by Daniel Pipes
This month, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak declared that
Is he right? Is peace even possible? And if so, what form should a final agreement take? Those are the questions we asked National Post writers in our series "What's Your Peace Plan?"
MY PEACE PLAN IS SIMPLE:
Victory uniquely creates circumstances conducive to peace. Wars end, the historical record confirms, when one side concedes defeat and the other wins. This makes intuitive sense, for so long as both sides aspire to achieve their ambitions, fighting continues or it potentially can resume.
The goal of victory is not exactly something novel. Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese strategist, advised that in war, "Let your great object be victory." Raimondo Montecuccoli, a seventeenth-century Austrian, said that "The objective in war is victory." Carl von Clausewitz, a nineteenth-century Prussian, added that "War is an act of violence to compel the enemy to fulfill our will." Winston Churchill told the British people: "You ask: what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory - victory - at all costs, victory, in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be." Dwight D. Eisenhower observed that "In war, there is no substitute for victory." These insights from prior eras still hold, for however much weaponry changes, human nature remains the same.
Victory means imposing one's will on the enemy, compelling him to abandon his war goals. Germans, forced to surrender in World War I, retained the goal of dominating
Willpower is the key: shooting down planes, destroying tanks, exhausting munitions, making soldiers flee, and seizing land are not decisive in themselves but must be accompanied by a psychological collapse.
Likewise, the Arab-Israeli conflict will be resolved only when one side gives up.
Until now, through round after round of war, both sides have retained their goals.
For nearly 60 years, Arab rejectionists, now joined by Iranian and leftist counterparts, have tried to eliminate Israel through multiple strategies: they work to undermine its legitimacy intellectually, overwhelm it demographically, isolate it economically, restrain its defenses diplomatically, fight it conventionally, demoralize it with terror, and threaten to destroy it with WMDs. While the enemies of
Ironically, Israelis over time responded to the incessant assault on their country by losing sight of the need to win. The right developed schemes to finesse victory, the center experimented with appeasement and unilateralism, and the left wallowed in guilt and self-recrimination. Exceedingly few Israelis understand the unfinished business of victory, of crushing the enemy's will and getting him to accept the permanence of the Jewish state.
This means undoing the perceptions of
Ironically, an Israeli victory would bring yet greater benefits to the Palestinians than to
Thus does my peace plan both end the war and bring unique benefits to all directly involved.
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