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The engineer in my soul is extremely impressed by the Iron Dome anti-missile system over Israel.  It seems to be great for taking out onesy-twosy (or even more) rockets launched toward populated areas.

This little episode, however cost 15 x $50,000 or $750,000 vs. 15 x $800 or $12,000 for Hamas.

And the monetary cost for the IDF is considerably larger because of the followup, not to mention the HUMAN cost for the Gazans due to the loss of life from the IDF response.

I will not get into the I/P debate.  I wish to point out that from an incredibly callous MONETARY perspective, $50,000 is 62.5x larger than $800, and that assumes a 1:1 ratio between Iron Dome missiles and Hamas rockets.

That is not sustainable, and I feel that is the (unholy) calculus that Hamas is using when firing them. And that is even without the subsequent (I will keep my opinions to myself about the accuracy of the) IDF response.

This is terrible for two of the three parties:
  • Israel
  • Gazans

IMHO, the only, ONLY solution is to take Hamas out of the equation.
Dante has a nice place in the 8th or even 9th Circle already prepared for them.

How can that be done?

There are political solutions.  There are military solutions.  Hopefully, some of them work, most of them don't. (As we've seen.)

I suggest that destabilizing Gaza isn't one of them.  I suggest that ghettoizing Gaza isn't one of them.  I suggest that shelling the living daylights out of mostly civilians isn't one of them.  People that have opportunity to survive and flourish do not resort to having the local bully "represent them."

Sadly, I don't see a way to get to the notion of unification from here, but I'd really like to see it.  Have the Palestinians become part of society and be able to participate in it, instead of having them bottled up with a limited number of calories, materials, and opportunities for a life.  They represent a large untapped labor resource for Israel, and an economic growth center.  Alas!

Unless that becomes possible, I don't see an end to asymmetric warfare.  Oppressing them (queue Monty Python "Help Help, I'm being oppressed!") merely feeds the Hamas beast.  But at the same time, it would be foolish in the extreme to stand down and allow oneself to be harmed.  Catch-22.

So Hamas will continue to pull their (deadly yet cost-effective) stunts, gain attention, and maintain quasi-control.  Israel will continue to spend American taxpayer dollars for whatever weaponry they need (defensive and offensive), and even more Gazans and some IDF members will die.

And the the people who are trying to do the right thing (presumably the UN) are trying to put out a forest fire with a squirt gun.

Have I assessed the situation correctly?


At the end of the American Civil War, at Appomattox Court House, U. S. Grant permitted the rebel soldiers to take their horses home so they could plow their fields and return to something approaching an ordinary life.  That strongly dis-incentivized them to fight a guerrilla war.  The Radical Republicans were extremely upset with him over that, yet it was the right thing to do.

It still took until WWI (50 years later!) to re-integrate the South into the Union, and one could argue (given Ferguson, et al) that it still hasn't, but to stop or forestall guerrilla warfare, people en masse need a future that they can look forward to for themselves and their children.



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Comment Preferences

  •  Please pardon me for sticking my ___ in this. (10+ / 0-)

    It's just that every time someone is killed or injured, especially a child, my heart jumps up to my throat.

    This is WRONG on sooo many levels, and I don't see how military might can end it without unbelievably bad consequences.  I can't see how diplomacy can, either.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 08:16:55 AM PDT

  •  They took their horses home, but not their rifles (4+ / 0-)

    or any other military equipment, which was surrendered.

    Let Hamas disarm completely, just as the Confederate Army did. They there will be peace.

  •  Watching the destruction of Gaza on t.v., (7+ / 0-)

    I can't help thinking that Israel really ought to be held responsible for the property damage that it has done.  How can they justify taking down a 14-story apartment building which might have housed a member or two of Hamas?  Where are the other people who lived in the building going to live?  

    The Gaza situation is a hard problem to solve, but Israel's grotesquely disproportionate responses to Hamas rockets are not a move toward a solution, unless the aim is genocide against the residents of Gaza.

    •  But if Israel had an insufficient response, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that wouldn't help, either.

      For that matter, a proportionate response (should such a chimera exist) would only permit the other side to escalate.

      No, I'm not excusing the wanton destruction of Gaza.  Nor am I saying they should rely upon the Iron Dome, because they can't over the long term.  Either Hamas finally finds a way to overwhelm its capacity, or they bleed the IDF (and ultimately the American Taxpayer) dry with the cost of supporting it.

      That's why I think there are no military solutions.

      The only winners right now are:
      • the MIC that builds and sells the missiles
      • whomever is backing Hamas because they're getting tremendous bang for the asymmetric buck

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 09:49:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It also encourages the terrorists... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, G2geek constantly search the world for weapons with more power and control than the ballistic rockets they're currently using. I've read that they are using "real" ordinance now as opposed to the garage-built cardboard-tube rockets they started with.
    The font of hatred built up from demolishing Gaza and killing two thousand people is going to push people who hate Israel to winnow the world (and underworld!) for Bigger And Badder...
    The ability of humans to devise ever more destructive weapons means that sooner or later, crazy people will be able to kill everyone in Tel Aviv. I really fear that the boiling anger is producing really determined enemies that will actually threaten large population areas of Israel rather than just bloviate about it, "Total destruction of the Zionist Occupiers" Blah-blah...
    This deranged crazy shit has to be stopped.

