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Hudna offer? "What Would Wiśniowiecki Do?"

By William A. Levinson
7/17/2014, 4:07 AM

An oncologist who agreed to a hudna during which the cancer cells agreed to not multiply or metastasize, and he agreed to not apply surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation would be guilty of malpractice. It is meanwhile well known that infectious disease patients who do not finish their antibiotic prescriptions allow the surviving infection, which has been strengthened through selective breeding, to return in an even more dangerous form. The cancer doctor, of course, seeks to kill every last malignant cell, and the patient must finish the antibiotic prescription to kill off every last infectious bacterium. Israel's mere consideration of any kind of truce with Hamas is, therefore, grossly irresponsible. A single look at the definition of a hudna tells us why.

The land of non-believers currently under a truce, which is a respite between wars. A truce is bought by tribute or agreement. If the harbis break the conditions for the truce, hostilities are resumed or after ten years, which ever comes first.

Think about it. Somebody has said he will kill you and your family, and has made numerous attempts to do so. You finally fight back, put him on the ground, and now your foot is on his neck. At that point, he begs for his life with the offer, "Let me up again, and I'll agree not to attack you again for ten years, unless the respite gives me the means to do so sooner." Do you let him up, or bear down with all your weight until he stops moving? Most people had enough sense to do the latter until roughly the past 65 years.

What Would Jeremi Wisniowiecki Do?

In Henryk Sienkiewicz's With Fire and Sword, the Cossack chieftain Bogdan Chmielnicki fights a civil war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and wins some victories against incompetent commanders. His men, meanwhile, slaughter Jews along with Catholic priests, monks, nuns, and laypeople.

Then, however, Chmielnicki's Tartar allies return to the Crimea to sell their prisoners as slaves, and the Cossacks find themselves standing alone against the very capable commander Jeremi Wiśniowiecki. Chmielnicki, needless to say, does not want to face Wisniowiecki without his allies, so he sends envoys to him to offer a "peace settlement." In other words, he offers the Poles a hudna, or temporary truce, during which to gain a respite in which to prepare more violence and atrocities. As reported by Sienkiewicz (Binion translation, public domain due to age), emphasis is mine.

...Khmyelnitski did not wish to risk a battle at present with such a celebrated leader and that instead of marching against him with his whole strength, he was trying to create delay, and pretending humility, evidently in the expectation that the forces of the prince [Wisniowiecki] would be worn out by long marches and by battles and encounters with various Cossack detachments; in a word he was evidently very much afraid of the prince.

...[Wisniowiecki concluded] "The cunning of this enemy is great! He either thinks that he will lull me to sleep with this letter in order to attack a sleeping man, or he is trying to entice me into the heart of the Commonwealth, finish up the business there, and receive pardon from the King and from the Diet [Sejm or Parliament]..." ...

[ Wisniowiecki] ...then turned to the Colonel of the Tartar bodyguard. "Colonel Vyershul, order your Tartars to behead these Cossacks; but to cut a stake for their leader and impale him at once. ...This must be done in return for the cruelty which they practiced on the other side of the Dnieper; and to maintain our dignity and for the welfare of the whole Commonwealth. It must be shown by such an example that there is someone who is not afraid of this bandit leader and who will treat him as a highwayman..."

In the movie version, he first tears in half Chmielnicki's phony "peace offer" without even reading it, and then orders, "Kill them so they know they are dying." This is particularly telling because the persons of envoys and ambassadors have, thoughout history, been absolutely inviolate. If enemy nations cannot talk to one another, they cannot negotiate a peace. In the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, one of the Demon King Ravana's advisors reminds him that he is not allowed to harm an enemy messenger.

Wisniowiecki Daniel Schultz the Younger (18th c)

There was also an expectation, however, of good faith on the messenger's part. There was a Horatio Hornblower story by C.S. Forester in which Hornblower comes across Napoleon's general Cambronne, who has assembled an army with which to rescue Napoleon from the island of St. Helena. If Cambronne succeeds, there will be another world war, and tens of thousands of men will die. Hornblower accordingly lies to Cambronne by telling him that Napoleon is dead, after which he realizes that he will have to resign his commission because he has lost his honor. A gentleman of that era was not allowed to lie even to protect his country, or stop a war! It turns out, however, that Napoleon has actually died (unknown to Hornblower), which saves his career.

If this sounds extreme, remember that information could travel only as fast as a horse or a ship. Suppose, for example, that a messenger had shown up (from either side) just prior to the Battle of New Orleans with news that England and the United States had made peace. Andrew Jackson and Edward Pakenham would have both had to rely on that man's word of honor that peace had actually been made. If the messenger was American, Pakenham had to know, based only on the messenger's word, that Jackson was not seeking a hudna because Pakenham's men outnumbered the Americans two to one. (Only when Pakenham attacked did he learn too late that the Americans had the advantage of position, as well as expert riflemen).

