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Here We Go Again

Well, the Baron beat me to it, covering the recent conflict between Israel and "the religion of peace".

Seems like those "eeeevil Joooos" are at it again, selfishly defending themselves against another round of friendly Hamas rocket attacks.

Predictably, the U.N. has called on Israel to exercise restraint. Nothing, of course, has been said about the unprovoked, weeks long Hamas terror strikes directed against them.

And now, just as predictably, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called on "Muslims around the world" to rise up and defend the innocent Palestinians from Israeli aggression.

One Arab leader called the Israeli air strikes "crimes against humanity".

I guess Jews don't count as part of "humanity", for it is acceptable to indiscriminately kill as many as possible.

Nothing has been said by anyone in that friendly region condemning Hamas for what can only be described as acts of war.

Most all of the Arab nations have had strong condemnation for Israel, while expressing sympathy for the Palestinians. Of course, none of these countries has ever offered to take in the Palestinians, give them any of their land, or even allow them to become citizens of their countries.

That would take away the perpetual excuse they use to justify their hatred of Jews.

For all their rhetorical flourishes, to these countries and their people, the Palestinians are nothing but pawns.

I wonder if their lives would be changed for the better if they directed all the anger and wasted energy projected at Israel into something positive for themselves. Maybe something good would actually come out of that region.
Instead, they condem, hate, and kill people of a country barely the size of New Jersey. The only country in the region with a democracy, and the only country who has evolved into a productive, civilized society.

Looks like Hamas made a huge tactical error this time.

Israel has killed an estimated 80 Hamas gunman with their recent air strikes, and they are now gearing up for what seems to be a full scale ground invasion of Gaza.

The usual condemnation from the U.N., Arab countries, and anti-Semitic Europe will come predictably and swiftly. The hypocrisy of these entities is as transparent as the intentions of Hamas to hold to a truce.

I wonder if any of these countries would show restraint if mortars and rockets were constantly raining down on their population. It would be like Canada lobbing missiles into Minnesota. It is absurd to think that Israel should not defend itself.

I know there is a long, difficult history to this conflict. I don't know much about it, but for at least my 37 years of being around, it's been a friggin' mess that has cost thousands of lives, with Israel being the victim.

That whole region is one big, squalid swamp of angry, ignorant people.

Time to drain it.


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Comments (51)

Palestinians, the nation of... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Palestinians, the nation of masochists, raising future generations of "victims". How much longer before the world tires of their bullshit?

Before Obamalala comments h... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Before Obamalala comments he will have to consult with Rev. Wright, Farakan, Fleger, and will probably say this is not the Hamas he knew. He will want all hostility to cease. Holding my breath.

"I know there is a long, di... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

"I know there is a long, difficult history to this conflict. I don't know much about it..."
Truer words were never spoken.

Israeli politicians essenti... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Israeli politicians essentially created Hamas as a foil for Arafat and the PLO. I don't know if it's the warm climate and the nice beaches or what, but these people have a problem with thinking things through beyond a second scenario. It's like the place is run by methadone addicts threatening to go back to heroin unless the US gives them more "stuff".

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/ZER403A.html

When Israel is an ashheap t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

When Israel is an ashheap then the UN will look at Hamas and say "gee maybe you shouldnt have done that". Then when Hamas starts terrorist attacks on another nation the UN will sit there and wonder why they are doing this, I mean it couldnt be because the UN did nothing the first time they did it.

israel got out of gaza stri... (Below threshold)
jony:

israel got out of gaza stripe and gave the hammas a chance to build a palestinian state, ofcourse they took advantage of it and fired rockets for 8 years on israel, so what do you expect???
what country in the world would allow such thing?
hammas knows that and keeps abusing it's own people, gaza is a beautiful place with a very nice beach but the government focuses on war instead of peace and development of the region.
poor Palestinians.

Israel should tell everyone... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Israel should tell everyone in Gaza "if you want to live then leave, you have one week" , Hamas wont leave and after that wait for the optimum conditions and set off a low yield short half life nuke. Then they wont have a problem.

Then Israel can tell Iran "you're next if you dont shut down your nuke plants".

Israel may lose in the end but they can only die once. Vs the death of a 1000 UN cuts now.


I'm afraid once mushrooms s... (Below threshold)
MPR:

I'm afraid once mushrooms start sprouting they won't stop. That would truly be a doomsday scenario.

GarandFan -The Pa... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

GarandFan -

The Palestinians have never failed to find ways to screw themselves over, all the while blaming everyone EXCEPT their leadership, and their willingness to leap off a cliff if it'd make Israel look bad.

I used to feel sympathy for them, but when Arafat rejected negotiating with Israel because he was only offered about 95% of what he wanted AS A STARTING POINT for the negotiations, it became pretty clear how their leadership is doing everything it can to keep the Palestinian people as victims.

Sad thing is, the left was accusing Bush of getting us into war so he could stay in power - while shedding tears for the Palestinian plight, who's leaders NEED the conflict with Israel so THEY can stay in power. After billions in aid, why are the Palestinians so poor and incapable of existing without the food, fuel and medical help Israel gives them? If they're loved so much by the Arab world, why do most Arab countries have immigration policies that reject Palestinians?

Even EGYPT won't open borders with 'em. Doesn't that say something in itself?)

