June 17, 2007

Will Israel Go After Hamastan?

The Times of London reports that Israel's new minister of defense, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, has drawn up plans for a massive strike on Gaza. Instead of police actions on limited scales, Barak would launch an all-out war on Hamas in the Strip, now that Fatah has no assets remaining there -- and would intend on wiping out all Islamist offensive capability in the region:

ISRAEL’s new defence minister Ehud Barak is planning an attack on Gaza within weeks to crush the Hamas militants who have seized power there.

According to senior Israeli military sources, the plan calls for 20,000 troops to destroy much of Hamas’s military capability in days.

The raid would be triggered by Hamas rocket attacks against Israel or a resumption of suicide bombings.

Barak, who is expected to become defence minister tomorrow, has already demanded detailed plans to deploy two armoured divisions and an infantry division, accompanied by assault drones and F-16 jets, against Hamas.

This sounds a little optimistic. Barak's plan acknowledges that the Israelis would find stiffer resistance than they did in southern Lebanon last summer. Gaza has a much higher population density than the sub-Litani region did, and they will have to deal with much more urban fighting than in Lebanon. Normally an armed force would want a 2-1 advantage in troops before advancing against an entrenched enemy, but even that might be light for the kind of warfare Israel would likely face from Hamas -- hiding in civilian garb, using non-combatants as shields, and so on.

The Israeli Air Force would have less effect in this fight than one might think. They can target Hamas assets out in the open, but most of those assets will remain hidden in cities. Unless the Israelis plan on carpet-bombing places like Gaza City and Rafah, the Air Force will remain mostly irrelevant. Air power will probably have to be limited to helicopter gunships in support of infantry and armored units, and they will be vulnerable to missile attack.

Israel has to do something about Hamastan, without a doubt, but the question is what can they do most effectively. They would be better off taking out the major military points of Hamas and sealing off Gaza. Otherwise, the Israelis would not only have to roll across the entirety of Gaza, but they would also have to re-occupy it to keep Hamas from rising up again in the vacuum of their withdrawal. That does not sound like a promising use of the IDF, especially while Lebanon and Syria threaten Israeli security from the north.


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Comments (23)

Posted by km | June 17, 2007 9:04 AM

Israel should make it clear that the whole of Gaza will be treated like Dresden in WW II upon the next rocket launched from there. Israel should inform the purportedly non-combatent portion of the population that it is time to head to Egypt and tell Egypt that these are their Muslim "brothers" and it is up to Egypt to deal with the refugee influx.

Israel should then follow through.

Posted by J.Mark English | June 17, 2007 9:11 AM

Israel can't do anything until they get rid of Olmert...then they can set things straight.


Posted by Lightwave | June 17, 2007 9:24 AM

If Israel does choose this route, they must go in with enough force to get the job done, unlike Lebanon last year.

The problem is the moment Israel does this, they will be under attack from not just Gaza but from Lebanon, the Golan Heights and the West Bank. If they commit those forces to Gaza in the southwest, they will come under heavy fire from the north, northeast, and east.

Not to disparage the deaths of any Israeli soldiers and citizens from the offensive, but the worst part will be the assault in the world press showing bombed out apartment buildings full off "innocent Palestinian casualties" while of course failing to mention the rocket attacks by what will be the hundreds on a daily basis. The world will turn its back on Israel, and once again only the US will stand by its most strategic ally in the region.

It will be last summer's Lebanon offensive, only on a much larger scale. This time Israel will not have the option to withdraw after a month, because the rocket attacks and possibly far worse will come at them from all sides.

If, and only if Israel chooses this option rather than containment, the attack must be so overwhelming that it is over in days, to do to Hamas what Hamas did to Fatah in Gaza. If it bogs down, the Israelis will lose the public opinion war, thanks in large part to our own press here in the US.

I agree with km: Israel should tell Egypt to let the refugees out of there and deal with receiving them, and then proceed to flatten Gaza with overwhelming force. It should also be done soon (as in this week), before the Iranian proxies can move too much equipment into position in Gaza, or into Golan, the West Bank or Lebanon's buffer zone.

