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Monday, January 12, 2009

Something has to be done... but stop doing that!

I'm confused.  When it comes to what can't be done to combat non-state actors like terrorist organizations and militias, everyone seems to be full of advice for Israel.  But nobody seems to be offering up much in the way of what can be done.

Let's assume for the sake of this discussion that diplomacy has either been exhausted, or is being used cynically by the enemy in parallel with actual physical attacks on a country's sovereignty and civilian population.

Let's also stipulate the following:

  1. The enemy is not a signatory to the Geneva (or any other conventions) of conduct in warfare.

  2. The enemy does not have formal armed forces that differentiate themselves from their civilian population by wearing uniforms, rank, insignia, etc.

  3. The enemy has created their entire military infrastructure (weapons storage and manufacturing plants, training areas, launching grounds, smuggling tunnels and Command & Control installations, etc.) in and around their civilian population.

  4. The enemy has stated quite unequivocally (in their founding charter, and in countless subsequent public statements) that their entire reason for existence is to bring about the violent overthrow / destruction of your country.

  5. The enemy has diverted the overwhelming majority of the foreign aid it has received into its terror infrastructure, and has pointedly made no attempts to create an educational, economic, medical or physical infrastructure for the future state it claims to want to establish [on the ruins of your country].

  6. The enemy has been launching mortars, missiles and human bombs at your country for a period of years, with varying degrees of physical and pyschological success.

We've heard enough of what can't be done from the media, the pundits and the cheerleaders for Israel's enemies.  Now I'm honestly asking what can be done?

Seriously, at what point do we stop having to give an automatic victory to non-state actors just because they refuse to adopt the quaint, outdated conventions of 'civilized' behavior with which we state-actors have unilaterally shackled ourselves?

Posted by David Bogner on January 12, 2009 | Permalink


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What should be done?

1. Israel should stop the Gaza war.

(in fact this is a complicate thing now)

2. Israel should bomb Al Aqsa TV. Every time. Without compromise.
3. Israel should stop restrictions against the international press corps.
4. Israel, USA, Europe and the UN should work together to establish a new political structure in Gaza.

Its time for something totally different.

Posted by: John Dean | Jan 12, 2009 3:14:47 PM

"The enemy has diverted the overwhelming majority of the foreign aid it has received into its terror infrastructure"

This is a lie.

Posted by: John Dean | Jan 12, 2009 3:16:17 PM

The irony of this is that originally, Hamas gained the trust of the Palestinian people precisely because it delivered the humanitarian support Fatah was incapable of or unwilling to deliver.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Jan 12, 2009 3:16:21 PM

John Dean (to your first comment)... # 2 and #3 seem to be a tad at odds with one another, in case you hadn't noticed. As to your overall list, will any of your suggestions stop the behavior I have described in this post? Can you prove it? And please don't say to 'give it a try', because Israel has tried everything short of jumping into the Mediterranean to try to get a moment's peace. So maybe it's time for the other guys to try something new for a change, no?

John Dean (to your second comment)... Ok, then if (as has been carefully documented by several reliable sources) the Palestinians have received more aid per capita than the Europeans did under the post WWII Marshall Plan, why is it that Europe was rebuilt, but all the Palestinians have to show for all that money is an incredible stock of weapons... and this mornings humanitarian aid shipment?

Jordan Hirsch... I double dog dare you to show me one reliable poll that supports that old wives tale. At the time of the elections there were plenty of pundits who said that Hamas' landslide victory was because the Palestinians were so sick of Fatah's corruption. But no data was ever produced to support that theory. It could just as easily have been that Hamas was much more straightforward about their plans to defeat Israel and create a Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean sea. I believe it was the later but I don't have reliable date either. All I ask is that you refrain from citing facts not in evidence (I know... too much 'Law & Order' watching lately).

Posted by: David Bogner | Jan 12, 2009 3:30:52 PM

Jordan Hirsch... Oh and one more thing: The Nazis were swept into power because the German people were sick of the defeatist attitudes of the Weimer Republic and had lost faith in the idea of a liberal democracy. By comparison, the Nazi Party offered renewed national pride and a vastly improved economic outlook. Although it certainly wasn't the kleptocracy that Fatah was during its rule, the Weimer Republic eventually fell because it had some of the most serious economic problems ever experienced by a country (with the possible exception of modern day Zimbabwe). But in retrospect, the reasons for their failure and the subsequent success of the Nazis was pretty much irrelevant to Europe... and the Jews.

