Monday, November 19, 2012

Gaza Redux, or

Didn't some guy in the USA get elected? First off, a short quote from the guy who won a 2nd term as president of the USA
“There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on from outside its borders,” Obama said Sunday in his first public comments on the fighting. “We are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend its borders.”
Well, in his defense, it is difficult to see missiles clearly when one's own eye is packed full of them. Nearly 4 years ago to the day, Dec. 27, 2008, before the Brand New President of the USA could be sworn into Office, the Israeli gov't launched Cast Lead against the people of Gaza, for a 3 week period, with attacks by air, sea and land. Now, 4 years later, Hamas has missiles that can reach both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Is this progress?
But if Netanyahu and Barak are responsible for creating the immediate pretext for an attack on Gaza, they are also criminally negligent for failing to pursue an opportunity to secure a much longer truce with Hamas. We now know, thanks to Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, that in the period leading up to Jabari’s execution Egypt had been working to secure a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas. Jabari was apparently eager to agree to it. Baskin, who was intimately involved in the talks, was a credible conduit between Israel and Hamas because he had played a key role last year in getting Jabari to sign off on a prisoner exchange that led to the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Baskin noted in the Haaretz newspaper that Jabari’s assassination “killed the possibility of achieving a truce and also the Egyptian mediators’ ability to function.” The peace activist had already met Barak to alert him to the truce, but it seems the defence minister and Netanyahu had more pressing concerns than ending the tensions between Israel and Hamas. What could have been more important than finding a mechanism for saving lives, on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides. Baskin offers a clue: “Those who made the decision must be judged by the voters, but to my regret they will get more votes because of this.” It seems Israel’s general election, due in January, was uppermost in the minds of Netanyahu and Barak.
More Progress,
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described Israel on Monday as a "terrorist state" in carrying out its bombardment of Gaza, underlining hostility for Ankara's former ally since relations between them collapsed in 2010. . . . "Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza," Erdogan told a conference of the Eurasian Islamic Council in Istanbul. "For this reason, I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts," he said. Ties between Israel and Turkey, once Israel's only Muslim ally, crumbled after Israeli marines stormed an aid ship in 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip. Nine Turks were killed in clashes with activists on board. . . .
towards the Stone Age, where some in Israel have threatened to send Gaza
There is no justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity. We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire.
This is progress?

Loss of allies among Muslims and more death for the Fish Barrel that is Gaza for poll points in an election? Assassination of a member of Hamas willing to talk about peace and getting along with their neighbors? And the US gov't bound hip and thigh to a regime like this?

Israel is set on a path to Self Destruction, and no, I don't want to see that.

What the whole world does see, however, is that for the 2nd time in 4 years, Gaza has suffered for political points. This is atrocity, it is genocide, death and terror launched against a helpless and oppressed population for frivolity.


(FDChief: N.B. Here's what I think you wanted for paragraphs, bb; let me know if you had different ideas...)



  2. Thanks for the link, S O

    I also did a bit of diddling with my post.


  3. Same shit, different day...

  4. Not quite the same s(h)ituation as it was in 09.

    The broad swath of North Africa has bloomed into a whole 'nother animal, and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has risen to the top of leadership.

    Demonstrations in Jordan, Syria still bleeding a gusher, and Turkey has labelled Israel "terrorist". Can't blame them, 9 Turks killed trying to get aid to Gaza.

    Of course, we let 34 American dead drift off into history with barely a squeak.

    I see some reports that the Obama admin. is feverishly trying to prevent a land assault upon Gaza. Good luck with that.


  5. I don't think Bibi likes Obama too much.

    Cast Lead right after the 08 election, the treatment of Biden when he went to say hello, and Bibi appearing in ads supporting Rmoney.

    Another land assault into Gaza would be the awesomest Bitch Slap to Obama ever.

    Our prez gotta decide whether he's an American Puppet or an Israeli one.

    I don't see leadership here, I see a Fence Sitter about to lose his Balls.

    Of course, I could be wrong.


  6. Bennie and the Jets get to do anything they want . . . that's the current US policy. If there is any response from BHO it will hardly be noticed . . .

    I thought this statement made back in 2009 said it well, from a strategic theory perspective . . .

    "It is time for our Government to make clear to the Israeli Government that their conduct and policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israelis’ real goal but which it is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals; they are fools."

  7. Fools, perhaps. but, as in '09, Israel is caught in the same geopolitical cleft stick; there's no "middle path" here. Both she and the Pals want the exact same thing. The only solution is extermination, and you can't DO that anymore...