The Iranian plan is to bog Israel down long enough to unleash their allies in the US press against the IDF and Olmert, and come ever closer to the real goal: bringing the US into a shooting war with Iran. If that route is chosen...and we may have no choice...then we too much make the decision to hit so hard that we win. Does that mean the use of non-conventional weapons? I don't think so, but like many here I agree that we will see just how close the Iranians are to having that bomb before Labor Day (and probably much sooner).

Posted by Bachbone | June 17, 2007 9:27 AM

Perhaps the Israelis have, unlike the Americans, finally decided that no matter how tempered their responses, they will always be blamed and blasted by the rest of the world. So they may as well do what is necessary to wipe out as much of Hamas as they can regardless of "collateral damage." And maybe it's time the United States learned that same lesson. We've played at war since Korea trying to assuage 'world opinion' and mollify our home grown anti-military crowd, which has merely prolonged conflicts and emboldened enemies who view temperance as weakness. If you're going to be 'damned if you do' and 'damned if you don't,' Nike has the right attitude: "Just do it.

Posted by TheGrandMufti | June 17, 2007 9:45 AM

Israel need to think less about appeasing EU and BBC anti-Semites and more about changing the balance of power in its struggle for survival.

Posted by Gesitmaus | June 17, 2007 10:00 AM

I share Lightwave's tactical concerns as well as English' worries about Olmert. No matter though; whether it's jaw-jaw or war-war the screeching blatherskites after should prove entertaining.

Posted by LouisianaLightning | June 17, 2007 10:55 AM

Why not simply shut down their power and water? Hamas claims they want to destroy Israel, so why not show them what it would be like?

This would also soften them up, if an invasion is needed later.

Posted by Jason B | June 17, 2007 11:06 AM

Captain, you're forgetting Sharon's war against Arafat in the West Bank from 2000-2003. That was pretty much the same deal as the IDF would face now, only Hamas has even less experience in standing and fighting against Israeli conventional weapons.

They'd also have less time to react, and to plan. Arafat had years to plan, and expected it. Hamas is still cleaning out Gaza of Fatah supporters, and doesn't have a paramilitary organization well thought out just yet. They also don't have the material resources and the borders to work with; at least the West Bank had their border with Jordan and a much nicer international media on their side. Hamas even has waterfront territory which probably is indefensible from their point of view. Watch the Israelis launch offensives from the Gazan north, East, and Mediterranean West.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room for Hamas isn't even the Israelis or Abbas' Fatah (who will probably be an open ally of Israel in the case of war) but rather, Egypt. Hamas could ill afford a multifront war against the Israelis, Fatah, and Egypt. Even the Egyptian army being involved in a holding action in south Gaza would tie up Hamas forces and strain their ability to react to anything.

Posted by lexhamfox | June 17, 2007 12:17 PM

It would be silly for Israel to start massive operations against Hamas in Gaza right away. They should seal it off, use precision strikes when necessary, and let the place fall under its own weight. It would be nice to see Hamas discredited among the refugees of Gaza rather than look like underdog defenders against IDF tanks. Going in heavy in Gaza would not look good in the West Bank and would only serve to undermine Abbas and other moderates who need some breathing room after the fallout of recent weeks.

Posted by Robert I. Eachus | June 17, 2007 12:28 PM

Should the Israelis threaten retaliation if the rocket launches resume/continue? Sure. But invasion is not the way to do it. Israel got their troops out of the Gaza strip, which is, if not the most indefensible territory in the world, certainly comes close. (Even Monaco has hills which, while not as high as those around Monaco produce some dead ground.)

Israel should just set up artillery around the strip for counter-battery fire, and insure that anyone who tries to launch a rocket becomes a martyr. Rockets can be set on timers, or more likely fuses, but that is what forward observers are for--call in fire when the rocket is being set up. Pretty soon, just being seen carrying a rocket will be a death sentence.--If not from Israeli guns, from locals who don't want the rocket launched from their area.

