“Israel’s strategic game of survival”

Caroline Glick:

(March 15, 2024 / JNS)
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s obscene call for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ouster from power on the Senate floor on Thursday was the latest sign that Hamas’s strategy is working. On the “Caroline Glick Show” this week, U.S. Military Academy professor Col. John Spencer, who chairs West Point’s Urban Warfare Studies Program, explained that the terrorist organization’s goal for victory is a concerted political-military strategy.
Hamas, he said, knew that Israeli Defense Forces would respond with force to its Oct. 7 assault in southern Israel. “They wanted Israel’s counterattack, and then they wanted to hold in the tunnels and use the hostages just to buy time for the international community—namely, the United States—to stop the IDF in their operations.”
“Their only goal is to survive. … It’s all about time. They want to survive Israel’s attack against them, which gives them immense political power. If they survive in any way, they have strategically won the war,” said Spencer…

37 thoughts on ““Israel’s strategic game of survival””

  1. I hate to be this cynical, but I predicted all of this on 10/8 when I told a friend that everyone supports Israel now because it’s a victim but the moment it actually tries to fight back. Biden flying to Israel and embracing Netanyahu, all the public pronouncements of support, it all sounded great and it all had an expiration date of several weeks

    Some laugh here about the value of protests, some might even roll their eyes about propaganda. However that initial NY Times story regarding the Al Shifa hospital which Hamas claimed was bombed by Israel killing hundreds? Yeah it was piece of garbage but it irrevocably shifted the story from what happened to Israel to what was now happening to Gaza. It was a great piece of propaganda and the “narrative” about Gaza has never been the same. That big pro-Hamas protest in DC in November? That juiced the movement, if you didn’t have that rally you wouldn’t have had the very strange sight of Schumer’s speech

    Just so we’re clear, we have an internationally-recognized terrorist organization that has performed acts of murder, sexual violence, and kidnapping that would have made an SS commander blush. Taken hundreds of said civilians to be used as human shields back to Gaza, which Hamas has fortified by stealing billions of dollars in international aid. It now fights a war that it has deliberately invited, viewing every dead civilian that it has used a human shield as a victory and every civilian building whose fortification had led to its destruction as an asset.

    So if the war ends with the Gaza Strip in ruins but Hamas alive, who wins? It seems to me that we very much could see this in 5 years as the decisive conflict in the Arab-Israeli wars.

  2. Israel should ignore kapo Schumer. Israel should destroy Hamas and relocate surviving Palestinians to the west Bank. Hamas are godless monsters.

  3. At this point it doesn’t look like Israel is planning on taking the spineless ninny route the US took after their nightly news anchor waved the surrender flag.

  4. remember bitar still? at the nsc staff, previously worked for schumer, or maybe it was schiff, remember the chief middle east expert, at the company, mcfadden proudly put the Fatah flag on her twitter feed, Malley* stepped down from State, and went to Princeton, there is no sign that his policy directives aren’t being followed,

    *first time I heard about him, was apologia for Arafat not accepting the deal Barak had offered him in 2000, this was in New York Review of Books, what I dubbed Molotov monthly, from that infamous cover in 1969, at the time I didn’t know his provenance, his father was a propagandist for Fatah and Nasser and all the fashionable causes, young Rahim, went to the same lycee as Anthony Blinken, quelle surprise, and has been the tale wagging the dog
    ever since,

  5. Continued, Malley argued that Arab nationalism, as a sole criteria, did not solve the problem, so like his counterpart Jamal Khashoggi, they argued for Islamism of the Sunni variety, to take hold in Algeria, in Afghanistan, and other places, the International Crisis Forum was his vehicle for doing so, from North Africa to the Caucasus to South Asia, at some point, they lined up with Al Thanis campaign to wrest the leadership of the Salafi from the Kingdom,
    hence their championship of the Arab Spring,

  6. Many of the pro-Hamas demonstrations, especially on college campuses, are led by Muslim students funded by Muslim countries. Colleges love foreign students who are paying full tuition, many from hostile countries.

  7. Since the defeat of the Ottoman Empire after WWI, The defeat of the 5 Arab armies after the founding of Israel, the Islamists have won a series of victories that have emboldened the Muslim world and created a new dream of a resurgent Caliphate in the hearts of the jihadis.