    Well, actually, there IS a solution, but it would involve getting Jordan to take the West Bank and Egypt to take Gaza, but neither nation OR Israel wants that for a host of reasons.

    Peace would only be possible is all the actors saw benefit in long-term peace. But enough of them hope for victory - the Pals, the settlers/ultraorthodox, various Islamist organizations - that the spark is always ready to ignite another round of fighting.

    Nope, IMO the bottom line is that Israel is locked in this death spiral forever, or until one side or the other is exterminated.

    The BEST course for the U.S. in my view would have been be to wash its hands of both sides after the occupation began in '67. But it's too late now, the well is too poisoned. We're all just fucked on this one...

  8. Thanks for the link and here's a video of conflicting perspectives and outcomes.

    And a petition to sign if you're willing.


  9. Fools, perhaps. but, as in '09, Israel is caught in the same geopolitical cleft stick; there's no "middle path" here. Both she and the Pals want the exact same thing. The only solution is extermination, and you can't DO that anymore

    No, I can't agree with you here. I believe it was you writing somewhere about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt having to leave behind their ideology and learning to actually do the nitty gritty business of governing, seeing that the daily garbage is picked up regularly, if they wanted to retain their control of the nation, much like any political party of any nation would.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, of course, but I did see that sentiment expressed somewhere. In the Gershon articles, apparently Hamas was tending into that same direction when Jabari was hit.

    If the world were sane and I was running the US, I'd drop the opposition to putting Pal. representation in the UN, drop all aid to Israel, break the blockade, give as much aid to Gaza as we ever did to Israel ( b/c the US is complicit in producing this mess ), conduct a popular referendum in Gaza to determine the intentions of the people there, and to support it.

    And yes, establish a foreign military presence there to keep each side honest.

    Col. Lang agrees that this latest round of violence is all about Bibi and Obama


    1. Seconding here, against FDChief. Key comment: "Correct me if I'm wrong, of course, but I did see that sentiment expressed somewhere. In the Gershon articles, apparently Hamas was tending into that same direction when Jabari was hit."

      Notice that Israel quite deliberately and accurately kicked off the whole thing by killing the guy they were negotiating with, and whom apparently was genuinely negotiating. They wanted this battle.

  10. One person, one vote.
    It will get there eventually.

  11. Dunno, basil...I read the article about Jabari, too, and my thought was "well, there you go; that's what happens when you try to find a middle ground in this snakepit..."

    I think the problem here is that to make anything work everyone has to be willing to lay down their weapons all at the same time. Just one actor, whether it's one of the Pal groups, Israel, Jordan, the Syrian government, the Syrian rebels, hell, Iran (given Bibi's gangs paranoia about them), makes a twitch like they're gonna fight and it's game on again.

    And which idiot gets to be the "foreign military presence"? That's a booby prize if ever there was one. The MFO-Sinai worked because both Egypt and Israel had vested interests in making it work. Here you're working with a multivariate analysis; the real problem is that for "success" everyone has to make it work, while all it takes for "failure" is ONE variable changing for the worse...

    I agree that, yes, this is probably designed as a pimpslap for Obama and, yes, the U.S. could take some steps to make some changes in the situation.

    But I disagree that this is a "solveable" problem. The State Department Middle East hands told Truman as much in 1948; do this and you've fucked us in the Middle East forever.

    And so we are.

  12. And I would argue that the problem with basing any sort of Israel/Gaza policy on "Hamas is going to do..." is that Hamas, while technically the "government" of Gaza, is to Gaza what the government of the Articles of Confederation were to the U.S.; a "government" with only the vaguest of authority.

    My understanding is that the biggest problem is that there are a whole bunch of other groups working there that Hamas has little or no control over. Not surprisingly - a hell of a lot of people in Gaza and the West Bank hate the hell out of Israelis for good reasons. Any sign that Hamas is going to act as Israel's proxy will immediately produce the sort of reaction that put Arafat's people substantively out of business after the first intifada. For all that I'm sure they'd LIKE to become the Daley Administration of Gaza, picking up trash and cadging the vigorish out of the locals in return for favors, they have to keep up the pressure on Israel or get overrun by the next bunch willing to kill the invaders.

    Like I said; ain't a solveable problem short of genocide. And, not liking that option, me, I'm all for leaving these homocidal sonsofbitches to their hobby. Don't see a "winning" hand for the U.S. anywhere in this mess.

  13. It is a solvable problem. Just not solvable by the American government.

    Much of the rest of the world has successfully dealt with decolonization. Zionism was a late entry in the imperial sweepstakes and its deconstruction will take a while.