I pointed out in another post that the modern anti-missile defenses could help Israel reduce casualties--on the Israeli side. That will only help win the war by making it easier for Israel to stand back and let artillery, precision guided munitions, and guided missiles do the real work.

Today's technology makes it possible to target a running man and have the bomb or rocket hit within a few feet of the target. So shoot and scoot won't be a workable strategy for Hamas. Again the problem for Hamas is the almost total lack of natural cover, combined good sight lines from Israel.

Launching from inside buildings not purpose built for launching missiles will usually destroy the building before counter-battery fire can do the job. Tanks and some howitzers can fire from inside buildings if the tip of the gun is outside. But that is because there is little or no backblast.

Oh, and one other problem with launching a missile from inside a building is that unless the backblast has someplace to go, it will suck the missile backwards. (Think about the missile and it's exhaust gasses as s complete system. If the blast goes out the same opening as the rocket, the total thrust is in the wrong direction.) The alternatives used in silos and submarine missile launchers are to either eject the missile with compressed air or other relatively cold gas before the motor ignites, or have a blast deflector that directs the exhaust away from the rocket.

Hamas has launched Kassam rockets from roof-tops. But this is a very exposed position. If a sniper can't do the job, there are many artillery rounds designed for anti-personnel use which won't damage the building underneath. At least if the building is built well enough that launching rockets from the roof won't destroy it anyway.

Posted by Carol Herman | June 17, 2007 12:43 PM

Want my advice? Don't get taken in!

I'm also reminded that when Dubya got into the White House, in 2000, he immediately called up plans to attack Irak. Paul O'Neill said so. And, more information, ahead, will confirm what was going on in Dubya's White House. While in his mind? The Saud's were gonna become the Mideast kingpins.

Ain't going down that way!

As to despots? Israel knows all about them. From Eygpt's Hosni, to the little king in Jordan. And, even to the giraffe, or eye doctor, in syria.

Hey! Israel even knows all about Maliki! I'd bet they've got thick files that go back to the 20 years Maliki spent in Tehran and Damascus. (He couldn't spend time in Irak because Saddam would'a killed him.)

So, part of the Mideast puzzle goes to those who survive. Who can avoid the shredder.

Now, what did Olmert do? (He could have given DEFENSE to Shaul Mofaz. A man with charisma. Who had been in Likud. And, "came late" to the Kadima "party.") Mofaz? Counted election results before they appeared. So he knew Bibi would be reduced to a dozen seats.

Did Omert just have choices? YOU BET HE DID! If he wanted to, he could have gone to Bibi. As a matter of fact? Maybe, he still will? Because he hasn't announced who he'll be giving the Finance portfolio TO. And, Bibi is an ace in that department.

War on the horizon for Israel? If that were true, Mofaz would have gotten defense. Because Barak is not skilled in "multi-tasking" big war manuevers. His skills: NAVY SEAL DEPARTMENT. The clandestine stuff. The stuff that when the knife goes into your back you're amazed. Because you thought there was nothing behind you, except shadows.

What will Barak do? He's got a lot of repair work. Labor's on its last legs. So?

Well, in real estate, it all depends.

If you want to sell your house, you do the front yard, and all the things you see walking in the front door.

But if you really want to live in a house where do you spend your money? On the things that make sense, but don't add dollar "values."

And, who knows what Barak will do? Because BIBI is his BIG COMPETITOR right now.

Sylvan Shalom? He's the owner of six of Bibi's 12 chairs.

And, yes. Israel lives its soap opera. Nothing new.

As to non-charismatic leaders, you think Golda Mier was charismatic? Oy. Was she ugly to look at. You think Livni is charismatic? Her dad was the powerhouse minister. She just inherited his seat. And, he was a communist. Yeah. A real one.

Yes, Bibi has charisma. Ditto, Shaul Mofaz. But Olmert weilds power. And, he's not about to do much. Since when he talks, all Israelis know they have to do is "put the opposite on it." Then, they'll know the truth.