    The destruction of the Christian dominated government in Lebanon and creation of Hezbollah, with the bombing of the Marines in Beruit and retreat of the Americans.

    The fall of the US backed Shah and creation of the Iranian Islamic “Republic” and humiliation of the Embassy crisis and failed hostage rescue.

    The destruction of the Twin Towers and attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 (not withstanding Desert Storm which ended Hussein’s regime but has left Iraq a dangerous non-ally).

    The rise of Erdogan and the Islamists in Turkey.

    These and other events have thrilled many young Muslims and filled them with hope for a resurgent Islamic world.

    Feel free to add to this list.

  8. The Ba’ath movement is one of history’s great fizzles. Arab nationalism(s) led by modernizing soldiers, even socialist-minded soldiers, would be far less a threat than the Islamic nutters we have today.

    But the USA ninnystaters hated socialism much more than they feared Islam.

    After all, religion Good. Right?

  9. Saddam was such an enlightened, secular ruler. Certainly a path forward for the Islamic world.

    Except. There’s that Quran supposedly written in his blood. The executioner that scrupulously deflowered virgins so they could be executed in conformance to the Holly Teachings. The shredder. I could go on.

  10. But the USA ninnystaters hated socialism much more than they feared Islam.

    Interesting hypothesis. Let’s discuss.

    1979. The US had fails to aid our ally the Shah of Iran, subsequently overthrown by islamists. The Iranian military had asked for US support in establishing a constitutional monarchy. Carter said no.

    1983. The Baathists ruled Syria and Iraq. Syria was infamously involved in the Beirut bombing that year. The US withdrew and did not attempt to remove the Baaathist regime of Syria.

    1980s. The US pays for and provides weapons for the Islamist insurgency in Afghanistan. Eventually the Taliban take over.

    1990. The Baathist regime of Iraq invades Kuwait. The US et al restore the Kuwaiti government, but do not destroy the Baathist regime of Iraq.

    Late 1990s. The US attacks Serbia because it was harming Muslims in Kosovo. We had no obligation to do this at all, period, full stop.

    2001. The US is attacked by Afghanistan, despite the endless tribute we bestowed upon them. Subsequently, the US bestows even more tribute upon them while providing an endless series of targets for them to practice jihad against.

    2003. The US invades Iraq, removing the Baathist government and replacing it at infamous expense with an Islamist regime.

    2009. Iran erupts with protests against the mullahs. The US does nothing at all.

    2010, “Arab spring.” The US now abandons our ally in Egypt in favor of the Muslim brotherhood and now backs a rebellion against the Baathist regime of Syria.

    I would suggest that the real impetus for US policy wasn’t any hatred of socialism, Baaathist or otherwise, but a relentless desire to impose fundamentalist Islam everywhere we could.

  11. And, pardon me for needing a second comment to finish- why exactly were we doing all this?

    Why has the US government been working so hard to advance the Islamist cause throughout the world?

    I would suggest that it wasn’t because American Christians preferred Islamist fundamentalists to rule in the various foreign nations whose internal affairs we’ve been meddling in- but it was surely because someone or someones prefered it to be so.


  12. None of the comments disprove that the USG has preferred Islam and Islamonutters over secular leadership in the Arab world, and many go to support what I claim. (We’re not alone either–Netanyahu preferred to deal with the pious too. Fat lot of good it did him.)

    I never mentioned Christians at all, BTW.

    And a good Sunday morning to all.

  13. None of the comments disprove that the USG has preferred Islam and Islamonutters over secular leadership in the Arab world, and many go to support what I claim.

    I think it’s incandescently obvious that the US regime preferred Islamists over secularists in the Arab world. Duh. It seems like maybe we agree here. Kumbaya.

    One consequence of that preference is the relentless ethnic cleansing of Christians from areas that the US has been militarily involved in installing Islamist regimes. I still recall an Iraqi-descended Christian I worked with- during the years that the US army was heavily involved in fighting the Iraq War- telling me that Christians in Iraq were being ethnically cleansed from that country, including family members. I was shocked and not pleased, because at some crazy level I thought our involvement would stop that sort of thing.

    I never mentioned Christians at all, BTW.

    Oh. Okay.

    But the USA ninnystaters hated socialism much more than they feared Islam.

