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Friday, March 26, 2004

A question of intensity

[warning…boring political commentary at the beginning, and a nice picture at the end...your call]

I apologize for going out for a few days and not leaving a note…this has to be the longest I’ve ever gone without posting. Let’s just say that this has been a very long and full week.

The week began with the news that the Israeli Army had finally punched the clock of one of the truly bad people in the world. While I won’t be losing any sleep over one less terrorist in the world, his death means the security alert status of the country will be on its highest possible level…and as a result everything will move excruciatingly slowly.

As I followed the news Monday morning, I was puzzled by the way the western wire services were downplaying (i.e. not mentioning) the fact that Yassin was a terrorist. A perfect example can be found in this Reuters quote:

“Prime Minister Ariel Sharon personally ordered and monitored the helicopter attack against the paralyzed cleric, whose wheelchair lay smashed in a pool of blood after three missiles exploded.”
Hmmm…While there is technically no inaccurate information in that statement…they make it sound like Sharon ordered a hit on somebody’s grandmother, doesn’t it?! It’s what they don’t say that is important. No mention of him being a terrorist…no indication of the civilian blood on his hands…and no mention of the stated goals of the organization he founded and lead. Just a human interest story about a crippled holy man who was blasted out of his wheelchair by a big mean Israeli helicopter gunship.

[I apologize…I feel this ramping up to a good rant, and I’m just gonna go with it]

I’m sorry…If you are the head of a terrorist organization, being old, or having a basket-full-of disabilities doesn’t give you special privileges. Time’s up.

Unfortunately, must of the world doesn’t share my opinion on the subject, and – true-to-form, the U.N. dutifully served up a stirring condemnation.

Ironically, I spent the remainder of my workweek in Tel Aviv attending a conference on Low Intensity Conflict Warfare. The conference was hosted by the Israel Defense Forces, and was by invitation only. The irony is that most of the countries that condemned Israel at the U.N., sent Military officers and attaches to the conference to study the lessons that Israel has learned from very painful experience. The world may want to pretend that if they just make nice with the terrorists, then the terrorists will leave them alone…but they sure as heck want to learn what to do when that knock comes on the door!

Anyhoo…The conference was full of all kinds of war toys and neato-keen electronic devices designed to help fight on today’s battlefield. ‘Low Intensity Conflict’ as a name doesn’t really do it for me…it seems like such a hopeless term, conjuring images of a pot left to simmer indefinitely. I prefer the term ‘Asymmetrical Warfare’. This term clearly states that there are open hostilities, and it makes it clear (without prejudice) that one side is much larger than the other.

When a few well-organized people can hold an entire country hostage…that’s Asymmetrical Warfare.

When the ‘beltway snipers’ were picking off motorists and pedestrians like tin cans at a carnival…two or three states came to a grinding halt. Two men and a hunting rifle disrupted the lives of millions of people.

That’s Asymmetrical Warfare.

Now multiply that by the number of members found in Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaida, Fatah, etc., and instead of the eastern seaboard…you have the entire western world with a big old target painted on its collective back. Hopefully ou get the idea.

Ok…end of rant.

And just so you don’t think I was working too hard at the conference this week, here’s a picture showing two of the Israel Defense Force’s finest Tank crew members in front of the Merkava IV Main Battle Tank (oh yeah, that's me there between them):
118_1816.JPG


Posted by David Bogner on March 26, 2004 | Permalink

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Despite the media...even I (political moron that I am) understood the need to blast the old guy off his wheels. It was a daring (might I say scary) move, that I personally would not have taken. - Not because I felt it was wrong...only because I am a chicken. Which is why I choose not to rule a country, or join the military, or climb ladders. -
I thought of you and your family when I heard this news and digested the breadth of its intentions.
Be safe.

Posted by: lisa | Mar 26, 2004 2:49:20 PM

The only political moron is someone who continues to do the same thing yet expects different results.

Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by: David | Mar 26, 2004 5:05:15 PM

In respoonse to a couple of inquiries:

1. Yes those are real soldiers. At age 18 women are required to do 2 years of national service (army or some other form of public service) and the men do 3 years of Army service.

2. No, they are not 'booth babes' like one might see at civilian trade shows...see #1 above.

3. The blonde to my right is a Sgt. (her strips are rolled up in her sleeve) and the brunette is a Cpl.

4. Yes, they could both probably kick my ass if they wanted to. :-)

Any other questions out there?

Posted by: David | Mar 26, 2004 5:12:09 PM

Your post is someone in line with the one I made about Osama. A wheelchair does not make the founder of Hamas a helpless figure. God damn reporters will use whatever levers they can to evoke a response from viewers. I don't watch the network news precisely because it is a very credible-looking pile of spin.

You must be a very patient and nice fellow. When you "Rant" you still sound quite reasonable and cool headed. :D

-Jim

Posted by: Jim | Mar 27, 2004 1:49:11 AM

You would pick the all feamle crew.

Posted by: dave | Mar 29, 2004 5:48:18 AM

First of all...to Jim:

The written word doesn't give you any idea of how red-in-the-face angry I get over the world-at-large just not getting it. The seemingly willful disregard of the facts on the ground defies all logic! But this is a family show, so I have to try and maintain some decorum. :-)

****************

And to David:

I didn't choose the crew, fate chose me.

It turned out that the taller of the two soldiers(the one on my left) serves in the same unit as the daughter of a family in our community. In this case, a quick game of 'Jewish Geography' turned into a guided tour of the tank (and of course the photo-op).

Posted by: David | Mar 29, 2004 8:41:10 AM

Just like the the pics we all took at gigs here in the states :-)

Posted by: Shmiel | Mar 30, 2004 3:19:19 AM

Shmiel...maybe things looked like that over by you in the string section, but I never saw anything like that in the horn section!

Posted by: David | Mar 30, 2004 9:14:36 AM

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