Meanwhile, Condi wants Olmert to turn over vital information that they laid on the ground, in Southern Lebanon. To give the advantages to a move by Hezbollah. No one, however, can move into the South of Lebanon, without watching men getting blown to smithereens. And, machinery going Kaput. (This keeps a lot of the false claims you hear at bay.)

And, Dubya's chances of getting Olmert to cooperate? (Beyond just the pleasure he thinks he'll get peeing in a White House toilet?) You don't think Olmert KNOWS full well how James Baker hates him? How Condi belittled him when Arik first stroked? Perhaps, what you don't know, won't hurt you.

But in Lebanon, last summer, Israel got to do "stuff." She also now has an orbitting "eye in the sky." That's so good it can read the labels on bottles discarded on the ground.

This also means that Israel is aware America wouldn't share the "good stuff."

But the conditions of the CIA, and military intelligence, are so bad, Israel's the one WITH the information. Dubya? All he's got is his posture.

Olmert probably feels vindicated. Since, as I said, he can pee in a White House toilet. Weak hand players get those trophies. Because they can't sway people into believing they can actually "do the job."

Meanwhile, Amir Peretz was tossed out of his Defense chair, like a midget. Sans any deals. And, ditto to Ayalon. They were offered piffles for portfolios, and they turned them down.

Oddly enough, I'm looking more forward to elections, here, in the USA, in 2008; than I am to see Olmert go. They don't call him Mr. Politics for nothing, ya know?

Posted by patrick neid | June 17, 2007 1:24 PM

hopefully they won't invade if rockets start falling. just seal it off and make hamas get everything from the egyptians. then the US can tell the egyptians to seal the border or the 5 billion we give them every year could be in jeopardy.

meanwhile use the approach i have long favored. put aside this invade here, bomb that jib jab and start executing only the leaders. kill every one of the hamas leadership--in syria, lebanon, the west bank and gaza. a relentless campaign of execution, targeted killing and assassinations using gunships, cruise missiles, mossad etc. a "whatever it takes" program--let them feel terror. if syria jumps ugly take them out also.

as the israelis are doing that we should also be doing that with all the leaders of iran, syria, hezzbollah, al sadr and sudan.

stop your whining, this is WAR.

Posted by dude | June 17, 2007 1:50 PM

Don't see a reason for a dresden-style attack, but I do see a good reason to massively bomb wherever a missile comes from. If you call that dresden like then so be it.

But basically a one missile- 50-100 missile retaliation on that area. Bloody, yup.

Posted by Carol Herman | June 17, 2007 2:28 PM

Nope. Dresden was "payback." To the German's. So they'd have a "cost analysis" presented to them; for hitler's bombing raids.

You had to be there. And, yes. Kurt Vonnegut was. So, as he says: BO-TWEET.

I also don't think that the stuff we read in the press is there to enlighten us.

Perhaps, it's made to spook the Israelis into believing their "plans" aren't a secret.

While you could sit at your computer and knock out plans like this all day long.

I'm reminded how once it was said "a bunch of monkeys with typewriters" could write a shakespearian play. Or at least come up with a sentence or two that would look talented.

Then? Today I heard "we are the monkeys." The non-professionals who dare to tap-tap comments. Especially doing so on conservatives blogs.

HO HUM. Bo tweet.

Barak is not gonna be going to war, t'marra.

Did we go to war following the rodney king riots?

Actually, as soon as I read that Suha's clothes and memorabilia were looted, I thought she's about to get a handsome check from some insurance company.

In a sense? Given the looting. I think the bills are going elsewhere. Of course, to get, you have to make sure your insurance payments are current.

Can you ever be over-insured?

HO HUM. Bo tweet.

Israel is saving the skins on some of the runners out of gazoo.

Want my guess? Some of those people actually detailed the events going on in their streets. So not all civilians are bad guys.

When germany fell? You couldn't even find one nazi.

Someday? There will be arabs without tablecloths. Their religion, for all we know, is heading into the toilet.

Sure. In the past. The far distant past; there were times religions knighted kings. And, those thrones were lost.

