With the stalemate in southern Lebanon these questions have been raised anew. Why couldn't one of the greatest military powers in the world defeat a rag-tag army of jihadis? Wasn't Israel's unwillingness to wage total war -- to annihilate the enemy at all costs -- the reason for the stalemate? How long before Hezbollah is back, with its rockets and its camera crews? Won't Israel's reluctance to completely annihilate its enemy lead only to more war and more bloodshed ad infinitum?I'm with Sherman and Truman, here. I feel strongly that we should have damn near razed Fallujah after this incident and we should have killed Muqtada al Sadr when we had the chance. If we had, I bet we'd be seeing less of this now.
In a postscript Podhoretz concluded, "I think it's fair to say that we would rather our civilization die than that we commit such acts." The irony is that if we lose our civilization to barbarians we too will slip back into barbarism. Then and only then will be able to confront our enemies on equal footing.
As far as slipping into barbarism is concerned, I'm pretty sure the US can survive for years battling off terrorist attacks on civilians--a few dozen here, a few hundred there--but can Israel?