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The price of unilateralism
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, September 24, 2005

Israel recently completed what many feel was a foolish move. They ceded strategically important terrain to an avowed enemy in the hope (note the word) that a reciprocal token of peace would be extended by that enemy.

Instead, the enemy has taken advantage of Israel's unilateral move and is now attacking Israel from the very land they ceded.
Israel Air Force jets launch a further air strike Saturday near the northern Gaza Strip on an open field used by militants to fire rockets into Israel, the army said.

The army said the strike had targeted a field from which Palestinian militants had been launching rockets.

[...]

Earlier Saturday, the IAF launched three air strikes on buildings in the Gaza Strip in the first air attacks since Israel completed its pullout from Gaza last week, the IDF said.

[...]

The air strikes came after Palestinians launched 26 Qassam rockets at targets in Israel, 21 of which landed in the western Negev town of Sderot, wounding five Israelis, one moderately and the others lightly, the army said. Six others were treated for shock.

Two rockets were fired at an IDF base near the Gaza security fence, another landed in Kibbutz Kissufim, and another landed in an open field in the area. Also, an anti-tank rocket was fired at IDF troops along Gaza border.
Why is this happening? Because the traditional recognized authority within the Palestinian community, the one Israel with which continues to negotiate, really has no control over that community.

Ralph Peters, in his book "Fighting for the Future" discusses how traditional nation-states are increasingly breaking down in the face of what he calls Criminal Enterprise Armies or CEAs. In many cases these CEAs are shadow governments which, in reality, are the dominant ruling force. Usually that rule is enforced by its own code, v. the rule of law. Additionally CEAs are much more flexible and able to adjust than tradition bound governments. And, of course, borders mean nothing to them.

The Palestinian situation is a perfect example of Peters point. Israel, tied to the tradition of negotiation and response of nation-states, is negotiating its peace with an entity, the Palestinian Authority, which is, in effect, powerless to enforce any negotiated peace. The CEAs of Hamas and Hezbollah hold the power. But Israel can't negotiate with them. So we see useless gestures like the Gaza withdrawl met not with peace, but increased violence. Israel's avowed enemies, Hamas and Hezbollah, are not constrained by the niceties or the baggage of a nation-state. They are totally focused on their primary reason for existance ... the anihillation of Israel and all Jews in the area.

So Israel's gesture goes unanswered and unappreciated. The recognized authority in the region, the Palestinian Authority, really has no control, and the entities who do have no desire to negotiate.

And that leaves Israel in a very difficult spot. It must either recognize this reality and do what is necessary to eliminate these enemies (who will use any weakness or any advantage offered by Israel's withdrawl from Gaza to destroy it). Or it must continue to play the ineffectual game which says recognized traditional authorities negotiate with each other to solve mutual problems, even if it's plainly true the PA can't fullfill that role.

As Peters says: "We are constrained by a past century's model of what armies do, what police do and what governments can legally do. Our enemies have none of that baggage."

Global CEAs such as Islamic jihadists or narco-terrorists have none of the constraints on their activities that nation states have. Thus they can usually get inside the decision cycle of governments with their slow and formal tools for enforcing order. In some cases, as we see in Palestine, they essentially supplant that recognized authority.

So how do you handle such entities as CEAs?

The answer is as simple as it is brutal. You kill enough of them, in the most expeditious manner possible, so that the others decide to quit.

What you don't do is unilaterally give them tactical or strategic advantages for no gain (or to your detriment).

Now think Iraq, or nuclear weapons, or guns ...
 
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The purpose of withdrawing behind the wall is to halt suicide bombings (mission accomplished) and allow the Israelis to hunker down and wait until the Palestinians get their shit sorted out. That’s all. It also gives Israel a free hand to retaliate against attacks from outside, since they can say "hey, we tried being reasonable." From the perspective of preventing Israelis from being killed, this doesn’t cede any strategic advantage. Quite the opposite, and as evidence I point you to the dramatic drop in deaths due to terrorist attacks in Israel since the wall went up.
 