    The USA can really help by being generous with green cards and by not giving away bombs and airplanes at every opportunity.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Yes it could be a slap at Obama on Bibi's part. But you have to wonder if it was started now because Hezbollah is busy at this time. Their loglines to and support from Syria are under critical threat. So Bibi's generals probably went along with it because they felt they would not face any serious two-front missile attack.

  16. Interesting take on the latest combat-technogeeking this little fracas has stirred up here:

  17. And which idiot gets to be the "foreign military presence"? That's a booby prize if ever there was one.

    Agreed, and agreed with Ael. Some mix of something else other than US, except for maybe transport and support, maybe with Arab and Israeli units helping out, that is if they don't wind up shooting at each other.

    But I'm just a civvie popping off.

    Leaving the two sides alone to duke it out may not be possible anymore. Cole summarizes a Palestinian newspaper:


  18. Ael: The problem is - what do you do when the "colonists" just refuse to "go".

    In the places where that happened during the postcolonial era (like Algeria and Rhodesia) things got REAL ugly real fast. Not sure that the U.S. could simply "be generous with green cards" in such a situation.

    And I'm not sure if the timing was determined by Israel, mike. This seems to have started because some of the hardcore anti-Israeli guys in Gaza shot up an Israeli patrol and things escalated from there...

    1. Maybe so. But I notice they did not over react when a Golan patrol was shot at.

    2. I think because the Israeli Right doesn't have the need to smash Syria the way it does Gaza. The Right wants to keep most of the West Bank, and the constant kicks from Gaza keep reminding everyone that the situation on the West Bank is just as bad or worse than Gaza, it's just not as explosive. In a perfect Israeli Right world they would do a Third Servile Rebellion on Gaza and the resulting terror would shut everyone up and allow the colonization of the West Bank to go to completion...

      Just my suspicion, mind you.

    3. Mike,

      The Syrians were not purposely shooting at Israel - they were trying to attack other Syrians near the border and their aim sucked.

      Chief is right about Hamas shooting up a patrol - it was an anti-tank missile fired at an IDF vehicle. But it wasn't just that - Hamas fired over 100 rockets into Israel in late October, plus there were a bunch of mortar attacks and two IED attacks against the IDF. I don't think anyone was killed in all that (several wounded as I recall), but it seems to me Hamas was itching for a fight or perhaps Hamas doesn't have good C2 over its fighters.

      Both sides seemed to get what they wanted out of all this, which appears to be domestic political legitimacy....

  19. basil: The only hope I see for this would be a superpower (cough...the U.S...cough) forcing;

    1. Israel to accept the pre-67 (Green Line) border AND pay a huge reparation to void the Palestinian Right of Return, and

    2. Jordan to absorb the West Bank AND integrate the Palestinian Arab diaspora in Jordan as full Jordanian citizens with civil rights thereof, and

    3. Egypt to absorb Gaza and ditto the Palestinian Arab diaspora in Egypt, and

    4. Force all three PLUS Syria PLUS Hezbollah to sit down at a Grand Concert of the Middle East which would hammer out a treaty that would include ironclad guarantees of Israeli safety, probably though massive infusions of U.S. cash to the economies of the border nations to give their populations something to do other than think about killing Israelis...

    That ain't gonna happen, never will. Short of that doing anything less will simply kick this can down the road again.

    I know it's hard to accept that this situation is just utterly fucked, will be fucked, and is un-unfuckable, but it is, it will be, and it is. There's just no practical solution to this that doesn't require either a miracle of human nature, a statistically-impossible cascade of coincidence, or the intervention of a mystical superpower unlike any extant...

    1. I recognize that it is a low probability shot, but South Africa still seems to be hanging in there (and everyone thought it would go the way of Algeria). Rhodesia was not so lucky.

    2. But the ANC-legacy government appears to be sliding ever further into Zimbabwe-style kleptocracy and there is still a massive bulge of internal-war-era black kids with no skills outside the selector lever on an AK-47. Many people I have talked to about the RSA are insanely pessimistic about its long-term chances.

      And, even then, the variables for disaster for the RSA are an order of magnitude smaller than that of Israel. The demographic was one-sided, and the only "bad" outcome would have been for the white minority to have gone all Wagnerian on us. They didn't, and the inevitable took place.

      For a genuine, lasting peaceful accomodation of Israel in the Levant to take hold you have to have this ridiculous number of actors, state and non-state, all cooperate and accept the same arrangement. It doesn't have to be sexy, but up to this point NONE of the parties involved have shown even that low level of long-term cooperation with the exception of the Camp David treaty in 1980...and even then Egypt wouldn't accept Gaza as part of the deal.

