Not-So-Civil Civilians: Did I Miss Something?
I have read news report after news report that convey the Palestinians’ outrage over the actions of the Israeli soldiers and police forces against the poor Palestinian “civilians.”
I’ve been in the military. I understand what a civilian is. Someone sleeping at home or eating in their dining room is a civilian. Someone washing their car or picking up their mail is a civilian. Someone shopping in the market or dropping off their dry-cleaning is a civilian. A masked, angry man shouting insults, and hurling fist-sized chunks of concrete is not a civilian. He is a COMBATANT! HELLO?! A week ago I watched a Palestinian spokeswoman get onto NBC and read a carefully prepared propaganda statement condemning the actions of the Israelis against her civilian brethren. This, not a minute after I watched pictures of angry Palestinian mobs throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails and anything else they could get their hands on at a scattering of Israeli policemen. I would have laughed if I wasn’t so busy being disgusted.
Just recently we watched as an out-of-control mob stormed a police station and brutally murdered three captured Israelis. Whether these Israelis were truly just innocent soldiers coming back from a weekend furlough, or some secret undercover hit squad is beside the point. The actions of this mob violated every international agreement on treatment of prisoners or conduct of war there is. These are not peaceful, downtrodden civilians. They are barbarians spoiling for a fight.
What’s worse, now I read of another pending UN resolution to “condemn” Israel for its actions. ISRAEL!? Israel has made in unequivocally clear on numerous occasions that if the Palestinians will stop throwing things, and stop shooting at them, they will stop shooting back. And yet the riots continue. Not only continue, but escalate. When the Palestinian authorities release without restraint every captive terrorist and potential suicide bomber in their jails to add to the mix, you know they don’t want peace. Time and again they have stated, often in blood, that they will not rest or stop until Israel no longer exists. Yet, we are somehow supposed to feel sorry for these poor, bomb-throwing, terrorists (….er, I mean, civilians), and vilify Israel for the unpardonable sin of defending itself.
This is like the civilian populace of Mexico along our border suddenly deciding that all of California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas territory should be theirs, and so they begin attacking our Customs posts along the border. They burn the buildings, throw firebombs at the vehicles, and threaten death to any customs or INS agent they can get their hands on. When the military sends some forces to help, they also are subjected to the same treatment. US forces begin to take casualties. Even after repeated pleas to the Mexican government to take some action, to order the “civilians” to stand down, nothing changes. No action is taken, and the Mexican leaders simply shrug and say, “there’s nothing we can do.” So finally, the customs agents and military forces have no choice; they shoot back at their attackers. Suddenly, the international community and Mexican government get all red in the face with veins standing out on their forehead for the cowardly and antagonistic actions of these evil American customs agents. In retaliation, an angry mob in one of the border towns captures an American patrol, and beats three members to death in the streets, dragging one behind a car for miles. The US rightly views such actions as clearly an act of war, committed by an out-of-control mob who are no longer guided by reason or rationality. So we do the only thing we can do. We fight back. We take the fight to them decisively, and overwhelmingly, shooting anyone who raises a rifle against us, or with a flaming bottle of kerosene in their hand. We capture the towns, capture and imprison the leaders, and invoke martial law.
As a result of this “aggression” on our part, every other Spanish speaking country in the world vows to band together to fight against us. However, lost in all this rhetoric is the fact that we didn’t start the fight, don’t want the fight, and would have done anything to avoid such a confrontation. Every action we take in defense is seen as justification by the attackers for more violence. It soon becomes clear that they don’t want peace, and will not stop until they have reclaimed their “rightful” land — even though it hasn’t belonged to them in over a hundred years.
If I hear one more outcry about the poor Palestinian civilians, I may just puke. Better yet, I think I’ll take whoever said it out into the street, stand about 30 feet away, and throw a fist-sized chunk of concrete as hard as I can at his head. Even better still, I’ll go find an angry, seventeen-year-old Palestinian kid, hyped up on adrenaline and mob-hysteria to do it. Then we’ll see just how sorry he feels for us, and whether or not he considers us “civilians”…or violent thugs.
I suspect his attitude might just change a little.