Friday, November 17, 2006

Stopping the Rockets

The period leading up to the disengagement was heavily peppered with criticisms that warned of a mini terror state on Israel's border. Despite these warnings, with the most notable one coming from the Moshe 'Bugi' Yaalon (Chief of Staff at the time), Arik Sharon proceeded with the disengagement. It has now been over a year since the move and all the warnings are becoming harsh realities. Despite Egyptian forces 'patrolling' the Sinai/Gaza border, smuggling has drastically increased and Hamas and their ilk now have copious amounts of ammunition and weapons. This harsh reality will only be felt when we face a similar confrontation to the one we handled terribly in Lebanon a few months ago. To add to this already daunting future confrontation, Sderot and other towns close to the Gaza border have been pounded non-stop with quassam rockets - at higher rates than the previous 5 years. Our fellow brothers have become target practice to quassam rocket units (teams of 2 to 4 Arab terrorists) and our government has done very little besides the occasional incursion into Gaza to offset this danger. The ruling brass has led us to believe there is no real way to stop this unless we further capitulate to Arab terror and leave Yehuda and Shomron (commonly referred to as the West Bank).

There is a solution however. Instead of taking action that falls into their hand, Israel should attack this by playing to the IDF's strengths. Normally this would mean sending in our jets, however, our air force strikes have been proven ineffective as the F-16s are not scrambled quick enough to get to the quassam rocket launch sites. With the air force option being ruled out, DEBKAfile makes excellent points in advising that Israel uses commando units to ambush the quassam teams. DEBKAfile suggests that the IDF have commando units undercover at the suspected launch sites waiting to ambush these terrorists. Unlike any other viable options, terrorists would be eradicated before even finishing the set up of the quassam rocket launchers. This also needs to be used on the Gaza-Egypt border. If our 'allies', the Egyptians, refuse to combat the weapon smuggling, we need to assume the responsibility. This tactic can work - and collateral damage will be minimized, which is important to our count, our army and our code of values.

The IDF is blessed with some of the best commando units in the world. There are quite a few benefits for Israel if DEBKAfile's plan is implemented by our government and the IDF:
1) By allowing them to be constantly in action, we'd allow our commando units to be sharp and ready for any other potential conflict.
2) After a few successful strikes on the Gaza-Israel border, quassam rocket launchers won't bother with the tactic anymore. The facts that they'd know the IDF is waiting for them on their territory and the damage they can do is nil (assuming they're intercepted before launching the quassams) would deter terrorists from continuing this tactic.
3) The pyschological effects from such a tactic would alter the mindset of both nations. The Palestinians would yet again realize that 'violence' will not get them results against a stronger, more resolute people. Hopefully that would force their population to weigh a 'change in approach' to their dealings with us, and would lead us to more quiet interactions in an attempt for peace. As for the Israelis, stopping the quassam rocket threat would change the 'scenery' quite a bit. The people of Sderot, Ashkelon and the 'border' towns would feel that they haven't been forgotten. The Israeli population would regain some confidence in our government and the army's morale would also bounce back after the difficulties in Lebanon.

I think this is the time to act. We are facing a very difficult few months now due to a new European iniative (which doesn't require Hamas to recognize the Jewish State), a 'U-turn' Tony Blair (can he be trusted when he says Syria and Iran could play a “constructive role” in the Middle East?), and the return of James Baker to the region (Famous for his 'F**k the Jews' statement, and a member of the the first Bush government that forced Israel into Oslo). Just think, I haven't even mentioned our dear friends in Iran and their continual talk about wiping out Israel. As always, Israel needs to make a stand and show the world 'how it's done'. Talking to supporters of Radical Islamic terror tactics is as idiotic as was the appeasement tactic employed by Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier in 1938 with Adolf Hitler. If only the world could wake up:

Addressing a Harvard University audience Saturday, Army Gen. John Abizaid compared the rise of militant ideologies such as the force driving al Qaeda to the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s and said: “If we don’t have guts enough to confront this ideology today, we’ll go through World War Three tomorrow.

If not stopped, said the general, “extremists would gain an advantage to gain a safe haven, to develop weapons of mass destruction, to develop a national place from which to operate. And I think that the dangers associated with that are just too great to comprehend.”

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