    After all, religion Good. Right?

    Who are these ninnystaters? I gather that they hate socialism- like everyone should- but also that they heart religion very very much much.

    Are they Christians? It’s the USA, after all. I think it a logical inference to presume that you were referring to Christians. If I’m wrong, please explain.

    And for what it’s worth, I included that anecdote because I think that Christians absolutely do not regard a certain other religion as preferable to secularism. A lot of those ethnically cleansed Chaldeans ended up in Syria, where the secular Assad regime at least didn’t kill them.

  14. Well israel fought four wars against mostly secular egypt and four wars against islamist hamas possibly five against hezbollah

  15. In the first place, Col. Spencer is right. If Hamas survives at all, it will be the winner in this war. It will have shown that mighty Israel is vulnerable and could not defeat them with all its power. This is clear to the Israelis, who have said as much on their news programs. In the second, as others have noted in this thread, this is not an ethnic war, but a war of Islamists against a small state that has humbled them many times. If they win, they will be emboldened to attack others they perceive as their enemies. That certainly includes Christians. They are explicitly doomed to hellfire for eternity in the Quran for believing in the Trinity (“adding gods to God) and for associating the word “begotten” with Christ. There is nothing allegorical about these threats. Muhammed stated very clearly that he did not speak in vague allusions or riddles but clearly stated exactly what he meant. It is remarkable that such a vast number of human beings seriously believe that God intends to torture creatures who are much more inferior to him than amoeba are to us in living fire, not just for billions and trillions of years, but for eternity, for the paltry sins they commit during their brief lives on earth, in spite of the fact that he knew that they would commit those sins before he even created them. What would we think of a human being who was capable of such a thing?

    I doubt that the international Left supports Islam because of Moslem funding. According to the ideology they have concocted for themselves post-Communism, the “oppressed” must always be preferred to the “oppressors,” and, against all odds, they have identified the Israelis as the “oppressors.” Following the leftist march through the institutions and achievement of cultural hegemony in the West, the US regime along with the rest of the “liberal democracies” is obviously gradually succumbing to the Left’s ideological influence. Hence its increasingly tepid support for Israel including what amounts to its insistence that Hamas be allowed to win the war in the sense described above. Hamas and the rest of the Islamists despise these regimes and everything they stand for, but they can see perfectly well how the ideological currents are flowing and are taking clever advantage of them.

    Who should we support as individuals in this war? In the end, it all depends on the ideals and goals we have set for ourselves, and which side we consider most likely to contribute to realizing those ideals and achieving those goals. To me it’s a no-brainer. My reasons? They’re certainly not religious, as I am the least spiritual person I know. I simply note the number of Nobel Prizes won by Jewish people compared to those won by Moslems, their immeasurably greater contributions to enriching the world I live in when it comes to scientific knowledge, medicine, music, entertainment, and virtually any other field one could mention, and the fact that their intelligence, at least among their Ashkenazi branch, is about a standard deviation greater than any other ethnic group. Add to that the fact that they are not in the habit of suddenly attacking their neighbors, beheading infants, torturing small children, and raping and murdering young women, and I have no difficulty making that choice.

  16. Has Schumer ever done anything except live up to his reputation as the smartest, most clear-eyed, most cunning, most strategically astute, politically clever, tactically well-timed malevolent villain in the entire US political establishment?

    I mean, he’s practically Sauron at this point, and he’s had many years to build up to it.

  17. Well, if you’re locked in a decades long Cold War against the USSR, then you’re going to see Arab socialists who are clients of the USSR as your main problem in the Middle East. And this was not at all unreasonable or even the wrong strategy.

    You might even back Islamists to some good effect. The Muj in Afghanistan proved useful until they turned exclusively to drug dealing and boy play and shelling the crap out of their own capital, which both created the Taliban movement by way of reaction against them AND, frankly, suggests that the Muj themselves were not that committed to a radical vision of Islam. If anything, their weak commitment to it was part of their eventual unpopularity and the Taliban’s corresponding emergent base. So, in the end, the US got some good use out of a bunch of notional Islamists and Afghanistan went to hell because they weren’t radically Islamist enough, not because they were. And frankly, even with the Taliban in power a less blithely inattentive US administration should have had the means to ensure it did not permit AQ to operate therefrom. Some combination of carrot and stick instead of just shutting the door and whining about how they treated women, for example.