England, as a matter of fact, did a job whipe-ing out the catholic church. How did they do that? King Henry the 8th STOLE the church property and handed it to his friends. The song, "Twenty some-odd black birds sitting in a pie?" Gave credit to the guy that carried the deeds from the church, to others. He helped himself, as well.

So even if you think religion is infalible, I don't.

Ham-ass-es are a bunch of goons. Violent. And, death prone.

And, Israel, in one wise maneuver after another, is letting the madmen murder their own.

Saddam held sway like that. Fell short, because he got the bush family mad. Kaput to the kapo-la, or make that crapola.

The journalists have lost audience.

But that's their song and dance. Do you know why?

They don't have body bags to count without it.

What are Barak's options? My guess is that he will rattle a big sword. Just like he's done on his little "win." You think he won the whole pie? Nope. No deeds to property stuck inside.

In gazoo, meanwhile, there are scores to settle.

If you think you can just toss a mafioso off the roof and not expect pay back, then you learned nothing while you were watching the Sopranos. Everybody else knows that this is an insider's game.

And, the diplomats? They race around, dancing. Ho hum. Bo Tweet. Ain't gonna get me to lay any money down on a bet.

Like to see Dayton called on the carpet, though.

Like to see Dubya packing his bags.

And, then watch Condi go flying home. (They say she's trying to get a deal right now.) Who knows? Barak's good at deals, though. Just look at how peeved Amir Peretz became. Overnight.

By the way, for Israel, their best recruits will be arabs.

What did gazoo lose? I didn't even know arafat's old dwelling existed. Big empty building. With part of the loot being an armored truck with a mounted machine gun, inside. Nice of Dayton to provide so many goodies.

My money's still on Olmert. Mr. Politics will not be giving away the store. But he'll enjoy his peeing into a white house toilet. Too bad he can't pee on James Baker's leg.

Posted by Papa Ray | June 17, 2007 2:34 PM

Well, since Hezbolla started firing rockets from Lebanon again today, it looks like Israel will have to split it's attention between north and south west.

And I hear Syria is deploying its tanks and artillery to the Israel border.

I wonder if the Iranians could put some of their cruise missile boats in the water on the west coast of Israel and complete the encirclement of the Jews?

Sounds like we will have an interesting and deadly summer.

Or actually, they will. We will just sit back and monday morning quarterback every move.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Posted by Drew | June 17, 2007 3:05 PM

I second km's reasoning. Push all of the inhabitants of Gaza into Egypt and let them assume the problem that they have sloughed off onto the world for almost 60-years.

At that point, Israel should annex Gaza as part of Israel proper, and then look at the PA in the West Bank, and say: Your point is?

Posted by Carol Herman | June 17, 2007 3:46 PM

Rockets fired from Lebanon BROUGHT AN ISRAELI RESPONSE! Someone on Little Green Footballs provided the link.

And, as soon as the rocket response came, Nasrallah ran to the press room to say "he didn't shoot a thing."

A "faction" of palestinians looking to stir up troubles? Wouldn't be new.

One of the tossed Lebanese rockets, by the way, landed on UN personnel, hanging about the border.

As to gazoo, I think if you just watch, you'll see.

Hamas, the zoo keeper, has to feed the caged clientele.

So if you think Israelis have nothing to wach, you are wrong.

And, eygpt's already brought the water cannons out. Just in case you don't understand why there isn't any foot traffic going to Cairo. It has to do with the greetings these palis get as soon as they set foot on Egptian soil.

To "hold one's fire" is a very famous military dictum.

And, the Israelis are by far the best trained.

While, yes. Olmert's in DC. But before he left, in a phone call to Knesset members, he got the votes to install Barak into DEFENSE. (Shoots down Shaul Mofaz' ambitions.) And, stopped in its tracks, Amir Peretz' 4-day "get-away" to paris. For the military hardware show.)

Seems Olmert aims well, when he wants to boost up one minister. And, show less than ever anything towards Bibi, or anyone who is really a Likudnik.

There are not infinite possibilities.

Only what can develop.

Where spending a conventional war on the creeps in gazoo isn't the smartest idea at all. Heck we let breeds like this live in South Central LA!

