Conqueror’s Self Defense

By Paul Edwards

On October 7th, Israel suffered a violent attack by the military arm of Hamas, the governing body of the Palestinians of Gaza. Israel responded with as devastating a bit of Shock and Awe—a flip American neologism—as the world has seen since the pulverizing of Baghdad. A shaken Netanyahu justified this blitz on the basis of Israel’s right to defend itself. in so doing, he invoked a principle that, while not legally included in the code of war, has nonetheless a long and exercised history.

Wars come in many varieties, at times between unequal forces, resulting in conquest of the weaker party and an end of fighting. Usually… but not necessarily. It is sometimes the case that, in spite of total victory and occupation of the vanquished, a serious level of organized resistance continues. Depending on its threat to the victor, it may just be policed and suppressed, or it may require more drastic measures, and even the renewal of war.

Empires which, by definition, live and grow by conquest, may confront this sort of challenge. Rome often had the disagreeable experience, having conquered a state, of suffering depredations of rebellious elements. There are many examples, but Carthage will serve. Having twice defeated her, Rome was annoyed to find that rebel units refused to behave as conquered, and persisted in resistance, so that it became necessary to re-capture the city, kill most of its people, sell off the rest, and raze it and burn it to the ground, asserting a conqueror’s right of self defense.

Centuries later, groups of Europeans invaded and colonized what they termed newly discovered America. These colonists did not officially represent a nation, nor was there one comprehensive war. Groups simply appropriated an area, declared it their property, and defended it as such. The fact that the land was occupied by indigenous people was deemed irrelevant. When native people reacted by attacking the colonists, they argued the right to self-defense, using all violent means to retain possession, and destroyed the former residents piecemeal.

This pattern was followed in the taking and occupation of all the aboriginal homelands across the continent. When the people of the many tribes that had lived for centuries on land that became the United States fought expropriation, they were systematically obliterated until only scattered remnants survived. The term “Terrorists” had not come into use yet, and Indians who fought expulsion, starvation, and extermination were called bloodthirsty savages. This particular colonial process, which had no formal name and was only much later designated genocide—the violent annihilation of a people—was legendarily portrayed as valiant and justifiable by the right of the conqueror to self defense.

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In the era of the great, international wars, appalled by redundant mechanical butchery, men presumed to make laws to govern war, though war is, by definition, abandonment of law. In the 20th century, as millions were killed in mad orgies of bloodletting, the Masters of War began to make a distinction between soldiers and others, and issue directives against wanton murder of civilians. Their intent was good. These political naifs had raw consciences and noble motivation in laying down their laws and establishing permissible boundaries to military murder. That it never worked should have been foreseeable for there was no mechanism of enforcement. Butchery of civilians increased, gross and extreme, and always in self defense.

There were many examples of it in World War II. A couple that were notable were the Rape of Nanjing by the Japanese and the Lidice Massacre by the Nazis. In Nanjing, the jury is hung as to its cause, whether it was a case of Japanese troops having been provoked by civilian disrespect or simple race hatred that did it, but these victors massacred about a quarter million Chinese civilians in their self defense. In the Lidice incident, the Nazis had proof, they said, that a village man assassinated the Reichsfuhrer, and so acted well within the proper bounds of self defense in slaughtering its entire manhood and sending its women and children to Chelmno concentration camp to be gassed to death.

Americans have cherished the fantasy that they were incapable of such atrocities, but that is precisely what it is: a fantasy. To take one incident of many, in Vietnam two Infantry companies raped and murdered five hundred unarmed civilians before they felt sufficiently self defended. Only one hillbilly officer took the rap for it, presumably, pour encourager les autres.

By the time of the American Empire’s Afghanistan and Iraq obscenities the self-defense con for inflicting mass murder on civilians had been seriously vitiated. Fallujah made it a sick joke. Paradoxically, though it was exposed as a punctured cliche for giving patchy cover to military murder, it continues to be used by stupid high brass and fogged heads of state content to be known universally as psychopathic liars and criminally insane.

So when, after “the old surprise visit” to Nazi Israel that bloody dawn, Netanyahu mounted his genocide on Gaza and explained it to a stunned world as self-defense, his hustle didn’t capture opinion as he had hoped. For the observing nations, recognition of genocide is like recognition of pornography: they know it when they see it. And they are seeing it, daily, raw, unfiltered, even with the frantic efforts of the Israeli regime, our government, and our debauched, whoring press, to deny and conceal it.

Zionist Israel has shown the world its criminal heart, and it can no longer hide behind the discredited bleating of the anti-Semitism trope. Zionism is not Judaism. Zionist Israel is the betrayer of ethical Judaism, and its heretical enemy. Conscientious Jews are denouncing Israel and divorcing themselves from its inhumanity. The arc of the universe, as MLK said, is long, but it bends toward justice. In the attempt to destroy Palestinians, Israel has blindly triggered the Samson Option, and it will inevitably destroy itself.

Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached at:

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Views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.





7 responses to “Conqueror’s Self Defense”

  1. Woopy Avatar

    On July 12, 2006, Israel attacked and flattened Lebanon because two Israeli soldiers went missing in Lebanon. Israel attacked Egypt in 1967 for no reason whatsoever as their generals have stated. In 1948 the Israelis promoted a holocaust upon the Palestinians displacing and killing over 1 million because they thought it was a good idea. In 1946 Rham Immanuel’s father introduced terrorism to the Middle East when he bombed the King David hotel killing several people. (Rham Immanuel and his brother were prominent members of both the Obama and Biden administrations) This Israeli genocide story upon its neighbors is too long for listing here the current attack upon children is just another one of the Jewish holocausts against humanity. The point is that Palestine is being occupied by a group of white Jewish genocidal maniacs who murder any time they please; they enjoy it. At this time Israel is probably bombing Syria, Ariel Sharon (butcher of the middle east) bragged that he had murdered 750 Palestinians with one blow. The law is very explicit saying that Hamas has every legal right to fight for its homeland and the white Jews have no rights for anything in the land they are illegally occupying. The so called “God’s chosen” must be removed from Palestine any way possible.

