The crime of weakness; the punishment of war | The Jewish Press – | Israel Hayom | 30 Adar I 5782 – March 3, 2022


Photo credit: Asher Schwartz

War makes us aware of the most important questions of values, which shape the cultural and historical lessons imprinted in the consciousness of a nation. Over the past few days, it seems that Putin’s blatant aggression is causing leaders and elites in Western democracies to reconsider a defining element of their worldview, one that has to do with the use of force.

These elites in Europe, and more recently in the United States, have made a distaste for force and the illusion that freedom is possible without it the main tenet of their vision. This point of view translates into a desire for passivity and helplessness. Since World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union, these have moved from certain fringe circles into the mainstream. The war in the heart of Europe challenges this worldview in those who are prepared to face reality.

The sharpest turning point occurred in Germany, under the leadership of a socialist party chancellor. Contrary to the absurd decision before the war broke out to send 5,000 helmets to Ukraine, Germany is now sending them anti-aircraft rockets and anti-tank weapons. In a dramatic and historic step, Germany also decided to double its defense budget. The European Union has broken the taboo on the supply of arms and Finland, for the first time, is sending arms to a war zone. European countries withdrew their objection to limiting Russia’s use of the SWIFT payment system and closed their skies to Russian planes.

What Western elites have forgotten over three warless generations in the heart of Europe, and thanks to the dizzying success of democracies in maintaining unprecedented freedom and quality of life, is that all of this rests on a prerequisite – the “good” the “bad guys” must be stronger in order to prevent the “bad guys” from using force or drastic deterrence to threaten freedom and tarnish their quality of life. We are not talking about angels against demons, but rather about democratic, open and pluralistic societies against oppressive, violent and aggressive regimes.

These elites have denied the existence of “villains,” claiming they were “invented” by Western powers to downplay the utopian victory parade of those who seek peace and brotherhood. Ukraine is now forcing any realistic person to return to the basic understanding of human society: “If you want peace, prepare for war”.

This rule, which appeared in the writings of Plato, was cited by the Roman writer Végèce, with the explanation that no one dares to attack or threaten a power whose military superiority is known. “Military superiority” is not limited to an army’s size, quality or leadership. When a nation becomes dependent, as Europe has, on an ideology of weakness and misery, shuns investment in defense and adopts a fairy tale about the role of the “international community” in promotion of peace, the “bad guys” can ignore the countries of the continent. When the US military is stronger than any other, but has no public support for its use and the US administration assumes European inefficiency and even forgoes the use of forceful deterrence, Putin can carry out his aggression unhindered in Crimea and Kyiv. Putin recently watched the Americans and their allies give in to a weak and vulnerable Iran, allowing him to dictate the nuclear talks.

Such weakness in the “good guys” is the original sin, the one that allowed the wicked to take over. This is more than just a political or strategic flaw. It is a moral abomination. When the good guys are strong, actually or potentially, they have a moral obligation, noblesse oblige, to use force to defend freedom against the wicked who try to take it away from them through Putinian aggression. It is not an altruistic mission, it is how they defend what gives meaning to their life, their freedom and the way of life they have chosen. Decadent and evil elites have succeeded in portraying the use of force as a violation of human freedom, when it is the only defense of freedom against those who would attack it.

The weakness of the good guys made us bring down the war in Ukraine. The desire for weakness is deeply rooted, mainly in Western Europe, but now, at least, there is a chance that the trauma will allow countries to build their military force and obtain the public will to use it as an end result, in a way that could make real wars unnecessary.

{Reposted from IsraelHayom}


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