The Six Day War in real time

This June marks the 40th Anniversary of the Six Day War, a war that shaped Israel’s current geography and that continues to have a profound impact on the Middle East to this day.  Last year, I got hold of a copy of a 1967 Life Magazine that was rushed into press immediately after the War.  The collected articles in that magazine make fascinating reading because (1) they position Israel as David to the Arab Goliath, (2) they recognize that Israel has always been a proxy fighter (then, in the Cold War; now, in the Jihadist War against the West), and (3) they predict the coming refugee problem.  I’m consolidating three old posts for this one new one, so long-time readers will recognize a lot of this.  Familiarity shouldn’t breed contempt for this content, though, because it’s very interesting stuff, both as contemporaneous news, and as a snapshot of reporting that enables us to understand how the American media has changed.

The source for all of the following is a 1967 issue of Life Magazine entitled “Israel’s Swift Victory.” It’s a 100 page special edition, so I won’t attempt to retype all of it here. Instead, I’ve cherry-picked those articles that resonate most strongly insofar as they contrast with today’s view of Israel and her role in the Middle East.  Unlike today’s media, both at home and abroad, the Life editors admired Israel tremendously for standing up to the overwhelming odds the Arab nations presented, and triumphing. The very first story identifies Israel as a beleaguered haven for refugees, surrounded by an ocean of hostile Arab nations:

The state of Israel, no bigger than Massachusetts, was established in 1948 in Palestine as a haven for the war-ravaged Jewish communities of Europe. Bitter fighting attended her birth and fixed her boundaries against the surrounding phalanx of hostile Arab states: Jordan cut into her narrow wasp waist and through the holy city of Jerusalem; Egypt along her western desert flank was entrenched in the coastal strip of Gaza. At Israel’s southern tip is the strategic port of Elath, against which Egypt made the play that brought on th war and unhinged the entire Middle East.

The magazine places the blame for the war squarely on Nasser, whose conduct presented such a threat that Israel had no option but to react. It makes for interesting reading because it assumes a legitimacy to Israel’s 1967 preemptive strike. After describing how Pres. Abdel Gamel Nasser, speaking from Cairo, demanded Israel’s extermination, the Life editorial board goes on to say this:

The world had grown accustomed to such shows [of destructive hatred towards Israel] through a decade of Arab-Israeli face-offs that seasonally blew as hot as a desert sirocco. Since 1948, when Israel defeated the Arabs and won the right to exist as a nation, anti-Zionist diatribes had been the Arab world’s only official recognition of Israel. Indeed, in the 19 years since the state was founded, the surrounding Arab states have never wavered from their claim that they were in a state of war with Israel.

But now there was an alarming difference in Nasser’s buildup. He demanded that the U.N. withdraw the 3,400-man truce-keeping force that had camped in Egypt’s Sinai desert and in the Gaza Strip ever since Egypt’s defeat in the Suez campaign of 1956 as a buffer between Egyptians and Israelis. A worried United Nations Secretary-General U Thant agreed to the withdrawal, then winged to Cairo to caution Nasser.

He found him adamant. Plagued by economic difficulties at home and bogged down in the war in Yemen, Nasser had lately been criticized by Syrians for hiding behind the U.N. truce-keeping force. With brinksmanship as his weapon, Nasser had moved to bolster his shaky claim to leadership of the divided Arab world.

While news coverage certainly has changed, the above quotation highlights a couple of things thing that haven’t (other than Arabs’ genocidal hatred for Israel, of course):  First, the UN has always been craven. Egypt demands that UN forces withdraw and, voila, they withdraw.  Second, although it’s no longer spoken of in polite MSM company, is the fact that the Arab nations have always used anti-Israeli rhetoric and conduct to deflect attention from their failures and as a vehicle to establish dominance over other Arab nations in the region. In other words, if there weren’t an Israel, the Arab nations would have had to invent one.

