Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And Again - Hamas kills Israeli student by Qassam barrage

Our cookie jar of miracles ran out. One dead amidst a barrage of over 30 qassams, some of which hit a hospital center in Ashkelon. More updates at Israellycool.
At least one Israeli has been killed, and several others wounded after palestinians fired as least 30 Qassam rockets into Sderot and surrounding communities.

The dead man was a 30-year-old student in his car, who suffered lethal shrapnel wounds to the chest after a Qassam hit Sapir College.

The deadly barrage came hours after the IAF killed five Hamas terrorists apparently planning a large scale terrorist attack against Israel after having been trained in Iran.

I'm praying God refills our cookie jar and that nobody else will be hurt by the terrorists.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The real Star Wars

And so it begins... From Hot Air:

Video: Navy gives rogue satellite the full Death Star treatment

They needed steady seas, had a time window of only a few seconds to shoot, and were aiming at something no bigger than a bus, and they still got it. Man, did they ever:

[Marine Gen. James Cartwright] estimated there was an 80-90 percent chance that the missile struck the most important target on the satellite — its fuel tank, containing 1,000 pounds of hydrazine, which Pentagon officials say could have posed a health hazard to humans if it had landed in a populated area…

The size of the debris is smaller than the Pentagon had forecast and most of the satellite’s intelligence value was likely destroyed, Cartwright said. Though the Pentagon has played down that aspect of the shootdown, analysts had said one of the reasons for the operation was that officials worried that without it, larger chunks of the satellite could fall and be recovered, opening the possibility of secret technology falling into the hands of the Chinese or others.

“Football-sized chunks,” quoth the AFP. Goldfarb sees it as a de facto ad for missile defense. If shooting down an ICBM is like hitting a bullet with a bullet, this is like hitting a wafting tennis ball with a bullet: Not quite as impressive, but darned sweet.

Check out the awesomely awesome high-rez photos here, then click the image to watch.


Update: Cuffy Meigs knows his missile defense.

Caption contest!

I hope some of my creative readers can come up with some good captions. I'll start you off.
"It's good!"

"I have a headache this big..."

Quote du jour

"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
- J. Robert Oppenheimer, quoting from the Bhagavad Gita after witnessing the detonation of Trinity, the first atomic bomb.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Drew Carey on

Funny man Drew Carey tells it like it is - how we in modern America have it better than we ever had had it - in history.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Obama! Obama!

From Day by Day:

Got a big fish in Syria

While Israel is denying any involvement, I can't imagine their own terror legend being taken out by Arabs. In any case, he is dead and gone. Below is his resume courtesy of CT Blog. He is responsible for the 1983 Beirut bombing, the 2006 ambush of Israeli soldiers (9 killed) and subsequent capture of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, as well as the 1994 bombing of the Jewish center in Beunos Aires, Argentina.

A car bomb in Damascus killed Imad Mughniyeh, leader of Hezbollah's military operations and a mass murderer. It was a fitting end for someone who planned and executed numerous deadly terrorist attacks, including the 1983 bombings of the U.S Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut and the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires, Argentina Jewish center. Mugniyah was indicted in the U.S. for his role in planning and executing the 1985, hijacking of TWA Flight 847, which resulted in the murder of one U.S. citizen.

Mughniyeh was also implicated in Hezbollah's kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in 2006, which led to Israel's incursion into Lebanon. Contributing Experts posted several analyses at that time about his role in that conflict, including:

"Imad Mugniyah likely behind the capture of Israeli soldiers," by Bill Roggio, July 12: "The sophistication of this attack indicates Imad Fayez Mugniyah, Hezbollah's chief of military operations was directly involved. Mugniyah has a long history of successful military and terrorist operations across the globe. Mugniyah has a history of conducting similar snatch and grab operations against the Israelis."

"Inside Hizballah’s decision-making," by Magnus Ranstorp, July 14: "The file for handling special operations of this kind is usually left to Imad Mughniyeh, the elusive terrorist mastermind for Hizballah, who stands with one foot within Hizballah (reporting to Naserallah directly) and with one foot in Iran inside the architectures of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the al-Qods unit within the Iranian Pasdaran.

