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...But It's Not "War-War," After All...

Once again, I farted around and let myself get scooped. I've been kicking around a piece based on the Arab League's latest attempt to yank the United States' leash and get us to do their dirty work by calling for a "no-fly" zone over the Gaza Strip, but Rick beat me to it.

So instead of whining (OK, instead of whining too much), I'll simply build on it.

There's a war going on between Hamas and Israel. This is nothing new, but what is a relatively new development (well, a few years old) is that now Hamas is the legal government of Gaza. This means that, for all intents and purposes, Gaza is at war with Israel.

It's what is called "asymmetric warfare." The two sides are not equivalent in the least, but their strengths and weaknesses are balanced enough to make it a real struggle.

On paper, Israel has the advantage. It has the bigger military, the better training, and the superior hardware. If Israel chose to do so, it could totally obliterate the Gaza Strip in very short order.

Hamas, on the other hand, has an intangible but extremely potent weapon of its own: they have no souls.

Yes, I'm still an agnostic. But it's a handy metaphor, a simple way of summing up a whole slew of psychological factors that all contribute to a concept that the theologically-inclined recognize as "soulless."

There are many factors that contribute to this, but I'm going to focus on the two most important.

First, as has been proclaimed many times, by both sides, Hamas "loves death" more than their enemies "love life." Their whole focus is on killing their enemies. They have no concern whatever for their own lives or of their own people; if it takes ten or a hundred or a thousand Palestinian deaths to kill one Jew, then it's a great victory.

The other factor is an astonishing bit of sophistry that they have convinced far too much of the world to buy into. It's a generally accepted principle that civilians should be spared, but military members are legitimate targets.

Well, Hamas has constructed and promotes a logic that gives them carte blanche in their war on Israel.

Israel, you see, has universal conscription -- nearly all Israelis are obligated to serve in the military. Therefore, every single Israeli is a member of the military -- past, present, or future -- and therefore is a legitimate target. By Hamas' reasoning, there are no Israeli civilians.

On the other hand, the Gaza Strip is not an independent nation. It has many of the hallmarks of such, but it isn't a true nation in the legal sense. Therefore, it can have no internationally-recognized military structure. And that means that every single Palestinian is a civilian, and therefore any Palestinian killed by Israel -- even one actively engaged in an attack, using military-grade weaponry, targeting civilians -- is not a legitimate target.

In brief, all Israelis are guilty and all Palestinians are innocent. In every case.

Even in the most recent atrocity, when Hamas fired a Russian-made, laser-guided anti-tank missile at a school bus. The school bus was a valid target, as it was traveling along a road often used by the military, and the school children aboard are future members of the IDF. On the other hand, the Hamas operatives who fired the missile were civilians, because they aren't a part of any official, legal, recognized military.

And it's worth noting that the attack injured the driver and one student -- but only because they were the only ones left on the bus at the time, not by any compassion from Hamas.

Now we come to the no-fly zone the Arab League wants to impose. They want that because Israel has absolute air supremacy over Gaza; Hamas has no aircraft. The no-fly zone would only affect Israel, limiting their ability to observe and strike back.

One response for Israel immediately comes to mind: they can say fine, we won't fly aircraft over Gaza any more. We'll limit ourselves to stand-off weapons we can launch from over Israeli territory, and land-launched weapons such as artillery, rockets, and missiles. These will be considerably less precise than those we've been using, but that would actually put us on a more even basis with Hamas.

But that's a bit too on-the-nose for international relations. Instead, Israel will simply reject the proposal.

But I am troubled that I can not so easily predict that the Obama administration will give the proposal the contemptuous dismissal it deserves. After all, they seem to be fully behind the idea that "if we don't call it a war, it really isn't a war" bandwagon, with the War On Terror being renamed "Overseas Contingency Operations" and our current war against Libya as "Kinetic Military Action."

I'm sure

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Comments (7)

Only a fool would ... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Only a fool would fail to recognize that the "solution" to Israel's predicament is looming ever greater.

Only a fool would fail to recognize that the implementation of that solution will be exponentially greater than need be.

Only a fool would fail to recognize that the agenda is the extermination of Israel as an entity, as has ALWAYS been the case.

Only collective fools would continue to dance around that incontrovertible fact.

Dance and spin, fools.

