The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Tag: Hamas

Why Israel Is Performing So Badly Against Hamas

It has become clear that Israeli forces are not succeeding at taking out Hamas. Israel’s own estimate of Hamas casualties from October 7th to the ceasefire was one to two thousand Hamas deaths. This is almost certainly an overstatement, for obvious reasons.

Maps of the Israeli invasion show control of a fair chunk of Northern Gaza, but it isn’t full control: they still get attacked by Hamas in most of these areas. Videos of Hamas attacks often show amazing levels of Israeli incompetence, most often lack of infantry screens for tanks.

The reason is simple. For decades the Israeli army has primarily been used as a paramilitary occupation force: they shoot, bomb and beat up civilians who can’t fight back. You become good at what you do, and when it comes to terrorizing civilians, the Israelis are top-notch. It’s why they train police forces and paramilitary forces around the world, including in America and India.

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But if you specialize in beating up people who can’t fight back: in sniping civilians, bulldozing houses, raiding civilians homes and so on, well, you aren’t going to be good at fighting military forces.

On top of this Hamas’s military wing has only one real job: to fight Israel. So a force optimized for beating up civilians (the IDF) is fighting a force which while woefully under-equipped, is optimized for fighting them.

Israel’s main reason for damn near indiscriminate bombing is because they want to ethnic cleanse and/or genocide Palestinians. But another reason is that they suck at fighting Hamas, and so “mowing the grass” is all they really can do: it’s all they really know how to do. For a couple generations now, the IDF’s main strategies against enemies in areas they don’t control has been bomb, bomb away and their strategy in areas they do control has been raids, beatings, snipers, bulldozers and so on.

The IDF is just hyper-optimized for fighting people who can’t fight back effectively, and unfortunately for them, Hamas is optimized for fighting the IDF.

It should be added that this is a specific example of a general rule: occupation armies become weak (they also become brutal and stupid). It’s one of the reasons why you should never use your army as an occupation force for any significant length of time.

If you must occupy for long periods, you should have a separate organization which is not under the same command. And your military should despise that organization and consider them dishonorable scum. If it’s any other way, your military will be useless when you face a real enemy.



Who Are the Radicals? Hamas, or America?

Had a conversation with a friend who kept insisting Hamas are radicals because they pay suicide bombers to kill people and engage in propaganda.

Personally I’ve never understood why people get so upset by suicide attacks when bombs dropped from airplanes kill far more people.

I guess Americans are radicals, since they spend billions of dollars funding people to blow up other people and Americans have killed a ton more people in the last eight years than Hamas has.  Heck, Hamas isn’t even in contention, it’s apparently orders of magnitudes less radical than America.

I just don’t get it.  I really really don’t get why people get so caught up on the form of things, rather than the end effects.

I have no idea what the word radical means, I guess.  Perhaps it means”they don’t kill people in the ways we approve of, and they believe in a different religion than us”.  Or something.  I just don’t know.

But if funding people to kill other people is the metric, well then, Hamas are hardly radicals at all compared to most governments in the world.  Pikers, in fact.

As for propaganda, they’re just not very sophisticated.  American propaganda is far better and far more pervasive.  How many Americans thought Iraq was behind 9/11?  How many do today?  Without even having to use Mickey Mouse.

Propaganda makes you radical?

Welcome to the Radical States of America – which funds more murders and engages in more propaganda than Hamas could ever hope to.

And without even as much justification.  What did Iraq do to America compared to what Israel has done to Palestinians?

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