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29 June 2006

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Curious

By now, I don't think anybody in the arab world wants Israel around anymore, for real. So Israel has to fight everybody in the area. Good luck to them.

There are too many animosity around. It'll take decades to fix what has happened, while at the same time the escalating hostility on the ground is only the beginning.

Clock is ticking toward true regional war now.

Forget nuclear talk with Iran. No serious analyist will believe for a second Iran will even delay their nuke program now, let alone abandon it.

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some random musing on PA.

I think Hamas is very aware what Israel is trying to do (Israel is trying to do the Arafat job. Remember when Israel parks their tanks and force Arafat to hunker down?)

that on top of assasination policy.

So now, Hamas has to decide what to do. I believe they will survive, they have the support of the Palestinian people. And they have survived against Fatah and won fair election. Plus I don't think Hamas is that stupid completely abandoning shadow leadership and the underground network. But they are toast. They have to balance visibility vs. the survival of their organisation.

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Iraq.

Suddenly Iraq problem looks incredibally irrelevant. I for one just wait for the other shoe to drop and a whole group of people calling out jihad against us and the Israel.

If we are not carefull, we'll put ourselves right smack dab in the middle of Israel vs. arab conflict and has to pick side too. This is definitely going to spread fast if not handled carefully.... fast...VERY fast. Hamas ain't the PLO.

the situation is not pretty with neocon in charge.

Worst case scenario ... we gonna have to fight Syria and Iran with Russian supply of equipments/intel. (very unlikely right now tho')


PS. I don't believe Ross is a fair negotiator. I read his book. He is screwing the Palestinian for sure. (I mean seriously, have you seen the proposed map? lol. No wonder the whole thing collapses)

zanzibar

Israel will get what it wants. It has overwhelming military superiority and has the financial backing of the US and the political support of the west. The Palestinians are weak and now divided. All they can accomplish are isolated incidents of retaliation that will in no way impinge on the Israeli state.

The question is what does Israel really want? Unfortunately there does not seem to be unanimity in ISrael.

Curious

Right. The Palestinian politics is highly disorganized and there is no national unity within the major players. It was primarily a personality cult until very recently. (Arafat)

Hamas quite possibly is the first true political organisation that evolves outside PLO movement.

We'll see I suppose.

as for who the winner will be in Palestinian vs. Israel war. Well, they say the same thing when Israel enters Lebanon. Same with our effort in Iraq. Israel has to commit genocide to win against Palestinians.

Just because it looks good on paper doesn't mean a thing long term. In a protracted guerilla war where the Palestinian is supported by a lot of Arab countries, Israel will dies of exhaustion within 2-3 decades.

And remember Iraq IS al qaeda weapon now. For all we know 20 years from now, Iraq will be another taliban kingdom with far more vicious guerillas group emerging from it. Israel will have to stretch itself far and wide...

the cyber ruffian

zanzibar posed an interesting question: what does Israel really want? Of course opinion is divided in Israel. Col. Lang, what do you make of the following?

Back in Dec. 2005 (or was it 2004?) just before the presidential election that Abbas won, I read something in the paper that really made me sit up straight. There was another guy who was briefly in the race, a guy named (if memory serves) Marwan Barghouti, who was in an Israeli prison serving 5 life sentences for murder connected with some terrrorist attack(s). An anonymous Israeli spokesman briefly mentioned that the government would consider letting him out of prison if he won. It was almost a throwaway line, and of course, the media completely failed to note the significance of that potential offer and to follow up on it.

But I thought to myself, how pragmatic. My thinking here may be simplistic but I always thought (and still do) that Abbas can never make a peace with Israel because he can't sell the deal, with the necessary compromises, to the Palestinian people, due to his lack of street cred as a fighter. I thought to myself, hmmm... I wonder if the Israelis are thinking the same thing, and thinking maybe Barghouti could be a guy with whom they could do a deal, because he had the street cred to sell it.

After a while, I even wondered if maybe I hadn't imagined the whole thing. Imagine our fanatic administration offering to let Khalel Sheikh Mohammed (sp?) go for some pragmatic political purpose! Barghouti quickly bowed out anyway (what kind of pressure brought that about? and from what quarter did that pressure come?) Abbas won, no peace deal, wall goes up, etc., and now the current mess.

Interestingly, in the run up to the parliamentary elections that brought Hamas to power, damned if they didn't do it again! Another (trial balloon?) offer to set Barghouti free, mentioned only once that I saw, no follow up by the media, etc. What on earth was that all about? And who floated that balloon? Could it have come out of the PM's office? Or maybe the IDF and/or Mossad? and who was the target? the US? Israeli public? The Palestinians? Was it a genuine offer or shot across someone's bow?

I certainly don't know enough to answer those questions, but knowing of your extensive experience in the region I thought you might be able to throw a little light on the matter.

W. Patrick Lang

Cyber

The Israelis are conflicted about this kind of thing and I doubt if they would have freed Barghouti if he had won. They think an enemy is always an enemy because he doesn't really like you and would do something bad if he could on a cost free basis. The idea that you have to make peace with enemies doesn't work for most of them. Some, yes, but not most.

I am not in favor of making deals with jihadis. Their motivations are not recognizable in the context of western materialism. The nationalist insurgents in Iraq are a different matter. pl

the cyber ruffian

thanks for your reply, Col. Still, interesting that they floated the idea at all...

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