Read of the day: Israel as the Last Man Standing

The Middle East, always complex, is descending into a form of chaos that seems baffling. Bringing order to the complexity is Daniel P. Goldman, aka Spengler, writing in Tablet Magazine.  A former Wall Street numbers guy, Goldman brings together a lot of demographic data expressed in useful charts, to lay out his case that time is on Israel’s side, and that the Muslims of the Middle East are engaged in a long-term battle, which he likens to the 30 Years War that devastated Europe in the 17th century:

 The region has seen nothing like it since the Mongol invasion of the 13th century. Perpetual war has turned into a snowball that accumulates people and resources as it rolls downhill and strips the ground bare of sustenance. Those who are left shiver in tents in refugee camps, and their young men go off to the war. There is nothing new about this way of waging war; it was invented in the West during the Thirty Years War by the imperial general Albrecht von Wallenstein, and it caused the death of nearly half the population of Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. (snip)

The mess in the Middle East brings to mind the machinations around Swedish intervention in the Thirty Years War between 1627 and 1635, when France’s Cardinal Richelieu paid Sweden’s King Gustavus Adolphus to intervene on the Protestant side in order to weaken France’s Catholic rival Austria. At different times, Protestant Saxony and Catholic Bavaria allied with France, Austria, and each other, respectively. France and Sweden began as allies, briefly became enemies, and then were allies again. Looming over this snake-pit of religious, dynastic, and national rivalries was the figure of Albrecht von Wallenstein, the Austrian generalissimo who twice saved the Empire from defeat at the hands of the Protestants. Wallenstein, commanding a polyglot mercenary army with no national or religious loyalty, played both sides, and Austria had him murdered in 1634.

There is more than coincidence to the parallels between the Middle East today and 17th-century Europe. Iran’s intervention into Syria’s civil conflict inaugurated a new kind of war in the region, the sort that Richelieu practiced in the 1620s. Iran’s war objectives are not national or territorial in the usual sense; rather, the objective is the war itself, that is, the uprooting and destruction of potentially hostile populations.

As the Muslims self-destruct, Israel meanwhile prospers, and perhaps more importantly, is having babies at a rate higher than the local Arabs, whose fertility is declining.

The entire long piece deserves to be read. But here are his conclusions:

The historical homeland of the Jewish people [he means the West Bank, aka Judea and Sumaria] will pass into Israeli sovereignty not because the national-religious will it to be so, or because an Israeli government seeks territorial aggrandizement, but because Israel will be the last man standing in the region, the only state able to govern Judea and Samaria, and the only military force capable of securing its borders. It will happen without fanfare, de facto rather than de jure, at some moment in the not-too-distant future when the foreign ministries of the West are locked in crisis session over Iraq or Syria. And it will happen with the tacit support of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Israeli authority will replace the feckless regime of the Palestine Authority in order to maintain public order and ensure that the electricity works, and the roads are secure, and that bands of jihadist marauders or Shiite terrorists do not massacre entire villages; this action will elicit the reflex condemnation from bored and dispirited Western diplomats. The realization of the Zionist dream will then be consummated not with a bang, but a whimper; the bangs will be much louder elsewhere.

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman

The Middle East, always complex, is descending into a form of chaos that seems baffling. Bringing order to the complexity is Daniel P. Goldman, aka Spengler, writing in Tablet Magazine.  A former Wall Street numbers guy, Goldman brings together a lot of demographic data expressed in useful charts, to lay out his case that time is on Israel’s side, and that the Muslims of the Middle East are engaged in a long-term battle, which he likens to the 30 Years War that devastated Europe in the 17th century:

 The region has seen nothing like it since the Mongol invasion of the 13th century. Perpetual war has turned into a snowball that accumulates people and resources as it rolls downhill and strips the ground bare of sustenance. Those who are left shiver in tents in refugee camps, and their young men go off to the war. There is nothing new about this way of waging war; it was invented in the West during the Thirty Years War by the imperial general Albrecht von Wallenstein, and it caused the death of nearly half the population of Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. (snip)

The mess in the Middle East brings to mind the machinations around Swedish intervention in the Thirty Years War between 1627 and 1635, when France’s Cardinal Richelieu paid Sweden’s King Gustavus Adolphus to intervene on the Protestant side in order to weaken France’s Catholic rival Austria. At different times, Protestant Saxony and Catholic Bavaria allied with France, Austria, and each other, respectively. France and Sweden began as allies, briefly became enemies, and then were allies again. Looming over this snake-pit of religious, dynastic, and national rivalries was the figure of Albrecht von Wallenstein, the Austrian generalissimo who twice saved the Empire from defeat at the hands of the Protestants. Wallenstein, commanding a polyglot mercenary army with no national or religious loyalty, played both sides, and Austria had him murdered in 1634.

There is more than coincidence to the parallels between the Middle East today and 17th-century Europe. Iran’s intervention into Syria’s civil conflict inaugurated a new kind of war in the region, the sort that Richelieu practiced in the 1620s. Iran’s war objectives are not national or territorial in the usual sense; rather, the objective is the war itself, that is, the uprooting and destruction of potentially hostile populations.

As the Muslims self-destruct, Israel meanwhile prospers, and perhaps more importantly, is having babies at a rate higher than the local Arabs, whose fertility is declining.

The entire long piece deserves to be read. But here are his conclusions:

The historical homeland of the Jewish people [he means the West Bank, aka Judea and Sumaria] will pass into Israeli sovereignty not because the national-religious will it to be so, or because an Israeli government seeks territorial aggrandizement, but because Israel will be the last man standing in the region, the only state able to govern Judea and Samaria, and the only military force capable of securing its borders. It will happen without fanfare, de facto rather than de jure, at some moment in the not-too-distant future when the foreign ministries of the West are locked in crisis session over Iraq or Syria. And it will happen with the tacit support of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Israeli authority will replace the feckless regime of the Palestine Authority in order to maintain public order and ensure that the electricity works, and the roads are secure, and that bands of jihadist marauders or Shiite terrorists do not massacre entire villages; this action will elicit the reflex condemnation from bored and dispirited Western diplomats. The realization of the Zionist dream will then be consummated not with a bang, but a whimper; the bangs will be much louder elsewhere.

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman

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