Written By: Matt McIntosh
URL: http://conjecturesandrefutations.net
The wall isn’t the point. It’s the unilateral aspect of the withdrawl. It makes little tactical sense and no strategic sense. There are more than just a reduction of "suicide bombings" at stake here.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
"So Israel’s gesture goes unanswered and unappreciated."

Too bad it wasn’t so unstrategic as the term ’gesture’ connotes. The only realistic negotiations Israel should make are land for land and peace for peace. Land for peace pits the concrete against the transient.
 
Written By: The Owner’s Manual
URL: http://gcruse.typepad.com
When someone wants you dead twice, the compromise of you dead only once is not acceptable. Killing enough of them to cause them to rethink their strategy is the only rational policy.
 
Written By: Walter E. Wallis
URL: http://
It makes little tactical sense and no strategic sense. There are more than just a reduction of "suicide bombings" at stake here.

It does make some tactical sense. One of the rationales behind the withdrawl was to be able to give Israel a free hand to retaliate, which was much complicated by the presence of the settlers. Settlers gone = free fire zone.

Israel has promised a "crushing response". If they follow through and begin to kill those enemies in ernest, it’s a start.

Also, there’s the politics (internal and international) to consider. Israel is much freer now to defend themselves.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Israel has promised a "crushing response". If they follow through and begin to kill those enemies in ernest, it’s a start.

Israel has been promising "crushing response" since 1948. One of the reasons it’s not had a war in the last few decades is it has held strategic land such as Gaza, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.

Also, there’s the politics (internal and international) to consider. Israel is much freer now to defend themselves.

If you believe that I have some land south of New Orleans you may be interested in. See my real estate agent ... Ray Nagin.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
"There are more than just a reduction of "suicide bombings" at stake here."

Um, pardon my obtuseness here but what on earth could be a higher priority then stopping people from being killed?
 
Written By: Matt McIntosh
URL: http://conjecturesandrefutations.net
MMcI
From the perspective of preventing Israelis from being killed, this doesn’t cede any strategic advantage.
Gaining the ability to launch missiles from Gaza, instead of wherever they used to launch them from, probably is a strategic advantage, that the Palestinians just gained, from the Israelis, for reasons that are unclear to me. Maybe there’s trade-offs for some other advantage that gets gained by the Israelis, in exchange for this one that they give up, or something. I sure hope so.
S
One of the rationales behind the withdrawl was to be able to give Israel a free hand to retaliate, which was much complicated by the presence of the settlers. Settlers gone = free fire zone.
When your enemies hide behind their own women and children, and when unfriendly video is being recorded ubitiquously, then opening a free fire zone is going to have negative repercussions. Not that all alternative courses of action don’t also have neg.rep.s.
MMcI
what on earth could be a higher priority then stopping people from being killed?
It’s not possible to stop people from being killed. It’s just that different bunches of people get killed under different sets of priorities. So trade-offs get made, about those things, but what’s getting traded off here is also unclear to me.
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://
McQ, another reason (mostly unstated) is that as an "occupying power", Israel was under certain constraints that don’t apply between two "sovereign states".
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Why is this happening? Because the traditional recognized authority within the Palestinian community, the one Israel with which continues to negotiate, really has no control over that community.
And why is that?

Let’s see - Israel illegally occupies territory for 30 plus years, colonizes some of it, creates an apartheid like system in the rest of it, and then feigns wonder regarding why there is no moderate civil authority to clamp down on the extremists.

Look, you have a whole generation that lived under the boot of Israeli occupation and oppression. Americans simply cannot understand the hatred this kind of occupation can engender. They couldn’t vote, they couldn’t travel freely, they were effectively second class citizens or worst. Is it any wonder a moderate, effective Vichy-type governement didn’t fully form?