Posted by: David Bogner | Jan 12, 2009 3:37:36 PM

Understand their is no compromise, Hamas sees compromise as a weakness.
Hamas is a Jew-killing machine and believes that shedding their own blood is a service to their god.
Israel has an obligation to protect themselves. Since Israel is not sure whether Obama is going to be another terrorist hugging Jimm Carter it must buy itself time and peace before they are devoured by the so called, "peace process."
Israel must remember that you prove much of the world theology (leftist ideology)wrong, that a suffering people can lift itself up by its own boot straps and succeed, how dare you!
You need to remember that you remind Europe of its own embarrassments so they must make you the new Nazis so they can feel better about themselves.
There are many more reasons but Israel must no loose faith, or belief in themselves and sometimes you must look the world in the face and boldly tell them they are wrong and go about doing what is right. History, once again, will speak the righteousness of Israeli's and show the that the world was delusional, driven by a multicultural sickness that infected the world media and a homicidal religious movement that in the end needed will need to be destroyed from within.
Be strong, the forces of good rely in you.

Posted by: Beth | Jan 12, 2009 3:52:24 PM

The "best" thing I keep hearing from Pali hardliners these days is "Gaza is the new Holocaust". The best thing about it? It usually comes out of the mouths of those who on countless other occasions LOVE to underline that the Holocaust has never happened and is an invention by Jews to attract attention and pity.

Accountability. Sanity. Advice.
Haha. Excuse me.

Posted by: a. | Jan 12, 2009 4:32:38 PM

John Dean,

1) Israel should stop the Gaza war.

Nope. Israel needs to do what the US did in Fallujah and Najaf and clean out Gaza, including Gaza City. That is the only way to put an end to the terrorism. Anything less will mean that the IDF will have to go in again in a few years. Finishing the job now will save lives in the long run.

2) Israel should bomb Al Aqsa TV. Every time. Without compromise.

David has it right. A good suggestion, but you're contradicting yourself.

3) Israel should stop restrictions against the international press corps.

Let's call that what it is. You want Israel to allow the media into Gaza so they can generate propaganda for the Palestinians. Most of the western media is in bed with terrorists. The only advantage Israel would gain from this would be to place more of their mortal enemies in the line of fire so they can take them out.

4) Israel, USA, Europe and the UN should work together to establish a new political structure in Gaza.

Naive. You can't make agreements with people who have no intention of ever honoring those agreements. Israel, the US, the UN and others have tried that for decades, with nothing to show for it except for more dead Israelis. The only way to build a new political structure in Gaza is to kill the old one.

Posted by: Karl Newman | Jan 12, 2009 4:39:38 PM

David -
Forgive me, but I'm going to bring you back to your clubdate musician days.

As a musician and sometime bandleader, how many times have you or I heard versions of the following: "You can't park your car there!" "You can't bring your equipment in this way!" "You can't stow your cases there!" or (my favorite): "Hold on! Where do you think you're going?!"

Generally, I will put on my sweetest smile and reply, "OK. You just told me what I *shouldn't* be doing. Now tell me what I *should* be doing."

If the guy has a viable suggestion, even if an unpleasant one (i.e., go through the kitchen past the garbage dump), then I can at least deal with him. If, however (as sometimes happens) he comes back with something like "What do you think?!!" or "Figure it out yourself, genius!", then I know that the guy is a bozo who can be safely ignored.

IMHO, most of the media naysayers you described in your post fall into the bozo category. Israel should just do what they must, and what is in their best self-interest. When they try to satisfy the bozos is when they get into trouble.

Posted by: psachya | Jan 12, 2009 4:46:14 PM

You know, it's hell if you do and hell if you don't. Under the circumstances, to hell with them all. Israel has to do what is in its own best interest. I see no other contry, the US included, stepping up to the plate to protest the bias and to set the record straight.

Im ain ani li, me li?

Posted by: Allan | Jan 12, 2009 7:02:15 PM

OK, David - so what do YOU suggest?

30 years of "peace" making have
(1) solidified the artificial Palestinian identity, and
(2) returned the clock and map to pre-67 "Aushwitz borders" - but with a legitimized Fedayeen wielding a new generation of weaponry

1967 was fought for a reason. All those reasons are still extent - if anything, they've deepened.

Nobody would have said boo if Israel and ethnically cleansed the territories captured in 1967 - the "Palestinian people" not having been invented yet. Even the Geneva conventions allow displacement of an intractably hostile population (which is what we now have, in Gaza at least - especially if you look at the younger "jihad generation").

So - would you be willing to take the flak that will inevitably result from a decisive solution to the problem - AKA "transfer of populations"?

It's been quite heartening to see you move further to the right, and recognize the unreality of old galut "liberal" apologetics.

