Tunnels and the Laws of War

This column by Ms. Caroline Glick is an important one. I suggest reading it.

Hamas has dug tunnels beneath Israeli kindergarten rooms, and filled those tunnels with explosives. They have readied handcuffs and tranquilizers for use in the kidnapping of whomever is around when they breach these tunnels into residential neighborhoods, kidnappings certain to result in the torture and death of Jewish civilians for the crime of being Jewish.

Israel is hard at work destroying these tunnels. And Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE all are trying to delay any US-forced ceasefire to give the Israelis time to finish the job, time to destroy Hamas.

That Sunni are helping Jews kill fellow Sunni, and are working to delay any American interference that would slow or stop that killing, should give you an idea of how bad these Hamas barbarians are.

But I want to ask you to consider something we traditionally have found abhorrent. Why am I asking? Because it is less awful than planting bombs beneath the classrooms of 5-yr-olds and kidnapping accoutrements beneath the bedrooms of mothers and fathers.

In war, productivity matters; it matters a lot. If you can’t kill your enemy more quickly than he kills you – you lose. You die. Your country is conquered and overrun. Your liberties are lost. Your freedom ends. Your children are enslaved – or murdered.

Defeated, you become totally dependent on the whims of your conqueror. In this case that conqueror would be a 7th-Century death cult masquerading as a religion. A cult that straps bombs on its own children and sends them out to murder and be murdered – often by their own parents – who then pretend to be upset when their children are killed.

In trying to root-out the commanders of these savage barbarians – Hamas and its allies in Gaza and the West Bank – Israel is sending, and losing, educated young men with a Western view of the sanctity of life, men who are willing to die to stop the existential threat of these terrorists. These young men who die will never become parents; we will never know what they – or the children they never will have – would have become. This is true tragedy.

Sending men into these tunnels – tunnels that have no reason to exist other than to deliver death to the bedrooms and classrooms of children – is inefficient. It is not productive.

Bombing these tunnels results in the civilian casualties this death-cult uses to “win” their wars against a foe superior in every possible way to them: education, technology, literacy, human rights, women’s rights, gay rights, agriculture, patents, books, literature, music – everything that makes humans superior to animals.

And here I want to ask you to consider a different angle, though your initial take likely will be to shun the idea. Bear with me, please.

I was discussing the “Laws of War” the other night with my soon-to-be-college freshman son. He will be majoring in History and PoliSci and is quite historically literate, certainly within his age cohort. He has learned that these “Laws of War” historically have been agreed between European countries, and that only Europeans put laws on war – and then actually obey them, that treaties like the Geneva Convention are deterrent in objective: We won’t mistreat your prisoners if you won’t mistreat ours; we won’t kill your men this way if you won’t kill our men this way. He also has learned that these “laws” did not work with Imperial Japan. And that they do not work with radical islam.

Our discussion got to poison gas, the use of it in WW1, the results of that use, and that it had been outlawed and was never to be used again.

He scoffed, “Do you really think that if our city was about to be overrun, or our nation, by people who hack off the heads of children, that we wouldn’t use poison gas if it was all we had to stop them? That we’d agree to just be killed rather than gas them because it was ‘mean’? Really?”

And that … stopped me.

I’ve studied war and the laws of war. I’ve been under the UCMJ. I’ve read of the horrors of gas. I’ve talked with POWs. My dad served in the Pacific theater of WW2. I’ve known men who as children lived in their Philippine high school gym for years under Japanese occupation.

But – if your son or daughter or spouse were under lethal, sustained attack by barbarians who will hack off their heads, who never have and never will pay any attention to European “laws of war,” how do you disagree with my son’s scoffing?

How do you say, ‘Cheerio, Chap, there’s a good lad!” as the barbarians stream toward you and you are out of “legal” weapons and help is nowhere around?

How do you shout “No, no no! We can’t use THAT!” as savages come up through the floorboards to kill or kidnap your toddlers or wife or mother for later torture and beheading?

I submit – as did my son – that at that point, when your family unit reaches its last line of defense, you kill your enemy, and how you do so is waaay down on the list of priorities.

Which brings me back to a Western leadership that has, for far too long, fantasized that we can “play” by “rules” unacknowledged and unrecognized by our mortal, non-European, civilizational enemies.

This isn’t a game, and our enemy acknowledges no rules.

Sometimes you really DO need to be as barbaric as your enemy in order to defeat him and remain civilized. When push comes to shove, using whatever barbarism is required in order to kill someone trying to kill your children is – and must be – acceptable. And, no, it does not make you as bad as they; YOU are saving; THEY are murdering.