In contrast to the fevered, irrational hatred on the Arab side, the Life editors are impressed by the Israelis. Under the bold heading “Israel’s cool readiness,” and accompanied by photographs of smiling Israeli soldiers taking a cooling shower in the desert, listening to their commander, and attending to their tanks, Life has this to say:

With the elan and precision of a practiced drill team, Israel’s largely civilian army — 71,000 regulars and 205,000 reservists — began its swift mobilization to face, if necessary, 14 Arab nations and their 110 million people. As Premier Levi Eshkol was to put it, “The Jewish people has had to fight unceasingly to keep itself alive…. We acted from an instinct to save the soul of a people.

Again, can you imagine a modern publication pointing out the vast disparity in landmass and population between Israel and the Arabs, or even acknowledging in the opening paragraph of any article that Israel has a right to exist? The text about Israel’s readiness is followed by more photographs of reservists preparing their weapons and of a casually seated Moshe Dayan, drinking a soda, and conferring with his men. Under the last photograph, you get to read this:

The Israelis, Dayan said, threw themselves into their hard tasks with “something that is a combination of love, belief and country.”

After admiringly describing the Israelis’ offensive strike against the Arab air-forces, which gave Israel the decisive advantage in the War, Life addresses Israel’s first incursion into Gaza. I’m sure you’ll appreciate how the Gaza area is depicted:

Minutes after the first air strike, a full division of Israeli armor and mechanized infantry . . . was slashing into the Egyptian-held Gaza Strip. A tiny wasteland, the strip had been given up by Israel in the 1956 settlement and was now a festering splinter — the barren harbor for 315,000 refugees bent on returning to their Palestinian homes and the base for Arab saboteurs.

Wow! Those clueless Life writers actually seem to imply that Egypt, which controlled Gaza for eleven years, had some responsibility for this “festering,” dangerous area.

The Life editors are agog about Israeli tactics.

The Israeli plan was so flexible that its architects at the last minute switched strategy to avoid a new deployment of enemy forces in southern Sinai. After the air strikes that wiped out the Arab air forces, Israeli armor and infantry swept westward across the waist of Sinai, parallel to the path of the Gaza breakthrough. A smaller column cut south from El Kuntilla, then raced toward Suez. Patrol boats and paratroops were sent to Sharm el Sheikh to break the blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba, but the airborne troops were able to land at the abandoned airfield because the Egyptians had fled. Meanwhile, fighting erupted on another front — the divided city of Jerusalem, where an Israeli pincer column encircled the old, Jordanian section. Yet another Israeli force moved against Jenin, north of Jerusalem. The final Israeli attacked, at the end of the week, was mounted against Syria, which had been shelling border settlements.

(Regarding the last sentence in the above quotation, it seems as if some things never change.)

The Life editor’s tactical admiration emerges again when speaking about Israel’s successful taking of the Sinai Peninsula:

Stabbing into the Sinai desert, the Israelis stuck to the same strategy that in 1956 had carried them to the Suez Canal in 100 hours: never stop. Although outnumbered more than two to one — by an Egyptian force of almost 100,000 men grouped in seven divisions and supported by 900 tanks — they smashed ahead day and night, outracing the foe, encircling him time and again and trapping thousands of prisoners as Egyptian discipline collapsed. *** The battle — one of the epic armored engagements in history — lasted 24 hours and involved some 1,000 tanks.

A couple of things occur to me as I read this: First, in last year’s Israeli/Hezbollah war, if press reports are to be believed (and that’s always a leap of faith), Israel did not demonstrate either flexibility or speed. She remained rigidly fixated on using air power, despite the fact that (a) this hadn’t served the Americans that well in Iraq and (b) it didn’t appear to be achieving her objectives. Israel did not seem to have a plan for air power’s failure, and the subsequent land-based incursions seemed ad hoc and half-hearted. Israel was also afraid of casualties, which is logical and humane, on the one hand, and a dangerous way to wage war, on the other hand. As for the “never stop” doctrine, Israel seemed constantly to want to stop — partly because of that same fear of casualties and partly, I think, because Israel didn’t have a clearly defined goal going in.

