The truth about our next war
The truth about our next war is that it may not happen at all. It’s shaping up to be big enough and ugly enough to make all sides lose their appetite for it. It may not happen, even though it looks and feels like it is going to happen.
The truth about our next war is that if it does break out, there will be another war after it. Neither side is going to really win, win in the old-school sense of the word. And in the absence of closure, there will be another round, and another round.
The truth about our next war is that we won’t win. All the bad guys need to do is stay alive, survive, hold out – and they will claim victory. There will be many around the world who agree with them. That’s our enemies’ logic, and their plan. We will hurt them very, very badly, but we won’t “win” in the classic sense of the term. We won’t win because there is nothing to win: there is no High Command bunker to storm, no king to capture, no castle to plant our flag on. None of our enemies will admit defeat and sign a declaration of unconditional surrender. They would rather die. And we will oblige them. The best we can hope for is to kill very senior terror leaders. That will give us some good victory shots and make us feel like we’re winning. But there will be others that take their place, and they won’t stop attacking us.
The truth about our next war is that since we know we can’t win, and they know they can’t win, what both sides are actually trying to achieve is the perception of victory. We’re fighting over “the victory picture” that will give us the sense that we’ve actually accomplished something. Our enemies also know they can’t “win” – they can’t destroy us, they’ll never drive us out of here, and they’ll never plant their flag on the Knesset roof. So they’re going for their “victory shots” – downing our planes, blowing up our tanks, lynching our soldiers, raining rockets on our cities.
And when both sides feel that they’ve gotten a sufficient number of “victory shots” they’ll be ready to talk about a ceasefire deal. And just before the ceasefire deal goes into effect, they’ll try get that one last victory shot.
At the end we’ll say we won, and they’ll say they won. We both win, we both lose. And the debate will go on.
The truth about our next war is that we’re going to have to step up to the plate and take care of ourselves and our neighbors. The authorities will do the best they can, but the truth about our next war is that the home front has not been sufficiently prepared for the barrage of rockets we’re going to face. Not even close.
And that’s the hardest truth of all. Just ask Matan Vilnai. He knows. Our leaders have been rattling our sabers, and they might well be justified in doing so. But they have not spoken to us. They have not told us to prepare for blood, sweat and tears. And that’s the truth.
The truth, then, about our next war, is that it’s going to come down to us. Are we going to flee, scurry, argue and complain, or are we going to grin and bare it? When the rockets rain down on us, are we going to panic, or are we going to stick it out patiently and courageously? Are we capable of taking a deep breath, of being disciplined and helpful to others? Do we have what it takes to dodge rockets for as long as it takes? I think we are. We better be.
The truth about our next war is that it might not even happen; and if God forbid it does, I think we’ll be ok.