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Thread: Hamas in Gaza (merged thread)

  1. #41
    Council Member AdmiralAdama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Buckwheat View Post
    There is no Axis ... politlcal rethoric claiming similarities to real alliances, understandings and direct links is not a substitute for proper intelligence and political analysis. These groups are disparate entities who have been inspired by some and supported by others... some have cooperative links such as Iran-Hizballah-Syria but to call this an axis is a far stretch.
    Iran and Syria have a defense agreement. Hezbollah is an Iranian creation and there are many reports of Iran's funding of Hamas. To not call this an "axis" is fine -- what would you like to call it? An "alliance"? A hodgepodge of coincidences?

  2. #42
    Council Member Abu Buckwheat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdmiralAdama View Post
    Iran and Syria have a defense agreement. Hezbollah is an Iranian creation and there are many reports of Iran's funding of Hamas. To not call this an "axis" is fine -- what would you like to call it? An "alliance"? A hodgepodge of coincidences?
    No ...hodgepodge is not one of my favorite words, but it is simply an example of what happens when there is no superpower ... or at least a respected one with a shred of influence. I hate to winge but we have facilitated the opportunities that each of these entities is taking advantage of. They see the opportunities but our own political blindness gives America a horribly naive, onesided, undiplomatic and cultural tone-deafness not seen since 1860. I fear for the results when each of these players really gains advantage over both us and Israel. We aren't haggling over one camel here, but several different camels, tied together, that are standing next to each other and have to survive on one gulp of water at the oasis. Believe me, Camels can be quite ornery!
    Putting Foot to Al Qaeda Ass Since 1993

  3. #43
    Council Member AdmiralAdama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Buckwheat View Post
    I hate to winge but we have facilitated the opportunities that each of these entities is taking advantage of. They see the opportunities but our own political blindness gives America a horribly naive, onesided, undiplomatic and cultural tone-deafness not seen since 1860.
    Iran has been at war with the United States since 1979. I believe that the "everything bad in the world can be traced back to US blunders" theory is simply not respectful of our opponents -- their ideology, their goals, and their strategies to carry them out. Blaming the US for expansion of Islamofascists is like blaming the UK for Nazism or blaming Roosevelt for the spread of communism. Some ideologies have great power to spread evil, and these have to burn themselves out or be destroyed by assault, subversion, containment, etc.
    Last edited by AdmiralAdama; 06-18-2007 at 04:10 AM.

  4. #44
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Heh. Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by AdmiralAdama View Post
    Iran has been at war with the United States since 1979. I believe that the "everything bad in the world can be traced back to US blunders" theory is simply not respectful of our opponents -- their ideology, their goals, and their strategies to carry them out.
    Which opponents? Which ideology, Which goals? Seems to me there are buckets full of all those. They do have one strategy factor in common; beating us in the info and world opinion games -- which they're doing quite handily.

    I'd agree with you that that US blunders are minor and all could have been or even can be ameliorated. All the blunders of commission, that is. As for the blunders of omission (Specifically and to wit: ignoring the problem and trying to play fairly in the western way with people who have different rules); I submit they pretty much led to the amorphous fusion of many disparate ideologies and goals being able to have the traction they have.

  5. #45
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    The world opinion games are rigged against western powers. People view the United States, the EU and even Israel as being so powerful that anything we do or do not do must be intentional - there's no room for error.

    That makes the insurgent's job simple - blame whichever world power is handy for your troubles. Also, try to take care of the local people's material problems. Make certain that your story fits some preexisting cultural narrative. Don't forget to murder anyone who gets in your way.

    The danger to Hamas in Gaza is that when they become the governing authority they stop being guerillas and start becoming a state. They are one of the most powerful terrorist movements in the world - and they are about to become its poorest, weakest and least effectual nation. Frankly, this makes Israel's job one hell of a lot easier. Israel can exercise almost total dominance over the state of Gaza, even if it has none over the Hamas movement.

