Beyond the Cusp

April 6, 2017

Is David’s Sling Really an “Existential Danger”

 

Some Israeli enemies have stated they consider David’s Sling to be an “existential danger” in any way, shape or form? In a word, “No!” David’s Sling is an anti-missile system designed to intercept offensive mid-range ballistic missiles. Some will point to the recent interception of an SA series Russian anti-aircraft missile fired at an Israeli jet while it was on a mission over Syria to strike advanced weapons which Iran was passing through Syria to Hezballah in Lebanon for the expressed usage against Israel. Such a strike is considered perfectly legal under international law as preemptory defensive operations but in the case of preventing weapons from reaching Hezballah there is an even greater validation, preventing weapons, especially weapons of mass destruction, from reaching any terrorist groups. This interception of an anti-aircraft missile while it was on path to strike an Israeli fighter jet would be an argument making David’s Sling as having an offensive capability as in assisting attack aircraft but only if one regards the limited but confirmed use of Israeli airstrikes to prevent the arming of Hezballah, a terrorist group, to be an offensive act. Further, the odds of ever again having an anti-missile system intercept an anti-aircraft missile are unbelievably great as the conditions would necessarily need to be of an extremely specific state as presented themselves during this one event. The normative use of David’s Sling would be against mid-range ballistic missiles such as the longer distance missiles Hezballah currently had gained thousands of such missiles now making all of Israel as well as most of the Sinai Peninsula and one third of Saudi Arabia within their range as well as full on ballistic missiles used by Iran which can reach well into Europe with some determined potentially to reach as far as to Paris. One day the David’s Sling anti-missile system could very well protect one of the capital cities of Europe in theory. David’s Sling also completes the Israeli anti-missile shield systems. In conjunction with Iron Dome, Arrow Systems I and III on Continental Ballistic Missiles, Arrow II on mid-range Ballistic Missiles, David’s Sling on mid-range Ballistic Missiles and Iron Dome on short range missiles, rockets, artillery and mortars; these multi-range systems have a fair amount of overlap providing Israel with a multi-layer and multi-radar-platform interception systems. None of these systems can be launched in an offensive manner to strike at other nations. They are all simply used to protect Israel from rockets and missiles launched at her and her people.

 

Why would the enemies of Israel claim that the David’s Sling is an “existential danger” to them if it has no offensive capability? That is easy to answer and it is the same reason they claim the Arrow Systems and the Iron Dome were also “existential danger” to them, they prevent their weapons systems from inflicting damage on Israel and her people. What is truly sad is that should the Arab League nations bring a motion before the United Nations General Assembly complaining that the new David’s Sling anti-missile system causes them to face an “existential danger,” then with a majority of Europeans and other nations the worldwide voting with them, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions. But then it was Abba Eban who once claimed about the United Nations General Assembly, “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” Things likely have actually only gotten worse. Truth be told the reality today is such would pass with likely seven or eight votes protecting Israel and eighteen to twenty-three abstentions while the remainder would denounce Israel. Similar percentages would prove true of any of the myriad of United Nations agencies such as the UNHRC or UNESCO to name a pair who have proven particularly guilty.

 

The problem is that while many nations and forces in the world at the end of World War I during a time when many nations particularly from Europe were discarding their colonialism at a measured pace, they agreed that the Jews should have their ancient homelands returned to them. The problem was that soon after they committed to just this scenario, that they gave the British the position of overseeing this venture. As it turns out, they would have been hard pressed to find a less suitable nation to carry out such an assignment honestly. By the time the British had decided they were going to divorce themselves of finding some further means of reducing the amount of land allotted the Jews after first rewarding the Arabs with 78% of the Mandate lands with the formation of Transjordan (Jordan) and then having the Peel Commission attempt to give the Arabs another two-thirds of the land leaving the Jews with one-third of the remaining one-fourth, meaning the Jews were being cut to one-twelfth of the original Mandate, ran into a small problem, the Arabs refused the Peel Commission because it left any land for the Jews. The British then placed everything in the lap of the United Nations who decided to divide the land evenly with two-thirds of the Jewish lands being Negev Desert and almost all the Arab lands being arable but again the Arabs refused because, you guessed it; it still left any land for the Jews. The reason the Arabs, including the Palestinians, can and will never reach any peace agreement with Israel as a whole is because they refuse to accept any land as belonging to the Jews, let alone for a Jewish State. But the evils go deeper than this.

