is both disturbing and extraordinarily stupid. It's the surest way to eliminate all future hopes for "hearts and minds. "

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Israel, at her best, follows the Torah in waging wars. Meaning, since the initial God-commanded conquest led by Joshua, Israel only fights (and has only fought) defensive wars. They have never entertained a war of territorial conquest beyond the borders commanded them, for 3,500 years. The Torah commands that wars have rules, such as only surrounding a siege-city on three sides (to allow the besieged to escape), and the prohibition to cutting down fruit bearing trees.

The two sons of Jacob, Simion and Levi, put all the men of Sechem to death for being accomplices to the rape of their sister, Dina -- a violation of the Laws of Noah. Granted, Jacob was upset by their action, fearing possible retaliation, but what the sons did was legal, as far as the Laws of Noah enforcement go.

With that precedent, Israel is justified in utterly destroying Hamas and its accomplices.

Those who show mercy to the cruel will live to see the cruel devour the merciful.

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Very helpful. Gives me a framework to assess what is going on

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