"There’s a sucker born
every minute.” The words are generally attributed to my fellow Nutmegger,
"master showman” P.T. (Phineas Taylor) Barnum, creator and promoter of
the Greatest Show On Earth®.
No one better understands and uses the Sucker Concept than does Hamas.
"Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” followed by the still continuing "Great
Breakout from Gaza” had all the earmarks and trappings of a SideShow at
an old fashioned Three-Ring Circus. Both were productions created and
promoted by Hamas terrorists. Nowadays war is waged more in the
press than on the battlefield. Photos and video are more powerful than
tanks and artillery. Smart bombs take out targets. Images stop
offensives. Soldiers win battles. PR consultants win wars. In today’s
world of instant communication more than ever before Rudyard Kipling’s
words ring true, "The first victim of war is truth.”
Give the Devil his
due. Hamas terrorists are not ignorant, dirty, craggy-looking
individuals wearing robes, sitting around in the sand, scheming against
the Infidels. A large percentage of Hamas terrorists are
well-educated, insightful, especially savvy and creative individuals.
The Masters of Media Manipulation, they sit around conference tables,
scheming against the Infidels. And their productions are world-class,
perhaps even better than the productions of the Lebanon based
If you remember,
Hamas surprised the Bush Administration by winning a clear majority
in the Palestinian Legislature. But its popular mandate to rule was
thwarted by Palestinian President Abbas’s maneuverings. President Abbas
is a member of the Old Guard Fatah party, the rival Hamas
so soundly defeated at the election booth. This summer Hamas’s
Gaza army also defeated the Fatah in "battle,” driving all
Fatah security and police personnel out of the Gaza Strip. In this
instance I define "battle” as Western trained and equipped - our US
taxpayer dollars at work - Fatah security forces shedding their
uniforms, throwing away their weapons and running away without so much
as even destroying their secret records and files and the special
equipment given them by America. Let me put it this way, Fatah
security personnel are even bigger losers than this year’s Miami
Dolphins, no disrespect to the Dolphins intended.
Once completely in
control of Gaza, Hamas’s training military forces and
manufacturing weaponry and munitions surged. The firing of rockets and
mortar bombs into Israeli towns was no longer interfered with nor
impeded. The stream of arms, explosives, terrorists and funding -
millions of dollars in cash in super-sized suitcases, being smuggled
into the Gaza Strip from Egypt, turned into a raging river. The
smuggling was now de facto Hamas "State-Run.” The flow of
Hamas members from Gaza into Egypt and from Egypt to terrorist
training camps world-wide, for all manner of advanced training,
increased dramatically. Egypt did little more than turn a blind-eye to
the smuggling, as it had been doing for time in memorial.
However the refusal
of most of the nations of the world to provide funding to the
illegitimate Hamas Gaza government was causing Hamas some
angst. Government workers salaries were not being paid, unemployment and
poverty were increasing. Most Gazans were denied entrance into Egypt.
They were only allowed in to Israel for medical care or other
humanitarian or demonstrated legitimate reason. Whenever the daily,
constant and continuous drizzle of rockets and mortar bombs fired from
Gaza into Israel turned into a steady, hard rain or had serious
consequence that the Israeli government could not ignore, sanctions were
imposed on Gaza. The border crossings from Israel were closed to all but
humanitarian concerns. And the residents of Gaza, feeling "captive,”
grew restless, resentful and rebellious. As the saying goes, "Something
had to give.” Hamas decided it would be the border between Egypt
and Gaza, literally.
No one can honestly
state that there was no suffering in the Gaza Strip. There was. I would
argue it was sustained by the terrorists exploiting Israeli’s withdrawal
from the Gaza Strip as an opportunity to gain forward firebases for
Kassam rockets instead of an opportunity to gain a higher standard of
living and better lives for the population. We can argue about that. But
Israel has been sensitive to the constant charges of its committing War
Crimes and Crimes against Humanity by blockading Gaza. Such accusations
go all the way back to ancient times and Samson’s destruction of the
Philistine Temple of Dagan in Biblical Gaza.
Food flows into the
Gaza Strip, as does medicine, fuel and all manner of essential goods.