Where are the Palestinian colleges? Where are the Palestinian universities, teaching the skills needed to maintain modern infrastructure elements? Where are the 'peacemakers' in Palestinian society who preach coexistance and cooperation? (Wait a sec - that's an easy one. They get killed.)

It's not going to change, unless the Palestinian leadership realizes that they've got more to gain from working with Israel than fighting. And I don't see that happening soon.

Ah, Hamas and their infamou... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Ah, Hamas and their infamous "Israel hit us back first!" defense.

Look for the NY Times, LA T... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Look for the NY Times, LA TIMES, and the rest of the MSM to provide cover for Hamas ensuring that every casualty (real or otherwise) are proclaimed as innocent bystanders who were merely minding their own business when the mean Israeli rockets targetting school children went off close by.

BryanD:What's with... (Below threshold)
BPG:

BryanD:

What's with the article from the Algerian islamist that you linked to? Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which subscribes to the teachings of, among others, Sayyid Qutb, who advocated a particularly virulent fundamentalist version of Islam.

If Israel just fired rocket... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

If Israel just fired rockets back into the Gaza stripe Hamas and their supporters would get less sympathy. In fact, Hamas would look weak if they complained about getting the same as they gave. Israel keeps making the mistake of thinking it can solve the problem militarily, but then finds it's hands tied when it launches a decisive attack.

There a two groups of Palestinians, one bent on conflict and one seemingly willing to live in relative peace. The long term answer is to contain Hamas and give them back what they give out, and then ridicule them as weak if they complain. At the same time Israel should treat the west bank Palestinians under Fatah rule with generosity as long as they are peaceful. Let the world see how Israel treats those who would live in peace compared to those who war against Israel. It might not be the answer to the conflict, but it wouldn't be any worse than what they have now.

The Palestinians already ha... (Below threshold)

The Palestinians already have a state. That Jordan will not repatriate them speaks volumes about the value Palestinians have to their fellow Arabs outside the arena of public relations.

BPG,BryanD will alwa... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

BPG,
BryanD will always blame the Jooos. In his world, Rahm Emanuel is a neo-con, simply because he is a Jew. He probably went to see Operation Valkyrie and rooted against the protagonists.

I posted on this earlier,bu... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

I posted on this earlier,but here's a reprise, in less correct language--ELIMINATE these terrorist groups by whatever means works, to the last individual.

That accomplished, let it be known further terrorism will be dealt with similarly.

As said prior, it's NEVER been about statehood or self governance. The agenda is and always was elimination of Israel, PERIOD. I can't for the life of me understand why this isn't evident to the rest of the planet,given the history. Maybe it's malicious, wilful blindness?

BPG, Speaking of Qutb and t... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

BPG, Speaking of Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood: (must see!)

http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares

Sorry, BryanD - My... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Sorry, BryanD -

My sympathy meter is still pegging hard to the left for the poor Palestinians. They've got a LONG way to go before I'm even neutral on them - much less feeling positive.

Irongrampa -

I don't think it's malicious blindness, so much as it's something that many people simply don't want to acknowledge. To do so would mean they were wrong on this issue, and if they could be wrong about something like THIS, what other things are they utterly certain about that they might they be wrong about? It just opens up a large existential can of worms they'd rather not even admit exists.

Accusing those who are over... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Accusing those who are overly sympathetic to the Palestinian people--for good or bad reasons--of being anti-Semitic is the worst kind of intellectual laziness. It's basically a shabbily reformulated ad Hitler fallacy.

I know a lot of Jewish people here in Toronto and none of them have any sympathy for militant Zionism or the Likud Party, and the Israelis among them feel no sympathy for the nutjob settlers that constantly provoke moderate/Arab Israelis with their incursions onto Arab land. And, at the same time, they all hate Hamas for being enemies of peace.

It's not anti-Semitic to say that part of the problem is militant Zionism. In fact, it's not anti-Semitic to say that any Zionist is guided by a poisonous ideology the same way a militant Islamist is.

So shut up about "the Jooooos" because BryanD never said the problem is Judaism. The right-wing faction of the Israeli leadership is not equivalent to all of Judaism. Anyone who says otherwise fails to understand the diversity of the diaspora.

Kudos to the hyperbolist fo... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Kudos to the hyperbolist for appropriately setting the context of the debate.

I would like to address some specific pragmatic considerations that apply to the current violence. It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over again hoping for a different result. The present campaign against Hamas has many of the earmarks of the recent Lebanon incursion: 1) an attempt to show a militant movement who is the boss, 2) disproportionate response, and
3) collateral damage (translate, civilian death and suffering) on a large scale.

And it's likely that the latest attempt to beard a militant lion will, like the last one did, tarnish Israel's reputation as a civlized nation, while at the same time growing that lion's beard.

Hyperbolist said "So shut u... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

Hyperbolist said "So shut up about "the Jooooos" because BryanD never said the problem is Judaism. The right-wing faction of the Israeli leadership is not equivalent to all of Judaism. Anyone who says otherwise fails to understand the diversity of the diaspora"

Actually the problem is that Hamas keeps on lobbing rockets into ISRAEL. Anyone who says otherwise fails to understand the diversity of the diaspora

Are the pro-Israel commente... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Are the pro-Israel commenters here aware that there has been an almost total blockade of the Gaza strip for months? Even food and medicine is not being allowed in.
So, if they were in Hamas's shoes, with their children and wives being slowly starved, their economy strangled, and their people humiliated, what would they do? Submit? Or resist? And if to resist, how? How would anyone react to a blockade of their country by a much stronger military power? Perhaps guerilla warfare? Perhaps terrorism?
Are they further aware that Israeli elections are just around the corner? And that all three major contenders have a vested interest in proving they're "tougher" than the others?
I am not defending Hamas here. I have no sympathy for religious fanatics of any persuasion, especially those who use religion to hold on to political power. But these defenders of any and all Israeli actions, no matter how disproportionate, should be aware that there are other sides to this story.

