I read a very interesting novel in thr Dorsai series by Gordon Dickson about a battle fought passively by women, children, and old folks.
The plan of the battle was to oppose the troops garrisoning the conqered planet by poisoning them. The poison was nickel monoxide if I recall correctly. Its properties were that is an odorless tasteless gas that destroys the lungs. All the citizens who wished to avoid the poisoning left for the hills. A remnant stayed. The old, the sick, and the seriously disabled. When the natives started getting sick at the same time as the troops in the garrison the problem was thought to be a germ or virus. A natural disaster rather than an attack. Some of the citizens chose to die to defeat the enemy. It was a great read. Unfortunately I don't remember the title. Perhaps some one can enlighten me.
In a way I think that is what Sharon is doing.
War today is what it has been since the invention of communications. Media war. As the media gets faster what happens on the battle field is less and less decisive. Vietnamese General Giap was forced to admit that the North never won a major battle against the Americans. However, he said that in the end it didn't matter. The center of gravity of American power was not its army but public opinion.That is where the war was won.
My belief is that Sharon is willing to sacrifice the lives of some Israelis for a strategic advantage in the field of battle that means the most in this war: world public opinion. To fight and strike a serious blow to the terrorists Israel must have public opinion on its side.Why? Because Israel, with very few natural resources, is a trading country. It needs at least somewhat favorable world public opinion to prosper.
I fully believe that in the short term the pull out from Gaza will be a disaster. The Palis will not be able to restrain themselves. Innocents will be killed. There will be at least two major gains from the withdrawal. First, militarily the gloves can come off. Second, the Pali civil war for control of Gaza will intensify.
Long term a Pali civil war would be most advantageous. It will weaken Pali offensive power and discredit them further in world public opinion.
To gain this Sharon must risk the lives of thousands of Israelis. A sad day. A very sad day indeed. If Sharon has any heart it must be breaking. Mine is. And yet I belive thre General has made the right choice. It sucks.
Here is some corroboration:
The disorders of this week in and around the Gaza Strip make talk of truce and Israeli pull-backs sound surreal.via WarTrash
From Thursday, July 14, Palestinian terrorists have kept up a steady missile and mortar bombardment of Sderot and the moshavim and kibbutzim of southwestern Israel while challenging Palestinian security forces in bloody clashes. The violence surged with the arrival in Gaza of Mahmoud Abbas for a hopeless effort to assert control and revive the shattered truce he guaranteed last February in Sharm al Sheikh.
Update: 10:54z 16 July 2005
Casualties in Gaza violence: 2 teens
Palestinian security forces and Hamas members exchanged fire in a crowded Gaza City neighborhood on Friday, leaving a 17-year-old boy and a 13-year-old dead and wounding 25 people - including six policemen.Hoots links and adds some interesting points.
It was not clear whether Hamas gunmen were also hurt in the clash. Hamas members were not expected to take their activists to hospitals, for fear of arrest.
Friday's clashes erupted in Gaza City's Zeitoun neighborhood, after security forces searched for militants suspected of firing rockets at Israeli targets. Hamas members torched a police station, and set a police armored personnel carrier and three jeeps on fire.