Friday, August 22, 2014
The Wages of Aggressive War
Still, I think the criminalization of a war of conquest is an example of moral progress by us denizens of Earth. It might not be as momentous as the abolition of slavery, but it's not nothing.
OK, Germany can't invade and conquer France legally. Longstanding borders provide the clearest examples of what constitutes an aggressive war, namely, an unprovoked attack across ancient borders for the purpose of acquisition. That's easy, but what about recent borders? Is it actually a crime for Ho Chi Minh to invade recently separated South Vietnam? How about North Korea invading South Korea?
When does the recently created border become the longstanding one?
Then there is the problem of the breakaway province within a nation, but I'm already getting sidetracked. My subject is what people in the nation attacked by another in an aggressive war can do if they defeat the invading country's armed forces. Is there a sanctioned international penalty for starting and losing an aggressive war? Clearly there is. Japan lost territory to the Soviets. Germany lost territory to the Poles. Lets go back nearly a full century however and talk a bit about the Ottoman Empire joining with Germany and Austro-Hungary in WWI. They lost. And sections of the former Muslim empire were carved up into newish nation states to the detriment of the empire. In WWII, the Arabs supported the Nazis. They lost too.
The Jews who lived in the Mideast back in the mid 1910s joined with the Allies to defeat the Turks. They were on the winning side of a war started by others in what certainly looked to Belgians and French etc. like an invasion in a war of conquest. Promises were made to obtain the Jewish help against the Ottomans.
Is it OK to punish those who start aggressive wars and lose with post-war actions which benefit the victors and harm the initial aggressors? I don't think there is any rational answer other than yes.
So, in 1948, as a result of the Holocaust and the Arab support for the losing Axis, what passed for World Government (the way past its 'use by date' United Nations), rewarded the Jews for their suffering and punished the Arabs in and around Jerusalem for their support of an aggressive war in Europe by declaring a Jewish homeland. Immediately upon Israel's founding, 5 Arab nations attacked. Egypt took over Gaza and the Hashemite Kingdom of Trans Jordan took the West Bank. The Arabs lost their first aggressive war against Israel. They lost a little land as a result. The '67 War (aka the 6 Day War) yielded the same result. The attackers lost. Egypt therefore lost land to Israel, including the Gaza, Jordan lost land to Israel, the West Bank and Syria lost land to Israel, the Golan. There was another attempt in '73 (the Yom Kippur War) and after initial gains, the attackers lost too.
So how is it that Israel is in the wrong for successfully defending itself from illegal aggressive wars?
The only non Arab people who are anti-Israel are people so ignorant of history and international law that their baseless opinions can be ignored with impunity.
Or so I believe.