How Israel is making progress
Israel has already demonstrated that it has learned the principal lessons from the war with Hezbollah. It did not wait too long to begin the ground campaign. It resisted the lure of a premature cease-fire, engineered by others. It did not promise ambitious goals at the war's outset only to walk away from them amid military and diplomatic complications.
On the contrary, the stated goal of a "quiet" border with Gaza has the dual advantage of suggesting a degree of restraint while allowing Jerusalem to preserve its options as the battle unfolds. "Quiet" does not require the destruction of Hamas. But neither does it exclude it.
In other words, instead of being forced publicly to ratchet its aims downward, as it did in Lebanon, Jerusalem can now ratchet them upward, putting Hamas off-balance and perhaps tempting it to cut its losses by accepting a cease-fire on terms acceptable to Israel. Doing so would not quite amount to a defeat for Hamas. But it would be an unambiguous humiliation for a group whose greatest danger lies in its pretension of invincibility. Burst balloons aren't easily reinflated.
It is precisely for this reason that Hamas will likely fight on, in the hopes that Israel will flinch. Critics of military action point to this damned-if-Israel-does, damned-if-it-doesn't scenario as evidence of the folly of the war.
Yet by no means is it obvious that the Israeli army needs to walk directly into a Gaza City G”tterd„mmerung in order to achieve its military aims. Hamas has been able to arm itself with increasingly sophisticated rockets thanks to a vast network of tunnels running below its border with Egypt. Israel found it difficult to destroy that network prior to its withdrawal from Gaza and will not easily do so now. But by bisecting the Strip, as it has now done, it will have no trouble preventing these rockets from moving north to their usual staging ground, thereby achieving a critical war aim without giving Hamas easy opportunities to hit back.
Israel also has much to gain by avoiding a frontal assault on Gaza's urban areas in favor of the snatch-and-grab operations that have effectively suppressed Hamas's terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank. A long-term policy aimed squarely at killing or capturing Hamas's leaders, destroying arms caches and rocket factories, and cutting off supply and escape routes will not by itself destroy the group. But it can drive it out of government and cripple its ability to function as a fighting force. And this, in turn, could mean the return of Fatah, the closest thing Gaza has to a "legitimate" government.
All this will be said to amount to another occupation, never mind that there are no settlers in this picture, and never mind, too, that Israel was widely denounced for carrying out an "effective occupation" of the Strip after it imposed an economic blockade on Hamas. (By this logic, the U.S. is currently "occupying" Cuba.) If Israel is going to achieve a strategic victory in this war, it will have to stand firm against this global wave of hypocrisy and cant.
Israel will also have to practice a more consistent policy of deterrence than it has so far done. One option: For every single rocket that falls randomly on Israeli soil, an Israeli missile will hit a carefully selected target in Gaza. Focusing the minds of Hamas on this type of "proportionality" is just the endgame that Israel needs.
Stop This Vicious Slaughter! England Must Stop Waging War On The Nazis!
Dateline: January 3rd 1944
Fury continues to mount worldwide about the senseless loss of civilian life in Germany caused by England's callous bombing of German cities including Berlin, Hamburg and Dresden. As of today many innocent German women and children have died in these utterly brutal bombing missions. And now there are ground offensives starting on mainland Europe.
The English have claimed that they are merely retaliating against the V-1 flying bombs being launched indiscriminately by Nazis at their civilian population in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Coventry and other cities. The English point out that their enemy is sworn to its utter destruction and has used the missiles and flying bombs against its civilians without any regard to English loss of life. Moreover it makes the case that their own bombing missions are specifically directed to military targets that the German army has intentionally planted in the heart of civilian populations to try and deter English counter-attacks.
These points may of course be true - but they are utterly besides the point. Of course England has a right to exist. Of course England has a right to defend itself. But it should ensure that its responses are PROPORTIONATE. Since many more Germans are dying than English - the English should either tone down the success and accuracy of their bombing - or allow the Germans to catch up on the death count. To be honest - if more English women and children were dying - we wouldn't feel quite so bad about the number of Germans dying. But it's just so UNFAIR that more Germans are dying...
Perhaps some English people could arrange to kill themselves to match the number of Germans dying as a result of the English retaliation bombing? It would be so considerate - and it might help England's critics feel less miserable about the number of Nazis dying. Something that is causing them so much concern. It would also put paid to that wretched proportionality argument.
Alternatively, perhaps the English could arrange to be less effective in their bombing? Or only bomb military targets that are nowhere near civilians - even though the vast majority of the V-1 rockets are intentionally being launched from the heart of civilian population centers.
Now the English will argue that the Germans have INTENTIONALLY positioned all their launch pads for the V-1 rockets in the middle of civilian populations to inhibit the English from bombing those launch sites. Well - tough noogies to the Brits! Sorry - but if the Germans are smarter or more skillful at cynically using their civilians as human shields than you - tough luck!
You can't have it both ways. If you truly wish to save your nation from being annihilated by Nazi missiles you'd better stop looking to win a popularity contest. The Nazis are waging this war to win and to utterly destroy England. If all you Brits care about is popularity - then you may as well resign yourself to speaking German...
It's about time that little nations who wish to defend themselves wised up to their responsibilities. Otherwise the same stupid complaints will be made at some point in the 21st Century when some little nation finds itself under constant attack from rockets fired at its civilian population by a terrorizing enemy that has sworn to destroy it....
Obama's stimulus plan heading for trouble before it even starts: By completely misunderstanding economic history Obama has come to believe that state spending is the road to prosperity - never mind the lessons of history, especially the embarrassing fact that this policy failed Roosevelt and also recently failed in Japan. And yet this 'brilliant man' and a leader of the 'reality-based community' genuinely believes otherwise
Economic commentators still clueless about the recession: Manufacturing is drowning and the economic punditry blame consumption. The real problem is the manipulation of interest rates by the central banks and how this affects the production structure and relative prices. It is the manipulation of interest - and this alone - that is at the root of the business cycle
Even now the outgoing US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson cannot get it right : Hank Paulson is a depressing reminder of how deeply rooted many economic fallacies are. According to him the fault for the financial crisis does not lie with domestic monetary policy but with those lousy Chinese who insist on saving instead of whooping it up on over-extended credit cards. That the fed's criminal monetary policy had something to do with never occurred to this genius
Government spending makes recessions worse : Laissez-faire economic ideas are currently out of favor but the fact remains that the Krugman and Keynesian policies of bailouts, deficit financing, and public works have never really worked. They didn't work in the U.S. in the 1930's; they didn't work in the 1990's in Japan
Communist Cuba: 50 Years Of Failure : After 50 years of socialism the Castro brothers' gangster regime has succeed in turning Cuba, once one of the world's most prosperous countries - into a slagheap that self-opinionated, callous, Hollywood intellectualoids like Soderbergh, del Toro, Robert Redford, Ed Asner, Oliver Stone, etc., can gloat over while they excoriate America
America tolerates preaching overthrow of government; we didn't before : American tolerance for even the sort of dissent that calls for the violent overthrow of the government and for racial hate is unique. If Americans want to preserve independence and freedom, they better wake up and recognize Islam for what it is; it's not a religion of peace
Green fanatics vs. genetic science: The real Frankensteins are greens fanatics and their media mates who have tried to create a monster out of a life-saving technology so they can get it banned. What does this say about them? Plenty, is the answer
Obama's spending spree won't rescue the US economy from recession: By setting his face against this policy of expanding capacity and to rely entirely on monetary expansion to promote recovery while at the same time promising higher energy prices in the future and a huge tax hike in 2010 or 2011 Obama will be fuelling uncertainty as well as inflation
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)