    For now, I'd counsel Israel and the United States to do nothing. There's no need to respond to even daily attacks right now. Once Hamas has consolidated power in Gaza they'll have the apparatus of a state and all of its weaknesses: "fantastical cosmic power . . . itty, bitty living space."

  6. #46
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    Default Abbas Swears In Emergency Government

    18 June NY Times - Abbas Swears In Emergency Government by Isabel Kershner and Taghreed El-Khodary.

    The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, swore in an emergency government at his headquarters here on Sunday, reasserting his authority over the West Bank days after Fatah’s rival, Hamas, routed his forces in Gaza and seized power there.

    Adding to the turbulence, two Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon landed in the Israeli northern border town of Kiryat Shmona on Sunday evening, an Israeli Army spokesman said. They caused some damage but no casualties, he said.

    The rockets were the first fired over Israel’s northern border since a cease-fire ended last summer’s war against Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia. Hezbollah denied having any connection with the rocket attacks on Sunday...

  7. #47
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    Default Masada II, Hamas Style

    I've said it before, hamas is essentially surrounded by Israel with the sea to their back and their only tactical ingress is Egypt. The pressure will be on Egypt to limit the amount of munitions coming in for hamas and Egypt certainly doesn't want hamas exporting any of its ideology and agents South. The legitimate government of the palestinians is now in the West Bank and the enemy of an enemy is a temporary friend.

  8. #48
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    Christians Flee Gaza

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satelli...cle%2FShowFull

    Christians living in Gaza City on Monday appealed to the international community to protect them against increased attacks by Muslim extremists. Many Christians said they were prepared to leave the Gaza Strip as soon as the border crossings are reopened.

    The appeal came following a series of attacks on a Christian school and church in Gaza City over the past few days.

    Father Manuel Musalam, leader of the small Latin community in the Gaza Strip, said masked gunmen torched and looted the Rosary Sisters School and the Latin Church.

    "The masked gunmen used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church," he said. "Then they destroyed almost everything inside, including the Cross, the Holy Book, computers and other equipment."

  9. #49
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    Default Brothers to the Bitter End

    19 June NY Times commentary - Brothers to the Bitter End by Fouad Ajami.

    So the masked men of Fatah have the run of the West Bank while the masked men of Hamas have their dominion in Gaza. Some see this as a tolerable situation, maybe even an improvement, envisioning a secularist Fatah-run state living peacefully alongside Israel and a small, radical Gaza hemmed in by Israeli troops. It’s always tempting to look for salvation in disaster, but in this case it’s sheer fantasy.

    The Palestinian ruin was a long time in coming. No other national movement has had the indulgence granted the Palestinians over the last half-century, and the results can be seen in the bravado and the senseless violence, in the inability of a people to come to terms with their condition and their needs.

    The life of a Palestinian is one of squalor and misery, yet his leaders play the international game as though they were powers. An accommodation with Israel is imperative — if only out of economic self-interest and political necessity — but the Palestinians, in a democratic experiment some 18 months ago, tipped power to a Hamas movement whose very charter is pledged to the destruction of the Jewish state and the imposition of Islamist rule...

  10. #50
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    Default Frame Work

    18 June The New Republic commentary - Frame Work by Dennis Ross.

    In January, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice proclaimed her seriousness about trying to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. She declared that she had heard the calls of many of her colleagues internationally for the United States to become active again and push for Middle East peace. Since then, she has taken four trips to the region and met with her Quartet partners numerous times to promote agreement on a political horizon for the Israelis and Palestinians--an agreement on the contours of a permanent status settlement.

    With the collapse of Fatah forces in Gaza, however, that horizon seems more distant than ever. Hamastan appears to describe the reality there now, making questions about permanent status or concessions to refugees largely irrelevant for the time being. We should not yet give up on the idea of brokering a comprehensive ceasefire between the Israelis and Palestinians, but the focus now must shift to the competition between Fatah and Hamas...