Other CT Blog posts on Mughniyeh: Aaron Mannes posted last October on the history of "Force 17," the Palestinian terrorist group once led by Mughniyah, and which served as an early inspiration to Bin Laden. Olivier Guitta posted in June 2006 on a Syrian plot, led by Mughniyeh, to destabilize Qatar.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Dollar is Falling! The Dollar is Falling!

“I do not think the future of the U.S. dollar is great, as long as we keep following the policies that are certain to weaken it over time.”
- Warren Buffet, WSJ 2/12/08
Not really chicken little, but I guess I am chicken a little. I am very sure that the dollar will fall precipitously in the near future. Investors just haven't realized this. Once they do realize it, every one will be dumping their dollar holdings, dumping treasuries, and wishing they had moved sooner. So why am I chicken? Because I haven't put my (lack of) money where my mouth is. So, the skeptic would say, "But Digital Irony, you have been right on so many things in the past, what have you done to position yourself to either reduce your losses or to profit from the dollar falling precipitously ?" I would reply, "a) I have no extra money, and b) I'm chicken."

So to you, faithful reader(s), I present six concrete strategies to bet (or hedge) on the fact that I am correct and that the dollar you all know and loved will become the ugly stepchild of the global currency market: (Thanks to Gil for some of these tips) [disclaimer: DI is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. If you are looking to make a million bucks, get an MBA from UofM. Or not.]

1) There's an ETF (exchange traded fund) that shorts the dollar index, the ticker is UDN. In general, ETFs are better than mutual funds because they are "dumb" investments. They don't require an educated person on the other side deciding where to place your money. ETFs blithely follow indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (a sucky index) or the S&P 500. ETFs have been shown to perform as good as or better than mutual funds. Oh, and as an aside, get out of hedge funds because the rumor is they will be collapsing soon.

2) If you don't want to bet against the dollar, but would prefer to bet for the other guys, there's another ETF that invests in a basket of G-10 currencies (euro, franc, pound, etc.) with the ticker DBV. In essence, option 1 and 2 have the same result, they are just different opportunities (price points) and risk levels (one vs. 10 currencies). Oh, and speaking of options, you can buy options for all of these two bets which increase your risk, but at the same time increase the possible return. You shouldn't touch options unless you know what you're doing, as you stand to lose your entire bet if things don't go exactly the way you planned them to go.

3) There's a fund FDPIX that is aptly called the falling dollar fund. It is a managed fund (booo), and has a $15,000 minimum investment (double booo). The price of this one goes up as the dollar price goes down.

4) Buy gold. Notice there's no ticker link. One reason why is because Gil didn't give me one. But the real reason I would buy gold is in order to hedge against and prepare for a dollar collapse (God forbid) and not just the dollar falling in price. The price of gold has risen too much now (IMHO) for it to be an investment play on the dollar, it should be used as a fallback against the dollar becoming worthless.

So how do you buy gold? Go to a gold store. Seriously. I would recommend buying U.S. minted gold coins at a coin store near you which charges the least of a premium above the spot price of gold (geek-speak for the market price of gold). Ask around at different for various prices. Oh, and pay cash (you can get better prices). You can purchase gold coins in under 1 ounce coins, but if you're jumping in, jump in to the one ounce range (it's ~$900 per ounce now). For the smaller investor (like me) you can pick up silver coins similarly, but there will be more of a premium above the spot price in silver for US minted coins, and additionally, finding U.S. minted coins is not as important (I think) in silver as it is in gold. The reason I recommend U.S. minted coins for your gold purchases, is that they are more widely recognized and can more readily be sold back into cash, if needed.

One last gold recommendation - store the gold coins at home (in a safe bolted to the floor or in your front pants pocket) and not in a safe-deposit box in the bank, because the reason you bought gold in the first place is to hedge against a dollar collapse, and if there is a collapse and a subsequent run on the banks, the bank branches will be physically closed and you will not have access to your safe-deposit boxes.

5) Directly invest in foreign currencies. Contact a financial advisor for practical details, but a safe way to get out of dollars is to open up a savings account in another country (say, Switzerland, or Luxembourg - that's where I hide my millions) and export your dollars into foreign currencies. I'm not sure on the logistics or tax implications, so if you like this idea, seek professional help.

