By A Khokar
Looking at the tepid global reaction to the massacre of the civilians in Gaza, one wonders whether the conscience of the international community is half asleep or is suffering from something called sympathy fatigue. Hundreds of civilian casualties, incessantly escalating human misery, and with no end in the Israeli military action in sight, even God seems to have abandoned them. At the same time, it should be said unequivocally that Hamas’ indiscriminate firing of missiles on Israeli cities is a repulsive act. Gaza has turned into hell. That, alas, seems to be the fate of Muslims in many places.
The U.S. turned Iraq into hell between 2005 and 2006; Pakistan is steadily edging toward becoming a hellish place in the post-9/11 era; and Afghanistan is heading in that direction. In the Horn of Africa, a similar situation prevails.
In the post-9/11 era, the militarily powerful nations have taken it upon themselves to set the “rules of engagement” for wars or war-like violence in Muslim lands, while the extremists are letting loose violence and mayhem from their side. Iraq had its killing fields between 2005 and 2007, and Afghanistan’s most “fertile” killing fields started in the late 1970s, when the Soviet Union invaded it with a view to incorporating it into the Soviet empire. Those killing fields continue to multiply in the first decade of the 21st Century. Lebanon’s killing fields come alive periodically, and—in view of its highly explosive internal dynamics—that country seems at the precipice of witnessing them on a regular basis. Gaza’s killing fields are getting bloodier by the hour.
The chief victims of this bloody phenomenon are the ordinary people, whose main aspirations are to have productive careers, raise families, and live happily. But happiness is increasingly becoming a rare commodity.
Here is the essence of the problem in many Muslim countries: The U.S. has decided to wage violence in the name of that awful phrase “global war on terrorism,” which is as meaningless as the “war on poverty.” Terrorism, like poverty, has been around forever, and no use of military power alone will eradicate it from the face of the earth. Awful concepts like “regime change,” “pre-emptive war,” and the “war of choice” were applied to Muslim countries. George W. Bush’s warning, “either you are with us or with the terrorists,” was also largely aimed at Muslim countries.
The United States encountered something called the “Iraqi quagmire,” and almost lost its war in that country until the Sunni Muslims came to its rescue. The same group (Sons of Iraq) is still crucial for the durability of peace and continued success of America’s “surge” strategy. A strategy, which was aimed at clearing the hostile territory, by holding it, stationing security forces, and by rebuilding civilian authority and economic development; but that is just one precondition; the other being a systematic inclusion of Sunni Muslims in the governance of Iraq. Iraq remains a work in progress. It is likely to return to its instability of 2005-2007, if the Sunnis do not become an important part of its ruling circles.
Israel has adopted the same approach—letting loose its military fury—in the name of establishing its “credible deterrence” among Arab nations, especially since it was humiliated by the Hezbollah in the “war” of July-August 2006. Purely on a force-on-force basis, Israel did not lose that war. Its mistake was that it established very precise goals of eradicating Hezbollah. To Israel’s bitter resentment, the Hezbollah not only survived, but became an inordinately popular organization in the Arab streets, as well as in Lebanon.
It has been a long-established fact that no outside power can institute its credibility inside a country through the use of military force or through occupation alone. The U.S. has learned that bitter reality after remaining an occupying power in Iraq for the past eight years. It is likely to face the same fate in Afghanistan. Israel refuses to learn that lesson as it invades Gaza and remains an occupying power of Palestine. The gloomiest fact of that occupation is that the mounting toll of Palestinians will create new generations of even more enduring—and even more radical-minded—resistance to Israel than Hezbollah and Hamas have thus far demonstrated.
Hamas but have to deny the victory in Gaza to Israel. If Hamas can make Israel suffer another humiliation by putting up a decisive fight in the pitch battle in the streets of Gaza and turn those into enemy grave yard like the one Hezbollah demonstrated in 2006; that is the victory; a Fateh e Mubeen that Hamas may be looking for.
Israel seemingly has learnt the Armour war fare lesson not to advance tanks into built up area with out infantry in support. They are carrying out enough of bombardment to soften up the targets before launching a ground attack. Hamas has to articulate and put up a superior tactic that how to isolate the tank from Infantry and make them vulnerable to avail a sure kill. The sure kill of a tank is at 50 meters range which is a tank’s dead blind zone where the dare devil juveniles with rocket launchers may engage the advancing tanks.
Hamas knows it well that their demonstration of superior tactics at this stage is vital. That is the only way open to give a victory to Palestinians. Victory of Palestinian in the street of Gaza will also mark the sure end of a haughty oppressor which is planted in the Middle East as an enabling agent by the west with the aim to serve as mother board and an epicentre of all the terrorism in the world.