The other thing that occurred to me reading the above was the fact that the Life writers are describing a traditional war: army versus army. Under those circumstances, there’s a tremendous virtue in cheering for the underdog who routs the larger force. Nowadays, where asymmetrical warfare means that there’s a traditional army on one side and terrorists hiding amongst and targeting civilians on the other side, the battle lines, the tactical lines, and the victory lines can easily be confusing. This is especially true when you have those, like members of MSM, who don’t understand the nature of the war (one side wants peaceful coexistence; one side wants genocide), and who focus on the minutiae of the daily casualty reports. It was interesting to see how, in a traditional army versus army conflict, the press could still distinguish the forest from the trees, as demonstrated in this paragraph:

The Sinai victory had cost the Israelis heavier casualties than the 1956 Suez campaign, 275 dead and 800 wounded. . . . The Egyptian losses were staggering — 20,000 dead by Israeli estimates and perhaps a billion-dollar lost in war materiel. But the objective was gained. Israeli troops took up positions on the east bank of the Suez Canal — and trained their guns on Egypt’s homeland. [Emphasis mine.]

The above is specific reporting about the battles.

The magazine also includes would what one might call “side stories”:  one about the refugee situation, one about Russia’s involvement in events.  Life’s, June 23, 1967 editorial about the refugee problem, which is both clear-headed and prescient, is as follows (without any editorial deletions on my part):

The 20th Century’s excellence — and its horrid defects — find some of their most vivid monuments in the hate-filled camps of Arab refugees. The refugees have been supported by the voluntary U.N. contributions of some 75 governments, not to mention the Inner Wheel Club of Hobart, Australia, the Boy Scout Union of Finland, the Women’s Club of Nes, Iceland, the Girls High School of Burton-on-Trend, England, and (for some reason) a number of automobile companies including Chrysler, Ford, G.M. and Volkswagen.

The philanthropy, governmental and private, that has aided these displaced Arabs is genuine — and admirable. The stupidity and political selfishness that have perpetuated the problem are appalling.

Down the ages, there have been thousands of episodes in which whole peoples fled their homes. Most were assimilated in the lands to which they fled. Brutally or beneficently, previous refugee groups were liquidated. Not until our time have there been the money, the philanthropy, the administrative skill, the hygienic know-how and the peculiar kind of nationalism which, in combination, could take a wave of refugees and freeze it into a permanent and festering institution.

In the wake of Israeli victories, the refugee camps received thousands of new recruits, and there may be more if, as seems likely, Israel successfully insists on some enlargement of its boundaries. Thus the refugee problem, one of the main causes of Middle East instability, is about to be magnified.

The early Zionists, looking toward a binational state, never thought they would, could or should replace the Arabs in Palestine.  When terrorism and fighting mounted in 1947-48, Arab leaders urged Palestinian Arabs to flee, promising that the country would soon be liberated.  Israelis tried to induce the Arabs to stay.  For this reason, the Israelis do not now accept responsibility for the Arab exodus.  Often quoted is the statement of a Palestinian Arab writer that the Arab leaders “told us:  ‘Get out so that we can get in.’  We got out but they did not get in.”

After the Israeli victory, Arab leaders outside of Palestine reversed their policy and demanded that all the refugees be readmitted to Israel. Israel reversed its policy, [and] refused to repatriate large numbers of Arabs on the ground that they would endanger the state. Nasser, for instance, has said, “If Arabs return to Israel, Israel will cease to exist.”

Now 1.3 million Arabs, not counting the recent influx, are listed as refugees. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has an international staff of about a hundred and spends nearly $40 million a year, 60% of it from the U.S. government. UNRWA services are performed by 11,500 Arab employees, most them refugees. Obviously, this group has an interest in not solving the refugee problem.

So have the host governments. Consistently they have refused to go along with any plan or policy for the resettlement or assimilation of the refugees, preferring to use them politically. In 1955 the Arab League scuttled a Jordan Valley development project precisely because it would have reduced, perhaps by 250,000, the number of Arab refugees.