At one time I had a fair bi... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

At one time I had a fair bit of sympathy for the Palestinians. That was before I read about their history, and noticed that no matter how bad things were for them, their leadership went out of their way to make things even worse.

So - at this point if the PA, Hamas, Hezbollah and the like were wiped off the face of the earth, I'd simply shake my head.

They've had so many opportunities to change their ways and learn to coexist it's pathetic. And they've ignored them at the urgings of their 'neighbors' that won't allow any of THEM to immigrate (and no wonder, looking at how they acted in Jordan) but instead keep up jihad against Israel.

At this point my care-meter is pegging to the left on them. They've created their own hell. I've got sympathy for people who work to break out of their misery, for people who take what they've got and improve the hell out of it. I don't have much sympathy for folks who insist THEY can't improve their lot in life until someone else is destroyed.

"First, as has been proclai... (Below threshold)
914:

"First, as has been proclaimed many times, by both sides, Hamas "loves death" more than their enemies "love life." Their whole focus is on killing their enemies."


Not really. They imagine they love death but have no idea what real love is. They are under satanic hypnotic control.

JLawson, let me offer you a... (Below threshold)

JLawson, let me offer you a phrase I stumbled over several years ago, and quite pithily sums up what you discovered:

The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Ain't that a great turn of phrase?

J.

Jay Tea, March 20: But i... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay Tea, March 20: But it's been quite a few years since he's (Gdaffy) acted against us, directly or indirectly. Hell, even now, he's not going after any of his neighbors -- the fighting is strictly an internal affair. The US should weigh very carefully getting involved in a matter that does not threaten us, our interests, or our allies. And on that scale, Libya fails.

Short JT respons: give KDaffy a free hand, he is not a threat to our interests! It is not in our interest or all allies to do anything!

Juan Cole today:

While the world has not been paying attention, Qaddafi has been using his oil wealth (and I do mean ‘his’) to peddle influence in Africa, to gain the loyalty of it leaders, and to intervene militarily.

It is so ironic that critics of the UN intervention in Libya keep asking why there was no such humanitarian mission in Darfur in the Sudan, where separatists among the black African Fur people have been massacred by Arabic-speaking black Africans loyal to Khartoum. But it was Qaddafi’s disastrous interventions in Chad and the Sudan that initiated that bloodbath. The contemporary Darfur problem started in 1987 when some Arabic-speaking militiamen from Chad, who had been armed by Qaddafi, established a base over the border in Darfur. They were the precursors of the Janjawid. Qaddafi, ever the regional imperialist and spoiler, had used his oil billions to fill the continent with armed mercenaries and guerrillas, whom he used to widen his control. He spent fruitless years trying to take over his southern neighbor, Chad, the northern part of which his troops brutally occupied for years.

Far away from his own territory, Qaddafi spread terror through his terrorist training camp, the World Revolutionary Center. Out of it came a cadre of coup- and war-makers hungry for blood diamonds, including Charles Taylor of Liberia and Foday Sankoh of Sierra Leone. Qaddafi and Taylor intervened in the Sierra Leone war. Hundreds of thousands were killed in these conflicts provoked in part by Qaddafi’s ambitious attempt to foster a generation of authoritarian, reactionary revolutionaries in his own mold, who would be his clients. Having billions in oil money allowed him to undermine security and to play favorites in West African politics.

Qaddafi pays 15% of the expenses of the African Union and essentially has many African leaders on retainer.

Qaddafi came out strongly against the revolution against Zine El Abedine Ben Ali in Tunisia. It seems certain that if he could get back into power and regain his riches, Qaddafi would try to undermine the outbreak of unwelcome democracy and a rule of law in Tunisia, his neighbor, and he has fingers into Egypt, as well. The terminally naive supporters of this billionaire serial murderer and his billionaire playboy sons who are firing indiscriminately on civilians said that no, Qaddafi would never do anything like that. What do they think he has been up to in Africa for the past 30 years? If he can be gotten out of power and the Benghazi government can establish a parliamentary system, not only Libya but all Africa will have achieved a great step forward.

Palestinian - just another ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Palestinian - just another word for LOSER. These people must be born with a sign on their ass that says "Kick me!"

Think I've used that a time... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Think I've used that a time or two myself, Jay Tea... and it's, sadly, a true and accurate description of the thought process of their leadership - at least, judging by results.




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