What people don't see is that gangs are divisive. They fight over scraps. And, if you can ignore them you can treat them as if they don't exist.

Shut off electricity to gazoo? WHY? Israel's just a target to anti-Semites. Ain't worth what you'd save in electricity. Pays to provide what you can. It's up to the animals to figure out the rest.

Oh, just because the press says so, doesn't make it true! Did you know the press is in love with McCain? Now, you tell me. Why would you care?

Some of the stuff on the stage? It's a very busy circus. There's better stuff to watch, elsewhere.

Abbas is not in gazoo?

He hated having to go there! His real home is in Doha, Qatar. And, you can be sure his valuables are not in a place where ransacking maniacs are gotta find da' loot.

Here's another lesson. After Israel's 1967 Six Day War; (where they really defeated the russians!) They got no credit. Eventually, they figured out all they got were "more arabs."

Keep this in mind when you advocate "going into gazoo." What do the Israelis need more arabs for?

Ya want a piece of the truth? Hosni knows his son inherits troubles. Even despots know that the clock runs out. Of course, how many people die in Eygpt won't be counted for ya, any time soon. But they're not nice to their "brothers."

There's troubles under those checkered tablecloths, let me tell ya.

Probably due to the Internet, too. Since as backwards as those animals are; they all have and want cell phones. They all know the latest tricks.

And, ya know what else I noticed? EVERYONE IN THE PICTURES we've seen, either of the Hamas goons, or the people in the streets: EVERYONE'S WELL FED. And, well dressed.

Something that was once noticed in russia; when the russians thought showing the rodney king riot news clips, would generate russians into believing they had it better than us.

So just use the pictures you see to observe.

Posted by Papa Ray | June 17, 2007 3:53 PM

Ok Drew...good suggestion (you might think) but lets hear how you intend to do all this: "Push all of the inhabitants of Gaza into Egypt "

Cattle trailers, trains, busses, private cars or are you just going to magiclly "transport" them.

What about the hundreds if not thousands that are in hospitals or other medical situations?

And what about their stuff? More trucks, more trailers. What about water and a place for them to live? Across the border in Egypt, there is nothing but miles and miles of...nothing.

You think Egypt could handle it. Get real, the only nation that could is the United States.

At a cost of billions of dollars just for the first year.

You think Egypt would care if they starved or died from exposure and lack of water?

Hell, they don't even care about their own people.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Posted by paul a'barge | June 17, 2007 4:46 PM

Carpet bombing, please. Soon.

The PALs in the Gaza strip asked for this.

After the carpet bombing, Israel should invade the Gaza Strip, force all the PALs out, annex the land into Israel and start building beach resorts.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | June 17, 2007 6:19 PM

Great comments and hypotheses by all here. Thank you - it's excellent reading.

Instead of adding my take, I guess I just wanted to say this.

Can you imagine, in your wildest dreams, what it would actually be like if you were an Israeli right now? You're at home with your family and the events of not only the past few days have occurred but also all the developments in Iran and you have to cope with not one threat from an enemy across your border, but from two additional enemies on the other side of you? And then throw in potential nuclear attacks from afar?

I simply cannot comprehend how those people can actually live in these circumstances.

Posted by Meryl Yourish | June 17, 2007 10:01 PM

The report in the Times is by a reporter whose reputation is, shall we say, less than stellar.

He's fed bogus Israel-nuking-Iran stories to the Times before. He's said no less than three times that Israel would attack Iran, and he gave dates. Whoops. Those dates have all passed.

The story is bogus. The man is an anti-Israel lefty who co-authored a book with Yasser Arafat's press agent.

Posted by Carol Herman | June 17, 2007 11:30 PM

The Israeli economy is thriving.

In politics, there's always bitching.

And, Fight4TheRIght, the thing you'd learn if you were in any town in Israel; is that the arabs are there, too.

What the wall keeps out are the hordes, beyond. But there are a million arabs living in Israel.

Ah, and in Israel, Ami Ayalon, who lost the recent Labor election; is going around saying that Barak only won, because of the arab and Druze votes. The difference between the two men? 3,000 votes.

