The Realist summarizes Cast Lead, and I agree with much of what he said, including his conclusions about what needs to be done next. He says that the political situation needs to be stabilized before we know what will happen, of course – but unfortunately I do not see a real routing of Hamas happening in any case, for the following reasons:
- Netanyahu, who at this point is still poised to take over, come February, must be examined based on his actual experience. People do not change very much – and he already is a known quantity. Though he may be the lesser of many evils, he is a politician in the full, pejorative sense of the word, who is simply on the other side of the map from other like-minded elected officials. (The one exception is his economic worldview, based on his education, which he actually carried out fairly well while serving as minister). In any case, I don’t see him carrying such an operation out – I see him selling everything wholesale – the only mitigating factor now is Benny Begin, who actually is a true ideologue.
- Such an operation would probably take months – complete elimination of Hamas would require a very thorough examination of every house, street, school, alley in the entire Gaza Strip – Israel does not have the luxury of such an undertaking, largely due to world opinion the modern nature of real time media reports.
- Another consideration is the Israeli leadership’s tendency to conform to the popular theory that only the Left can wage war and only the Right can make peace, which Bibi certainly practiced when he was in office.
He also mentions the problem of smuggling, and that it ” is going to be incredibly difficult to stop entirely.” I think the idea of building a moat along the Philadelphi corridor is a good start.
In the end, however, The Realist is correct – “There is ultimately no alternative… In the end they have to be bombed into destruction.” I just don’t see it happening anytime soon.
“At the slightest sign of a return to the status quo ante bellum, this needs to happen. Otherwise all of this was for nothing.” True. How sad.