If you crossed him, he was merciless. Alexander the Great's path across Asia was a bloody one, strewn with the bodies not just of enemies but also of former friends whom he came to mistrust and even the likes of doctors and priests whom he believed had let him down.In some cases, entire villages were burned, laid to waste. The most famous destruction was the burning of Persepolis. After looting its treasures, he burned the great palace and surrounding city to the ground, destroying hundreds of years' worth of religious writings and art along with the magnificent palaces and audience halls which had made Persepolis the jewel of the Persian empire.Although every account notes that Alexander and his men were drunk when they decided to destroy the city, when he arrived at Persepolis, it was among the most impressive in the world.When he left, it was a ruin whose spot would be known for generations only as “the place of the forty columns” for the remaining palace columns left standing in the sand.The barbarism of that era (356 to 323 BC), came back with a vengeance last week, when invading Hamas terrorist operatives invaded Israel and killed at random. Last I heard, the death toll was more than 1,400.Men, women and children, killed in their beds. Babies!!! Innocent babies, who had nothing to do with this.Not a single thing has changed in more than two millennia.We are still slaughtering each other. Slaughtering the innocents. Killing for the sake of killing. No mercy.Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness comes to mind. As fictional as he is, Colonel Kurtz lives and breathes today, in the heart of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. Or, as the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) now calls him, “Dead man walking.”A man who joined Hamas after it was founded in 1987, gaining a reputation for brutality after he reportedly helped to form the militant group’s internal security force. In charge of the day-to-day governance in Gaza, Sinwar is believed to be hiding in the labyrinth of tunnels used by Hamas militants in Gaza to conceal weapons, fighters and hostages.Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military, told NBC News, “He chose to send the butchers into our bedrooms to kill our babies.”“And when they chose to go full front against Israel, they signed their own death warrant. A dead man walking. We will get to that man.”It is largely suspected that El Deif, also in the Hamas heirarchy, was the brains behind the October 7 attack.Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri is known as El Deif (the Guest), because, for decades, he has stayed in different houses every night to avoid being tracked and killed. He’s now in charge of Hamas’ military wing, the Al Qassem Brigades.Oddly enough, El Deif is little known to ordinary Palestinians, according to Mkhaimar Abusada, professor of political science at Al Azah University in Gaza.“He’s very much like a ghost to the majority of the Palestinians,” he said.Opposed to the peace process embraced by Yassir Arafat, then-leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the 1993 Oslo Accords that were supposed to pave the way to a two-state solution, he was behind a wave of suicide attacks.An accomplished bomb maker, it is he who was likely the architect of the deadly assault on Israel.It is he, 'the Guest,' who must also be terminated.And you can bet your boots every US intelligence asset the Pentagon can offer will help Israel capture or kill Sinwar and Deif and crush Hamas, once and for all.While US President Biden has said the US will give Israel all that they need to defeat Hamas, that leaves the door open for US Special Forces.As you read this, the IDF is preparing to invade northern Gaza, taking the region street by street, much like the US Marines did in the battle of Huế, in Vietnam.For an entire month Marines and soldiers, along with The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) troops, waged battles throughout the city, often going house to house to remove Huế from North Vietnamese control.Launched as part of the Tet Offensive in January, 1968, it was the first time Marines had engaged in urban combat since the Korean War.In the end, although the Allies declared a military victory, the city of Huế was virtually destroyed and more than 5,000 civilians were killed.Close to half of the US Marine infantrymen committed to the battle had been killed or wounded — 142 killed and close to eleven hundred wounded.Marine ingenuity was showcased in the battle to retake the city. They had to use weapons that were available and often, they were used for other than their intended purpose.For example, anti-aircraft vehicles called dusters were used in the front and the back of a 12-truck convoy, since there were no tanks available. The lightly armored dusters did not provide as much armor as a tank, but they were effective breaking through walls to silence snipers, or just to gain control of an area.Israel will have no shortage of weapons when it comes to Gaza however. The question is, will they use them effectively?Urban battles are also known for close combat fighting.“A casualty producing fight,” as one Marine explained. “It’s not just the round but all the debris that comes off of it.”Then there is the containment of emotions. It sounds trite, but in the fog of war, it is essential to make the right decisions.“We’re all emotional, we care about our Marines,” said one officer. “That young Marine of yours, that corporal who has always been the joy of everybody and always has a joke, gets killed next to you. It’s pretty easy to get emotional, but what leaders get paid for is to stand above the emotion. It’s not easy.”“But if you can do that you will make the right decision. If you get emotional about it you won’t.”In Gaza, there is also the question of hostages. Hamas claims they have more than 200 and they will execute them if they deem it necessary.There were no hostages in Huế, but the Viet Cong and People's Army of Vietnam are believed to have executed 2,748 civilians in one of the bloodiest conflicts of the war.Will the IDF encounter the same battleground in Gaza and can they quickly adapt as the Marines did in Huế? And what will be left, when the smoke clears. When they finally leave. Will they really have accomplished anything?Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus, perhaps said it best.Known as Tacitus, among his writings he discusses the life of his father-in-law, Agricola (the general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain) mainly focusing on his campaign in Britannia. Tacitus's Annals are of interest for providing an early account of the persecution of Christians and one of the earliest extra-Biblical references to the crucifixion of Jesus.His famous quote still rings true today. Put simply, “They make a desert (and) they call it peace.”In other words, they kill and destroy, in the name of Empire. And where they make a burning wasteland, they call it peace.Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in Gaza.