It’s about time this dangerous deadlock ended. The inevitable reshuffle of the Middle East ought to include a plan to phase out the refugee problem in five or 10 years. Israel, to show goodwill, should repatriate a few thousand refugees per year. All of the 1.3 million could be absorbed in underpopulated Iran and Syria, provided their governments would cooperate in internationally supported developments projects. Persuading Arab governments to adopt a policy of resettlement should be central to U.S. policy, and it would be worth putting up quite a lot of A.I.D. money to get the job done. [Bolded emphasis mine.]

History has shown the Life editors to be correct when they believed that UN economic interests and Arab political interests would leave the refugee camps as a permanent blight on the Middle Eastern landscape. They were naive only in believing that anyone had the political will to solve the problem. They also could not have anticipated that, in a very short time, the same refugee scenario, with its same causes, would be plunged into a looking-glass world, where the Arab governments and the UN were absolved of their sins, and the blame was placed on Israel for not having engaged in an act of self-immolation by taking in these 1.3 million (and counting, and counting, and counting) hate-filled refugees.

The 1960s editors also understood the Cold War aspects of the 1967 War. They editorialized about the Soviet Union’s UN fulminations (an editorial I’m also quoting in its entirety):

As the Arab soldiers and refugees made their sad and painful way from the scenes of their defeat, the Soviet Union threw its heaviest oratorical gun into the United Nations in an effort to salvage some of what it had lost in the Mideast. Premier Aleksei Kosygin arrived at the General Assembly with an arsenal of invective.

Kosygin put all the blame on Israel and its “imperialist” backers (i.e., the U.S. and Britain). As he saw it, Israel’s “atrocities and violence” brought to mind “the heinous crimes perpetrated by the fascists during World War II.” He demanded the Assembly’s approval for a resolution — rejected earlier by the Security Council — that would condemn Israel as sole aggressor in the conflict, and he proposed that Israel not only be made to pull back to her prewar borders but also to pay reparations to the Arabs for their losses.

He was answered by the Israeli foreign minister, Abba Eban [his speech is here], whose detailed documentation and eloquence told how the Arabs had given his country the choice of defending its national existence or forfeiting it for all time. Then he put Kosygin himself in the defendant’s dock. Russia, he charged, was guilty of inflaming passions in a region “already too hot with tension” by feeding the arms race and spreading false propaganda. He called Kosygin’s reference to the Nazis “an obscene comparison . . . a flagrant breach of international morality and human decency.” As for the Russian demand that Israel pull back to her prewar lines, that, he said, was totally unacceptable until durable and just solutions are reached “in free negotiations with each of our neighbors.” The Arab states “have come face to face with us in conflict; let them now come face to face with us in peace.” Israel was determined not be deprived of her victory. [Bolded emphasis mine.]

Did you catch that the Soviet speaker used precisely the same rhetoric about Israel that has become normative throughout Europe and in most Leftist publications? He castigated Israel as an imperialist entity and claimed that her tactics were “atrocities” that were identical to those the Nazis used. Unlike today’s MSM, Life’s 1967 editorial team appears appalled by the tenor and falsity of those accusations.

I’ll close this post by quoting from introduction to Life’s special Six Day War edition.  As you read it, try to imagine this same rhetoric in any news publication today:

The tremendous discrepancy between the competence of Israeli and Arab armies is the most obvious fact from which to start [in searching for meaning about the War].  The Israelis are very patriotic, brave and skillful soldiers, brilliantly led.  But that only gives half an explanation of their huge — and mounting — military superiority.  The other half may yield to an impolite but unavoidable question:  what is the matter with the Arab armies?  Was there ever a people so bellicose in politics, so reckless and raucous in hostility — and then so unpugnacious in pitched combat — as Nasser’s Egyptians?