      If this was a relatively simple 2- or 3-way deal I'd be willing to consider it. But there's just WAY too many ways for a single party in this mess to fuck it up for everyone else, and WAY too much stored up hatred and distrust for the others to work past that fuckup.

      Nope; they're just doomed, the poor bastards.

  20. In the year before cast lead, 1159 missiles were fired at Israel

    In the year following cast lead, 158 missiles were fired at Israel.
    108 in the year after.
    Then 375
    Before Israel killed a general of a power it is De Facto at war with, said power fired 1597 rockets against Israel.

    I realise it doesnt suit your agenda....

    1. TrT: And the point is...what?

      That killing people works as a way of getting them to do what you want them to?

      Who's saying it doesn't?

      But that's not what I'm saying here, and I don't think that the original poster had that intent, either.

      Those 1,159 missiles had about the same effect as the 158, 108, or 375; zip. Nada. Dick. Nothing.

      They were a nuisance, an irritant. The sort of low-level harassment that Israel has lived with since 1948.

      BUT...the ass-kicking that the IDF took in southern Lebanon reducing that irritant to a lower-level irritant was a joy and a celebration to very Israel-hater out there in wrapheadland. It showed every swinging Islamic richard how to fight the IDF, something that any soldier will tell you is a bad, bad thing. The worst thing you can do to any enemy is show them how to fight you successfully.

      But that's really not the point of this discussion, or my "agenda", which is:

      1) that these little fracases are really pointless. They do nothing but kill people, and people are exceptionally replaceable. They do nothing to change the fact that the ultraorthodox and the Greater Israel goons and the Hezzies and the Islamic Jihad and the AQ and all the other kill-for-Allah bastards are STILL there, still in place, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

      ...and that

      2) I'm NOT any one of them; I'm a U.S. civilian, and so far as I'm concerned my only "agenda" is to get my country as far away from those fucking whackaloons as humanly possible.

      Then they can all have a great time killing each other and every poor harmless sod they can get their HE on...

      So please...continue to tick off the "gains" that these little wars rack up for Israel. I'm sure the vicious Islamic killers are smiling delightedly as images of dead Arab babies and wrecked Arab towns make the nightly news and continue to let them make the IDF look all the more like the Dirlewanger Brigade...

  21. " is that for the 2nd time in 4 years, Gaza has suffered for political points."

    Gaza "suffers" because it makes war on its neighbor.

    "This is atrocity, it is genocide, death and terror launched against a helpless and oppressed population for frivolity."

    No, it is retaliation for acts of war.....

    1. TrT-

      Please define "acts of war" . . .

    2. Shooting at people tends to qualify...

    3. So essentially anything involving "shooting" is an "act of war" . . . how simplistic . . .

    4. "Shooting at people tends to qualify"

      Nonsense. That would make any movie theatre lunatic the George Patton of the cineplex.

    5. TnT,

      You'll have to bring bigger guns to the table (pardon the pun!) War is not shooting.

      These are smart men, and they will want definitions of terms. Is it war? If not, what are these never-ending hostilities?

  22. TrT,

    You are attempting to provide balance, and I commend you for that. From my experience, you will not gain much purchase here. The participants here are learned and liberal-leaning, and as such, they are anti-Israel.

    However, I wish to recognize FDChief for his sensible suggestion that the Palestinian's erstwhile Arab brothers welcome them in. It will not happen of course, as they serve a far better purpose agitating against the Israelis daily.

    They are all like Black September whom King Hussein booted out of Jordan in the early 70's: Go -- we'll train you, give you munitions, but get out of our country. The Palestinians are Bezmenov's useful idiots; perhaps most of us are when we are so reactionary.

    1. Lisa, are you suggesting that the Palestinians, being useful idiots, deserve what they get? Or is it that they are not quite human?

    2. Here we go again...

      Israel is, Lisa, in my opinion, what it is; the forcible creation of a group of tough, smart people who have the "right" to exactly what nations carved out of other people's land earn - and that is, whatever they can seize and hold by sheer force.

      It isn't "good" or "evil" any more than the Arab residents of the former Palestine are "good" or "evil". It's a group of people who are good at fighting and took what they wanted. Kind of like my ancestors did with the former residents of Oregon.

      In this I don't wish them particularly well or particularly ill. I don't consider the Arabs - from Black September all the way down to Hamas today - to be "idiots", useful or otherwise. I consider them rather pathetic and immensely sad, in the way I consider the Cheyenne sad or the Basques. They have lost and refuse to "get over it". That's not idiotic, it's very human.

