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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Okay, now that everyone has 'checked in'...

More fun and games.  Nothing serious... just our neighbors letting us know they are still there:

Gaza: Arguably our worst-behaved neighbor at this point, but by no means our most dangerous one.  They have spent years attacking Israel with rockets, mortars and human bombs as a 'thank you' for our having left them alone.  Now we are in the process of having to kill the terrorists and their leadership while trying not to slaughter their innocent civilians in the process.  Sadly, the good and bad guys look identical when seen down the barrel of an M-16 or the bomb-sight of an F-16. 

To make matters worse, Hamas fighters are now starting to dress up in IDF uniforms in order to gain that split second advantage over our soldiers before opening fire.  According to the Geneva Convention (Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907) Art. 23: "In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden to...  (f) make improper use of ... the national flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy.

Oh heck, what's another war crime or two to the Palestinians when they've already committed so many (e.g. using civilians as human shields, deliberately targeting the civilian population of the enemy, refusing to have combatants wear easily recognizable uniforms/badges, using hospitals and medical installations as cover for combat operations, confiscating humanitarian aid and selling it on the black market, etc.).

Lebanon:  Last week they fired several rockets into the northern Israeli city of Naharia hitting an old age home.  This morning they fired a few more rockets in the direction of Kiryat Shmonah.  No report yet on damage or casualties, but the word from Lebanon is predictable; Hezbullah, Islamic Jihad (et al) and the Lebanese government are all pointing at one another while UNIFIL scratches its head over this 'troubling development'.  You have to pity the real victim here; UNIFIL.  After all, do you have any idea how much paperwork this kind of thing generates?!

Jordan:  In an echo of many previous incidents, a Jordanian soldier seems to have 'lost control' and opened fire on Israeli soldiers patrolling the Israeli side of the border between the two countries.  Each time this happens everyone nods in understanding at the frustration that must have lead to this inevitable event.  After all, these childish Arab savages are completely unable to control their basest urges. 

Oh wait, that's not what you meant?  So explain it to me again so I understand why we are supposed to tolerate this kind of attack over and over and over.

Egypt:  Perhaps the party in the region that should shoulder the most blame but which everyone seems to be treating like the elder statesman of the middle east.  Every single rocket and mortar... every single bullet and gun... every single gram of explosive, had to have arrived in Gaza via Egypt. 

We're not talking about a few ounces of 'smack' in a condom shoved up somebody's @ss here.  Military equipment of the type and volume we're talking about here had to have arrived in Egyptian ports and been unloaded under the watchful eyes of countless Egyptian officials.  Then it had to have been transported from the ports across the Sinai peninsula along one of only a few passable routes.  Then it had to have been brought to the Gaza/Egyptian border and loaded into smuggling tunnels... again, under the watchful eye of Egyptian troops and plice.   In short, there were countless places along the supply chain where Egypt could have intercepted the arms shipments... but didn't. 

Incredibly, Egypt is the country that many of the pundits (even on the Israeli side) are now saying we should (re)entrust the Gaza border crossings to if and when a cease fire is ever reached. It beggars the imagination to see people willfully ignore an enemy right in front of our face, simply because they wear suits and smile while allowing arms to reach a proxy.

Syria:  Shots were fired from Syrian positions towards Israeli troops stationed on the Golan Heights.  This attack was in close chronological proximity to the when the first missiles were fired from Lebanon into Israel last week.  Coincidence?  You must be kidding.  These seemingly isolated incidents are designed to terrorize Israel and to keep the entire population off-balance.

If you are inclined to 'poo poo' the seriousness of these attacks or downplay their impact on Israeli morale, just think back to 2002 when the 'Beltway Sniper' was able to terrorize the entire eastern seaboard of the United states into immobility with nothing more than a hunting rifle and an old Chevy Caprice.  Also, with Israel at war on one front, just how much restraint are we really expected to practice with all the other belligerents in the neighborhood?

Did I miss anyone?

Posted by David Bogner on January 14, 2009 | Permalink

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As serious as they are, the IDF can't be distracted by occasional rocket strikes or small arms fire in areas other than Gaza. The Gaza op needs to keep rolling along. IMO, they're moving too slow as it is with time running out.

Posted by: Karl Newman | Jan 14, 2009 11:59:39 AM

Karl - I think what David is getting at is that we may need to be preparing for a war on multiple fronts. And I agree with you, I don't have the patience the IDF is exhibiting - probably a good thing I'm not in charge or there would be lots more civilian casualties in my attempt to bring this war to a speedy conclusion.

