What percentage of the time, thoughout history, when given the choice between fighting or opting for peace while being confronted by an aggressor known for breaking his (or its) word, has choosing "peace" worked out well? From the playground bully to the genocidal dictator, how often has it worked out well to submit to their demands? From Philip of Macedon's story to the ancient Greeks of "don't worry, I'll never invade your lands," to Hitler's "don't worry, I'm just reuniting the German peoples," are there many (any?) examples of things turning out well for all (or at least most) of the parties when peace was chosen?
The "Give Peace a Chance" theme has been with us for a long time, but what is the empirical evidence that this is, on average, a good idea?
When it comes to a long (intergenerational) war, why does the term civilian have any meaning at all? For illustration, consider me. I've never been in the military. Yet I consider myself a completely legitimate military target. I've worked on a number of sophisticated and highly deadly weapon systems during my career (which have been deployed with great effect). Right now I work on autonomous robots, and while none of them are for military purposes, the technology could easily be converted for intensely effective military applications. It would be effective, perhaps even more effective than killing a soldier, to kill someone like me, an enabler of soldiers.
Anyone with my skills could easily be redirected to work on military applications at any time, so as a preemptive strike, killing technical people seems fair enough to me. And killing the people who support such people seems justified to me as well. And if they weren't even born - all the better, so kill the mothers too, or at least get them when they're children. After all, in a long war, one day they'll grow up to try to kill you.
Especially in a democracy, such as the United States, or Israel, or Lebanon, I consider the entire populace to be supporting the military, and as a result, are fair game as military targets.
Clearly, Hezbollah agrees with me. What I'm wondering is why no one else does? It seems insane to me not to hit an enemy in a long war wherever, whenever, and however you can.
Why do various intellectuals bristle when their comments and advocacy regarding Israeli policy, that if actually implemented will clearly lead to more dead jews, are called antisemitic? Even if their comments are well intentioned, or even fair and just, the comments are still antisemitic, aren't they?