 

The reason anything Israel does, whether in her own defense or as an offer of peace, will always be insufficient and is due to a number of reasons, one for almost every group on the planet. For the Arabs it is because the lands can never be relegated to anybody, but especially the Jews, because the lands were once conquered by the Arabs. For the Muslims it is because no lands ever conquered by the Muslims can ever be permitted to fall under anybody else’s control. This is why the Muslims still claim that the Spanish are occupying Andalusia and make claims that they will reunite Andalusia with its Muslim heritage very soon. This is the essence of the India Pakistan war as the Pakistanis claim one-third of India as rightfully theirs as its Muslim conquerors and thus its rightful owners. The truth is in some Muslim perspectives the entirety of Earth was once Islamic and they have been retaking that which is rightfully theirs because Allah told them the entirety of the world was theirs. Of course the world was somewhat smaller in Muhammad’s view around 625A.D. Further, the majority of European nations look upon allowing the Jews to have their own nation was their most grievous of errors in the past century when they agreed upon this action between the end of World War I and through the early 1920’s. Oh, that’s correct, by the early 1920’s the Europeans and the Arab nations under the leadership of King Faisal and the leaders of the recently defeated Ottoman Empire all agreed to allow the Jews to return to their Biblical homelands, all of their Biblical homelands which were presumably the lands placed under English control called the British Mandate. Of course the British found some interesting verbiage which they turned into making the vast majority of the land into an Arab state and called it necessary and proper, British proper of course. The world was already turning away from their promise and were all very cozy and comfortable with the British rearrangement such that even the League of Nations saw no need to complain about the twisting of the wordings in the San Remo Conference which was the original document setting aside land for the Jewish State in 1922.

 

Left side map depicts the division of the Promised Land amongst the tribes and right side map compares the modern promised land from the Jordan west to the Mediterranean Sea compared to the maximum of area during King David’s and King Solomon’s reigns.

 

Skipping to the modern era and the world would simply have no compunction in allowing the destruction of Israel. The Arabs might lower the price of oil as a congratulatory move of renewed friendship. Then again, as it has often been noted by even some diplomats, Israel and the Jews are behind every problem in the Middle East and possibly the entire world and maybe even behind why all the galaxies other than Andromeda are flying away at an ever increasing rate. That’s right, the Jews and Israel invented Dark Energy, okay, not exactly, but there will be some who will link to it here and claim it must be true, it is on the Internet. You list Israel and the Arab Palestinians as the greatest problem facing the globe and for only one reason; you know the result will destroy Israel. You translated and excitedly realized and concurred with what Yasser Arafat broadcast in his “stages” message in Arabic where he stated, “Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish sovereignty there, and use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.” You grabbed this as a revelation of the final solution coming to fruition and as the solution to your problem with Jews ruling themselves.

 

Your placing the existence of Israel as your most pressing problem in the world would be so laughable if it were not so tragic. Your hatred of Jewish freedom and self-rule and your desire to finish what Europe bred for over a century and a half with Inquisitions, pogroms, Purifications and attempted genocidal cleansing with a final sweep removing Israel even if at the cost of 10,000,000 Jews or more depending on the length of time it will take. This is your most driving force between Europe, the Arab World, much of Africa, a fair part of Asia, possibly the majority of the Russian population and likely close to a third of the people in the Americas. Israeli existence is such an anathema to potentially more than half, nay, two-thirds of the people throughout the planet that it is placed as the most immediate necessity to solve over such as the meat-grinding bloodshed in Syria, a megalomaniac ruling Turkey with plans on incorporating northern Syria and Iraq into Turkey expressly for the purpose of ridding the lands of the Kurdish People, another omnipotent leader in Russia seriously considering reestablishing his nation’s dominance over large swaths of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, an entire set of loonies in China seeking to dominate one of the busiest sea trade routes through the South China Sea that they are building Islands and then exclaiming to have discovered and acquired a whole new island never seen before claiming it was there all of a sudden like and we didn’t do anything, the hopefully last in a line of ever growing mentally unstable lunatic ruling the northern areas of the Korean Peninsula where the people are starving while he murders selected generals and family members while playing with tossing nuclear weapons around the globe while building such and the rockets with which to deliver them and to top this list off there are a whole bevy of religious fanatics with nuclear weapons on their minds and where the top Mullah leads immense crowds of the people on selected Fridays to pick up the pace from the other Fridays where these crowds chant “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” while this country is mobilizing for a war to take control of the entirety of the Arab oil wealth followed by spreading Shia Islam to every Sunni in the world and then everyone else. That is a partial list and does not mention any potential problems with the new American leader, the refugee issue in Europe, the war in Yemen, Libya, or Somalia plus dictators taking control in many nations with disastrous results as in Venezuela and the new Freedom Index released recently published by The Heritage Foundation showing yet another year of a world less free than the one before it. Israel, a free democracy run under the rule of law is the world’s biggest problem? Puleeze!

