February 17, 2008
Book Alert III: William Polk - Violent Politics
Over at the usual suspects, Uri Avnery discusses William Polk's short history of insurgencies:
For me, the main lesson is this: from the time the general public embraces the rebels, the victory of the rebellion is assured.As you can see, I'm working through a backlog of 'net reading, so apologies for old news.
That is an iron rule: an insurgency supported by the public is bound to win, irrespective of the tactics adopted by the occupation regime. The occupier can kill indiscriminately or adopt more humane methods, torture captured freedom fighters to death or treat them as prisoners of war - nothing makes a difference in the long run. The last of the occupiers can board a ship in a solemn ceremony, like the British High Commissioner in Haifa, or fight for a place in the last helicopter, like the last American soldiers on the roof of the American embassy in Saigon - defeat was certain from the moment the insurgency had reached a certain point.