The editors than take on what they perceive as the canard that the U.S. blindly allies itself with Israel.  Au contraire, say the editors.  The fact is that the U.S. allies itself with the moral side, and that side is Israel (can we find some editors to write this way now?):

The error [the belief that the U.S. unthinkingly supports Israel] arises out of the fact that in most disputes the U.S. has been found on Israel’s side.  That’s because it is the Arabs who challenge the existence of Israel, and not vice versa.

There you have it, in a 1967 nutshell.  The U.S. sides with Israel not because of any hostility to Arabs, but because it recognizes the right of a sovereign nation to defend itself against annihilation — a principle that should be as operative today as it was 40 years ago.

By the way, my friend Soccer Dad, at his wonderful eponymous website, has given me the heads-up that Time Magazine has put online its original coverage from the 1967 War.   In his cover email to me, he notes “What I find remarkable is the absence of cynicism that so often marks today’s reporting from the Middle East.”  Not only an absence of cynicism but (Obama, please take note), the actual presence of intelligence!

12 Responses

  1. […] [Read more and discuss over at the Bookworm Room…] Share Article Middle East, Life Magazine, Israel, Arab, Jihadist, MSM    Sphere: Related Content Trackback URL […]

  2. Did you catch that the Soviet speaker used precisely the same rhetoric about Israel that has become normative throughout Europe and in most Leftist publications?

    That is to be expected, Book. After all much of the Soviet propaganda apparatus in the Middle East didn’t just disappear with the fall of the Berlin Wall. So it is consistent after all.

    Unlike today’s MSM, Life’s 1967 editorial team appears appalled by the tenor and falsity of those accusations.

    Today’s generation of journalists were the children of the WWII journalists. Different gen, different time, different ethics.

    what is the matter with the Arab armies? Was there ever a people so bellicose in politics, so reckless and raucous in hostility — and then so unpugnacious in pitched combat — as Nasser’s Egyptians?

    Arabs like to talk tough. Put them under threat of an execution scaffold and you’ll find them in a spider hole as you did Saddam. They have their pride, which isn’t the same as honor. And Arab armies do suck A**. Definitely.

    They were trained by Russians. They believe in the saying “there is a quality to quantity all on its own”. They are not like the Greek Hoplites, prizing individual valor and discipline and teamwork. It is the difference between Western economies, politics, and philosophy that makes Western armies superior to Arab armies based upon nothing but pride, boasts, and vanity.

    The Baathists in Iraq would rather blow up Al Qaeda, their former allies, then ask the US for help against AQ. They are that stupid. And full of pride. Before it goeth the fall that is.

  3. […] The Bookworm Room has an article up that is a must-read and very well done. I enjoyed the historical perspective and the analysis that went into this article – I’ve always been a huge fan of Israel’s military and this writeup truly shines the light on media coverage of the Six Day War and the tribulations of Israel and her military. America proudly stands with Israel and we value sovereignty not only for ourselves, but Israel and all other peaceful, free nations. So, get a cup of coffee, kick off your shoes and read – history is the greatest teacher… Bookmark to: Sphere It   [link] [View blog reactions] […]

  4. That little bit about sovereignty should be discussed a bit. The Left sees sovereignty as basically meaning whomever is in power, is in power and deserves legitimacy and protection from invasion and other kinds of American interference. They have no respect for the US Constitution, whether they be American or not, citizen or not, that says that power comes from the people, not the dictator. Not the Hugo Chavez. Not Putin and not Amanie or even Bashar of Syria (PillowC).

    It is why the Left and their Democrat allies pride themselves on bypassing the Constitution and drawing power to themselves, whether in the form of higher taxes, immigration, national security, or just pork vote buying corruption.

    And it is also why they support Chavez when he closes down dissenting media stations. If power and sovereignty, which equals protection in the eyes of international writ and sanction via simple morality, is derived from whomever is in power, then all you got to do is slaughter anybody in your way like Saddam and you are Golden.

    Bush is in the way of the Left. And that is all that seemingly matters to the Left. That someone is in the way. If they are, they will be removed. Regardless of what lies they will have to tell.