    The problem is not “backing Islamists against socialists”. It is normal and reasonable to understand that one backs some unsavoury characters against one’s current main enemy, in the full expectation that they may become the main enemy later, or at least a problem, and one starts laying some plans against that day. The problems are twofold:

    1. America is stupid. It never looks at the world per above. It always assumes the next victory is final. There will never be another conflict. History is over. Current allies are allies forever. Even in 1945, it briefly acted like this, which was moronic. The USSR became the next enemy on May 8 1945. Doesn’t mean it had to become a shooting war, as it didn’t. But they ceased to be allies when the Germans signed those papers. Their ideology and interests were too different.

    If the US at least limited itself to thinking countries with very similar interests and very similar cultures are likely to be long term allies, that would be sane. One should be cautious even then, but at least that’d be sane. But nope. Every country and culture is the same and once a friend always a friend applies to all of them.

    2. Some subsets of America are very stupid. They are an extension of the above in #1. These are legion, but include those conservative Christians of the 80s who started lionizing the Muj and looking for every possible parallel in which the Afghan jihad against the godless commies was like a crusade, and deciding that Islam was just like Christianity and we’d all live happily ever after once the secular humanist tyranny was put down. I remember this sort of thing. It might not have been explicitly said by anyone as high profile as Pat Robertson, but I would not be surprised to find it had been. The idea was around.

    To sum up- it was perfectly reasonable to arm Islamists against the Russians and their clients, just as it was reasonable to raise up China to undermine Russian hold on the communist bloc as a whole. The dumb part is going into the 1990s without realizing that now it was time to switch gears and start pointing guns in other directions. Even dumber was to go into the 90s thinking history was over and we can all just tiptoe through the tulips forever and ignore what China might become, even bring them into the new WTO, and ignore what Islamists were now doing.

    Of course, the “history is over, let’s tiptoe through the tulips” part of the stupidity was widely shared around western civ, not just the US.

    Why is this so hard?

    1. History doesn’t end.

    2. There are always possible enemies. Sometimes they were the [loose] allies of yesterday.

    3. Pay attention.

    4. Possible corollary. If it looks like history really has ended, it’s probably because someone has actually engineered a new power structure able to create that impression by ending your liberty or national sovereignty.

  18. America is stupid because it hasn’t been invaded, and because it hasn’t lost any wars where loss would have meant hard consequences for Americans at home.

    A corollary. American is stupid because the typical American thinks: “I/[my parents/grandparents] didn’t immigrate here with any desire to stay involved in the Old Country’s politics and quarrels. Therefore I can ignore what’s going on overseas.”

    One might add: “So far.” Current technological and geopolitical trends give ample reason for concern.

  19. “Therefore I can ignore what’s going on overseas.”

    It is very unfortunate that that “typical American” attitude is not shared by Our Betters — who seem to want to intervene in every other country’s business, especially when there is nothing in it for the American people.

    In theory, in a “democracy”, typical Americans would have elected a Political Class who shared that view of concentrating their efforts at home, and letting the rest of the world take care of their own problems. I wonder why that has not happened?

  20. Going back to that the title of the post…

    Israel’s strategic picture has always been dominated by the singular feature that it is a very small country surrounded by much larger enemies. Sure that disparity helped generate the David vs. Goliath mystique of 1948-1967. However even today that small size dominates Israeli thinking; its cities fall within range of enemy missile, for it to generate any lasting combat power it needed to call up reserves which damage its economy.

    The Gaza War has brought one other part of Israel’s strategic landscape into focus; that with the exception of the US and Germany (for now) and maybe another country or 2, the rest of the world is at best indifferent and for most openly hostile to Israel’s existence. Sure there was a lot of ink spilled or electrons emitted showing world sympathy in the aftermath of 10/7 as the worst day since the Holocaust but everyone knew that sympathy would last only as long as Israel accepted that such pograms were a fact of life, to be managed and not solved.

    To anyone who wants to point out some generational theory to explain European indifference/hatred in terms of fading memories of the Holocaust, I would posit just the opposite. European opinion started to turn against Israel after the Six-Day War, little over 22 years after the discovery of Auschwitz. I’ve lost its origin but I think the quote “Europe hasn’t forgiven the Jews for the Holocaust” applies; Israel winning that war simply granted Europe permission to get its hate on again. Israelis know that which is why they rely on no one but ultimately themselves for their security.