This recommendation is a direct play - i.e., converting dollars you own into foreign currency that you will then own. I do NOT recommend playing the "ForEx" market which allows suckers to buy foreign currencies on margin. Never touch margin plays, ever. Unlike options mentioned above, with margin investments you can actually lose more than what you put in. Worst case scenario with options, you lose 100% of what you put in (invest $100, you lose $100). With margin accounts, you can lose much, much more than what you put in. Imagine putting up $100, then losing $10,000 and needing to come up with the money for repayment otherwise Guido will be showing up at your house with a baseball bat. Not fun.

6) My last recommendation is the most morbid, so take this one with many grains of salt (literally). Buy food. Stockpile essentials for living that we take for granted as being available in stores. The next step after a dollar collapse is an infrastructure collapse. We rely so heavily on infrastructure to deliver our peaches and milk to the grocery store, once the system starts to break down, life's essentials become scarce. So one investment often overlooked by investment professionals is to buy canned goods, flour, water, heating fuel, etc., and store them in your basement. Even if you think of it as a pure monetary investment it's a good one - food prices (wheat, corn, rice, etc.) have gone up significantly lately, so consider the money you're making in your basement.

Here is a quote by Richard Daughty:
"Gold is for optimists. I'm diversifying into canned goods."
In summary, if you'd like an investment play on the declining dollar, check out UDN, DBV, or FDPIX. If you want to play it safe, open a foreign savings account. If you're worried about more than a decline and think the dollar will collapse, buy physical gold. And lastly, invest in basic needs should life's essentials become scarce (or very expensive).

Thanks for reading! If you have any additional tips, please leave them in the comments.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Occupied Gaza

This is over a year old, and the UN still has still not changed its wording or policy regarding calling Gaza 'Occupied Palestinian Territory". As the reporter (or "Questioner") so aptly points out, the only occupation force in Gaza since the summer of 2005 is the UN, so the occupiers must in fact be the UN themselves. This Q&A session following a regular press briefing is culled directly from the UN's website [emphasis added]: (hat tip: ZioNation)
Briefing by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

** Middle East Statement

A statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Secretary-General has noted today's announcement of an agreed ceasefire in Gaza, and commends Egypt for its continuing efforts to calm a volatile and worrying situation. He calls for all parties to abide by the terms of the ceasefire and to move quickly back to the process of national dialogue in the pursuit of national unity.

**Questions and Answers

Question: You read a statement about the situation in Gaza before and I know it's difficult to change terminology, but we have a new Secretary-General now, so let me try it again. A year and half after the last Israeli withdrew from Gaza, the UN system still refers to Gaza as an Occupied Palestinian Territory. The only people who are not Palestinian in Gaza currently are UN people. Do you mean that Gaza is occupied by the UN?

Spokesperson: Definitely not.

Question: So who is it occupied by?

Spokesperson: Well…

Correspondent: I think there are some Israeli soldiers on the border…

Question: Not borders, who is Gaza occupied by?

Spokesperson: Traditionally, this is the terminology we have used. Yes?

Question: But the situation on the ground changed since Israel withdrew from Gaza.

Spokesperson: I will look into this.

Correspondent: Thank you.

They're still looking into this.

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

Saturday, February 09, 2008

British hypocrisy called out.

The town of Wesel, Germany in 1945.

From the normally mild-mannered Yael at Aliyah! comes this voracious smackdown on the pure chutzpah and utter hypocrisy of the British Foreign Secretary. If anything, Yael was too nice. I'll let her tell you the whole story:

1% cut in power ’causes humanitarian crisis’, is condemned by UK

The U.K. has stepped up to the plate and roundly condemned Israel for enacting the hideous and incredibly harmful cut of slightly less than 1%– let’s repeat that again just to make sure it actually sinks into my brain– 1% decrease in electricity being sent to Gaza in response to civilians being bombed by more than 50 rockets in a two-day period.

There is no hint that 50 rockets falling on a civilian population in less than 48 hours might constitute a “humanitarian crisis.”