David - I've been busy with mundane things like paying bills, looking for work, hemming kid's clothes, etc.; thanks for keeping me up-to-date on the latest developments.

Posted by: Tehillah | Jan 14, 2009 12:46:58 PM

"After all, these childish Arab savages are completely unable to control their basest urges."

Thank you. Though no one else has the guts to say it aloud, this is one of the world's lines of reasoning in its eternal excuse-making for Islamofascism. I for one am sick and tired of these people being held to a much lower standard of behavior than everyone else (while Israel, of course, is held to a much higher standard).

Posted by: RR | Jan 14, 2009 3:04:10 PM

I have found it so frustrating that the oh-so-well-informed-news-media has not asked a very basic question: Where did the "isolated" "impoverished" and "cut off" Gaza Strip get all these weapons to begin with? Anyone who can read a map can see that the answer is obvious: Egypt. And yet, as you noted, Egypt is considered a partner in peace. What a load of crap.

Posted by: Raizy | Jan 14, 2009 3:11:31 PM

Ha. Sing along:

הנה בא נשיא מצרים
איך שמחתי לקראתו
פירמידות בעיניים
ושלום במקטרתו
ואמרנו בוא נשלימה
ונחיה כמו אחים
ואז הוא אמר קדימה,
רק תצאו מהשטחים.

ויהיה טוב...

Posted by: a. | Jan 14, 2009 3:50:58 PM

WADR, yeah, you forgot someone. That's the jerk sitting in the Prime Minister's office who somehow managed to stay in power months after he resigned, without whom all of this wouldn't have been necessary in the first place.

And I know it's bad form to criticize a nation's leaders during wartime. But for the people of Sderot, the cavalry charge was three years too late. And when the dust clears (and the polls open), we'd best remember that.

Posted by: psachya | Jan 14, 2009 4:27:00 PM

I like psachya's style.

Posted by: Rachel | Jan 14, 2009 7:00:43 PM

Not exactly a neighbor, but near enough to nuke you: Iran. (Probably supplying a nice chunk of the weaponry & ammo, too.)

Posted by: Shira Salamone | Jan 14, 2009 8:19:52 PM

Uhm, yeah, well you missed a big one: Iran. Not a direct neighbor, perhaps, but close enough to be very, very dangerous.

Posted by: Baila | Jan 14, 2009 9:01:30 PM

Damn, Shira said already: Iran!

Posted by: Ezzie | Jan 14, 2009 9:04:31 PM

Not exactly a neighbor, but near enough to nuke you: Iran. (Probably supplying a nice chunk of the weaponry & ammo, too.)

Posted by: Shira Salamone | Jan 14, 2009 9:35:05 PM

Oops, sorry about the double post.

Posted by: Shira Salamone | Jan 14, 2009 9:37:11 PM

Tehillah,

David's comments about the seriousness of those attacks is correct, of course. However, according to news reports, the IDF doesn't believe that the attack from Syria involved the Syrian Army and as for the one from Jordan, I seriously doubt the Jordanian government is behind that. In both cases, it was probably a rogue gunman who did the deed. The rockets from Lebanon....that's a different story. That's Hizbullah, there's no one else there who could or would do that. The rockets shot from Lebanon are what is known in military circles as 'harassing fire' and are intended to destroy morale. David pointed out the morale angle in his last paragraph. I agree.

I just don't want to see the IDF become distracted by harassing fire (unlikely) or the Israeli government do so (possible). The IDF has Hamas by the throat, this is too good of an opportunity to finish them off.

Posted by: Karl Newman | Jan 14, 2009 9:52:13 PM

a few ounces of 'smack' in a condom shoved up somebody's @ss
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
... and this on a "family-safe" blog.


Posted by: Ben-David | Jan 15, 2009 10:27:44 PM

Ben-David: I don't think Trep was recommending that particular vocation? No? ;o/

Trep: miss anyone? Well, yeah -- the inexplicably Jewish favorite newsrag, the NYT. ... Reuters... the BBC. True; they aren't armed, but only because they lack the guts and moral backbone to arm themselves. I would assign them to "Egyptian" level status. Too bad they don't rise to the level of "Bolivian" status, in terms of relevancy, but too many people still pay too much attention to them.

;o/ Thanks as always for keeping the news and opinions flowing.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jan 16, 2009 1:59:07 AM

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