Rummy’s Wisdom

2 01 2009

In an October 16, 2003 memo to certain Pentagon officials, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously asked, “Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?”  Rumsfeld was not just referring to the actual wars waged by U.S. soliders in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the deeply flawed and much too abstract notion of the Global War on Terror (GWOT).

Though Rumsfeld tenure as head of DoD was less than inspiring, the question needs to be continuously revisited if the U.S. and others are going to have some way of evaluaging its progress in capturing or eliminating networks of individuals that constitute genunine national security threats.

But its not just the U.S. who should think hard about such questions. Its allies should do the same too, namely Israel.

Earlier this week, Ehud Barak boldly declared that Israel was in “an all out war with Hamas and its proxies.” Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon noted, the cheif aim of the bombing campaign was too “topple Hamas.

But this is hardly possible. Hamas has at least 15,000 fighters located in one of the densest areas of the world, the Gaza Strip. True, Isreal has reportedly killed a certain high level figure since the beginning of this weeks assault, but as of this positing it had to kill 400 and injure 1,700, since the bombing began on Saturday to do so – the vast majority of whom are civilians.  But even the actual fighters could easily be replaced from a largely poor, deeply frustrated, and frequently ignored Palestinian population.

Israeli forces are also reportedly contemplating following up on their current bombardment with ground incursions into Gaza, presumably to ferret out top Hamas fighters from their outposts or destroy tunnels along the Gaza and Egyptian border smuggling arms to Hamas fighters. But its doubtful that going into the lions den would end up being that fruitful. In fact, unless guided by excellent intelligence as to where the actual targets are, it would only serve to reinforce the notion of Israel the bully and occupier.

A perception that probablly found new life in the court of international public opinion after it already ignored U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon plea to end the bombing and summarily dismissed negotiating a cease fire as suggested by the French.

Granted its true that Hamas could simply use that oppunity to rededicate their efforts or countinue bombing southern Israel, but the option should be explored at some level before publicly stating and consideration of sending group troops.

We would all do well to remember why Hamas won local elections in 2005 and the Western-back Fatah. Hamas was better organized, provided social services to those in te occupied terrorities that the Fatah did not, and a good number of those who were once with Fatah joined Hamas instead. This war in its own perverse way may only help serve to strengthen Hamas even if it did instigate this recent round of combat.

So at the end of this campaign we are still left with the question of whether or not Israel abated the threat of future attacks or increased its likelihood.

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One response

4 01 2009
Joker Rummy

welll this is really sad time for world

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