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Meanwhile in Gaza ....
Posted by: McQ on Friday, September 30, 2005

It appears a terrorist enclave is being established:
The worst fear of politicians, military officials and Israeli civilians regarding Israel's withdrawal from Gaza has become a reality – the volatile coastal strip is now the private domain of Islamic terrorism, led by the infamous Hamas organization.

On Friday, Ha'aretz quoted an unnamed US official as saying the Bush Administration wanted to see the Palestinian Authority immediately exert control over Gaza, following a weekend terrorist flareup in the wake of Israel's “disengagement.”

But senior PA sources told Middle East Newsline that is simply not possible.

They pointed to the fact uniformed and heavily armed Hamas troops now operate their own military checkpoints and openly patrol the streets of many of Gaza's cities and towns.

“Hamas is in control and all we can do is look on,” said one official. “This is the new reality.”
Oh goodie. Another in a long line of reasons unilateral withdrawl from a strategic stip of land probably isn't the smartest of moves.
Hamas sources said the group has some 5,000 men under arms in Gaza, organized into seven brigades.

Evidence of Hamas' rising power lies in the fact it and groups associated with it have in the past month assassinated a senior PA security adviser and attacked the Gaza City home of the PA Interior Ministry spokesman with virtual impunity.

As early as last October, IDF officials warned in an official report that quitting Gaza would likely result in the strip becoming a “terrorist entity where anarchy prevails.”

Now that Israel is gone, Gaza's descent into Taliban-like rule is only expected to accelerate, aided by the reported introduction of Al Qaeda operatives into the area earlier this month.

IDF intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash this week said it is his assessment the global terror network managed to infiltrate numerous cells into Gaza amid the border chaos following the withdrawal of the last Israeli troops.
So now the Hamas promise not to engage in rocket attacks from Gaza begins to make sense. They're in a power consolidation mode and don't want any interruptions.

As for the promise of no more rocket attacks from Gaza?

Well for now, anyway:
In an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily yesterday, Hamas senior spokesman Sami Abu Zahri taunted Israel for its vulnerability to rocket attacks and warned that the terrorist group plans to kidnap more Israeli citizens just days after it claimed responsibility for the abduction and murder of a Jerusalem resident.

Zahri also told WND Hamas maintains "good relationships" with Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

"Our relations are good with all the honest forces in the Arab world and this includes Assad's Syria, Hezbollah and other movements and forces," Zuhri said in the interview, which will be released in full on WND this weekend.

Zahri claimed Israel does not have the military capability to stop Hamas' Qassam rockets from flying out of Gaza and hitting nearby Jewish communities.

"Israel has always tried to stop Qassam attacks and she always failed to do so, even while using the most sophisticated technological and military tools. ... Hamas succeeded in creating a new military equation against Israel."
Well there you go. It would seem that Hamas will first establish its control over Gaza, most likely fortify it and, when it feels its ready, reneg on its vow of no more rocket attacks from Gaza. I'm sure that when, in the near future, the first Qassam heads into Israel from Gaza everyone will be totally surprised.

/sarcasm
 
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unilateral withdrawl

Your usage of this term puzzles me. Aren’t all decisons made by a countryof this nature unilateral? With whom should Israel have made this bilateral?

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Supposedly the PA, and with some sort of guarantees and concessions. But they got nothing. As is obvious above, Hamas is calling the tune and the PA is powerless to stop it. So since they did nothing with the PA (the supposed recognized authority in the area) and got nothing, how do you call it anything else but a unilateral move?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
So? The PA was a myth in any case (see last month’s Atlanntic Monthly article).

Now Hamas is stepping up and will become the real government. At least we’ll know who to blame. If they start something, Israel will be completely in their rights to hit back and hit back hard. And they will.

Eventually, the Egyptian government will have to come into Gaza and take control. Will Jordan do the same on the West Bank?
 
Written By: Whitehall
URL: http://
Guarantees from the PA are as worthless as the toilet paper I just flushed down the commode.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Guarantees from the PA are as worthless as the toilet paper I just flushed down the commode.

Agreed. So how else do your characterize their move but unilateral?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Now Hamas is stepping up and will become the real government. At least we’ll know who to blame. If they start something, Israel will be completely in their rights to hit back and hit back hard. And they will.

Oh they’ll hit back alright, but I’m arguing they’ve allowed a major propaganda victory for Hamas and again reenergized the resistance while in reality, not gaining much if anything.