The radicals now come from a generation that had nothing to do with the wars in ’67 and ’73. This generation wasn’t even alive then. If it were me, and a foreign country had illegally occupied my homeland for more than 30 years, and for something that I had nothing to do with, I might just be a wee bit upset too. And forgive me, but I would not spend my time figuring out how to pat the occupier on the back whe it left. I might instead want to figure out how to get a little payback.

30 years from now, when the current generation of radicals mellows, hopefully Israel will have the same kind of relationship it has with Jordan or Egypt. Tense, but peaceful. And in the meantime, Israel is simply suffering the consequences of its occupation. It will of course hit back harder. And no one will of course mourn the civilians killed in the process, with the exception of the Palestinians, of course.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I might instead want to figure out how to get a little payback.

Given that you’re a fucking idiot, that doesn’t surprise me in the least.

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
islamapologist:
Let’s see - Israel illegally occupies territory for 30 plus years, colonizes some of it, creates an apartheid like system in the rest of it, and then feigns wonder regarding why there is no moderate civil authority to clamp down on the extremists.
Let’s see - Jordyptian expats, unwelcome in ANY Arab nation, camp in Gaza for 30+ years, without ever forming a working democracy or even any civil order more advanced than that of Geronimo’s Apaches, then for no apparent reason suddenly gains a huge hunk of real estate. Do they take advantage of this to establish agriculture and industry and commerce, let alone any of the institutions of civil society? No. Are they, then, savages? Apparently.
Look, you have a whole generation that lived under the boot of Israeli occupation and oppression. Americans simply cannot understand the hatred this kind of occupation can engender.
If you understand (and clearly empathize with) that kind of hatred, and if you are an American, then your statement is false.
They couldn’t vote, they couldn’t travel freely, they were effectively second class citizens or worst. Is it any wonder a moderate, effective Vichy-type governement didn’t fully form?
An effective Vichy-type government, following the effective Vichy-type model, COULD have been imposed on them by any of their three neighbors, at bayonet-point, but somehow I don’t think that would really satisfy your complaint.
The radicals now come from a generation that had nothing to do with the wars in ’67 and ’73. This generation wasn’t even alive then. If it were me, and a foreign country had illegally occupied my homeland for more than 30 years, and for something that I had nothing to do with, I might just be a wee bit upset too. And forgive me, but I would not spend my time figuring out how to pat the occupier on the back whe it left. I might instead want to figure out how to get a little payback.
Of course you would. Given that you have the same infantile priorities as the "Palestinian" "leadership," you would OF COURSE not bother about organizing a civil society, laying out roads, making use of available greenhouse resources, setting up voter precincts, fire departments, or public clinics, nnnnnnnnooooooooooo, you would OF COURSE instead keep looking for new opportunities to murder Israeli civilians.
30 years from now, when the current generation of radicals mellows, hopefully Israel will have the same kind of relationship it has with Jordan or Egypt.
Give me a reason to expect these assholes to "mellow."
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://
Note to MKultra programming team: Malfunctioning Kafka has an opinion on everything and it just happens to be the liberal agenda talking point line. Now, it could be that MK is just a typical liberal air head who takes her opinions straight from the NYT and therefore anything that has been in the NYT is fair game. We see a lot of that in the liberal cocoon. If that is your goal, I’m buying it 100%. On the other hand, if your goal is to make us believe that MK is a thinking person (of any persuasion) you must build in just a little deviation from the party line in order to make her credible. Yeah, the occasional off-the-cuff remark intended to make her one of the boys is good, but the folks on this site are just a step too quick to buy that as a proof. How about this: MK could say something like "That McCain; I am not sure I agree with everything he does." That phrase shouldn’t conflict with any of the DNC and far left wacko talking points you have programmed in and would go a long way toward making her real.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Sorry McQ, can’t agree with you on this one.

