When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

April 20, 2004

Taking it to the Next Level

Charlie Victor Echo

So here's the timeline:

On March 15th, eleven Israeli dock workers are killed in a bomb blast.

A week later, on the 22nd, Israel kills Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

Hamas gets confused for a while, then appoints Abdel Aziz Al-Rantisi thier new boss.

Al-Rantisi makes a speech, but other than that not too much happens.

On April 17th, Israel kills Al-Rantisi.

Now Hamas is saying they have a new leader, but they won't tell anyone who he is!!

I don't know if Sharon got a full-fledged hunting license from Bush, but it sure looks like it. Or at least Ariel figures George is too busy with Iraq to care about what happens in Gaza.

He's probably right.

Thing is, I can't really fault the Israelis on this one. Terrorism is terrorism, and it shouldn't matter whether its a bunch of little attacks on undefended civilians or huge attacks at major targets. If the "War on Terrorism" is to mean anything then we cannot tolerate that style of warfare. You can't get outraged over an attack in Spain but think that its alright if Israeli civilians are killed.

How is a car bomb in Ramallah different than one in Jerusalem?

The whole "Secret Leader" thing is kind of odd, though. Part of the point to being in charge is being the public face for your nation or oganization. How do you do that if you're in hiding? We'll just have to see if these "Chop off the Head and the Body Dies" attacks will actually hurt Hamas much, but the fact that they haven't been able to accomplish anything since the dock attack seems to suggest that it can slow them down, anyway.

Launched by Charlie Victor Echo at April 20, 2004 06:20 AM

Retaliatiory Launches

According to TIm Blair (the linked Times article is subscription only) the new leader of Hamas is Dr Mahmoud Zahar.

This article puts the situation in rather blunt terms.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at April 20, 2004 02:44 PM

Wouldn't the obvious optimal terrorist strategy be to appoint Sharon the new leader of Hamas?

Sort of the same level of thinking that the Spanish Al Qaedists used when they expressed a preference for George W. Bush as President of the US over John Kerry. Heh.

Posted by: Scott at April 20, 2004 05:13 PM

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