The Battle of Gaza and The Real War
It was only a matter of time before Israel lashed out at Hamas in Gaza. Even the appeasers in Israel, of whom there are many, could not indefinitely accept thousands of rockets landing in civilian centers, especially after the battle against Hezbollah in 2006, which was widely viewed as a fiasco for the Israeli Army and for the leaders in Jerusalem who are facing an election in two months. Defense Minister Barak says it's "all-out war," which suggests ground operations. The usual rule in these cases is that Israel doesn't have much time to accomplish its objectives; the "international community" rallies to the side of Israel's enemies, and Israel's leaders invariably convince themselves that if they play ball, they'll be rewarded for it. But that never happens. So far the Brits and the Vatican have already demanded an end to operations against Hamas, and by the time I finish typing this there will be more.
Israeli leaders say they want to bring an end to the rocket and missile attacks from Gaza. But, as opposition leader Netanyahu said, that can't be done without regime change.
Our goal should be twofold - stopping the attacks on our cities and eliminating the threat of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip...Stopping the attacks can be done within a short period of time, while eliminating the threat of rocket attacks from Gaza will entail toppling the Hamas rule over the Strip and uprooting the Iranian base there.
The last five words are key, because, as others have said, this is one more battle in the terror war in which we have been engaged since 2001. The Battle of Gaza cannot be understood as a thing in itself, but only as part of a broader whole: the war against the terror masters. And Iran is the most lethal, the most dangerous, and the most aggressive terror master in the world today.
Step back from the Gaza battle for just a second, and look at the war itself: it extends from Afghanistan to Pakistan and India, to Somalia, to Gaza/the Palestinian Authority/Israel, to Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia, with occasional skirmishes in the vast Kurdish domain (which embraces areas of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran), across Europe, into the United States and Canada and down to South America, including Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, with attendant terror/narcotics mafias that in turn operate in West Africa. Iran is present in all these theaters, primarily via its proxies Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guards (Quds Force).
Like the global totalitarian movements and regimes that threatened Western civilization in the last century, the Iranians come with a messianic ideology that admits no compromise with its enemies. This war will only end with a winner and a loser, not with two contented negotiators. We can win this war--we've delivered a stunning defeat to Iran and her proxies in Iraq, for example--and our most powerful weapons are political, not military. Had we taken the war to Tehran, the terror forces in Gaza would, at a minimum, be a lot weaker today, as they would be in Afghanistan and Lebanon. But we continue to dither, and the new American leaders are fooling themselves when they say that vigorous diplomacy can induce the mullahs to retreat. It won't happen, any more than the Israelis got the terrorists to retreat from all-out war against the Jews when the Oslo Agreement was signed, or when Rabin shook hands with Arafat. It only delayed the days of reckoning, at the cost of many lives, mostly of innocents, on both sides.