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Advertisements

February 27, 2016

Some Advised Israeli Future Military Adjustments from the Recesses of Our Minds

 

Yesterday we covered a less than perfect world, perfect Israeli response to establish defensible borders when given the opportunity complete with resources they could coordinate with to insure the solutions would approach perfect. Those were more fantasy though eventually Israel will be forced by security necessity to either retake or simply make the Jordan River their eastern boundary and whatever Arabs residing in Judea and Samaria will be presented with four choices. The first is to have their properties, businesses and other permanent structures and inventory they are not taking with them plus a sizeable stipend and free transit using first class transportation to any location they choose and willing to receive them. Second choice is apply and go through a series of steps in order to become Israeli citizens with full benefits and rights. Third choice is to remain with their lands, business and other holdings taking up the equivalence of foreign resident which will avail them full protections and ability to live and carry out their business but not permitted the right to vote. The advantage of such is they could apply to move to any Arab nation without having to explain their Israeli citizenship which otherwise might make such a move or visitations far more difficult. They would also be permitted to apply to other nations for citizenship despite their lack of actual residence. The fourth choice would be to demand they are Palestinians and refuse Israeli sovereignty and intend to continue the fight to liberate Palestine from the River to the Sea. These gently folk and the hierarchy and known terrorist and their families will be invited to depart Israel and never return and arrangements will necessarily be made for a nation to voluntarily receive them or perhaps they can join the Syrian refugees in Europe.

 

All these things aside, what could Israel look into which would greatly enhance their defensive abilities beyond those items which are known to be being researched and tested? It is already well documented and known that the Iron Dome has proven to be beyond belief or expectations. That is an unbelievably successful system against shorter range rockets. The Arrow intercept systems are already in use but thankfully not recently tested, and we hope it remains that way. David’s Sling is another ballistic missile interceptor being tested and implemented while improvements and software upgrades are always being tested and applied. The one area which has had some questions raised recently has been the reliance of the fifth generation F-35 JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) on programming upgraded and adjustment required before and after every mission, each flight whether training or actual military mission as reported by Caroline Glick. This places the viability and even use of every single F-35 JSF for missions in jeopardy as it could be prevented from performing a mission if the United States disapproved having their top flight fighter/bomber/interceptor/air superiority jets be susceptible to the whims of the United States. What if the United States should, which seems inevitable, have another President who disapproves of Israel or even, as apparently President Obama has felt, one who actively disapproves of Israel viewing them as the problem in the Middle East and the source of all the United States problems in the area if not the world and decides to ground the entire fleet of Israeli F-35 JSF aircraft. Israel is apparently stuck with the J-35 JSF for the near future and as suggested by some should also look into designing and building their own stealth aircraft fifth generation fighter with India which both could also sell as a competitor to the other such aircraft. As suggested, the airframe from the Lavi fighter could be utilized as the skeleton for such an aircraft as it is a known viable airframe and would simply need the correct skin applied to make it fully stealthy and with Israeli avionics it would be a match to any other fifth generation fighter. But Israel needs to go beyond just fifth generation into uncharted grounds, go into uncharted grounds taking air systems into a new area and manner of usage.

 

Lavi Fighter Jet

Lavi Fighter Jet

 

 

 

Israel has been amongst the leaders in drone development with drones across the spectrum of sizes, uses, ranges and about every other variance. These need to be developed further where drones can replace manned flight systems with remotely controlled systems with some degree of autonomy such that they can fly while each aircraft monitoring the aircraft in its area of operation with it communicating with the other drones such that in a military flight the drones would not waste their supply of missiles and armaments. These drones could be flown from the ground stations in areas around the borders of Israel in purely defensive mode intercepting incoming rockets, missiles or aircraft of any nature from human flown fighter/bombers to other drones either under automated control or human piloting. Offensive flights which would cover great distances and required human intervention and flying could be controlled from other aircraft lagging a set average distance behind. This control craft could hold multiple drone control stations thus controlling an entire flight of drones for a mission. For larger missions there would be multiple control craft controlling their drones with the systems using frequencies and coding such that no two drones would receive conflicting commands. These would be drones which were replacing manned fighter/bombers. There could be another form of drones which would be basically flying munitions similar to the cruise missile only smaller and with different delivery systems with a variety of capabilities to fit every type of mission. The strangest we can imagine would be a propeller driven craft which has a large wingspan allowing high altitude flight and a long and slender profile body with slender tail fins which would guide this on its final trajectory. Once this drone reached its intended target airspace would check with certain geographic markers and orient itself properly and drop from its wide wings becoming a projectile guided steel rod about twenty feet long weighing about seventy pounds dropping from an altitude of over sixty-thousand feet aimed at an armored bunker using pure kinetic energy to destroy and penetrate virtually any bunker. Just our idea, a fantasy you might say, not that I know of such a drone or other weapon, just dreaming.

