My schedule is finally close to getting back to normal after Worldcon, so here’s the latest Friday LinkSwarm:
Posts Tagged ‘Israel’
Obama’s call for attacking Syria is meeting such heavy opposition that he already has a domestic quagmire on his hands getting it approved. Here’s a mini-roundup of Syria news:
Time for another LinkSwarm!
Once again the irreligious, bracing Pat Condell tackles another PC shibboleth, namely our giving Palestinian barbarism a free pass. Why? “Because we’re racists.”
Too broad a brush? Well, it is a shame that 90% of Palestinians give the other 10% a bad name…
This week we’ll do it Thursday rather than Friday:
The degrees of broke-ness varies: from completely and utterly broke, like Greece or Italy; to wobbly, like the U.K., France, the U.S., or Japan; to getting poorer like Germany. But all of them are going to have to raise the percentage of gross domestic product they collect in tax — and many of them very significantly.
The U.S. deficit is more than 7% of GDP. The U.K.’s deficit is just as high. There is very little sign that spending cuts to close gaps of that magnitude are on the cards, nor is there any sign that growth will be sufficiently strong to make up the difference — certainly not in countries like the U.K. or Japan.
Huge sums of additional revenue will have to be raised.
Willie Sutton once famously remarked that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”
In the same way, governments will look to raise more tax from companies because that’s where the money is.
Or they could, you know, actually cut spending…
To much going on. Here’s a sampler:
First up, Unions kill Hostess. By calling a strike against a company that was already in bankruptcy, against the advice of the Teamsters, who had already taken a look at the Hostess books, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union ensured that instead of a 6% pay cut, unionized workers would take a 100% pay cut. Way to go, unions!
Israel still seems to be gearing up for a ground offensive in Gaza. And by firing rockets at Tel Aviv, Hamas pretty much guarantees that the only faction in Israeli politics urging restraint will retink their position. “I get a lot less liberal when you want to kill me.”
Lefties are trying to boycott Papa Johns for daring to lay people off because of ObamaCare. “If this is anything like the Chick-fil-A buycott, and you want Papa John’s for dinner, you’d better get your order in now.” It’s amazing that any business in America ever has to declare bankruptcy, given there are so many liberals around who can tell them exactly how much profit they “need”…
Former general and former CIA head David Petraeus testifies on Benghazi. He says his report said the attack was launched by al Qaeda, but higher-ups in the Obama Administration deleted the reference. The more we hear about Benghazi, the more it appears that Fox News was right.
Stratfor considers the implications of an Israeli ground assault on Gaza, concluding that it would look an awful lot like Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 2008-2009 incursion into Gaza.
The biggest difference is that that back then, Egypt wasn’t run by Islamist assclowns.
This also gives me a chance to link to this totally off the hook article on Israel’s urban warfare tactics in Nablus in 2002. As far as I know, it’s the only useful application of French postmodern literary theory in the history of mankind…
Today Israel launched strikes at multiple Hamas targets in Gaza, including one that took out Hamas military commander Ahmed Al-Jabari. This follows a weekend in which Hamas launched more than a hundred terror rockets into Israel.
Russia Today provides video of that particular strike:
Yeah, that’s going to ruin your whole day.
In retaliation, Hamas fired off 13 more rockets at Israel…all of which were intercepted.
There’s at least some indications that Israel is about to launch a major ground offensive into Gaza.
Some people have wondered why Egypt’s high court, doing the military leadership’s bidding, just invalidated the Egyptian parliament, even though the Muslim Brotherhood’s popularity, though strong, seemed to be on the wan. I think the simplest explanation is not that they were afraid of losing their grip on Egyptian society (though that’s probably part of the equation), but that the Egypt’s military leadership prefers not be be killed. I don’t mean this in a metaphorical sense, I mean that there was real (and probably justified) fear that a government lead by Muslim Brotherhood would lead, in very short order, to the liquidation of the military leadership. I think they were facing not one but two existential threats.
First, as shown in Turkey, when a nation’s existing military leadership also acts as an independent power base, islamists are only willing to tolerate potential threats to their own rule as long as they have to. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s islamist AKP has moved to put vast swathes of Turkey’s previously independent military leadership on trail for blocking Islamist aims in the past. Egypt’s military is just as strong a power center (albeit one considerably less scrupulous than Turkey’s); how long do you think it would take the Muslim Brotherhood to move against the military leadership after they had consolidated power? My guess is not long at all, and the military knew it too.
Second, if we take the Muslim Brotherhood at their word, it’s obvious they’re itching for another war against Israel. And why not? They regard the “Zionist Entity” as a literal affront against God, one that must be wiped off the face of the earth. Moreover, what better way to tighten control over the levers of governmental powers than with a war against a hated enemy? There are are all sorts of ways to use “emergency wartime decrees” to eliminate opposition figures and seize direct control of businesses and ministries when everyone’s focused on the military action.
And who would bear the brunt of any war against Israel? The hated military. Win, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood government are heroes to Muslims all over the world. Lose, and it could only be attributable to traitorous disloyalty by the military leadership, which would be immediately purged.
And make no mistake about: Egypt would lose. Badly. No matter how they may try to spin the 1973 Yom Kipur War as a victory, the Egyptian military got it’s ass handed to it in all four of the Arab-Israeli Wars. The Six Day War was particularly brutal, with Israel destroying all the Arab air forces arrayed against it, most on the ground, and decisively crushing Egyptian forces in the Sinai while taking minimal casualties; they could even have taken Cairo were it not for frantic pleas of the U.S. and heavy threats from the Soviet Union. Egypt lost the Yom Kippur War as well, but actually managed to bloody Israel’s nose in the Sinai, using effective anti-tank tactics to inflict real damage on the IDF before being overwhelmed. This would be pretty much the only instance where an Arab army stood toe-to-toe with the IDF (even temporarily) until the 2006 war on Lebanon, which Hezbollah would survive despite being badly mauled.
The Egyptian military knows it would lose any war against Israel for the foreseeable future (even discounting Israel’s likely nuclear weapons arsenal), and it knows the best way to prevent one is to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from coming to power. Strangely enough, in this instance the Egyptian military leadership is actually acting in the best interests of the nation, even if the end result also happens to be saving their own hide.