Belmont Club

"I Want the World And Everything In It!"

CBS news reports on the conditions Hamas is setting to stop firing on Israel. “Emboldened by Arab support and confident in their arsenal, the Islamists say calm can only come if Israel opens the gates of the tiny, closed-off territory.” In other words, allows us to import more weapons and in return we promise not to shoot them at you.

“We will not accept a cease-fire until the occupation (Israel) meets our conditions,” said Izzat Rishaq, a senior Hamas official who is involved in the cease-fire efforts in Cairo.

Free movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza is seen as vital for Hamas’ continued control of Gaza.

Both Israel and Egypt’s new leader have eased access to the territory since 2007, but many restrictions remain. But even Morsi — who is sympathetic to Hamas as a fellow member of the region-wide Muslim Brotherhood — has resisted Hamas calls for open trade between Gaza and Egypt. Morsi fears such ties could undercut attempts to set up a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, the territory on the other side of Israel, where Abbas has partial control.

Will Israel agree to cutting its own throat? Maybe, maybe not. One thing’s for sure: the dice is now rolling. It looks like the Left got what they wanted in Gaza. The only question is: will they like it.

Maybe they will like it as much as Dr. Frankenstein liked his creation. The Weekly Standard says that based on reports “Hamas rejects ceasefire; decision for ground invasion coming soon”. Of course they could always change their minds and we could all Buy the World a Coke. But the clock is ticking.

The question for the diplomats is now if they cannot control the political fallout now, when the exchange is limited to rockets, how will they manage if the IDF goes into Gaza? The anti-Israeli rhetoric threatens to take on a life of its own. Morsi will be compelled to live up to his own words. The Muslim Brotherhood “Street” may demand it. The Western Left will be forced to match its fiery anti-Israeli screeds with even more fiery screeds. And Israel will be forced to defend itself, with bullets and high explosive, alas. And by the way, Anderson Cooper and whole pile of celebrity journalists are in Gaza.

The terrible “ifs” accumulate. A fuse has been lit and we still don’t know if anyone can blow it out. In a previous post I wrote that such an event would force Obama to choose between his ‘Arab Spring’ policy and the alliance with Israel.

As the previous post noted, if Obama thinks he has troubles now they will be nothing compared to what may happen if the IDF goes into Gaza on the ground. Then he can no longer have it both ways. He will either have to bring Israel under control or quell the objections of Egypt, Turkey and the Arab world. Turkey is in a position to increase its traditional influence over the area at the expense of Obama. And Obama has the opportunity to continue whatever it is that he’s been doing.

Secret diplomacy. What promises has president Obama made that we know about to the same degree that we know about Benghazi?

The Ludwig von Mises Institute discusses how “secret diplomacy” led directly to the Great War. “Small powerful parties in France, Britain, and Russia all pushed for war and created secret treaties amongst each other. As Ralph Raico has pointed out, English foreign policy was dominated by a small, secret clique no more answerable to Parliament and the people than a dictatorship like Nazi Germany.”

You mean like Hillary, Barack and Valerie Jarrett?

If you are getting a sinking feeling in your stomach about now, perhaps you should. “The potential collision between Egypt and Israel over Gaza now threatens to catch him [Obama] between two fires. A collision between the two American “allies” will force him to reap the bitter fruit of trying to be all things to all men; of trying to support the Brotherhood, with its hostility to Israel — and Israel. He will have to square the circle or openly choose sides in a way that not even the New York Times can conceal.”

For once a crisis is brewing which no amount of bribery — offers of arms to Israel or food and money to Egypt — can long forestall. The true bill for the lies at Benghazi and the entire “Arab Spring” enterprise may no longer be avoided. At long last some answers must be provided. How deep is the administration’s partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood? Just what did the assault on U.S. consulates throughout the region truly portend? Is there substantial opposition to the policy of dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood from within American intelligence agencies or the military?

We’ll soon find out. One can only hope we like the answers. Egypt is about one strong push from collapsing into economic ruin and chaos; Syria is ripped apart by civil war; Jordan is convulsed with unrest. In Lebanon every hostile side is eyeing the other with suspicion. And as for Libya, well what about Libya? This can only mean that now is the time to make sure that film-maker from LA doesn’t post any more videos to YouTube.

The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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