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January 01, 2009

LAT Liberal Rosa Brooks: Hamas Strategy of Endless War is Counterproductive; They Cannot Bomb Israel Into Making Concessions

Hot Air has the link.

But if there is no reason to doubt Hamas' ability to pulverize Israeli schools, there's also no reason to think this unending jihad will improve Hamas' ambitions for a decent state....

The constant terror bombs may even strengthen Israel's hawks in the longer run and weaken its more moderate secular rivals, such as Labour. As Hamas should know by now (as we all should know), dropping bombs in densely populated areas is a surefire way to radicalize civilians and get them to rally around the home team, however flawed.


Hamas has no viable political endgame here: There's just no clear route from bombardment to a sustainable peace. But the damage caused by this new conflagration won't be limited to the Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas' military offensive already has sparked outrage and protests throughout the Western world...

It's time for the United States to wake up from its long slumber and reengage -- forcefully -- with the Middle East peace process. Only the U.S. -- Israel's primary supporter and main financial sponsor -- can push Hamas to make the hard choices necessary for its own long-term security, as well as the region's.

Oh wait-- I misread. Rosa Brooks passed on judging the efficacy of Hamas' strategy of terror-bombing Israel with 3000 rockets this year. It is only now that Israel hits back that she rouses herself to ponder the usefulness of war.

I substituted "Hamas" whenever she said "Israel" and made similar small changes in her wording to make her anti-Israeli column anti-Hamas instead.

I did of course have to invent that bit about "outrage in the Western world." We all know there is never such outrage.

Although this is a childish little exercise, it does demonstrate the fact that leftists such as Rosa Brooks will tolerate terror attacks on Israel for a full year without rousing themselves to even mention it. But the moment Israel fights back, they are full of chin-stroking advice as to What Must Be Done.

Hamas counts on precisely this phenomenon, of course. They trust the Arab governments and the anti-Jew apologists in the Western press to press "peace" on Israel alone, which is of course no peace at all, but rather an unending war in which only one side bombs the other and kills its civilians.

Perhaps if Rosa Brooks and her other anti-Jewish fellow-travelers could question whether Hamas has a "viable endgame" in its constant warmaking, these... unpleasantries could be avoided.

Israel does have a "viable endgame," of course. The same "viable endgame" the US has in its own war on terror. Terror forces cannot be defeated as regular forces can. You cannot simply destroy the opposing army and its industrial capacity to create further weapons of war. Terror forces are light guerrilla forces, living among the civilian population rather than massing in large formations, and furthermore their weapons are largely supplied by outside actors -- Iran, chiefly -- which are considered off-limits to attacks, so their stocks of weapons can never be significantly reduced.

Israel's strategy is the same then as Hamas' -- exhausting and attritting the enemy forces, slowly grinding down their manpower and, crucially, their willpower to continue making war.

This is neither an easy strategy nor a quick one. If a conventional war lasts four or five years, a non-conventional war can last decades. And it's unclear if one side can ever impose enough pain on the other to produce what would be called a "victory."

And yet this is precisely the strategy Hamas has been pursuing for decades. Rosa Brooks never seems to question whether such a strategy should be pursued at all -- at least when it's Hamas doing the warmaking. It's only when Israel retaliates with a similar strategy (but a far more humane and moral implementation of that strategy, as they attempt to avoid civilian casualties, whereas Hamas seeks to inflict civilian casualties almost exclusively), that the Great Geopolitical One-Woman Think-Tank Rosa Brooks troubles herself to pen a column about oh how futile and terrible this all is.

Make a New Year's vow, Rosa, to engage that gigantic peace-seeking brain of yours a bit earlier in the process next time, and work up the energy to attack Hamas for making wars with no "viable endgame" the next time this process begins.

Or does that ask too much?

VDH: Hamas' Enablers. Ah, to always be beaten to the punch, and with a better punch, by VDH.

Eh, what can I expect. He's good. I'm not.

His bit is more about that Hamas' constant barrage of terror-rockets failing to spark any outrage at all among the Western press.

Thanks to CJ for that.

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posted by Ace at 03:12 PM

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