      But I get pretty pissed off when people with no stake in this fight - people like us here in the U.S. - try and make one side or the other in this endless pissing match into heroes and the other into villains.

      I am no more "anti" Israel than I am "anti" Arab, Lisa. I an "pro" U.S., though, and my government's mindless fealty to the desires of the government of Israel has slammed our national dick in the Middle Eastern door too many times. As I keep saying; Israel has nothing the U.S. "needs" in a geopolitical sense, and the Arabs do. That sucks for Israel, but that's what Great Powers do, or should do, and IMO it's high time the U.S. started acting like a SMART Great Power.

      And that's all the "agenda" I have in this one.

    3. We are all useful idiots, Ael. I am not a bigot, and do not believe anyone should suffer. I am not naive, and believe some people choose their suffering.

      The Palestinians are pawns, as they are a repository of hatred. U.S. liberals are useful idiots as they provide the knee-jerk response to the pictures the press so happily culls and provides.

      If anyone were so interested in the Palestinian's well-being, why don't they help them? Why aren't as many people interested in Israel's well-being as they are in the Palestinians?

      Why don't we read stories like this:

      Inside Israel’s Hunt for Arch Terrorists: How Shin Bet Always Gets Its Man

    4. Chief,

      I do understand your response, but does the fact that Israel is the U.S.'s sole, absolute and continual ally in the region account for nothing?

      In the world of Realpolitik, when the Arabs see the U.S. throw Israel under the bus, they will then know our values, and I don't believe they would view that as the sort of power they would respect. As the late Saddam said, Israel, little Satan; U.S., big Satan.

    5. Chief,


      Per your cmt. re. getting pissed off when people try and make one side or the other in this endless pissing match into heroes and the other into villains -- me, too.

      All I can predictably read in the liberal press is the Palestinian cast as heroic victim, Israel the big bad wolf. Websites upon websites of liberal thinkers devoted to Arab-worship; Israeli degradation to make Hitler proud.

      Never a word about the continual threat and agitation, and Israel's desire to exist.

    6. Israel is about as useful an ally, Lisa, as the mouthy little shit that makes you stand him drinks down at the Flaming Mug and then picks a fight with the bikers at the corner table. You end up bruised and poorer.

      An "ally" that just gets you into fights with the polities that have what you need in a region is geopolitically worthless and fiscally ruinous.

      Now Israel is a nice little democracy and I tend to like Israelis as a group (as individuals I tend to find that I like the seculars better than the sorts of people that are running he country at the moment). But that has nothing to do with what my COUNTRY's priorities are or should be. Those need to be decided based on "national intrests", not that a lot of very nice Israelis would be in deep shit if they ever lose one of these endless Arab wars...

      And the Arabs have watched us help set up and then abandon the Shah, then help set up and knock over Saddam, then set up and help knock over Mubarak. They know our "values" vis-a-vis the Middle East juuuussst fine.

    7. "All I can predictably read in the liberal press is the Palestinian cast as heroic victim, Israel the big bad wolf."

      Occupations tend to do that, Lisa. The heroic defenders of Warsaw tend to get better press that SS Sonderkommando Dirlewanger. That's why, many years ago, many smart Israelis argued that the occupations were bad; not for the Pals, but for Israel. And so they have been.

      If you want people to stop calling you a mean bully, you need to get out of the sort of position that tends to encourage vicious bullying.

      The "liberals"" used to be all about "plucky little Israel"; it was the crusted old tawnies that were the Arab-lovers. The occupations have changed that, and possibly forever. Israel had a choice to make, and chose to become Romans. They cannot now complain when others accuse them of Roman brutality.

      "Never a word about the continual threat and agitation, and Israel's desire to exist."

      Largely because the jackboot is now on the other foot; the Pals are the weak and Israel is the strong. Before '68 I remember how "plucky little Israel" was the hero, and the bronzed sabra with his beret and UZI were the icons of every liberal Democrat I knew (I was an Eisenhower Republican in those days and dissapproved vaguely of the entire business, but I, too, thought the IDF was the coolest army EVAH...)

      Bottom line; Israel has chosen to fight the War of the Flea. And in that war the big battalions always get the bad press from those who are the champions of the "little guy". So the Spanish guerrillas of the Peninsular Campaign commit terrible atrocities and come off heroes. The Cheyenne riddle unarmed settlers with arrows and are the tragic victims of genocide. The Irish betray and murder with abandon but are ground under the British heel.

      Occupiers get bad press, Lisa. That's not going to change, and bemoaning that is like complaining about getting wet in the rain.

