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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Gaza, Israel, And An Iranian Mess

Hugh Hewitt spoke with Martin Paretz as his first guest in his first live show since the end of last year. (Thank God, as I was sick of hearing our station here in AZ remove his first hour, and carry only the last two.)

HH: I thought it would be best that we begin the new year with a report on the world's oldest running dispute, that between the Israelites and their neighbors. What's going on in the Middle East? And I read a very sobering, indeed almost chilling account of what's been going on in Gaza. And I consider myself to be somewhat very well informed, actually, on the Middle East. But this account...well, it prompted me to have my producer call Martin Peretz, who is of course the editor-in-chief of the New Republic, and one of the country's distinguished commentators on Israel. Martin Peretz, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show. It's great to have you.

MP: Good evening, and thanks a lot.

HH: Now tell our listeners in a concise way what the experience in Gaza has been since the Israelis pulled out.

MP: Well, what has happened is that the Palestinian Authority has not been able, and my view is, has not been willing to impose authority on a melange of gangs, militias, thugs. Some of them are just thugs. Most of them are thugs with a certain kind of politics. The splits are both between Palestinians, among Palestinians. And the only thing they can agree on is that they want to make life very difficult for the Israelis...

Difficult? In my opinion, and based on my reading of those covering the Israel/Gaza situation, nothing has changed there. The Palestinians are still attacking Israel, and the Israelis keep holding back. The thugs and terrorists in Gaza are still abiding by Arafat's desire to eradicate Israel from the face of the planet. "Difficult" is a serious understatement.

HH: In your online column...

MP: ...Israelis left Gaza now six months ago.

HH: In your online column, which I've
linked to at Hughhewitt.com, you write the withdrawal from Gaza was supposed to be a test. Okay, not of everything, but of something. Take your pick. Nothing has worked out the way we had hoped, correct?

MP: I would say absolutely nothing. The Egyptians are now manning the border between Gaza and Egypt. And one of the things that the Egyptians are doing, perfectly understandable, they're very free in who they let go into Gaza. And they've let lots of terrorists into Gaza. What they're not free about are the people who go back to Egypt, because of course, they don't want to allow this kind of political thug to enter Egypt. So...

This, in my opinion, is a deal-breaker for Israel and Egypt. They are funneling terrorists into Gaza for the sole purpose of attacking Israelis. Israel and Egypt have a peace accord, and Egypt's blatant disregard for Israel is unforgivable. We, at the Asylum, believed when the pullout occurred that Israel would have to go back in. Thomas predicted six-to-twelve months. I maintain it will come towards the end of this year, marking the one year "test" mark before reentering. Either way, Israel will have to go back in.

HH: You write that weapons and terrorists have surged, not seeped through the frontier. And that, of course, raises the question of whether or not as a caller to this show, Yoni Tidi, used to say, Gaza would become Gazastan, and home base for al Qaeda. Has that happened, Martin Peretz?

MP: Yeah, it hasn't happened yet. But in the West Bank, there has been an al Qaeda-launched rocket attack. And it won't take very long before al Qaeda meets up with its confreres in the Muslim brotherhood of Egypt, and will establish themselves in Gaza.

If al Qaeda ends up in Gaza, then we have a predicament on our hands. Al Qaeda is our enemy (actually, our enemies are all terrorists, as the president pointed out shortly after 9/11), and I doubt we are going to let Israel deal with them. We might let them capture a couple, but I would not be surprised to learn of covert operations conducted in Gaza to kill a few of these animals.

HH: Let me quote again from your piece. Militias battle police, police battle other police. Gangs brawl with other brawls. There are revenge killings, aimless killings, kidnapping, bombings, clubbings, mutilations, some pointless, some unmistakably planned. Chaos rules in Gaza, utter mayhem. It appears as if Gaza has degenerated into anarchy, explains CNN. What percentage of Americans do you suspect understand this, Martin Peretz?

MP: Oh, I would say maybe three or four.

HH: Percent?

MP: Three or four percent, yes, because the Palestinians have been very skillful in putting themselves across as desperate to find an agreement with Israel. But in fact, those who want to find an agreement with Israel have very little following. Those who pretend to want to have an agreement have more following. But the greatest following is among those who don't even pretend. You know, the polls now say that Hamas is going to get 40% in the parliamentary elections, if, in fact, they're held. But then, a lot of the terror comes from elements in President Abbas' own Fatah party. He cannot even exercise control and discipline over people who are in his units. I mean, it's really quite preposterous. Then there's the Islamic Jihad. Then there's the Palestinian Resistance Committee. Then there's the Palestinian Democratic Liberation Front. You know, all kinds of little fronts, frontlets. We know that kind of verbiage from Algeria, from Vietnam...

I believe that Mr. Peretz gives A,mericans far too much credit. I would doubt that half that percentage of Americans know and understand what is going on in Gaza. I am almost positive that the average American, even if this were explained to them, believes that the Palestinians are correct, and that they have bent over backwards to appease the Israelis. The problem is they are not the ones appeasing Israel. It is the other way around, and Israel constantly faces international pressure to not retaliate.

Further, Mr. Paretz is right, and in his place to name off the factions that threaten Israel. These factions are not going to go away. They are going to take a page from Hamas and from Fatah, and try to become "legitimate" as a political party, and maintain the terrorists as a "military wing" of the party as Hamas has. Just think, if the Democrats had a "military wing" they would be much like these factions in Gaza; that is they would if they liked firearms and other weapons.

