Forgive my lack of empathy for the so-called “civilians” being killed in Gaza by Israeli firepower.
When you support a terrorist group, Hamas, as your government, you have no legitimate claim to civilian status.
They die, you may die, too.
That’s always been true in war.
Sherman marched to the sea here in Georgia to destroy the state’s ability to wage war and to make “civilians” howl in fear and to give up fighting.
And what Sherman said then would apply to Gaza today: “A people who will persevere in war beyond a certain limit ought to know the consequences.”
Our Georgian ancestors found out what he meant in 1865. Those in Gaza need to hear that same message in 2014.
In WWII, the Allies firebombed Dresden and Tokyo and then wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, all of which killed thousands of civilians.
While they were not soldiers on the front lines, many of those civilians were engaged in making weapons and other instruments of war and certainly facilitated the Axis war efforts. Their innocence was not unequivocal.
Today, Israel has every right to defend itself from the Hamas terrorism coming out of Gaza.
Hamas’ rockets, underground tunnels and history all clearly show that terrorist group is intent on waging a prolonged, asymmetrical war against Israel.
Those who use or condone violence as their main diplomatic tool should expect violence in return.
But the intense media and U.S. government focus on “civilian” casualties in Gaza undermines the reality of what’s happening in that part of the world.
Hamas wants “civilian” deaths to use as a propaganda tool in the international media distortion box. Hamas uses human shields, launches rockets from schools and other soft targets, then pretends to be outraged when Israel strikes back.
It’s all for show, a shell game and Israeli leaders know it. The Obama Administration, however, appears to be clueless to that reality in its repeated call for Israel to pull back and cease fire.
Israel needs to tell the U.S. to mind its own business. For the U.S. to press for a quick cease-fire in Gaza ties the hands of its only ally in the region.
Israel, of course, expected there would be an international backlash against its move into Gaza. Pundits and politicians around the world always slap Israel around when that nation defends itself against terrorism. Its just part of the expected dialogue.
Rather than being critical of the real aggressor, Hamas, the world is always critical of the victim, Israel.
Where are those same voices calling out the Islamist extremist groups that are currently destroying Christian churches in Iraq and Egypt? Where are the voices decrying Islamist efforts to force Christians to convert to Islam, or face death?
The problem in the Middle East and North Africa today isn’t Israel, or minority groups of ancient Christian sects. The problem is Islamists and groups like Hamas who have radicalized an entire culture into a mindset that embraces violence.
If there are any moderate Muslims, they are silent and that silence is nothing more than an endorsement of the radicals.
And by extension, the worldwide problem of terrorism isn’t coming from Jews in Israel, or Christian groups in other nations. International terrorism is being exported by Islamist groups who are intent on using it as a tool to wage a propaganda war against the West.
The Hamas-Gaza issue is just a small part of this larger picture. A surging, radical Islamist movement and its backward, deformed culture is at the core of most international terrorism today.
That reality cannot be masked by pointing fingers at Israel. One cannot change the topic of what’s really happening by blaming Israel for its efforts to defend itself against this kind of radicalism.
There is no moral equivalency between what Israel stands for and what Hamas stands for. The two are not equal in any sense. One is a legitimate nation that has a right to self-determination and self-defense; the other is a group of terrorists.
The U.S. needs to stand by silently and let Israel do what it needs to do to quell Gaza and to subdue Hamas ability to wage terrorism. It is not our role to dictate to Israel how to deal with its internal security.
This conflict won’t last forever. Such battles have been going on for centuries in that region and will probably last for many more centuries to come.
We have to learn to accept that and not get caught up by a sense of misplaced sympathy for those who openly — or even tacitly though their silence — support terrorism as a tool of diplomacy.
Israel has a moral obligation to defend itself against Hamas terrorism.
Let’s let God and Allah, not our feckless U. S. president, sort out the rest.
Mike Buffington is co-publisher of Mainstreet Newspapers, Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com.