 

Israel needs to go beyond what other nations go with innovation and development taking things at least one generation ahead of any of the arms of its potential adversaries. Israel has to find ways to make its skies safe from any attack, missile, mass rockets, manned aircraft or any drone attacks from single small high altitude to mass attack of large rocket armed drones. Israel should even look into man aimed rocket interceptors which can be used to intercept any threat along with self-guided interceptors as each has their use. While the self-guided missiles are fantastic, they are not as effective against low flying cruise missiles which are capable of terrain hugging trajectories and are far more difficult to hit with autonomous controlled interceptors which would be where human controlled missiles would work with higher efficiency. Israel should develop drone armor units, drone mobile artillery and drone soldier units with human control and integrated cooperation permitting every user/controller able to see at their station a composite view of the entire field of battle coordinated from ground and aircraft drones and a composite produced by a systems central processing and graphic interface which will produce a high definition representation of the entire battlefield with denoting system indicators identifying where all Israeli and friendly units are located and also where known enemy units are and where other enemy units are suspected of being located. Israel has to have the most advanced and infallible military systems and more highly developed intelligence such that no attack has a better than five percent chance of striking or invading Israeli ground, airspace or seas and waterways.

 

What is the most fascinating of truths is despite Israel having a military which could have decisively ended the Syrian civil war as soon as it started in response at any time for shelling border positions, but they refrained. When Hamas and Islamic Jihad were launching five, ten, twenty and even fifty rockets a day with some reaching close to Tel Aviv, the Israeli response was to place their limited Iron Dome intercepting over ninety percent of those falling within an Iron Dome range of coverage. When the numbers crossed one-hundred-plus rockets each day, Israel finally organized and set a line, a line much stronger than an Obama Red Line, while organizing troops which one would believe might get the attention of the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and perhaps bring an end to the rockets. The thing is that these leaders and their top supporting leadership and friends with their families and with their own families if they are even present as many were residing in safety in Qatar are all well protected in their underground bunkers or their safest command bunker in the basement of the largest hospital in Gaza City. They simply increased the number of rockets guaranteeing Israeli intervention and as soon as the first tank shell was fired into Gaza the world and its media, especially in Europe, went absolutely bonkers starting the chanting of the call for the day, “Israel is guilty of using disproportional force and had killed more in Gaza than have died in Israel.” They all but asked where were the dead Jews in every interview with Israeli officials.

 

What nation with the military capabilities of Israel would wait until over one-hundred rockets a day were being launched into their cities and surrounding areas before responding? How long would England sit still and not launch an all-out assault if Sweden was launching a dozen missiles a day every day for a month, would it take England more than two or three days before launching an air attack to end the rockets being fired at them? Any nation would, but when Israel does so after waiting beyond all imagination to respond largely because of their defensive ability to mute the effects; still the United Nations immediately, as Israel makes their first responding fire, goes into emergency sessions and denounces Israel while having ignored the rocket assaults on Israel for well over six months while it slowly escalated. The world is in a tizzy about Israel actually having the gall to protect her citizens from Arab assaults with knives, vehicles, firebombs and large rocks hurled at passing cars. The world is upset that Israel had the audacity to actually shoot at people who are stabbing everybody within reach and sometimes after ramming the sidewalk and bus stop jumping from the vehicle, one such incident using their company car from the Israeli telecom company for whom the Arab was employed, and attacking one of the people you struck with your car with a hatchet and continuing along the sidewalk attempting to chop people in the chest or neck and even after being shot continuing with the attack and after another shot still lunging at people until being shot repeatedly and still trying to lunge at people until they passed out. What was even more miraculous was immediately after the person shot stopped being a threat the person who fired the first three shots of five or six total shots striking the attacker went to apply first aid as he was also a medic. Then a Magen David Adom rushed the attacker to a hospital where they attempted to revive the attacker who died due to his wounds.

 

The question is whose responsibility is it that this man died? Was it the person who fired the critical shot? Those first three shots had not prevented him from continuing his assaults and had he stopped and surrender at that point he would likely be alive today. Somewhere during the last three shots he passed the point where he was going to survive. As it turns out, the vast majority of the recent stabbing assailants have told others including their parents of their intention of trying to murder as many Israelis in predominantly Jewish areas so as to murder Jews and that they will not stop until they are dead and they were then encouraged and told what a wonderful thing they were planning to do and family members celebrated as they know in their society they will receive honors and a stipend, a reward payment from the government due to their relative’s actions. That is the reality of the stabbing and vehicular assaults which are still being perpetrated daily in Israel though the media has ended their coverage as it is now treated by the media as normal.