These kinds of acts can’t be considered any kind of crisis much less a humanitarian one. How can they? After all, the victims of the rocket fire and the suicide bombings aren’t human. They’re Jews for g-ds sake. Please, depriving someone of less than 1% of their regularly scheduled electricity is far more harmful than trying to kill a bunch of jewish children and old people.

Perhaps I should remind this nice U.K. Minister of the response his own government made the last time an elected government decided to send some rockets and bombs to the cities in the U.K. –they didn’t deprive the civilians in that other territory of less than 1% of their electricity, oh no. The Brits engaged in a scorched earth policy, bombing the living f**k out of the civilian population from whence those rockets and bombs came. for instance, though not the only one conducted, can anyone say Dresden? Right, the RAF took part in air raids on a civilian city that saw 1,300 heavy bombers drop over 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices in under 15 hours, destroying 13 square miles (34 km²) of the city, the baroque capital of the German state of Saxony, and causing a firestorm that consumed the city centre. Estimates of civilian casualties vary greatly, but recent publications place the figure between 24,000 and 40,000. [ed., more Dresden info here: link]

Friday, February 08, 2008

Singing through their fear - Sderot

From Yael at Aliyah! comes this heart-wrenching documentary on the sheer terror of waiting for rockets to land around you. That the children are in kindergarten and are the targets of this terror, boils my blood. May those mother#%@&s rot in hell.

An art therapy teacher for kindergarden children in Sderot has created a song that the children now sing to overcome the debilitating fear of death they experience numerous times as they go through their day. Yoav Shoam has created a must-see short documentary film on the effects of the daily attacks on the children of Sderot and the surrounding kibbutzim and how this song is helping them to deal with a terrifying and unbearable situation. You can watch it below (subtitles in English):

Or, if you can’t access the embed above, watch it by clicking here.

Arutz Sheva provides a transcript in english as well that I’m appending below:

A Sderot teacher’s song has empowered area schoolchildren to deal with the fear of Kassam rocket attacks, integrating forms of relaxation therapy into a children’s diddy.

Shachar Bar, an art therapist who teaches in Sderot, became increasingly alarmed after seeing the thousands of children of the western Negev suffering the cumulative effects of trauma due to the ongoing barrage of Kassam rockets by Gaza terrorists. Teachers reported the fear and panic being heightened each time the recorded alert “Color Red” sounded, giving students 15 second to run for cover.

“Children experienced real developmental regressions, some began bedwetting,” she said. “They were getting hysterical when the alarm sounded – some freezing in place, unable to seek cover. One day I felt like ‘now is the time’ and I took this song I’d made up to a kindergarten class.”

The song begins with the children mimicking the alarm system, chanting “tzeva adom, tzeva adom,” Hebrew for Color Red. (The original alarm was “shachar adom” (red dawn), but children named Shachar were reportedly being affected socially and the municipality changed it.)

“[By mimicking the alert system] we touch slightly upon this threatening thing in a playful way, while in a safe, protected place with people we trust,” she explains. “That is the introduction.”

The song continues, with children seeking cover as they sing:

Hurry, hurry, hurry, to a protected area
Hurry, Hurry because now it’s a bit dangerous

“Running to our safe areas or ducking under the table, depending on where we are, coincides with the song,” Bar explains. “There is a fact: it is dangerous outside and we must seek shelter.”

My heart is pounding, boom, ba-ba, boom, boom, boom
My body is shaking, doom, da-da doom, doom, doom

“I am giving validation and legitimization to my fear and my body’s reactions,” Bar explains. “It is OK that my heart is pounding, I am even singing about it. It is OK that my body is trembling – I am afraid. Along with the words ‘boom-boom’ and ‘doom-doom,’ the movements of arms crossed and pounding on our chest borrowing from the EMDR method of treating trauma and anxieties. The movements help to break out of it and dissolve the anxiety, improving the mood.”

But I am overcoming
Because I am a little bit different
…The impact…boom – now we can get up

“Again, we remain in the reality,” Bar says. “We hear the impact and we can get back on our feet and begin with the release.”

Our body we shake, shake shake
Our legs we loosen, loosen, loosen
Breathe deep, blow far
Breathe deep, now we can laugh

“We breathe deep and release - a yoga method, even a yoga laughter method when we release the laughter,” Bar says. “Laughter releases endorphins into our brain and into our entire system.”

