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Overview: Arab "truces" are meaningless.

Polish hero Jarema Wisniowiecki on standing up to banditry

Do not negotiate with vicious terrorists

Dialogue of the Athenians and the Melians

Lessons from King Henry VI

Lessons of the Second World War


Truces, Arab Style

"What is being touted as a 'cease-fire' is something called a 'hudna.' A hudna [also known as a hudibiyya or khudaibiya] is a tactical cease-fire that allows the Arabs to rebuild their terrorist infrastructure in order to be more effective when the "cease-fire" is called off." -- "Cease-fire?" by Shira A. Drissman

...[Arafat] likened the Oslo accords, once again, to the 10-year truce made by the prophet Muhammad in A.D. 628 with the Arabian tribe of Quraysh. The Islamic forces used the peace to become stronger over a couple of years, then defeated the Quraysh tribe. The parallel re-emphasizes that Arafat sees Oslo not as a pledge to work for a permanent reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis but as a temporary and tactical maneuver. Why else have thousands paraded in Gaza with signs saying "We worship Allah by killing Jews"?

Source: http://www.qchillel.org/news/122198.htm Mortimer Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief, US News Editorial 12/21/98
Ours are guerrilla tactics. They consist mainly of the following points:
"Divide our forces to arouse the masses, concentrate our forces to deal with the enemy."
"The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue."

--Mao Tse Tung
http://www.chairmanmao.org/eng/wen/wen21.htm

"Kill them so they know they're dying." Duke Jarema Wisniowiecki's answer to a mid-17th century hudna proposal

Background: Cossack leader Bogdan Chmielnicki has started a civil war in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He has, with the aid of his Tartar accomplices, won battles at the Zolta Woda (Yellow Waters) and Korsun, but he has yet to face a decent hetman (general). Chmielnicki sends envoys with a humble and conciliatory letter to the magnate Jarema Wisniowiecki, who is known to be an excellent commander whose soldiers respect him. (He keeps strict discipline but he also shares his men's hardships in the field, e.g. by sleeping in poor or humble quarters when his men must do do.)

Per Henryk Sienkiewicz's With Fire and Sword (Binion translation, pp. 286-289, emphasis is mine. Believed to be in the public domain because the translation is more than 100 years old.)

It was clear to them [the Cossack messengers] that Khmyelnitski did not wish to risk a battle at present with such a celebrated leader and that instead of marching against him with his whole strength, he was trying to create delay, and pretending humility, evidently in the expectation that the forces of the prince [Wisniowiecki] would be worn out by long marches and by battles and encounters with various Cossack detachments; in a word he was evidently very much afraid of the prince.
...[Wisniowiecki concluded] "The cunning of this enemy is great! He either thinks that he will lull me to sleep with this letter in order to attack a sleeping man, or he is trying to entice me into the heart of the Commonwealth, finish up the business there, and receive pardon from the King and from the Diet [Sejm]..."
...[After consulting his officers, Wisniowiecki] ...then turned to the Colonel of the Tartar bodyguard. "Colonel Vyershul, order your Tartars to behead these Cossacks; but to cut a stake for their leader and impale him at once."
..."This must be done in return for the cruelty which they practiced on the other side of the Dnieper; and to maintain our dignity and for the welfare of the whole Commonwealth. It must be shown by such an example that there is someone who is not afraid of this bandit leader [Khmyelnitski], and who will treat him as a highwayman..."

In the movie version, he orders simply, "Kill them so that they know they're dying."

The "cruelty which they practiced on the other side of the Dnieper" included massacres of entire villages, with Jews and Polish gentry being put to the sword or worse, women raped and then drowned (presumably because they could no longer be sold to harems, as they became "spoiled goods"), convents and monastaries put to the torch and their occupants slain, and similar behavior. Today, Palestinian and other Arab terrorists perpetrate similar atrocities (Seders and buses blown up, a senior citizen murdered and thrown off a ship, airplanes hijacked and crashed into office buildings) against innocent civilians.

Note also that Wisniowiecki refuses to acknowledge Chmielnicki's self-proclaimed status of Hetman. He instead calls him a "bandit leader" whom he will treat as "a highwayman." When Chmielnicki's envoy, a Cossack ataman, says he bears "a letter from the hetman," Wisniowiecki answers, "From a scoundrel, vagabond, and a bandit, not from a hetman." Israel is clearly making a mistake by acknowledging Yasser Arafat as a negotiating partner, President of the Palestinian authority, or indeed anything but a terrorist and criminal who deserves a bullet through the head at the earliest opportunity. The idea that a thug like Bashar Assad, Moammar Khadafy, Kim Il Jong, or Saddam Hussein is a legitimate head of state is equally ludicrous.