  2. Ed Lytwak Avatar
    Ed Lytwak

    “Triggering the Samson Option,” does Edwards know what that is? The Zionists have well over 400 nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Israel has threatened that if anything threatens to end the Zionist enterprise, they will unleash nuclear war on Europe. The Zionists have threatened to “bring down the temple” — that is the Samson Option. Zionism and Israel, with the full support and complicity of the West, are a virulent cancer that has destroyed the Palestinian people and eventually the whole world if they are not stopped.

    1. paul edwards Avatar

      I do know. The point of the phrase is that Israel has the power to choose to destroy itself with all its enemies in case of impending catastrophe. I believe its ruling clique has no idea how threatened it is now, and that the Gaza genocide will trigger its downfall, perhaps its destruction, and quite possibly that of its enemies as well. The risk is horrifying.

  3. Gene Avatar

    The Palestinian people have been subjected to a slow-paced Genocide- a real and in broad daylight holocaust – for a century perpetuated by the Anglo-American Crypto-Fascists and their Zionist Jewish masters. Since 07 October 2023, more than 15000 innocent Palestinians, including more than 5000 children and babies have been murdered in cold blood. Everything, from bullets, bombs, poison gas and uniforms to mass murders are paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, which makes every American guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The UN Secretary General Guterres said: Israeli Jews have turned “Gaza into a graveyard for children.” UNICEF called Jewish war on the Palestinians, war on hospitals. Indeed, the Jews have turned Gaza hospitals into mass grave graveyards. It does not make sense and you cannot win war by killing women and children unless the aim is Genocide, a real holocaust, not the ubiquitous fabricate Holohaux.
    The good news is that Jewish propaganda (Hasbara) is suffering from a chronic disease. The Jews are running out of lies. Jew means lie. The Washington Post and CNN reported that Israel cannot prove that HAMAS have used any of the hospital being destroyed by Israel. According to a spokesman for the Israeli occupation force (IOF), Israeli soldiers executed, foreign hostages held at Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital in a criminal attempt to blacken the name of the Palestinians. This is just after Israel admitted that most of the dead Festival goers were shot by Israeli soldiers on 07 October 2023, not by HAMAS fighters. And what Israelis claimed to be a HAMAS under the Hospital tunnel turns out to be sewage tunnel. A further embarrassment for the IOF after the former head of the Military Intelligence Division in the IOF Tamir Hayman acknowledged: “We exaggerated in talking about the importance of Al-Shifa Hospital to the HAMAS”.
    Times of Israel’s military correspondent Emmanuel Fabian reported that the tunnels that were alleged by the IOF to be operated by HAMAS turned out to be a “Weird looking septic tank/concrete cable duct for power generators/definitely not a Hamas tunnel.”

  4. Furor Teutonicus Avatar
    Furor Teutonicus

    “In the Lidice incident, the Nazis had proof, they said, that a village man assassinated the Reichsfuhrer, and so acted well within the proper bounds of self defense in slaughtering its entire manhood and sending its women and children to Chelmno concentration camp to be gassed to death.” As German historian I have to correct the facts given by you:
    As much as I appreciate the sense of humanity expressed in the article, I must make a correction to the Lidice incident. The text reflects the cabalistic-dialectical horror propaganda of the victors and has very little to do with the truth.
    As several Canadian and British historians have unanimously reported, no German SS or Wehrmacht was involved in the action. The executions were carried out by a unit of the Czech Protectorate Gendarmerie. On June 9, 1942, a company of the police had cordoned off the village for the execution of the 173 men. The retaliatory measure was covered by international and war law; the women and children had previously been evacuated from the village. The measure was taken after it had become known that the Heydrich assassins had parachuted into the village from England and had found shelter there. The reprisal was intended to serve as a deterrent against similar actions and to put a definitive end to the infiltration of British agents in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The number of actual victims was greatly exaggerated. The Times of London reported on June 11, 1942 that there were around 12,000 inhabitants in Lidice, all of whom were shot. In fact, the village had a total of 503 inhabitants at the time.
    1) No SS units were directly involved in the extermination of the village and the killing. Instead, the village was sealed off and the population imprisoned by units of the Czech security police under the command of Colonel Max Rostock. The executions were carried out by 30 gendarmes from the Prague order police. (…)
    2. Following the shooting of the male inhabitants of the village by Czech order police, the village was destroyed by a group of the Reich Labor Service as a deterrent to future such support of the British enemy. Such measures were covered by the Haag laws of war and were common practice among all the warring parties during the war. The incident therefore defies moral judgment.
    3. The female villagers were held in concentration camps – none of them were gassed!

    1. paul edwards Avatar

      Ah, yes, German Rage, it was all done strictly according to the “laws of war”, as your Nazi compatriots interpreted it, and that makes it acceptable and one can forget it. A small lie–that none of the women were gassed at Chelmno–is justified and unimportant. It was no punitive massacre; just a legal proceeding: unfortunate, but necessary to maintain order.

    2. Disadvantaged Avatar


      It nice to know the truth is finally coming out about one event in World War II. I research so many events regarding that war and realize Germany was the victim, not the aggressor. You wrote the real facts regarding that event. Thanks.