It's obvious the Hamas do... (Below threshold)
MF:

It's obvious the Hamas dont want peace. Anytime it has gotten close the Palestinian leadership just wont behave themselves.

BruceAre you aware... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

Are you aware that Hamas as been lobbing rockets into Israel for YEARS????
Lets see . Months on one hand. YEARS!!!! on the other.
And why did Israel blockade the Gaza strip?

Could it possibly be umm due to ROCKET ATTACKS from the GAZA strip?

Say it isnt soooo!!!!

Action reaction

Cause effect

Try looking at the WHOLE PICTURE instead of just one portion.

"I am not defending Hamas here. "

BUt you will do it anyway right.

"But these defenders of any and all Israeli actions, no matter how disproportionate, should be aware that there are other sides to this story.
"

oh you mean like the rocket attacks from Gaza, the suicide bombings from Hamas. Is that the side you are looking at?
As far as disproportionate if Hamas could do more than lob rockets into Israel then they would.

Wake up and smell the crap you are shoveling.


Oh and Bruce"there... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Oh and Bruce

"there has been an almost total blockade of the Gaza strip for months? Even food and medicine is not being allowed in."

Now that couldn't be because Hamas has been trying to smuggle in weapons now could it? Nah. Just the big bad Israelis trying to be be mean now isn't it.

Try opening your eyes. TOOL! DUH.

Retired Military,"... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Retired Military,

"I am not defending Hamas here. "

BUt you will do it anyway right.

No, he said it didn't. That's a strawman argument that reaches Orwellian proportions, accusing someone of a position they have just disavowed.

Criticizing Israel is not supporting Hamas. It's not a simple case of black hats and white hats. That's a large part of why the Arab-Israeli conflict is so intractable.

There has been action and r... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

There has been action and reaction in Palestine since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, when the widespread settlement of European Jews commenced, and even before that. The cycle of violence has been ongoing all that time. When shall we start to fix blame? Last week? Last month? 2006? 2000? 1988? 1982? 1967? 1948?
There ARE other sides to the story in this tragedy, despite attempts here to oversimplify. The Jews of Europe had good reason to come to Palestine and escape oppression. The indigenous inhabitants, though, resented being shoved aside by a people with different language, culture, and values. Their grandchildren still resent it, and resent the daily humiliation of checkpoints, poverty, and privation. Probably not big fans of having their homes bulldozed at will by the IDF, either. Or the ever-encroaching "settlements" by the Ultra-Orthodox zealots.
Wherever there is a military displacement and occupation there will be resistance. What form would your resistance take if you were in a similar situation?
But I'm asking too much of the conservative commenters here. They could never imagine themselves as being on the weaker side.

Bruce said he wasnt going t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce said he wasnt going to justify Hamas but then used the blockade to do so.

AND I QUOTE

"So, if they were in Hamas's shoes, with their children and wives being slowly starved, their economy strangled, and their people humiliated, what would they do? Submit? Or resist? And if to resist, how? How would anyone react to a blockade of their country by a much stronger military power? Perhaps guerilla warfare? Perhaps terrorism?"

So Dave take your strawman and stick it in your ear.

And Brucey forgot to mention that Egypt is taking part in the blockade of Gaza as well. My how could he have overlooked that.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081230/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians;_ylt=AqQHoZ1D9IYITRP5mWEQlJWs0NUE

Now lets look at this liberal boys and girls.

Is Israel a soveign country? YES
Is Israel being attacked by rockets from GAZA? YES
Does a sovereign country have a right to defend itself? YES

I am quite sure that if Hamas was shooting rockets in your neighborhood you would be appalled at their actions.

"Their grandchildren still resent it, and resent the daily humiliation of checkpoints, poverty, and privation. Probably not big fans of having their homes bulldozed at will by the IDF, either. Or the ever-encroaching "settlements" by the Ultra-Orthodox zealots."

Hey Brucey I am sure the Israelis resent having rockets going off in their neighborhoods as well. And guess what those rockets do? They nescessitate checkpoints.

And since you are into history how about all of Eurpoe going back under Roman rule? Turn China and Russia over to the Mongolian rule. How about turning over the US to the Native American Indians. Gee. Try living in the context of the hear and now.

"Wherever there is a military displacement and occupation there will be resistance. What form would your resistance take if you were in a similar situation?
"

And when there is military resistance you can count on military retaliation. Pure and simple.

Dont pee on your shoes and not expect them to get wet and smelly.

Stop taking up for terrorists who use suicide bombers to deliberately target civilians.

Oh and Brucey "Whe... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

Oh and Brucey

"Wherever there is a military displacement and occupation there will be resistance. What form would your resistance take if you were in a similar situation?
"

Israel was formed after WW2 by the league of nations. Arent you guys always saying to respect the international community? I mean you think it is great when they are basically saying "die scum jew" but when it forms a country of jewish people than you have oblems with it right.

