Sunday, December 28, 2008
Et Tu Israel?
The current Israeli air campaign against Hamas appears eerily reminiscent of their failed 2006 campaign against Hezbollah. One would hope that the Israels would understand the Arab mindset best of all, after fighting five wars and a constant insurgency for the last 60 years.
Although western air power is a wonderful thing and can do a lot of urban renewal, how can you really tell in the slums of Gaza city?
More importantly, as long as one Hamas fighter or leader is left standing when world opinion finally makes Israel stop the attacks, Hamas will claim victory by enduring the Israeli airstrikes and still claiming to be alive- i.e. as long as they aren't annihilated, they win.
Therefore, the answer is obvious, although not a pleasant one to face. Israeli ground forces must go into the Gaza strip and kill or capture every member of Hamas they find until they sue for a return of the cease fire. It will be ugly, the Israelis may take a lot of casualties, Al Jazera and the American left will scream "War Crimes" and "Israeli Genocide". But who cares? They will scream that anyway. The only way to bring back some semblance of the cease fire is bullets and tank shells. Sadly enough, you can't defeat an insurgency with airpower, no matter how much the pilots will tell you otherwise. The lessons of 2006 appear to have been filed away again and Israel will not be safer. The Iranians are already up to their usual tricks, and how long will it be before their lackeys in Lebanon, Hezbollah, open up a second front on Israel? Can Israel stand up to Hezbollah's arsenal which will likely dwarf whatever rockets and mortars Hamas has? What will Israel do when faced with two potential ground wars? Or, in the nightmare scenario, what happens when, unfortunately, this process repeats itself after the Iranians get the bomb?
Looks like Obambi's new National Security team will have their work cut out for them.....I hope they are ready.