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Saturday, December 29, 2012

November 21, 2012--The Day We Lost The War On Terror


The title of an op-ed by Henrik R. Clausen at EuroNews:
It may have escaped the attention of most, but on November 21st 2012, we suffered the final defeat in the War on Terror declared by President George W. Bush on September 20th 2001. After more than 11 years of fighting, 56,900 American causalties, cumulutative expenses of between 1.2 and 2.7 trillion dollars and a very complicated series of diplomatic & military alliances, the aim to defeat terror was abolished in Cairo, Egypt on that day.

Here, the triumvirate of Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal announced a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel following a week of intense fighting between the terrorist organisation and the army of Israel.
The author goes on to describe the principle portions of the ceasefire agreement.
... First, and most important: This agreement blocks Israel from taking any military action against Hamas or other terrorist organisations in Gaza. Without a credible threat of military action, Hamas is now at liberty to rebuild its military infrastructure, its rocket launch sites, and not least to replenish its somewhat depleted rocket stocks. Hamas will not voluntarily abstain from this.

Reciprocically, Hamas and the other terrorist organisations in Gaza shall stop attacking Israel. Given that their purpose in life is the annihilation of Israel, that can only be a temporary measure.

Then, Israel is to facilitate the movement of people and goods at border crossings. Given that the borders were never closed, not even during Pillar of Defence, that is a somewhat unclear requirement, and could easily become a bone of contention if either Hamas or Egypt deems it insufficiently fulfilled.

The hindrances to free movement in and out of Gaza came into place in June 2007 after extensive fighting between Hamas and Fatah, leaving over 600 Palestinians dead in the power struggle. After Hamas had gained undisputed control of Gaza, Israel and Egypt implemented stricter border control, blocking transport of materials deemed of military importance. That border control, however, has been perforated by an extensive set of tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border.

The final clause of the ceasefire agreement holds another surprise – Egypt, not some neutral international instution like OSCE or the United Nations, is to oversee the implementation. Given that Egypt is now ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas is a branch of the Brotherhood, this does not seem fair, impartial or even reasonably reliable.
Clausen notes that the battle, initiated by Hamas, was a terrorist failure. That is, the indiscriminate rocket attacks failed to terrorize the Israelis. Partly, this was a result of the use of the Iron Dome defensive system which was highly successful in destroying incoming rockets. Partly is was because of the resolve of the Israelis, who were prepared to strike back--first, with targeted air strikes against high value Hamas targets, but also with a ground attack to clean out the Hamas infestation. Unfortunatley, as Clausen notes:
...  Israel mobilized the army reserves and sent them to the border to Gaza, everything clear to go. At that point, however, world government leaders were scrambling to demand ”Peace in Gaza”, and the ground invasion was kept on hold.

Egypt, in particular, had reason to be concerned. The Muslim Brotherhood had risen to power after the so-call ”Arab Spring”, crowned by the election of Mohamed Morsi as president in June. Since Hamas is rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood and shares the goals of reestablish the Caliphate, protecting Hamas from destruction became a top priority for Egypt.

It might seem paradoxical that Morsi, who refuses to even use the word 'Israel' or meet personally with any representatives of the country, would want to broker a peace agreement between Israel and Hamas. But the influx of foreign diplomats acknowleding his importance surely had an effect. Turkey's prime minister Erdogan, the emir of Qatar, German foreign minister Westerwelle, UN chairman Ban Ki-moon and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton all rushed in to stop the fighting. Not all of these can reasonably be suspected of being driven by anti-Jewish sentiment or sympathy for the terrorists being hammered by Israel, but the end result was that the terrorist organisations were spared extinction and a ceasefire became active on November 21st, 2012.

While the Germans, the Arabs and the Turks may have their own motivations for supporting Morsi, and the ceasefire protecting Hamas, the participation of Hillary Rodham Clinton is peculiar. Hamas, since 1997, is a US-designated terrorrist organisation, and if we were to take the US commitment to conduct war on terror seriously, the US should not have any desire to prevent the Israeli army from defeating a major terrorist organisation. Pulverizing Hamas and liberating the Palestinians from its brutal rule could be declared a major victory for Israel, for peaceful Palestinians, and for international law.

Yet this didn't happen, and thus the stage is being set for another round of fighting, more brutal and lethal than the one that was just interrupted. The reason for this lies in Islamic teachings, which does not recognize a 'ceasefire' in the sense it's understood in the West, a preparation for permanent peace. Rather, Islamists like Yasser Arafat think in the terms of 'hudna', a temporary laying down of arms in order to gather strength for further fighting.

Thus, when attention turns away from Gaza, Egypt and the nomads of Sinai will quietly transport more advanced missiles into Gaza, preparing for another assault on the 'Zionist entity', as anti-semitic regimes designate Israel. That our own leaders do not comprehend this is a source of embarrassment. Worse, it shows that we have entirely lost our moral clarity in the Byzantine game of friends, foes, percieved prestige, deception and betrayal.
Read the whole thing.

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