BTW Bruce"Accordin... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW Bruce

"According to the December 28th New York Times, Hamas "is officially committed to Israel's destruction, and after it took over Gaza in 2007, it said it would not recognize Israel, honor previous Palestinian Authority commitments to it or end its violence against Israelis.""

Now how is Israel supposed to deal with that other than just give up and die? Let Hamas just pour rocket fire in without retaliation? I guess that is okay with you guys right.

I mean I guess the poor Jews are simply too dumb to just go ahead and die so that they can make peace with Hamas.

See we tried the approach of not answering terrorism with force. We got 911. Funny, we havent had any succesful attacks since then. Maybe just maybe using force against TERRORISTS is an answer that keeps civilians somewhat safer. At least safer than just letting your population get killed by unasnwered rocket fire.

Since you are so smart you tell us exactly what is Israel supposed to do to resolve the situation. Try coming up with a solution instead of simply criticizing.

Oh wait I forgot you are a liberal. You would much rather just talk about how bad things are than to actually take a stand and do something to stop it other than capitulation.

The above quote was from <b... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

The above quote was from
http://news.yahoo.com/s/realclearpolitics/20081230/cm_rcp/what_the_israeli_government_sh

And from here


http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/12/30/the_suffering_that_hamas_causes/

"This year alone, Hamas, which expressly calls for the obliteration of Israel, has launched approximately 3,000 rockets and mortar bombs into Israeli civilian centers, always for the purpose of killing and maiming Israelis if possible, and terrifying those who are not actually hit. In the last week or so, Hamas has fired some 200 rockets and bombs into Israeli communities.

"

It sure seems like Hamas is trying to pick a fight. I guess the liberals feel that Israel should just shoot themselves in the head to save the world the trouble of looking bad supporting terrorists.

That's "here" and now.<br /... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

That's "here" and now.
I grant you most of your points. Hamas is indeed a reprehensible terrorist organization. But so was Irgun, the "grandfather" of Likud.
Israel does indeed have the right to defend itself. But it has been using this policy of massive retaliation (some would call it disproportionate) for years. How well is it working?
My point is that the cycle of violence has been ongoing in the Middle East at least 90 years. Which side started it? If you are a supporter of Israel you say the Arabs. If you are Arab you say the Israelis. Therefore, there ARE "other sides to the story." And if there are other sides to the story, each actor has his own justification for his acts. Do you imagine that Hamas is lobbing rockets into Israel because they wish to do evil? Or that the Israeli responders do? No, each side is doing what they think is right.
I don't argue that Israel has no right to defend themselves. Of course they do. I do question how effective their current policy is, and whether the cost in lives is appropriate.
Like you, sir, I can easily imagine myself a citizen of Sderot and how angry and fearful I would be at the rocket attacks. Unlike you, I can also imagine being on the weaker side. I'm not so sure I would be understanding of Israeli actions.
And if you want to debate the grown-ups, you can dispense with the "Brucey" bit. Grow up.

Ya got way ahead of me with... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Ya got way ahead of me with your linky links and quotely quotes.
There was no League of Nations after WW2. I guess you meant the UN, which you guys seem to like or hate depending on what position they take on any given subject.
Give me some time and I'll try to come up with a reply. I have to work for a few hours today.

"My point is that the cycle... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

"My point is that the cycle of violence has been ongoing in the Middle East at least 90 years. Which side started it? "

Does it matter which side started it 90 years ago? That is ancient history. Do we still treat Germany as enemies since they started WW1 and 2 both within that time frame?

What matters is current history? As in today. Today the situation is thus

Hamas lobs rockets into Israel, uses suicide bombers to specifically target civilians and cries foul when Israel after much patience retaliates. The world then condems Israel for not showing patience when their citizens are killed.

Those are the facts. Dress it up, put lipstick on it and shove a flower in it's rectum. A pig is still a pig.

" Do you imagine that Hamas is lobbing rockets into Israel because they wish to do evil? Or that the Israeli responders do? No, each side is doing what they think is right"


Let's see Hamas lobs rockets into civilian neighborhoods and deliberately targets civilians. The UN stated that the US was guilty of torture for having someone in GITMO have underwear stuck on their head. Do you kind of see the disconnect.

It doesnt matter whether Hamas thinks if they are doing wrong. Dictators throughout history have maimed, killed, raped and plundered because they thought it was their right to do so. I am sure that Hitler didnt feel he was doing wrong by ordering Jews marched into the gas chambers.

It is a matter of society in general saying they are doing wrong or not. Do you want to sit here and try to defend cannibals eating your family just because that is the way they were raised. Does that make them consuming your children any more right or just?

It is a norm for the world that if a given country is attacked that that country defend itself. Why should it be different for Israel?

"Unlike you, I can also imagine being on the weaker side. I'm not so sure I would be understanding of Israeli actions.
"

Really so you are saying that deliberately targetting noncombatants to include children is justifiable?

Again, the US gets battered by the international community for underwear but when children are targetted and killed it is okay.


BruceTell you what... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

Bruce

Tell you what.

Lets get past the metaphorical right or wrong.

Just answer this simple question.

If you were Israel than how would you deal with Hamas who has stated words to the effect

"is officially committed to Israel's destruction, and after it took over Gaza in 2007, it said it would not recognize Israel, honor previous Palestinian Authority commitments to it or end its violence against Israelis."

