The Corner

Re: Yassin

“(1) Does it matter whether the Gaza Strip is controlled by the PLO or

Hamas? Yes, it does. Yes, both groups are repellent, murderous and thuggish

(insert the appropriate insulting adjective of your choice), but, as George

Bush himself has acknowledged, there is at least *some* hope (however

remote) that the PLO – or a successor organization – will one day come to a

deal with Israel. The same cannot be said of Hamas. A Gaza under the control

of Hamas will be a territory that combines poverty, state failure and

Islamic fundamentalism. We’ve been there before, and it ended in 9/11.”

It ended in 9/11 because we neglected to take the kind of action in

Afghanistan that Sharon just took in Gaza.

“(2) For all its faults, Abdullah’s Jordan is a country the West can deal

with. If Abdullah were to fall, that would almost certainly change.

Yesterday’s events have increased the chances that he will. That is not in

America’s interest, and it is not in Israel’s.”

The countries we “can deal with” will be the ones that respect our strength

and resolution in dealing ruthlessly and fearlessly with our enemies.

“(3) War. The purpose of war is to win, not to vent. Yesterday Sharon

vented.”

You could make that remark about any military action. Were Hiroshima and

Nagasaki “venting”? Possibly, but what does it matter? They worked.

“Effective military action” and “venting” are not mutually exclusive

categories. There was an excellent military case for killing Yassin.

Sharon did a good thing, and the right thing.

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