The problem is that Western Civilization has yet to bring forth someone like Jarema Wisniowiecki to answer their violence appropriately. While impaling the terrorists would be unconstitutional, we have yet to shoot, hang, or lethally-inject any of the Achille Lauro pirates or 9/11 conspirators, and Israel does not have capital punishment for terrorism. Instead of "Kill them so they know they're dying," a modern Jarema can answer, "We are not the tribe of Quraysh."

Is Wisniowiecki a worthy role model? He was headstrong and violent but Sienkiewicz portrays him as a hero. His contemporaries apparently felt the same way because they elected his son Michael Korybut as King in 1668. The Poles apparently expected the father to live on in the son but Michael Korybut was actually ineffectual. Jarema Wisniowiecki cannot be condemned for barbarism according to contemporary standards, as cruel practices like impalement were far from unusual in his day. France broke criminals on the wheel until Louis XVI abolished this punishment in the late 1700s. England burned people at the stake through most of the 18th century although they were usually strangled first. Hanging, drawing, and quartering (the punishment inflicted on William Wallace) was still the punishment for treason in England through part of the 19th century, although it was usually reduced to hanging and then beheading in practice.

"I would not live in this Commonwealth, for I should be ashamed."

Per Henryk Sienkiewicz's With Fire and Sword (Binion translation, pp. 349-350) emphasis is mine)

The lord of Bratslav told the prince [Wisniowiecki] that the negotiations had begun... he hoped to soothe and pacify Khmyelnitski. In conclusion, he begged the prince not to deal too severely with the Cossacks, and to give up as much as possible all warlike undertakings until the close of the negotiations.

Had one announced to the prince that his whole Dnieper country was devastated; that all the cities had been razed to the ground, it would not have wounded him so deeply as did this letter.

..."I would not live in this Commonwealth, for I should be ashamed. The Cossack 'blacks,' the peasantry, have flooded the country with blood; united with the Heathen [Crimean Tartars] against their own mother. The hetmans are beaten, the armies destroyed, the glory of the nation trampled underfoot. Authority is overcome, the churches burned down, the priests, the nobles slain, the women ravished; and upon these ruins, this dishonor, at the sight of which our ancestors would have died-- what does the Commonwealth answer? With the traitor, with her despoilers, with the allies of the Heathen she enters into negotiations and promises them satisfaction. O God, let me die, I repeat, for we can no longer live in the world who feel the dishonor of the mother country and bring our lives to her as a sacrifice."

Sienkiewicz uses the word hanba, the root of pohanbienie, to refer to the "dishonor" of Polish women at the hands of the Cossacks. Jerzy R. Krzyzanowski's The Trilogy Companion: A Reader's Guide to the Trilogy of Henryk Sienkiewicz explains,

It isn't merely shame, disgrace, or even dishonor. It denotes such utter degradation and such total and complete humiliation that no self-respecting human being could ever accept it. Indeed, pohanbienie has a ring of such abysmal finality about it, and it suggests such brutality in its application, that death itself would be preferable to it. A man or woman who is shanbiony or shanbiona is hardly able to live with his or her own image, far less among others. [Further research shows that shanbiony may not be the correct word, but rather a misspelling of haniebny, which means disgraceful or dishonorable.]

Note that the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth has actually lost battles such as Zolty Woda or Yellow Waters and Korsun whereas the Palestinians cannot possibly win a military engagement against Israel. The Cossacks succeeded in wholesale slaughters of Polish civilians, clergy, monks, and nuns, while the Palestinians can at best inflict random murders through homicide bombings. If Wisniowiecki preferred death to enduring the shame of negotiating with rebels who had actually beaten Polish armies, Israelis who want to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority must be truly haniebny or haniebna.

Dialogue of the Athenians and Melians
"...you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

It therefore follows that only equals in power need to negotiate. In other cases the weaker side, whether right or wrong, will seek to gain by negotiation what it cannot gain by force.
  • Hitler "negotiated" for the Sudetenland because he felt himself weaker than an alliance between England, France, and Czechoslovakia. Historians do not believe that Hitler would have gone to war had England and France told him to go to hell instead of appeasing him.
  • Hitler similarly gained the rest of Czechoslovakia because England and France (still probably stronger in 1938) did not stand up to him.
  • On the political front, the Million Mom March sought to "negotiate" away the Second Amendment through a policy of incrementalism similar to that of the Arabs. Second Amendment supporters who knew themselves to be stronger did not seek any negotiations or compromises with the Million Mom March. We destroyed it as an organization by exposing evidence of serious improprieties. This caused its own rank-and-file supporters to walk away in disgust.
This is a strong argument for Israel's outright annexation of the West Bank and Gaza, with a reminder to the Arabs of the fate of the Melians. The Athenians took their city, killed the men, and sold the women and children as slaves. Israel's position should be that the Arabs have, through waging four wars of aggression, forfeited the West Bank and Gaza as prizes of war. Should they start yet another Arab-Israeli war over this, they can count on losing their national independence as well.