How would you deal with someone who is "OFFICIALLY COMMMITED TO YOUR DESTRUCTION".?

Play pattie cakes? Invite them over for tea to discuss things, I mean according to you they have discussed them for 90 years now what else is there to say?

So answer that one simple question please.

Actually, this time around ... (Below threshold)

Actually, this time around "the Arabs" are not all siding with Hamas.

Egypt has basically told the Hamas that it's all their fault. They put armored vehicles with loaded machine guns across their border with Gaza, to prevent refugees from crossing over, and they used them, killing at least one Palestinian earlier this week.

** As an aside on the Egyptian angle: People who complain about the Israeli blockade on Gaza seem to forget that Gaza shares a border with Egypt. The Egyptians are "blockading" them as well then.

This time around, even the Palestinian PM in the West Bank heavily criticized Hamas, saying they brought this on themselves.

It's not all black and white among the Arabs either, see. Hamas managed to antagonize the sane among the Arab world as well.

Mom,I guess those ... (Below threshold)
shawn:

Mom,

I guess those tunnels dug under the Egyptian/Gaza border are to smuggle candy and flowers from Egypt to Gaza/Hamas.

I don't care what Egypt has said. Why have they allowed these tunnels to exist if not to help Hamas wage it's perpetual war with Israel?

And that's the first time I've ever seen the two words "sane" and "Arab" in the same sentence.

-Shawn

I told you I had to go to w... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I told you I had to go to work, Mr Retired Military guy.
Re-reading my own previous posts, I can see where I went wrong. I conflated legitimate Palestinian grievances with the point that there is no option for the weaker side in a conflict like this other than the unconventional. The two points should have been made on different posts, but what I was trying to say was this:
1.As a retired military guy, you know that what I say is correct about weaker v. stronger. Francis Marion deliberately killed, and burned the houses of, Tories during the Revolutionary War. He was called a terrorist by the British, but we don't regard him as one today. John Brown was hanged for sedition, but in many circles he was then and is now regarded as an American hero. The French Resistance and the Yugoslav partisans, both of whom mercilessly slaughtered "collaborators", including women and teenage boys, were called terrorists by the occupying Germans - do we call them that now? Do I include Hamas in that august company? Of course not. The point is, they had no choice. The only way to resist was through these tactics.
2. People of the Middle East, as I understand it, would not comprehend how people can just "get over" and "deal with" the "facts as they are." I would dare say that their historical memory is long and unforgiving. Remember, there is no Scriptural injunction in either the Torah nor the Koran to "turn the other cheek." Injuries done to one's grandfather are as alive to many of these people as if they had occurred yesterday. And the universal impulse to dehumanize one's enemies - the same impulse that led us, at various times, to call our enemies "Krauts", "Japs", and "Gooks" - will lead to despicable acts. After all, if your enemies are nothing but "dirty Jews" or "filthy Arabs", why have any regard for their lives? Therefore,
3. There will be no military solution to the problem of terrorism. You simply can't kill them all. Israel has been trying as long as I've been reading the papers to accomplish it. It will never happen. They invaded Lebanon in 1982. Did attacks stop from over the Lebanese border? No, but Sabra and Shatilla happened, creating a whole new generation of enemies. The 2006 attempt to destroy Hizbollah left Hizbollah stronger than ever. When has this massive retaliation strategy EVER worked?
To answer your one simple question, about how to deal with an organization that is committed to your destruction:
You're right.
I have no good answer, any more than I would have an answer to the Palestinian who asks, "How then shall I resist?" But it's very plain to see what DOESN'T work in the long term, but only satisfies the urge to strike back. Perhaps if the Palestinians would adopt the tactics of Gandhi and King? Perhaps if the homegrown Israeli peace movement would? (There is one, you know.)
By the way, Shawn has revealed his true colors with his remark about "sane" and "Arab" in the same sentence. Too many 80s Schwarzenegger movies, I suspect.

Bruce"I have no go... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

"I have no good answer, any more than I would have an answer to the Palestinian who asks, "How then shall I resist?" But it's very plain to see what DOESN'T work in the long term, but only satisfies the urge to strike back. Perhaps if the Palestinians would adopt the tactics of Gandhi and King? Perhaps if the homegrown Israeli peace movement would? (There is one, you know.)
"

At least you admit you do not have the answer.
The reality of the situation is this. If Israel does not respond to the aggression then it leaves them open to other aggression by groups like Hezbollah or Iran. Hamas knows this, as does Hezbollah and Iran. All three use it to their advantage to stoke the fires and to keep on attacking Israel.

You are also neglecting the point that if no other rockets were ever shot into Israel than it is most likely possible that Israel would dismantle the checkpoints and open the blockade. Why keep them if they were not getting attacked? Israel has shown that it is willing to do just about everything but die to try to attain peace. Its attackers have shown that they will accept all concessions and then still attack no matter what because their objective as they have plainly stated is to totally obliterate Israel.

When you have one side that insists "death to the other side" as a condition for peace than there can be no other solution but a military one.

" There will be no military solution to the problem of terrorism. You simply can't kill them all."

The military solution to terrorism is to kill enough of the terrorists for them to realize that it just isnt worth the effort to fight any more. That is how the US won their independence from Britian. How Germany was defeated in WW1 and WW2. You dont have to kill all of them. Kill enough to where they cannot effectively resist any longer.

