June 28, 2006

Israeli Gears

Hatched by Dafydd

Yesterday, Israel roared into Gaza in a lightning war (yeah, yeah, I know), ostensibly to find and rescue kidnapped IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit... but actually to break the back of Hamas, al-Aqsa, and other terrorist groups operating in the Gaza Strip.

This post is not a strategic analysis or tactical account of the Gaza invasion; others with far better credentials than I are covering that very thoroughly, including CounterTerrorism Blog (the new home of former Fourth Rail blogger Bill Roggio) and the Belmont Club; as well as far more prolific and patient bloggers than I, including my old CO, Captain Ed -- all of whom, plus many others, can be accessed via the blogroll to your right.

Rather, I just want to pluck out a few illuminating scenes among the Palestinians, responses to this existential crisis that are so very sad and pathetic that they're actually funny, in a morbid, black-humor way.

First, a general look at the lack of military preparedness for a "nation" that has been launching attacks daily deadly against the Middle East's premier indigenous military power, Israel:

Israeli tanks and troops entered southern Gaza and planes attacked three bridges and knocked out electricity to the coastal strip early Wednesday, stepping up the pressure on Palestinian militants holding captive a 19-year-old Israeli soldier.

The soldiers and tanks began taking up positions in two locations about a mile east of the Gaza town of Rafah under the cover of tank shells, according to witnesses and Palestinian security officials. Palestinians dug in behind walls and sand embankments, bracing for a major Israeli offensive.

"Walls and sand embankments?" Are they barking mad? How long do they thing those defenses will stop one of these, the Israeli Merkava main battle tank?

Merkava 2

Israeli Merkava Main Battle Tank

We continue:

Trying to defuse building tensions, negotiators from the ruling Hamas movement said Tuesday they had accepted a document implicitly recognizing Israel. But two Syrian-based Hamas leaders denied a final deal had been reached.

Israel said only freedom for the captive soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, could defuse the crisis, not a political agreement.

The wolf is not at the door, you morons; he is in the living room headed towards the bedroom. And you still can't get it through your thick skulls that it's time to crawl on your hands and knees and beg for mercy! How braindead are these Hamas "leaders?" Are the Palestinians down with this defiance in the face of certain annihilation?

Overnight, Israeli planes fired at least nine missiles at Gaza's only power station, cutting electricity to much of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian security officials said. The station's three functioning turbines and a gasoline reservoir were engulfed in enormous flames that firefighters were unable to control.

The attack raised the specter of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as water pumps in the strip are powered by electricity. Some power in Gaza City was restored by tapping into electricity supplied by Israel in northern Gaza.

Gee, how long does Hamas suppose that source will last? Speaking of northern Gaza, Captain Ed links to the Jerusalem Post, which reports that Stage 2 of the Gaza invasion has begun: Israel is now moving into -- see if you can guess -- northern Gaza in a "pincer" move.

Shocked? You may not be, but evidently that possibility never occurred to the military geniuses in Hamas.

Back to the Associated Press. This sentence literally made me laugh out loud:

Masked militants from various armed factions took up defensive positions around Gaza City, instructing drivers to turn their headlights off.

Yeah... if you turn off your headlights and close those blackout curtains, then the Israelis can't see you!

What year do the Palestinians think this is -- 1942? (If so, that would represent a temporal quantum leap from their leaders, who think it's still the 7th century, and Mohammed still walks the earth, leading his armies against the infidel.)

Haven't they ever seen pictures on al-Jazeera or CNN or other terrorist-supporting television networks of American soldiers in battle wearing weird machines in front of their eyes? What do the Palestinians think those are for -- do they imagine that in the middle of combat, the Americans are getting eye exams? (Quick, call the Syrian Oculist!)

Maybe they haven't made the leap that if Americans have "starlight scopes," the Israelis probably do as well. And infrared imaging. And GPS and satellite mapping. And lots of other ways to operate... even when it's dark outside.

Invading the stronghold of the big, bad terrorist caliphs seems awfully similar to invading Mozambique or Bangladesh. Maybe if Palestinians spent a little less time pining for the olden times, when Islam could actually boot Frankish knights out of the Holy Land -- and less time plinking at Israel with Kassam rockets -- they might be able to devote the attention and industry necessary to build a real country, with a real economy that wouldn't be crippled by the loss of welfare payments from other countries. You think?

The militants told residents to leave the area. They piled gasoline-soaked tires in the streets. Earlier, bulldozers blocked some of the main roads with piles of sand and dirt to try to slow down Israeli tanks.

Yeah. Here's what happens when a Merkava hits one of those "piles of sand and dirt" at high speed:

Merkava Jump

Armored Division X-Games

You can't see it in that picture, but before landing, the Israeli tank commander did a "Superman" and a fakey-grab.

Here is the problem on a nutshell. From Deutsche Presse-Agentur via Monsters & Critics News:

For the first time since the soldier's abduction early Sunday, the Hamas-led Palestinian government backed the demands of the kidnappers and called for a prisoners' swap with Israel.

