Sunday, January 04, 2009

Eyeless in Gaza (Again)

Wow, it has been a while since I've posted. I didn't realize it until I looked at Jana's blog where she has the cool gadget that lists the time since the last post underneath everyone's name (yes, Trish, I know you have it too, I was just on Jana's blog first today), and it said "Jeff, 2 weeks ago." I don't think I've ever gone two weeks without posting. Sheesh. Anyway, my baby isn't throwing up everywhere anymore and the Middle East is exploding so now is as good a time to post as any.

So my wife and I were talking yesterday about the recent invasion of Gaza by Israeli ground troops. At first, we both thought that the invasion was pretty much unavoidable. I mean, if Cuba was firing rockets at Key West, even if they were total POSes like the Qassams, wouldn't we bomb them back to the Stone Age? I don't see how we can reasonably blame Israel for doing the same. However, my wife had a thought - wouldn't sending in the black ops be better?

Follow me here. Hamas operatives like to launch rockets from civilian-occupied buildings and use civilians as cover. That way, Israel has two conventional options - destroy the rockets and a bunch of civilians, or do nothing. The first option is what Israel chose, and it gets rid of the rockets but kills a lot of people and pisses off a bunch of other people who aren't really paying attention and so apparently didn't notice the rockets. The second option risks the lives of your own people... not cool either. The third option is better - treat it like a hostage situation because, really, that's what it is. Hamas rocketeers are holding civilians hostage by firing from their buildings.

I'm sure Israel has some black ops people lying around somewhere. Rumor has it they're pretty badass. How hard could it be to sneak into Gaza, pick off a couple of rocketeers, and come back? The rumors about the all-powerfulness of Israeli intelligence agents (probably all BS, because rumors have a tendency of getting out of hand when Jews are involved) work to Israel's advantage here, because after the black ops kill a few rocketeers, they'll start to freak out. The best part? No civilians get hurt, and no one has any excuse to complain. It's a win-win situation. Someone should tell whoever's running the show over there now.

Sick silver lining to this whole episode? If this war goes well for Israel and they basically lay waste to much of Gaza, it'll boost defense minister Ehud Barak's credibility among the hard-liners. That'll help Barak in the upcoming election, where currently hard-liner Binyamin Netanyahu holds a strong lead. And if Barak does get elected, he'll have all the political capital he needs to pursue peace (remember Barak was willing to give up a lot in 2000 but got shafted by the intransigent Yasser Arafat). And Hamas will be out of the way (at least temporarily) because they'll have just gotten their butts kicked in Gaza while Fatah and its West Bank base remained relatively unscathed. Should this war propel Barak into office, it may be the best chance for peace the region has seen in a long, long time.

A few other random thoughts:

- Rod Blagojevich belonged on the set of "Happy Days," not in the governor's office. Seriously, Illinois, the loss of a Senate seat is what you get for electing the Fonz.

- My teams are three for three on the bowl game front. 'Horns, don't screw this up. Speaking of college football, have you ever seen a season that will likely end with four teams (USC, Utah, Texas if they beat OSU, and whoever wins Fla-OU) who could legitimately lay claim to the title of "best team in the country"? Playoff. Now. Or else Obama says knock you OUT.

- Speaking of football, if you're wondering how you can gain 200 yards of total offense for a game, go 1-15 on third down, and win... you just play the only no-turnover, no-penalty game I think I have ever seen. And get really lucky on a punt play. Oh, and Who The Heck Is Larry Smith might turn out to be a decent QB down the road...

- Since it looks like Stuart Smalley won Minnesota's Senate race (which, incidentally, is the only statewide or national race I can think of that has ever pitted two Jews against one another), can we cut costs by combining the official Senate trips to Iraq and Afghanistan with the USO? Franken's still a pretty good stand-up comic, right? And who wouldn't want to see Kay Hagan do a little burlesque? Incidentally, if you're C-SPAN, wouldn't you be finding out when Franken is scheduled to deliver a speech on the Senate floor and advertise it? If they can encourage him to throw a little comedy in there, it could set ratings records for them. I know Franken's got a serious head for policy, but man, the possibilities of a stand-up comic in the Senate are endless.

- Just because:

That's our Selah... the next Brian Rosenworcel.


Ben said...

Somehow I don't think Black Ops would be that successful. I mean, look at things now. Last I heard, Israel had invaded Gaza and rocket fire is still happening. So if the actual Israeli army's presence in Gaza can't stop rocket fire, I'm not sure what a few Black Ops could do.

'Twould make a great Tom Clancy novel though.

Why, oh why, can't there be someone out there who has credibility to regular Palestineans, isn't corrupt like Fatah, isn't militant like Hamas, and is interested in a legit peace process? Sigh.....I hate reality.

Mike said...

From the Rice victory on, every single bowl game I cared about has turned out exactly how I wanted. Which is beginning to scare me, but at least it bodes well for the 'Horns and the Sooners. Also, Utah is undefeated and beat three ranked teams this year. They deserve to be crowned champions, IMO.

I've got my eye on Larry Smith, though I'm still not entirely sure whatever happened to Jared "Jay Cutler Jr." Funk.

When Al Franken spoke at Vanderbilt our freshman year, he was asked a serious political question, and began his reply with, "Well, first of all, I'm a comedian". Oh yah, you stay classy, Minnesota. I'm not saying Coleman would have been better, but if nothing else, it would have been one more Republican in the Senate (I likes me a balanced Congress).

How's Selah coming along with the intro to "Barrel of a Gun"? Too cute.

Jeff said...

Ben, the fact that rockets are still being fired highlights the unattainability of the goal of stopping all rocket fire. At least the black ops wouldn't be laying waste to the whole area. Heck, if Eric Bana and Daniel Craig can blow up people in Paris, a couple of Mossad agents can do some damage in Gaza...

Mike, we didn't think that song was age-appropriate, so we're starting her on "Bury Me." We'll put her on "Barrel" once the subject matter becomes okay for her, which is never, because she's my little baby girl.

(Hilarious side note - at one point I was dancing to "Goldfly" with her and she started whining whenever the music went off between songs...)

Matthew B. Novak said...

In defense of Minnesota, everybody now hates both candidates. They've been bickering endlessly, and most of the state seems to be on Jacob's "just flip a coin" side. Next time they did a recount it would come out differently. Everyone I spoke to in MN seems to appreciate this fact, hates both Coleman and Franken (and rightly so), and seriously doubts that either will win again in 6 years.

I also have my doubts about the effectiveness of black ops, largely because I'm not sure how clear the distinction is between "Hamas" and "civilian". Maybe it is actually clear; I just don't know much about that.

Ben said...

Jeff, you sound!