70 years ago there were people that racism would never die in the US. It hasnt died yet. But with each passing year it becomes less and less relevant. In another 100 years I would be willing to bet that it will be totally insignificant just due to the intermixing of the races.

People say that there will never be peace in the middle east. I say there will be. It may not be in our life time but it will come. It may take almost total annilihation on one side for it to be accomplished but it will happen and that is probably about the only way it will happen. THe only other way would be for a joint threat so severe to overcome all other hatreds between the 2 groups. "The enemy of my enemy ..."


Retired Military,"... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Retired Military,

"The military solution to terrorism is to kill enough of the terrorists for them to realize that it just isnt worth the effort to fight any more. That is how the US won their independence from Britian. How Germany was defeated in WW1 and WW2. You dont have to kill all of them. Kill enough to where they cannot effectively resist any longer. "

You compare an independence movement fighting a more powerful sovereign state (The Revolutionary War) and conventional wars in Europe (WWI & WWII) with a conflict between a guerilla movement and a regional superpower (The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict). There is no comparison. For the record, WWI, despite it's horrific toll on an entire generation of European men, did not end the conflict between Germany and its neighbors. Rather, it led directly led to WWII.

A more apt analogy, though still imperfect, would be the Vietnam War. We killed approximately 1 million North Vietnamese. Is that how we won that war? The answer is "No" because we didn't win that war.

DaveI used those e... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Dave

I used those examples to show that all it takes to win is to make it more worth for your enemy to give up than to continue fighting.

Your Vietnam example is accurate though not in the way that you think.

Basically we had to go through enormous expense to move men and equipment to Vietnam and try to win the war. We were not in the region (Israel is), nor did we have US sovereignty at stake (Israel does). In addition, if you look at Vietnam we were in fact winning the war but losing it back home politically. All the NVA had to do was wait us out and make it too inconvenient for us to go away. They did so with the left's help. We lost vietnam due to politics and not militarily. So Vietnam in that respect is an excellent example of what I am saying. In fact, Israel fails to go all out and for the long haul due to political reasons. At some point that will cease to be a factor as their homeland continues to get attacked. US soil per se wasnt in danger of being overrun by the NVA nor was Kansas or California in danger of occupation with mass slaughter of its's citizens.
(for a good analogy for the revolutionary war think of Britian as the US and the revolutionaries as the NVA. Not philosophically or literally of course but using the analogy of distance, men, cost to continue the war, etc. Great Britian did not want to expend the resources needed (although they had it since their empire spanned the world at that time) to keep the colonies in line.

Israel isnt going anywhere as their existence hangs in the balance and therein your analogy between that conflict and this one falls apart.

Also what led to WW2 was more the economic factors after WW1 that were not addressed. Again not a problem in this conflict so that analogy of yours falls apart as well.

Once the Palestians (not Hamas) realize that "Hey if Hamas goes away we dont get rockets set up near our kids and have Israel respond then our kids can be safe" then this conflict can go the way of the Iraq war. Once the citizens started cooperating with the US and saw that they would protect them then AQ started to lose the war. The only thing AQ had doing for it was to try to do the same thing as in Vietnam. Bush said "screw you, we arent going anywhere" long enough for that not to work. If the libs had had their way than it would have.

Nice try but umm no cigar.

excellent and accurate re... (Below threshold)
MF:

excellent and accurate retired military.

My relatives who su... (Below threshold)
MF:


My relatives who survived Hitler's reign, oppposed him, and escaped to west germany later became legal US citizens. Some didnt live long enough to see the fall of the Berlin wall but I hope to be around to see peace in the middle east.
Hopefully internally there will be strife within that eventually over time leads to peace.


MF:Please explain ho... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

MF:
Please explain how your relatives "escaped to West Germany." Do you think Hitler was the ruler of EAST Germany?

retired military:
I see your point and it sounds logical. But massive retaliation of the sort that is happening in Gaza now has not worked in the previous 26 years. Why do you think it will succeed now? As to "going all out", if you mean violence on a much more massive scale than is being used now, that won't happen. Politically, in the age of satellite TV, even Israelis won't be able to stomach the images of woe and destruction that would ensue.
I won't even address your tired re-hash of "the stab in the back by the left in Vietnam" argument, except to say that the reason "the left" opposed the War in Vietnam was that it was unnecessary. It was only fought so LBJ could prove his dick was bigger than the Republicans', and Nixon could prove his dick was bigger than LBJ's. Everybody in that sorry chapter of our history - Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, McNamara, Rusk, Nixon - KNEW Vietnam was not a true strategic interest. But all were afraid to appear "soft on Communism."

Bruce"the reason "... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

Bruce

"the reason "the left" opposed the War in Vietnam was that it was unnecessary"

That doesnt change that fact that it was that opposition almost as much as the politics that lost the war.

"But massive retaliation of the sort that is happening in Gaza now has not worked in the previous 26 years. Why do you think it will succeed now? "

Did I say it would suceed now? Nope dont think so. I said that in order to win the conflict one only has to outlast the opponent. Death by a thousand cuts. It may take another 50 years but as long as Israel keeps doing what it is doing it thwarts Hamas and remains a nation, therefore winning the war one battle at a time.