The song concludes: It all passed and I’m glad it’s over – Yes!!

Bar says the song has spread throughout Sderot and the area kibbutz and moshav schools as well. “The joy that the children display there with the release…Once they learned it they were asking to do it again and again. Suddenly they had a tool to deal with all this, that they could hold on to.”

“The words help you think logically and be a little less afraid,” fourth grader Yiska Yifrach of Kibbutz Sa’ad says.

Illana Madmoni, a second-grade teacher at the Kibbutz said that it used to break her heart to have nothing to say to comfort the children during the silence between the Color Red alarm and the impact. “There was fear in their eyes the moment the alarm went off. The void during that alarm, where everyone was silent and they were just hiding there helpless. Now they are not only less afraid, but the actions and movement empower them and they feel they have overcome the attack and are moving forward.”

This story is based on a short documentary filmed for the Joint Distribution Committee by Yoav Shoam. For more information, email:

Hamas war crimes - three in one day!

Wow. Three major war crimes, as defined in the Geneva Conventions, in one day! That's a lot, even for those genocidal murderous thugs running the show in Gaza. Oh. And all the news outlets completely ignore it. From Israellycool:

AP released a dispatch yesterday:

Hamas policemen seized a convoy of humanitarian aid bound for the Palestinian Red Crescent on Thursday evening, the second convoy it has taken from the aid agency, aid employees said.

Policemen from Hamas halted 14 trucks filled with food and medicine at a checkpoint after it crossed an Israeli checkpoint into Gaza on Thursday, said employees of the Palestinian Red Crescent, who declined to be named, fearing reprisals from ruling group Hamas. A Hamas official said the aid was seized because the organization was distributing aid to former Fatah fighters and not to impoverished Palestinians.

Employees from the Red Crescent said they were meant to distribute the aid to some 8,000 needy Gaza residents from lists of people the organization keeps. The aid came from the organization’s regional headquarters in Jordan, an employee said.

…The food aid was unloaded in the warehouses of the Hamas Ministry of Social Affairs, and two trucks of medicine were taken to a nearby Hamas-run hospital, he said.

The employee said that it was the second time Hamas policemen seized aid meant for the Red Crescent. Last month the group seized the aid from warehouses.

This article was essentially ignored by newspapers and other Web news outlets outside of Israel, and only a handful mentioned it buried in other articles about Gaza. And absolutely no one goes slightly beyond the article to ask the basic question of how much of Gaza’s “humanitarian crisis” is being engineered by Hamas itself.

On a similar note, the number of Qassam rockets fired at Israel has increased dramatically in the past few days compared to a relative lull for a couple of weeks. This issue is also being all but ignored by news outlets, mentioning them in passing in other articles about the Egypt/Gaza border, for example. The fact that there are as few casualties in Sderot as there are is nothing short of a miracle.

Finally, yesterday’s AP story of Hamas hiding rockets in a school was also picked up by only a dozen or so newspapers worldwide according to Google News counts.

Each of these stories show that Hamas and its partners are engaging in daily war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions. Shooting indiscriminately at civilians, using civilian areas to hide legitimate military targets and confiscating humanitarian aid are all explicitly illegal in international law as well as humanitarian law.

While Israel is constantly being accused of war crimes, either explicitly in the media or by their quoting handpicked “experts” to confirm the bias of the reporters, Palestinian Arab terror actions - all of these three in the past 24 hours - get a free pass, either ignored completely or reported in a passive manner.

The media is a big part of the problem, and a large reason why Hamas feels that it can act with impunity.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Those "poor" palestinians

I have few tears for those "poor" palestinians who are spending their aid money on televisions, cigarettes, and motorcycles in Egypt (note the tv and cigarettes in the lower picture), not to mention explosives. But all of that flashing of their gangsta rolls has gotten the Egyptians considering their own position. It turns out that the poor palestinians have a higher HDI (Human Development Index) than Egypt (and South Africa, India, and Syria) and about the same poverty level as Mexico.

But hey, lets focus on the humanitarian CRISIS in poor, poor Gaza.