After a brief emergency cabinet meeting in Ramallah of only its West Bank members, Finance Minister Omar Abdul Razek called the kidnappers' demand that Israel free jailed militants 'logical.'

Sadly, it is logical: for years -- decades -- Palestinian terrorists from the PLO of yesteryear to Hamas, al-Aqsa, and Hezbollah of today have found that the quickest and surest way to get their own fighters released from Israeli custody was to kidnap some Israelis and demand a prisoner swap. It was not uncommon for the Israelis to let go 300 to 400 POWs in exchange for a single Israeli soldier... or sometimes even for his corpse.

It's not unreasonable that Hamas would think those were the rules of the game and try it again. Where they drift off the sanity-rails into the Land of Make-Believe is when the Israelis balked, threatened a huge invasion, and massed troops and armor on the border -- and Hamas still could not shake itself awake enough to hear the chilling wolf-howl just outside. Like old, deaf dogs, they lay fat and happy before the fire and didn't hear a thing.

I cannot continue. The brain reels. Even though I predicted exactly this, it's still hard to fathom how stupid are the terrorists of Hamas and Fatah, and the nutty Palestinian voters who substituted the former for the latter when Fatah proved too accomodationist to the "Zionist entity." (I've discovered the real difference between Fatah and Hamas: both want to drive the Jews into the sea, but Fatah would give them life preservers.)

At least, thank goodness, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has not been able to scrounge up those "20 different types of biological and chemical weapons" they threatened to use against the Israelis if they invaded. Keep all digits crossed.

And all this flows from the refusal of Hamas simply to recognize the existence of Israel and previous agreements with them, as nearly every nation on the planet had urged them to do -- including many Arab Moslem regimes. "And all for the want of a tenpenny nail."

Oh well. To quote Larry Niven again, "not responsible for advice not taken."

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 28, 2006, at the time of 6:21 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

Start snatching up Fatah and Hamas etc operatives and leaders.

Give them treatment according to the Hague Conventions, Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Geneva Conventions.

The Palestinians are now an Independent State, let them learn the consequences of commision of Acts of War.

One nice thing you do not need trials to hold Prisoners of War.

And they get released when?

When the War is OVER. Odd thing,you cannot sign a Peace Treaty with a political entity you refuse to recognise can you?

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2006 7:30 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2006 8:20 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Dan Kauffman:

Hah, the Israelis are way ahead of you: they "captured" the Deputy Prime Minister of the PA today, along with other high-ranking Hamas officials, and (one presumes) shipped them back to Israel... to hold for eventual swapping for the Israeli corporal!

(Two can play at this game!)

I'll be blogging on that tonight (which could mean tomorrow morning).


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2006 8:33 PM

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

The Jihadist Scorpion and the Infidel Frog

A scorpion and a frog were standing on the bank of the river. The frog started to cross the river, when the scorpion called out: "Frog. Please allow me to ride across the river on your back. I cannot swim."

The frog replied, "No. I dare not. You will sting me, and I will surely die."

The scorpion replied, "No, I won't. You will be doing me a favor. I will not sting you."

The frog asked, "Do you promise that you will not sting me?"

The scorpion replied "Yes, I promise."

So the scorpion jumped onto the frog's back and rode across to the opposite bank. Immediately upon getting to dry land, the scorpion stung the frog.

As the frog lay dying, he said to the scorpion: "You promised you wouldn't sting me. I trusted you. I took you safely to dry land. But you stung me anyway."

The scorpion replied, "You should have known better. It's my nature. After all, I am a scorpion."

Next day's BBC report:
Lucky scorpion survives frog attack; attacker suffers heart attack

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2006 8:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

Dang it Dafydd... now I have this image of an IDF Tanker doing a Superman over a tank hatch... roommates are wondering why I can barely type right now.

But I share your incredulity... I honestly thought that the Palestinians knew the score, and were just posing for the World Media to make points. It is now beginning to look like they really DO believe what the NYTimes et al tell them about the world outside the Refugee Camp!

I figured at first that Israel was going to drive 'em all into Egypt and then warn Mubarak about "Acts of WAR" committed on his territory... but as soon as the Israelis blocked that avenue off it became obvious that this one is gonna get wet.

Stupid Pallys... they had it ALL under Clinton, and just threw it all away. Not that I'm sorry... but they were not well served by their supporters over here when they got encouragement for that act of ignorance.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2006 9:44 PM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

Final words of Hamas leadership "Wait...you're not supposed...to...hit...back...(death rattle)"

Perhaps they are ensconced in their fortified bunker, ordering around divisions of troops that do not exist.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 29, 2006 9:47 AM

The following hissed in response by: Don

Dafyyd - are you a Cream fan by any chance?

The above hissed in response by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 30, 2006 2:51 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Not really a fan; I have that album and also Wheels of Fire, both vinyl. I like their music, but they're not my favorite band (that would be King Crimson, with Yes a close second).


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 30, 2006 4:12 AM

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