soon and very soon

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Into Hamastan
By Jed Babbin

Unless he is extraordinarily lucky, Israeli Army Corporal Gilad Shalit won't live to see his twentieth birthday. The Sunday raid by Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip succeeded in wounding and kidnapping Shalit, killing two of his comrades and wounding two more. Israel has begun a sizeable military penetration into Gaza which aims to recover Shalit - alive or dead - and punish the Palestinians for their raid. As the Israeli incursion began early Wednesday, America and Egypt were counseling calm and - if he's still alive -- a scared teenage boy was sitting in some lightless room in Gaza praying for rescue.

Like every soldier, Shalit was trained to understand that hostages are expendable but - in the rough confidence of youth - understood that idea only in terms of people he would someday try to rescue. By now the unimaginable has occurred. Shalit's mind must be focused on the soldiers' dilemma his comrades face. They will do anything to rescue him, but nothing to trade for him. He knows he is the expendable hostage in this episode like so many have been before him and so many will be after. This is the definition of stability in the Middle East.

The kidnapping of Shalit, the Palestinian political maneuvering around it, and the Israeli counter-strike are tactical exchanges. But in war a tactical event sometimes has strategic effects. A tactical defeat, such as the one Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson suffered at Kernstown on 23 March 1862, was a strategic victory for the Confederates because it resulted in stalling 50,000 Federal troops in Maryland that would have otherwise reinforced McClellan's peninsula campaign. Shalit's kidnapping can be turned into a strategic defeat for the Palestinians. It should be used to destabilize the relationship between the Palestinians and the nations that use them as cannon fodder in a perpetual war against Israel.

Palestinians are the only people apparently incapable of acting in their own self-interest. For generations they have been willfully ignorant of the fact that their refusal to make peace with Israel serves only their enemies. Since Israel was created by UN mandate, the Palestinians have been rejected by Jordan (itself 60% Palestinian), Egypt and Syria. Saudi Arabia and Lebanon don't want them. But for decades under Arafat, the Palestinians did the bidding of the same countries that rejected them. Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others bought Arafat's regime for the price of terrorist campaigns against Israel. They fund and provide sanctuary for Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups for two reasons: first, to keep alive the Palestinians' hope of erasing Israel from the map; and second to absorb the casualties in the terror war against Israel that those nations don't wish to suffer. In the Middle East, the stability that we have helped nurture is the stability of terrorist states.

Last year's Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was a council of despair. Ungovernable and with a deeply-embedded terrorist infrastructure, Gaza was only a source of casualties for Israel. Withdrawal - accompanied by sealing the borders to prevent terrorist incursions - appeared the last best hope. Maybe Ariel Sharon could have brought off the idea of withdrawing and sealing off Gaza as a terrorist base. But Ehud Olmert is no Sharon, and as Olmert watched Gaza became Hamastan.

Terrorist, anarchic Hamastan proved a jar that couldn't be sealed. This year alone about eight hundred rockets were fired from it into Israel and though dozens of terrorist incursions were foiled, more and more succeeded as the Gaza-based terrorists learned how to penetrate the Israeli barriers. Still, the Olmert government hung back. It lacked the courage and decisiveness needed to re-enter Gaza to stamp out the terrorist enclaves. And, more importantly, it couldn't go back into Gaza without admitting that its withdrawal policy was a failure. Instead, Olmert ineptly struck back at rocket launch points and Israel's ability to defend itself seemed - thanks to Palestinian disinformation campaigns directed at sympathetic media -- to produce innocent civilian casualties among the Palestinians.

Hamastan poses problems both too large and too small for Israel to solve. The small problems, such as terrorists excavating the terror tunnel used to surprise Gilad Shalit's unit, can never be entirely prevented. The military strike into Gaza this week won't re-establish Israeli occupation, and it will from time to time be repeated. Bigger problems, such as the Hamas government and the support it gets from Israel's neighbors, won't, say some top Israelis, be solved by topping Hamas because there's no moderate Palestinians to take their place. That is another counsel of despair. Israel is stuck in a military cycle it thinks can't be broken. But it can, and it must, for our benefit as much as Israel's.

Israel can never settle the Palestinian problem by dealing only with the Palestinians just as we cannot ever settle Iraq's problems by dealing only with Iraqis. Because Israel's neighbors, and Iraq's, are the sources of their problems, so they must be the focus of the solutions. They are regional problems. If they are not solved throughout the region, they will not be solved at all.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal - operating from his headquarters in Damascus -- ordered the raid in which Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. Meshaal, and pretty much every other terrorist leader other than Usama bin Laden, operate from Syria with impunity because Bashar Assad's Syria - the Syria he inherited from his father, and which has been on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979 - is entirely stable. He has no fear that through American or Israeli action his support for terrorism will be interrupted. From Syria money, weapons and terrorists flowed into Iraq for months before and ever since the American invasion of 2003.

Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said that Meshaal - even in Syria - was a target for Israeli action. We should encourage Israel to strike into Syria, and not just to capture or kill Meshaal. Destabilizing Syria, and thus destabilizing its support for terrorism in Israel and Iraq is the goal. If anyone chooses to equate "destabilization" with "regime change", we should do nothing to encourage or dissuade them. It's time to put the terrorist genie back in the bottle. If the genie won't comply, we may soon have to smash the bottle all to pieces.

Jed Babbin was a deputy undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration. He is a contributing editor to The American Spectator and author of Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States (with Edward Timperlake, Regnery 2006) and Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think (Regnery 2004).

Settler Youth Killed by Palestinians

Eliahu Asheri, was murdered Sunday night, June 25, shortly after he was seized by Palestinian kidnappers at the French Hill junction (my old neighborhood) in northern Jerusalem. The abduction took place hours after Hamas kidnapped IDF Corp. Gilad Shalit outside Kerem Shalom opposite Gaza, in an apparent Fatah bid to match the rival Hamas.

Israel arrested dozens of Hamas government representatives, possibly as a bargaining chip against Hamas who has kidnapped Shalit. 4 Israeli warplanes buzzed Syrian President Bashar Assad's summer home in Damascus in a clear sign that Syria needs to give up the head of Hamas who now resides in that country. Hamas/Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh is said to be in hiding, along with other Hamas leadership but Israel has sealed off Gaza by sea and air.

Israel will not negotiate for Shalit's release, nor should they, but they will do everything else in their power to bring it about. Once again the ineffective Palestinian leadership has proudly brought misery, death & destruction to their own people. I have no sympthy. Go get 'em Tsahal!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Associated Press reports Palestinian negotiators say rival Fatah and Hamas factions have agreed on a plan calling for implicit recognition of Israel. CNN working to confirm.


The rival Hamas and Fatah movements on Tuesday completed an agreement over a plan that implicitly recognizes Israel, ending weeks of acrimonious negotiations, a top official said.
"We have an agreement over the document," said Ibrahim Abu Najah, coordination of the "national dialogue" over the proposal.

Salah Zeidan, another negotiator, said preparations were being made for a formal signing ceremony. "All political groups are prepared for a mutual cease-fire with Israel," he said.
President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah has been trying to coax his Hamas rivals into endorsing the document, which was formulated by senior Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

He has endorsed the plan as a way to end crippling economic sanctions against the Hamas-led Palestinian government and pave the way to reopening peace talks.

However, the deal was overshadowed by a crisis over the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier and opposition to the deal voiced by Islamic Jihad, a small militant group that has carried out numerous attacks against Israel.

"In today's meeting, we announced we reject some of the articles of this document and we have reservations about other articles," said Khaled al-Batch, spokesman for Islamic Jihad.
The plan calls for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, in effect recognizing Israel. It also calls on militants to limit attacks to areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast War and calls for formation of a coalition Palestinian government.

Hamas and Fatah have been locked in a bloody power struggle since Hamas won legislative elections in January. Hamas controls the parliament and Cabinet. Abbas, a political moderate, was elected separately last year.

We're praying for you Gilad.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Palestinian Terrorists want Israel to kill civilians

If they did not, they would fire their rockets from isolated areas where there are no civilians.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

True Islam
“If teaching the Quran and opening Islamic schools constitutes terrorism, then we are the first terrorists. I say to America that it will not be able to lead us away from Islam. We call on the American people to convert to Islam.” --Sheikh Nur Barud, Vice President of the Union of Somali Scholars

Got 'em on the run now!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

We should all be so pious.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Gone with a whimper ...

so long Zarqawi...your virgins await...

It appears US Intelligence and US military fighters were lead to Zarqawi by Zarqawi's spiritual leader Skeikh Rakhman, who intellgence and military officials had been tracking for weeks.

"The death of our leaders is life for us. It will only increase our persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be supreme. … We will continue the path of our sheik and our emir, Abu Musab. Between us and [the Americans] there will be a fierce battle, and those infidels will see their punishment."
--al Qaeda in Iraq statement

"Zarqawi's death is not the end of terrorism in the world, but a significant step in ridding the world of the menace of terrorism … This success should encourage us all, both in the Muslim world and beyond, to continue and step up our common fight against terrorism."
--Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai

"Al Qaeda is the biggest threat to the world. Al Zarqawi's death is a huge victory in the war … This is good news for all Muslims and people of all religions. He was killing people of all faiths. I hope the situation in Iraq will improve now."
--Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi

"Those who disrupt the course of life, like al-Zarqawi, will have a tragic end … This is a message for all those who embrace violence, killing and destruction to stop and to [retreat] before it's too late … It is an open battle with all those who incite sectarianism."
--Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

Thursday, June 01, 2006

No Shit of the Day
Iran Rejects US Talks Offer

WTF does that even mean?
(A Palestinian security official demonstrating over unpaid wages at the parliament building in Gaza City on Thursday)

Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Multi-National Corps-Iraq commander, issued a directive to his subordinates, telling them to pass the message on down to their units: "core warrior values training, highlighting the importance of adhering to legal, moral and ethical standards on the battlefield."
I'm sorry, but what a joke. I'm sure the Jihadi terrorists are being schooled in the same principles.