    The normal Jacksonian and conservative position on sovereignty is a mite different. It says that you keep what you can kill, you keep what you can fight and hold. Derived from America’s almost endless wars and skirmishes over territory and such with Spain, Britain, and Native Indian tribes.

    The victor should get all the spoils and be maganimous in victory. The loser should be… well anything that is unlike the Arabs in defeat, I can tell you that. Whatever you see the Arabs do when they lose, Don’t Do It, is the basic standard guide for sovereignty and contests.

    America proudly stands with Israel and we value sovereignty not only for ourselves, but Israel and all other peaceful, free nations.

    So what this basically distills down to in my mind, is that the US can invade Iraq and Afghanistan because… we can. We can hold that territory, they cannot. That’s your basic frontiersman mentality and Jacksonian politics working on, where holding the territory was all that mattered, not some fancy words on paper or some moral justification. Remember, back in Jackson’s time, when white settlers pushed into Indian and Spanish sparsely inhabited territories like Texas, that was defacto the law. You could not enforce such rules as telling the white settlers to go away, on the white settlers. The US was not a totalitarian police state, it could not enforce it, forget about “would not”. That didn’t even enter into the picture.

    Jackson had to relocate the Cherokees via the Trail of Tears because settlers in Georgia would have killed them all, and damn what the Supreme Court said. You keep what you can hold. If you can’t hold it… time to go.

    That’s the pragmatic side of American affairs. The moralistic and idealistically pure version is that the power comes from the people, and when a nation like Iraq or Afghanistan abuses their people and abuses human rights, they lose any claim to sovereignty. And therefore they become open to invasion, to anyone that wants to better the situation.

    It is the basic principle behind how come you have all these “peacekeeping” missions, which is simply another word for rape, looting, and pillaging on an organized and legal scale. You know how many times in history a neighboring power has organized some conflict inside their neighbors, moved in a force for “peacekeeping reasons” and just happened to stay in that fractious territory permanently?

    It’s a pretext, but now a days that pretext is used by UN dictators to do their occupations on the legit. Unless of course, like with Darfur, there’s too much fighting to get any good loot, so they avoid that place. Like Afghanistan. Like Iraq. Americans keeping the UN troops from getting the good loot, find another target.

    But basically that is why they use this pretext. Because when a country is violent, wrought with civil war, and unstable, then “other nations” can come in for the “good” of that “country”. Because that country can no longer hold what they got. And it is true, it just isn’t true that most of the world’s peacekeeping forces wish to ensure peace and prosperity. They want the money, and that with the sex and parties, would be about it. Peace? Prosperity? Those cost money and sacrifices people, money the UN ain’t going to dish out.

    So when the US successfully invades and occupies a country like Iraq, everybody is up in arms. Because noway are they going to allow an actual successful attempt at stabilizing and improving a country’s human rights, legislation, judiciary, anti-corruption efforts, law, order, and military prowess. The rest of the world wouldn’t blink an eye at the Congo abuses by the UN. But oh, watch out when the Americans try to do something good for people, then the world will erupt and try to stop it. That’s cause we’re stopping their cash flow. Maybe not in the immediate future, but everyone knows that the US doesn’t tolerate slavery, including the sex trade in females in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia. When the US is setting up shop in those regions… the loot stops flowing people. And people don’t like that, especially politicians.

    Just look at Mexico. They are crying foul just cause they fear losing some petty remittances and income from illegals working in America, getting more money than the Mexicans would ever pay someone. You think the rest of the power brokers in Europe and the world will allow the US to actually impose law and order on a country like Iraq? They won’t. Not even close. They can’t allow it. Because it would be bad for business. Their business. In one way or another that is.

    As for Israel… they won’t allow Israel to win for the same reasons they won’t allow us to hold Iraq. Because it would impose law and order on the region. And when there is law and order, the elites cannot benefit from exploiting the masses, the downtrodden, the uneducated, etc for “compassion” or “moral” pretexts.

