Middle East Forum director Gregg Roman gave a wide-ranging talk on conflict in the Middle East at the Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto on April 18. See video at right.
For most of human history, military victory was the great arbiter of intractable disputes. The American civil war came to an end at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865 when ... the Confederate army was surrounded, Sherman had marched through the south of the United States [and] had burned village after village going all the way to the sea. [After] over three-quarters of a million lives were lost over four years .... the war was over.
There were longer any fights, no longer any organized uprising ... the other side's military, and also its society, gave up its conflict, its will to use violence to achieve political ends.
In World War II, we saw the same thing when the Japanese and the Germans unconditionally surrendered to the allies ... it ended when two nuclear bombs went off, and a European capital that was known for its culture before the war was razed.
... Wars end when one side loses. They do not end ... by creating a "win-win" solution. Wars end with a win-lose solution.
That's the framework I'd like you to think about when we're talking about Syria, when we're talking about Iraq, when we're talking about Egypt, Israel, Lebanon. There will be no peaceful solution or end to the Syrian civil war until one side loses.