From Yael at Aliyah!:

In light of the breach of the border between Gaza and Egypt– and probably sparked to some extent over some ruffled Egyptian feathers over the fact that Hamas tried to raise the Hamas flag on Egyptian soil and on top of a government building in Egypt in place of the Egyptian flag– along with reports of just how much the Gazans who came across the border spent, some Egyptians have begun to question their perception that those living in Gaza and the West Bank are living in the most dire, poverty-stricken conditions in the world. They’ve been kind of surprised to discover that actually the standard of living among Palestinians is significantly higher than among Egyptians –and than what is experienced in a lot of other countries such as Syria, India, Central American countries and so forth.

Memz had this to say in a post titled “How Poor are those Palestinians”

The HDI stands for Human Development Index. So what does that mean? Well it

….provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and enrolment at the primary, secondary and tertiary level) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income)

With the definitions done, let us look at the data. Comparing the HDI of the Occupied Palestinian Territories to the HDI of Egypt was interesting:

“The HDI for Occupied Palestinian Territories is 0.731, which gives the country a rank of 106th out of 177 countries”

“The HDI for Egypt is 0.708, which gives the country a rank of 112th out of 177″

This means that the People on the Occupied Territories, that is not a nation are doing better off than the people of Egypt. Actually better than people in 71 countries. Some of these 71 states include Indonesia, Syria, South Africa, Morocco, India

So what the #$*@ really? According to the United Nations the Palis are doing better than the Egyptians. Yet it is the Egyptians that are expected to help the Palestenian cause. It is the Egyptians that keep being distracted from their own well being. I just don’t get it. Can any of the Islamists or Nasserists try and tell me, why should us Egyptians help the Palestinians?

The Sandmonkey points out that the Palestinians are basically on equal footing with Mexico as far as the poverty index goes (Mexico is ranked 99, Palestinians at 100) according to the United Nations Human Development Report:

Human Poverty Index (HPI-1) 2004
Palestinians have a better time than:

Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Morocco, Africa and most of South Africa, Central America and Asia

People without access to an improved water source (%) 2004
Palestinians have a better time than:

Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Morocco, Africa and most of South Africa, Central America and Asia

Children underweight for age (% ages 0-5) 2004
Palestinians have a better time than:

Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Morocco, Africa and most of South Africa, Central America and Asia

Evil Multi-National Corporation

Via the Instapundit:
THIS IS INTERESTING: "Just one corporation (Exxon Mobil) pays as much in taxes ($27 billion) annually as the entire bottom 50% of individual taxpayers, which is 65,000,000 people!" I wouldn't have guessed that.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Non-Cycle of Violence

Here's a great editorial in today's WSJ:

The Israeli Lesson

The news about yesterday's suicide bombing in the Israeli town of Dimona is that it's news. In 2002, at the height of the second intifada, 451 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks, including 14 suicide bombings. By contrast, yesterday's attack, which killed one and injured 11, was the first of its kind in more than a year.

This didn't happen by accident, or because Palestinian radicals have somehow become less hostile to Israel. Responsibility for yesterday's attack was claimed by the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, which is affiliated with President Mahmoud Abbas's ostensibly moderate Fatah party. Islamist Hamas remains even more ardently dedicated to Israel's destruction, a point it emphasizes with its rocket barrages at southern Israeli cities close to the Gaza Strip.

Instead, the difference has come because of Israel's increasingly successful antiterrorist efforts. Key to that success has been the construction of its ostensibly "illegal" security fence, its equally "illegal" targeted assassinations of key terrorist leaders, its "disproportional" attacks on terrorist enclaves in Jenin and elsewhere, and other actions that saved innocent lives but which much of the international community deplored.

One of the most common arguments against Israel's actions is that it would feed a "cycle of violence." It's fair to say that what happened is closer to the opposite. As Israel put pressure on terrorist leaders, they were forced to spend their time running for their lives rather than planning the next attack. As Israel set up physical obstacles to terrorism, the need for large-scale military incursions declined, allowing a semblance of normal life to return for Israelis as well as Palestinians. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, Israel proved that terrorists can be defeated -- a lesson that applies equally in Iraq.