America Is Now in the Business of Losing Wars

Posted on Tuesday, April 9, 2024
by Outside Contributor
israel and palestine flags with red marks

On Oct. 7, thousands of members of the terrorist group Hamas and its “civilian” friends broke through the barrier between the Gaza Strip and Israel and proceeded to torture, rape and slaughter at least 1,200 Israeli people. They burned their homes, killed their children in front of them and then kidnapped some 250 Israelis back to Gaza, where they planted themselves in terror tunnels built with foreign humanitarian funding over the course of two decades, just beneath civilian areas including hospitals and schools.

Israel responded by utilizing every measure at its disposal to kill Hamas members while maintaining civilian life. They warned civilians to leave war zones. They put soldiers on the ground to go door-to-door despite total air superiority. They facilitated the entry of hundreds of trucks filled with humanitarian aid every single day in order to try to stave off hunger and thirst.

Almost 300 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the Gaza Strip during the course of its six-month war. Over 100 hostages, including five Americans, remain in Hamas’ hold. Tens of thousands of Israelis have been removed from their homes in the south of Israel, as well as along the northern Lebanese border, where the Iranian proxy terror group Hezbollah prepares for a large-scale war involving hundreds of thousands of rockets. Terrorism in the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, has skyrocketed, with nearly daily murderous attacks by Hamas sympathizers, including members of the Palestinian Authority.

Despite all of this, Israel has achieved historic military wins: killing the top Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander in Lebanon and Syria; quieting the West Bank through targeted raids; extirpating Hamas control from most of the Gaza Strip, leaving only the city of Rafah with its four divisions of Hamas.

And the Biden administration has responded by calling on Israel to stop.

Not only that: the Biden administration has become the propaganda arm of Hamas. They have suggested that Israel has been indiscriminate in its war aims, too willing to kill civilians, willing even to stymie humanitarian assistance without reason. This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the astonishing statement that Israel was risking losing its reverence for human life — even as Israelis sacrifice their own lives in an attempt to rescue hostages and preserve civilians who largely support genocidal Jew-hatred. Blinken stated, “If we lose that reverence for human life, we risk becoming indistinguishable from those we confront.” He then added, “Right now, there is no higher priority in Gaza than protecting civilians, surging humanitarian assistance, and ensuring the security of those who provide it.”

Of course, there is a higher priority for Israel: victory.

But America is no longer interested in victory.

The pattern of every American war since the end of World War II has been simple: we jump to involve ourselves in military conflicts when we feel a surge of moral outrage at the evils of our enemies; we then begin to question ourselves when we see hideous pictures on our televisions; we then surrender or cut an ugly deal. That is the pattern in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. Sometimes, we simply abandon our allies without any sort of serious opposition, as with the Kurds or the people of Hong Kong.

Obviously, America ought not involve itself in foreign conflicts in which we are unwilling to stay the course. American interests dictate pragmatism. But we’ve gone far beyond that. Now we’re telling our allies that they can’t win victories in conflicts in which they are¬†willing to stay the course and in which they can¬†win.

We will actively step in to prevent victory.

And so our enemies grow stronger. They have no such Hamlet-like moral qualms. They push where there is mush. Should Israel accede to America’s request to leave Hamas in place in Rafah, Hezbollah will challenge Israel in the north; Iranian proxies will challenge Israel in the West Bank; Iran will up the ante in Yemen and the Red Sea. Israel and Saudi Arabia will be forced to search for new allies and new weapons. The world will significantly become more dangerous.

It turns out that the alternative to an America confident in its own moral role — and an America willing to stand with its allies — is a world of chaos. We are now living in that world. And things will get much, much worse before the end of this era of moral vacillation and cowardice in the face of evil.

Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.” To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.