What Israel is now doing regarding the rocket attacks by Hamas from Gaza should have been done a couple of years ago, right after the Israeli civilians were removed from Gaza and the first rockets started raining down on Sderot. But it is better late than never. Here is the primer explaining what is happening and why:
Defending Israeli citizens from terrorist fire
A quarter of a million Israeli citizens have been living under incessant terror attacks from the Gaza Strip with thousands of missiles fired over the past eight years.
These missiles have been described as "home made" by the media. They are, in fact, deadly. Hamas has in its possession longer range Katyushas and Grad-type missiles which can cause devastation such as that on Monday 29 December as one Israeli was killed and 14 injured in a Grad attack on Ashkelon.
Israel left Gaza in 2005, giving Palestinians the chance to run their own lives. Despite this, more than 6300 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel since then.
During the past year alone, more than 3000 rockets and mortars have been launched into Israel.
Since the end of a formal ceasefire (during which terror attacks continued) with Hamas came to an end on Dec. 19, more than 170 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israeli civilians including a barrage of some 80 missiles on Dec. 24 alone.
As US President-elect Obama stated during a visit to Sderot five months ago, "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing."
No other country in the world would have exercised the amount of restraint that Israel has shown for the past several years without responding.
Read the whole thing. And, in case someone thinks that this is just pro-Israel point of view, here is what Egyptian Foreign Minister had to say on the subject (thanks to LGF):
This is the proof that there are sane politicians in the Arab world, which in turn gives me hope that ultimately peace is possible.
Powered by Qumana
These are just quick predictions without a lot of links.
1. The war.
The War on Terror, more properly known as the War against Islamo-Fascism, consists of 2 major overt parts, which are often separated by the Left: Afghanistan and Iraq. I do not see any major changes in the action in Afghanistan, although there might be an escalation. Al Qaeda will be kept at bay there, but unlikely completely defeated without any major action in the Afghan-Pakistan border region by either Pakistani or our military.
Iraq is a different matter. Iraq has been largely pacified, thanks to the Surge for which neither Bush nor McCain got any credit. Now it will be possible to drastically reduce the troop level there. The bases will remain, but roughly around 16 months from Obama taking office most of the troops will be brought home or redeployed to Afghanistan. It will happen roughly around 16 months from Obama taking office because that is what he promised. Obama will proclaim that he brought the troops home. It would have happened under any President, but Obama will take and get the credit for it.
There will be no major change in the policy on Iran. We might see some low level diplomatic contacts. We might also see some nukes pointed to Iran, in case they do attack Israel. Iran will get the Bomb, unless the Israelis bomb their nuclear sites and win some time that way. There will be no effort to support the opposition in Iran, so no Iranian regime change during the Obama Administration.
Amid the proclamations of undying support for Israel, the pressure to just take the hits from her enemies will increase dramatically. If Israel does bomb Iran, she will be condemned by the whole world. That will include the United States as well, although this country will not be as loud as everybody else. The Israeli attack on the Iranian nuclear sites will be used by some politicians as a justification to push for reduction of the American aid to Israel, and they may, or may not, succeed in it. On the brighter side, the potential unfriendliness of the Obama Administration might untie Israel’s hands, which will be a good thing.
If the new administration largely stays out of the economy, it will probably recover within 6 months. It’s not that bad anyway, my job-searching experience this December is a testament to that. The problem is the credit crunch, which will probably dissipate in 6 months. But then, I am not an economist, so what do I know? I mean, other than having 2 job offers 10 days after being laid off?
I don’t think Obama Administration will do much, except maybe allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. That will probably reduce the potential growth of the economy, but will likely not stop it.