    8. "Why aren't as many people interested in Israel's well-being as they are in the Palestinians?"

      As I said, Lisa, they used to be; all sorts of Americans worried about Israel, gave money and time to Israeli causes, back between 1948 and 1968-73.

      The relative military strength of Israel since then has made it very clear that Israel will look out for it's OWN "well-being". An American liberal worried about Israeli well-being is like being worried about the well-being of the toughest kid on the streetcorner.

      The Pals are now the weedy little kid getting his ass kicked regularly. It doesn't matter that the kid is an irritating little pain-in-the-ass who picks the fights and then gets hammered. The big Israeli is the bully. Bullies' well-being is never a concern of the bystanders.

  23. To all,
    To me the key question is-why does, or do the US support the rebels in the supposed Arab spring, and give them aid/money and weapons when we have no idea of their hidden agendas but when an ally (a real ally) defends themselves then we waffle.
    What is Egypts behind the scene actions in this little shoot em up?

  24. To all,
    I must add-in the pwot lets use Fallujah as an example. This is not an isolated example.
    In Fallujah we did much worse than what happened in the Gaza strip recently.
    What was the difference?
    Simple - propaganda and press complicity in Fallujah. Compare the civilian casualty figures and then tell me what it all means.

  25. To all,
    IF the US has the legal right to roam the earth and to kill arbitrarily kill folks simply based upon their suspicious activity then so do doesn't Israel have the right to kill terrorists with similar weapons regardless of location?
    Wasn't the killing of Ahmed Jabari as righteous as the killing of OBL??

    1. For nations - as opposed to people - there is no "righteous", jim.

      There are killings that serve the political or military purposes of the nation's people (or their rulers, not always the same thing, as we all know...). And those that don't.

      My understanding is that Jabari was trying to work out some sort of deal where Hamas would police the other Israel-hating groups in Gaza, because Hamas wanted to gain a monopoly of power in the joint.

      So to the degree that Jabari's death might have made Gaza MORE chaotic and dangerous to Israel it is not "righteous" in that it doesn't do anything to make Israel less precarious a place to live.

      And, frankly, people are the ultimate renewable resource. A nation that measures military success in the raw number of enemy dead is either successful and genocidal or an expensive and endless failure. Our "body-count" wars in SE Asia should have taught us that.

      If this blog was supposed to mean anything it was supposed to provide some sort of commentary about politico-military affairs at a higher level than the "What a bitchin' great shot! Killed that muthafucka dee-aed!" sorts of nonsense we could read any day over at Blackfive or the tactical and technical onanism of Abu Muquwama.

      That was the point of my reply to Trt. The number of rockets fired from Lebanon is as pointless an metric as how dead or not Jabari is. In both cases the larger political situation remains unchanged or largely unchanged, and for Israel, largely ominous.

      And in Jabari's case I would simply remark to Bibi as Tallyrand said to Napoleon about the Duc d'Enghien that it might well turn out to be not a crime but a blunder; "C'est pire qu'un crime, c'est une faute."

  26. Jim,

    I agree that the killing of Ahmed Jabari was as righteous as the killing of OBL, or Rehavam Ze'evi.

  27. Just stopping by for a little look in before heading out for T Day festivities.

    I haven't read all the comments, just a glance.

    Topics like this can be terribly toxic to friendships, don't let this happen here.

    I just received word from a FB friend that a long-time internet acquaintance and friend is spending her last few hours on earth, cancer.
    ( She's Canadian, BC, Ael. )

    Death is always around us, more for some, less for others. Some of you know that way better than I.

    More later but have a good day today and the weekend.


  28. BB: You are correct.

    Lisa: I apologize if I have given offense. The Israelis and Palestinians that I know are all kind and generous human beings. The Palestinians however, have had a much harder time because of the structural inequities that they have faced.

    I am quite sensitive to them being blamed for being victims and speak out against it.

    Again, I apologize as you have said that this was not your intent.

  29. Chief: "...crusted old tawnies..."????

    I missed the reference. Is that Brit slang for the likes of folks such as R, Francis Burton of Freya Stark? Or maybe the former High Commisioners of Palestine and TransJordan? Or something else probably.

    1. The British use the term - it's some sort of reference to really, really aged port wine - to refer to the mossiest of their Conservatives. I picked it up somewhere a long time ago and it tends to pop out at random intervals.

      And - per basil's comment - I want to make it clear to everyone here that for all that I may take the gloves off in the comment section that everyone who visits here is a comrade, regardless of his or her opinion.

