Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gazans Fire Rockets at Israel

...Israel drops big bombs on Gaza. About 200 people died when Israel launched air strikes against pretty much every Hamas security installation in Gaza, with about 270 wounded.

The Gazan response? More rockets.

There seems to be no plan here. The Israelis should know by now that air strikes of this sort never deter attacks by whatever fraction of Hamas decides they want to prove how anti-Israeli they are to their comrades. To the extent that they simply destroy capability they may have some utility, but we're talking tiny, almost man-portable rockets here, not ICBMs. You're never going to destroy the capability of using those.

And, naturally, the rocket attacks are completely pointless. An Israeli tragically died recently and a number have been wounded, but they're simply not going to do any significant or lasting damage. At best they might have driven Israelis away from the border, but this has been going on for YEARS. At this point those Israelis that are left within rocket distance are those who are not going to be frightened into leaving their homes.

So we have a failure of credibility and deterrence all around. Israel will not get what it wants, and Hamas (or whatever fraction of them still thinks this is worthwhile) will not get what they want. The only thing either will get is a higher body count.

Edit: Okay, the other thing they'll get is propaganda points for their various talking-head proxies, which seems sometimes to be the only damned thing they care about in the first place. Expect Israeli representatives to go on and on about the "need for security" and "show of strength" and that sort of thing, carefully ignoring the question of how, exactly, this is supposed to deter anybody. Expect Palestinians to focus on the body count and the blockade and suchlike, while delicately tiptoeing around the fact that it was, yes, serial rocket attacks into Israel that provided Israel the reason/justification/excuse in the first place.

And expect both to be whining like children about "who started it."

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