Eventually, the Egyptian government will have to come into Gaza and take control.

We’ll see, won’t we. But right now, it belongs to Hamas.

Will Jordan do the same on the West Bank?

Haven’t the foggiest. But what we do know is the terror organizations will do their level best to be the ones filling the void left by an Israeli withdrawl ... just as they did in Gaza.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Agreed. So how else do your characterize their move but unilateral

If you agree, why do you think it should’ve been bilateral? Because it allows a "propaganda" victory? Hamas would’ve won it’s propaganda victory no matter what. The PA has ALWAYS agreed to control the terrorists, and always that agreement goes up in smoke, and nobody notices or cares.

Everyday Isreal allows to pass without turning "Palestine" into an irradiated crater is a propaganda victory.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
If you agree, why do you think it should’ve been bilateral?

Shark, you’re completely missing my point. I don’t think it should have been bilateral, unilateral or multilateral. My argument is they shouldh’t have withdrawn at all.

But the fact remains they did withdraw and the it is a further fact that their withdrawl was done unilaterally.

I’m of the opinion the withdrawl was a major mistake (whether unilateral, bilateral or mulitlateral) for the reasons I’ve outlined in this and previous posts.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Shark:

I think the idea is that Israel’s decision was unilateral in outcome—i.e. only Palestinians got anything out of the move.

Bruce:

While I agree that Hamas has been handed an energizing propaganda tool, I think the long term strategy of giving them enough rope to hand themselves will benefit Israel. The whole reason for the IDF occupation of Gaza has been lost down the memory hole. Taking their foot off the Palestinians’ throats for a moment will potentially lead either to:

(i) Israel receiving a "peace dividend"; the Palestinians going about peacefully self-organizing and self-governing; increased good will towards Israel by the Palestinians and Arab countries; Better reporting from Reuters and the AP; and more peace in the area generally; OR

(ii) proving (i) above to be total BS and justify Israel clamping down again.

I know which one I think will happen.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
Abbas’ Palestinian Authority is like an indulgent mother. Fattened on a diet of pre-digested international subsidies and pureed, high-fat, anti-colonialism, the nation she tends to is a spoiled, acne-ridden adolescent, pealing for Cocoa Puffs - or he’ll blow something up.

Something tells me we are going to have to clean up her teenager’s room, too.

(Didn’t Rumsfeld or Bush say recently that if Abbas and the PA invited the U.S. in to help them evict terrorists, we’d come a runnin’?)
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Didn’t Rumsfeld or Bush say recently that if Abbas and the PA invited the U.S. in to help them evict terrorists, we’d come a runnin’?

I sure hope not.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
(i) Israel receiving a "peace dividend"; the Palestinians going about peacefully self-organizing and self-governing; increased good will towards Israel by the Palestinians and Arab countries; Better reporting from Reuters and the AP; and more peace in the area generally; OR

(ii) proving (i) above to be total BS and justify Israel clamping down again.


Michael:

Say it’s (ii) (which, I suspect, we both know will be the case). So what’s different and what’s been gained?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Say it’s (ii) (which, I suspect, we both know will be the case). So what’s different and what’s been gained?

Because if Israel goes back in there ever again for self-defense, there won’t be any more of this disputed territory, "settlers" shit. It will be Israel territory, and anyone who doesn’t like it can fuck off, and if the PA doesn’t like it, "Palestine" can be next.

Or at least I can dream...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
One of the big advantages of terrorist organizations has been their
stateless status. When Al Quida blows something up, who do you hit?

Hamas has foregone that "protection". I suspect that Israel is going to
give them a *lot* of rope, allowing them to move into Gaza in a big way

It makes it easier when your enemies cluster in one spot.
 
Written By: bud
URL: http://
When I was younger, we called this an idiot pit. Essentially you dig a pit and place something irrestible at the bottom. Then stand back and wait for the idiots to fall into the pit while trying to recover the "prize". We used it in various games, and it usually worked on the uninitiated.

The game here is to let Hamas and the other terrorists gain control, and fill Gaza up to the brim with terrorists. Then wait till the idiots enter an active attack mode. The IDF would then counter attack by sealing off the Egypt/Gaza border and the sea lanes, followed by a round up of the "bad guys". Lots of free fire zones would limit the need for trials for the terrorists.

Damn, I hope it works as well here as it did for me as a kid.