      Like good rugby opponents, we may bloody each other on this field of friendly strife but I will happily stand you a round and drink it down beside you before and after.

      "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
      For he to-day that sheds his comments with me
      Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
      This day shall gentle his condition..."

      Or hers, Lisa!

      So here's to us, and a lively and disputatious coming Holiday Season...

  30. Chief,
    I use the word -righteous as sarcasm or irony.
    There is never anything righteous about killing anyone,it may feel like an accomplishment but it's just another dead guy.

  31. Ael,

    Thank you ... blaming is not my intent at all; I am all about solutions. To achieve that, sincere dialog must occur amongst people of goodwill.

    Tragically, that can never happen when endemic anti-Semitism rules the day. The Palestinian's response to yesterday's cease-fire? WAR!!! --

    Day After Ceasefire Hamas Leader Calls for Third Intifada During “Victory” Speech

  32. Oh, and a toast to you, Chief, for leading our band of brothers in our disputatiousness ;)

  33. I for one am giving thanks that this can has been kicked down the road a way even if just for a short while and there was not another Gaza invasion. I am hearing though that some Palestinians (and some right wing Israelis too) are angry that a ceasefire was negotiated. So I will expect more bloodletting soon.

    I have always been of two minds in this matter.
    If America were rocketed we would spare no expense to retaliate and collateral damage to women and children would not hold us back. In Vietnam we used entire infantry regiments (reinforced) to protect our airfields from Soviet made Katyusha rockets (what a sad naming convention for a military weapon - - - after a love song ‘Little Katya’). Those troops could have been much more relevant than patrolling the rocket belts around AF bases. And like the Assyrians we used forced resettlement of hundreds of villages and hamlets, just so that we could make free fire zones around airfields out to the max range of the rockets. So it is hard for a man of my generation and experience to blame the Israelis for their response to rocket attacks.

    On the other hand I believe these rocket attacks from Gaza were self-inflicted and could have been avoided. As FDChief said they have the smarts and the resources to be able to respond in a different manner that would not so inflame and make enemies of their neighbors. And they make enemies of friends too. They were playing to the internal politics of fear and hate.

    Israel cannot depend on us forever. I would hope that whatever budget gets passed soon that foreign aid funds to Israel and the Palestinians are pared down along with every other line item. Wait a minute, are we currently giving those funds to the Palestinians or are they still on hold by some congressman (and that was put in place long before this latest round of incidents)?

  34. Hi mike,

    To clarify:

    " ... I believe these rocket attacks from Gaza were self-inflicted and could have been avoided. ... they have the smarts and the resources to be able to respond in a different manner that would not so inflame and make enemies of their neighbors."

    Are you saying the Israelis make Hamas rocket them? And that they could un-"make enemies" of their neighbors?

    Hamas Declares for Third Intifada Following Cease-Fire

  35. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  36. Hi Lisa;

    No they did not 'make' Hamas rocket them. No more than we forced aQ to attack the twin towers. And they will try again just as Hamas will again attack Israel. But we and Israel should be smarter at how we handle escalation of violence. Dead children (whether we killed them in Afghanistan, Vietnam, Hiroshima et al or Israelis killed them in Gaza, or Hamas killed them in bus bombings) only make more enemies. At some point in time we all need to understand a better way of conflict resolution. Like Chief has said in the past, go all the way and go Genghis Khan by wiping out every man, woman and child or try peace. There are no in betweens for the Palestinian question that work especially if your country is surrounded by their friends, allies and co-religionists.

    Sometime in the future we will not be there to back up Israel either with foreign aid funds, or in the UN, or militarily, or with bribes to Egypt and Jordan to keep them peaceful. It will not happen in my lifetime. But I can easily see it happening maybe 25 or 50 or 100 years from now. So no matter how bad Hamas s now, it could get a lot worse then. So Israelis should start thinking of their great grandchildren and figure out a way to 'unmake' enemies.

    And btw some Israelis are damned mad at the ceasefire also. 70% reported by some.

  37. Lisa:

    The participants here are learned and liberal-leaning, and as such, they are anti-Israel.



    No, though in discussions on this topic inevitably lead to such claims. But I do regret the use of the term "genocide" in my post; it hasn't reached that extreme at this time.

    All I can predictably read in the liberal press is the Palestinian cast as heroic victim, Israel the big bad wolf. Websites upon websites of liberal thinkers devoted to Arab-worship; Israeli degradation to make Hitler proud.

    It would be helpful if you could give us some examples of widely read and prominent liberal thinkers who have claimed this, and not some White Aryan Supremacists blogging from Idaho.