Even in the 21st century, though, opposing nations have the right to be able to rely on truces, peace offers, and so on. This is emphatically not the case with Islamists, just as it was not the case with Chmielnicki's "peace envoys."

Perfidy is Not Negotiation

Wisniowiecki rightly deemed Chmielnicki's envoys guilty of perfidy; a war crime traditionally punishable by death.

Perfidy constitutes a breach of the laws of war and therefore making it a war crime as it degrades the protections and mutual restraints developed in the interest of all parties, combatants, and civilians. In practice, combatants find it difficult to respect protected persons and objects if experience causes them to believe or suspect that their adversaries are abusing claim to protection under international law to gain a military advantage.

The Cossack envoys were therefore committing perfidy, as opposed to offering a genuine peace agreement. Noting that Chmielnicki's men had done to Polish civilians what Hamas has done to Israeli civilians, it is understandable that Wisniowiecki ordered, "Kill them so they know they are dying." Perfidy is the Islamist stock in trade, as shown by a long litany of broken truces, use of the Red Crescent to conceal military assets, use of civilians as human shields, dressing as civilians to commit acts of terrorism, and so on. Militant Islam, in fact, sanctions perfidy openly.

There are two forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, taqiyya and kitman.  These circumstances are typically those that advance the cause Islam - in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them

As stated by the Geneva Convention,

Given that the definition of perfidy provides that the confidence of an adversary be based on a situation which requires protection under international humanitarian law, the following acts are considered perfidious if committed with the intent to betray the confidence of the adversary:

• simulation of being disabled by injuries or sickness because an enemy who is thus disabled is considered hors de combat and may not be attacked but must be collected and cared for (see Rules 47 and 109–110);[23]

• simulation of surrender because an adversary who surrenders is considered hors de combat and may not be attacked but must be captured or released (see Rule 47);[24]

simulation of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce because a person advancing under a flag of truce must be respected (see Rule 67);[25]

simulation of protected status by using the red cross or red crescent emblem because medical and religious personnel, units and transports displaying the distinctive emblems must be respected and protected (see Chapter 7);[26]

• simulation of protected status by using United Nations emblems, signs or uniforms because peacekeeping personnel and humanitarian relief personnel using United Nations emblems, signs or uniforms must be respected, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians, and those emblems, signs or uniforms may not be used without authorization (see Rules 31, 33 and 60);[27]

• simulation of protected status by using other protective emblems because the personnel using other protective emblems, including the distinctive emblem of cultural property, must be respected and such emblems may not be used improperly (see Rule 61);[28]

simulation of civilian status because civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities must be respected and may not be the object of attack (see Rules 1 and 6);[29]

• the wearing of uniforms or the use of emblems of neutral States or other States not party to the conflict because uniforms or emblems of neutral States or of other States not party to the conflict may not be used (see Rule 63).

The Lieber Code, which was written to govern the conduct of the American Civil War, said explicitly that perfidy in the form of dressing as a civilian was punishable by death.  The Lieber Code adds,

  • While deception in war is admitted as a just and necessary means of hostility, and is consistent with honorable warfare, the common law of war allows even capital punishment for clandestine or treacherous attempts to injure an enemy, because they are so dangerous, and it is difficult to guard against them.
  • It is customary to designate by certain flags (usually yellow) the hospitals in places which are shelled, so that the besieging enemy may avoid firing on them. The same has been done in battles, when hospitals are situated within the field of the engagement.
  • Honorable belligerents often request that the hospitals within the territory of the enemy may be designated, so that they may be spared. An honorable belligerent allows himself to be guided by flags or signals of protection as much as the contingencies and the necessities of the fight will permit.
  • It is justly considered an act of bad faith, of infamy or fiendishness, to deceive the enemy by flags of protection. Such act of bad faith may be good cause for refusing to respect such flags.

Israel's enemies are therefore fiendish, as defined by the Lieber Code, for using protected buildings such as schools, mosques, and hospitals to conceal military assets. This makes them hostis humani generis, enemies of all civilized Humanity.

Hamas = Hitler. Any Questions?

If the above is not enough, it is useful to look at what the enemy is telling his own people.

Hamas terrorists have released a Hebrew version of yet another propaganda 'scare video,' AFP reports Friday, translating the lyrics to a popular Hamas battle song calling to 'exterminate' Jews and Israel. 

The last ideology that said it would exterminate Jews and dominate the world came with a swastika, and it meant every word it said. Israel has the duty, as well as the right, to put this rabid animal down for good.