 

Rockets, stabbings, vehicles, hatchets, firebombs, rocks and a governance which encourages its own citizen to attack their neighboring nation promising to pay a reward stipend for as long as they are able. The governance uses their social media, entertainment, television, radio, schools, religious services, and even name streets, parks, schools, soccer fields, auditoriums, parades, youth facilities, swimming pools, summer camps and virtually everything they can with the names of the greatest terrorists who murdered the most innocent people. If the United States were facing fifteen, twenty, thirty or more attacks and ten or more fatalities weekly from a Native American Reserve that reserve would be subsumed by the United States Marines within a week if that was what it would take. The world would not even raise a whisper against that act. Israel reacts similarly and the leaders of the United Nations and European Union go apoplectic gasping for breaths, enraged, spiting fire and denunciations, and calling for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s and Defense Minister Ya’alon’s heads on a pike. Then they would decide the penalty Israel would need to pay to soothe the anger from those self-same leaders who instigated the attack as they felt slighted as they did not get to lop off the heads themselves. Yet they are the leaders whose hands must never be soiled nor have the truth affect as those are the rules of the United Nations and all of its loyal followers, NGOs, Agencies and Human Rights Groups. Anyone else desiring to pile on Israel as no amount of detestations, cruel accusations, and just pure make-believe, lies and grand rakes of woe which originate from projection and anti-Zionism, anti-Israeli, or anti-Semitism one may prove to suffer from.

 

These attacks Israel appears to be woefully unprepared to respond to or perhaps they respond but nobody listens and it seldom if ever gets reported. Israeli restraint is the least recognized, most overlooked, unappreciated, disregarded, completely discounted and demeaned as a mirage as Israel eventually acts and that is the only item that matters. The media understands that nobody expects the Arabs, especially Hezballah, Hamas, Fatah, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Islamic Jihad, al-Qassam Brigades or any Arab force attacking Israelis even if they are Arabs with Israeli citizenship, to behave in a modern developed world sense of way as they are from a society deserving of liberal pity while the Jews are reviled for their surviving and regaining their ancestral homelands so the world will carve piece by piece every square inch of her land granting any other claim which depletes Israel of her lands. The surrender of Gaza was the initial get the foot in the door scenario, Forcing Israel back within the Green Line or as close as possible a line as half of Jerusalem with the Temple Mount and the rest of the old city and all the other almost beyond numbers of Holy Sites which will be coopted as Mosques, destroyed or directed by UNESCO to be a Muslim Holy Site thus removing any Jewish claim will be next. If that works, then the next will be the Bedouin claim to the Negev Region and on and on. The whole future and what it will be is plain to see unless you are one of the too numerous blinkered Ministers of the Knesset who mostly refuse to see or are on the other side. As was said way back in 1546 by John Heywood, which still holds true today;

 

None are so blind as those who are too blind to see.

