When Hamas hit Israel on October 7th, they weren't playing to win the war. Real victory isn't always about beating the other guy on the battlefield. Just look at the 1968 Tet Offensive.
Before Tet, the U.S. was all, "We're winning in Vietnam. Victory's around the corner." We were too confident, too sure of ourselves. Same with Israel's attitude towards the Palestinians: top-notch gear, smart intelligence, total control.
Then bam – Tet happened. And bam – Hamas struck. Both the U.S. and Israel got caught napping.
Sure, the U.S. bounced back and beat the attackers during Tet, but it was more than just a physical fight. Our confidence took a hit; our image around the world changed. We weren't the invincible force we thought we were.
Hamas, on the other hand, wasn't looking to win the war either. They wanted to shake things up, and they did. They dented the Israeli Defense Forces' tough-guy image and even made Mossad, the legendary intelligence service, look a bit less legendary.
So, what's a real win? It's not just about owning the battlefield. It's about meeting your goals and changing the game. And in that sense, Hamas pulled off something big on October 7th. Just like the North did during the Tet Offensive.
They both changed the narrative.