30 July 2006

For Israel

I support Israel in its war against fake militant "Islam" (hereafter: FMI), represented by Hezbollah and Hamas, for three main reasons. First, Israel had done everything right before hostilities broke out - withdrawn from Gaza and Lebanon, and cracked down on suicide bombers, while Iran was organising gabfests on wiping Israel off the face off the earth. Second, it has a proper government: responsible for health and education and other actual public services which is accountable to voters without the gangsterism and tribalism found elsewhere in the Middle East. Third, I'm an unabashed admirer of the plucky little Israel of Entebbe and the Six Day War, Dayan and Rabin, Meir and Barak, and I trust that mighty spirit lives on.

Not that you have to be such a fan to think Mel Gibson is a toerag.

Hamas came to government last year without the epiphany experienced by South Africa's ANC, another nationalist movement with militant tendencies, that throwing off the oppressor is only the prelude to the grind of responsible government. Had Mahmoud Abbas embraced this vision he would have had some claim on Israel to keep open the financial spigots, some leverage with the West; instead, he played a double game against interests incompatible since 11 September 2001, which drove him down the dead-end of FMI. Palestine has lost support from Christians, Muslims and other non-FMI groups; they've been forced out by the maddies. If the EU was a proper government they would be re-examining what exactly they are funding (social programs? I don't think so) and how much of the sentimental nonsense of the soixante-huitards actually applies to the situation in the ground.

The Bush doctrine of democracy over stability depends heavily upon sensible democratic leadership. Abbas and the other Arafat relics have not only botched it, they have left FMI with a monopoly of competent leadership in those parts. In Egypt, Libya and Syria, amongst others, the only alternative to the incumbents with money and organisational skills are the FMI parties, to the point where traditional tribalist parties or neo-Western ideological groupings would be left for dead, literally.

The Israelis have not been sufficiently clever in their selections of targets which suggests these have been selected by politicians, rather than military leaders acting on reliable intelligence. It has worked as a show of strength, and as a lesson to the Lebanese about the need to excrete Hezbollah from their body politic. Hopefully, Israel will go after Hezbollah where it really is: now a hotel in Damascus, now a cafe in Amman, now a hadassah in Qom, now a mosque in Paris. The Israelis are masters of asymmetric warfare, and hopefully they have not become so reliant on US hardware that these skills have been blunted.

Any Iranian Revolutionary Guard members found in the war against Israel should be eaten by pigs, or humiliated in some grotesque way in death as we have seen in recent years on FMI webcasts. Peace in the Middle East tends to follow the obliteration of some large-scale piece of Arab military hardware, and the US ought not be backward in supplying the equipment that might help Iranians see another side of what it means to develop nuclear power.

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