Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Falling Camel Attracts Many Knives

Not a bad saying to describe how Islamofascist and totalitarian enemies respond to offers of goodwill. Credit initially to Mark Steyn who mentions it on page 194 of his book, America Alone. In turn, Steyn credits Robert Ferrigno in his novel Prayers for the Assassin. Ferrigno in turn credits it to an old Arabic proverb ... [Ed. - get on with it!]

It's in the same conceptual ballpark as Osama bin Laden's "when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse" (who is still yet to do a book signing - still in hiding for fear of being swamped by fawning Western journalists and intellectuals.)

Anyway, we are in a special (albeit not unique) moment where the future could go either way. Using the lens of the horses and camels, here are reflections of some events and decisions in our time:

For the US:

  • Flight 93: strong horse
  • Invading Afghanistan: strong horse
  • Invading Iraq: strong horse
  • Capture Saddam, complete with pictures: strong horse
  • Pulling back from Falluja: weak horse
  • Eventually retaking Falluja: strong horse
  • Inaction over foreign fighter infiltration over Syrian and Iranian border: weak horse
  • Killing al Zarqawi: strong horse
  • Decline to arrest/capture Sadr: weak horse
  • Proliferation Security Initiative: strong horse
  • Six-Party talks with North Korea, EU talks with Iran: weak horse
  • Withdrawal from Iraq: falling camel
  • Media: a farm full of weak horses and falling camels, with their own supply of knives
For Israel:
  • Oslo: weak horse
  • 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon: falling camel
  • Operation Defensive Shield: strong horse
  • Targeted assassinations: strong horse
  • Roadmap: weak horse
  • Gaza Disengagement: falling camel
  • Minimal retaliation for Hizbollah rockets and Gazan Qassams: weak horse
  • Witholding funds from PA/Hamas: strong horse
  • Olmert's "we are tired of winning": falling camel
  • First week of 2006 Lebanon conflict: strong horse
  • Next three weeks of 2006 Lebanon conflict: weak horse
  • Convergence: falling camel
Strong horses don't necessarily succeed every time. Nor do weak horses guarantee failure. There are other considerations. However, will is arguably the biggest driver in the high-stakes geopolitical arena.

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