HH: Right. You used the analogy...

MP: They always turn out to be tremendously disillusioning, but not before a lot of people are killed.

HH: You use the analogy of the primitive, which is to say primal ties, that dominate Sicily. In other words, the black hand, the mob, the Mafia, as describing what's going on in Palestine, but especially Gaza right now. Given that, as you point out, the West freely discusses those sorts of ties that dominate Sicily and organized crime. Why is American media, if not indifferent to, then ignorant willfully of what's going on in Gaza, or perhaps willfully not reporting what's going on there?

MP: I think that we are so hooked on being tolerant of people we don't understand, that we dare not say anything that might offend them. I think that really is the reason.

I believe that is true, and so is the fact that the media--as a whole--does not understand or know enough to comment or cover Israel and Gaza. After taking the beating in the past year regarding stories they did by bloggers, by the alternative media, and the active, involved Americans, if I were the media I would be keeping my mouth shut, as well. The media also simply ignores news because it does not advance their agenda. That agenda, right now, is an attempt to tear down a president. Stories with relevance elsewhere does not move that agenda forward.

HH: And what...the reaction of Israel that you discuss is that no one, practically no one believes in a negotiated peace with the Palestinians anymore.

MP: I would say no one. Shimon Peres, the former foreign minister, former prime minister...he was never elected prime minister, but that's another matter. But he was the last one who believed in the new Middle East. He doesn't believe in it. The alliance, the coalition behind Sharon now extends from people on the middle left to the middle right. There is a national center in Israel, which Israel has never in its history had.

One does not make peace with a rabid dog, and like one, the Palestinian militants must be put down. You make peace after you have defeated your enemy. A peace agreement with Gaza would be a death knell to Israel. Locked in the accord, and facing an international community that is hostile to them--especially in the Left's vaunted United Nations--Israel would have her hands tied in having to deal with those in Gaza; outside an open declaration of war. In the end of that potential war, Israel would be forced, through the aforementioned international pressure, to be nice, and hand back Gaza. They are in a Catch-22 that can be solved right here, right now by reentering Gaza, and removing the scum from the region that keeps trying to kill Israelis.

HH: So give us your assessment of what 2006 holds for Israel and Gaza and the West Bank. Do you expect the Israeli army to have to re-occupy Gaza?

MP: Well, I don't think it will re-occupy all of Gaza. I think that there will be armed landings by airplanes, and there will be a lot of Palestinians hurt.

Oh yes, there will be many Palestinians hurt, and they will have no one to blame but Abbas. He lacks the power to control the factions, he lacks the power to assert a truly democratic authority over his people, and he lacks an understanding of what Israel is prepared to do if push comes to shove. Mr. Paretz is correct in pointing out that Israel will re-occupy some parts of Gaza. They will have no choice. Personally, it should be completely occupied until the terrorists are rooted out, killed, or captured. Take the teeth and claws of the best, and the only thing has to fear is it's roar.

HH: And do you expect Israel to allow Iran to become a member of the nuclear club?

MP: I do not think so.

HH: And so, what does that entail in your mind? Just a few missile strikes? Or actually commandos on the ground, because the facilities are so disbursed?

MP: Well, I'm not privy to the intelligence. Israel does have a pretty hefty submarine force, from which rockets could be launched. I wouldn't think that the Iranian nuclear capacity that is critical is very disbursed. I mean, they don't have a bomb yet. They might have one or two or three within six months or a year. But I hope that America takes the lead and doesn't leave it to Israel, as it did in 1981 with the Iraqis.

I would like to see assistance from America, but we are proceeding down the panty-waist road in this war. The troops on the ground are doing their jobs, and doing it excellently. I am referring to the reluctant leaders to order what must be done. Under no circumstances should Iran be allowed to possess a nuclear wepon. Their weapons will be pointed at Israel, and eventually fired at them. To answer Hugh's question, though, I would like to point out that air strikes will work with enough planes to make the strikes. Likewise there should be commandos on the ground. Metsada, or the Special Operations Division, of Mossad has the capabilities. And anyone doubting Meir Dagan--the man in charge of Mossad since 2002--and his firm hand in using Mossad should take note. Mr. Dagan worked as a counter-terrorism expert under Netanyahu and Barak.

HH: Osirik. Martin Peretz, we're out of time. It's a very glum, but very sobering and necessary piece,
Warning Shots, online right now at the New Republic. Thanks for joining us, making time or us from Boston tonight.

Simply put, there is no peace for Israel until Gaza is dealt with. Gaza will not be dealt with until Israel reasserts herself in that region, and tells the world to go to Hell. This is their nation. It has been since 1947, and they have a right to deal with threats within their borders. As of right now, threat number one are the Palestinians. Mr. Paretz is right to bring this information to light, and we thank Hugh for having this interview, but as was pointed out, more of the MSM need to pay attention to what is going to happen. This war is far from over, and it will be anything but pleasant for the Palestinians if they do not squeeze Abbas, and kick out the militants. If they truly want peace with Israel, then it is time for a change. Abbas, and the factions that support him and that he supports, is not the answer fgor that change. It is the status quo for Israel, and that is unacceptable.

The Bunny ;)


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