Powered by WebAds

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bush gives green light to invade Gaza - with conditions

London-based Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Aswat reports that US President George W. Bush gave Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert a green light to send the IDF into Gaza while he was here earlier this week, but with conditions that are not making the IDF happy. This is from Arutz Sheva's coverage:
President Bush, however, voiced concern that a large-scale military operation would lead to a "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza.

The sources said that Bush gave Olmert a green light for a military operation in Gaza, but that he also spelled out certain limitations and demanded that Olmert make sure the operation did not wind up hurting civilians.
Given the 'Palestinians' tactics of using civilians as 'human shields,' how the heck do you go into Gaza without harming civilians? But wait because it gets worse. DEBKA adds (and again, if anyone questions my use of DEBKA it's because the substance of the story - that the IDF has a green light - is confirmed by both Al-Sharq and Arutz Sheva, and after what I told you about the Israeli MSM last night, do any of you really trust it anyway?):
President George W. Bush gave Israel the nod for its long-delayed military operation against Hamas in the Gaza before he ended his 50-hour visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah on Friday, Jan. 11 – except that his provisos stop the Israeli military short of its objectives, namely stamping out the Palestinian missile campaign, halting smuggling and eradicating Hamas military stockpiles, as reported here by DEBKAfile’s military sources:

1. Israeli forces must limit their invasion to two or three strips abutting the Gaza-Israeli border of the 365 sq. km square Hamas-ruled territory on Israel’s southwestern border. Those sources identify those strips as the northern pocket of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya and the fringes of the Jebalya camp; the southern areas east of Khan Younes up to the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings; and sections of the Philadelphi border strip with Egypt, up to and excluding the Mediterranean coast. [What's missing here is hitting the Hamas leadership, which is largely based in Gaza City in the center of the Strip. CiJ]

Operationally, this means the Israeli army may push back the Qassam missile launching sites from the border and distance this harassment from the Israeli population, but may not destroy terrorist arms and missile caches and their means of production. [And we all know that the terrorists have longer-range rockets. CiJ]

Israel is also enabled to deal only partially with the smuggling system for the weapons, explosives, fighters and cash, which nourish the Gaza Strip’s Palestinian terrorist groups through Sinai.

2. The IDF must operate only in sparsely-populated areas and desist from actions that may cause extensive Palestinian civilian casualties.

3. The IDF will not capture the main cities, e.g. Gaza City, Rafah and Khan Younes.

4. After clearing captured areas of Hamas, Jihad Islami and other Palestinian terrorists, the Israeli army must pull out and hand the cleansed territory to the forces of the Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel must enable the passage of those forces from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip and allow them to establish military bases for launching their offensives to recapture the entire Gaza Strip, thereby reversing Hamas’ success in forcing their retreat six months ago.

Point 4 was tagged onto the list during the US president’s talks with Abbas in Ramallah Thursday, Jan. 10.

The Palestinian leader proposed that Bush’s assent to an Israel counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip be exploited for the IDF to prepare the ground for his Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority to regain its control of the lost territory.

It was agreed between Bush, Abbas and Olmert, that the details of this plan be worked out after the US president returns home at the end of his Middle East tour.

The Bush-Olmert understanding entrusted defense minister Ehud Barak with leading and charting the Gaza operation, determining its timeline and being responsible to Washington for the IDF not stepping out of the above preset boundaries.

It will also be up to Barak to decide whether to pursue the objective in phased offensives.
You got that folks? The IDF is going to fight and our soldiers are going to die (God forbid) to capture territory for 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen. And the IDF is outraged (and again, knowing how these things get out in this country, I find DEBKA's account completely credible):
The notion that members of Israel’s people’s army, which is duty bound to defend the state, may be ordered to fight and lay down their lives in the service of the Palestinian Authority, presents every serviceman with an irreconcilable dilemma.

It might be easier if they were permitted to eradicate the Palestinian missile threat and war machine, stock, lock and barrel. But this is ruled out by Bush.

The IDF found it difficult enough to recover its equilibrium from the political task to forcibly evict Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip foisted on it by the Sharon-Olmert-Livni government in 2005. Today, Israeli policy-makers, the United States and the Palestinian Authority are contemplating saddling the soldiers with another political undertaking: to turn around the Fatah’s defeat in its internecine war with Hamas.

Israeli generals and security chiefs caution the government against accepting this perilous and self-destructive adventure and point to its glaring flaws.

Its very conception has distorted the peace process so that the burden of its success rests on the IDF’s shoulders. If a military campaign succeeds in gaining control of parts of Gaza on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, peace talks will resume with Abbas’ standing much enhanced. But if the results are mixed, like in the 2006 Lebanon War under Olmert’s direction, the Palestinian leader will drop Israel and the United States like hot coals, turn coat and seek an understanding with Hamas for a re-united front against Israel.


The Bush-Olmert-Abbas plan would have the Israeli military pull their irons out of the fire when it is common knowledge that once inside Gaza, PA security forces will quickly disintegrate and be swallowed up by the far more resolute Hamas. It was therefore proposed in Bush’s talks in Ramallah and Jerusalem that the Israeli Air Force and artillery provide support for the Palestinian takeover of the Gaza Strip, a tactic the US army employs for local forces in Iraq.

For the Israeli Defense Forces, this proposal is totally unacceptable.

For one thing, the Palestinian Authority’s security services are riddled with wanted terrorists.

Furthermore, Abbas and his elite officials are not considered representative by the bulk of the Palestinian people (who in Jan. 2006 voted Hamas into office). Neither are they trusted to execute complicated strategies.

Finally, the Bush-Olmert policy of placing all their bets for a Middle East breakthrough on the inept Mahmoud Abbas condemns their plan to failure.
For those of you who think Bush doesn't understand what he's doing, unfortunately, he does:
At the dinner Olmert hosted in honor of the US president Thursday night, several ministers pointed out these hard facts to Bush and told him bluntly that he is gambling all his hopes for peace on a non-existent entity called the Palestinian Authority.

The US president answered: “I agree. That really is a problem.”
But hey, what's most important? Keeping Olmert in power and Bush's legacy or the security of the State of Israel. The average Israeli's answer and Olmert's answer should be obvious by now to all of us.


At 12:48 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - no one in Israel wants a repeat of the 2006 Lebanon War performance. If Ehud Olmert wants to fight a "limited" war and not to defend Israel, he'll have to do it himself.

Inasmuch as things have gotten crazy in Israel, there are limits. One of them being the country goes to war all the way to defend itself or it doesn't bother. If the Debka account is credible, then Olmert learned nothing from the last war and forgot everything.

In short, Olmert the feckless isn't Israel's idea of a supreme wartime commander.


Post a Comment

<< Home