Monday, March 22, 2004
Things Could Get Very Interesting [UPDATED]

Israel struck a huge blow against Hamas last night/this morning, killing their founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

"The state of Israel today hit the first and foremost head of Palestinian terrorism. His ideological basis was the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel," Sharon said.

"The war on terror is not over, and will take place every day and in every place. It is the natural right of the Jewish nation, as it is the right of any peoples, to hunt down those who wish to exterminate them," Sharon added.
Others have discussed this already, and have made interesting points, so there's not a lot for me to add, other than my own personal reaction: "Wow. Hope they have their security up to snuff."

Of course, Israel does. And David Bernstein seems to think my concerns are a bit misplaced:
In the center, there are concerns about reprisals. I think these concerns are misplaced. All indications are that Hamas has been gearing up for a major terrorist campaign to promote the view that any full or partial withdrawal from Gaza is its doing. This campaign is receiving logistical and financial support from Hizbollah and tactical support from the Al Asqa wing of Fatah. Much better to go on the offensive against Hamas, keeping its leadership in hiding and on the run, than to sit back and wait for Hamas to go after Israel.
I agree that going on the offensive against one's already aggressive enemies is a preferable strategy; and honestly, how is this rhetoric - "Sharon, start preparing your body bags because (Hamas's) Qassam Brigades will put Israeli houses in mourning and make a funeral in every Israeli street," and "Islamic Jihad vowed 'to wage war, war, war on the sons of Zion' in response." - any different from what was already going on? Weren't they already 'pulling out all the stops' against Israel?

An evil man has died, and his evil organization is gasping for breath. But this is not over. I still suggest they batten down their hatches over there.

Damian Penny comments. Mader Blog agrees with me, and David Frum notes the shortcomings of European response:
If the European allies cannot accept the killing of the head of Hamas, who has already murdered hundreds of people, it is very hard to imagine that those same European allies would have accepted the assassination of Osama bin Laden before 9/11. And since the defining idea of American liberal Democrats is the paramount need for European approval of major American actions (see below) - then there's really no mystery at all about why the Clintonites behaved as they did before 9/11. They didn't want to upset anyone. So they did nothing. And now they're engaged in the one foreign-policy activity at which they are truly expert: blame-shifting.
Command Post has a summary of world-wide opinion. Trudeaupia points out that Canada's response is less-than-adequate.
Perhaps [Canadian Foreign Minister] Bill Graham, idiot du jour, would note that Palestinians were supposed to actually combat terrorists, not laud them as martyrs. In the absence of the Palestinians policing themselves Israel is left with the unpleasant chore of defending itself. The Palestinians could put an end to this state of affairs any time they choose to. Perhaps Bill Graham, idiot du jour, should encourage the Palestinians to consider their international legal obligations, which frown on blowing up buses and pizza parlours.
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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