Which brings me back to tunnels in Gaza.

These tunnels are existential dangers to Israelis. And if they work there, do your really believe they will not be coming soon to an open-borders town near you? Terror… works … for radical islam. No one has stopped it in the 35 years since Jimmy Carter let loose Khomeini and sharia on the modern world.

Can you actually believe it will not be used in Londonistan, Dearbornistan, or San Diego or Del Rio?

As Ms. Glick points out, no one can live with the threat of a tunnel being dug – or already extant – beneath their home or the classroom of their child.

The conventional destruction of these tunnels is costing lives, Israeli and Palestinian, soldiers and civilians and, yes, children. Even the most surgical bomb strike has a blast radius.

Far better to find what tunnels can be found and pump down lethal gas through every connecting corridor.

Will Jews, of all people, be resistant to this for very good historical reasons? You bet.

But Israel is a low-fertility country. It is surrounded by 300M Arabs wanting it – and them – dead to their last child.

Israel cannot afford the tunnels. She cannot afford the human cost of destroying them conventionally. She cannot afford the Command & Control personnel left behind in tunnels it has yet to find and destroy.

Pumping gas down these tunnels will avoid blast radii. It will avoid civilian casualties. It will avoid IDF casualties in entering these tunnels to kill those intent on killing Jews just for being Jews. And it would do so quickly, quietly and successfully at no loss to IDF lives. Using gas is productive. What Israel is doing now – is not.

Israel must destroy these tunnels. Israel cannot kill civilians. That circle cannot be squared.

The “Rules of War” were written by and for Europeans. They were written for a culture and countries based on some form of law and some form of self-government, which has defined the West since the Magna Carta in 1215, and the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Self-government has never defined islam and never will.

These rules have been successfully used by Europeans. But by no one else. This enemy absolutely does not recognize nor abide by these “laws of war.”

It is time to acknowledge that, with the exception of Eisenhower, Western post-war “leaders” have created a world far more dangerous than that which they were given at the end of WW2, that they have done so out of conceit, ego and a total inability to grasp history and the world outside their Western borders.

That their actions have caused their “laws” to become moot.

(Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, announced in a speech at the Council of Foreign Relations in NYC in January, 1954, that America would not be building an expensive conventional warfare capability; rather, if America or its allies were attacked, America would respond through “the deterrent of massive retaliatory power.” Nukes. Saving OUR civilization and lives was important, and THAT the enemy was killed far more important than HOW they were killed. There were no Vietnams or Afghanistans or Iraqs during his terms of office. If you want a cut in Defense spending, that’s how it’s done.)

Protecting our civilization will require being harder and more lethal than our enemies because of the ego of our post-war leadership. Because we have fantasized against all history that all civilizations are the same and carry the same values, we have allowed to spring up a barbarism the world literally has not known in centuries, an enemy with whom we have forgotten how to deal.

The existence of this enemy is the fault of our leadership, and it is our leadership who now refuses to destroy it.

It is time to stop pretending that HOW you kill the mortal enemy of your country, your community, your family and your children, matters anywhere near as much as THAT you kill them.

Hamas must be killed. They must be killed productively, or there will be no Israelis left. And then they will come for the rest of a West they have will have shown three times to be a paper tiger unwilling to fight hard enough to save itself: the USSR in Afghanistan, America in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel on the Gaza Strip.

This is not Vietnam. This is not something from which we can walk away and be safe behind our oceans.

Our leaders have let the threat grow so large and lethal that ONLY Weapons of Mass Destruction can save us – and stop them.

Gas down a tunnel is infinitely preferable to nuclear detonations on Gaza. But if our leaders continue to play lets-pretend, that, too, will come to pass.


With apologies to Dylan Thomas:

Israel will not go gentle into that good night
They shall burn and rage at close of day
They shall not give up without a fight
Israel will not go gentle into that goodnight.


Israel must be allowed to – and must – use the tools necessary to stop their enemies.


Or it WILL get worse.

About Alex Scipio

About Alex Scipio: Alex moved out of the People's Republic of California to the Free State of Arizona, finally tiring of the lack of the Bill of Rights, the overgrown idiocracy, and the catering to non-Americans & welfare recipients. He still wonders how America got from Truman, Eisenhower, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan to the Liberal and Conservative extremes so badly managing America today. And, yes, islam DOES need to be annihilated. And doing what he can to get folks away from the extremes of political life.
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