    Europe will funnel cash to Hizbollah and Hamas. Stirring up chaos and violence. But are they suffering the consequences of their actions? No. They aren’t. The human slave traffickers are happy, because you can always do business in corrupt Arab countries, less so in Israel’s tightly controlled lawful one. The Europeans are happy because they get to prize themselves on their fake compassion and morality and purity. Everybody’s happy. Except the powerless.

    Historically, Israel’s problems were similar to the American problems with Native Indians being supplied by Spanish and British forces to stir up trouble in the States. So long as the British and the Spanish had easy access to native Indian tribes, the Native Indian tribes would always resist, fight, kill, war, and basically do everything except unite together and seek to forge their own state and be admitted into the United States. They could have done that you know. Be admitted as a state. Where do you think Wyoming and Montana came from? They didn’t come from Britain and Canada, I can assure you of that.

    But the NIndian tribes had the same problems as the Arabs. Always fractious, always killing each other over some dumb blood vendetta. You thought the Code Duello back in Colonial times were tough and insane? You should have seen the clan blood feuds amongst NIndians or just Scotish and Irish. *The Troubles*

    By the time any NIndian got their stuff together and tried to form a nation, it was too late. History had already been written, and people were basically just playing it out.

    So in the end, they assimilated, and fought in America’s wars. The Comanches, the Apaches, the Navajo, the Cherokee, etc. They just didn’t assimilate by their choice.

    Israel not only can’t but won’t do it the American way. Not only because it is historically anachronistic now a days, and so very very hard to do, but Israel also won’t do it because they don’t assimilate Arabs well and they don’t want to be like the Nazis. Those two barriers are almost crippling. As with Hannibal Barca, just cause you can win battlefield victories, doesn’t mean you will automatically win the war against Rome.

    Israel won’t get rid of the “refugee camps” because Israel won’t do what the Americans did. Which was basically chase every recalcitrant NIndian tribe out to the boondocks, burn their crops, shoot their horses, and basically leave them two choices. Starve or surrender and stop fighting.

    Will Israel do that? Ask Book, she knows the answer to that question.

    Israel doesn’t know what to do. Because this isn’t just an external diplomatic problem with America, Hamas, Palestine, and the Arabs. This is a national character problem, this is a problem born of the Israeli soul, and not so easily fixed with bombings and military force. That’s why Israel always seem to move around in a befuddled daze. Bombing some people, going back, building walls, going forward, going back, going sideways, etc. Hooray, some terrorists got killed… but it doesn’t help the Israelis better solve their own inner crisis of conscience, now does it. So the killing continues. Day after day, month after month, decade after decade.

    Israel might still be fighting the Ayrabs by the time the US will be gearing up to fight Environmental Terrorists, after shutting down Islamic Terrorism. That would be what, WW 5? Including Cold War and The War on Islamic Jihadists.

    It is true, America took many centuries to make the Wild West organized, safe, and lawful. But guess what, America is a little bit bigger than Israel. And Americans were always expanding West and South with every decade. What has the Israelis been doing for the last 5 decades? Giving up territory. Nice.

  5. This is such a gratifying find – thank you, Host.

    Especially gratifying is the mention of Russia’s role – of all consequences of Cold War communist sympathy the absolutely most critical and most grave.

    May Israel continue to be victorious, may they recover their public senses enough to be so, and may the Arabs suffer whatever it is that must happen in order that they join the human community in some relationship other than their hitherto chosen one of parasitism, folly, ignorance, and hostility. Amen.

  6. […] June 5, 40 years ago (thanks to Old War Dogs): The Six Day War in real […]

  7. Great essay! I linked to it here:

  8. […] The Bookworm Room, “The Six Day War in Real Time” […]

  9. […] anniversary of which has transpired. Second place honors went to another post on the Six Days War, Bookworm Room’s post, “’The Six Day War in Real […]

  10. […] face on important intelligence gathering leading up to the Six Day War. Second place was my own The Six Day War In Real Time, which discussed news coverage at the time of the Six Day War, and compared in with Middle East […]

  11. Looks like a great read. I will definitely check it out sometime!

  12. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.

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