So: if it is now clear that the Palis (and most Arabs) still view this as an us-or-them situation - are you willing to choose "us" and do the necessary ethnic cleansing?

Posted by: Ben-David | Jan 12, 2009 7:53:56 PM

Ah, Psachya, you brought back a memory. The time I was headed out the FRONT door at Tavern on the Green (in total violation of protocol) because I was the last one to leave (with the leader, who I will leave anonymous)and we'd both had it with having to deal with the garbage in the back and there were horses (and their aroma)and buggies waiting in the front. My anonymous leader quipped "Look at this. WE have to use the back. The stinkin' horses get to sit in the front".
But I digress. I agree with John. We need to end the war in Gaza. We need to give them the same 24 hours that Moshe Dayan gave the arabs that were living in squalor in what is now the Kotel plaza to leave (and guess what. They didn't call the UN. They were SCARED of the IDF and they high tailed it out of there. Ah, the good old days) and then turn Gaza into the world's largest parking lot. If they want to ignore IDF warnings and go up on their roofs to taunt the IAF, gei gezunterheit. But 1,000 of them isn't worth one of our precious boys lives. Enough already. They've had plenty of time and opportunity to live in this century and develop a civilization for their people and they've chosen the opposite. How can we sing "liyot am chofshi b'artzeinu" when high schoolers are having class in bomb shelters and toddlers are being treated for extreme shock?

Posted by: Marsha in Englewood | Jan 12, 2009 8:10:00 PM

hmm... no answers to the question. I'll give it a go:

(a) You are allowed to ask the UN to establish a peace-keeping force to intervene. This allows the UN to get in on the graft and bribery and kickbacks. Chance of world** approval (CWA): 94+%.

(b) Turn weapons depots into s'mores factories. CWA: 67+% (somewhat militaristic, but who doesn't like s'mores?)

(c) Rename "Israel" to "Palestine" and see if anyone notices. CWA (97+%)

(d) Adopt-a-terrorist. CWA (90+%)

(e) Repent, disavow the G- of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and strive to become a sort-of secularized New York City, but without the Yankees. CWA (99+%)

(f) Put settlements on giant, wheeled platforms, and keep moving them around to confound enemy missile-launchers. CWA (12+%)

(g) Drop all weapons, food and technology where you stand and run straight into the Mediterranean Sea. CWA (99+%)

Hope this helps. ;o/

** the CWA figures do not, naturally, include any countries of Islamic or other governance who are clearly intent on wiping Israel off of the map. These countries may include, but are not limited to, Somalia, The Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, BackPackistan, Chechnya, Libya, Egypt, The Sudan, Malaysia, Lebanon, Al-Anon, Russia and England.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jan 13, 2009 2:03:43 AM

I like that. BackPackistan. Good one!

Posted by: Marsha, freezing in Englewood | Jan 13, 2009 3:35:03 AM

Maybe they think that the Israelis in Sderot, Ashdod, etc., should just make their own rockets and lob them over the border at Gaza...

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Jan 13, 2009 6:17:28 AM

Other suggestions these are not great but may be a start.

1) allow citizens to fire back missiles at gaza similar to kassam. This would require a method to ensure that only one group fires back. (an eye for an eye and no more) however, it will require payment for any accidental deaths of civilians. This will work in that most likely the missiles fired back will hit people and get the people of gaza really mad especially when they know that israel will not fire unless fired upon (and that people will be prosecuted if they fire without getting the authorization).
2) restrict the military to using weapons only like that which hamas uses aka: machine gun, gaza missile (but would be a bit more accurate in that it would probably be fired from helicopter/plane), tank primary, and RPG
3) really work on the Schwartz/PR (public Relations). Israeli's PR just SUCKS royally.
4) Get top quality reporting about what is happening inside of gaza. Gaza, hezbollahland, and Iran seem to be based on the same methods of controlling the population which appears to be pretty oppressive but there is almost NO news about this oppressiveness in the western media. This really goes back to item 3.

Posted by: crazyman in nyc | Jan 13, 2009 6:26:33 AM

Marsha: in the interest of partial full disclosure, I note for you that "BackPackistan" entered my lexicon through an odd little show -- very odd -- called "Extreme Elimination." This was an already strange Japanese gameshow overdubbed with exceedingly eccentric English dialogue that had nothing really to do with the original show. Kind of like Jay Ward's old "Fractured Flickers" show many years ago, only not as restrained.

I can't recommend the show, really, to anyone with refined taste, but the throw-away country "BackPackistan" has stuck with me all this time.


Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jan 13, 2009 6:52:39 AM

drat. i don't think i studied enough for this test. wait a sec...is this one of those trick questions that have no answers???
sometimes, from this far away vantage point, it seems like there really is no answer, at least not one that is viable for Israel.

Posted by: Debbie | Jan 13, 2009 7:28:54 AM

You are correct when you say that everyone seems to be full of advice for Israel. The advise I have is for everyone that loves freedom and want to ultimately live in peace.
Israel has proven that the islamic religion cannot be reasoned with or appeased. And how can it be when its goals are the opposite of our own? No matter how much aid, no matter how much land, no matter how many opportunities, they are still the same murderous, unreasonable people unwilling to live and let live.
Since this is the case, all democratic countries need to run the muslims out. They cannot live in peace and we cannot live with constant strife.
Many try and separate the ‘bad’ from the ‘good’, the ‘bad’ Hamas, the good’ Fatah, the ‘bad’ Hamas, the ‘good' palestinians. They all worship the same god that tells them to kill the infidel. The moderates are considered the ‘good’ muslims, yet they all admit they are waiting for the caliph. And what is he going to do? Unite all muslims to take over the world. Does this make the ‘moderates’ that are waiting for him ‘good’?
It has been proven that in any country, if the muslims become more than 10% of the population, they became a problem. They reject the law of the land and try to establish their own no matter what county they are in.
It is ridiculous that Israel had been boxed into a corner where it is fighting a war with one hand behind their back and one eye closed. They try and separate the Hamas from the ‘civilians’. It is Islam that is the root of the problem and they are all Islamists. They raise their child to be terrorists, yet Israel thinks it should protect those children until they are old enough to shot a gun. Then it is okay to kill them. This ass backwards way of thinking has got to stop.
All muslims need to be called out for the enemy they are and removed. They call themselves the enemy of the West and Israel. They burn our flags and fight us at every turn. It is time we believed them and took action.
Israel has said it does not want to retake Gaza. What horse pucky. It has been proven they will not live in peace. How much more proof is needed? What islamic government should replace the Hamas? The Fatah? The Hezbollah? The Islamic Brotherhood? None of these will live in peace either.
It is time for them to leave and live with their own kind. Nothing else will work.
Some charge that it is easy for people like me to spout such harsh rhetoric. But I have watched other countries bend over backwards for decades trying everything to appease the unappeasable. It is not just Israel that has failed. All of us have failed. It is time to face the grim reality. And the grim reality is that it is us or them. So out they must go!

Posted by: Sarah Phillips, American | Jan 13, 2009 8:23:12 AM

@ David Bogner

"why is it that Europe was rebuilt, (...)"

It is an interesting question to disuss, but i am sorry that i and maybe others are missing time to make a good answer. To make it short: In Europe there was an mental infrastructure and there was a economic infrastructure, too.

"As to your overall list, will any of your suggestions stop the behavior"

There is a long street to go. I can't prove my opinion but i can prove in three months that the Gaza war helped Hamas. If you ask me usually it is impossible to prove political opinions.

Sorry. Even if i can prove that you lie sometimes, David, and if i can prove that some of your political ideas are wrong i can't prove that my political opinions are right. There is no prove. And there is no way to get a prove for fundamental political believes. Its more like a bet. Sorry. Politics is no science. Good politics is a bit like art and a lot of compromise management.

"But no data was ever produced to support that theory."

Oh, there is a lot of data. There is a good palestenian research center with a lot of reliable data. PTNSC (or something like that). In fact there are some more factors to explain the Hamas victory in Gaza.

The next - ugly - thing will be the next victory of Hamas...

The data will say: Hamas now gets a lot of political help by the Gaza war. A lot. It can't be said oftenly enough: A lot. I am absolutely sure Hamas praise g'd for this war.

@ David Bogner

#3 Could be me, too.

(I approve the message in #3.)

To be more precise the "lie" lies in the words "overwhelming majority of the foreign aid".

These six words are untrue propaganda speech. The German word of our people for that is: ekelhaft. I am sorry to have said that. I am sure you are a good guy, David.

Contradicting? I would say i have a very different focus. The infrastructure - especially the *political* infrastructure and the *media* infrastructure in Gaza should be the main focus.

Terrorism is a really complicate thing.

(Okay - thats only my opinion. Most of the people who have a lot more intellect than i say they just prefer MORE military action against "fighters" and they generally prefer bombs and killings. It is very hard for me not to tell them warmongering or silly.)

The international press is an "enemy" for Israel (David Bogner says...) and i really don't believe this. CNN, NTV, MSNBC, ARD, Al Dschasira are NOT enemies against Israel. Al Aqsa TV really IS an enemy.

