Saturday, December 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Cease the Israel-Gaza cease-fires

sowell column sig

By
From page A9 | August 03, 2014 |

Many years ago, on my first trip around the world, I was struck by how the children in the Middle East – Arab and Israeli alike – were among the nicest looking little children I had seen anywhere.

It was painful to think that they were going to grow up killing each other. But that is exactly what happened.

It is understandable that today many people in many lands just want the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians to stop. Calls for a cease-fire are ringing out from the United Nations and from Washington, as well as from ordinary people in many places around the world.

According to The New York Times, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping for a cease-fire to “open the door to Israeli and Palestinian negotiations for a long-term solution.” President Barack Obama has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire” – again, with the idea of pursuing some long-lasting agreement. We’ve now seen some temporary cease-fires, with little practical effect.

If this was the first outbreak of violence between the Palestinians and the Israelis, such hopes might make sense. But where have the U.N., Kerry and Obama been during all these decades of endlessly repeated Middle East carnage?

The Middle East must lead the world in cease-fires. If cease-fires were the road to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful place on the planet.

“Cease-fire” and “negotiations” are magic words to “the international community.” But just what do cease-fires actually accomplish?

In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives, by lowering the cost of aggression.

At one time, launching a military attack on another nation risked not only retaliation but annihilation. When Carthage attacked Rome, that was the end of Carthage.

But when Hamas or some other terrorist group launches an attack on Israel, they know in advance that whatever Israel does in response will be limited by calls for a cease-fire, backed by political and economic pressures from the United States.

It is not at all clear what Israel’s critics can rationally expect the Israelis to do when they are attacked. Suffer in silence? Surrender? Flee the Middle East?

Or – most unrealistic of all – fight a “nice” war, with no civilian casualties? General William T. Sherman said it all, 150 years ago: “War is hell.”

If you want to minimize civilian casualties, then minimize the dangers of war, by no longer coming to the rescue of those who start wars.

Israel was attacked, not only by vast numbers of rockets but was also invaded – underground – by mazes of tunnels.

There is something grotesque about people living thousands of miles away, in safety and comfort, loftily second-guessing and trying to micromanage what the Israelis are doing in a matter of life and death.

Such self-indulgences are a danger, not simply to Israel, but to the whole Western world, for it betrays a lack of realism that shows in everything from the current disastrous consequences of our policies in Egypt, Libya and Iraq to future catastrophes from a nuclear-armed Iran.

Those who say that we can contain a nuclear Iran, as we contained a nuclear Soviet Union, are acting as if they are discussing abstract people in an abstract world. Whatever the Soviets were, they were not suicidal fanatics, ready to see their own cities destroyed in order to destroy ours.

As for the ever-elusive “solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East, there is nothing faintly resembling a solution anywhere on the horizon. Nor is it hard to see why.

Even if the Israelis were all saints – and sainthood is not common in any branch of the human race – the cold fact is that they are far more advanced than their neighbors, and groups that cannot tolerate even subordinate Christian minorities can hardly be expected to tolerate an independent, and more advanced, Jewish state that is a daily rebuke to their egos.

Thomas Sowell is an author, economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • rlw895August 03, 2014 - 10:57 pm

    There is also “something grotesque” about an elderly ivory tower conservative who makes money telling us how we should not attempt to “contain” a nuclear Iran by peaceful means. Sowell will not have to fight in that conflict nor live with its consequences, for long.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Creche collection grows in size, popularity

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Handmade Christmas display is man’s labor of love

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
 
Company competition a big win for charity

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Meeting a great role model at any age

By Murray Bass | From Page: B5

Fairfield police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

No harm caused by flames at Northern California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Wetter than usual start to new year in California predicted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Hospital to pay $2.2M to settle false claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Napolitano named as UC public policy professor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Man shocked 20 times during jail booking sues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Notorious California graffiti suspect arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Island park in San Francisco Bay closed for weekend

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
California’s bullet train settles 1 of 7 lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Tuskegee Airman Lowell Steward dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Animal rights activists take California rodeo to court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Bush officials gave CIA wide latitude

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Theater shooter’s parents plead for his life

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Driver pleads not guilty in pedestrian deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
5 ways to make your email safer in case of a hack attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Celebrities react to latest Sony hack developments

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
2012 movie massacre hung over ‘Interview’ decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Sony on shelving ‘The Interview': ‘We had no choice’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Jury rules for Indiana woman in firing over IVF

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Bergdahl investigation wraps up; top leaders get briefings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Texas eatery worker gets mink coat from customer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Sugarland, promoter settle with state fair victims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NY police officer suspended after videotaped punch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Supreme Court won’t stop gay marriages in Florida

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Staples: Customer data exposed in security breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Lava could reach Hawaii shopping center in 8 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Pakistan executes militants and bombards tribal areas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Franciscan religious order in ‘grave’ financial crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Israel carries out airstrike on Hamas site in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Opinion

Yes, Virginia, the Santa wish list has gone digital

By Petula Dvorak | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
If you want to help the poor, fix the safety net

By Jim Tankersley | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Pampered pets that don duds move to the mainstream

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B11

Children from wife’s first marriage put father’s ashes in coffin

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B11

 
.

Entertainment

More than 4 million people watched 1st dog telethon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kim Jong Un game spoof ‘Glorious Leader!’ moving forward

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Marathon bombing survivor in ‘Yes to Dress’ finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kid Rock to perform pre-race concert at Daytona 500

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Actor Stephen Collins denies he’s a pedophile in interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

 
Raiders haven’t needed much from Janikowski

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

AP sources: Peavy agrees on $24M, 2-year deal with Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Dodge, Vaca grad Mason lead Southern Oregon to NAIA title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Howe’s family reports rapid improvement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

2 Armstrong associates settle lawsuit with Landis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rays, Padres, Nats complete 11-player trade involving Myers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vanden girls open Nike TOC with win on Arizona

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Things to know about Friday’s baseball news

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rookie receivers making their mark in NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former boxing champ Ernie Terrell dies at 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gold medalist Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, avoids jail time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dodgers end Yanks’ payroll streak, owe most tax

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

CIF football bowl games headed to Sacramento

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

 
Cal men beat Eastern Washington 78-67 for seventh straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

California unemployment rate dips to 7.2 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Chrysler gives in to gov’t, expands air bag recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

T-Mobile paying at least $90M for unwanted services

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
EPA sets first national standard for coal waste

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Sales for holiday shopping season comes down to the wire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Judy Zamora Rogers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 12/20/14

Real estate transactions for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Ask a Designer: decorating with Christmas trees

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2