  11. #51
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    Default 'West Bank First': It Won't Work

    19 June Washington Post commentary - 'West Bank First': It Won't Work by Robert Malley and Aaron David Miller.

    Having embraced one illusion -- that it could help isolate and defeat Hamas -- the Bush administration is dangerously close to embracing another: Gaza is dead, long live the West Bank. This approach appears compelling. Flood the West Bank with money, boost Fatah security forces and create a meaningful negotiating process. The Palestinian people, drawn to a recovering West Bank and repelled by the nightmare of an impoverished Gaza, will rally around the more pragmatic of the Palestinians.

    The theory is a few years late and several steps removed from reality. If the United States wanted to help President Mahmoud Abbas, the time to do so was in 2005, when he won office in a landslide, emerged as the Palestinians' uncontested leader and was in a position to sell difficult compromises to his people. Today, Abbas is challenged by far more Palestinians and is far less capable of securing a consensus on any important decision.

    But the more fundamental problem with this theory is its lack of grounding. It is premised on the notion that Fatah controls the West Bank. Yet the West Bank is not Gaza in reverse. Unlike in Gaza, Israel's West Bank presence is overwhelming and, unlike Hamas, Fatah has ceased to exist as an ideologically or organizationally coherent movement. Behind the brand name lie a multitude of offshoots, fiefdoms and personal interests...

  12. #52
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    The Economist, 18 Jun 07: After the Showdown
    ....there are some signs that the split between Hamas and Fatah could prove less devastating than pessimists fear. One reason is that the clashes in Gaza may have been, in part, Hamas settling scores against an individual, Mohammed Dahlan, a reviled Fatah strongman, rather than a Hamas attempt to destroy Fatah as a whole. Hamas members always hated Mr Dahlan, who was Yasser Arafat’s security chief in Gaza in the 1990s. The forces under his command were responsible for arresting and torturing many Hamas militants. In last week’s fighting Mr Dahlan’s house and offices were looted and destroyed and many of his henchmen fled (he had left Gaza two months before for an operation). Now that they have gone, the tension may yet ease a little.

    Mr Dahlan may have been a big part of the problem. Other Fatah leaders, such as Ahmed Hallis, the group’s secretary-general in Gaza and a man who harboured a thinly disguised contempt for Mr Dahlan, managed to stay behind when many top Fatah folk fled in fear for their lives. He is now reportedly in talks with Hamas. In addition, Hamas's leaders are trying to achieve the release of a kidnapped BBC journalist, Alan Johnston, who has been held for months. If they succeed they would hope to demonstrate they have genuine control of Gaza, after the chaos of the past few months.

    Hamas is not entirely united. Ismail Haniyeh, who was prime minister until last week, has angrily rejected Mr Abbas’s authority to fire him. But Khaled Meshal, a Hamas leader based in Damascus, appears keener on reconciliation with Fatah, saying late last week that “what is needed now is to deal with the Palestinian schism”. Mr Meshal opposes any attempt to hive off the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. It seems Hamas is not yet ready to strike out on its own. Mr Abbas too will be reluctant to acquiesce in cutting off Gaza altogether. Some kind of rapprochement may yet be in the offing.

  13. #53
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    Default A Time To Round Out Dossiers

    It's a prime time for Fatah to ID and otherwise rat-out Hamas commanders, cell leaders, bomb makers and organizers - nothing quite like having the Israelis do the heavy lifting. The 'Arab street' is rather quiet over all this, as if not knowing which side to fully back. Iran will align with hamas no doubt.

  14. #54
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    From MSNBC: 6/20/07:

    "Israeli aircraft, meanwhile, fired missiles at two rocket launchers in northern Gaza, in the first aerial attack since Islamic Hamas militants took over the coastal strip late last week. No injuries were reported. Earlier in the day, Israeli tanks entered southern Gaza, and four people, including at least two militants, were killed in an exchange of fire, Palestinian hospital officials said."