I think getting people behind the wall is the real motivation. Trying to protect Israeli citizens in Gaza was nearly an impossible job. Israel gained much more in flexibility and control than it gave up in Gaza. Sure Hamas and Hezbolla and A-Q will move in to fill the void, but as the Hamas leadership found out again today IAF is still targeting them very effectively. I expect that to continue, hopefully even expand. Regards
 
Written By: Abu Qa’ Qa
URL: http://
I agree with AbuQQ - the Israelis have gained a tactically defensible position.

They have also given Hamas something to lose. Before now there was no threat Israel could make against Hamas or the Palestinians that made them any more illegal or hunted or landless or powerless than they were made by the occupation. Since the withdrawl Hamas have had the autonomy to operate in Gaza without harrasment - if they piss off Israel this is at stake.

Expect Hamas to arm up and prepare, over a period of some years, for a large scale future attack whilst clamping down on piecemeal attacks on Israel.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
You’re all missing the big picture here: population demographics.

If Israel doesn’t purge itself of Gaza (or one of the other territories), Israelis won’t be the majority in their own country for much longer. Gaza and the other territories have some of the highest birthrates around. The number of Palestinians is rapidly increasing. This isn’t too much of a concern in the short run, admittedly, because none of the Ps have any rights and are not I citizens.

The longer Sharon et al wait to make Gaza quasi-independent, the higher risk they run of Ps overwhelming them politically through sheer numbers. Eventually there would be too many Ps living under I rule and "something" will have to be done. At that time, "something" might include giving them some watered down version of rights. THAT’s why the process was unilateral. It would mean the end of Israel if they tried to hold onto all the land.

The fact that Gaza is now a "free-fire" zone is just gravy for them.
 
Written By: The Modern American
URL: http://www.themodernamerican.com/blog
I agree with AbuQQ - the Israelis have gained a tactically defensible position.

They’ve also handed a huge propaganda victory to the terrorists.

And, as will all type wars, now, with this new found support, Hamas and Hezbollah will adapt. From suicide bombings to rocket attacks from a bit of land which puts more of Israel in reach. The "homemade rockets" are step one (they’ve also been getting Iranian rocket technology). Naturally, the terrorists will find plenty of those willing to martyr themselves for the chance of launching them from the ceded territory.

Walls, in case you haven’t noticed, don’t stop rocket attacks. Practice makes perfect, and believe me, the terrorists are going to be doing a lot of practicing in the near future.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Israel illegally occupies territory for 30 plus years
MK, who occupied the territory for the 20 years before that? What kind of rights did they have under that regime? Why didn’t they kill the civilians of that nation?

I’m asking because you seem to be blaming the terrorism on the actions of Israel. When Israel finally withdraws just like the rest of the world demands, you still blame Israel for the continued violence. Interesting. I’m also interested if you can tell me the publicly stated goal of those who continue to attack Israel? Is it really about the occupied territories?

 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
The answer is as simple as it is brutal. You kill enough of them, in the most expeditious manner possible, so that the others decide to quit.

This relates to the making of credible threats - if all somebody has is their life and their families lives you must threaten their life and their families lives in a credible way. Under occupation Israel did confiscate property, destroy possesions, demolish houses and restrict access to water - this was routine and regarded as arbitary, not a punishment for terrorism - threatening people with something they think you are going to do anyway...

In giving control of Gaza to the Palestinians the Israelis have made it possible to threaten houses, possessions and livelihoods as punishments for terrorist attacks. These threats can now work to stifle terrorism.

If they did not relinquish Gaza, then the Israelis would have to kill enough of them in reprisal killings for each act of terrorism. Only in this way would the threat to life and family be made viable.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
Land from which Israel is attacked must be forfeit. It is the mark of a sovereign nation that it does not allow private armies [the original filibuster] to operate from its soil. Shove that through the UN with the understanding they pass it or go home. Then announce that one more attack from Palestine territory and the rest of Palestine’s and Egypt’s welfare check goes instead to Isreal.
 
Written By: Walter E. Wallis
URL: http://

 
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