5. Health Care.
The subject of Health Care is the one on which I often part ways with my fellow Republicans. So far I never supported what the Democrats have proposed on the subject because their proposals often tend to introduce a large government component into the health care system and try to make it like Canadian system, and based on my information this does not work. But some of the Obama’s proposals on Health Care do make sense. I definitely don’t see anything wrong with selling already existing government insurance like Medi-Cal or the Congressional insurance plan to the general public and making it compete with the private insurance plans. I also don’t think people should be allowed to choose not to buy some health insurance for themselves and their families. That is because this is not the choice they make. It would be if in case of an accident those people would simply be left to die. But they are not, and frankly I don’t think a civilized society should allow people to die if they don’t have the money to pay for their care and no charity comes along in time. Thus, people who "choose" not to buy health insurance are actually sticking everybody else with the bill. So, if they "choose" not to buy the insurance, the premium for their accidental coverage should be deducted from their paycheck or paid along with taxes.
6. The bottom line.
It’s not that bad. We just need to prevent the cult of personality from getting too bad. It is frankly getting ridiculous with a bunch of books by Obama and about Obama prominently displayed in the book stores and new calendars with Obama quotes being sold. But hopefully it will be limited to that and will dissipate pretty soon. We also need to make sure that Obama’s more sinister ideas, like his "civilian national security force" do not go through. Hopefully nothing drastic will happen in the first 4 years, and with some luck we’ll get someone more reasonable into the White House in 2012.
Powered by Qumana
On December 14 my older daughter had her 1st figure skating competition. She even took 1st place and got a trophy. Of course, all the kids were separated into the groups of 1 or 2 kids. My daughter was only one in her group, so she took the 1st place in the group of one. I understand that this was done in order to encourage the 1st-time competitors and prevent them from being too shy to perform on the ice. Still, I think it would have been better if they were in the groups of 3 kids, so there would have been some real competition, even though everyone would still get a trophy. But we all did enjoy the experience. Here is the video:
My little figure skater used my favorite song for her program:
My daughter have already picked the music for her next program. Let the record show that I did not suggest another Andrews Sisters song: it was entirely her idea:
Although, I do have to admit that I did have some influence on my daughter’s taste in music.
Powered by Qumana
I am putting this update at the top because the rest of this post is not very relevant any longer. It looks like I am starting a new job on 1/5/2009. It is a medical equipment company. I’ve been fascinated by the medical electronics ever since I graduated from college, so now is my chance to design some of it. Under the circumstances I would prefer working for a defense company in order to contribute more directly to the war effort, but unfortunately it did not work out that way. Still, I am quite happy about this new job.
There is also a career milestone for me. For me this is the first job ever when knowing someone who knew someone actually helped me to get the job, or get an interview, to be precise. This means that my professional network is finally starting to help. Here is what happened:
I actually sent my resume to this company back in September. But it is a big company, so I never heard anything. But after I got laid off I gave my resume to an Applications Engineer from a company whose chips I use (I should have done it back in September). This guy had a meeting with some engineers from a company where I am going to work and passed my resume over to them. They called me for an interview, and I got a job. I actually had an offer from another company as well, so I could choose where I wanted to go. So, there are jobs out there, just look at Monster.com.
The downside of this all is that I am not getting more time to blog after all.
Right before Thanksgiving I posted about a lay-off at my work. Back then I was not affected, although I knew that things weren’t good, so I was looking for another job. Well, another lay-off has happened just this Tuesday. This one affected me: I am now out of a job. The situation is not terrible: there are jobs out there, just look at Monster.com. But I can use all the help I can get, so I am posting my resume on my blog. I am posting it as a separate page on this site, as well as in PDF format. I am not showing my contact information on this version of my resume: this political blog is open to the general public, so it is probably not a good idea to have my home address, e-mail and phone numbers displayed for everybody to see. Your comments reach me through my e-mail, and the separate page makes it easier to reach me through comments. If you know anybody in need of an Electrical Engineer (Hardware Engineer, Electronics Engineer etc.), please direct them to my blog. If you request a copy of my resume in the Word format with all the contact information, please use your work e-mail, so I know that it is a legitimate company looking for an engineer. Thanks in advance for all the help.
On the brighter side, I will probably have some more time to blog, between looking for a job and doing all the honey-dos my wife assigns me now.
Powered by Qumana