Negotiating with the Enemy shows Weakness

"Whoever prays for an armistice," said Volodiyovski [Wolodyjowski], "shows fear and weakness, and whoever looks for assistance doubts his own strength. The Infidel [Turks] will come to this conclusion from your letter, and thus it has wrought irreparable injury."
Henryk Sienkiewicz, Pan Michael (Binion translation), p. 473

This was in response to the Bishop of Kamenets' request to the Sultan for a four-week armistice so that "In that interval we will send to our king for help and await his instructions and God will decide the rest." His open proposal that the Turks delay their siege so the King of Poland could send a relief army showed either that he had the intelligence of a turnip or he thought the Sultan did; far better was Pan Zagloba's proposal to send a dog's tail to the Sultan in answer to the Sultan's demand for the fortress' surrender.

Noam Chomsky, Tikkun.org, and the Geneva "negotiatiors" as haniebny reincarnations of King Henry VI

These excerpts from King Henry VI, Part 3 show how Chomsky-like conduct caused rivers of blood to run throughout England in the conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. My commentary relates King Henry's conduct to Israel's.
KING HENRY VI
Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
No: first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours, often borne in France,
And now in England to our heart's great sorrow,
Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
My title's good, and better far than his.

WARWICK
Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.

KING HENRY VI
Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.

YORK
'Twas by rebellion against his king.

KING HENRY VI
[Aside] I know not what to say; my title's weak.--
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?

YORK
What then?

KING HENRY VI
An if he may, then am I lawful king;
For Richard, in the view of many lords,
Resign'd the crown to Henry the Fourth,
Whose heir my father was, and I am his.

YORK
He rose against him, being his sovereign,
And made him to resign his crown perforce.

WARWICK
Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,
Think you 'twere prejudicial to his crown?

EXETER
No; for he could not so resign his crown
But that the next heir should succeed and reign.

KING HENRY VI
Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?

EXETER
His is the right, and therefore pardon me.

YORK
Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?

EXETER
My conscience tells me he is lawful king.

KING HENRY VI
[Aside] All will revolt from me, and turn to him.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
Think not that Henry shall be so deposed.

WARWICK
Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Thou art deceived: 'tis not thy southern power,
Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
Can set the duke up in despite of me.

CLIFFORD
King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence:
May that ground gape and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!

KING HENRY VI
O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!

YORK
Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?

WARWICK
Do right unto this princely Duke of York,
Or I will fill the house with armed men,
And over the chair of state, where now he sits,
Write up his title with usurping blood.

He stamps with his foot and the soldiers show themselves

KING HENRY VI
My Lord of Warwick, hear me but one word:
Let me for this my life-time reign as king.

YORK
Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs,
And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou livest.

KING HENRY VI
I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.

CLIFFORD
What wrong is this unto the prince your son!

WARWICK
What good is this to England and himself!

WESTMORELAND
Base, fearful and despairing Henry!

CLIFFORD
How hast thou injured both thyself and us!

WESTMORELAND
I cannot stay to hear these articles.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Nor I.

CLIFFORD
Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news.

WESTMORELAND
Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Be thou a prey unto the house of York,
And die in bands for this unmanly deed!

CLIFFORD
In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome,
Or live in peace abandon'd and despised!

Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, CLIFFORD, and WESTMORELAND
...
Scene: a parley between the Lancastrians and Yorkists

Henry VI begins by showing some courage and determination but soon shows his true color (the white feather). His character defect is not lack of physical courage but rather moral courage.

Israel, by conquest in a war of self-defense, got the West Bank and Gaza

King Henry makes his first (and probably fatal) error by admitting that theYorkists may actually have a legitimate claim on the throne, just as Israel errs in admitting that the Palestinians might have a claim on the so-called occupied territories.



















King Henry now makes Israel's mistake about worrying too much about public opinion.

King Henry has powerful and loyal nobles who are willing to fight on his behalf. Clifford also wants revenge for the death of his father at the Yorkists' hands.





















This is Henry's gutless "negotiated" solution which is worse, not only for his country but for him personally, than either fighting or surrendering (in which case he could live out his life in peace as Duke of Lancaster).
Shakespeare should have had York's son Richard ("Crookback Dickie") put in the aside, "which will be for another week or so if I have my way" after the phrase, "while thou livest."

Henry's cowardly offer earns the contempt of his friends as well as his enemies. No one in the room respects him now.