    The idea that the rise of antisemitism in the US is due to the foreign-born, either as immigrants or university students is facile. Yes those factors exist but they are only relevant because they have found fertile ground in the radicalization of the American Left. Biden, Schumer, and others who push the lie that Israel’s war is being led by Netanyahu do so in part to placate the American Muslim voter, but also the far stronger anti-Israeli force is the growing wave of young radicals both emerging from the universities and existant in government, especially the State Department.

    Iran’s strategy is to slowly strangle Israel by creating a “threat in being” through both its various proxies and the creation of a nuclear weapon, both with the intention of making life in Israel intolerable. Hamas and Hezbollah as a matter of deliberate strategy can attack and terrorize Israeli civilians and then hole up in its fortifications, safe in the knowledge that any Israeli response will be limited by that world opinion. That goes doubly so with Hamas which has shown that deliberate use of its local civilian population as a weapon geared toward western opinion is more effective than any rocket or rifle used against Israel

    Nearly as much as an Iranian bomb, this destabilization in American support is one of the greatest threats to Israel’s existence. This will only get worse, not only because of the greater radicalization of American elites but because Israeli society itself is changing in ways that make even less sympathetic to that radical American Left. The crisis over the Israeli Supreme Court was really about the growing divisions within Israel between a declining secular and liberal Jewish element and a growing, much more conservative and observant element; the much lager birth rate of the latter threatens to permanently shift Israeli electoral politics and leave the Supreme Court as the last bastion for the Israeli Left. Growing radicalization of the American Left combined with the growing religious and conservativeness of Israel? Not a good long-term strategic picture.

  21. Very astute comments above. Thanks for your insight. However, where does that leave Israel in the moment? They’ve been called to Washington to show their homework on Rafah plans. Do they concede to US pressure, or go it alone perhaps with a somewhat moderated game plan?

    My hope is that they finish off Hamas and dash the hopes of the Islamists for another victory over the infidels, but my fear is they modify their goals, inflict as much damage on Hamas as possible under the circumstances and declare victory.

  22. Hamas activists represent what ? … maybe 2% of the population of Gaza. A heavily armed 2%, to be sure, and clearly capable of using violence against their fellow Gazans.

    Doesn’t it seem likely that there could be a significant contingent of Gazans in that other 98% who are quietly cursing Hamas to Hell? They used to have a nice life — beach access, good housing, plentiful handouts from the improvident West, no real need to work hard, lots of opportunities to get together and have fun chanting slogans against the Great & Little Satans. Now that is all gone — destroyed, thanks to that 2% Hamas. Of course, none of them will say that out loud, since that would be a sure way to get a Hamas bullet in the back of the head.

    The contingent of Gazans who wish that Hamas would just disappear represents a huge game-changing opportunity for Israel. But how to empower that contingent? That is an equally huge problem, with no obvious solution.

  23. Israelis know that which is why they rely on no one but ultimately themselves for their security.


    Nearly as much as an Iranian bomb, this destabilization in American support is one of the greatest threats to Israel’s existence.

    I sense a contradiction, but whatever.

    Growing radicalization of the American Left combined with the growing religious and conservativeness of Israel? Not a good long-term strategic picture.

    But wait, it’s worse. You mentioned a laundry list of people in various places who are not fans of Israel and/or Jews.

    You didn’t the mention the Americans who tend to support Israel at all.

    I find that all too typical. It is simply assumed that the Americans who support Israel will always do so, no matter what the cost.

    I suspect that this is not actually the case. I recall when Trump went to South Carolina in 2016 and suggested that Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq. There was a chorus of well-I-nevers from the usual set of GOP losers- Bush fans- and then Trump won the primary and the election.

    Trump is very pro-Israel, so it won’t be him. But what happens when the next GOP candidate suggests that we’ve done enough for the endless foreigners and maybe we should worry a bit more about the actual United States and let the foreigners take care of themselves for a while? I’d bet there isn’t going to be much of a groundswell to continue subsidizing the rest of the world, Israel included.