"As to "going all out", if you mean violence on a much more massive scale than is being used now, that won't happen"

Without rereading what I wrote I think we have the same idea. It wont happen because of the world condemnation that would follow. The only way that it would happen is if Israel believes that it would lose the war by not doing so. Basically both sides are playing "death by a thousand cuts". Hamas is also playing the "woah is me I am a victim game " (Israel doesnt get any sympathy with this no matter what and would appear weak if it did and thus encourage more attacks) and the "they are picking on me my brothers, (Other Arab countries), come help me kick their butts". The only thing stopping the 2nd thing from happening is that the in the past the US has had Israel's back.

In short, if Hamas set off a nuke in an Israeli city they can count on others taking their side. If Israel did the same thing in Gaza or Iran without being attacked first than it would receive further world condemnation and more people joining the side of their enemy.

So Israel basically has to sit back, let the enemy take their shots (rockets) for a while, then retaliate enough to hurt them but not enough to push world condemnation against them too hard or to justify Iran, Syria, etc joining Hamas (or Hezbollah or whoever is antagonzing them this week) in an all out war.

So in short Israel have to do a balancing act. Get a bloody nose but not too big of a bloody nose that would encourage others to gang up and take them down and retatiate enough to be left alone for a while. Israel has to constantly show that if pushed to far they will push back regardless of world opinion however, not push back so far as to have the world actively join their enemies in a conflict.

Hamas's hands (or Hezbollah or Iran or the terrorist of the day ) are not tied like this. They have only one wish - destroy Israel. Not live with the world community, not try to establish or build a nation, not feed the hungry, build housing, build schools, build a place for your children, etc. They only desire to destroy Israel.

Israel meanwhile does want to be part of the world commmunity, build schools, build a future for their children, etc.

Israel wants its legacy to be peace. Hamas wants it's legacy to be destruction and it will use any methods at its disposal to do so.
What will Hamas do if Israel disappears tomorrow? Probably go after Jews in the rest of the world. What will Israel do if Hamas disappeared tomorrow? Remove the barricades and roadblocks and try to be better neighbors to the folks in Gaza.

It is like having someone from the stone age fight a modern day boxer. The stone age man uses his rules and the boxer has to use Marquis of Queensberry rules and if he doesnt he is outcast from the world. Noone expects the stone age man to fight fair or even civilized and therefore whatever he does is accepted. Everyone expects the civilized man to fight fair or condemns him if he doesnt.

If you read tomorrow that Hamas had sent in people to a school in Israel and killed 1000 school children would you be suprised? Would your feelings towards them be any different?

The answer is probably no and no.


If you read tomorrow that Israel went into Gaza and killed 1000 Hamas children would you be suprised? Would your feelings towards them be any different

The answer is probably yes and yes.

BTW Looking at the statemen... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

BTW Looking at the statements in my previous post helps to explain at leaste one thing. The US is condemned by the UN for having prisoners at GITMO having underwear put on their head, but yet in Iran, women who are raped are subject to be stoned to death with full backing of the govt, yet Iran is on the UN Human rights council.

People dont expect civilized people to act uncivilized nor do they expect uncivilized people to act anything but uncivilized.

Retired,"Israel is... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Retired,

"Israel isnt going anywhere as their existence hangs in the balance and therein your analogy between that conflict and this one falls apart."

Despite their bellicose rhetoric, Hamas is no more a threat to Israel's existence than the North Vietnamese were to ours. Nor for that matter is Hezbollah. Nor even Iran. The real leaders of Iran, the mullahs, are not suicidal.
That why they use Hamas and Hezbollah as proxies to harass Israel.

You have the eguation exactly backwards in Vietnam. The North Vietnamese won because, as you said in your earlier post, they killed enough Americans that the American people decided "it just isnt worth the effort to fight any more," The majority of the American people have come to same conclusion about Iraq.

Abbie Hoffman, William Ayres, and their compatriots were fringe players held in contempt by the majority of Americans. The left did not turn the American people against the Vietnam War any more than they turned the American people against the war in Iraq. The draft and a war fought on television in our living room turned the American people against a war that they determined was not about their national security. A democracy, unlike a dictatorship, cannot sustain an unpopular war.

We have not "won" the war in Iraq of late. The Bush Administration and its supporters have declared "victory." We won the "war" back in March 2003. Since then we have been attempting to stablize an occupied country in the face of an insurgency of which AQ was only a part. It is without question that the surge has substantially reduced daily violence, but Iraq is still a violent, unstable place. The Bush Adminstration has defined victory in Iraq as the establishment of a government in Iraq able to maintain internal security and protect itself from external threats. That goal is a long way off.

I do not have a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but your prospect of a 50- year war of attrition is untenable. The next administration must focus substantial effort, absent in the last eight years, on healing this festering sore.

Finally, your white hat/black hat interpretation of the conflict gets us nowhere.
I am not suggesting anything close to a moral equivalency between Hamas and Israeli. Hamas is a parasite on the people of the Gaza Strip. They make political statements with the Palestinian people's blood. But that blood is as precious as the blood of an Israeli. Israel displaced an indigenous population sixty years ago. Along with their right to exist, they have a responsibility to work toward a solution to the Palestinian problem. Bombs and missiles will not solve it. They have not, and they will not.

Dave"The majority of... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

Dave
"The majority of the American people have come to same conclusion about Iraq"

Umm yeah . That is why we are winning the war and you dont hear Obama talking about pulling out too soon isnt it.


