Monday, January 26, 2009

Operation Cast Lead (Aftermath)

I promised a final thoughts post on Operation Cast Lead, and here it is.

What did we see from Operation Cast Lead? To start, there is only so much Israel will take. Constant rocket and mortar attacks for eight years and Israel might just respond with overwhelming force. Well, more like if you fire 300 plus rockets at Israel in a week then you will provoke a response. So far, not a good start. The problem here is that if you are perceived to sit idly by for years and the munitions fall on your cities and neighborhoods, when you finally do respond people will ask why now. This really is not a fair question, but hopefully Israel will use it as some encouragement to respond in a more timely manner.

Moving past the response time, let us delve into the response itself. In what I believe is a military first; Israel text messaged, and left voice mail messages, for the people who would be within blast range of their air strikes. That is on top of the leaflets they drop. What other country has ever sent a message essentially saying; we know that there are either terrorists or munitions in your home so you have ten minutes to leave before we blow it up. The point is to reduce civilian casualties, but the effect is also to give terrorists and their supporters ten minutes to evacuate themselves and whatever munitions they can carry. Israel was also very careful to use as little a bomb as possible as well as adjusting the angle of approach to cut down on collateral damage. Does Israel get any credit for the amazing amount of work they put in to this effort to reduce unintended casualties? Nope, they are instead accused of trying to commit genocide. You would think that this would teach them a lesson. That there is no reason to put in all this effort to save civilians forcing you to put your own forces in danger. But it will not. That is because Israel does not do all of that for public opinion, they do it because they genuinely do not want innocent people to die.

Think about this. When Israel conquered Gaza from Egypt, the population was around 300,000. Now the population is around 1.4 million. This is against the backdrop of a very small geographic area (Gaza) and one of the strongest military forces on the plant (Israel). A 400%+ increase in population in 40 years is either the most ineffective attempt at a genocide in the history of man, or proof that Israel really does not want all the residents of Gaza to die. You can make up your own mind.

Israel has shown an impressive ability to kill terrorists without killing all of the human shields they surround themselves with. Again, you would think public opinion regarding those deaths would be different then it actually is. In my view, if someone uses a human shield then they are responsible if that person dies. Not here, that dead civilian is just more proof that Israel is trying to commit genocide. For those that actually believe that, I refer you back to the above paragraph.

On the down side, Israel is also starting to show an unwillingness to complete the mission. Where is the captured IDF soldier that was taken two years ago? Why not break the back of Hamas when you have them on the ropes? Why not obliterate all of the tunnels? There are of course, no real good answers. Israel estimated that it destroyed 80% of the tunnels. The translation and unfortunate reality is that 20% of the tunnels Hamas started the war with are up and running smuggling weapons into Gaza.

I have seen conflicting reports about rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israel. It seems safe to say that the trickle of rockets into Israel has, or at least soon will, continue. I doubt Hamas will fire the same numbers at Israel they did before Operation Cast Lead, if only because they do not have enough rockets. Once they do rearm, and have no doubt that they will. They have recent memory to act as a deterrent. The problem is that structural damage is really not that much of a deterrent to a group of people who want to die for their g-d while taking as many Jews with them as possible. You can not deter a group of people who have intertwined their religion with your destruction. Did Israel present enough of a deterrent to the people of Gaza to have them deal with Hamas? That is what Israel has to hope. Unfortunately, my money is on another massive flair up at some point in the not so distant future. In this sense Israel has bought themselves some time, but they have not ensured lasting security from Gaza.

Israel was justified in the actions it took, but they failed to go far enough. Hamas will relax their onslaught for a time, but they will rearm and try again. This was just another sad chapter in a sad story of a people under constant persecution who seem unable to go a generation without facing an enemy bent on their annihilation (the Jews), in a region that has seen almost unending war throughout history (the Middle East). It will not be the final chapter, nor will it be a turning point for either.

The operation is over, but public opinion onslaught against Israel remains. Here is a collection of recent videos to prove the point.

Videos embedded below.

From http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/23/60minutes/main4749723.shtml?source=mostpop_story.




From http://tedekeroth.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/arabist-attacker-peaceful-pro-israeli-demonstration.






From http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/01/germany-jews-out-germans-out-allahu-akbar-fk-off-jewskick-the-jews-out-burn-the-jew.html. Translations available at the aforementioned site (Jews out, Germans out, allahu akbar, f***k off Jews, kick the Jews out, burn the Jew).






Head to http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/32564_Video-_Carter_Says_Trust_Hamas for another video with Carter.


Past Post on Operation Cast Lead (from first to last):
Berman Post: Israel Bombs Hamas
Berman Post: Israel vs Hamas (Day Two)
Berman Post: Israel vs Hamas (Day Three)
Berman Post: Israel vs Hamas (Day Four)
Berman Post: Israel vs Hamas (Day Five)
Berman Post: Israel vs Hamas (Day Six)
Berman Post: Israel vs Hamas (Day Seven)
Berman Post: Israel vs Hamas (Day Eight)
Berman Post: Israel vs Hamas (Day Nine)
Berman Post: Protest Against Israel in Union Square (NYC)
Berman Post: Israel vs Hamas (Day Ten)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Eleven)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Twelve)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Thirteen)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Fourteen)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Fifteen)
Berman Post: Anti-Israel Protest inTime Square NYC
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Sixteen)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Seventeen)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Eighteen)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Nineteen)
Berman Post: Iron Dome (IronDomeGame.com)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Twenty)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Twenty-One)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Twenty-Two)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Twenty-Three)
Berman Post: Anti-Israel Protest in Union Square (NYC)
Berman Post: Operation Cast Lead (Day Twenty-Four)

2 comments:

  1. No Andrew,

    The IDF didn't go into Gaza to destroy Hamas. Destroying Hamas is an impossible mission. Hamas is a mindset,you could kill every Gazan and level it, and you would still have Hamas, the mission was to show the people of Gaza that Israel will not tolerate terrorists living in Gaza and that when the civilian population allows it Israel will fire back.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well Anonymous (would have used your name but you did not leave one),

    Hamas can not be deterred. What can you possibly use to convince someone that the mission they are on from g-d is wrong? These people believe that they will be reworded in heaven for their actions for all of eternity.

    Unfortunately, their are only three outcomes to the war with Hamas as it stands now. The first is for all of the Jews to die, the second is for all of Hamas to die, and the third is a never ending fight. None are good options, but that is the reality.

    The deterred effect that Israel may have been going for was for the people of Gaza. The hope being that if the people of Gaza are sufficiently deterred, they will stop Hamas.

    This is based on what I believe to be a false assumption, namely that the residents could effectively stop Hamas. Hamas right now is on a rampage in Gaza killing or maiming anyone who they perceive was a calibrator to Israel or a threat to their power.

    Israel could have broken the back of Hamas had they pressed on, and they should have done so. Unfortunately, stopping where they did will likely only have the effect of giving Israel a brief rest before the onslaught returns in earnest.

    ReplyDelete

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