Wednesday, August 16, 2006


For all you Steven Colbert fans, have a look at the Threatdown Generator.

In real world news, a cease fire has commenced between Lebanon and Israel. And about bloody time. Israel this time has really responded with much more than necessary force. Bombing civilians, hospitals and refugee camps while trying to get to Hezbollah will not make you friends in the Lebanese community. Nor will it get you friends in the peace loving community.

Israel is in a tough position. The nations neighbouring and around Israel know it's history, and know people who were affected by it's creation. They also know people who have been attacked by Israel. This is not Israel's first prolonged engagement with countries neighbouring it. There have been about 20 or so conflicts of various lengths since the creation of Israel. Israel has generally done well in these conflicts, such as the gains made in the 6 Day War.

Israel appears to have generally tried to play the role of the good guy, just trying to protect itself from others. This is partly true, it's neighbour don't particularly like it. But if you play the good guy card, then you limit your options if you don't want to lose that appearance. Good guys don't kill innocent civilians. Good guys don't bomb refugee camps.

I think Israel needs to change it's strategy. For as long as it's existed, Israel has believed a good defense involves a good offense. This has some truth, but doesn't consider the larger picture. Every time Israel kills someones family member, they make more people in the region dislike them. What Israel should do is draw a line in the sand (it's borders, for example), and say "no one crosses this line". They then set up on fine defense along that line. This shouldn't be hard. Israel knows their stuff. Nothing crosses the line, be it tank, jet or missile. But they don't strike back. Pure defense.

This has several positive factors to Israel. First, it allows them to keep up the good guy image with the rest of the world. Second, it makes it harder for neighbouring countries to maintain anger against them. Once you get a generation or two that have never had to worry about Israel striking out at them, they're much less likely to strike back at Israel.

The downside to such a scheme is that it will be unpopular with those who want the fight to continue.

Anyway, that's my idea on how Israel should proceed.

End Post
Writing time: 3 hours (I'm pretty sure I didn't take the whole 3 hours. There was a bit of reading up on the conflicts Israel has been in, and listening to a few podcasts. and answering phone calls)
Time since last post: 2 days
Current media: silence. A few podcast played while I was typing.
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