Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The First Four Minutes

One reason Hamas was unable to respond to the Israeli attack on Gaza with a massive rocket attack on Israel, as they had threatened, was that the Israeli Air Force had taken out almost their entire rocket supply in the first few minutes of the air assault:

The Israel air force demolished two key Hamas war systems in the first 4 minutes of its massive offensive on Gaza Saturday morning, Dec. 27, DEBKAfile's military sources report. The bombers destroyed six mosques in Gaza City which held the terrorists' biggest weapons arsenals and scores of "beehives" containing launchers primed for the simultaneous, automatic release of hundreds of powerful rockets against Israeli cities.

These launchers were rigged for precision-targeting in Israeli town centers. They were operated by a unit of 300 special Hamas operatives trained for their mission at Syrian military bases under the instruction of Hizballah rocket specialists.

The aerial offensive knocked out 80 percent of the rockets Hamas had prepared to launch and saved Israel's southern cities. The Palestinian Islamists were left only with inferior projectiles. Therefore, 98 percent of the hundreds of missiles they managed to fire in the 22-day war missed their targets and exploded in open ground.

Meanwhile, Egyptian and Israeli warships are searching the Red Sea for an Iranian freighter believed to be laden with a 60 ton resupply of rockets for Hamas. Hamas fighters have also broken the cease-fire by firing on Israeli soldiers.

It's difficult to understand what Israel thinks it has to gain by stopping its offensive before it has taken out all of Hamas' leadership. As soon as they are able they will be right back firing rockets at Israeli civilians. For the Israelis the cease-fire is an indication of their desire to curtail the killing, for Hamas it's an opportunity for them to rearm and continue their unending intifada against Israel at a later date. It doesn't make much sense for Israel to just play along.


Plague Attack

An al Qaeda affiliate in Algiers has closed down a camp after forty of terrorists in the camp died from what appears to be a highly contagious and lethal biological agent they appear to have been working on.

Imagine for a moment that their plan was to infect suicide carriers of the disease - some reports suggest it was bubonic plague - and then smuggle the carriers into the U.S. before they become symptomatic. All the terrorists need do once they're here is walk around any crowded city, or the Washington Mall during the Inauguration ceremony, and they could infect thousands who would then return home and in turn infect thousands more and so on in a cascade of sickness and death.

Meanwhile, we can thank goodness that the new Obama administration won't be violating anybody's rights by listening in to these terrorists' phone conversations as they plot their mass attacks. Nobody wants an attack like this to happen, of course, but stopping them by using a warrantless wiretap on the bad guys' phones in order to uncover their plot is just too high a price to pay, in our judgment, to save the lives of millions of Americans.


If Only Mugabe Were White

Bob Herbert describes the ghastly conditions that attend everyday life in Zimbabwe - a massive cholera outbreak, few medical facilities, no sanitation and schools businesses, etc. all shut down. Herbert says:

Most of the world is ignoring the agony of Zimbabwe, a once prosperous and medically advanced nation in southern Africa that is suffering from political and economic turmoil - and the brutality of Mugabe's long and tyrannical reign.

There are reasons for this indifference, of course, perhaps one of them being that neither Israel nor the United States is responsible for the plight of the Zimbabweans. Thus the world yawns. Another is that, in fact, Zimbabwe was once ruled by a white government and, despite being oppressive, was the most productive and prosperous nation in Africa. The whites were forced out by international pressure and Robert Mugabe took over in 1980, ruled even more oppressively, murdered thousands of political opponents, kicked white farmers off their land and gave the farms to his cronies who knew nothing at all about farming. Through corruption, murder, and mismanagement Zimbabwe was soon plunged into the deepest circle of hell.

Now millions of Zimbabweans are starving, there is no food distribution, tens of thousands more are dying of AIDS and cholera, inflation is at an astonishing annual rate of 231 million percent, unemployment is at 80%, male life expectancy is 37 and females can expect to live to the ripe old age of 34. These facts may be seen by some as having uncomfortable implications for majority rule in Africa and so some people, perhaps, prefer to ignore the disaster that Zimbabwe has become.

In any event, there are things, short of a military occupation for which there's evidently no stomach, that the world community can do to topple Mugabe. One strategy I've heard recommended is what's called cyber assassination: Employ talented computer hackers to go into the bank accounts of Mugabe and his henchmen and clean them out. Crash all government computers and deny the thugs the ability to use internet or cell phones to communicate. In other words, destroy the government electronically. Once the government can no longer pay their soldiers and police Mugabe will lose his grip on them and subsequently on his power. He will no doubt have to flee the country, but he should be denied landing rights anywhere outside Zimbabwe. With no money to buy loyalty from the brutes who prop him up, no way to communicate with his minions, and nowhere to go Mugabe would quickly wind up like Mussolini or Ceausescu.

Or the West can do what it's doing now. It can do what it's doing in Chad, what it's doing in Sudan, what it did in Rwanda. It can do nothing and just let the wretched Zimbabweans die long, slow miserable deaths.

Exit question: Why did the world care so much for the suffering of blacks in Rhodesia (former name of Zimbabwe) under Ian Smith, in South Africa under apartheid, and for the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza today, but cares nothing for the suffering of Palestinians in the Arab world, or of Iraqi Arabs under Saddam Hussein, or blacks throughout the continent of Africa? In each case where world opinion has been loud and effective the "oppressors" were of European descent, and in every case where the world seems disinterested the oppressors are of non-European descent.

If Mugabe were a white tyrant the United Nations would have rolled the tanks onto his doorstep twenty years ago and had him exiled to Antartica. Why does the world only seem to care enough about suffering people to do something about it when the pain is caused by whites?