"The draft and a war fought on television in our living room turned the American people against a war that they determined was not about their national security. A democracy, unlike a dictatorship, cannot sustain an unpopular war.
"

There was a draft in WW2 and it didnt turn Americans against the war. Why? Becuase it was a fight for our survival. The left did a great job of stirring up antiwar sentiment and in fact at least one NVA general stated they were the best weapon he had in the war. Militarily we were winning regardless of what you say. The political correctness that hampered the military effort along with the antiwar left back home is what doomed our efforts.

"We won the "war" back in March 2003."

Whereas I agree with you the NYTIMES, Kerry, Pelosi, Reid, Obama and many other democrats have stated that the war was lost, etc etc.

"I do not have a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but your prospect of a 50- year war of attrition is untenable. The next administration must focus substantial effort, absent in the last eight years, on healing this festering sore."

Again you at least admit you dont have a solution but then you go about saying XYZ must happen. That is laughable if you dont have a solution to present. Why must the peace come NOW? This festering sore has been festering for the past 90 years (per your words or was it Bruce's). Do you actually think that Obama will be able to magically make it go away? ONly if he abandons Israel. It will go away, of course some stretches of the middle east will be uninhabitable for the next 10,000 years or so. But Hamas doesnt have a problem with that. Remember for them it is a holy war and deaths will just speed their going to Allah.

In short, there is nothing that the US can do in the next 8 years that it hasnt done for the past 30. Support Israel and try to keep the body count down. WE CANT SOLVE THIS. Israel and Hamas will have to. And since Hamas will only accept the death of Israel than it will come down to who will outlast the other. Israel has basically offered everything under the sun except the necks at the point of a knife and they were told "that's not enough"

The only way this will end is one of the two either no longer exist or can not do damage to the other. That is the hard facts. They arent pretty but they are the 900 pound elephant in the room. Either Israel must cease to exist as a country or Hamas must change it's attitude towards the existence of Israel. Nothing that Barrack can do other than abandom Israel or back them will make either of those conditions come about.

You say you dont have a solution but you cant deny the stark truth I have laid out above. Well you could but then you wouldnt be looking at facts.


"Israel displaced an indigenous population sixty years ago. Along with their right to exist, they have a responsibility to work toward a solution to the Palestinian problem. Bombs and missiles will not solve it. They have not, and they will not.
"

A. The UN formed Israel. Let the palestians go to the UN and have them fix the problem that they started to everyone's satisfaction.

B. Israel has worked towards a solution and tried everything possible but putting a knife to their own throat and cutting it and nothing has helped. As I said HAMAS STATES THEY EXIST SOLELY FOR THE PURPPOSE OF DESTROYING ISRAEL. There can be no compromising with that.

c. Bombs and missiles (or sticks and stones) will solve the problem and is the only way to solve the problem at this juncture or to get to a solution.

They (bombs and missiles) have solved pretty much every conflict since the beginning of time.

It will come down to either annihilation on one side or the other or both or as I said one side beating down the other side so badly that they cannot or will not choose to continue.

If the one that is beaten is Israel it will cease to exist as a country. If it Hamas it will either change its view on Isreal's right to exist or become extinct or close to it.

Name one war that ended without one side or the other either getting beaten or killed or surrendered.

If Israel is beaten they cease to exist. If Hamas changes its view towards Israel's existence than they surrendered. If Hamas ceases to exist then they were beaten.

Your pie in the sky statement about Obama being able to do something is just that. Unless Obama simply abandons Isael or puts the 1st Armored division into Gaza than he will do nothing that Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, or Bush Jr did except with a little variation.

BTW Dave<a href="h... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW Dave

http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/bt-un51.htm

Article 51 of the UN charter states.

"Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain inter- national peace and security."

Looking at the facts.

a. Israel was attacked.
b. Israeal is defending itself by attacking military targets.
c. Israel warned Hamas what would happen if they started firing rockets again. Hamas started firing rockets again anyway. Israel is only doing what it said it would do.
D. Israel is not the impotent UN. The same UN that says if you dont do what we say we are going to censor you. Then if you continue to disobey us we are going to censor you again. Then we are going to really censor you. And then and then we are going to give you a really strongly worded censor.


Oh BTW Bruce ref the blockade. right before Hamas started firing rockets at Israel this latest go around, Israel had opened up a point to allow food and humanitarian aid into Gaza. Hamas sorta messed that up when they started firing rockets again.

BTW DaveI just rea... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

BTW Dave

I just read where Hams legalized crucifixion. It doesnt appear that things are getting any better. Perhaps things wont last another 50 years. Maybe Israel will just go for the gusto and see what happens. After all it worked for us as far as getting rid of Saddam. Will there be side effects? Probably but I am assuming that Israel's viewpoint is "what else can they do to us that they arent doing now?"

Retired,I'll close... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Retired,

I'll close this long discussion with these comments. I am not a pacifist. I am a military retiree like you. However,I disagree with you that war is the only solution to conflict, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I have no illusions about Obama being able to magically solve this conflict, but he has to try. Unquestioning support for Israel is not the answer. Hamas is not an honest broker; but the greivances of the Palestinian people are real and must be addressed.

Maybe it is that I am more hopeful than you; or maybe that I am more horrified by war than you. Vietnam and Iraq were wars of choice, not necessity (as was the First World War). All three were tragic mistakes with monumental costs. War should be the last resort, not the default option.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, General Curtis LeMay wanted to "go for the gusto." If he had prevailed in that debate, we would all be crawling though radioactive ruins in a nuclear winter.




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