With the cease-fire now in place and still holding, Ralph Peters of the New York Post offers some lessons to be drawn from this latest round of fighting in the Old War:
The elementary fact - which far too many in the West deny - is that our civilization has been forced into a defensive war to the death with fanatical strains of Islam - both Shi'a and Sunni. We may be on the offensive militarily, but we did not start this war - and it's all one war, from 9/11's Ground Zero, through Lebanon and Iraq, and on to Afghanistan.After which mr. Peters follows up with 7 lessons learned and two highly relevant questions. It is worth reading twice.
Until that ugly fact gains wide acceptance, we'll continue to make little decisive progress. American or Israeli, our troops are trying. But the truth is that we're really just holding the line.
We have not yet begun to fight. And many among us still dream of avoiding this war altogether.
It can't be done. Because our enemies - Hezbollah, al Qaeda, Islamist militias, regimes in Iran, Syria and elsewhere - are determined to confront us.
We're going to learn the hard way. But we're going to learn.