  24. Disaggregation is busting out all over.

    “America” no longer supports Israel. Some groups of Americans, still a large majority, support Israel. However, not all of the supporters, including evangelical Christians and even nonreligious Jews, are as supportive as they used to be. And in particular, core and growing Democratic Party constituencies including younger leftists and Muslims are hostile.

    Also, the USA is declining as a world power, and seems likely to continue to decline for the foreseeable future regardless of which Party is in charge. Even if the USA embarked on a massive rearmament program it would be years before we could regain much of our now-fading ability to project power. And that’s if we had the money and the political will to rearm, which we don’t.

    It’s obviously also the case that the US public’s willingness to subsidize other countries is on the wane. In Israel’s case, Democrats in power seem likely to be increasingly hostile. Trump is pro-Israel but generally opposed to foreign aid. The Israelis would be wise to treat the current crisis as an opportunity to reduce their dependence on US weapons and money. Maybe they are already doing this.

  25. To my earlier comment regarding Iran and nuclear weapons. Of course history shows that one doesn’t need to explode a nuke for them to be useful; however, their value to deter extends beyond a nuclear war and this is where Iran’s potential arsenal becomes important; as a “threat in being: that provides cover for other decisive actions.

    Israel is facing two existential threats. The first is posed by Iran and its various proxies which threaten to destroy the country not through nuclear fire, but by undermining the Israeli state. Hamas’ assault on 10/7 challenged Israel’s claim to provide a safe haven for Jews; a lot of ink was spilled about how this was the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust but we ignore the obvious that this deadliest day happened didn’t happen in some far away place but rather in the very country that was supposed to provide a safe haven for Jews from another Holocaust. The 100,000+ Hezbollah missiles threaten to undermine the very basis of Israeli society because no country can long endure the high stress of such bombardment especially when it is both prolonged and the citizenry has the ability to exit. Not every one of course but how many college-educated workers do you need to have to throw in the towel and emigrate, deciding that a 6-figure normal life abroad is better than the neurosis of a war zone. Not all will choose to do so, but you don’t need that many to leave in order cripple your economy.

    Once Iran secures a nuclear arsenal it can extend that umbrella to protect the proxies it provides operational and logistical support for; future Israeli reprisals against a 10/7 attack from Gaza or a future Palestinian state will be restrained (further undermining Israel’s domestic legitimacy) and Lebanon will be a secured missile base for Hezbollah. Not only that but Iran can secure overland communications allowing it to reequip Hezbollah’s arsenal with precision-guided munitions which will then overwhelm Israel’s Iron Dome. Israel faces slow strangulation and therefore extinction without Iran having to fire off a single nuke. Iran will win in the long run by keeping it below the nuclear threshold

    So why is losing American support worse than Iran getting a nuke? Because American support is the ultimate guarantee what allows Israel to stay integrated into the world and not treated as an international pariah like say North Korea. You see the pressure since 10/7 in the ICC and in the public accusing Israel of genocide the move to do just that, especially in the way European societies are compromised to their Muslim minorities. If Israel becomes an outcast, it will maintain some friends but its economy and therefore its society will collapse. It’s that support, more than any financial aid from which Israel is in the process of decoupling from, which is the main contribution the US provides to Israel and its withdrawal far more dangerous than even the stress of an Iranian nuke (assuming it is never used)

  26. Jonathan: “Even if the USA embarked on a massive rearmament program it would be years before we could regain much of our now-fading ability to project power.”

    Arguably, the US’s main power post-WWII was only incidentally military. After all, the US managed only a nasty draw in Korea and a loss in Vietnam. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan are hardly tributes to any meaningful US ability to project power.

    The real source of US international influence & power post -WWII was economic, based on the then-overwhelming US industrial base manufacturing real goods & providing real services. Most of that has been lost now. Just when we don’t think the situation could get any worse, we find out that China’s shipbuilding capacity is 200 times (Two Hundred Times!) that of the now nearly-deindustrialized US. Yeah, let’s pick a fight across the ocean with China, why don’t we?

    Financialization promoted de-industrialization, yielding near-term profits at the expense of long-term stability. For the US to re-arm, we would first need to re-industrialize. That means digging mines, logging forests, building steel mills, re-creating domestic industries such as machine tools, aircraft-manufacturing, automobiles, computer chips. And that would first require rolling back masses of counter-productive regulations, firing tens of thousands of government bureaucrats, greatly simplifying the tax regime, and permitting a year-round open season on lawyers.