The lords who would have defended Henry's crown with their lives now wish him the worst possible fortune.
...Enter QUEEN MARGARET and PRINCE EDWARD

EXETER
Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger:
I'll steal away.

KING HENRY VI
Exeter, so will I.

QUEEN MARGARET
Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.

KING HENRY VI
Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.

QUEEN MARGARET
Who can be patient in such extremes?
Ah, wretched man! would I had died a maid
And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
Seeing thou hast proved so unnatural a father
Hath he deserved to lose his birthright thus?
Hadst thou but loved him half so well as I,
Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
Or nourish'd him as I did with my blood,
Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there,
Rather than have that savage duke thine heir
And disinherited thine only son.

PRINCE EDWARD
Father, you cannot disinherit me:
If you be king, why should not I succeed?

KING HENRY VI
Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me, sweet son:
The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforced me.

QUEEN MARGARET
Enforced thee! art thou king, and wilt be forced?
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son and me;
And given unto the house of York such head
As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
What is it, but to make thy sepulchre
And creep into it far before thy time?
Warwick is chancellor and the lord of Calais;
Stern Falconbridge commands the narrow seas;
The duke is made protector of the realm;
And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
The trembling lamb environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour:
And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repeal'd
Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords that have forsworn thy colours
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread;
And spread they shall be, to thy foul disgrace
And utter ruin of the house of York.
Thus do I leave thee. Come, son, let's away;
Our army is ready; come, we'll after them.

KING HENRY VI
Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.

QUEEN MARGARET
Thou hast spoke too much already: get thee gone.


RICHARD (later Richard III)
Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.

EDWARD
No, I can better play the orator.

MONTAGUE
But I have reasons strong and forcible.

Enter YORK

YORK
Why, how now, sons and brother! at a strife?
What is your quarrel? how began it first?

EDWARD
No quarrel, but a slight contention.

YORK
About what?

RICHARD
About that which concerns your grace and us;
The crown of England, father, which is yours.

YORK
Mine boy? not till King Henry be dead.

RICHARD
Your right depends not on his life or death.

EDWARD
Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now:
By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
It will outrun you, father, in the end.

YORK
I took an oath that he should quietly reign.

EDWARD
But for a kingdom any oath may be broken:
I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.

RICHARD
No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.

YORK
I shall be, if I claim by open war.

RICHARD
I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.

YORK
Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.

RICHARD
An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
Therefore, to arms! And, father, do but think
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown;
Within whose circuit is Elysium
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
Why do we finger thus? I cannot rest
Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.

YORK
Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.














Margaret of Anjou is actually a better "king" than her husband. She and Lord Clifford will later lead his armies while he watches as a passive spectator without even caring who wins.










She'd have gotten along with Jarema Wisniowiecki quite well.


Israel's concessions to the Palestinian Authority similarly make the sepulchres of hundreds of Israeli civilians.

Another lesson; those who care more about their lives than their honor often lose both (per Xenophon). This hapless monarch will meet the same fate at the hands of Richard of Gloucester. It's a mercy killing, at least as far as the audience is concerned; who wants to hear this guy mope and whine through yet another play?

So much for Henry's peace agreement. His wife has no legal authority to violate it but her moral authority is such that Henry's nobles will attack the Yorkists if she leads them.

On the other side, the Yorkists lose no time in figuring out why they should break their agreement even before the ink has dried.



























Breaking an oath is highly dishonorable in Western cultures (like that of 15th-century England) but, as shown by the description of the hudna, it is standard operating procedure among Arabs.






"Crookback Dickie" provides his father with a "reason" why the oath he took is not enforceable.







His father the Duke of York is soon persuaded.

Lessons from the Second World War

Neville Chamberlain and his French counterpart (Daladier) were morally responsible for the slaughter of millions of people (including several hundred thousand Britons) because of their treatment of Adolf Hitler as a negotiating partner instead of, as Prince Jarema would have put it, a bandit and a highwayman. They began to make concessions to Hitler (the Sudetenland) when Hitler was too weak to back up his demands with war. By handing him Czechoslovakia and its immense manufacturing capability (including the famous Skoda armament works) they merely strengthened him almost to the point where he could not be stopped.

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor not as a prelude to the conquest of the United States but rather to bring the U.S. to the negotiating table. All Japan wanted was the United States' Far Eastern possessions like the Philippines. The United States did not even listen to Japan's proposals, however, and declared war the day after the treacherous attack. Nor did the U.S. stop short of total victory (as Israel was forced to do in 1956 and 1973). Japan was compelled to surrender unconditionally and her leaders, such as Tojo, were hanged as war criminals. This is how the so-called Palestinian Authority should have been dealt with long ago.

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