Battle for their Hearts and Minds

[May 26, 2021]  During the Vietnam War, a strategy and set of programs developed to win the popular support of the Vietnamese people and help defeat the Viet Cong insurgency.  The phrase became popular and applied to events, not in the warzone.  The appeal to the “hearts” of the populace was not a new method in Vietnam, but with its new name, the war took a successful turn for our allies.

Today, we see a similar attempt to win the hearts and minds of the Palestinian peoples.  For 11 days, the non-state actor Hamas – an international terrorist organization – fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israel, targeting civilians.1  Only 12 people in Israel were killed, and there was minor property damage.

Yet, Hamas celebrated with fireworks despite what some have called a complete humiliation of Hamas’ military arm.  It took Hamas years to build up their rocket force, construct underground tunnels, and array their forces throughout Gaza in ready for this offensive.  The military strategy of Hamas was a disaster, and everyone knows it.

Hamas: a new strategy

There was something at work that went beyond their military strategy of firing rockets at civilians.  Hamas has been working closely with Western journalists and politicians to paint a picture of Israel shamelessly and illegally attacking Palestinians unprovoked.  Hamas celebrated their “victory” to win the greater battle fought in the minds and hearts of Israelis, Palestinians, and the international community.

Hamas: a new war

It’s a war Hamas can win.  The methods used by Hamas were adopted from the BLM and Antifa violence in the U.S.  Such thinking might appear contradictory at first.  According to this new narrative, Israelis are white, oppressive colonists, regardless of the facts.  Palestinians have succeeded in being the step-sister of the Black Lives Matter movement.

It will be a difficult road for Israel unless they can find out how to counter this new Hamas strategy.2

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  1. https://www.jns.org/opinion/10-takeaways-from-the-latest-conflict-between-israel-and-hamas/
  2. https://www.theleadermaker.com/strategic-lessons-hamas-war/
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

14 thoughts on “Battle for their Hearts and Minds

  1. Janna Faulkner

    As noted on the article from today (May 27) on gratitude in leaders, we all need to win over the ‘hearts and minds’ of others. To bring others to our side. Provide them with a vision and articulate the way to get there. This is what leaders do and must do every single day.

    Reply
    1. KenFBrown

      Good points Janna. I will add that it is not just the hearts and minds of the enemy but of everyone. I know that sounds obvious and it is but we all tend to ignore it. Leadership means many things but winning individuals over to your side is the epitome of good leadership.

      Reply
  2. Rev. Michael Cain

    I pray daily for the souls of the Palestinian peoples. They are being misled terribly by their leaders. They are put in harm’s way often by actions of the terrorists. This shows what happens when you adopt nihilism as an ideology.

    Reply
  3. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    Another top of the line blog post by Gen. Satterfield. History does have a habit of getting repeated.

    Reply
      1. Guns are Us

        Thanks folks for bringing up these articles which help make our point.

        Reply
  4. Eduardo Sanchez

    Hamas is a terrorist organization. Even if you believe in their cause, you should stand against them. They fire rockets into civilian areas just to kill Jewish civilians. Period. They are not a true military arm but a corrupt, tyrannical organization that has only destruction on their mind – see their ideological publications for proof.

    Reply
  5. Silly Man

    I keep coming back to this leadership website because of the insights and the comradery displayed in the forums sections. I get great feed back on some of my ideas and a push to think better and articulate my ideas better. If we are not pushed, most folks will just drift into intellectual laziness. My best professors in college pushed me hard. I was more satisfied with my performance when making a lower grade but worked my ass for it than a gifted higher grade.

    Reply
    1. Jonnie the Bart

      You should not be surprised at this. Like so many, we tend to drift away from the hard things and are attracted to that which is easy. Like communism, which is easy.

      Reply
      1. Kenny Foster

        Jonnie and Silly Man, great comments. Yes, and the fact that we are actually ‘encouraged’ to be lazy is something that I am surprised about. Now in school we are taught that math is racist. Go figure. How stupid.

        Reply
  6. Randy Goodman

    As always, a spot-on article about a topic of leadership and rams home the point that good leaders must understand the psychology of other people.

    Reply

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