WHO WINS A WAR OF ATTRITION?

By William Markiewicz

Recently Sharon warned that if violence continues, "the Palestinians will lose additional assets, and they have something to lose." Watching the recent news has enlightened me as to how many of us didn't draw a lesson from Nato's bombing of Yugoslavia. Just a few days ago I, myself, believed that time was on the Arabs' side (see "Blood in Jerusalem," this issue). As for Sharon, he sees clearly or has been advised that Nato, in destroying the Serbian infrastructure, achieved much more than would an attempt to kill countless Serbs and occupy their land. Sharon now imitates Nato's tactics, inflicting damage to Palestinian territory. Thus he avoids bloody occupation, the "international community's" judgement, and the threat of Egyptian-Syrian military intervention. So, Israel through attrition may win its settlers' war, as Nato won its Madeline Albright war.

We learn that cornering the weaker into misery is the most successful strategy. Size doesn't matter; only accessibility matters -- vast and flat Russia, vulnerable to bombings, continues choking in poverty. Economic recovery seems a pipedream as Russia tries desperately to keep pace in the arms race with the master of the world. Nato is stronger than Russia, China and India combined, which may sooner or later tempt confrontation.

Paradoxically, some weak and small nations are immune to the superpower's blackmail; they have nothing to lose because they possess nothing to start with and are entrenched in inaccessible territories, mostly high mountains. Those tribes and klans are much more resistant physically and psychologically than the individualistic modern societies, slaves to their comfort and to their dominators. All they can bomb in mountains will be herds of goats and game, and whatever nests and grows in mountain crags. Humanity cannot yet inflict serious planetary wounds and that's what saves the close-to-nature klans of Albanians, Montenegrins, Afghanis, Yemenis... Nobody really bothers with them; the NWO either tries to be friendly with them or to ignore them. In less inaccessible conditions they'd have been declared "rogues" and torn into pieces a long time ago. By the way, Switzerland is the only rich country that enjoys simultaneously a solid political reputation, the most modern lifestyle, and a natural fortress condition; one Swiss told me that they don't have to fear nuclear attack in their mountains because the constant winds there would instantaneously contaminate their neighbours. The Swiss have a lot to lose in case of a conflict but have also prepared shelters to survive in their mountainous wilderness.



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