Has the Jerusalem bus bombing really led to a reversal of the failed DIDO (dash in, dash out) policy? I do hope so. DIDO is the wasteful and pusillanimous strategy whereby every time a terrorist commits an atrocity, the IDF scampers into some Palestinian-held territory, arrests a few suspects, perhaps shoots a couple of people, maybe bulldozes a police station, and then skedaddles out again. It doesn't work. The new policy of annexation on the installment plan is much more likely to succeed. Of course it will enrage the Palestinians. But mere anger is insufficient. If the infrastructure of terror can be destroyed, then their anger is impotent. And impotent anger is much more likely to lead to despair. As has been pointed out by numerous commentators both in the Blogosphere and the mainstream press, the Palestinian problem stems from a surfeit of hope, not its lack. Only when the Palestinians have been cowed, crushed in spirit as well as in body, can a real negotiated settlement be possible. Israel has a much better chance of achieving this goal if it is in full control of the territories from whence attacks have been launched. Its intelligence agencies have a much closer handle on the situation; its armed forces have the vital advantage of defence in depth meaning that attacks are much more likely to be interdicted. As I wrote in an earlier post, peace is not won. It is imposed. Land for peace is an eminently sensible approach. Give Israel peace, and then maybe we'll start talking about some land. Making concessions from a position of power is stupid. The surrenders of Japan and Germany in World War II were unconditional. Only after their abject and total defeat was there to be reconstruction. A partially defeated Axis power would have been an horrendously dangerous thing.
Coupled with this has to be a new policy on the treatment of terrorists. Terrorists are not soldiers. They most certainly are not covered by any of the various conventions on the rules of war. Israel is within its rights to summarily execute any terrorist it finds. That does not mean shot on the spot. It does mean prompt execution after a properly convened military court (say, for example, a battalion commander plus his 2 i/c*). The Palestinian populace (especially its so-called 'police force') should be disarmed. Any person seen carrying a weapon should be shot on sight. Possession of a weapon should be taken as prima facie evidence of terrorism, leading to immediate military trial and death.
The Israelis are likely to be in this for a long time. I just hope they can weather the criticism from the 'international community.' This one could be make or break.
* 2 i/c = Second in Command. Usually (British Army) the CO's Adjutant; in the U.S. Army, the XO or Executive Officer.
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