  15. #55
    Council Member AdmiralAdama's Avatar
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    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...for_abbas.html

    Israel now has the opportunity to establish deterrence against unremitting rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli villages. Israel failed to do that after it evacuated Gaza in 2005, permitting the development of an unprecedented parasitism by willingly supplying food, water, electricity and gasoline to a territory that was actively waging hostilities against it.

    With Hamas now clearly in charge, Israel should declare that it will tolerate no more rocket fire -- that the next Qassam will be answered with a cutoff of gasoline shipments. This should bring road traffic in Gaza to a halt within days and make it increasingly difficult to ferry around missiles and launchers.

    If that fails to concentrate the mind, the next step should be to cut off electricity. When the world wails, Israel should ask, what other country on Earth is expected to supply the very means for a declared enemy to attack it?

  16. #56
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    Default Hamas to Release Captured CIA Files

    DEBKAfile Exclusive: Hamas to release files on Palestinian intelligence collaboration with the US CIA, UK’s MI5 and Shin Bet

    June 23, 2007, 10:32 PM (GMT+02:00)

    The centerpiece is evidence of the Palestinian Authority Preventive Security service’s disclosure that Hamas’ elite undercover Unit 102, only 25 strong, underwent lengthy training in Iran in advanced combat tactics modeled on those of the US Seals and the Israel Navy’s Shayetet 13.

    DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Unit 102 operated under such deep cover that even the commanders of Hamas’ military wing and its Executive Force did not know it existed. Hamas is making good on its threat to use the huge archive of Palestinian Authority intelligence documents it captured in Gaza to compromise Mahmoud Abbas and members of his regime and show them up as minions of foreign powers and traitors to Palestinian national interests.
    I have a few other sources for this story at my blog, as well.

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    The Economist, 21 Jun 07: June Amazed Them

    June amazed us on its fortieth anniversary: if we do not find someone to defeat us again, we defeat ourselves with our own hands so as not to forget!
    ....a lot of Palestinians wonder if this is the death-knell of their dream of statehood. The foreigners' optimistic scenario—that Hamas will cave in and give up control of Gaza—is far from guaranteed. Permanent separation between a chaotic, violent Gaza Strip and a more prosperous West Bank seems a real possibility. The title of Mr Darwish's poem sounds an almost biblical warning: “From now on you are not yourself!”

  18. #58
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    Default Maybe Connected, Maybe Not

    FOXNEWS.COM HOME > WORLD

    Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri Calls on Hamas to Implement Islamic Sharai Rule in Gaza

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,286520,00.html

  19. #59
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    HRW, Jul 07: Palestinian Rocket Attacks on Israel and Israeli Artillery Shelling in the Gaza Strip
    ...Both sides have shown disregard for civilian loss of life in violation of international humanitarian law: Palestinian armed groups have directed their rockets at Israeli towns; Israeli artillery shelling near populated areas has caused considerable civilian casualties for uncertain military gain as well as at least one serious incident of indiscriminate shelling.

    There is an opportunity today to put an end to this needless loss of civilian life: in November 2006, after an artillery attack that killed 23 civilians, the IDF placed a moratorium on use of artillery to respond to rocket attacks in Gaza, and a five-month ceasefire on the part of Hamas the same month led to a decrease in Palestinian rocket attacks in 2007, meaning that for a time rocket attacks were largely limited to the Islamic Jihad organization. Hamas ended its ceasefire on April 24, 2007, firing rockets once again into Israeli territory. Israel has not resumed its use of artillery, responding instead with more precise air-fired missiles to hit targets, but it is unclear how firm this change of practice is. The conduct of Palestinian armed groups and the IDF that led to the spike in civilian casualties in mid-2006 is likely to resume unless the parties learn the lessons of 2006...

  20. #60
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    Support Fatah and you risk making them look like traitors and Hamas like heros.
    Fatah is corrupt. Sure they are secular, like Syria, but they are corrupt.

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