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 09:21:15 AM PDT

  •  making lots of ahistorical assumptions here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, letsgetreal, YucatanMan

    In your analysis, you neglect to mention the entire history of Palestine, which from the very beginning amounts to a relentless cycle of Israeli brutality, massacre, and land seizure against the Palestinians. The Palestinians are an occupied people, and nowhere more viciously than in Gaza. The people of Gaza are living in a rubble strewn open air prison, and are being starved, blockaded and restricted to deliberately cause maximum misery and desperation.

    The Gazans don't have the comfortable American luxury of hoping that Bibi and his bloodthirsty racist cronies will have a change of heart about their "Greater Israel" aspirations. They know, from 67 years of experience, that Israel will never give back a single inch of what it has taken, and that if they do nothing they will be squeezed until they are forced to leave - ethnically cleansed (or "self deported" as the Israelis like to say). From the perspective of the people of Gaza, there are two choices: fight/resist, or be expelled.

    As for Hamas, well Hamas is an Israeli created monster. It was fostered into power by the Israeli government as a way to weaken the Palestinians back when there was still a chance for some sort of peace. But Israel doesn't want peace. Or, rather, the only peace that Israel wants is one where the Palestinian lands have been absorbed and there are no Palestinians around to cause trouble.

    This is all a big horrific con game: every time the goal is in jeopardy - the Palestinians make some progress towards unity and founding their own state, the international community puts too much pressure on Israel to concede, the Palestinian radicals start acting reasonably - then it is time to provoke another escalation.

    And that is why the Israeli government (though certainly not the Israeli people) loves Hamas with their little rockets, because they do almost no harm, but nevertheless neutralize any hope of Palestinian unity and provide a pretext to whip up Israeli fear and hatred and support to accelerate the destruction of Palestine.

    THAT is the context. There are only two ways to eliminate Hamas, and the choice is with Israel, not the Palestinians. First, Israel could abandon its Greater Israel goal and either give the Palestinians a viable state or fully integrate them into Israel, or secondly Israel could kill or expel all of the Palestinians in Gaza. Which do you think it will be?

    "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

    by quill on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 10:34:33 AM PDT

    •  I'm not TOUCHING the history of how we got (4+ / 0-)

      here.  We could all go waaay back to the British and beyond, or even just this year and have amazing and violent agreement and disagreement.

      Yet here we are.

      You wrote:

      As for Hamas, well Hamas is an Israeli created monster.
      Very, VERY true.  More's the irony, then, because just as Israel created Hamas, they also enable them... and do not have any method of getting rid of them that they are willing to use.

      From your concluding paragraph (with some modest formatting):

      ...There are only two ways to eliminate Hamas, and the choice is with Israel, not the Palestinians.
      • First, Israel could abandon its Greater Israel goal and either give the Palestinians a viable state or fully integrate them into Israel,
      • or secondly Israel could kill or expel all of the Palestinians in Gaza. Which do you think it will be?
      I don't think a viable state would be permitted, especially not adjacent to Israel.  There is so much bad blood from the last decades, I simply don't see it.  It would take GENERATIONS to fix.

      Integration?  This is a task ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more difficult reunifying Germany.  It's the right answer, but the political and economic will is IMHO impossible.

      Extermination/"Transplantation" -- My Cherokee ancestors endured that in the 19th Century and it was horrible then.  To do so now with 21st century morality... Israel would become the ultimate pariah.  Deservedly so.  Instead it seems to be happening in slow motion.  That 50% of the population of Gaza are children says a lot about the life expectancy of the adults.

      My take is that Israel is attempting perpetual confinement in hopes that something will develop over time.  But the human cost (as well as monetary -- see this diary) is obscene.

      Thank you for your post. +4

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 10:59:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm afraid that Israel will take the pariah route (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There are many solutions that would stop the violence, but I think that too many Israelis have become invested in doing whatever it takes to kill and/or expell the Palestinians. I agree with you that is is a slow-walked affair due to fear of retaliation,  international sanctions and pariah status, and loss of support in the US.

        I worry that Israel will soon decide take a "rip the bandaid off quickly" approach to try and head all that off by invading and depopulating Gaza. The problem is, nobody wants to host millions of Palestinian refugees and I doubt Israel will want to relocate the Gazans to the West Bank.

        "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

        by quill on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 01:40:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  With public debate questioning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the violence, it's time for the world's nations to take a stand to end the violence: boycotts, sanctions, whatever.

    First, three generations later Israel and Palestine are still using violence.  They've had their chance.  The world has to intervene.

    Second, neither side is going anywhere.  Ideas don't die, just people.

    Third, you can't negotiate with a someone without power.  People without power turn to violence.

    The world needs to guarantee Palestinians a chance to build a nation.

    •  Not to argue with you about the world needing (0+ / 0-)

      to step in, do you think that a 2-state solution could even work, given their history?

      I'm not sanguine about it.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 12:47:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that a temporary two-state solution (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        could work.  The world is not going to let either side decimate the other, so what other solution is there besides endless war?

        Without placing blame the world community needs to use a cease-fire to force both sides to accept the status quo.  Then start building a second state.

        We need to stop both sides from focusing on the past and start allowing in international intervention.

        The final form of the solution can be worked out as long as there is a cease-fire backed by public opinion.  Each side will have to constrain their extremists.

        Actually, this idea is based on the example of Northern Ireland.  Once the violence is repudiated, then a solution will arise.

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