How many people in Labor went and voted? About 60,000 people. Less than 65% of all the Labor registered voters. (And, many of them live within "communities," like kibbutzim. So the voting booths come to you.)

I'd bet lots of people just shrug.

Lots are familiar with Mr. Politics. Olmert's been an insider/politician for 50 years. Oh. And, Israel's small enough so that everyone pretty much knows who the politicians are.

Shimon Peres, now 85, has also won an election. To the ceremonial "presidency." Which supplies a house. And, diplomatic pants dancing. The old man is one of the toughest politicians. Whose major ability is to stick a knife in your back.

You want to know more about Israeli politics?

As to living with the arabs, it doesn't get older than that! Since about 1880. When the influx from russia, the Pale. And, beyond the Pale, started.

And, when the Jews had nothing, at least they had the scientists that could create a lot of noise. Big bangs for the buck. Because the arabs are the one's over there, who are terrified.

With the addition of Saudi money, now your average palestinian is terrified of the goons running around their neighborhoods with guns aloft.

And, they also know that the STUPID Lt. General Keith Dayton, ORDERED $60,000,000 in American arms FREE to gazoo. Ah. Condi told Dayton "this was for Abbas." Meanwhile Dahlan, the field marshall in charge, ran away to Cairo. And, he's now in Ramallah.

Abbas usually lives in Doha, Qatar. Never in gazoo. Condi used to prod and push him there, extending millions on her prodding stick.

You want to know what Israelis think?

They think Dubya's playing ball for the Saud's.

Wouldn't be wrong about that one, either.

There's no reason to shut off the electricity! Every time I hear this I'm reminded how an old person goes about the house, pretty blind. But they know where the light switches are. So they're always cutting off the lights.

Doesn't save a penny on your electric bill!

Most in gazoo have generators. And, flashlights.

And, most know they're dependent on the Ham-asses to supply them with sacks of lour; and coupons. Life's not good.

But you don't have to go to Israel to "test out" what it's like in South Central LA. Seen one gang neighborhood, seen 'em all.

Oh. And, it's typical for an Israeli to enjoy Shabbat. Heck, I'd have to go back to my own grandparents' time on the Lower East Side to feel the freedoms you get mingling in the crowds.

Olmert's not giving away the store!

On the other hand? Tony Blair is trying to give away England TO Brussels.

So when you're dealing with politicians there's always more threats under the sun to keep you up nights.

Why can't Tony Blair just leave? Hmm?

At least in some messes, Condi and Dubya aren't even players.

We're in for a very long 18 months.

Posted by section9 | June 18, 2007 7:07 AM

If Barak is smart, and I think he is, the IDF will growl, and maneuver around Gaza, but not go in.

Gaza is the matador's cloak offered by the Iranians to sucker the Israelis in on a southern front attack to keep them occupied while the Persians continue to build their bomb. Now, Olmert is foolish enough to actually fall for it, so I'm not quite sanguine about the whole situation, but if Barak has anything to say about it, he'll keep the bulk of IDF tanks and reserve forces up in the North, facing the Golan.

There will be incessant artillery attacks from the south, but they are designed to pull Olmert into another one of his indecisive half-hearted infantry attacks like occurred in Lebanon last year. The Iranians are banking on Olmert getting bogged down in Gaza so that Hezboallah can open up from the north.

The problem with Olmert is that he doesn't think strategically; we saw last year how easily he was gulled by the Iranians and the Syrians. There's a reason Condi threw her hands in the air over this clown; thankfully, with Barak in the cabinet, perhaps there's some adult supervision going on.

The key for Israel in the next war is the Golan. Period. The attacks will come from Lebanon and Gaza, but the key to stopping them will be to send the armor over the Golan towards Damascus and the Syrian/Iranian supply connection. Cut that, and you've cut Iran off from its client in the West-you've cut off Ahmadhi-Nejad's right arm, without which his regional strategy fails.

However, only Ehud Olmert, the Pericles of the Age, could miss it. So, I guess that means the IDF will get bogged down in Gaza.