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 5, 2014

The Lessons of Carthage, a Teaching Moment for Israel

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,Absolutism,Act of War,Administration,Advanced Weapions Systems,Air Strike,al-Qaeda in Gaza,Amalekites,Anti Missile System,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appease Islamic Interests,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab Appeasement,Arab League,Arab World,Arabs,Armed Services,Armistice,Ballot Access,Blood Libel,Bombing,Cabinet,Carthage,Ceasefire,Civilization,Code Red Warning System,Condemning Israel,Conflict Avoidnce,Defend Israel,Domestic NGOs,Elections,Europe,European Governments,European Pressure,European Union,Executive Order,Fatah,Fatah Charter,Forced Solution,Foreign Funding,Foreign NGOs,Gaza,Gaza Blockade,Government,Green Line,Hamas,Hamas Charter,Haniyeh of Hamas,Hannibal,Hate,History,IAF,IDF,IDF,Infiltration Tunnels,Inteligence Report,Internal Pressures,International Politics,Intifada,Iron Dome,Islam,Islamic Jihad,Islamic Pressure,Israel,Israeli Interests,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jihad,Jihad,Khaled Mashaal,Kidnap Soldier,Legal Blockade,Mahmoud Abbas,Mainstream Media,Meaning of Peace,Media Bias,Media Censorship,Media Intimidation,Mediterranean Sea,Middle East,Military Intervention,Misreporting,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,Muslims,Netanyahu,Numidia,Omission,One State Solution,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Legislative Committee,Palestinian Pressures,Peace Process,Pillar of Defense,Pillar of Smoke,Politics,Pre-Conditions,Prime Minister,Promised Land,Punic Wars,Quintus Maximus,Rafah Crossing,Ramallah,Recognize Israel,Register to Vote,Response to Terrorism,Rock Throwing,Rocket Attacks,Rome,San Remo Conference,Sderot,Secular Interests,Smuggling Tunnels,Support Israel,Terror,Terrorist Release,Threat of War,Two State Solution,United Nations Presures,United States,United States Pressure,Validate Elections,Voting,West Bank,World Opinion,World Pressures,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 2:25 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Any serious study of military history will include the Punic Wars and the lessons which should be taken from the entire series of events and their resultant outcomes and ramifications into the future. The first peculiarity of the Punic Wars is the fact that there were three wars between two of the greatest powers of their time and definitely the strongest forces around the Mediterranean Sea. The initial Punic War was fought as Rome attempted to settle islands in the Mediterranean Sea which were already part of the Carthaginian Empire which was largely based on trade with a strong emphasis on water based trade routes. This resulted in Carthage having a very powerful naval forces which was capable of placing superior numbers of ships with skillful and experienced crews against superior ships of Rome which were only defeated due to their lesser numbers and less experienced crews. Still the Romans managed to severely damage the Carthaginian naval power. Much of the First Punic War was fought in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea with negligible land based fighting except for the battles for control of Sicily which resulted in a Roman crushing land based victory. In the interim period between the first two wars, the Romans seized the opportunity of the troubles and violent conflicts within Cartage taking not only Sicily but also seizing Sardinia and Corsica.

The Second Punic War included the one item almost everyone remembers, the crossing of the Alps with elephants by the Carthaginian General Hannibal. Hannibal’s victories across the northern lands leading to Rome were brilliant victory after victory for his forces defeating the Roman legions. The cost of these battles and the loss of his elephants and almost all of his siege equipment meant that Hannibal was unable to execute the coup de grâce by taking Rome itself. The eventual defeat of Hannibal’s armies came when the Roman Commander Quintus Fabius Maximus utilized a strategy of engagement without fighting. He would position his forces as if preparing to engage Hannibal who would organize his forces and attempt to engage at which point Quintus Fabius Maximus would retreat with his legions into the countryside. The main actual engagement by Quintus Maximus forces were reserved to inhibit and prevent any scrounging by Hannibal’s skirmishers denying Hannibal of the necessities to feed and resupply his troops with necessities which eventually forced Hannibal to retreat. Also forcing Hannibal to retreat home was an offensive by Rome by sea placing troops in Africa threatening Hannibal’s capital and homelands which assisted in his decision to give up his conquest of Rome after fifteen years of mostly success against Roman forces but never quite being able to score that final knockout as the Romans continued to field legion after legion as they were able to replace lost troops seemingly without end. Before peace was finally agreed Hannibal had fallen in battle leading to a void in the leadership of Carthage and a power struggle which forced their suing for peace which Rome accepted also being weary of war and the necessity for tending the homelands and the demands of the people for peace and restoration of order and infrastructure.

Then we come to the Third Punic and final Punic War. This was the most unequal engagement as Carthage not only never recovered fully from the Second Punic War and had also faced skirmishes with Numidian raiders during the intermediate years. Rome, in keeping the peace, was assigned by treaty as the enforcer for resolving any conflicts and had been favoring Numidia over Carthage which alienated the people of Carthage. Rome also desired to avoid any potential for conflict in the future and when it became obvious that Carthage was again building military capabilities, Rome started making increasingly difficult demands under threat of war. The final demand was for the Carthaginians to destroy Carthage the city and move it inland and away from the coast ending their naval capabilities. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back and Carthage refused and Rome had their war to end all Carthage wars. Rome defeated Carthage after a three year siege of the city of Carthage before finally breaching the city walls. The reputed result according to some descriptions from poetic history described the ruins or the city of Carthage was there was no stone or brick left standing upon another and the lands surrounding the city for miles was salted and unable to be productive for the future. Needless to say, the destruction of Carthage was complete and Carthage remained silent through the rest of history and is a suburb of Tunis, Tunisia.