    I can give you a post and discussion from a favorite liberal website of mine that illustrate the thinking and the talking.

    "normalguy" favors Israel, and quickly hits the usual tactic . . .

    ( cont. below )

  38. normalguy November 19th, 2012 at 9:25 pm
    In response to bigchin @ 42
    but it doesnt change the fact that Israel is right and the radical islamic jihadists who glorify death – which you support – are evil and wrong. No country in the world would allow thousands and thousands of rockets to be fired indiscriminately into its territory and do nothing about it. You know it, but your hatred of Israel and the double standards you set for them, that would apply to no other nation, prevent you from acknowledging it.

    The timing on this is designed to protect big oil from Sandy. A useful vice useless American media would focus on covering Gaza casualties (with sound in particular) but keep the focus on the aftermath of Sandy so that big oil and its future are properly foreclosed upon.

    So far the media has tried to focus on socializing the cost for the wealthy on the coast lines and not of forcing big private energy to pay for its externalities and adjust the future of energy.

    In response to normalguy @ 43
    For a “normal” guy, you certainly sound very ubermensch.

    Not only do you paint with a “broad” brush, you brush aside the humanity of millions of human beings as if it were nothing.

    Seems to me that something very similar to that happened not too long ago …

    In fact, the once oppressed, the once abused and murdered, “normalguy”, are now the oppressors, the abusers, and the murderers … and that is actual the truth, whether you happen to like it or not.

    The truth is established not on opinion but on the actions, the deadly and destructive, the inhumane and uncaring actions of a people who have forgotten much too much and who remember too little …

    Who, like you apparently do, take too much for granted and yourself too little to task …

    That last is my opinion, of course … however, the unfeeling venom and hatred in your words and many deadly deeds of the Israeli political class confirm the truth. Neither you nor the Israeli leadership are possessed of truth, only of belief in your own infallibility and righteousness. Your “belief” is not one of love and human conscience, it is of domination and superiority … for if the strong cannot take the first steps toward peace and understanding, it is not because they are afraid to do so, it is because they choose NOT to do so … for it is not peace and understanding they truly seek, it is total power and complete control of others … a trait that the political class of the US is revealing that they, too, embrace and worship.

    Those who consider themselves to be “God’s Chosen”, tend to act and behave that way … and it is not a path to justice or honor but to defeat and loss … to the very ends of time and earth. It is small-minded, heartless, and cruel … it is a dream of timid, little beings, sick in their souls and empty in their hearts, just as is the desire for unlimited wealth … both power and wealth corrupt, absolutely, inevitably, and to no good end.

    Have not the wisest of human beings always sought to encourage such understanding?

    Have the wisest ever embraced genocide? Have they ever glorified killing?

    Do not even the most “normal” of human beings understand the waste of war and the finality of death? When do you imagine that it is time to give peace and life a chance?

  39. Commenter above:

    Not only do you paint with a “broad” brush, you brush aside the humanity of millions of human beings as if it were nothing.

    This is the point that fueled my post. How often have we heard or thought "The only good ( fill in the blank ) is a dead ( fitb )."?

    For sure, the Palestinians say that of the Israelis and certainly it's true the other way back. That won't change if ever for a very long time.

    The Palis. have grievances and the Israelis certainly have the right to fear what would happen if they didn't have an effective military at hand. And that fear is grounded in reality, they hold a big bad raging wolf by the ears, and they're busy trying to hurt it as best they can. And more, they're making sure the leadership of the US hears that wolf howl and gnash its fangs.

    The Israelis have the military to keep them safe, but they do not seem to have the ability to see the world as the Palis do.

    The US has plenty of weaponry to hand out to Israel as part of the cease-fire deal and along with it heaping helpings of stupidity, as HRC seems to be helping Morsi become Mubarak 2.0.
    Diplomacy, Ground Hog Day Style.

    Hamas? Check out the video.

    ( Sorry, but algemeiner looks like a propaganda rag. JMHO, you understand )


  40. Unlike the "radical Islamists who glorify death", I guess, there are Israelis who are striving to work things out

    "liberal, anti-Zionist movie" maker


  41. This little squabble among friends, this sandbox reenactment of the Gaza/Israel dispute, illustrates a long and difficult – yet possible – way out. Let’s forget about justice (which is often vengeance disguised), and rights and wrongs. Forbearance is all that separates us for the abyss of mutual destruction. And every day the proliferation of weaponry both in terms of numbers and of killing power increases. The only way out is, as someone pointed out 20 centuries ago, is to “love our enemies.” And we may very well fail. But in a burning building, one chances on whatever escape exit one can find, however improbable.