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This Train of Thought Makes All Stops

Look Over Here, Not Over Here

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 5, 2009

With Russia supplying imagery intelligence to Iran, you have to wonder if this strategically odd war that Israel is fighting with Hamas isn’t actually an elaborate cover for their possible strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. While the Russian recon satellites are busy watching IDF bases running at high capacity to support the war in Gaza, is it possible that they just might miss the preparations for a strike against Iran? It would be audacious of Israel to do something so extreme as a cover operation, but audacity has been Israel’s calling card for many years. There’s some sense to the idea– Israel wanted to break things and kill people in Gaza anyway and they’re doing it before the new, less friendly US Admin comes in. It’s two birds with one stone in the end– a “free shot” at Hamas to the West while they take care of a major strategic problem to the East.

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2 Responses to “Look Over Here, Not Over Here”

  1. B-Fly said

    The biggest favor Israel could do for Obama was to wage this war on Gaza before he takes the oath of office. I know your feelings generally on Israel. As an liberal American Jew, I’d be a liberal voter in Israel too and would always support moves toward reconciliation with Palestinians and toward a hopefully successful Palestinian state. That said, I think it’s hard to imagine any other country in the world being told that military action against a neighboring country from which rocket attacks were being regularly launched against their civilians was “mostly inexplicable”. Was the US decision to wage war and remove the Taliban after terrorists hosted in Afghanistan attacked US civilians on 9/11 “mostly inexplicable”? And how would the US presumably respond if its border cities or towns were taking regular rocket fire from Mexico?

    As for Iran, I really hope Israel allows the Obama Administration to try negotiating first before it considers launching a pre-emptive strike. If they go “Bush Doctrine” (in what respect, Charlie) on that one, I’ll join the international outcry condemning the action. But Gaza isn’t pre-emptive, it’s reactive, and the provocation justifies Israel’s response, just as it would justify any country in the world to respond similarly to a similar provocation.

  2. Bob Kohm said

    What I see as “mostly inexplicable” is the way they’re carrying out the action, not the impetus for action itself. Hitting the rocket facilities from the air makes sense; going into a densely populated urban area on the ground does not. It is intolerable that Hamas has been firing unguided artillery rockets into Israel– no question, and no question that Israel had the right to smash them for it. Still, why the ground incursion? What can they achieve on the ground that they couldn’t from the air?

    Tzipi Livni was talking earlier today about regime change. Is a switch to a radicalized Fatah, as Fatah must invariably be after this fight, really quite so desirable? No matter what happens now, Israel is at the very least facing a new Intifadah from Gaza with no hope of permanently sealing the tunnels to Egypt through which the rockets come and thus with no hope of stopping the rocket attacks short of perpetual war or reoccupation. Can you really see Israel re-occupying the Strip? I can’t.

    So, if at best we’re looking at a US Vietnam War type of “strategy” in which you take the hill or the hamlet to disrupt enemy operations and then go home only to let the enemy retake the objective, what the heck is Israel doing there on the ground? They aren’t going to “teach” anyone a lesson that is going to hold– you can’t use force to teach people already beaten down not to rise up again. This is a culture that produces suicide bombers like we produce corporate attorneys. they feel that they have nothing to lose and little to fear from death. How is bombing them and knocking down their houses with artillery fire going to dissuade them?

    If the objective is to find and kill the Hamas leaders, then why the IDF and not Mossad? Destroying all of Gaza to do a job that requires a few bullets or small bombs is madness.

    Either Israel is engaged in a war purely borne of frustraiton– an odd thing for the stoic Israelis, especially after the Lebanon/Hizbullah disaster’s lessons– or they a startegic motive that may not yet be apparent. I’m goign with the latter.

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