Israel could be said just fought the Third Gaza War against and answering to Hamas aggressions. The First Gaza War from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009 was also referred to as Operation Cast Lead in Israel and as the Gaza Massacre in the Arab world and by Hamas as the Battle of al-Furqan. The war was preceded by steadily increasing rocket fire into southern Israel reaching the major cities of Beersheba and Ashdod for the first time during the conflict. The war ended with an agreement partially arranged with outside assistance which included the United States. The Second Gaza War from November 14, 2012 to November 21, 2012 was called Operation Pillar of Defense (Pillar of Cloud is the literal translation) by Israel. The initial launch of the war was in response to the launch of over 100 rockets at Israel from within Gaza during a 24-hour period along with an ambush of an Israeli Jeep on the Israeli side of the Gaza fence. In both of these wars Israel was determined to have gained through military success and resulting from their military victory the Israelis gained a period of quiet from the rocket fire from within Gaza. The victory for Hamas was in media reports and propaganda war damaging Israel’s reputation across the globe. The main difference between the two sides is most stark when you understand what their respective goals are and what they are willing to sacrifice in order to attain those goals. Israel simply desires peace and quiet and an end to rockets launched into their civilian areas and attempts on infiltrations in order to murder and kidnap Israelis, either civilian or military personnel, with the kidnappings to be used to trade for the release of terrorists held in Israeli prisons with emphasis on the release of those whose crimes included the largest numbers of Israelis murdered, almost universally the Israeli casualties are civilians from these attacks which are almost never launched against the IDF. Hamas desires media coverage which paints Israel as monsters that kill indiscriminately and are willing to place as many Gazan civilians in compromised locations in order to maximize the numbers of Gazans injured and killed so that the media has pictures to transmit to the world and they complement these with press releases claiming Israelis target only civilians. The Hamas accusations ring hollow and are closer to projection of their acts onto the Israelis than it is valid and truthful but the media is largely glad to paint Israel in the worst light possible. Further, media in Gaza are subjected to censoring by Hamas minders and often threaten journalists who report damaging truths sometimes ejecting them and placing them on a ban lists never permitted to report from within Gaza in the future.

The recent conflict which actually could reignite at any moment as no peace has been signed and the two sides agreed ceasefire has recently been extended for an additional thirty days until the end of October in order that a peace can be negotiated, theoretically. The reason that such is highly unlikely is because the two sides have only been able to agree to meet towards the end of October and past performance has not indicated any great degree of agreement or cooperation between the two sides. Eventually an agreement will hopefully be reached and signed at a ceremony probably held on the East Lawn of the White House, with President Obama looming over the proceedings grinning like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland and Vice President Biden wandering around trying to decide where best to stand, while the two parties, who are to sign the agreement, taking positions as far apart as possible without appearing too obvious, eyeing each other warily wondering whether the signing can be pulled off before a disagreement or wrong move is misinterpreted and the entire signing blows up into a shouting match with both sides accusing the other of perfidy and subversion. In the present Hamas threatens repeatedly to return to firing rockets if Israel continues to refuse to meet their every demand, but at least they utilize differing intervals which makes it less predictable and removes any chance for overwhelming boredom. This also is why there are many who hold doubts as to whether the ceasefire can ever lead to an actual armistice or will we wake overly early one morning in the darkness to the sound of the Code Red sirens and the raining of rockets upon our cities renewed. We can ponder on our way to the shelters, as long as it does not interfere with our hopefully quick enough haste as we all have a varying amount of time but all of them measured in seconds, whether the resumption was something an Israeli leader or IDF commander made to the press or did Hamas’s leaders Mashal or Haniyeh just have indigestion during the night and really did not wish to suffer alone. Such a situation is just one more reason that the Israeli leadership, both the military and the politicians though it is difficult to know which should garner the majority of the blame, could and should have taken the lessons of the Punic Wars and the additional carnage, deaths, and destruction heaped on the Roman populace all because their politicians and military leaders were unwilling to take the reins and saddle up and finish what had been started once and for all as they eventually were forced to do after two additional, unnecessary and extremely destructive wars.