It would be a good idea, even for Israel, to help the people in Gaza that Hamas gets less attractive and to help Hamas to get a bit civilized.

Its possible - maybe this is ugly: There is no alternative. Three months after the Gaza war Hamas will be stronger than ever. I say there is no alternative to walk on the political street.

(Likud etc will say in three months that Israel needs more military power and aggressiveness. With other words: They don't have a clue.)

"The Nazis were swept into power because the German people were sick of the defeatist attitudes of the Weimer Republic (...)"

This is only a part of the complete answer i would say. The Nazis got a lot of help from right wing structures in the Weimer Republic. For example the law in Weimar was completely blind against the poitical right. The Nazis got a lot of financial help. The Nazis got a lot of political help - for example Büning was an idiot (today we could say he was a perfect neoliberal politician). The Nazis even got help by the communists in the Weimar state. There are a lot of more things to say. National pride was a factor and another factor was that Hitler got 1931/1932/1933 an image as a "problem solver". Thats very ironic. Something like a very ugly Treppenwitz.

David, G~d should help you to improve your live. Maybe a less political live - but i don't know. Bye, David.

@ Ben-David

"Nobody would have said boo if Israel and ethnically cleansed the territories captured in 1967 (...)"

I see you are a hate speech specialist.

Posted by: John Dean | Jan 13, 2009 12:06:42 PM

*sniff* ... do I smell Godwin's Law?

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jan 13, 2009 4:36:45 PM

Wry Mouth... Why yes. I believe you do. Just as well. I was tired of being called a liar on my own blog by the persistant but misguided gentleman from Germany. What our German friend fails to grasp is that the Hamas and Fatah leadership are part of the terrorist infrastructure. The moment they divert aid money into their swiss bank accounts and use pilfered aid money to pay off their armed (illegal) militias... what I have described has taken place. But honestly, this is self evident except to someone who wants to do creative accounting in favor of the terrorists. Thread over

Posted by: David Bogner | Jan 13, 2009 4:49:43 PM

You made a lie.

Posted by: John Dean | Jan 14, 2009 1:37:29 PM

John Dean ... Actually I think what you were trying to say was "You told a lie". But I have far greater trouble with your grasp of reality than your tenuous grasp of the English language. To begin with let's review what you are calling a lie:

"The enemy has diverted the overwhelming majority of the foreign aid it has received into its terror infrastructure"

OK, so if this isn't true, where exactly did the money go? The sad story that you and I both know to be true is that the overwhelming majority of the aid delivered to the Palestinian people has been diverted to the pockets of the terror leaders and to their 'militias'. I count both of these as 'terror infrastructure'. I find it funny that while even the people who donated the the money can't get an honest accounting of where it really went, you feel so sure it built roads, hospitals, schools and electric generators. Please show me where exactly these things are on a map??? Do me a favor. Stop shilling for murderers and educate yourself. The only lies being told here are coming from you.

Posted by: David Bogner | Jan 14, 2009 1:50:30 PM

"Gaza is the new Holocaust"

Hamas is not an ethnic group. And even if it was, one thousand is not a holocaust.

One thousand is not even one percent of the population of Gaza.

What Hafez Assad did to Hama might more rightly be likened to a holocaust. What Egyptian forces did in Yemen likewise. What the Islamists did in Algeria certainly looks holocaustic - but probably not to the Europeans, whose blinkered view of massacres sometimes seems to be that if the non-whites do it to themselves it doesn't count for much. Which explains their lack of passion about Cambodia, Rwanda, Congo, Darfur, and several other non-white conflicts.

Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Jan 15, 2009 12:38:31 AM

""Gaza is the new Holocaust"

Hamas is not an ethnic group. And even if it was, one thousand is not a holocaust.

One thousand is not even one percent of the population of Gaza.

What Hafez Assad did to Hama might more rightly be likened to a holocaust. What Egyptian forces did in Yemen likewise. What the Islamists did in Algeria certainly looks holocaustic - but probably not to the Europeans, whose blinkered view of massacres sometimes seems to be that if the non-whites do it to themselves it doesn't count for much. Which explains their lack of passion about Cambodia, Rwanda, Congo, Darfur, and several other non-white conflicts."

... and your actual point is?

Posted by: a. | Jan 15, 2009 1:27:33 AM

Actually, the more pertinent comparision between Hamas and the Nazis is that neither were actually majority parties when they came to power. There is a cautionary tale there but I am too tired to figure it out.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Jan 15, 2009 8:01:33 AM

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