With Hamas now clearly in charge, Israel should declare that it will tolerate no more rocket fire -- that the next Qassam will be answered with a cutoff of gasoline shipments. This should bring road traffic in Gaza to a halt within days and make it increasingly difficult to ferry around missiles and launchers.
If that fails to concentrate the mind, the next step should be to cut off electricity.
Excellent idea -- let's make sure that the Palestinians, like the U.S. did with millions of Iraqis, are forced to live with no gasoline and electricity.
This week, of course, Norman Podhoretz called for the bombing of Iran to "smithereens," a plan of slaughter about about which John McCain sings merry songs. Meanwhile, Podhoertz's son, John, wonders whether our greatest mistake in Iraq was our "failure" to commit mass genocide when we stupidly allowed the "survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35." Last summer, we openly fed Israel the bombs that were dropped on large numbers of Lebanese civilians, shattering their country.
We continue to build permanent military bases in Iraq in direct and obvious contradiction to the emphatic commitments we flamboyantly made when we invaded (while, at the same time, scornfully dismissing those who warned of this development as either America-haters and/or paranoid Arabs). Bibi Netanyahu, cheered on by Sean Hannity, last night explained to Americans that we must attack Iran because they're "a messianic apocalyptic sect that views [Israel] as the small Satan that has to be removed in order to pave the way for attacks on the great Satan, and that's you." Podhoretz's magazine, Commentary, recently published a grand war plan to bomb Iran and then seize its oil fields as leverage to enforce our will.
We continue to prop up the Middle East's most brutal dictators and support those leaders who lose in democratic elections, while righteously pretending that our invasions, occupations and bombing campaigns are about spreading democracy (we're delivering "God's gift to every man, woman and child"). And the raging debates in our country are over the extent to which we should torture people and how many more Muslims we should lock away for life with no charges of any kind.
The next time there is a terrorist attack, we can all sit around bewildered, scratching our heads and solemnly asking: "Why do they hate us?" And the only answer that will be allowed -- a rule to be piously enforced by the Owner of 9/11 himself, Rudy Giuliani -- will be the extremely honest and illuminating: "They hate us for our freedoms."
UPDATE: To clarify in response to emails I'm already receiving (they certainly do tend to pour in whenever "Israel" and "Palestinians" are mentioned in the same post): This is not an argument about what Israel should or should not do about Gaza. Since I'm not Israeli, that isn't the focal point of the argument here.
It is, instead, merely to point out the clear causal connection between (a) the never-ending carousel of attacks which many Americans urge be launched on one country after the next in the Muslim world, along with all sorts of attempts to control the internal workings of their countries, and (b) the anti-American sentiment among many Muslims which fuels terrorist attacks.