There are a great number of humanitarian organizations, NGOs, as well as
the UN, trucking such supplies into Gaza. Israel keeps track of the
amounts of food and other basic essential commodities. It wants to be
sure a crisis does not happen. Doing otherwise would simply be stupid.
While to my mind the current Israeli government is deserving of enormous
criticism, it is not stupid. But it is incapable of effective
communication with the media, both foreign and domestic. It is also
incapable of figuring out what Hamas will do next and thus is
left to merely react.
decided upon a two-step plan. First it would create an artificial
humanitarian crisis. It could easily manufacturing genuine suffering by
seeing to it that essential commodities were not readily obtainable.
Hamas held the keys to the warehouses and to public services like
electricity generating and distribution. Creating its bogus crisis was
even easier and became more believable once Hamas put Israel in a
position where it had no alternative but to act on its public threat and
actually decreased the amount of the fuel getting into Gaza. This
Hamas accomplished by unleashing a barrage of Kassam rockets and
mortar fire on Israeli towns lasting until Israel responded with the
sanctions Hamas desired be imposed.
And right on cue,
exactly as Hamas preplanned and orchestrated, it turned off the
electricity and provided a wonderful photo opportunity in time for the
Israeli and Arab world evening news, BBC, CNN, FOX TV News, Al-Jazeera
and most newspapers on the planet.
the master showman absolutely caught the Israeli government with its
collective pants down. Before Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesmen and
phalanx of spin-doctors, media consultants, communications experts and
talking heads could get their acts together (they never have, not this
time, not ever) it was game, set and match to the Hamas. The
world media rushed to broadcast the Hamas story line of a
humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Few media
outlets even bothered to mention that whatever action Israel was taking,
that action was a response to an unprecedented 150 rockets and an even
greater number of mortar bombs in the space of 3-4 days being fired from
Gaza into Israeli towns. P.T. was absolutely right. There really is a
sucker born every minute and the world’s press is certainly included in
his astute observation.
Now that Hamas
had sold its work of fiction, it was time to implement the
second step in its plan – bringing about the cessation of all
supervision of border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
Egyptian supervision of the border, poor as that supervision was, and
Israeli, Egyptian and International supervision of the border crossings
was semi-effective in preventing the means of waging war from getting
into the hands of Hamas’s Gaza forces. The tunnels between
Egyptian Rafah and Gaza and the over-ground smuggling routes no longer
satisfied the quantity of arms, munitions, terrorists and other
contraband such as illegal drugs Hamas needed to move. So a few
days into the "humanitarian crisis” Hamas personnel went out
overnight, planted numerous demolition charges and blew huge gaps in the
wall that separated the Gaza Strip from Egypt. At best Egypt was
complicit by its inaction. Ever since the flow of people, goods and
contraband in and out of Gaza has been beyond belief. Hamas has
used bulldozers to turn the gaps it created, at first mere pedestrian
pathways, into highways now traveled by cars, buses and trucks. As of
this morning there are reports that surface-to-air missiles have been
brought into Gaza, along with great numbers of arms, ammunition,
explosives, RPGs, rockets, terrorists and $$$s.
Nor has the traffic
been simply in and out of Gaza. The main road along Israel’s border with
Egypt, and a dozen tourist locations in that area, are closed. There is
grave concern that terrorists in large numbers, who were until now
unable to leave Gaza by passing through border crossings, are now free
and circulating in Sinai, already positioning themselves to carry out
terror attacks in Israel.
is laughing in its non-alcoholic beer! It has scored a huge PR victory.
Moreover it has destroyed all normal, rational, conventional and
internationally practiced immigration and customs supervision of an
international border. The means with which to wage all-out war with
Israel are now pouring into what is now truly Gaza-Hamastan. As
of noon Sunday Al-Jazerra was reporting that Egypt continues to do
nothing to reestablish regulated border crossing and that Hamas
bulldozers continue widening the holes blown in the international border
and turning them into permanent highways out of and into the Gaza Strip.
The prospects of a full-scale regional war in the Middle East, unlike
any of those in the past, have just increased exponentially.
Only one word
accurately describes the situation - FUBAR!