There was unity, well as close to unity as is possible in Israel, as over 80% of Israelis in most polls desired, many demanded, the retaking of Gaza and putting an end once and for all with Hamas and Islamic Jihad ending the raining of rockets and wars fought every two or three years. The military was tasked with drawing up sets of plans and their relative cost, projected losses, estimates of Gazan deaths, time frame for length of each scenario and whatever other particulars the Prime Minister and his inner cabinet (war cabinet) had requested or desired. The leadership of the IDF had whomever is tasked with such planning to give them their estimates and the other particulars and also a briefing on the overall strategies and conceivable ramifications likely including reactions by the United Nations, United States, European Union and the rest of the alphabet of NGOs, alliances, compacts and even individual countries and gave them a short time frame, as it is expected by the Command level officers that such plans and their respective costs and eventualities have all been worked out and hashed and rehashed a million times adjusting them to the most recent intelligence and thus all that was required was the summation briefing to be prepared. This all happened in relative quiet and without alarming the public and the briefing for the Prime Minister and his Inner Cabinet was held and everything was probably ignored as I doubt that Prime Minister Netanyahu ever actually desired or would permit the retaking of Gaza as such would cause him extreme discomfort wherever he would travel after Israel did such an, as the rest of the world believes, unthinkable act of cruelty, wretchedness and inhuman brutality. The exercise of having the IDF command work up the briefing was to be able to use that as a balm to soothe the anger and grating disbelief when the backlash came from a public that is sick to death of the repeated wars and the incessant rockets raining down in ever increasing numbers and over increasing range culminating in timeframes measured more in months than years in a crescendo of thousand rockets per week before the leadership finally releases the IDF to take the offensive and silence the rockets at least temporarily. The decision reached was that the cost in lives, equipment, world image, reputation, perception and treasure was too great to bear. The cost analysis considered by the Israeli leadership very probably did not do a cost comparison which included on the ledgers in favor of ending this revolving door of off and on wars the cost of the future wars which if the government continues to balk from responsibility and retake Gaza will continue endlessly at ever shorter intervals of calm and have costs of which eventually will come the cost we cannot bear, the end of Israel under a rain of rockets no amount of Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 1, 2, 3 or whatever and any other defensive systems. Sometimes the only real defense is a completed offense and if it makes Israel unpopular and denounced, at least we will remain alive which comes before what the idiots around the world think.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad et al refuse to take the responsibility for bringing devastation down on Gaza, making the lives of innocent Gazans horridly difficult. The only crime one can hold the Gazan civilians responsible for was electing Hamas to govern their lives. They may refuse any accusation that they knowingly elected a leadership which would bring these wars down upon them with all the destruction and misery they entail, but because they continue to allow the Hamas government to rule and have not taken any actions to demand new governance they have brought this upon themselves. Where that may sound cruel, it is not as cruel as the actions of the Gazans erupting with joy whenever Hamas realizes and murders Jews to feed the overarching and wanton desire of both Hamas and the rest of the terrorists as well as the majority of Gazans to murder Jews. For Hamas this desire goes further and aims at all of the Jews wherever they reside in their desire to eradicate them starting with Israel and then to continue on that path even if it costs the lives of every civilian who has not picked up a weapon and joined Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The responsibility is as Prime Minister Netanyahu has attempted to explain to a world which does not care to listen; it is the fault of Hamas and the rest of the rocket firing terrorist entities which control Gaza by threat of death. This was demonstrated perfectly and clearly after the first lengthy ceasefire was agreed upon when Hamas executed dozens of Gazans without any trial and without making or proving any charges simply claiming that these were Gazans guilty of not supporting Hamas by collaborating with Israel. Does anybody in the world, let alone in Gaza, honestly believe that the approximately dozen members from Fatah actually were guilty of collaborating with Israel? These were victims of Hamas chosen because they chose to side with Abbas and were no more guilty of whatever crime Hamas claimed than are the Hamas members who are arrested and at times executed in the West Bank in Ramallah by Abbas and Fatah which he commands. There can never be fair and open elections as long as the only candidates running must be vetted and approved by terrorist organizations which includes the West Bank as much as it does Gaza. The last elections which were held under international supervision had Hamas receiving the majority of the votes while Fatah, or the Palestinian Authority, coming in a distant second. This was part of the reasons for the eventual coup by Hamas taking control over Gaza from the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas blocked election for the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority as he knew he would lose the election to Haniyeh and Hamas would take control and never relent and all future elections would result in larger Hamas victories. The same situation exists currently and simply because of the conflict Hamas brought down on Gaza. Where the destruction in Gaza should and would cost Hamas votes, Hamas controls Gaza and would control the vote counting, thus they win. In the West Bank Hamas is favored easily over Fatah as Hamas is now viewed as strong and Abbas as weak as he appeared to make statements which were seemingly controlled out of Washington DC and he appeared swayed by the United States and their pressures. This is partly true as his government depends on the billions of dollars they receive every year which originates in the United States though much of it takes circuitous routes to reach the Palestinian Authority while Hamas receives only indirect monies from the United States and will continue receiving these funds as they are actually diverted from UNRWA by Hamas. This is the unfortunate truth and we can expect that before any elections are held for the leadership of the Palestinian Authority either Hamas will be disallowed the right to have a candidate or Abbas will have retired to the French Riviera living comfortably on the billions he has stashed away and having a great view of the Mediterranean, something he has been denied seeing from his office in Ramallah. Just for truth in reporting, Haniyeh is a multi-millionaire and Mashal is a multi-billionaire; and who says terrorism doesn’t pay.

Beyond the Cusp

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.