Mark
 
Written By: Maddog
URL: http://
The game here is to let Hamas and the other terrorists gain control, and fill Gaza up to the brim with terrorists. Then wait till the idiots enter an active attack mode.
My father speculated that Israel might be pursuing a "Botany Bay" tactic of trying to find a place where they can put—and keep—all the dangerous elements. Not sure if that’s possible, but it’s an interesting idea. It seems to me that, like much of the Sunni insurgency, it’s not driven by popular will, but by a smallish element who would rather die than compromise.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
The problem with "Botany Bay" is it can turn into the first Fallujah.

It’s a bit like playing with fire as I see it. While you may get away with it for a while, it will eventually burn you.

Israel may very well kill a bunch of terrorists. But will that be enough, and will it do any good in the long run, or will it simply encourage more extreme measures from Hamas and Hezbollah in terms of finding methods of striking Israel with mass casualty attacks.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
So what’s different and what’s been gained?
As others have speculated above, there is a certain tactical advantage in clearing out the space for Hamas to move in. But, IMHO, the more important factor is a re-establishment of the reasons for Israel being there in the first place. Israel gets back the moral authority to move back in with a vengence, which has gradually eroded over the years of obfuscation. In fact, the only thing stopping Israel from being more aggressive is the opprobation of the U.N. and world opinion, which basically pressures its biggest benefactor ... the U.S.
The problem with "Botany Bay" is it can turn into the first Fallujah.

It’s a bit like playing with fire as I see it. While you may get away with it for a while, it will eventually burn you.

Israel may very well kill a bunch of terrorists. But will that be enough, and will it do any good in the long run, or will it simply encourage more extreme measures from Hamas and Hezbollah in terms of finding methods of striking Israel with mass casualty attacks.
Agreed. But, again, Israel could end up with more leeway to be aggressive if Hamas performs as we all know they likely will. You’re right, of course, that the risks are enormous (and not just for Israel, but for us as well, since we are seen as the ones keeping Israel alive). But the status quo wasn’t gaining Israel anything either.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
As others have speculated above, there is a certain tactical advantage in clearing out the space for Hamas to move in.

Well as with all good plans, the enemy has to cooperate. However, all the reading I’ve done doesn’t at all point to this as being an Israeli plan of that sort. And, given the immediate Hamas declaration of "no rocket attacks from Gaza (at least for now)" it doesn’t appear Hamas plans on cooperating (at least for now).

Israel gets back the moral authority to move back in with a vengence, which has gradually eroded over the years of obfuscation. In fact, the only thing stopping Israel from being more aggressive is the opprobation of the U.N. and world opinion, which basically pressures its biggest benefactor ... the U.S.

I’m afraid I have difficulty buying into all of that Michael. Israel has never worried particularly about the opprobation of the UN or world opinion. And with the UN a much weaker player now, I’m not sure what pressure it could bring on the US which would effect the relationship it has with Israel.

What I’m saying is to most in the US, Israel never lost its moral authority. Most of us believe Israel has the right to defend itself and haven’t changed that belief.

However to much of the rest of the world, Israel can never do anything which will allow it to gain (or regain) its moral authority. That portion of the world has made up its mind up and thinks that Israel is the monster in the scenario. Israel won’t change its mind one bit by simply moving out of a strip of land those countries thought it illegally occupied in the first place.

You guys may see something which just isn’t at all apparent to me, but at the moment the tactical winner in all of this is Hamas. Whether that will translate into a strategic victory is yet to be seen. But Israel, if its intent is as you outline, is taking an enormous chance in order to be "more aggressive" with Hamas. That seems to me to be a very limited goal for all of this. And given the mood of the world as it pertains to Israel, it could blow up in their face and end as badly as a Qassam launched from Gaza landing in the middle of Tel Aviv.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
It all comes back to the improved Palestinian rocketry, everybody acknowledges it exists but does not quantify its effect. If your enemy has decent rocketry exposing your forces in isolated observable pockets within enemy controlled territory is suicide.

Israel chooses not to expose its citizens in this way. Israel has chosen to withdraw its forces behind the barrier and deny the Palestinians ability to target the rockets effextively. They withdrew only after their attempts to stop rocketry developments and disrupt their firings through military occupation proved ineffective.

The alternative way to protect Israelis and maintain the settlements would have been to clear all Palesitnians from within rocket range of the settlements - ethnically cleanse Gaza. This would have been difficult to justify to the international community.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://

 
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