Saturday, December 27, 2008

Getting the War They Wanted

Hamas wants war with Israel, and the world should let them have it. The status quo is untenable. Hamas has launched 300 rocket and mortar attacks against Israeli civilians in the last week and 3000 in the past year while the world stood by and did nothing. Imagine if Mexico or Cuba were launching such strikes into the U.S. How long would the American people tolerate it? How many American children would have to die before the people demanded that the government do something to stop the killing and the terror?

Israel has finally run out of patience. Since the Israelis handed Gaza over to the Palestinians in 2005 the Palestinians have expressed their appreciation by launching over 5000 missiles at Israel. The Israelis have suffered through a recent six-month "cease-fire" that was no cease-fire at all. They've seen their children terrorized, maimed and killed by thousands of Palestinian rockets and mortars in just the past year.

Now, finally, they've had enough, and today they've launched airstrikes at Hamas security stations in Gaza, but not before signaling Palestinian civilians to clear out of houses where weapons are stashed or Hamas fighters might be hiding. This is one major difference between the Israelis and the Palestinians: The Israelis will try to minimize civilian casualties, Hamas, like Muslim terrorists everywhere, tries their best to inflict them. Indeed, the latest barrage of missiles and mortars rained down on Israel after they had sent 90 trucks laden with food and medicine into Gaza to bring relief to the Palestinian people.

It's not known how long this current offensive will last but Israel should be done with half measures. Hamas is a cancer that threatens Israel and oppresses its own people. Israel should take out not only Hamas' military but the leadership as well.

DEBKAfile offers this analysis of what they think is next:

While Israel's air attack is counted a success, its war chiefs are taking care not to be trapped by an early achievement into the sort of blunders which led to the Lebanon war's unsatisfactory conclusion in 2006. That campaign was commanded by a former airman, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, who saw no point in a ground operation after Hizballah's command center was razed by air - until it was too late.

The first objective of a ground force in the coming hours will be to destroy "Lower Gaza," the underground city designed by an Iranian general and spread under most of the enclave's area. This subterranean sanctuary kept the bulk of the Hamas army, 15,000 men, their officers and leaders, out of harm's way during the Israeli air offensive Saturday. Their resistance must be broken before Hamas can be brought to surrender. Until then they will fight on.

The second Israeli objective must be to sever the Gaza Strip from Egypt by recapturing the Philadelphi border strip.

Hezbollah will not sit by and let Hamas take this punishment so the Israelis expect reprisals out of Lebanon to the north. Such attacks should be answered with an all-out attempt to destroy Hezbollah which is another festering boil on the rump of civilization.

It'll be interesting to see how Barack Obama, who campaigned as a friend of the Palestinians, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who once kissed the wife of uber-terrorist Yasser Arafat, will respond to Israel's action.


Mass Density

We wrote the other day about how the dark energy of the universe is fine-tuned to a value of 1 part in 10(120) and exclaimed about the incomprehensible precision of such a value. Yet dark energy is not the only quantity in the cosmos whose value must be unimaginably precise in order for the universe to be a place capable of sustaining life. There are dozens of additional parameters, forces, and circumstances that must be set just right in order for life to arise and survive somewhere in the vastness of the cosmos.

For example, there is a huge amount of mass in the universe, but there cannot be just any amount if the universe is going to be suitable for life. The amount has to be precisely what it is. If it were off by 1 part in 10(60) at its inception the universe would have been rendered unfit for life. This is, astonishingly, an amount of mass equal to just one dime.

If a dime's worth of mass (actually mass-energy) had been added or subtracted from the total at the initial creation event it would, among other things, have caused the universe to either expand too fast (if the mass were less) or cause all stars to be too big (if the mass were greater). In either case life could never have arisen.

As we've pointed out before, skeptics have only one way to avoid the conclusion that this universe is not an accident - that it's the product of purpose and brilliant design - and that is to assume, without any evidence whatsoever, that there are an infinite number of worlds with an infinite variety to them. If that were so then one of them would have to have the properties our world does, no matter how astronomically improbable that may seem, and we just happen to be in it.

In other words, the skeptic scoffs at believers for thinking there's a Creator who designed the universe while they, in their desperation to avoid that conclusion themselves, embrace the theory that there's an infinity of universes for which the only real evidence is the fact that if there isn't this "multiverse" then there must be a Cosmic Designer. Pretty funny.


Crash Course

Bill passes along a link to a course on global economics given by Chris Martenson. The course consists of twenty sessions, each a few minutes long, in which Martenson takes the viewer through the basics of economics and along the way teaches some very important lessons about the peril we find ourselves in in today's global environment.

Readers who wish to develop a better grasp of economics but who are unable or unwilling to take a class or read a book on it, will find Martenson's short, punchy explanations a welcome and helpful tool.

The first two chapters are each less than two minutes long. The third one, which may literally stun you, is about six minutes. Check them out.


Good Year in Iraq

Strategy Page summarizes the last year in Iraq and assesses the current situation. Problems remain, but Iraq is a far better place than it was a year ago and Barack Obama's opposition to the surge, his pronouncements of it's failure, and his early promise to end the war on his first day in office all make him look myopic, naive, and foolish.

He has already backed away from his promise to end the war immediately, and I expect that by the time he takes office he'll have had a Damascus Road experience that will result in his prosecution of the fight against Islamic terrorism being pretty much indistinguishable from that of George Bush. It'll be great fun to read the excuses the liberal media will conjure for his change of heart and to listen to the yawping of the far left which will certainly feel betrayed by the man whose election they made possible.