Israel and Hamas: What counts as Victory?

There’s an article at the Christian Science Monitor about what each sides constitutes victory.  This fight looks pretty serious and there hasn’t been this extreme kind of fighting since the 80’s.

The article is interesting because it looks at both sides and what they want as victory.  So what counts as victory for both sides?

For Israel:

The Israeli military says the ground offensive is aimed at eliminating militant rocket-launching sites, destroying weapon caches, and pursuing fighters hiding in the crowded coastal strip.

Will it be satisfied if the militants stop firing rockets or if it destroys the hundreds of tunnels to Egypt that make up Hamas’s supply line? Some experts say Israel wants to force a more extensive cease-fire with Hamas, compel the creation of an international peacekeeping force in the coastal strip, or destroy the Islamist group altogether.

For Hamas:

survival might be victory. It will be lauded across the Arab world if it can hold out against the region’s strongest military.

If this is what is considered victory, this fight might go for a while.  And if so, there’s no way Bush can do anything.  What will Obama do?  It’ll be interesting to see what he does, but I’m guessing it’ll be more proactive than Bush’s condemnation of Hamas.

With things building up, it could be as it was in Lebennon in 1982.  If it keeps going longer, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hezbollah got involved.  But if that happens, the United States will probably get involved which will infuriate the Arab World even more.

Optimistically, I’m hoping for a cease-fire.

About shaunmiller

I have just completed a visiting position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
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4 Responses to Israel and Hamas: What counts as Victory?

  1. Killer J says:

    Cease fire… lol

    Sorry, didn’t have anything else to contribute. F Hamas.

  2. shaunmiller says:

    Ron Paul explains how both sides are to blame.

  3. shaunmiller says:

    A perfect reply to the fighting in the Middle East that was in the New York Times:

    I recently retired from the US Marine Corps, but I saw service in Iraq. I do know something of military matters that are relevant to the situation now in Gaza.

    I am dismayed by the rhetoric from US politicians and pundits to the effect that if the US were under rocket attack from Mexico or Canada, we would respond like the Israelis. This a gross insult to US servicemen; I can assure you that we would NOT respond like the Israelis. In fact, US armed forces and adjunct civilians are under attack constantly in Iraq and Afghanistan by people who are much better armed, much better trained and far deadlier than Hamas (I’ll ignore for now that the politicians seem to be oblivious to this fact). Israel has indeed taken a small number of casualties from Hamas rocket fire (about 20 killed since 2001), but we have taken thousands of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, including many civilian personnel. Hundreds of American casualties have occurred due to indirect fire, often from mortars. This is particularly true in or near the Green Zone in Baghdad. This fire often originates from densely populated urban areas.

    Americans do not, I repeat DO NOT, respond to that fire indiscriminately. When I say “indiscriminately”, I mean that even if we can precisely identify the source of the fire (which can be very difficult), we do not respond if we know we will cause civilian casualties. We always evaluate the threat to civilians before responding, and in an urban area the threat to civilians is extremely high. If US servicemen violate those rules of engagement and harm civilians, I assure you we do our best to investigate — and mete out punishment if warranted. There are differing opinions on the conflict in Iraq, but I am proud of the conduct of our servicemen there.

    With that in mind, I find the conduct of the Israeli army in Gaza to be brutal and dishonorable, and it is insulting that they and others claim that the US military would behave in the same way. I know the Israelis are operating under difficult circumstances, but their claim that they follow similar rules of engagement rings hollow; I see little evidence for this claim given the huge number of civilian casualties they have caused from indirect fire.

  4. shaunmiller says:

    A response in the LA Times is here about the fighting. It’s very succinct and bold.

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