    All of that can be done — indeed, will be done, after Washington DC has slid back into the swamp. But it will take at least a generation, a quarter of a century. The recovery of Germany & Japan after WWII demonstrates that, as does South Korea’s progress after the Korean War and China’s recovery after Mao. Unfortunately, first we have to hit rock bottom.

  27. The population on the U.S. on 9/11 was about 30.5 times the population on Israel in 2024. multiplying the roughly 1,200 killed and not considering the rape and mutilation on 10/7, gives 36,700 victims for 9/11 to be proportional. This is closer though somewhat less than what Bin laden imagined was possible.

    Now, imagine that the Saudis had supplied pilots and commandos instead of the notionally deniable funding for 9/11. Remember that no one denied this harder than the Bush administration and the denial commission. What would have happened to someone urging restraint and a “proportional” response?

    In truth, the impact should probably be exponential rather than proportional. Israel isn’t going to stop short of eliminating Hamas just because of the mutterings of a senile old man.

  28. much as they did 77? years ago


    yes the 9-11 Commission, was woefully incomplete, was it because senior mandarin tom kean was compromised through his board membership with amoco and through them to delta oil and the alamoudis who have availed themselves, of lawfare as protection how about the role of jamie Gorelick who kept the agencies blind through her artifice,

  29. In truth, the impact should probably be exponential rather than proportional. Israel isn’t going to stop short of eliminating Hamas just because of the mutterings of a senile old man.

    The “senile old man” is not really the problem. The angry leftists who direct him and who formulate his policies are behind this change. Biden has has been a wind sock on policy for years. He usually pointed the wrong direction, as Gates pointed out, but his speeches were never reliable indications of his real interests, which seem to have been mostly pecuniary.

  30. Unlike most extended violent conflicts, the Israeli-jihadi conflict is to the death, at least from the Israeli point of risk. While the jihadi existential risk is individually final, it is not likely more than a subsidized containment and temporary power loss for them as a group. Why initiate and continue such an asymmetric conflict? Practically, in the greater jihadi universe such direct terrorist operations against Jews are proportionally rewarded with funding, political support, weapons/military assets and booty. How well did Yasser make out? For the lower jihadi foot-terrorists, they are fired up with religious fervor that is largely promises of deferred rewards in the after life.

    Mind game that is often used by BiBi comes to mind (paraphrased):

    What happens if Hamas lays down their weapons and cease their terror operations against Israel? The war ends.

    What if Israel lays down their weapons and ceases their military operations? Israel is wiped out as a nation and most of the Jews in Israel are tortured and killed.

    One can not accurately comprehend this conflict without factoring in the religious aspects and what these imply about the goals and actions of the protagonists. I personally doubt that many of the Palestinians in the Humas controlled territory have serious opposition to Hamas’ actions. How would we know based on the number of bullets and knives flying around there in the best of times? But I know of no incidents there that show opposition to Hamas. Some of those folks in the Hamas supporting street rallies seem very sincere and enthusiastic, both here and there. Concerning.


  31. Hamas is largely the Egyptian branch of the Brotherhood, headed by Sheilkh Yassin till he met with Allah in 2002, to the world’s consternation, their work was seen in the 86 intifada, which with some minor tweaks was like the ones waged by Izzat Al Quaddim, back in 36-39,
    and later in the 48 war, what they call the nakba the Catastrophe, a case study in branding a minor defeat, as the lands to the east and west were taken by Egypt and Jordan in the aftermath, it was the other branch Fatah which was also of Egyptian origin fashioned together by Sakharovsky, Soviet Foreign Intelligence, that competed with Yassins group that didn’t officially have a name till the 80s

  32. almost at the same time that Fatah burst on the scene, did it’s other branch, Habbash’s popular front, they brought the skyjacking to prominence, one was largely a GRU operation the other KGB, Leila Khaled was the star of that other show, the Lod Airport attack, later the Entebbe ambush that claimed Bibi’s Brother Jonatan,

    also Sabri Al Banna Fatah Revolutionary Council, which may or may not have had East Bloc influence, those were all largely nationalist efforts unlike Gamaa Islamiya and other outfits that arose in the aftermath of the 73 war

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